Admission News Budgeting Going to College

How to Effectively Develop an App as a Side Hustle in College

Written by CB Community

Developing an app can be a great way to make some extra money while in college. It can also be a fun and rewarding experience.

Creating an app not only helps generate a new income stream, but it’s an impressive feature to include on your resume.

This article will cover how to develop an app such as:

  • How to come up with app ideas.
  • How much does it cost to develop an app?
  • How to market the app once it’s complete.

Read on to learn how to create an app with this 5-step process:

1. Coming Up with App Ideas

The first thing to do is come up with some app ideas. This can be done by brainstorming or looking online for inspiration.

There are many app directories such as the Apple App Store and Google Play that list popular apps. Another way to find popular apps is by using app search engines such as App Annie.

Some things to consider when brainstorming ideas are:

  • What kinds of things are the target market passionate about?
  • What do people complain about the most?
  • What kind of things need improvement in daily life?
  • Are there any hobbies or activities the target market enjoys

Look for problems that need solving. More importantly, what problems can an app solve?

2. Research the Cost to Develop an App

After doing some research and developing an idea, it’s time to research how much it costs to develop an app. This can be done by contacting app development agencies.

The costs to develop an app will vary depending on the features and complexity of the app.

However, a general estimate is around $50,000–$100,000. Keep in mind that this cost may go up or down depending on the features desired for the app.

It’s important to get an accurate estimate of the cost to develop an app. This will help determine if the app is feasible and how much money can be made from it.

3. Create a Prototype of the App

Once the cost to develop an app has been determined, it’s time to start creating the prototype. This is a rough draft of the app that shows how it will look and function.

A prototype can be created with prototyping tools such as Figma.

Creating a prototype of the app is an important step that should not be overlooked. Not only does it help show how the app will work, but also helps with initial testing and collecting feedback from potential users before development starts.

The more detailed the prototype, the better. This will help avoid any surprises or problems during development.

After creating a prototype, test out different ideas by sharing them with friends and family. This will help get valuable initial feedback on the app before any development begins.

4. Develop the App Through an Agency or Professional Freelancer

The next step is to contact an app developer agency or freelancer to develop the app. This can be done by doing a search online or contacting local agencies.

When choosing an app developer, it’s important to look for someone who has experience in developing the type of app being created.

Refer back to the research done in step 2.

If a budget allows, hire a professional designer as well.

Professional designers such as those from Apple have extensive experience in designing high-quality apps that users will be interested in.

5. Market the App Once It’s Complete

Once the app is developed, it’s important to market it. This can be done by creating a website or social media pages for the app.

To generate downloads and revenue, the app needs to be advertised through different channels such as online ads, PR campaigns, and even word-of-mouth marketing.

It’s also important to reach out to bloggers and journalists who may be interested in writing about the app.

The best way to market an app is by using App Store Optimization (ASO). This is the process of optimizing an app for the App Store so that it appears higher in search results.

It’s important to note that marketing is not a one-time thing.

Continually work on promoting the app so that it stays in front of potential customers. This will help generate more downloads and revenue for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that students frequently ask when researching how to develop an app as a side hustle.

How long does it take to develop an app from start to finish?

The amount of time it takes to develop an app can vary depending on the complexity and features desired for the app.

However, a general estimate is around six months to one year.

Is it possible to make an app for free?

While it’s possible to make an app for free, there are limitations.

For example, apps that are built with a drag-and-drop tool or template will have limited functionality and may not look professional.

It’s important to invest money in the app to make sure it looks and functions well.

How much money can be made from an app?

This depends on several factors such as the type of app being created, how many people download it and use it, etc.

Some apps generate over $150k per month while others make less than $100 per month.

It’s important to remember that making money with an app is not a get-rich-quick scheme and takes a lot of hard work and dedication.


Developing an app as a side hustle can be a great way to make extra money while in college. By following the steps in this guide, students can create a high-quality app that will generate revenue for years to come.

It can also be a great opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in the app development industry.

The process of creating an app can be daunting, but following these steps will help make the process easier.

It’s possible to create and monetize an app that generates continuous revenue.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.