5 Ways Free Apps Make Money

Post updated April 3, 2016 with Video (below).

“I make my living by giving away great products.” – Mark Roberts

5 Ways Free Apps Make Money

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

I've been getting a fair amount of emails and questions about a widely disregarded topic – how do free apps make money? It deserves attention given that free apps clearly trump paid in terms of download numbers. The trick is to figure out how to capitalize on those new users.

You need to leverage the free download numbers to create a better revenue stream than a paid app.

I personally do this with almost all my apps. I find that when I have them priced at $0.99 I make a little less money than I do from in-app purchases when it's free. The other difference is that I get about 10x the download number when it's free. That opens up a whole new set of tools I can use to make money and leverage myself.

If you are looking for a place to learn about all this stuff, definitely check out my free ebookΒ – it will give you pretty much everything you need to know to get started πŸ™‚

Without further ado, let's talk about the ways you can make money when your app is free.

1. The Freemium Upsell

ThisΒ  requires having a second version of your app that's paid. Typically you'll see this as the “Lite” and “Regular” or “HD” versions of an app, paired together. The free app will have a link that a user can click that drives them to the iTunes store on their phone.

It's kind of a feeder system – users can download your free app and get a sense of what you have to offer, then they can easily purchase the full version (which will have lots more functionality and game play.)

The other piece of the freemium model is….

2. In-App PurchasesIn App Purchases

In-app purchases allow users to unlock features or purchase more of something, maybe coins in a game like Tap Zoo or gold in a game like Infinity Blade. In fact, 6 of the top 10 grossing apps in 2011 were free – they were able to use in-app purchases so well that they drove millions of dollars in sales, even though the app was free.

When you build an app, you can set IAP (in-app purchases) to be a one time purchase (I want to unlock this feature) or an ongoing option (I want to purchase 20 coins for $0.99), meaning you can purchase that over and over again. You can easily start racking up enormous amounts of revenue with the second, but you also need an incredible app that can justify it.

In-app purchases can also be subscriptions if you were in the market of news feeds. The Newsstand functionality within the Apple framework allows you to set up an in-app purchase that will automatically charge every month.

Want a more in-depth look at in-app purchases? I'll explain everything in this workshop.

3. Ads

Oh ads. What a love/hate relationship I have with banner ads. The bottom line is they work but require a sizable amount of traffic to make it worth your while. When you start getting traffic, it can be a terrific (and consistent) revenue source.

iAdsThe biggest two ad networks are iAds and Admob – the first being Apple and the second being Google. I've talked to a lot of developers and most agree that iAds pay out better. Typically it's a pretty small CPM (cost per thousand impressions) that's under a dollar and a CPC (cost per click) that can be a few bucks.

If you're looking to make money, you can expect to make around $2 if you get 100 downloads. That's just a ballpark figure based on my own experience and can vary widely based on how many people click on your ad.

I did a quick experiment with a basic open source tic tac toe game to see if it would make any money with ads. I skinned the app with Zombies and other weird stuff to see if I could get some downloads. I installed the iAd framework and let it rip. Since I released it, I've had 157 downloads which has translates into $1.88.

You may think those are small numbers, but actually they're not horrible. For other games I get a few hundred downloads a day and make zero money sometimes. Some make $120 a day. It all depends on the ads you get served up and the amount of people that click.

So – it's good to have ads in the game and they can make you money. Just be ready to market the hell out of your app.

4. CPI Networks (Cost Per Install)

Cost per install is a relatively new marketing mechanism and is the mobile equivalent to CPA (cost per acquisition) in the web marketing world. CPI is exactly what it sounds like – you pay per install that you get. Examples of this are Playhaven and Chartboost – they are third parties that have software you install into your app.

You'll often see this as a “pop-up” in games and apps, prompting you to look at another game and “Get It Now.” Those apps are dynamically served based on what app you have yourself.

I've talked to a few networks about their pricing and it ranges from $0.80-$3.00. This means that if you want to promote your app, you will pay Playhaven this amount every time someon installs your game.

This actually works out to be a better deal than most developers report on advertising networks (often report 0.3% CTR with translates into a $15 CPI). $3 is cheaper than $15. Rocket science.

On the other side of that, I get about $1 per install through Playhaven. So – a developer wants to promote their app and will pay $3 to have a new user install it on their device.

If I can provide that installation, I get paid $1 of that. It's actually good money and very consistent (unlike in-app purchases). It's directly proportional to my download numbers and grows as your user base grows.

There are tons of CPI companies popping up these days and be sure to let your developer know you want to incorporate them. They're not too difficult to add onto a game or app, but is helpful to discuss early on.

These networks can be extremely lucrative as a developer or publisher –Β Read this article about my experience.

5. Sponsorship

Landing a sponsor is a great way toΒ make moneyΒ on your free app. The money is up front and you gain brand credibility with your audience.

The deals typically go like this: you approach a company and say “I have this app idea, I've got the plan, etc etc and I will white label it for $XXX.”


“I built this app a few months ago and it has 50,000 downloads. I will update the graphics with your brand for $XXX”

And so on. It can take a little while to get the right match and a company that is forward thinking enough to realize how powerful the mobile platform is, but it can work.

What's even more compelling than the sponsor's money is their marketing horsepower. They most likely have a website with good traffic, email newsletters, and social media. If they sponsor your app, chances are they'll be happy to promote it for you. That's great value.

