In many cases, apps are truly free, meaning that users get to enjoy all features for no charge. Sometimes, this is because advertising supports the app, and sometimes, the apps are free because they are linked to established businesses (for example, the Wal-mart app is merely another way to shop). In other cases, the apps are freemium, meaning that some features cost money. Here is a look at each of these strategies.

1. Enlist Advertisers

Businesses have a lot of options when it comes to advertising, and the choices can seem overwhelming. However, Apple, Facebook and Google all have offerings. Also, programs such as Appnext let you recommend other apps in your ad, and you earn money when one of your recommendations is downloaded.

If you do not anticipate that users will download your app in large numbers and run it often, then advertising may not be your best option. It tends to work most effectively when a ton of downloads are involved. It is also possible to combine advertising and freemium tactics. As an example, in 2014, Pandora earned $120,000 a day, and Clash of Clans netted $168,000 daily.

2. Pick Freemium Strategies

There are quite a few ways to tackle the issue of freemium. For instance, you could:

  • Offer additional content for a subscription fee
  • Urge users to make in-app purchases (“Pokemon Go” is a great example of this)
  • Give downloaders the option to upgrade to a paid version after a certain number of days or times using the free app
  • Roll out a new, improved and PAID version a few months later

A free workout app might offer a basic set of workouts, hooking users that way with the effectiveness and simplicity of the workouts. Then users would be more motivated to pay, say, $3.99 for a set of three more workouts. If you had multiple sets, you could end up making good money per user.

Your best bets are with games. In fact, they are where most of app revenue comes from. Users download free games, get engrossed in them and feel more comfortable paying, say, $1.99 at a time to enjoy perks rather than forking over $19.99 up front to get the game.

3. Pair It with a Store

If you have a store, whether it is online, brick-and-mortar or both, develop a free app to go with it. This gives customers the opportunity to browse your wares and make purchases.

Of course, all of the above methods of making money on your app probably will not work if your app is not good. Create an app that fills a need and that runs well, and customers should flock to it.