How I beat the odds to make $ worth noticing...

Hello all,

I thought Id post my experiences with Android Dev and making a little money. Ive always dabbled with programming languages and when Android came along I got all excited and wrote a very basic android app that basically contained a button that played an audio sound on click. I launched the app with an Admob banner and sat back waiting for the $ to come rolling in - that turned out to be a long wait. Over two years, my daily revenue was literally pennies and usually under 50c per day. Because of the low return, I pretty much stopped trying making $ with apps.

In December, I was walking around Targets looking for a gift for my child on the Toy aisle. I was musing the large selection of toys and started thinking what toy or game could be easily represented as an app. I noticed a huge section dedicated to one particular type of toy and decided that as I was on vacation from work, I’d throw together a simple app based on a particular toy that night. I wrote the app in less than 2 hours and it was extremely basic with an admob banner. However, what I didnt realize was that my app would be unique.

I submitted the app and went to bed that night and never gave it a second thought. In the morning I casually checked my adMob earnings. My daily earnings had spiked over 1000% overnight! I was shocked. I was actually making money. :slight_smile: That first day I made $5 - the highest daily amount I had ever earned through adMob. I was hooked. I started researching on Google Play for apps that were not flooded with dozens of copycats. I thought of unique apps that I could write in an evening or less and started cranking out apps.

6 months later I have released numerous, similar, easy apps - some are popular, some are not. However, in 6 months I have gone from $10 per month to $800 per month.

The moral for me is, don’t spend months writing apps that are already out there. Be unique and different. $800 isn’t all that much but it sure helps with the bills. Dont give up, it works!



Thanks for your post. As someone who’s not earning a lot, it’s really inspiring :slight_smile:

Were you using the name of the toy or game in the app title and have you encountered any copyright issues?

I try to be as generic as possible and so no copyright issues. That first app merely told me that you can actually make money. From there, I came up with quick and easy apps and 1/5 of them that made noticeable money.

The main thing i learned was not to e disappointed if my ‘sure thing’ app flopped. It really is a crap-shoot as to what ideas pay and which dont.


PS - I took my top 3 apps and put them on Windows Phone - WP is absolutely terrible. For every $1 I earn on Android, the same app on WP makes at best 10c.

So how many apps overall make you $800 in Admob ? Best decision you ever made is not giving up :slight_smile:

I’d say approx 5 of my 20 apps actually make noticeable money. The others might make the odd dollar here or there but the ‘main 5’ make $100+ per month each. 20 apps may sound like a lot but it really isn’t. I use the same template over an over but in different flavors. Most the time I can get the app on the market in one evening as the template is already in place. Its not the app, its the idea that’s the hurdle. If your app is similar to many others it will be buried in pages of similar apps. If there are only a handful of apps similar to yours then the app (in my experience) will make approx $5 per day with weekends being the ‘busiest’. Doesn’t sound like much but $5 x 30 days = 150 per month for ONE app.

The app i wrote at Christmas has made by itself over $1500 in ad revenue and it took me a couple of hours to put together. It made $12 yesterday by itself - Its addictive!

P.S. Switching to interstitial ads increased the ad revenue by at least 30%.

Interesting. Did you use AdMob Banners only on Windows Phone or Banners + Interstitials? and were you getting a similar amount of downloads compared to the Android versions?

Congratulations for your success!

Graphics are made by yourself? Do you have some talent for it or you just don´t care much about it?

Switching meaning you only use interstitial ads now or a combination of banners and interstitials?

You are making an app in an evening or less? I’m impressed :slight_smile:

Any more updates? I’m going down this same road myself, but haven’t had a good first hit yet.

Hi Casper,

Yes, still holding at 25-30 $ per day ($800 per month). I’ve been distracted with other things the last week or so but the income keeps cranking along :slight_smile:

And, yes, Intersitials are the best source of ad revenue for me.


So you are just using intersitials and no banners? Which ad network are you using? I went with banners because it was easier to implement for me when I started.

Also, do you do any promotion? When I release my apps, it takes a day or so for it to show up even if I search for the exact name of my app.

With these kind of stories (“Big money! little effort! I love it!”), I can’t help but wonder if they’re being posted by someone at Google or Admob, making propaganda for the value of Admob. Especially without any link to an app. Maybe I’m too cynical but the reality is that most app developers are earning next to nothing, especially on google’s playstore.

That being said though, I do agree that making more apps instead of That One Killer App is the best way go. In other words: volume, volume, volume! :smiley: While still having some quality of course… I mean, anyone remember Brighthouse Labs from a couple of years ago? They made literally hundreds of apps that only displayed a few wikipedia pages and sold them on the appstore for $2 or $3. Sheesh…


I wonder which toy it is… Is it that IQ puzzler thing? Or that Simon game? Memory perhaps?


You can choose to believe what you want but in reality, if I was trying to promote Admob etc, I think I’d boast a little more than $800 per month. Its hardly life-changing. As for linking to my actual app, I can guarantee that my app would have numerous copies within a week. Its the idea that’s valuable not the time put into it.

No, I dont do any kind of promotion. I use Admob and it also takes 5-6 hours or my app to appear. Basically, my tip is do your own thing and dont follow the flock. Sometimes simple is good. :slight_smile:

Intersitial ads are not difficult at all. Once you have done one app with intersitials, just use it as a template for your next.

In same boat for last 8 months.
made first app 5 months ago. it took 3 months for it which includes the android learning as well.

Its giving me $16-17 these days. wrote another 2 apps. and giving me $3-4 per day.

all these apps are based on the exisiting idea on the GP. no uniqueness.

I must say that first 2-3 apps/games will teach you so many things and unique app idea is one of them as jeko said.

now i am working on unique app with 2 months of estimation. will share the results soon.

Do you mind if I ask what type of apps you are dealing with here. I know you are trying to be vague to protect your niche’s and I’m not looking for specifics, I’m just wondering about what feature set you can push out in a night. For example, are these image galleries or mini games or something to that effect? On the subject of niche toys, have you tried integrating amazon affiliates somehow to drive sales through the apps? Just a thought if you are getting the volume and can push purchases of your niche product to an amazon affiliate account you could potentially make even more!

I’ve got a question about the downloads chart. It shows a really steady pattern of peaks, I assume these are the weekends?

I vaguely knew there was more download/admob traffic in the weekends, but I didn’t realise it was so distinctly concentrated and so steady. :slight_smile: Unfortunately my volume of downloads and admob clicks isn’t high enough to see the pattern so clearly…

Different styles suit different people. I too like to produce many apps with decent quality instead of spending months on one single project and then hoping it will explode. I’m using the “China Method” - large volume, low ROI, but in the end, it all ads up.

I would have such low morale if I had to do it this way. I am still new, but for now I feel like I need to be able to enjoy what I am doing. In my dayjob I am already developing lots of solutions that I don’t really care about in my personal entity. I would die if I had to do the same when I get home.