I am personally working on a few deals like this and will write more about them when I lock a few things down.

Here's a video I recently made (2016) that will help explain all this + then some πŸ™‚

This list covers almost everything you can do to make money on free apps. If you would like to learn more about how apps make money, be sure to secure your spot in my free app workshop (and get a free 150 page ebook all about the app business).

Rock and roll,



  • KL April 12, 2012

    i am working with my contractors which i found in the website odesk, one question: does it cost more money to build two versions of the app? one is paid, one is free.

    IN other word, we agreed on 5k, if i want to make a free version as well, does it cost more?

    thank you

  • Kevin April 16, 2012

    Hy Carter! Very nice article u got here, me and my Friend were just thinking about App ideas, I discovered your site at the right Moment πŸ˜‰

    @KL I don’t Think u will pay more (maybe a little) but they have the App already and just have to lock some features, should not be very expensive!

  • Acuna April 23, 2012

    Hi, carter.

    I send this message though here!


  • Andrew June 20, 2012

    Sponsorship! That is brilliant. Get one step ahead of the companies not in on the app game quite yet and strike a deal. It feels like the market is ripe for this!

  • Andranik September 23, 2012

    Nice info Carter…

  • Jamie January 27, 2013

    I will never use in-app purchases. If its just to ‘cheat; and get advantages, it defeats the purpose. If the dev doesnt tell you in advance, I hate it even more..sell it for .99 – not free and then ask me to pay (these are apps that dont disclose up front)…Regarding ads, I cant tell you one ad Ive ever seen…I dont mind them as long as they don’t cover up the screen…and lots of devs make that which annoys even more. If its in between games or something like that, it can get a little annoying but its ok. Ive seen other games, Angry Birds for one, where the ads interfere with game play. I also notice many apps are FREE on Android yet are PAID on Apple. For Android users, Amazon FAOTD is a good program that enables you to get android paid .apps for free.

    Maybe others make a lot of in-app purchases even when those things can be got for free. I was thinkin gof this as I was playing TempleRun2. I now these apps are super popular with multim illino downloads but I wonder how they make money as the app is free and it doesnt even have ads. The only thing it has is these coins and stuff you can buy – but why do that when you can earn them for free. But they must be making millions of dollars so I guess people fall for it.

    For frugal ios users, the Appshopper really is great. You can create a wish list and it will email you when the apps go on sale. Havent found something similar for Android but wish they did it too. Even though I dont have an iphone (I have a Mac and an Android) , Ive used this to download paid ios apps in case I get an iphone in the future (which is possible but for now, I save tons of money using a Google Nexus phone with a GSM prepaid plan for $45 – less than half of what Id pay for a contract iPhone plan)

  • Mikey February 4, 2013

    Get work here! Thank you.

    My question is if I wanted to get a sponsor for my app is there a way to price this? I can see different ways to incorporate companies into my upcoming app but don’t know where to start a pricing strategy.

    Any help would be great πŸ™‚

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 4, 2013

    Hey Mikey,

    My experience with pricing a sponsorship is to prove ROI. Let’s say Mercedes Benz is going to sponsor your Flashlight app – you show them how many users they reach X avg value per user. Add some other premium costs and there’s your answer.


  • Paul February 7, 2013

    Nice information on the different way to cash on apps. Looks like the popularity if apps is increasing every day and income for the app owners as well. Now I am planning to create an app for my website as well.

  • Kashif March 18, 2013

    Does apple allow funds to be collected from outside? (if some investor is interested in making a paid app free for a few days).

  • jason April 17, 2013

    Now do you charge for the sponsorship per month, per year, per hit? What would be your suggestion.

  • Danny Zafrani May 28, 2013

    Hi, I would like to talk to you about my business idea, maybe you can direct me with the right people or would like to participate in it. It is a business to market to taxi companies.
    thank you,

    Danny Zafrani
    +00507-6117-1504 or skype zafrani.danny or facebook

  • Sandi June 5, 2013

    Carter I have what I think is a great idea for an app, but I’m sure where I go with this. It has the potential of being very big and the future is limitless. If you could provide me with some guidance or steps that would be great. I know everyone says they have a great idea but I have talked to a few people and they all think it’s great. Thank you


  • Narendra June 19, 2013

    Thanks Carter that was all the boost I needed to publish my apps for free

  • Jad April 27, 2014

    The fifth way I’d very good for beginners

  • Trey July 5, 2014

    I know this an older post, but thanks for the great insight!

    As far as ads, do you choose who advertises inside your app?

  • Luis July 8, 2014

    My name is Luis I have no idea how to make a game I have been checking some YouTube video how to make one. I know for sure the my idea is going to be a hit because this game was a hit back and the date and now for iPhone or iPad is going to be a hit let me know if u want more info?

  • Angel A. July 30, 2014


    I manage a social influencer with more than 2.3 million impression online. How would I go about getting app companies to pay us per install?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas July 30, 2014

    @Angel – Depends on the kind of traffic, but usually you’d use an Ad network to mediate the traffic so that you can see how valuable it is. Mess with targeting (games, demographics, geolocation, etc) and see which ones produce $$ for you. I’m assuming this is a website? If it’s not then you may have some other options but those will be done directly through advertisers or agencies.

