Hey there, App Coach Steve here. In this post I will answer the question can I still make money with apps in 2018? I will base my answer off of my experience designing, developing, and marketing my mobile apps.
It’s no secret people are in love with their mobile devices. Just take a look around any public place like a coffee shop, restaurant, shopping mall or even in your car and you see people doing the same thing.
People Looking at Their Phones!
I just got back from a much needed vacation with my wife and friends in Cancun Mexico. It was a wonderful vacation with all of the things that make up a great ocean vacation. White sand, warm ocean, lots of sun, great food and of course awesome drinks! Here is a picture of me in a hammock taking it easy. Ahhhh the good life!
What was really interesting as I looked around at various times on vacation, guess what people were doing? They were looking at their phones! Even on vacation at a resort in paradise people were on their phones probably posting pics to Facebook or Instagram or texting friends and family.
That’s one of the reasons I am convinced that the mobile industry is very much alive and well and that still are many opportunities for mobile developers and companies to make allot of money developing mobile apps. The Pew Research Center wrote a post in February of 2018 claiming that 95% of Americans now own a cell phone of some kind with 77% being a smart phone. This is an amazing statistic not only because the sheer numbers of users that developers and marketers have access to but also the fact that these users are constantly using their phones. We have a built in audience hungry for app we can offer them. Yes that’s quite unique and awesome!
OK with that being said, then you would think it would be pretty easy to make money with apps. I can tell you from my experience with my apps and many other developers I talk to, it’s actually difficult to make money selling apps in the App Stores. Many developers struggle to even make a little bit of money with their apps and truthfully I struggled for a long time with my apps. I made close to no money with my mobile apps until I figured out why.
One of the issues in todays mobile market is there are allot of competing apps. Statista reports that in 2018 there are approximately 2 million iOS in the Apple App Store and 3.8 million for the Android operating system in the Google Play Store. Yes that is allot of competition. With that in mind what I did wrong and what I see other developers making the same mistake is to not put time into research and talking to people before developing their apps and just relying on App Store Optimization for people to find and purchase their apps.
Now don’t get me wrong, ASO is still very important and I do spend time on each of apps which I know has been the reason why some users have found my apps and downloaded them!
OK so you may be thinking, OK App Coach let’s get some meat to this post. OK here we go!
Do I make money from the App Store daily?
Can you do the same thing as me and also make money?
What you need to do to actually make money with your apps is first have the correct mindset. If you are developing apps only to make money you will fail. You need to understand that you need to put hard work and time into your apps and your business and you need to try things until things start to turn around. You need want to create great apps that people will find fun or useful and not be so focused on the money that you are always looking for ways to make more money with a new app or your existing apps.
Yes money is important to any business and the mobile app business is not that different from any other business. Your product needs to be the best it can be and satisfy a customers want or needs. I hope this makes sense because just this little shift in thinking can make a huge difference in your app business.
I can tell you that some of the apps I had thought were going to do very well for me ended up not making much at all. I was fixing an issue that did not resonate with my end users. On the other hand, I have had apps that I thought were OK ideas that have proved to be very popular. The best thing you can do it try to listen to people whom are your target market for your app. Also it’s much much easier to target a specific niche then try to make an app for everyone that owns an iPhone.
Try to niche down your apps and I guarantee if you have a good app that addresses a specific user issue, you will be successful. One specific example I can give you if an app called GoldenMoji. It’s a iOS keyboard app that targets a very specific breed of popular dogs, Golden Retrievers.
What the developer is doing with this app is catering to the very specific pet owner. Not just a dog owner but a dog owner that love Golden Retrievers. By being this specific it makes finding potential users for this to market quite easy. There are facebook groups, and website forums that are dedicated to this breed of dog.
Can you see the difference in choosing this very specific breed of dog instead of just something more generic like a keyboard for just dog owners. Here is a link to the app if you want to take a look at it: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goldenmoji/id1153473604?mt=8
Another important point to be successful with apps in 2018 is you need to market them properly. Just creating them, putting them up in the app store and hoping for the best is not a good strategy. There are ways now that Facebook and Apple Ads have incorporated where you only will pay for an ad if you get a download. This can work well if you have a paid app and market directly to the user whom would find your mobile app cool or very useful to them.
I will also say that personally have made more money with iOS apps then Android apps. I have also made money with ads in mobile games and other types of apps and I continue to see money daily from both paid apps and ads in my free apps. Both of these models are still very viable in 2018.
Another thing that I want to reinforce is, you have to keep trying and not give up if your first apps (or first 10 app’s) do not make you much money. If you have do not know the story of Thomas Edison and how he failed over 10,000 times before he found a way to make the light bulb work, watch the short video below.
I think you would agree if you put out even 100 apps you would have learned a whole lot and you would be successful with your app business. My point is to never stop putting out apps and learning. There is a ton of opportunities for us app developers and marketers and I am here to help you along the way so you don’t make the same mistakes I made and get your app business profitable and healthy!