Methods to Monetize Your Mobile App

Smartphones are widely used. In shopping centers and on public transportation, you can observe people chatting with family and friends. You see players of "Angry Birds," "Cut the Rope," and other fun apps of all ages. While away from their home computer, users of cellphones can browse websites with a tap and a swipe. For many years, marketers took advantage of personal computers used at home or in offices to serve online users with contextually relevant, real-time adverts (via their browsers). For "pay per click" or comparable ad models, money might be made. Although this strategy is still effective, advertisers face challenges due to the decline in desktop PC usage. Their smartphones are in use.

If you're a publisher of apps - let's say you're the manager for a busy nightclub and have an app for promoting your club - then you're more likely to have a free app than a paid app. You can still make money with a free app!

For starters, here are the five methods for monetizing your Mobile App:

  • Use AdMob, Millennial Media and others to provide in-app advertising
  • Sell ad space on your app for vendors and merchants
  • Link from your app to Affiliate sites and their products
  • Charge for the app or for in-app purchases

We're big fans of the free apps. I know for sure I have plenty of free apps on my mobile devices. I tend to recommend free apps to friends as well since I know if they don't like the apps I recommend, they can always delete them. So, all but one of the methods I describe here will apply to free apps mainly.

Consider using AdMob or another ad aggregating service if you have your own app that is currently being published (or previously published, since you can always add more to it in an update). Because AdMob is a member of the Google family of companies, many individuals may already be acquainted with them. Nevertheless, pick one of these, make use of their SDK capabilities (your developer should handle this), and have your Publisher credentials properly added to the app. Before you know it, a miniature advertisement for your app will show up on the screen, and you'll be well on your way to earning extra money. For those of you who have developed a free program that is frequently downloaded, this technique is quite helpful.

Many operators of stores and other online sites already have relationships with affiliate marketing sites such as Commission Junction and Linkshare. These all work pretty much the same. If you use their tools, you can take their links (for commission) and embed them into your app. As people use your app, they will see these links and (hopefully) will tap/click on them. If they purchase from the linked site, you get commissions.

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