  • Confidence August 20, 2014

    Hi Carter, Am here at the right time. It is 1am but am still thinking of how to get this concept done as an app. Its will bring the past, present and future together. It will appeal to all generations and peoples. However i dont know anything about apps development. Get in touch or get me connected to the right people please! CONFIDENCE, GHANA +233241988260

  • Timothy Cline November 10, 2014

    I recently opend my Own Business, the name is Mobile App IdealsLLC, in Union City Indiana. I have some Ideals for Apps the App Tree, Dr App,and App Deer,s . But Recently i have been Working with the Randolph Cline Commissioner,s in Randolph County, Winchester Indiana. My main Goal for my Company is to Contact each County Commissioners in Every County in Indiana, to help them get a Information/ Tourism App. Beimg from Indiana I want to help as much as i Can.There is 93 Counties in Indiana. Any Advice would be Greatly Appreciated. That is a lot of Apps to be Developed. Randolph County is Interested in the Hamilton County Indiana, its on the Google Play Store. Thank you for your Time. Timothy Cline Mobile And Ideals LLC 765-964-4886 timoyhycline73@gmail.com. Thanks Again. Timothy Cline

  • Joel November 10, 2014

    I’m in the process of creating an great app which I’m planning on generating money just from app downloads from my app. How much will I make per app that someone downloads from in my app?
    Thank you.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas November 24, 2014

    @Joel – that all depends on how good your game is at monetizing the user. Could be $5 revenue per user, could be $0.01. All depends.

  • Amy December 6, 2014

    Hi Carter, Unlike most people who have great app ideas, I’m on the other end. I have the funds to develop/create an app but not an idea (how unfortunate) lol. I was wondering if you could direct me to someone who is looking to have his/her idea developed into an app but is in need of the funds so we could partner up OR i could buy his/her idea.


  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 8, 2014

    @Amy – Good problem to have haha. I would recommend reading the 1st ebook and if you have the funds, you should purchase the premium ebook (links are inside the free one). It shows you exactly how to start when you’re in the position you’re in.

    In a nutshell, you have 3 options:

    1. Try to find an “awesome” idea and roll the dice – hopefully it blows up. High risk, high reward.
    2. Invest in a business model like reskinning, sponsored apps, or providing a service using apps. Scale from there.
    3. Identify a problem and solve it using an app. Not “awesome” but that’s how business works.

    Good luck!

  • Martin December 9, 2014

    Hi there,
    If Amy is still searching I have some education game ideas…
    I have been working as anguage teacher and I am 4-lingue (English, Swedish, Spanish and French, keep on counting because I am still learning…
    some basque and German.
    I have 2 daughters that are multilingues as well… Their mother if French I am Swedish, but I did Highschol in SC class of 1989 Creschent High Andersson County…
    So if ther is someone that is into building a World-wide language education-set of games…???
    Remember, I have the idea how the game is supposed to work , but I am missing programming skills and have no founds to put into this, I have time and…
    I am writing language training books, Take a look at:


    Write me in any of my languages,
    mail: martinlissjhansson@gmail.com

    Have a nice day!

  • Nishley December 10, 2014

    Great article buddy, very helpful.


  • Gil December 23, 2014

    Hey Carter, I have an idea for an app, like everyone says it might be the next big thing… right? Now, what would you recommend me doing in finding the “Right” guy/website for the job… I just dont want to be bamboozled into paying money and have my idea stolen from me …. Please help!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 24, 2014

    @Gil – Well that’s a pretty big question. The first thing to do is to understand how big of a project it is and how much you want to spend on it. My best advice is to download my free ebooks – I walk through everything you need to know about hiring developers. That’s what I’ve used to build all my apps. Has worked out pretty well πŸ™‚

  • Marquis Jelks December 24, 2014

    I have a major idea for an app which I know will be very successful and influential and won’t be hard to gain downloads. I have found someone who could build it…but I’m just curious is there any people or business that will invest in it and how do I find them?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 25, 2014

    @Marquis – your best bet is going to be something like Kickstarter or IndieGogo. Otherwise just do friends and family. It is REALLY hard to raise money from a venture capital standpoint when you just have an idea – it’s almost as much work as building the entire project.

    As a point of reference. AppBackr used to do this model – crowdsource funding for app ideas. They have since gone out of business/had to pivot. Just wanted to give you that info because that often points to the fact that it’s a really hard thing to do.

    Good luck!

  • Housewiz January 4, 2015

    Hey Carter,

    Excellent display of info here. Will have a look at your ebook.

    Hey Amy,

    Have two related app ideas. Current demographics indicate one sector has a bit over 100,000,000 potential users, the other has 74,000,000. Did a few app searches and nothing like them on the market. I have 4,500 raving fans from my previous life and now am ready to re-invent myself with these (2) apps.

    Feel free to shoot me an email at nfshore@gmail.com



  • jeanne January 5, 2015

    Hi, Dear Carter:

    Is it possible to have the contact info of Amy? She said on December 6, 2014
    “Hi Carter, Unlike most people who have great app ideas, I’m on the other end. I have the funds to develop/create an app but not an idea (how unfortunate) lol….”

