Software monetization guidelines aren’t designed to help you get rich quick, though that sometimes happens. These guidelines will help guide you toward a sustainable monetization strategy.
Though these guidelines are designed with software developers in mind, if you follow the essence of these guidelines, they can also be applied to mobile apps and even blogs.
The Real Picture
The reality is that software and apps probably aren’t a one-way ticket to financial freedom. It happens occasionally, but there’s a lot of competition out there. The vast majority of software revenue goes to a small percent of developers, and that will probably never change.
That being said, when you do things right, you can turn your software into passive revenue generators. If you launch your software effectively, it can continue to operate and earn income for you while you move on to your next project.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t get discouraged – just read our blog.
You need a marketing arm that includes a website, at least one social media account, paid advertising, and perhaps some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.
Traffic equals users, and the more users you
easier it will be to monetize your software.
If you’re new to
, then brace yourself for small
numbers. It takes lots of visitors to get only a few click-throughs and downloads.
Assume for the moment that you’re using advertising to power your software; you’ll need to know that an even smaller number of users will click-through any advertising.
Promote with Mobile
Ads power the internet, from Google and Bing to Facebook and Twitter. Ads help you build your traffic, brand awareness, and
. These all build revenue.
When you promote with ads, you’ll want to find out where your audience spends their time. These days, most people spend their time on mobile devices. Soon, over half of all searches will be mobile.
This means you need to – at the very least – include mobile as one of your major advertising and marketing channels. Find out which network is appropriate for your target audience and use it. Additionally, your website should be responsive or adaptive so that users stick around to read about your product.
is increasing year over year, so even if you’re developing a desktop product, you’ll want to target mobile.
How are you marketing your software? Through an app store, software directory, or pay-per-install programs?
Track the number of downloads your program gets. If you’re using a pay-per-install program, track your customer’s journey. Find out what they like and add more value to that.
The internet is chock-full of metrics, so you can track your customers through software directories, websites, app stores, pay-per-download networks, affiliate programs, advertising programs, and so on and so forth.
Focus on Optimization
The common wisdom tells you to “create value first,” but once you’ve got value, it’s all about the numbers. Analytics give you those numbers and tell you something more important: what users want.
The best way to earn loyalty is by selling users what they
giving them what they need. A user may want to get rich quick, but what they need is a solid monetization plan, so you sell them a get-rich plan that works practically.
Don’t compromise your product’s value with poor advertising or over-optimization. Instead, realize that your numbers tell you how you can adjust and optimize your product to provide users with a more palatable product. You can still provide the same quality – just adjust the appearance so that your conversions increase, your customer base builds, and your revenue goes up.
No one has infinite resources, so at a certain point, you’ve got to choose. Where do you put your money and time? Building traffic with advertising? Optimizing your current funnels? Improving the quality of your product?
The call can be tough to make, but if you must make a decision, choose
. You are always free to improve your product and your funnels later on, but if you’re not getting traffic, you’re not getting money.
This can be a tough decision to make, because many developers take pride in their work and don’t want to put out an inferior product. But without incoming traffic, you won’t have anyone to look at your software updates.
Allocate your resources in that order:
1. Traffic Building
2. Product Improvement
3. Funnel Improvement
Why does product improvement come second? Simple. Your product quality dictates how long your users will stick around. In other words, quality products
Improving your funnel through analytics, funnel customization, advertising optimization, and marketing adjustments will help boost the numbers of your existing conversions.
But that only comes after you’ve got a valuable product and an engaged customer base.