Note: While this guide is called ‘How To Make A App For Musicians, it is really suitable for anyone looking to make a cheap app, regardless of what you want to promote on it. So, read on for all the details…
Want to know how to make a app for your music career? Well read on, as today I'm going to show you just that. Not only will I show you the cheapest way to make a app, but I'll also show you tools that will allow you to make a app quickly and easily. So easily in fact, that you can get a app in the Google Play app store (For Android phone users) by tonight! That's even if you don't have any previous app making experience, I'm that confident with this method.
Believe it or not, it doesn't have to cost a lot of money to make a app. Depending on what route you choose, you can make a application representing you as a musician for a very reasonable price. This price will also depend on the quality off the app you want and what app stores you want to put it in, but that's really down to you.
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But first, if it's your aim to do music professionally, you'll want to check out our free ebook while it's still available:
Free eBook: Discover how real independent musicians like you are making $4,077 - $22,573+ monthly via Youtube, let me know where to send the details:
Is It Easy To Make My Own App Or Should I Pay Someone Else?
So, I'm guessing a lot of you think it's hard to make a app. In reality though, it doesn't have to be. If you run your website on WordPress or have ever made anything online, you'll most likely to be able to make a app quickly without a problem.
All the basic features such as adding your latest blog posts, showing your Facebook and Twitter pages, adding a photo gallery, adding a contact form, displaying your Youtube video and the like are all pretty easy to do. For most musicians, this is all that will be needed.
That said, if you want to add even more advanced features, you may need to use different software that's more difficult to use. That, or hire a professional app maker who costs a few bob to get things up and running. If you just want a standard app to showcase you and your music career however, you don't need any expert knowledge or previous experience.
I'll put to you this: If you're comfortable doing your own basic graphic editing and can change the size of your images (To say in a square, and to the size ‘320px x 480px' which is the size of a Android phone screen), then you can make your own app. You can use free graphic editing software such as Gimp to edit your images.
The better graphics you can do, the better your app will turn out to be. That said, if graphics aren't your strong point and you don't want to (Or can't afford to) hire a designer, all you really need to do is:
- Create a splash screen graphic (Could just be a picture of you),
- Create a square icon (Just a picture of your face or your logo),
And… that's pretty much it.
If this sounds achievable to you, then you can definitely make a app for your music career. The rest is simply a case of choosing what features you want by ticking check boxes, and filling in the text.
This is the cheapest option to you when it comes to making a app, so if you can, go with it.
If this sounds difficult however, you may want to hire someone to make it for you. This can get expensive though, as we'll look at in the ‘Where Can I Find Someone To Make Me A App?' section below.
What Software Can I Use To Make A App For My Music Career?
If you've decided you want to make your own app, you will need the right tools to make this as easy as possible for you. There are two main tools I would recommend for this, you should use one or the other, not both. They both have their pros and cons as we'll look at below:
Example of the Music Industry How To app made with skybuilder (Android App).
Sky Builder is the first of two options, and comes with a $1 three day trial. It is very easy to use, and it's possible to get a fully functioning app up within the first few hours that you use it. If you're experienced with this kind of thing, you may even get it up within two hours work or less.
The good thing about SkyBuilder is that you fully own the apps you make. You can download them to your computer, and you can do whatever you want with them from then on. They are your apps, even if you don't stay on past the 3 day trial.
The downside to SkyBuilder though is that the apps you can make aren't naturally as attractive as some of the other options. If you're good with graphics though, you can make them look on par with some of the other options.
The fact you can keep the apps forever though are a big selling point, and should not be overlooked. We'll look more at why this is in the section below.
Word Of Warning: If you're going to be using SkyBuilder, if you only want to pay the $1 trial, be sure to cancel your subscription before your three days are up. This is easy to do, and can be done at any time in your members are.
After this trial it costs $199 per month to keep access to this service. If you only want to make your own app, you should be able to get it up and running on the first day though, and once you've submitted your app to the App stores, you can cancel if you so require.
If however you want to carry on building more apps for yourself and others (Possibly a way to make money from your music career), feel free to stay on after the trial and pay the monthly fee. This isn't necessary for one app though.
Example of the Music Industry How To app made with Conduit Mobile (iPhone App).
The other option is Conduit mobile. While it can create better looking apps then SkyBuilder (Which is a big plus point), there are three big downsides to it. Firstly, the apps you make won't fully be yours. As soon as you stop paying the monthly fee, they will control your app, and probably put adverts on it so they can make money from your efforts. This isn't the case with SkyBuilder; As soon as you make your own app, you can export it and it's yours to keep forever.
