How to make money from your applications and software?
Let’s assume that after a long time of studying and practicing, somehow, you managed to master the great art of writing computer or mobile applications. They work, they look good, they are just delightful – but there is one thing they won’t do too soon: Feed you and your (hypothetical) five hungry kids. They must bring and will bring money, because eventually isn’t this the great purpose? So, what you should do? Let’s see.
First and the most important step is to ask yourself: Would I pay for this application? Probably not, if your application’s objective is to transform kilograms in light years. Nobody, but nobody needs that. Try to do something useful. Like some computing applications to help scientists, engineers or students to quickly make some otherwise hard and boring calculations. Just build something that will truly pay off in time, by saving your customer’s time and (maybe) money.
Then, make sure that your little program is clean and free of any errors. Major ones at least. Or as many as possible. You don’t want your application to implode and give some fatal error to the Universe. That would be just wrong. And bad. On your very first programs will your prestige raise (or disappear) so be careful what you send out there, in the mist of the world wide web.
So, now you have the application. You checked it, you liked it on Facebook, you named her Skippy and have no clue of what you should do with it. At this step you have to choose between getting paid by advertisers, that use your application for their own evil purposes (mostly inserting annoying stuffs all over the place), getting paid by the users or letting your little software rampant around the web with a big inscription on it: Please, DONATE! I need bread.
1) Getting paid by advertisers
If you don’t mind dyeing a little bit everyday, this is your option. Usually, the advertising companies pay a lot more than the casual users, because their main objective is to place their products in the citizens’ eye using any available means. And usually, a “noob” on the apps market is one great way. If you choose this method, you contact as quickly as you can an advertising company (which acts as a “middle man”) and sell them some advertising space on a corner, margin or pop-up in your beloved software. Then create a web-site for the app, put some download links and let if go free. The advertising company pays you some money, the users will support an (eventually) infinite number of commercials, pop-ups, banners and will end up committing suicide. Because life is hard.
2) Getting paid by users
I am sure that we have all seen applications and software asking us different codes obtained by purchasing them from the product’s web-site. Well, that is user-paid method. If you are a developer you should always keep in mind that people rarely like to pay for their stuffs. They would rather starve to death, than buying a “Find a coconut-tree” application. In software applications the user paid programs are severely affected by the piracy phenomena which will most surely affect your product as well. People like free things. This is a fact. In mobile applications there are small differences. For example, iOS applications are very hard to “leak” and be pirated by some one-eyed hacker. Android applications have some issues in this domain and are, must say, a bit (a lot actually) more sensitive. And hacked. But let’s say that, despite this dangers, you are very courageous and choose to make money by selling your product straight to the users. What you do? Insert some smart code in your program to link it to your Paypal account, create a random code generator and make your program recognize the algorithm. I am not an expert in this domain but I am sure that you are a smart guy and you will find the solution.
And of course, you can always combine these to methods. Give an advertising-full version for the cheap people that like free stuff and offer them the possibility of purchasing some kind of premium features which removes the ads and of course, add some more features so that the client will feel that the price he paid was worth until the very last cent.
3) Donations all over the place
You need a puppy. Or at least a sad story to be placed in a corner and with it, to impress the common user to have mercy upon your soul and throw a few bucks in your Paypal account. Do not take it as begging. It is not. You only let the client appreciate your work and a common-sense citizen will surely donate something, since he enjoyed your hard work. This is a good method if you care more about humanity and your prestige rather than money and wealth. Maybe you get extra points, upthere, somewhere in heaven.
But my friends… I must say that out there is a cruel world with a lot of programmers talented as you and the competition is great and each client counts as important. Stick that to your head from the beginning to the end. Work hard and most surely your work will be appreciated and rewarded. After all, fortune favors the bold.