There is no denying the fact that billions of people on planet Earth are using mobile phones, and when you conduct research on how they are using them you will discover that one app or another is actually involved.
For instance, to play music on an Android phone, one must use one music player or another and to do the same with an iPhone one must use one streaming app or another like Spotify or Apple Music.
Even the ability to access a mobile phone is made possible by a mobile launcher which is an app. And all these apps were created by people who are making money from it while you are using it.
Therefore, if you have been thinking of how to create your own app and make money online with it, then this article is going to serve as a guide, and if you read it to the end you will be knowledgeable in the art of app creation.
Even if you are a first-timer, a non-technical user, or have at one time or another tried to build an app and failed, then this article is going to walk you through the process of app development in a very simple and easy way to understand.
I will start this article by showing you the basic ways of creating an app and end it by showing you how to make money with your app.
So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Can you make money online by creating an app?
Yes, you can make money online by creating an app through advertising, providing subscription services to your users, selling products and services, etc.
And in this article, I will show you how to make money online from mobile apps, and after that move on to show you how to create an app that will help you make that money.
How to make money online from an app.
Below is a breakdown of some of the ways you can make money from an app.
- Providing subscription services to your users.
- Selling products and services.
- Affiliate marketing.
Providing subscription services to your users.
You can make money online by creating an app that will warrant people to subscribe before they can use it.
The trick in creating such an app is to allow certain features to be accessed for free while creating an avenue where users must have to subscribe before they can access all the features.
Another trick is to have a trial version that enables people to use the app for a while before they can pay to use it further.
This trick helps to allow people to have a feel of your app for free at first and see the need of paying to use those features that are really important to them.
An example could be a graphic design app that can allow people to design but pay for a subscription when they want to download their design.
You can join an advertising network like Google AdSense and show Ads on your site to make money from impressions and clicks.
You can also create Ads spaces where users can pay to advertise their products and services.
Selling products and services.
You can create an e-commerce app like Jumia and add an online store and cart that will allow people to place orders and make payments for their products online.
Make sure you have an assured and prompt delivery service that will make the products get to the buyers as anticipated. Also, ensure you have an option for payment on delivery.
The trick to creating this kind of app is to target a closer location at the start and expand when you begin to make more money and have more branches and delivery systems in various places.
You can also join affiliate programs and get affiliate links that you place in strategic positions of your app and make a commission when people engage with it.
It is best to join affiliate programs in the industry your app is already targeting.
You can also make money by referring people to various businesses and services online and earning a commission while doing so.
Crowdfunding is a process where you solicit funds from the public to enable you to achieve a particular aim or purpose.
It is usually done by non-governmental organizations or religious bodies.
Whatever your reason for seeking public funding will be, make sure it is authentic and you will keep people informed on the progress you are getting from their financial assistance.
How to create an app.
Basically, there are two ways to create an app, one is hiring an app developer and the other one is to develop the app on your own. And I want you to understand that both methods will require you to invest money in case you have been thinking if there is a way of building an app on your own for free.
Now before you embark on the journey of building an app you must ensure you have a clear purpose for creating an app. It could be something you are trying to achieve or a problem you are trying to solve.
Most times, the need to create an app might arise from the challenges you see people facing in life, especially if it comes as an emergency.
For example, a Nigerian Crypto-trader who goes by the name BLord took advantage of the network failures in Nigerian banks during the money redesign saga to create a digital currency trading app known as JetPay. And today his net worth is estimated at roughly $2 million.
Therefore, once you have seen a clearer vision or identified a mission that will warrant creating an app to make money online, you can then choose to decide which of the two methods of app development going to work best for you.
Now let’s go deeper into how you can implement any of these methods.
How to hire an app developer.
The duty of an app developer is to interpret the vision, mission, or idea that gave rise to your need of developing an app. But before you attempt to do so, there are very vital things you have to understand as well as put into consideration and they are:
- Conduct research.
- Make a budget.
- Get in touch.
You don’t have to wake up in the morning and call on someone to handle your project without knowing if he will be able to deliver or not. This goes to say that before you entrust your app development to anybody or a corporation, your should embark on research to ascertain they are n a better position to deliver that project as you anticipate.
Below are a few tips that will help you conduct successful research to find the best app developer.
- Learn about the industry: It is very important for you to know the basics of app development before you consult anyone to develop it for you because the rough idea you present to them will enable them to understand they are working with someone who is already knowledgeable in the field and in so doing attempt to deliver as expected. You can learn about the industry by joining forums and groups where you can discuss with some professionals in the field as well as use read articles online and watch YouTube tutorials on the process of app development. Things you should aim to know are the programming language, the cost of app development the best countries that can deliver to your expectations.