    I am looking for funding to develop an app, I think it is good and it has to be developed. πŸ™‚


  • jokar January 7, 2015

    Great article….but for the issue of ads i dont think its a good idea because as u know users hate em and for the case see whatsapp has made billions without it

  • Hao January 16, 2015

    Hey, Carter. I have an idea that J know it’s gonna be one of the essentials for students. I
    worked for College Board for some years, so I know this issue is quite prevalent among all students, and there is no website or app to solve this problem. However, I don’t know how to find the right programmers. If I just tell them my idea, they can simply steal that idea. Should I write a contract or something?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 16, 2015

    @Hao – Download the free ebooks from the website (opt into any form on the homepage) and read Ebook #2. It’s all about hiring developers. If you want to take it a step further, you can purchase the premium book to get the templates I use and exact strategies. We also include an NDA you can use to protect your ideas. Good luck!

  • James January 17, 2015

    My app is almost complete and the designer is getting ready to launch. I’ve created a texting utility that works right off your normal texting platform. I believe that if this app spreads fast,…. it could blow up, My demographic is everyone that sends out a text message. Should i make it a free app or a $0.99 App????? I want to generate as much $$$ as possible.

    Thanks…… James

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 19, 2015

    @James – Rule of thumb in situations like this is that is the functionality is the core app, then paid will be better. The reason is that it’s hard to make money on a free app when the entire experience doesn’t allow for ads or unlocking new content/features. If you have a texting app, it might be hard to insert ads in there in a way that doesn’t affect user experience. I’d start with $0.99, do some updates to make it really slick and see if you can get some traction (without getting frustrated if you don’t make any money immediately!).

  • Davezy February 12, 2015


    Can someone pls help me out.
    I live in a West African country called Liberia. Will Google allow me to publish apps on Google play store since my country is not listed on the merchant wallet and publishing country list? If I’m not allowed then how can I sell my apps since I don’t have a website.


  • Stasha February 19, 2015

    Good day Carter,
    One of my app ideas is to make an app for learning “sign language”. How would you go about pitting that together? I have in mind, actual pictures of the sign’s and words describing what it is. Also I want a setting for free learning and a setting for programmed learning. I don’t mind sharing my idea, because I have millions more !

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 19, 2015

    @Stasha – Lots of options here. One of the most effective (and fun!) ways to get started is to find an app in the store that you like already, most likely a language learning app. Check out DuoLingo as a place to start. Download a few of these apps and take notes on what you like, what you don’t like. Notice how you move through each of these apps.

    You’ll begin to get an idea of how you want this to be laid out, at which point you should start drawing the wireframes. If you want more information on this, download the ebooks and read Ebook #1 – it will explain this in much better detail. Link is here: http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/opt-learn

    Good luck!

  • Stasha February 19, 2015

    Thanks a lot. Is their a site or app out there that connects people with sponsors for their ideas??? If so, what would you call it? And do you know of any?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 19, 2015

    @Stasha – not really. Your best bet is to do something like Kickstarter, especially with your idea because you may be able to reach people who connect with the cause. You could also donate some of your profits to a charity which would help get funding. Good luck!

  • Rahim February 26, 2015


    Did you find an app to fund yet ?
    If not, do contact me. I have a great revolutionary idea — you will NOT be disappointed !!!

    This app will do to people with camera (which is essentially EVERY ONE), what UBER did with people with cars.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    rahimgilani1 @gmail.com

  • Amy February 27, 2015

    Hello All,

    First of all, Thanks a lot Carter for the great feedback/response.
    Sorry for the late response all, I changed my primary email so i didn’t get you all’s messages until i signed in this morning.

    My contact information is: amylecky @gmail.com

  • Victoria March 18, 2015

    Hi Carter

    Thanks for the advice, I too have an idea for an app and wanted to know if Amy was still interested in a partnership or possible buy out of my idea. I see her email and have sent her an email , In the meantime what do suggest someone charge for an app if they was to sell it? you can reach me by the above email. Also if you like faith based products we sell hoodies and tshirts that proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ check us out at http://www.Lumaca-J44.com

    Thanks Victoria

  • marlon March 20, 2015

    I have an app idea but need a good app developer. Can I get a recommendation for someone that has done work on kids apps.

  • Kerry March 27, 2015

    I have a great idea, no funds. App developer wants up to $50,000 to build it.
    Unique idea as well and a great marketing (Members) group. Potential for serious money.
    Support another woman with a great idea?

  • Kavel Smith March 30, 2015

    Hi Amy, if you still haven’t come up with an app for an idea please email me at kasmith@mckendree.edu. I am currently looking for investors. Thank you. Hope to talk soon. Great article Carter.

  • Darren April 5, 2015

    Hi Carter
    I’m currently communicating with a few developers from India via a couple of online freelance website who are bidding to develop an app and website for me.
    My main concerns are online security and scalability of the integration of the app and website. I want to get this foundation right at the outset so I don’t run into any major issues later down the line. The security issue is that the information transferred between users need to be encrypted so nobody can hijack the data in transit. Naturally the server hosting these accounts and data needs to be highly secure as well.

    Can you recommend what technologies eg. ASP.NET, PHP .NET should be used to accommodate these security issues as well as what languages would be best used for the client and server side to make the app as lightweight, scalable, expandable and secure as possible?

  • Andrew May 4, 2015

    I have seen some people looking for investors. You can contact me at lambertphilippe91@gmail.com if you are still looking for some investors.

  • olaf May 14, 2015

    If I had an idea for an app, thats original but uses a couple of features that existing apps use, whats the most practical way of developing it.

    I had a look online and saw prices in the 10’s of thousands quoted by developers which is off putting.


