How to earn money with your app

When we have an idea for an App, there are many questions that come to our mind, the first ones are:

  • Is this app already on the market?

  • Can this idea work?

  • How much does it cost to develop it?

  • How much can we earn?

  • How to monetize this idea?

In this article I want to talk about how to monetize. There are many ways and many tools that allow us to monetize, I want to report here my experience, my mistakes and suggestions on how to use these tools at the best.

When I started, I had no clear idea. My main goal was not to earn money but to set up a self-sustainable service, which had no costs or costs very close to zero, so that I could afford to sell the service at a low price.

First step

The first thing to do is to identify our potential audience, to do this I recommend using Google adWords or Facebook Ads. These tools are great to understand what our potential audience might be. To do this we must enter the keywords of our App services, select the age range and the countries involved. The result we get from this analysis is the total number of potential users and the country with the highest percentage of use. It could help us identify our competitors and understand what is their audience like and what sets us apart.

Earning tools

It is time to establish our monetization method; there are really many different ways and choosing one of them depends on our type of business. However, the most used ones and the most adaptable in the world of Mobile Apps are the following:

  • Advertising

  • Products and Subscriptions in the app

  • Sales and data analysis


Although one of the largest web giants in the world Google earns only or almost with advertising, the latter is not, in my opinion, a good tool to be used in all contexts, I believe it has the following problems:

  • It is not appropriate at the beginning

  • The profit is very low unless you have many users

  • The product must attract and involve the user for some time.

  • There is the risk of being too annoying and could ruin the user experience.

The simplest advertising to implement with Flutter is the same used in google, therefore Google AdMob.

Sale of products:

if you decide to put your App on sale, you have various sales options available through the Google play console, including:

**The price related to the App download **

This allows us to set a price for the App download. This is the simplest thing to implement, as we only have to just set the price of the app inside the console. Once done, we can be over with it unless we want to put a further check inside the app to prevent people from creating pirated copies of our app and from buying it. In my opinion setting a price from the beginning is now outdated, people do not trust buying in the dark. Although they can always ask for a refund, I think it is still an obstacle to impose a price from the beginning. It certainly makes sense for some apps, it is often used for the pro version of the app.

Products in the App

This type of product gives access to a free version of the application and makes the products available within the app itself. In this case, however, in addition to defining the various products, choosing and setting the various prices, we must also develop a piece in our app to retrieve the products from the Google Play Store in order to be able to show the products. Although libraries and plugins are available, we still have to develop it in order to use it.

Subscriptions in the App

Subscriptions are very similar to products with the difference that they have an expiring date and therefore have a temporal validity.

Differences between Products and Subscriptions

The product in the App can be used only once, expended immediately, or it could be used forever: it actually depends on the value that we decide to assign in our app. Once bought, it unlocks something. The subscription instead has a specific deadline, therefore it includes the same behavior as the base product but has a duration that can be weekly, monthly, three-monthly and annual.

How much do you really earn from selling on google play store?

This is something that is not known at first. As in normal life, when money is involved, everyone has to earn it. By “everyone"in this case I mean Google and the state. Google offers:

  • a showcase

  • a store

  • refund management

  • price management

  • currency normalization

  • taxes in all countries of the world.

  • And lot of other stuff

Although the 95% of this service is completely automatic, it has to be paid. But the interesting thing is that the percentage that Google takes is about 30% of the price of our app. the percentage due to the State instead depends on the country of reference of the purchase. Example: if we sell an app with a cost of 2 euros, our actual net profit will be around 1 Euro. Instead if we subscribe the percentage due to Google changes and drops to 15%. But why does Google encourages us to sell subscriptions? It does not take long to get there, once we have sold the product, we won’t have any further earnings. The subscription instead is forever.

We establish the price

It is not easy to establish the right price but it is very important to choose it properly. The main mistake I made, and I believe many people commit, is the fact that we underestimate the product we have developed. Since we have been working on it for a long time and know it well, we tend to underestimate it. From my experience, I understood that the right way to define it is to multiply by 3 or 4 the price that I would be willing to pay. Google play console allows you to enter different prices for each country, although some countries are richer and more willing to pay for an App, I decided to put the same price for everyone, in my case I think it’s right. Also because it is a very low price. In addition, the App send to kindle is intended for the owners of a kindle who therefore can be willing to pay a few euros for a convenient feature.

We define the strategy

This I think is the most complicated part and depends a lot on the type of app or service that we have implemented. Consider send to kindle I can ask myself this question: Can I earn only with advertising? Although my audience is growing and can become very large for now, the answer is no and I believe it will be no also in the future. Why? I decided to make the app bloody fast and therefore the user interaction is too short. The user enters, sends the content to the kindle and he is done. He has nothing else to do in my app.

So the choices I could follow were the following:

  • Suggest something else related to the context

  • Use a different tool rather than advertising.

In the end I decided not to use advertising as the main income. So why did I use it anyway? I used advertising as an element of annoyance and boredom. Yes you got it right! boredom, I created a system in a way that every three submissions, you are forced to watch an advert video, in order to continue. People can continue watching videos, but sooner or later they will get so bored with watching advertising videos that they will decide to consider removing the advertisements.

In addition to converting articles, send to kindle also converts pdfs and various ebook formats. I recently decided to introduce a subscription for this. It allows you to perform an infinite number of conversions for a year. I decided to put a subscription because the conversion uses a container in the cloud and I have costs for the cloud service to be paid every month. In this way, if my users had to subscribe, I would receive something every year which, I hope, will be useful in order to pay for the cloud service and also earn something. As long as you’ll find it in the app store means it’s working;)


In these days almost everyone is trying to offer a service using a subscription. This is because in the long run it is the most profitable. In my opinion, every app and every system need the right considerations and choices. I think a lot of people today can understand and are more likely to buy a product on time rather than signing up for a subscription. People don’t like the subscription, moreover it must be well motivated and you have to think about how to sell it and make everyone understand the advantages that they get. However, do not bandage your head too much, the price is not forever. Google play console, allows you to change the price at any time. If the person works well and the app grows, the value of the latter grows so it is correct to increase the price and add new features that open new doors to new earnings.

Last modified: 26 May 2020