- Know the developer’s experience in app development. You must seek to know the apps your proposed developer has already developed for others and use them for some time to study the user’s experience from your own perspective. If the app is on Google Play, you can read the user’s feedback and use that to judge if they will be able to deliver yours accordingly.
- Know their ability to communicate: Though this is oftentimes overlooked it plays a very vital part in hiring someone to develop an app for you. If you are working with a developer who takes two to three weeks to respond to your messages, then this is surely going to delay the time you propose to launch your app.
- Ensure they understand your goals. Before you consult your app developer, you must have known what you really want to achieve or the problem you want to solve with your app as we examined earlier in this article. Thus, you must ensure you are working with an app developer who will understand your goals when you convey them. This would be easy if the app developer has already worked on a similar project where you have also been opportune to use and confirm its effectiveness.
- Seek legal procedures: You must ensure you have a legal process in place that will help you to get a refund in the case where the app developer bridges his own terms of the contract.
Make a budget.
Before you hire your app developer, you must first decide how much you have to invest in the project.
Based on your budget you can even visit the developer for a one-on-one discussion and work implementation or bring them over to do the work at your own location.
Aside from that, it is your budget that will determine the resources you are going to use in your app. That is why it is very important for you to understand firsthand the type, needs, UX/UI design, functionality, software, characteristics, and other alternatives before you make a budget.
Additionally, you must have some funds set as miscellaneous expenses in case other need arises in the process of the app development.
Get in touch.
By now you must have had a list of the app developers you are proposing to work on your project as well as understand the ins and outs of the industry, so this is the right time to start getting in touch with them to make a proposal.
Based on what your app requires and your budget, you might choose to find a freelance app developer who will be able to execute the project. On the other hand, hiring a professional app development agency like Buildfire is going to be very effective but expensive. Again it’s your budget that is going to determine the kind of app developer you want to work with, so just go ahead and use the research results above to send them a request for your app development.
Communicating directly with your proposed app developer will go a long way in helping you to make an informed decision. Ensure you inquire about their overall design knowledge, the technology they used in app development, and their payment methods in case they will be working only online without a physical contact
Your outsourcing should come from, firstly, the feedback you have from the app developers you reached out to. And secondly, you also have to go through their portfolios, download and test some of their apps, and read clients’ testimonials and comments that prove the app developer is good to go with.
Do not forget to decide on a non-disclosure agreement that is going to secure your code and terms and conditions as well as a refund if they are unable to deliver.
Once the relevant agreements have been sealed and signed, you can safely get started with the app development process.
How to develop an app on your own.
So many people ask: can I develop an app on my own? and the answers are absolute, yes, it is very possible to develop an app on your own.
Back in the day, building an app required hiring a team of app developers that will spend so much time to do coding and using a programming language. But today, there are lots of no-coding development platforms that allow DIYs and non-technical users to create an app on their own from scratch.
It is as simple as choosing a template, adding plugins, and customizing the features to suit your own needs.
Even today, hiring a team of app developers is very expensive. Aside from paying them to create an app, you will also have to keep paying for the app maintenance after you launch.
And that is more of the reason so many people today are opting for building an app on their own instead of hiring app developers.
But before you can develop an app on your own, there are a few steps you have to take and they are:
- Identify your goal for developing an app
- Research your competition.
- Organize the features you need for your app.
- Create a blueprint
- Create a technical spec
- Determine the best development method.
- Look for solutions that already exist.
- Specify your timeframe.
- Concentrate on the necessary components.
- Test your app.
- Launch it.
- Market your app.
- Track and measure analytics.
- Request user feedback.
Identify your goal for developing an app.
Developing an app must begin with a clearly defined goal that you as the owner have been able to identify.
Though your ultimate goal for building an app is to make money online, you can only do that when you are able to satisfy your users. And the only way to satisfy your users is to help them to solve one problem or the other they have.
Like BLord who founded JetPay as we mentioned earlier in this article, he knew that people need a trusted and reliable platform to trade their digital currencies like bitcoins, gift cards,, etc, he went on to develop the app and today he is making so much money online from it because he is able to help people solve their digital money problems.
Therefore, before you embark on developing an app on your own, make sure you start by identifying your goal for building the app.
Research your competition.