  • Ryan91 May 30, 2015

    Hi, i have got a good idea for a app and i have seen many forums saying it should be made and i have great ideas, but that is it, i dont have a clue how to develop or anything that side of it, could you please contact me via email and give me advice, its my turn to make a app and become a millionaire, im very confident my idea will be a big hit possibly world wide, thanks.

  • James May 31, 2015

    I have had the same question for a while. I think it has to do with whether or not the shared features are patented or copyrighted or not.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas May 31, 2015

    Yo Ryan. Good stuff!

    Well, let me start by saying you are already ahead of the pack by reading articles and asking questions.

    It blows my mind how many resources are around now. Keep educating yourself through blogs, books, forums, courses, meetups, and any other resource you can latch to. Bluecloud even has a free ebook you can download that’s perfect for people starting out.

    With your first project, it’s important to go slow and keep costs down. Set your budget. Start doing as much as you can personally – wireframe, maybe you have some Photoshop skills, sign up to developer and ad network accounts, etc.

    You may also benefit from a Starter Project. Don’t jump into your first project head first and guns blazing. You’ll most likely get your ass kicked. But there are tons of sites including Bluecloud, that offer source codes and app templates. These templates save a lot of money, and they usually come with something a little bit extra – for example, a lot of our codes have instructions, image templates, ad libraries, video walkthroughs… The amount you’ll learn from a cheap and easy starter project, will save you tons of time and thousands of dollars later on. Also start reaching out to developers. Get a feel of communication, questions, and what developers are asking of you.

    Confidence is huge. I get fired up when people start their app journey with the attitude of “I will succeed!” Not every app is a successful one, but I strongly believe that those who work hard and don’t give up, see amazing things happen. Do your homework and take the jump!

    Rock n’ roll

  • Surbjeet June 15, 2015

    Hey Carter,
    Thanks for the information, its precise and bang on, can’t ask for more..

  • darryn June 29, 2015

    Hey Carter. I have an idea for an app but the target market will be limited to my country. It will require some funding and a good bit of ground work (gathering of info etc). I will need to get an investor, but I’m not sure how the app will make its money back. I really want to make every aspect of it free in order to get the downloads, but from what u said it looks like I’ll need a truck load of downloads to see a bit of money via ads. Alternatively I was thinking of doing a “first year is free” type of thing. Anyway, let’s say I achieve 50k downloads, what sort of revenue could I make with ads? Thank you in advance. Darryn

  • Allan July 6, 2015

    Hello everybody,I pretty much have same comments as most of you,I have ideas for apps and websites but I have no knowledge about coding etc
    I Am also trying to gather a group of vision-driven individuals to start a very strong entrepreneurial group
    Please get intouch

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas July 6, 2015

    @Allan – that’s why I started this: http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/join-bluecloud-select

  • Enoch July 10, 2015

    need someone to teach me how to create an app plzz

  • Mr.Milton August 26, 2015

    Hello, Carter I’m from the Los Angeles area. The question I have for you.I came up with a app and website that is very beneficial to all mobile users. “The App” there is two way’s I can go about doing it. Which is a way that it can be install permanent to the system like the contact list and other’s or the App way.How or what is the first step of presenting my ideal to a company such as Apple or different company’s that make’s Androids.

  • Lee September 17, 2015

    What’s up Carter? First off, good stuff on this article. I’ve got a question that’s a little bit different. I’m starting an app company with a partner who’s a really good developer. The problem I’m having is looking for ideas. We’ve got a project going and a small budget but I wanna develop a few apps, that might have impact, to test by putting out there and hopefully expand the budget a little at the same time. Any suggestions on the direction I should be looking?

  • XELA October 12, 2015

    Hello. I would like so guidense from you in how to learn making IOS App. Can you please tell me with what should i start, some tips, what programs should i learn stuffs like this… all i have to learn becouse this is a new land for me and i want to learn it. Thx

  • Matthew October 21, 2015

    Hi, CT, I’m from Malaysia and I have an idea of app that I would perhaps start marketing in Malaysia first and then spread it towards international. How could I do this. I was planing to buy the $7 book. I had told my friend about developing an app and he told me that my apps would most probably cost around $20,000 and there are investors out there but I would need to share my profits then. I’m not a tech guy who learns programming and all those technical stuff. Would like to seek some advise from you. Thanks!

  • aditya November 3, 2015

    good article.
    want to know how app get paid on download.
    means who gives the money to the developer when his app is being downloaded by public.?

  • Karlee November 18, 2015

    Hey Carter, how do 100% free apps make money? IE snapchat? because there is no advertising and it is free??

    I have an idea that will solve a gigantic need an do not know the best way to launch it. It is something that many people need to have for it to be of great use. I feel like charging per download will, like you said; cut the number of downloads. And doing it for free could potentially be detrimental… There are so many decisions w/ patents and whatnot as well I’m not sure where to turn!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas November 19, 2015

    @Karlee – something like Snapchat is a bit different because they’ve raised $1.2B πŸ™‚ but they make money by selling real estate to advertisers. Those news feeds from CNN, etc aren’t free. Plus they do sponsored stories and stuff like that. They are selling Lenses now, which is a step towards more monetization.

    you should think about joining Bluecloud Select and the private FB group. We have a whole community of people that can help you with those questions, we’ve discussed this exact topic a few times. http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/join-bluecloud-select

  • ankitpratap November 24, 2015

    i have a app which has got around almost 62000 downloads and a avg review of 4 stars,should i continue with it or sell it another app based platform for INR12000?