Secondly, only a limited amount of people can download apps you make with Conduit on the free trial (Up to 25 people, after that no more can download it). Even when you go on the $29.99 per month option, you can only have up to 5000 installs at one time.
This monthly fee (Which is the third downside) can quickly add up, and is more expensive then creating a one off app in the 3 day trial with SkyBuilder.
SkyBuilder on the other hand doesn't cap the amount of people that can install your app, which is great for musicians with a bigger fan base. While this 5000 limit on Conduit Mobile apps will be enough for many musicians, it's not ideal if you're looking to scale up your fanbase as time goes on. You can always increase the amount of people that can install your app, but this will cost you more money per month.
On the plus side, Conduit mobile is just as easy to use as SkyBuilder, and probably gives you the better looking apps of the two. As I mentioned before, there is a free trial of this software, so check it out if the ‘not fully owning your own app' thing isn't an issue for you.
So now you know the price of the software, let's look at the other costs you'll incur when making an app, and how to make an app for only $26 all inclusive.
How Much Does An App Cost To Make?
Ok, so how much does it cost to make a app? Well this depends greatly on which software you use to make your app, and what app stores you decide to put your app on…
We've already looked at the cost of using the app making software. SkyBuilder costs $1 for a 3 day trial (Which is more then enough time to make your app using it, I made a few in this trial period), and Conduit Mobile costs vary, but is $29.99 a month to keep it running if you have more then 25 people downloading it.
On top of these costs, you'll need to pay for a Android Developer Account (Don't sign up to this until after you have your app made). This will allow you to upload your app to the Google Play store, and allow all Android phone users to download your app for free. You can also make your app paid and have people buy it, but I don't recommend this as you app should be used as a promotional tool. You want as many people downloading it as possible, and this won't happen if they have to buy it.
The Android Developer account costs $25 to buy, and lasts for a year. In this year you can upload as many apps to the Android app store as you want and not have to pay any additional costs.
So, if you follow the mentioned method (Making a app in the 3 day $1 SkyBuilder Trial then uploading it to your Android Developer Account which costs $25 to register), it'd cost you $26 to get your app made and into the app store. Pretty cheap huh?
While it's not essential you do this, things get more expensive when you start doing more with your app. If you want your app in the Apple store for example (For iPhone / iPad / iPod users), you will need to get a Apple Developer Account (Don't sign up to this until after you have your app made). This is more expensive then the Android version, and costs $99 per year. What's more, your app isn't guaranteed to get in their store as they have a strict screening policy meaning only the best apps get accepted. On the Google Play store however, any app can get on.
If you want additional in-app features not available when you use the mentioned app making software, you can always get a customized app made. It'll cost more to get this done then any of the software I mentioned above, mainly because the man hours of app makers can be quite pricey. Below, I will look at the pros and cons of getting someone to make you a custom app, as well as where you can find a good developer.
Where Can I Find Someone To Make Me A App?
Don't want to worry about making your own app? No problem, you can also hire someone to do it for you. There are pros and cons to this method, both of which we'll look at below:
Pros To Hiring A App Maker
- You Can Get A Customized Apps Which Will Do Exactly What You Want.
While both of the above software options are very good for their price, they can only do so much. There will be times where you may want a special feature to set your apps apart from the rest, but these software options won't allow that.
When it comes to hiring a developer however, you can get them to do what you want. They often don't have restraints (As long as they're talented enough), and will give you a much higher level of control.
Cons To Hiring A App Maker
- More Expensive.
Often, a lot of app makers are expensive to hire. They can charge hourly rates of $40 – $60 upwards, this really isn't unusual. Baring in mind they'll take at least a good few hours, this can really add up.
If you go with this option, be sure to do a ‘per project' rate. If you pay by the hour, added costs and time usually sneak in, and you end up paying a lot more then expected.
- They Can Take Long To Make.
Depending on how quick your app maker works and how good they are, this can take a while for them to do. If however you make a application yourself with one of the above app software options, you can get it done yourself in a much quicker time span.
If you decide to go with hiring someone, I recommend looking on the outsourcing website Odesk. On here you will find a load of developers that will work for pay, so have a look and see if there's anyone that can do what you want. Most likely, there is.
Hiring a developer to make your app is a good option if you have the budget and want to make your app stand out, but it's not really worth it if you're a beginner musician or don't have a strong fan base of at least 300 or so loyal fans armed with smart phones (I'm not talking Twitter followers or Facebook fans here).
So there you have it, three different options for how to make a app for musicians. None of them are particularly hard, but some options are cheaper then others. There's no right or wrong method to building a app to promote your music career, so pick which one is best for you.
Let me know your thoughts on building a app for your music career in the comments section below, and feel free to show us your app in there as well.
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