Making money through mobile apps

 In my article, legitimate ways to make money online, I listed several methods that can earn you a good income online. One of those was creating mobile apps.

Now before you get scared and think you will have to learn some form of code, let me put your mind at ease and say just like you can make great looking websites without knowing HTML, Javascript, php etc. You can create mobile apps without needing to code.

Yes, you will be able to do more if you know how to code and be able to build more sophisticated apps. However, many apps need not be too sophisticated and a lot of small businesses require simple easy to use apps.

There are many platforms that will let you build apps without coding, below are some of the most popular.

There are also a variety of training courses available for those who need some guidance in this area.

Chris Carter of BlueCloud Solutions runs  very good course on App creation, again you don’t need any coding experience and his course has been very well received

However, if you want to learn how to programme through hard coding, then there are many courses on sites like Udemy, Lynda and Cousera that will take from a novice to expert.

I am taking a course on app development on the Android platform, it’s through Udemy and if you are interested, you can check it out here.

App industry is booming

As the graph above shows,the mobile app industry is expected to be worth around 100 billion dollars by the end of 2017. Although android and Apple’s ios dominate the market, there are other companies that are making inroads into their domination

Both Amazons Apps store and Windows store look to bring more competition to  Apple and Google.

All this means is that there is plenty of opportunities to market your app through different platforms which means a greater chance of success.

Finding an idea for you app

If you want some inspiration on what kind of app to build, this website has plenty. Remember there is an app for nearly everything now. Just go to Googles play store and type in your keyword and there may be an app for it.

Sites like ideas watch have lots of people sharing their own concepts for app creation.

How to monetise your apps

So lets get down to the reason you came across this article, how to make money with apps.Since the majority of the Apps are downloaded for free, how do people monetise it?

Well, there are several methods and I am going to explain each one.


To lots of people, including me, ads are annoying but they are one of the easiest ways to monetise your free apps.

Integrating mobile ad networks is simple and there are a variety of ad platfroms to choose from. Although to make some serious money from ads, you will have to have massive amounts of downloads of your app.

The amount paid is based upon traditional advertising like click through rate and impression. The format of the ad may also play a part in the amount of revenue you can attain, usually, video ads tend to do better than banner ads.

Some of the biggest networks for mobile advertising are as follows

  1. Admob
  2. Inmobi
  3. Unityads
  4. Flurry Ads
  5. LeadBolt
  6. Chartboost – aimed towards game apps

There are many others and the numbers are increasing, this is one of the main ways to monetise your apps, however, if you don’t have massive amounts of traffic, the revenue will be minimal.

In-App Purchase

This is increasingly becoming a popular way to monetise apps. Most downloaded apps are free but many of them now have the option to purchase features within the app.

Whether that be paying for more content in news Apps, extra levels in games or purchasing/renting digital videos like you can do with the likes of Amazon prime video.

The most popular method of in-app purchase is when you upsell the customer from an app with limited functions to one that makes full use of all the functions.

In-App purchases require some form of integration with a payment company like PayPal. You will have to consider the fees that companies like PayPal charge for using their service.

There are different kinds of in-App purchases, you can have a one-off payment to get the full features of the app,multiple purchases or a subscription based fee.

To be successful with this type of monetisation, your app will have to be really popular that people will want to purchase the extra features. The purchases must also enhance the user experience and not just put in there just for monetisation purposes.

Sell your app

It’s more than likely that large multi-nationals will have an app for their business needs, however small local business’s most probably will not.

Research local business’s around your area and find out their needs and how an app can improve their customer relationship and their image.

Create the app, put it on all the app stores and see if there is a demand, if it gets a thousand’s of downloads, approach a local business and explain how the app can help them.

E-commerce is another industry that has lots of apps being created to help people with managing their online stores.

Ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Bigcommerce, Magento and others have many apps that integrate within their platform to help store owners with the day to day operation of their business.

You can partner up with many of these companies to produce your own app and if it sells well, you get a percentage of the profits

Other ways to make money from apps

What I have mentioned above is ways to monetise your own apps, but you can also make money from apps by doing small tasks.

This will in no way make you rich but when starting an online business, every little  helps.

Below are some of the apps that reward you for doing small tasks.


Checkpoints rewards users when they complete quizzes, watch videos and scan barcodes when shopping. For each task you complete, you get points which can then be redeemed for Amazon, Target and Walmart gift cards. You are also entered into giveaways in which you can win shopping sprees and cool gadgets.

App trailers

This app rewards the user when they watch an app trailer, you are allocated points which can then be exchanged for Amazon gift cards or cash via PayPal.


This app was initially only available to iOS but with its popularity it is now also available on android devices as well. To earn some cash, users are asked to complete shifts, this can be anything from eating out to taking surveys and even taking photos. Once your shift has been approved you can cash out through PayPal.

Surveys on the go

Get paid for giving your opinion on things like big multi-national companies to advertisements. Some surveys pay up to $5 but most are in the $1 and can be completed in a few minutes. Users are paid via PayPal within a couple of days.


Only available in the US and Canada this app is like a digital coupon. Users are rewarded whenever they buy a grocery item that is on offer on the app. They just have to take a photo of their receipt and send it of to be verified. Once approved you can redeem the points into cash. You do need a minimum of $20 dollars in your account for a payout. Payment is via PayPal.

Field agent

Complete small tasks within this app and get paid anything between $3-$12. The field agent app will provide a list of tasks that you can do within your vicinity. For instance, it may ask you to go to a shop and check the price of a product or answer questions about store displays. You may also be asked to take surveys. Field agent app has a really good rating on the Google app store and the pay rate is better than other app reward programmes. Its worth checking out.

These are just some of the apps that can earn you a little pocket money, you won’t become a millionaire out of them but making $50-$100 a month is a possibility. Also winning gift cards from some of the biggest retailers are always worthwhile.

Final thoughts

Still, creating your own app is the best way to make a decent income online through apps and whilst there are very good platforms that will let you design apps without coding, you still need some guidance.

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4 thoughts on “Making money through mobile apps”

  1. Hi Minhaj,
    This is a great post and I’ve learned a lot. I didn’t know that there are tools available to build your own app without being able to code, which is good to know because I thought you needed to be a programmer. I also like your list of places where we can earn pocket money.

  2. Hello and thanks for sharing, I did not know that the apps business makes that much money that’s a whole lot. Your readers will find this information very helpful. Your post is well detailed and filled with lots of great information and is and easy read thanks for the breakdown and the easy read.

  3. This post is very well laid out and gives lots of good information about making extra money through apps. I had no idea you could do this without being a programmer. Thank you for very helpful advice.


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