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How to Create an App and Make Money

11.03.2019 Victoria Daneeva
How to Create an App and Make Money

This article reveals basic tips on how to create an app and make money. Who could it be useful for? For those people who have an idea of creating an app, but don’t know where to start. And for those who are looking for ways to earn money with an application they already have, or are going to create.

What are the Basic Steps in Creating an App?

The goals and purposes should be clearly defined in the very beginning to put the idea into practice. There are several questions to think over when you want to create your application:

  • What exactly will the future application do?
  • How will it engage users?
  • Which category will your app belong to?
  • If an application is supposed to be useful and not an entertaining one, how can it simplify people’s lives?
  • How to market your app?

As Statista reports, there are 33 categories of apps in Google Play and 24 categories in the App Store.


And only seven categories from this list cover more than 3% of users.

As soon as you figure out the category of the future application, you can start exploring the top list to reveal key features and core functionalities of each app to create a competitive project. It will even be useful to create a list of features to keep them right at the surface.

Pay attention to the graphic design and ergonomics of placing buttons, color schemes, transitions, animations, and fonts. All this will help with the practical part of creating an app.

Where Do You Start if You Already Have a Concept of an App?

After you have decided on the concept and design of your application, the way of building an app should be considered.

There are two common ways to create an app: via an app builder or a custom software development. And this part of the article will brief you on how to choose an app builder or a software development company for working on your project.

What is an App Builder?

An App Builder is an online tool that helps to skip the overall developing process and get a ready-to-use application within a short period of time. App builders are very simple so anyone, even without coding experience, can create an app by choosing features supported by a certain app builder. For example:

Zoho Creator

Appy Pie



You can find more on this list of top app builders.

Before going for one of those app builders, decide on what platform the application will be for. Then look through the list of all the features you want to have in the app to double check if an app builder will be able to provide you with those features. The same should be done with the design. Confirm you can find necessary templates, color schemes, and other details.

Of course, along with all the advantages, app builders have some flaws. Let’s list them in the table below:

Pros of Using an App Builder Cons of Using an App Builder
  • Doesn’t require much time to develop an application;
  • No programming knowledge required;
  • Cost-effective solution for small businesses;
  • Short time for testing;
  • Easy to release.
  • A limited list of features;
  • Limited design;
  • Many similar applications on the market;
  • Ordinary interface, compared with custom design;
  • Might not meet your business needs.

App builders will not provide you with customized features and design, but it will take much less time to create, download, test, and release the application. Quite profitable for small businesses if a custom development’s price is not an affordable one.

What is Custom Software Development?

Custom software development is the designing and developing of an application on specific requests or needs by a software development company. This is the way to create a unique application and get a competitive advantage compared with app builders’ apps.

Check out the pros and cons of custom development in the table below:


Pros of a Custom Development Cons of a Custom Development
  • Build exactly what you need;
  • Full control of the developing process;
  • Change software if the business changes;
  • Start with core features and develop the project along with the growth of your business;
  • No options limit;
  • Quick changes if needed;
  • Possible to integrate additional software;
  • The project will be supported by a team of developers;
  • No subscription;
  • No maintenance contracts.
  • High initial costs;
  • Takes months to create an app;
  • Might need to rewrite the application to keep abreast of all changes and trends;
  • Requires constant communication with a developer during the whole developing process.

Custom development costs a lot more and will take more time. But you can rely on a team of experienced and skillful developers and designers, who will be fully dedicated to you at any time. Potentially, a custom development can be a good investment because in this case, you are sure the application will meet all your business’ needs and will be unique.

How to Make Money with an App

There are some ways of apps monetization and making money after the time spent on development.

In-App Advertising

This is one of the favored ways to earn money with an app. An advertisement is simply shown on the app. The payment depends on the category of ads and the number of clicks.

Banner and video ads can just pop up randomly or users can get a certain motivation to watch ads, for example:

screenshot_2 screenshot_3

Videos will make more money than banners, but be careful with the customers’ patience. Should decide on the frequency and length of videos.

Not showing ads at all is also a way of earning money. Users can be suggested to upgrade their accounts and never see any ads in the application again.

In-App Purchasing

In-App Purchases can be expendable or non-expendable. Expendable like in-app or game currency.


Non-expendable like bonuses, premium content, additional levels.


Such purchases are found in the freemium model of applications. An application is free but has premium content or advanced access levels.

The Subscription

According to this model, a part of an application content is available for free. As soon as a person starts enjoying the application, the account can be upgraded to a paid subscription.

There also exists a free trial period when a person can use and enjoy the application and all its functions for a limited period or a certain number of times. When the trial period is expired, a user cannot use the application any longer. Then the subscription should be bought.