Identifying your goal for developing an app should come in handy with your understanding of the industry you want to enter. And this is when researching the competition you are going to face comes in.
If the industry you want to enter has lots of users and very outstanding apps that are already existing, the best thing to do is to look for the features those apps do not have and build them into your own.
For instance, if you want to make a messaging app like WhatsApp, you must look for an additional feature that WhatsApp does not have and ensure you are working on a budget that will help you add that feature to beat the competition.
Organize the features you need for your app.
The features in your app are going to be its core functionalities so you should organize them upfront before you start the development process.
Avoid the temptations of adding extra and unnecessary features to your app because they are going to add additional costs to your app development as well as lead people away from your app’s primary purpose.
Below are some popular app features you can consider:
- Menu and user directory.
- Push notifications.
- Booking sections.
- Questionnaires and surveys.
- Video, image, and audio.
- Shopping carts etc.
Create a blueprint.
After outlining your app features, the next step you need to take is to pick your pencil and start sketching your app on a piece of paper, whiteboard, or digital sketching tools.
The reason you should create a blueprint is to simply make an illustration of your app’s features and layout schemes and in the end, show visually how your app is going to function.
However, your app’s blueprint should not aim to show how the app will finally look but to indicate its structure and flow.
Create a technical spec.
Now that you’ve got the blueprint of your app, you can use that idea to move on to creating a technical spec.
Unlike your wireframe which is a sketch of your app, your technical spec is the inner work that will be going on in your app.
It is your technical spec that will define the challenges that may arise from the app development and potentially find alternative ways to get around them and achieve your goal.
Determine the best development method.
There are scores of ways to develop an app, so before you ever embark on app development you must choose the method that’s best for you.
However, choosing the best method is going to depend on several factors like your budget, app type, your technical skill level, market conditions, etc.
You really need to visit an app-building platform to choose the method that will suit your needs.
Look for solutions that already exist.
It is always a good idea to check and see if there is an existing solution instead of wasting time trying to build your app from scratch. While developing an app there are standard functionalities that every app must have.
The kind of solutions am referring to here are things like hosting, design, analytics, push notifications, etc.
You will find it a lot cheaper to buy something that is pre-built than trying to build it yourself. The only work you will have to do after the purchase is customizations.
In the end, you will realize that this is going to save you time and money and help you get your app up and running as soon as possible.
Specify your timeframe.
Specifying a timeframe will help you to stay on track and observe your progress during your app-making process.
You can achieve this by separating your entire app development project into smaller projects because it is much easier to get lots of smaller projects to accomplish in a short period of time than looking at one big project from start to finish.
Therefore, you need to specify the timeframe for completing each of these small app projects and also find a way to track your overall progress.
Concentrate on the necessary components.
As you start building your app, you must ensure you keep your mind on your app’s most essential features which are the necessary components of your entire app.
You must be able to figure out and build the most important features that your app needs to function and worry about everything else afterward.
There is no limit to the app development process and if you allow yourself to be distracted during the process, you can end up wasting your time and resources and in the end get far from the core functionality of your app.
There will always be a time and way to go back and add the features you need to your app after you launch it.
Test your app.
Do not jump into launching your app if you have not yet tested it. So once you are done with the development process make sure you test your app on several platforms like Android phones, smartphones, iPhones, tablets, etc.
Ensure that your app is working, both online and offline as it should. And in the end, you will find out that software versions and screen sizes of several devices will help you to spot different issues with your app and in so doing be able to fix them.
The only thing left to be worried about afterward is your uptime and visibility.
Now that you’ve tested your app and discovered that it is working well on all devices, it is time to get your app to actual users, and to do so you need to submit it to different app stores like Google Play and Apple app stores.
Make sure you understand and follow their submission guidelines while trying to submit your app to the app stores.
Market your app.
After submitting your app to the app stores, make sure you find a way of promoting your app to make it get in front of potential users.
You could have the greatest app in the world but if anyone does not know about it then it will be sitting there unable to fetch you any money online.
Make sure you establish your digital presence on several platforms and use several marketing strategies to get your app in front of potential users.
Track and measure analytics.
You need to have a system in place that will help you track and measure analytics for your app, because it is this analytics that will help you to understand how many people are using your app, and the length of time they are spending on it.
Look for the app feature more users are taking advantage of and make it accessible everywhere in the app.
Request user feedback.
As more people are starting to use your app, make sure you ask them what they think about it and use that feedback to prioritize the features you need to make improvements on.
If you want to learn about other ways to make money online, read the article: How To Make Money Online.