Some time ago, I thought it might be nice to get into app development, to have a little income on top of my wage and to learn interesting programming stuff. Suffice it to say, it’s not really happened as yet, but I’m determined to change that.
Up until the start of this year, I’d done a few things towards it. I’ve registered as self employed, so I’ll be able to declare all the lovely dosh that I will soon be making. I’ve set up a development environment using Eclipse and Dropbox, so I can do it on whatever PC I happen to be using. I’ve even planned a few simple apps.
I’ve made a bit more progress this year though. I discovered Buzztouch and had a play around with it. I don’t think I’ll use it personally, but it’s a great idea, and I did figure out how to compile the apps made with it. I’ve been looking at alternate methods of creating income, so have set up Fiverr and Fivesquids gigs that offer to compile Buzztouch apps, or host apps on the marketplace. I’ve also (thanks to the fiverr gig) had a little job helping someone get a slightly more complex app ready for the market – for which he very generously paid me $50.
I’ve also obtained permission to use the Driving Standards Authority official theory test revision questions in an app. They get some of the revenue, but that’s fine – if I can make a decent app (or two) that should be a bit of an earner. The app is still in the planning stages, but it’s starting to take shape, and it’s pushing me to learn more and more about Android.
Also, Blackberry had a bit of a promotion whereby if you submitted an app to their marketplace for the Playbook by 13th Feb, you could get a free Playbook. Opensudoku is one of my favourite apps (and available under GNU GPL v3), so I took the source code and repackaged for the Blackberry and submitted (as a free app). I’m still waiting to see if it’s accepted. The submission process was a bit long-winded, but converting from Android to Blackberry wasn’t that tough – I’ll definitely have to consider doing it for future apps.
Finally, on the 20th I got my Geometric Shapes live wallpaper to the point where I’m happy to release it. It still needs a bit of refining, but I’m relatively happy with it. There are two versions – one free and one paid. They both let you choose a shape, size, colour and speed of rotation but the paid version has a lot more options. The free one also has a single ad and a link to the full version on the options page. I’ll be releasing an update to this within the next couple of days that allows all of the shapes on the free version but adds text to all but the cube, dice and tetrahedron. It also enables rotation in two directions instead of just one, adds a few extra shapes and has a couple of other little tweaks.
I tried to drum up some interest in the live wallpaper with Admob – I put down $50, at $0.01 per ad, so figured I’d get 5000 people looking at it, and if just half of them installed the free app, and only 2% upgraded, then I’d make my money back. So far, I’ve apparently had 5000 clicks, which seems to have led to about 60 installs of the free version. Oh well, lesson learned I guess.
By sheer fluke, I managed to win some money on a scratchcard on Monday, and I’m planning to put it towards a new laptop. Ideally I’d like some flavour of Unix (to encourage me to program and not play games) and a decent hardware spec, for not much money – anyone have any ideas?
Revenue to end of February 2012:
- Adsense: £80.51 (this is mostly ads from the google plus inviter, and includes all ad impressions back to last August – it only reached payout level this month)
- Paypal (app work less fees): $47.75 = £29.37
- Fiverr: ($48 sales, less paypal fees of approx $2) $46 = £28.32
- Amazon affiliate referrals: £29.82 (this includes £25 from previous months)
- App sales (Android Market): £1.38
Costs to end of February 2012
- Fiverr gigs bought (app icons, names, etc – thought it was worth a try): $15 = £9.11
- Android app store dev account: $25 = £15.38
- Admob advertising: $50 = £32.58
Net position: £110.95
Apps in the Market (downloads):
- Google plus inviter (16,346) – revenue as above
- Great UK Deals (205) – This app shows the latest deals from HUKD. The only way it can make me money is if people click through to amazon from the first page and buy something – so far that’s made the £5.14 listed above.
- Geometric Shapes Free Live Wallpaper (101)
- Geometric Shapes Live Wallpaper – paid version (3 – one refunded)
The live wallpapers are on SlideMe and Amazon as well, but have been there for only a few days so I’m not going to bother putting their download stats on here this time. I’ll put them on next month’s report.
Other apps (in progress):
- OpenSudoku for Blackberry (submitted to market, waiting for approval)
- Driving Theory Test – Free (limited number of questions, ad supported)
- Driving Theory Test – paid (no ads, all questions)
Revenue this month was over £100, but the vast majority of it was made either through the Google plus inviter ads (which have fallen to a trickle now) or fairly unique app work, which I can’t rely on in future. I think a sensible target for next month is £50. That said, I’ve never been that sensible, so I’m going to aim for £100 🙂