  • Mohamed Badran December 22, 2015

    I am thinking about developing an app for Egypt and don’t know were to start could you possibly help.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 22, 2015

    @Mohamed – have you downloaded our ebook yet?

  • ankit December 25, 2015

    Namaste carter,
    m from india..
    m developing an app for 1 million students of my state.. and it’s a first kind of app in its category. it will be most useful app for them.. so if i get 1million downloads.. and this app will get more than minimum 5 sessions from each user on exam time.. so what will be the value of this app after this kind of downloads and engagement.. & how much revenue, you think, i can earn from this kind of free app.. show me the way..

  • Steve fowler January 3, 2016

    I need to build a app as I have a idea any suggestions who would be good to use

  • Anubhab January 3, 2016

    Hi, I have a great idea that can be a have super outcom, problem is just I don’t know how to created apo whine to tell how to tell how to start working on it where to start I don’t have much money I just have an idea a great idea of an awesome application pleas help me out.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 6, 2016

    @Steve – are you looking for a developer, a template or an app builder?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 6, 2016

    @Anubhab – Did you download the free ebook? The entire first chapter is all about turning your idea into a wireframe. That’s going to be your best bet. You can download the ebook here: http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/make-an-app

  • zalak February 4, 2016

    Hi,m Zalak from India
    if you are still looking for good developer than we have good team here.you can contact me at

  • Shrawan edla February 5, 2016

    Hii carter…

    I need some help regarding Making an app. I have a great idea and great theme for this which is very helpful for every person mostly in India.

    But I don’t know how to start or means what is my first step to achieve my goal for this app and to establish a company and also make some money.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 5, 2016

    @Shrawan – great! Did you download our free PDF? That’s a great place to start. After that, the Bluecloud App System will be the next step (300 pages of step by step action items).

  • Josh Hurst March 11, 2016

    Currently about to purchase your ebook, but just wondering I have an app idea, for my company to distribute to the teams we cover, so we can monitor their sports games in real times using a simple app. we have filed a design patent on the overall design, we created a prototype using Ruby on Rails, as a web application (the idea is not for web). I have 36,000 teams across the nation ranging from 8U – 14U every athlete, parents and Coach, Needs the app. it will be free to view but cost to post up scores/stats We already have endorsement and backing by major companies. Our issue is Late term funding to get the app created for IOS and Android, devices along with Ipad, and Smart watches. we are only about 15k from our goal which is a quarter of what we have already invested not to mention man hours. How do we get Funding without losing any Equity, Loans from the bank were denied. because our company is a non profit organization, and we have no collateral or credit. do you think Crown funding can work! are there any other options?

  • yudhishthir March 13, 2016

    Hello everyone I trying how to make own android app &own website

  • Jonathan Gravare April 20, 2016

    @ Josh Hurst

    Why don’t you go to the parents and ask for funding or donations?

    Maybe you could find a couple of teams who would be interested in buying the right to use the app for free when it is completed?

    OR, you might just go look for some sponsors. One month free advertisment in your app for 15 k. If its sports I guess you could go to underarmour, adidas or nike. Good luck.

    Good luck!

  • Bindu April 21, 2016

    Hi Carter,
    I have an idea to develop an App but don’t know how to go about it. I don’t have any website also. The idea is only to develop an app. I don’t know have much funds to invest also but I am confident that this app will surely work. Your blog is very helpful but I need step by step details to start this off. Can you help.

  • Ra May 13, 2016

    I hate to say it but I find all of it baffling. Then again, perhaps I need to read more than the 4 articles I have, then read them again for it to make sense. The basic gist I got above it that it’s somehow better to make a whopping $3 or $1.88 total off 100 downloads, than to make .99c *each* off 100 downloads. lol -back to reading a few more articles.

  • Noky May 18, 2016

    Hello Everyone! We have an travel app and are seeking for an investor. Anyone that may be interested for more info we would love to get in contact with and could email us at: Info@caribbeanhotspotsapp.com

  • Alea June 6, 2016

    Hi carter,

    I already met up and talked with the software engineer of the app that I am planning to develop and he offered to have equity or percentage throughout the operation of the app instead of paying him depending on the timeframe of the development of the app. Is it safe on my part to go with the equity?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 7, 2016

    @Alea – Yes. 50% of something is worth more than 100% of nothing πŸ™‚

  • Alex July 14, 2016

    Hey Carter,

    Two questions: 1. Are you willing to invest money into an app idea and if so, how would we get into contact with you? 2. Do you know how to make apps yourself, if so I’d like to get a quote on how much my app would cost?


  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas July 15, 2016

    What’s up Alex.

    Thanks for dropping a line. I’ve currently got my hands full and am not looking for any new projects. If you have an idea for an app and are looking to follow the system I use for development, you can check out my live webinar coming up:

    For all other questions, you can send my Project Manager Mark: mark@bluecloudsolutions.com

    He can give you more details about Bluecloud and get you in touch with our personal development.


  • Amin September 4, 2016

    I have an app idea but looking for a good app build , my app will be for just Libya market for (General Electric Company,-Pre-payment of electricity bills) will be 2,000,000 user and i have my Scheme applicable i can show you and start discussions how to billing the app and cost .
    waiting your soon reply

  • George September 6, 2016

    Hi Carter,

    Just following up on the success of any potential sponsorship deals you may have managed to get since writing the article?


