Android phones are an incredibly convenient tool, offering us the ability to stay updated and connected, no matter where we are or what we are doing. For many of us, they’re also a way to pass the time, especially when we are waiting around with nothing to do.
But, what about the potential to make money with your android phone? There are various different sites and scams out there that claim you really can earn money this way, but in many cases those claims simply turn out to be hype and exaggeration.
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Ways To Make Money With Your Android Phone
Well, it turns out that there are a number of different ways to make money with your android phone. Some of them use your phone directly and others use it indirectly. And… it probably isn’t any surprise but some of these methods are better than others.
Let's go through a few of them and see which ones fit you best, and which ones have the most income potential.
For most of us, smartphones have replaced cameras. With a smartphone, we can take pictures everywhere we go and those pictures will often end up being pretty good quality. Because of this, one way to make money with an android phone is to take pictures and sell them.
Now, I’m not talking about professional photography or anything like that, you can definitely make money selling professional photos. Realistically, you would want a serious DSLR camera to try and make a career in photography. However, there is still demand for amateur photography.
In particular, stock photo sites are a great place to sell images. One example of a site like this is Shutterstock but there are dozens of other sites as well. These sites offer a large number of images that are used by bloggers, businesses and many others. Because of this, they are always looking for new images to add to their collections.
Most of the time, stock photo sites will pay you a commission for each time your images are sold. In most cases, you can even submit the same image to multiple sites, although sites do tend to pay a higher commission for images that you give them exclusive rights to.
This way of making money can be a little bit hit or miss, and will heavily depend on what you're photographing as well as the quality of your camera. You won't be able to provide large picture formats like professional cameras, but you can get more diverse.
In theory, the commissions for images could add up fairly quickly once you have a good portfolio built up, especially if you have a number of popular images.
However, stock photo sites do have a lot of images at any given time. For example, the stats below are for Shutterstock and many stock photo sites are similar. Competition is tough.
So, you face pretty intense competition. You could try to get around this by focusing on unusual images or pictures on trending topics. That may help you to get your images noticed but, even then, it may take time and luck for you to make money this way.
Make Money Through Video
Android phones are good for videos as well as photos, so you can also make money this way. The most common way would be YouTube, where people do sometimes make money from their work, especially if they can get enough traffic.
You’ll probably find that the camera on your phone, as-is, isn’t really suitable for making high quality or serious YouTube videos. However, with some extra equipment like a tripod for stabilizing, a plain sheet for a backdrop, and maybe some cheap lighting equipment, you can do pretty well doing vlogs.
Plus phones can still be good for capturing events as they happen and sometimes these can end up being extremely popular. You could take your phone to a Trump or Hillary rally and capture all the madness!
However, the nature of YouTube popularity means that success isn’t something you can count on. In fact, most videos go unnoticed and it is fairly random which ones end up going viral. So, you might make money this way but most people probably won’t.
It takes a long time to build up an audience, so prepare on uploading videos every day, or at the very least several times a week in order to make progress making money with YouTube ads.
A related way to make money is to create apps for phones. In most cases, you probably won’t be making those apps actually on your phone but you might still be using your phone for inspiration or for testing.
This idea is often popular because some people have seen incredible success with apps, to the point where they may be getting millions of downloads. And, if you can make a hit app, there is certainly money there.
For example, the Dumb Ways to Die app went viral much like the original video did, getting more than 2 million downloads.
The app doesn’t have to be a game either.
Many app creators do focus on games but others attempt to make apps to fill specific needs. I bought an app to scan my business receipts. I also bought an app to calculate how much yeast I need to brew different types of beer. Functionality trumps entertainment many times because people spend money when they have to.
This technique can work well, as there are still needs that simply aren’t being met with apps. So, if you can create something to meet a need and market it well, there is income potential.
For some people, app creation is a great way to earn money! You can be creative (with the idea) and technical (with the creation) at the same time However, it’s worth remembering that there is a lot of work involved in creating an app and getting it on the Google Play store. You either need to know how to code, need to learn how to code, or have enough money to pay someone to code it.
You also need to do some research to find out if it has selling potential, and even on top of that, you're still taking a risk that the time and money won't be profitable. Any business venture has risk though, so if you have some ideas, go for it. It's better to waste time and money taking a risk than losing out on potential residual income.
