By now we all know how money is typically made with apps – create something catchy like Angry Birds and charge a small fee to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people. Chad Mureta tried his hand at this. Working just 5 hours a week, he created and sold three app companies in 24 months and generated millions in revenue.
If you think you might like to follow in Chad's footsteps, then Mashable's article "10 Steps to Building a Top-Selling App" is an excellent place to start.
But there are other methods to making money with apps – methods that don't require you to hit upon just the right idea that sells hundreds of thousands of 99 cent copies.
For example, did you know you can create your own app in about 10 minutes, regardless of prior experience? You can then monetize that app with affiliate income, promoting affiliate products while providing a constant stream of great content (sounds like a blog, doesn't it?) And finally you can leverage apps into continual income streams that pay you for months and even years, with very little extra effort.
So let's get started: To build an app in 10 minutes, we're going to assume you don't know the first thing about app building. That's why you'll want to head over to Buzz Touch http://buzztouch.com/ where you can create your own Android and iOS apps for free. They have plenty of tutorials and instructions to help you out – all you need is a cool idea and you're on your way.
Much like other marketing, you're going to build your app around a specific niche and then add affiliate links. So let's say you're doing an app for weight loss – you'll make it valuable by adding RSS feeds from trusted sources. This is why people will want the app, to get the great information. But you'll also add menu items that lead to affiliate landing pages.
To get your app found in the app store, you'll want a good keyword name. You're looking for something that gets a lot of searches in Google, but doesn't show a lot of results when you search for it in the store. Remember, there are millions of apps – you need to get yours found or it won't be downloaded.
This method won't make you rich, but it could make you a few hundred a month, depending on how many people download your app and how often those people use it. Obviously the more they're exposed to it, the more likely they are to purchase one or more of your affiliate products.
Want to kick it up a notch? Here's how: Build custom apps for clients, charge them a small up front fee to build the app, something like $50 to $200, and then charge them for a monthly hosting fee. You'll want to get a reseller account with a hosting company and then install the Buzz Touch API on your servers.
Next, create a few demo apps for real businesses so you have something to show to prospective clients. You might also approach these businesses and offer the apps for free in exchange for hosting – the worst they could do is say no.
Now get customers any way you choose. LinkedIn is a good method, as is approaching local businesses and joining local business groups. When you get a client you can bill them through Paypal, or you can set up a shopping cart system on your website. Charge one time to create the app, and let them know if they need updates in the future there will be an additional charge. And then charge $5 to $15 month for hosting.
You'll find that once you get the hang of it, you can create a new app in less than half an hour, and the hosting fees can really begin to pile up after a couple of months of consistent effort.