Creating an app is a great way to make a passive income. Once you pay the initial costs of developing the app, you can sell it in perpetuity without ever having to spend another penny on it. This is different from, say, selling retail goods, where you’re constantly having to replenish your stock.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, free apps are even more popular than paid apps (everyone loves a freebie, right?). More and more people are using free apps to promote their websites, as they cost relatively little to produce and the returns can be immense. Remember – even if an app’s price tag says $0, you can still make a tidy profit from it. You’ve just got to learn how to monetize that bad boy and create yourself a passive income. Similarly, you can also monetize a paid app to increase your passive income.

Here are a few ideas for monetizing your app:

Add a Smart Installer

Smart installers, sometimes called download managers, walk people through the steps for installing an app or piece of software while also displaying advertisements or special offers. You’ve probably encountered these yourself. You install a program, and during the install process, a box is automatically checked for you to get an add-on or to receive emails about special offers. This kind of advertising or lead generation is designed to help you make money based on clicks or sales.

Search Feeds or Boxes

You can give users the option to search for information they need without having to leave your app, and you can make money doing so. The search box may include advertisements over the search bar that earn you money for clicks. Alternately, the search box may collect tracking data for lead generation, or it may include a cookie so that you get a commission on any sales generated through the referral. Whichever option you choose, including a search box is a good way to add value for your users while also monetizing your app.

In-App Advertising

Just as you can include advertising on your website, you can also include it in your app. This can take the form of banner ads, sidebar ads, or content ads. Your choices really depend on the layout and functionality of your app. You may be able to include pop-up ads, or ads may appear between screens, such as when advancing to the next level in a game.

You can choose one advertising option or you can combine several. Just remember not to overdo it with the ads or you’ll make your app look spammy, and that’s never a good thing.

Recommendation Engines

Apps are a great place to recommend other products and services to users. If someone has gone to the effort of seeking out your product and downloading or purchasing it, you know they’re motivated. This is your opportunity to make some extra cash by suggesting related products and services that the user might want. To do this, you’ll need a recommendation engine that uses algorithms to determine exactly which offers to promote. The profit from any resultant clicks or referrals goes straight to you.

Browser Extensions

Certain apps can be used on a laptop, tablet, or other mobile device, while some are displayed through a browser. You can monetize your app by adding a browser extension to the download bundle, thereby covering all your bases. Your biggest dilemma now is deciding how you want to receive your earnings. Do you want to get paid on initial installation or per user behavior (such as clicks or purchases)? The good news is, you could potentially be making money even when your users aren’t in your app!

Bundling Your App

Another way to make money is through app bundling. When users download your app, they’re presented with an option to download additional software or tools together in a bundle. What’s in the bundle depends on the kind of app you have and what makes the most sense for your target users. You may include a browser extension, a search box, a plugin, or even another app. Finding the right partners is crucial to this monetization strategy, as your app and their products should blend together well to appeal to the same user base.

When thinking about how to monetize your app, you may be feeling a little stumped. After all, you have a lot less space in which to advertise or incorporate other traditional monetization strategies such as affiliate advertising. However, the smaller space and limited platform can actually help you focus your efforts and offer products that are more likely to succeed with your users. Make the right choices now, and you can easily start earning money in addition to (or instead of) the money you charge for your app. Provided that you have the right monetization strategy and it brings in enough app downloads, you can create a strong passive income for years to come.