How Much Money Can I Make with My App?

    After carefully setting the right price for your app, it’s only natural to think of how much money you can make and get back with your app. In fact, for some iPhone app developers, making money is their main goal. So how do the numbers stack up?

    During my research, I found that real and accurate statistics on returns from developing an app is hard to find. But for a glimpse of how some fare in the app market and how much app sales and downloads you will need to make money with your apps, an article from TechCrunch.com called “iPhone App Sales, Exposed” is a great place to start.

    This article by Alex Ahlund, features sales data from 124 paid apps with prices ranging from $0.99 to $49.99. It also shows how app development costs can greatly affect the amount of money you make. So what I realized from Alex’s article is that, like setting the right price, making money with your app requires a bit of science.

    First, consider categorising your app as a paid one instead of free, unless of course you clearly understand what it takes to earn money with FREE. Selling your apps can help you get you started in the money-making process.

    Alex also mentioned that the average development cost of $6,453 from his survey doesn’t include personal time and some developers have even omitted their actual development costs. With that said, I think the second point in making the money off of your app is to find a quality development team. The logic, minimise your costs by minimising errors.
    Third, know that marketing plays a key role in reaching your money-making goal. For some of the many effective ways to market your app, refer to my recent blog, 5 Ways to Market Your App.

    But take note – that even if you got these three things in the bag, sometimes it still isn’t enough.

    In a very honest article by app developer Owen Gross called “The Numbers Post (aka Brutal Honesty)”, he bared his figures on his app project gone wrong. This article, as well as the comments it got, is worth reading as there are some important lessons to learn.

    With all of these insights, I think that making money from your app, just like most of the steps in the app development process, is a trial-and-error thing. And until you get all your money-making strategies in line, you’ll never really have a specific answer to the question – how much money can I make with my app?

    But the good news is (just like Alex says in his article), the iPhone app market hasn’t reached its peak yet. So you, as a developer, still have the time to make necessary tweaks, find the best strategies or find your niche to make the most money with your app. Good luck!

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