Building an app for passive income

Building an app for passive income

Everyone is interested in earning a passive income, as it allows us to live more comfortably and take opportunities as they come. In recent years, the rise of the side hustle has seen creatives and entrepreneurs either close a gap in the market or carve out a new niche altogether. Building an app for passive income is a less labour intensive pursuit, and one that can generate income for you passively, unlike other side hustles. While the barrier to entry may be a little higher in terms of app development skills and prior knowledge, building an app for passive income is an achievable goal. Let’s discuss how you can get started and tips to remember at every stage of the journey.

Incorporate your passion and skill

If you are planning to build an app that is very far removed from what you know and can offer, then there will be nothing passive about this endeavour. You want to be deploying your existing skillset and knowledge so that you don’t need to be tied up in learning the terms and facts and can just start with your app proposition and build. If you work as a vet, perhaps you can develop an app that is related to pet health or recreation, for example. Your audience is going to feel your inauthenticity if you are pretending to be something you are not and may not engage with your app if you are not an expert in this offering.

Work with an app developer and professionals

While a passive income is the goal, you are likely going to have to front some initial spend to get your app to the point where users can download it and enjoy the experience. You can do the storyboarding and user journey yourself if you want to reduce some of the build spend, and involve a developer to set it up technically and look for any bugs. If you feel comfortable building the app yourself, you might be looking for a graphic designer, copywriter or any creative or technical professional. Keep note of these spends so you can celebrate when you have made back this investment through downloads or sales.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel

If we look at apps like Uber, you can see that they have taken an existing idea (taxis) and made it better. Start thinking about your app in the same way. By not reinventing the wheel, you will probably have greater success if your users have prior knowledge around that product or service offering. Think deeply about any gaps in the market that you can see or any workarounds you can figure out to make life easier. You might find that your passive income app idea already exists in your mind, but you are yet to share it with the world. If you love an existing app design, you can even work with app developers to buy or create that skin and load in your own content and framework.

Get the word out

Marketing an app is a skill in itself, as you don’t miraculously see that passive income as soon as your app is added to the App Store or Google Play. You will need to put some work into ASO (App Store optimisation), and you can do this with an ad spend or through manual and organic growth. If you are planning to build a website and social presence that supports and drives traffic to your app in the App Store or Google Play, try and get this work ready in tandem with your app build so that you can be in a better position to start your marketing strategy. Not sure where to start with ASO? Take a look at how your competitors are performing and interact with their content and ads so that you can be served their targeted activity and get some ideas for your own.


Unlike other passive incomes, your app will only require very minimal tweaking and maintenance once you have your completed app. Start brainstorming today and work to bring your app to the market so that you can have a future of financial freedom.

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