Surveys, Offers and Similar Apps
There are many different apps that you can find for your Android phone that offer ways to make money. The most common type is apps for survey companies, like Surveys on the Go. With these apps, you complete basic surveys, earning credit as you go.
It’s easy to see the appeal of these apps. Often the surveys are fairly simple and don’t take long to fill out. Additionally, you may well have the time to spare, especially if you are just waiting around.
In many cases, the company will also let you cash out your money into PayPal or you can get various gift cards, like to Amazon or Google Play. In fact, Google Play itself even has an app that lets you earn Google Play credit directly.
So, you can get some money for not much effort.
There’s a catch though. Often you’ll find that it takes quite some time for you to get surveys. This means that it may take months, or even longer, before you get to the point where you can cash out even once. For example, the image below is one review that was given for the Surveys on the Go app.
If you don’t mind waiting around, this type of app may be worth it for a little bit of money. But, honestly, you’re never going to earn enough to really matter.
There are other types of apps out there too. Another type is apps that have you completing various tasks, like taking photos of products on store shelves or even just walking into stores.
Some of these apps will pay more than surveys, especially the ones that actually have you doing tasks. Nevertheless, there is still the issue where you don’t get tasks often and it can still take time to build up credit.
Plus, in many cases, these apps will involve a considerable amount of legwork. That majorly reduces the advantages of making money from a phone.
One final type of app that lets you earn money is apps that offer cashback. Personally, I don’t consider these as a way to make money at all but I've included it because some people do. As the name suggests, cashback apps let you earn some money when you make purchases.
For example, you might get a certain number of points for every $10 you spend at a given store. When you get enough points, you could then cash out for a gift card or money in PayPal.
In theory, you could make money this way if you were getting points for things that you would purchase anyway. But, there’s always a risk that you’d end up buying extra things to get points. If you did this even a little bit, the app would probably end up costing you more than you ever earn from it.
I’m sure there are other types of apps that I haven’t covered here too but the general pattern tends to be the same. In most cases, you’ll find that you can earn some money from the apps. However, it typically won’t be much and it may take you weeks or months before you can cash out.
Even if you were working on multiple apps at the same time, the potential for income simply isn’t high enough to make these apps worth the effort. This isn't really an “income” opportunity, but more for someone that's bored but also too lazy to build something with more money making potential. Making real money is going to take real work, and it's not going to happen passively while you sit on the toilet browsing through gaming apps.
Website Building and Management
There is one final way to make money that I want to talk about, which is the idea of making money through a website. For the most part, website building is something that you would do on a computer, rather than an Android phone.
However, it’s worth talking about because this is a much more reliable way of making money than any of the methods that I have discussed so far.
Additionally, you can still use your phone to manage your website to a degree, which lets you make some changes on the go. You can also use your phone to complement your website. For example, you might take photos on your phone and use these to make your site make more interesting.
I do that all the time with my own websites, since it's easier to upload from my phone to the computer than with my DSLR camera. Plus, I don't need super high-res photos for the internet since people won't be downloading or printing the pictures.
Unlike these other ways to make money, a website is an approach that puts you in control. You fully own the business! So, you are the person who builds the website and determines what you promote on it. By doing this, you can make the site about anything that interests you and attract an audience with similar interests.
You could even make a website about your Android phone or a related topic! For example, a cool website topic with earning potential could be Android hacks, or productivity app reviews, or even mobile game reviews.
There are a few different ways to make money through a website but the one that I want to talk about is affiliate marketing. This is a method that lets you make money from other people’s products, so you don’t have to create anything yourself. Likewise, you don’t have to worry about shipping or customer service.
Instead, you talk about the products on your site, such as through reviews or ‘best of’ lists. Then, you provide an affiliate link to the product you are talking about. That link means that if the reader buys something, you get a commission from the sale. This is a great way to earn money without having to deal with customers directly.
Not everything is a review though, and you can create informational articles too, then link them to review pages or to products which solve a problem.
An article listing 10 ways to waterproof your Android could make a recommendation for a waterproof case or service which handles the waterproofing. Through affiliate links, you can earn commissions from the companies selling the products or services.