  • Niqeyta October 10, 2016

    I am planning to make an app for a social cause.
    can you please tell me how can we earn without the advertisement, sponsorship or in app purchase?
    that is not generating money from user directly as it is for social purpose but may be by merely downloads.
    i am amateur in the field.
    please guide.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas October 11, 2016

    @Niqueyta – If it’s for a social cause you should consider fundraising or sponsorships, especially if you have non-profit status.

  • prasad October 23, 2016

    thanks carter

  • Sanjeev Sharma November 10, 2016

    Hi! Carter

    Hope you are doing well.

    I have couple of good app idea , and looking for investors ..
    How should i proceed with ?


  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas November 11, 2016

    @Sanjeev – put together a pitch deck that you can put in front of investors

  • Kajal Patel December 1, 2016

    Very Nice Post

  • Kevin Cabrera December 7, 2016

    I need help making this app that i know its going to hit bigg… i need someone that can help me out ! i promise you, you wont regret it.

  • Mike Jones December 26, 2016

    App monetization is a very difficult subject to master I think ASO can help!

  • Adel Alqubi January 12, 2017

    Thanks for the video and the advice as well Carter.
    I didn’t get the fifth point actually, what do you mean by “selling your company” could you elaborate this point?


  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 13, 2017

    @Adel – Yeah, if you have a few million people using your apps sometimes you can sell the entire portfolio to a company or a person for a lump sum of cash. I’ve done this 5 times, it works well.

  • Benedict January 14, 2017

    Hi Carter, just reaching out really! Thanks for the video and blog info, i guess it’s still current and relevant even though it’s 4 years old?
    My question: Once i have my app developed, are there any particular ways to market it / the benefits of it?
    Re my app idea, my research shows that there isn’t really anything like it. Not sure why, maybe it’s original.
    It also requires PEOPLE to use it in order for it to fulfil its objective and the idea came to me not as a way to make $ initially but to help people. Of course now I really need to identify how something that is a little more altruistic can actually be a revenue generator. Sponsorship would be relevant as the ‘goodwill’ toward what the app could do would be beneficial to many brands…do you think that I could have different brands sponsoring it in different countries? Or technically would that not work?

  • Benedict January 14, 2017

    Sorry Carter, just read a similar post asking similar question from Niqueyta. I guess that covers it πŸ™‚

  • shanni January 19, 2017

    my question is i want to publish my app with admob but if someone purchase/subscribe it then its add free how can i do it…

  • Hammad February 13, 2017

    Hi! Carter well thanks for this great info. I want to ask that I am developing an app for kids its a small app with very simple UI contains very simple graphics and I added admobe in it.Now I want to ask how much the graphics and look of the apps matters for gaining more users downloads,purchaes and admobe clicks? Moreover what sorts of apps are gaining more attention of users?

  • danny s February 14, 2017

    hey pretty good article ..found if very informative .i only have a quick question to anybody even someone who are leaving comments. what if i hav an idea for a app and arent really looking to make any money i just wish someone would make one so it could make my work alot more easier im sure there might be a way someone could make money off of it. who can i submit an idea too or how do i go about it.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas February 14, 2017

    Awesome Danny. Love this! If you can prove the demand and that there is a market for this out there, shoot our Project Manager Mark (mark@bluecloudsolutions.com) an email. Include an example website or app that’s currently published thats similar to your idea, who the ideal customer would be, and where you could find them. We’ll take a look and get back to you. Rock n’ roll, CT

  • Williams February 18, 2017

    Hello friends, I have a question. I’m building an IOS/android app like the local market place letgo. The difference is this App will be used in some contries in Africa. What do you think about this plan? Do you think it’s a great move? Please email me amabowilli@gmail.com if you have any pointers and we will discuss further.

  • Ken March 3, 2017

    Hello i have a question im new to app building and im doing one now. i would like it to be free for the company but would like to get a small add from another company sponsor me. how do you go about talking with other sponsored company how do you ask
    if my idea works i can make 60 apps for different companies using the same sponsor
    how do i go about this


  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas March 4, 2017

    @Ken – use an ad network like Applovin. It’s the best and easiest way to get advertisements/sponsorships in your app.

  • Britt March 15, 2017

    Hello Carter, Thanks for the piece of ideas. For the Ads, how do one choose or get the Ads to front in one’s app?
    Secondly, can one make money through freemium upsel and Ads at the same time?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas March 15, 2017

    @Britt – The ads are served by an ad network. When you pick an ad network, it will automatically show ads inside your app. 2) Yes – in fact that’s what most successful apps/games do.

  • Vincent March 19, 2017

    Hello Carter , Great info. Question …can I choose multiple options to create revenue in my app? Or should I chose one at a time and add more as I go? Or is the best option based on the type of App it is. Also if I can get a huge sponsor/corporation that is related to the industry that applies to my app? Do I need to go live with App first to see how it works to better brand my app? My App will have two sides to appeal to. The consumer/client and the Professionals that service the consumers. This could include brand name products / and additional elements of the industry that I am targeting. My App will have universal appeal all over the world and the ability to reach 1 + million licensed professionals and more than 2 + million establishments. Thanks again

  • Vincent March 19, 2017

    Hi Carter, how do I patent my App so no one else can design a similar App? Or is that not possible and its a free for all to design similar Apps?