Great examples of this business model are Spotify, Netflix.

Paid Applications

It is a fixed price for downloading an application. It is a very questionable way to make money because according to statistics, 250 billion free downloads account for only 15 billion paid apps. For example:

screenshot_6 screenshot_7


The strategy works out only if the sponsor has the same or at least similar target field and audience. And the sponsor needs to be found first, then an application created. There should be a niche app for a sponsor’s customized application and audience. Then you can make a deal to either split the revenue or monthly sponsorship payments.

Sponsorship helps to promote and enhance the user base when the application is just released.

An example is TED and Rolex’s collaboration.

Affiliate Program

Affiliate Network platform serves for advertisers and app owners. For people who want to sell their products by buying ads and for those, who can place advertisements in their apps.

Businessofapps names some Apps Affiliate Networks, such as Mobvista, AdCombo, MyLead.

Advertisers can pay for each click, installation, or any other action.

App owners can get a commission fee per each deal that an owner generates for an advertiser.

Those are the basic models of monetizing an application. They can be combined or rerolled as you wish or find more likely.

How Much Money Can You Make with an App?

An application revenue is driven by Cost Per Mille (CPM) where Mille is 1,000 connections or impressions to ads.

The simplest example of a formula that helps to count an app’s income is given below:

Impressions × CPM = revenue.

There are also some other factors that can influence the revenue, you can use the Mobile Advertising Calculator to count or predict the app’s income.

Mobile App Analytics Services

Analytics is one of the key elements for making decisions in economics and promoting mobile applications. Using statistics, you can determine the most effective sources of traffic, identify the pros and flaws of the product, find out what needs to be improved metadata, advertising, localization by region, etc.

Companies use statistics to solve a wide range of tasks: building a marketing strategy, improving the application itself, evaluating competitiveness.

There are some popular analytics services that might help listed below.

Firebase (Google Analytics for iOS and Android Apps)

  • Count downloads of your app and active users;
  • Users info and their path to the app;
  • See the actions of the users;
  • See the app revenue and in-app purchases;
  • Get customized reports;
  • See users navigation path;
  • Analyze the behavior of users groups.

Flurry Analytics

  • Track new users, active users;
  • Detailed user in-app activity data;
  • Get your app crash and bugs analytics and reports.
  • Real-time analytics;
  • In-app revenue.


  • Get heat maps to see how users interact with each screen of your app;
  • Crash reports with recorded crashed sessions;
  • Real-time analytics;
  • A 14-Day Free Trial.

These services will allow you to find the best way to market and improve your app. And sometimes it makes sense to combine these services to get more accurate and complete information.

Final thoughts

The app market keeps growing and there is always room for new ideas. This article was written to brief you on what to do if you want to create an app and earn money. Be wise at each stage of developing your application and success will not take long.

Please, rate my article. I did my best!

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19 responses to “How to Create an App and Make Money”

  1. lebohang says:


    i will enjoy creating my own app with the skill would receive

  2. bongani says:


    i will like to know all the ways of creating an app

  3. andrewseisa says:


    l want to learn how to create an app
    Call or Whatsapp me 75798484,
    Thank you!.

  4. Jonas says:


    App analytics are outdated. Appsee has been acquired and is shutting down. I recommend adding UXCam instead, which provides similar services.


  5. Karol says:


    Hello! What a nice article I’ve just read!
    Thing is that I’ve been considering some changes in my app to get a bit more money you know.
    And I can’t decide what to start with. What do you think is the best monetizing feature to implement first?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Hi, Karol!
      Answering your question: the most popular monetizing features for apps atm are In-App Advertising, In-App Purchasing, The Subscription.

      • Karol says:


        Hey! Thanks for the reply. Good to hear from you again!
        One more question:
        What do you think are the best in-app purchases?

  6. Thank you for the article, you are an inspiration to us all.

  7. Joan says:


    Hello. Thank you for such a good and informative article. I would like to develop a mobile app like Netflix. How much will it cost?

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Even though it is impossible to give you an accurate estimate of such a project, I can say that the total cost may vary between $18,000 and $25,000 for Android and iOS mobile apps. Please, remember that the final price depends on the features you want to include in your app, company you are going to hire and its rates.

  8. Noah says:


    Hello. I found out that a custom software development will cost me around $15,000 – $20,000. Why do I need a custom development then? App builders are a way cheaper!

    • Victoria Daneeva says:


      Hello. The main advantage of custom web development is that your app is tailored to your specific needs. And you can edit the code as many times, as you want. Add and remove features etc. Many builders have restrictions on integrations, for example.

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