What Profit Is There In Free Mobile Applications?

Quite a lot!

Something to always remember when developing a mobile application is to understand that you can deliver plenty of value with an application for free and still make money. More than just placing some AdMob ads, developers can monetize an application with many different avenues.

Opportunities To Deliver Value

  • Updated Functionality or Content: Does your application change? Are you pushing content to your users that is relevant to them? You can charge for it, even a small amount. $1/month may be small, but it adds up really fast, especially if you have an application that stays relevant.
  • Relevant Products or Services: Look at the vertical your application falls in to. Can you find something related that would be of value to a user? If so, will vendors in that space pay you for each signup or install? This way you can deliver valuable additional services without developing it yourself.
  • Targeted Advertising: A simple banner doesn’t cut it and can be easily ignored. Instead, is there a way you can sell ad space that is targeted? If you can profile your users, search for other vendors in the space that need to reach them. If needed, don’t make it a banner – make a notification or a separate tab for it. Test your method so you can understand what gets attention without being annoying.

One thing I have noticed as a parallel between being an affiliate, an agency and now a mobile app maker is that ways of delivering value to people remain largely the same. As an affiliate, you need to have a site that can live without the links. As a free app developer you need to tie your monetization to delivering something the user will want or need. Either way, value is required to make it viable.

In the next post I’ll be going over a specific example of a way to monetize a free application. Stay tuned!