Make Money with Windows Phone

Originally posted on the UK Student Blog.

We're going to turn over the blog for another guest blog post - this time we asked people to give us their AppHub success stories, and George rose to the challenge. You can read his post below - and don't forget to submit your apps to the marketplace so that you can earn money, too! Over to you...

Hey there! I'm George Miller, and I am a proud Microsoft Student Partner and Windows Phone developer.

A few days ago I received my first pay out from App Hub from my second app on the market, Bro to Go! An app based on the hit American sitcom, How I Met Your Mother on the CBS network. This is the second app I developed for the Windows Phone 7 platform and the first app I charged for on the marketplace. I chose the platform because I felt it was far more open than my alternative, which was the iPhone App Store, I found coding in Objective C really over complicated than coding in C#, and as a beginner to coding mobile applications it really mattered how easily I could pick up coding for the platform. Being a Mac and PC owner, I had access to both XCode and Visual Studio 2010 and exploring both; Visual Studio was the choice for me, especially when I can use Microsoft Expression Blend for designing my GUI for the app which integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio.

This app was the first app I chose to charge for; having an app already on the market with over a thousand downloads at this point, I decided that I could make some money from developing apps, I knew that charging for an app would lower the download rate considerably so I ‘d have to increase the quality to compensate. I charged the base price for an app, £0.79, thinking I probably wouldn’t reach the pay-out sum but I should try and reach for it. I started the development much like I did for my first app, designed it in Expression Blend and moved across to Visual Studio for the coding. The amount of work a developer puts in to his app and the functionality of the app itself should be related to the price and for my first priced app, I think I chose the correct price band.

A few months later, after only monitoring my first app on the marketplace, it reached over 3,500 downloads I got an email from Microsoft saying I am eligible for my first pay out on my second app. I was amazed, I felt amazing! People liked my work enough that even with a trial version they still want to pay for my app for long term use? It confirmed for me, that this is an amazing platform backed by great people. It was beyond anything I could expect from being a mobile app developer, and even though it’s not the billions you hear about on the news from other famous developers, I felt like I was up there alongside everyone else, contributing to Windows Phone 7.

My advice to anyone else tempted to code for the platform? Play around in Expression Blend and Visual Studio 2010 as much as possible, get a feel for the environment and make anything you like. No matter how trivial, just to learn how. The best thing you can do when trying to make an app you want to publish? Think about something you personally want your phone to do, because if you want it, I can guarantee over a hundred other people want the same thing from their own phone. For me, it wasn’t about the money, it was about the downloads. When I log into AppHub and see thousands of people have downloaded my app, it makes me feel proud of my work. The best thing about it, it is free to do, login to DreamSpark and download all the tools you need; sign into AppHub and you can develop as many apps as you want!

P.S: My cumulative downloads stand at over 4,000 now. Seriously try it out!

Get access to all the apps referenced in this post via DreamSpark!

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