FreeDeveloping a decent application costs a lot of money. So is testing and support. There are people constantly working on updates, etc. How may all that pay off if the application you have in mind is free?

Here us a list of some top things you can do to earn money on something that is given away to users for free:

  • In-app advertising. This is by default the easiest way of earning cash on your free app. Make an app popular enough and you have it covered. The tricky part is making advertisements less irritating or, perhaps, having a light version with ads and an option of removing those for several dollars. A fine way of doing so with minimal damage from irritating salesmen offering cash in return for 50% screen space one may use handy networks like InMobi, AdMob or Google’s ad-serving services. Sign up for ad exchanges to increase the earned cash amount.
  • Upgrades. Offer a part of your application for free with several available updates. And a version with more specific functional and more often updates as something users will have to pay for. Or you may combine this method with in-app advertising for having a free version with ads and a full version without them. Or experiment with the amount of free updates, ads and functional to have the perfect combination of what will be free and what wont.
  • Sponsorship. If your app is made for some specific group of people, like, let’s say extreme sportsmen, an organization like Red Bull may be interested in sponsoring your app following its own marketing goals. Thus it may be a nice practice to know your target audience and to find out who may assist you with some money for your app.
  • In-app sales. Giving the application away for free ad selling services from within it is quite a popular strategy nowadays. We are speaking about some unique weapons or boosts within a game app or something of that sort. While this approach is a bit more difficult as you will need a payment system within the app and many other things it may be of the most profitable if your app is popular enough.
  • Bundled deals. That is an app allowing you access to a server or anything of that sort. And it’s the access your users are paying for, not the app itself. Let’s say there is a business with a storage of documentation on a played-for server somewhere and an app that allows workers to use those documents. The workers are using the app for free, yet their employer is paying money to the server’s owner so everybody may log in.

Sure, if you are creative enough you may find many ways of earning money from apps. You may even try combining these tips. It’s the idea that actually matters!

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