This month, we introduce you to five apps that can make you a little extra money while going about your regular daily activities: shopping, clicking pictures, maybe taking a survey.
Taking advantage of these apps is an easy and pain free-way for you to build long-term wealth – parlaying the combined effects of compound interest and generating a little extra income when you can.
In our APP LORE feature, we give an overview of what goes into the development of a successful app.
Take a survey … earn rewards!
With iPoll, completing a brief survey or writing a short product review gives you the chance to earn gift cards, airline miles, credits, magazine subscriptions and more. Paying in the range of $1 to $10 per survey, the more you participate, the more you earn. As soon as you accumulate $35 in your account, you can request a payout. First, simply provide some information about yourself and your buying habits, so iPoll can match you with appropriate surveys. Then the app provides you with opportunities based on your profile and, if the task involves an in-store visit, your location. You can be alerted as soon as a new survey is available, and there are more opportunities online at www.ipoll.com. FREE
Mylo is a “round-up” app that lets you turn spare change into an investment for the future. When you buy a coffee or do your shopping, Mylo rounds up the total and invests the difference directly into a conservative, diversified ETF (exchange-traded fund) portfolio. Fifty cents on a ten dollar purchase might not seem like much, but it adds up! A great way to get started in investing, because you don’t need anything up front, and because it’s a form of “forced savings” that increases your investment automatically. Signing up involves a few questions to determine your profile (for example, your tolerance for risk), so investments suit your personality. FREE download; $1/month for investment account
APP LORE: What makes a successful app?
Ever wondered what goes into successful app development? What does it take to compete in the ever-expanding market?
If they want a new app to be noticed among the gazillions of apps currently available, developers must either find an existing niche where they can provide enhanced value, or carve out a new un-served need. And yes, an innovative app – that provides its users with truly useful applications – is likely to be a hot item.
But being innovative in such a crowded field is no easy feat. Fortunately, developers can make a tidy profit even from fairly simple apps. Smaller, simpler apps are quicker to design, and don’t require a huge financial investment in development.
As the field becomes more established, app stores like Google Play are becoming more and more demanding in assessing new apps. So developers must be sure to thoroughly test a new app before submitting it to a distributor. Glitches can easily result in the app being rejected – sending the developer back to the drawing board.
Once the app has been approved, the next challenge is to get it noticed. Again, an app needs to be high quality as well as good-looking these days, so developers often partner with a designer to polish the user interface. Simple apps with great graphics often do very well.
Then it’s a matter of promotion. Developers aim to get their apps into the Top 25, if they can, but even a small start can lead to great things. It’s about visibility! Social networking, a good website, a professional press kit – all are important for app success.
Developers may enter events and contests to get instant exposure for their new apps – and a contest win can mean a cash prize, too. Contests and events provide exposure to industry professionals, and generate media buzz.
In the end, app success rests on offering a quality product, even if it’s just a simple game or useful tool, that looks good, is easy to use … and gets out there where potential customers can find it!
Checkout 51: Grocery coupons
Get money back for shopping
Shopping and coupon apps often vary from country to country: Zweet and Cartsmart in Canada, and Fetch and Shopkick in the US, for example. Checkout 51 is a good, solid app that’s available in both regions. It offers lots of deals on common grocery and household items, with a list updated every Thursday, and top retailers from Costco to Whole Foods. After you make your purchases, all you have to do is click a photo of the receipt to redeem your offer. When you accumulate $20 in your Checkout51 account, they send you a cheque. It’s that easy! With no coupon snipping and sorting required, and easy searches for necessary items. Accounts limited to one per member and two per household. FREE
Spend and save at once
With the Ebates app, you can make money while shopping at any one of nearly 2,000 participating retailers, including Kohls, eBay, Walmart, Amazon, Macy’s, Sephora and more. Whether you’re shopping online or in-person, your purchases earn you cash back rewards. For online purchases, your web shopping is connected to your Ebates account, and you gather up the rewards as you go. Then, every three months, you get your payout via cheque or PayPal deposit. When shopping in person, once you’ve linked your credit card to the app, your cash back is automatically be credited to your account. You can even get in-store cash back at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, JCPenney and others. Additionally, you get a $10 welcome bonus when you sign up, and $25 for every friend who signs up and uses the Ebates service. There’s even $1 cash back on every Lyft ride, plus a $20 bonus when you take your first Lyft ride through Ebates. FREE
Turn your photos into money!
If you love to take pictures and want to earn money from your hobby, Foap is simplicity itself. Just upload photos directly from your iPhone or Android device, or through other apps like Instagram and Flickr, and sell them directly through Foap Market. You can even create a web portfolio so potential buyers can see all your work. Each shot costs buyers $10, and creators take a 50% commission. Once the money has been transferred into your bank account, cash-out is easy thanks to Foap’s PayPal integration. Foap Missions are another way you can make money with the app, by selling your own product photos to top brands all over the world, for rewards starting at $50. And Foap partners with other sales sites, including Getty Images, allowing you to distribute your photos to an ever wider audience. FREE
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