Want to Make a Million? There's an App for That!
Writing Apps for Cash
Writing apps has never been easier - and it's a zero cost way to make your first million...
If you want to make a million, there's probably an app for that - in fact, these days, there are apps for almost everything!
Got a great idea? You could write an app for that - and that's even easier than it sounds because there's software for writing apps.
So let's start at the beginning...
What is an App?
The word app is short for "application" - and the word application is a word for "program" in the computing world.
An app is, therefore, software that performs a function. A function might be playing a game, or searching a database for information (e.g. nearest Walmart). Or it might be sending an email, or instantly giving you the weather for where you're standing right now (pointless, as you're there, but it'd be an app!).
An app is therefore a small program that performs something useful for you.
Free Apps and Cheap Apps
Producing apps has really caught the public's imagination - as every business owner now wants an app they can offer to their customers.... hopefully to drum up more business. But, aside from that, there's a whole other marketplace where people just like you are dreaming up "must have" apps and turning them into reality.
These apps, written fairly easily by people with a keen interest in solving a problem, are then put out on the marketplace for free or very cheap.
If you write an app - and it's sold for, say, $1, that doesn't sound a lot does it - but if your app really solves a problem, then what if 50,000 people download it? 500,000 people? Or 5,000,000 people?
iPhone and Android phone users can't get enough apps. Priced low, these app junkies can often download many apps each week - making the app writers a passive income that can really take off if you've written something great. And 'great' in the eyes of the app junkie doesn't mean 'great' to the rest of us quite often!
Some of the most annoying and simple games are being downloaded by the millions - Angry Birds is the current top app game, played by millions.
Angry Birds has been downloaded more than 200,000,000 times.
But there are useful apps too - just think "if I could press a button right now, what information would I find useful?" It could simply be "The latest money saving deals page at Walmart" for example - bound to be an app for that already!
Apps put information instantly and easily into the hands of iPhone/Android phone users - but people are also downloading apps to their PCs too.
Many apps are free, or have a free 'lite' version, inviting the downloader to upgrade to something a little more useful.
So - what's on your mind as a great app? This is entrepreneurial heaven.... probably the closest thing to "money for old rope" you've got right now.
Watch a Beginner Making An App with App Inventor
How to Write Apps
Like anything, you'll need a combination of skills, you'll need some entrepreneurial spirit - some dogged determination - and some late nights. But it could be worth it - and that's what makes millionaires, the thought that this could be "the one".
You don't need to be an existing programmer, it'd help no doubt, but all skills can be learnt quite quickly. Apps writing is quite a lot easier than programming and there are apps tools out there to help you.
One popular - and free - apps writing package is called Apps Inventor. This is available from Google http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/ - there's even a section on their website where you learn to invent apps, and join in forums of people helping each other.
You don't have to use any programming to use this, so it's perfect for beginners - yet powerful. It does the job more than adequately.
There are lots of other apps making softwares available too - which one suits you best is something only you will know, once you've gained more experience and know what you want and need from an app maker.
Fancy having a go at writing games apps? Gaming is probably the biggest marketplace you could enter, with all those people playing games for hours every week on their phones and PCs.
If you do come up with a great idea - and it needs taking to the next level, to work or look a little more professional, then you can simply find a willing programmer who will work for a profits cut. Or, you can hire a programmer, there are plenty out there looking for work.
Get Funded to Write Apps
If you can't find a business to pay you to write an app, then there's an app for that:
App Incubator gives you the chance to pitch your idea - and if somebody with money's looking to back an app and likes your idea then you can get funding to write it, in exchange for a cut of the profits.
One popular app, that's been downloaded more than 10,000 times already, is Problem Halved - this came about because the author pitched ideas on App Incubator. He'd submitted 30 ideas before somebody wanted to fund Problem Halved.
How Do You Sell Apps?
Selling your apps is free too. There are a lot of websites that will sell your apps, but the best place to sell apps would be the two largest apps marketplaces:
- The Apple App Store
- Android Markeplace
These both offer you the best way to reach the largest number of people most quickly.
It takes 1-2 weeks from submitting an app to hearing back from these big marketplaces.
So, the costs to you are zero - you just need to come up with The Best App in the World! - so what's your idea? Where do you go online? What games do you play? What information do you seek?
Once you've written something - you can then submit it for sale. Discover for yourself the best apps websites by searching the Internet and reading forums. It's essential that you get to this point. Don't think "nobody will want it" - submit it and see. And if you get it rejected, build on what you did, have another go. After all, it's costing you nothing to go through this process is it?
Top Ways to Quick Cash
If you're looking for shortcuts, then a recent study has proven that writing apps for the Android marketplace is less lucrative than writing for the iPhone market. This is something you need to think about.... but then there's lots to think about when you decide to pitch your app at any marketplace.
Stuck for Ideas?
Ask your friends, the blokes down the pub, your work colleagues, your family - everybody's got an opinion or a frustration. Solve people's problems, make something easier for people, and they'll want YOUR app.
Inspiration for the perfect app, the best app, a millionaire making app is all around you. Listen to what people are frustrated about, read problems people are trying to solve. Solving problems is a great app to make as you've got a ready and eager marketplace for your app!
The 80:20 Rule
I'm sure we're all aware of the 80:20 rule, as applied to many walks of life - and if you look at the apps marketplace, 80% of apps make under $300/£200, but that still leaves the other 20% doesn't it. 20% of apps DO make more than $300/£200.
The best apps writers aren't those who write one app, then sit back and expect to make a million - they're coming up with lots of ideas and have probably written 100 apps. Angry Birds was the 52nd app written by the authors, Rovio. If it hadn't succeeded, they'd have carried on!
There are apps ideas round your local area - look at local businesses, see if you can spot an opportunity there to either be paid to write an app that's specific to them, or whether you can think of a generic industry app for that type of business that you could offer for sale, or as a free app, or as a lite app .... which could be branded maybe.
Opportunity is out there - now go grab those millions!
Marketing Your App
Simply existing isn't good enough for the top apps - you need to get your head around some basic marketing ideas, in order to get the word out there.
Produce press releases for newspapers, use Twitter, use social networking, set up a Facebook page, try to get some celebrity endorsements (locally or nationally), pester the TV networks for a small slot on their sofa.
If people don't know it's out there, if you can't create a buzz about it, then it'll take a lot of Lady Luck to make you a million from it - even if you've just invented the Best App ever!
Using sites like App Incubator will help you tap into some of the best connected people around though, so this is a great route to take for the uber-geeky programmer types who would rather cut their hair than get involved in any "people stuff".
Bone up about social marketing, again, it's free to market your product through these methods.
I hope that's given you an idea or two, motivated you into action.
If you know of the best apps making software, or the best ways to write apps, then why not leave a comment below!
Thanks for reading - and good luck making your first million!