Mobile phones are such a necessity these days that it’s easy to take for granted the costs associated with staying connected. Research conducted last year claimed that, despite the current economic climate, the average cost of owning a mobile amounted to £430 annually. Not an insignificant sum and proof, if any were needed, that keeping up with the latest technology is a serious drain on the bank balance.
Of course, one man’s poison is another man’s meat. For those savvy individuals always looking for new ways to make cash, the mobile phone market offers great entrepreneurial prospects as well as opportunities to make a fast buck on the fly.
You don’t have to be an aspiring Steve Jobs to recognise that the app market is a fine means of turning a profit in your spare time. Granted you’re going to need some technical know-how, but once you’re up and running with the basics the possibilities are endless. Coding software is increasingly available for free, so the real challenge is actually having and following through on a killer idea. After that, carefully placed advertising should help monetise your app or you could charge users for an initial download or access to premium content.
Given the proliferation of apps across iOS and Android platforms, it’s worth bearing in mind that your chances of creating the next Instagram, and subsequently pocketing $1 billion dollars of Mark Zuckerberg’s cash, are limited. That being said, you might well learn something and have a little fun along the way.
If you don’t see yourself as a coding expert, perhaps the world of online publishing could prove your path to riches. These days more and more people are taking to their phones for entertainment and while games and the internet are obvious attractions, so too are good old books, albeit in an electronic format. While epic novels like War and Peace don’t lend themselves particularly well to 3-inch smartphone screens, frothier reads certainly do. There’s a reason that girl on the 7.45 to Waterloo has a sheepish grin on her face…she’s probably reading 50 Shades of Grey!
First you’ve got to write a book and have it edited; both easier said than done. After that those looking to get their work on the myriad ebook apps on the market need to follow a tried and tested route. First, identify a self-publishing site that works for you and upload your work directly using a Microsoft Word document. Once it has been formatted, your next step is to create an eye-catching frontispiece. Don’t be naïve, it doesn’t matter that the old maxim states “don’t judge a book by its cover” – people do, so treat the task seriously.
After that you’re a hop, skip and a jump from being published. Just write a brief description of your work, select how much you want to sell it for and get promoting. Who knows, the next time you nosily peer over someone’s shoulder on the train they might just be reading your book on their phone.
Making apps and writing books is all very well, but one of the easiest ways to make money from your mobile is to sell the snaps you take while out and about. Say for example you’re walking down the street and something newsworthy takes place right in front of your eyes or you spot something funny. If you happen to capture it on your phone you can upload it to FizWoz, via their free mobile app, and they’ll alert potential buyers including media agencies. After reviewing your pictures, buyers can bid for your work and pay you via PayPal.
The great thing about FizWoz is that they auto-watermark pictures and also provide a legal transfer document so that individuals can distribute content to the media without getting taken for a ride. In effect, this is citizen journalism extending to the world of photography. In the main you might find that pictures of freak weather prove popular, but on the off chance you’re partying with a naked Prince Harry there’s a good chance you’ll make a mint.
If you’re happy to take the tortoise, as opposed to hare, path to making money, then you could always use your smart phone to earn a few pennies each time you go shopping.
Quidco’s free app allows its members to take advantage of all manner of financial incentives offered by its retailers, although its most innovative feature is the ‘check-in’ facility. Using geo-location technology shoppers can earn cash rewards just for visiting any of the 70 participating retailers and restaurants and the best thing is, you don’t even have to make a purchase.
It means the next time you’re walking down the High Street you could get paid for doing so; perfect if you’re being dragged around by the missus and are looking for an excuse to go solo for a while.