  • Zak April 18, 2017

    Hi Carter I’m currently in the process of constructing a Social app, very unique and diverse bringing technology to reality… However I currently have the concept and just am constantly the foundation using my computer. The idea has potential to grow at large however it terms of making the app is there a potential chance of pitching any particular companies out there, and if they like the concept they would make it and obviously just own a good amount of the app or? Just wanted to know the best way of approach thanks

  • Marc April 19, 2017

    Hi Carter,

    I like what I saw which is a help for what I’ve got planned, this unique app could very easily go huge.. going to speak with someone to build the app, already got my domain name the website to go with it… I’m not looking one country but it could very easy go global… I could use any help volunteered or just any ideas.. free app but need to bring the πŸ’΅πŸ’΅ too!!!

    Get back to me.

  • Zak April 19, 2017

    Hi Everyone, I have a idea with amazing potential… It’s a social media app my current position I am looking for the right developer and a potential investor please don’t hesitate to shoot me an email zakothman8@gmail.com

    I personally believe this idea has great potential to get far with the right investors and developers… Send me an email if you would like to know more.
    Thanks Zak

  • Jesse April 26, 2017

    Hey, can we exchange emails?
    I really want to learn from you. I am a 2nd year student here in Philippines. I’m studying IT.

  • Chika Chukwuoha May 16, 2017

    Thanks for the info Carter..

  • Shanul singh May 17, 2017

    Hi. Need urgent advice. From south Africa. Have just developed a mini game. Pse advise me on best monetization strategy. Do I put it up for free downloads & go for admob , interstitial ads, banner ads. Or do ask for a small sum for download.,…
    Don’t seem to get much help.here

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas May 17, 2017

    @Shanul, whats up. There are a few different routes to take. But your monetization strategy comes down to 1) what your business model is and 2) who your user is. To be completely honest with you, I’d tell you to test as many monetization strategies as you can. Start with the easiest, measure, and go down the line.

    I can’t help you too much because I don’t know anything about the mini game you’ve created, but you can check out the best monetization strategies on our Mobile App Guide here:

    If you’d like to talk more and ask me questions personally, I recommend checking out Bluecloud Select which comes with weekly calls with me. Here’s the link:

    Catch ya later!

  • Pramila Rathore May 22, 2017

    I have great apps ideas but i dont have funding to execute them if anyone can buy my idea to develop there apps

  • Henderson Inka June 3, 2017

    Hey, who is going to pay for my ads? How am i gonna add ads on my app? Does it require to link my bank account in my app for monetization? And one question why Telegram’s founder is worth more than 500 million dollar when telegram does not generates any revenue?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 3, 2017

    @Henderson – 1) you are 2) have your developer install the SDK 3) For payouts, yes. Some do PayPal as well 4) Because they have so many users

  • Sam June 21, 2017

    Hi Pramila, I’d love to hear those Ideas. Please help me with your contact info.

  • warren gebhardt July 5, 2017

    Got a great idea (loved by most who hear it) for a game app.
    Got a highly recommended developer.
    Got the funds for development.
    But I do not have the experience or time I know I need
    to make money off of it. Would consider partnering with
    someone with a proven track record of motorization.
    Also, are there any protections with app in regards to copy write, intellectual property, etc.? In other words, if I share this idea with a potential partner can they just go right out and do it on their own??

  • alien man July 16, 2017

    greetings earthlings!

  • Raju Saikia July 23, 2017

    Hai Carter,
    I am from India and I want to develop an app to support the people in health sector. I do not want to charge anything from app user means from public. How can I get the expenses to run the app.

  • Nick August 28, 2017

    I believe that i have a great idea for a app that solve a problem with 150 millions potential users only in US and many more millions in the developed counties , also easy to develop with very low cost cause is very basic . I did my research and did not find anything close or similar to my idea.
    How should i go promoting it or get a investor helping me out with it
    thank u

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas August 29, 2017

    @Nick – very exciting! The first thing I’d do research exactly WHO your prospect user is, WHERE they hangout, and HOW you can convert them into an app user. Next, I would post a job on a service like upward.com to get an idea of how much this would cost. From there, you have the beginnings to start reaching out and talking to investors. Without knowing too much about your app…have you thought about partnering with influencers? We recently published a post that outlines how to find influencers and partner with an app. Here’s the read:

    If you have any other questions, feel free to reach us at support@bluecloudsolutions.com

  • Louise Hudson September 6, 2017

    I use the appngamereskin to reskin of andriod app. This is a good solution and it is also really cheap compared to others. Many do not reskin the purchase products but this one does and it does it at really low price. Thanks for the effort

  • Pv Gurjar September 7, 2017

    I have an idea and contents for app and for web . I want to dovelop this app through a soft doveloper company . Will u tell me please will it safe ? And after doveleping app how can i earn by it . Please reply it’ll help me a lot.

  • Stephen H Springer September 24, 2017

    When starting out, how do you secure your app idea from being stolen?

  • Boom September 25, 2017

    I would like to build a free dating app and make money out of it
    Need some advice please
    Looking forward for an answer thanks

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas September 25, 2017

    @Boom- how are you planning on finding and converting users? That’s the biggest problem with dating apps.

  • Ned Harb October 8, 2017

    My son wants to build an app, I’ve done some research and it costs around 10K, is that pretty accurate.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas October 8, 2017

    Hi Ned. It really depends on the project. It could be as cheap as $500 or as expensive as $100,000. What type of app is your sun looking to develop? Also feel free to shoot me an email at support@bluecloudsolutions.com

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