Annual Developer Income Report

It is over one year since I gave up my day job to become an independent developer (It is more than a year but I have missed a few reports so I will sum 12 months that has been reported on this blog). All my projects that generate any money has been build by me with a little help of some freelancers. All has been done on my own schedule without any boss complaining or some crazy deadlines. Some of you are reading my reports from the beginning and some of you are here for the first time. I believe that this annual report will be very interesting for all of you. I will make a two sections. One where I will spilt all my income by months and another where I will sum all sources of income from last 12 reports.

Middle of the year report...?

Usually most annual reports are done on the beginning of the year - but as it is first year on my own and I have just published my 12 report, it seems a very good time to sum it all up. So lets see what the result will be. As many of you may know I have been making money on many things - but all has happened online. My income sources varies from Android Development, web development to stock photography production. So area of my income streams is very wide.

The best month was...?

Let's start from the summary of the months. Here is the breakdown from my previous reports:

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Unfortunately I have not been making reports each month so I can not sum up my first year from those. June and July 2011 has been published in one report and some data has been missed on 2010 as I have reported only Android ads income. As I do not want to bother my accountant to give me those details that is all that can be summed from this blog.

As you may see my best month seems to be May 2010. But as I have mentioned it was one time income boost because I have sold some websites that has not been generating income at all (but the buyers liked the idea of the websites). Later I have been trying to build some passive income streams and it looks that I am somewhere near ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... per month just from those. So it looks quite good. My first income goal stated in report #0 of ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... per month have been reached.

Most profitable was...

Now I will try to sum up all of my income streams to see which one was most profitable. As you already know I am trying to make most of money passively just by building new and improving current income streams. If I would stop working from now I would probably be still generating some good income each month for next year or so.

In summary I have not included report #4 as it have included only Android apps income. To make full 12 months I have added report #13 so it makes a good comparison for a full year.

Let's see the list from lowest to highest money maker:

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Here is a comparison graph:

As you may read from the graph almost a half of my total income comes from ads in my Android applications. But the other smaller income streams seconds that. I am spending most time on increasing Android apps income but as you may see it is good to have some other smaller projects ongoing.

Another point of view...

To see even more I have decided to prepare one more graph. It shows income of each month with breakdown to all income streams. Unfortunately it shows that my income is not growing but is quite steady. But what is even more interesting it shows that some income streams are being replaced by others. Let's have a look:


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As I have mentioned before I have given up website flipping. Not sure if it was good decision when I look on the graph - but it was not enough passive for me. I am hardly working to keep those steady streams that needs less work. It looks I should really care now only about my Android applications and iStockphoto. What is looking really promising now are sales of my "Make Money on Android" eBook. It looks that I should look for some new channels of distribution (now it is being sold only on my blog).

My goals...?

My next goal is to double my income in next 12 reports. It would be really good to make something between ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... per month and live in Poland. It is much above average and is more than enough to pay all bills and live comfortably and save some money each month (average salary in my country is about $1,000).

I am going to a achieve it by improving three of my income streams. In coming months I am going to work more by:

  • Building new Android Applications & looking for new monetization methods of my current ones
  • Making some new photos and submitting those to my iStockphoto portfolio
  • Looking for new distribution channels for my eBook "Make Money on Android"

Of course I am not going to do same things for a whole year. I should add to the list looking for new business opportunities that may be found online each day. What I should really give up is freelancing as in current business model I am hiring more that being hired.


And now the most interesting number. How much in total have I managed to make in 12 months that has been summed here? In total I have generated ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]...! Of course that does not include my expenses and taxes. But those are different for each country. In my previous day job in same time I would generate about $10,000.00. My online business gave me ...[PLEASE LOG IN TO READ]... and a lot more of free time for myself and my family!

It is hard to compare my income to most of guru that are writing about their income on their blogs. Anyway I believe it is just the beginning of my path to the success. Moreover money I am making now are enough to pay my bills and not work full-time in my country. That gives me a lot of time for building and improving my online income.

As usual comments are welcome and strongly desired!

41 Responses to “Annual Developer Income Report”

  • This is a great series, and I’ve got it on my RSS to keep up with what you are doing. It is very inspiring to hear about someone taking the initiative and making money through mostly passive income streams.

    For what it’s worth, the money you made is what some professions in the US make working full time, with very little room for improvement over time, and having to do things like deal with bosses.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks. Good to hear such words. Hope to provide even more interesting numbers in future reports :)

    • “taking the initiative and making money through mostly passive income streams” seems to be somewhat of a contradiction in terms, but it’s certainly cool to see that it can be done.

  • I’m amazed that you can make that much money on Android through ads. I tried using ads to monetize my iPhone apps and it failed miserably – I came nowhere near your numbers.

    That makes me actually think about getting an Android device and port some of my apps over.

    I’m pretty much in the same position like you – living in Poland at the moment and trying to make a living from my own online business. Sadly I’m not there yet and have to do freelancing work to pay my bills. :(

    I wish you the best on your path :)

  • Nice! not bad at all. I’m currently learning how to develop now too and i’m on my there. I’ll update you about it

  • I am doing similar thing (on iOS), but at my 2nd month. I am doing around $500 USD this month (paid app). I am also using admob, the income from ads just suck… so I am not sure if I will do some Android app in the future (ads based)

    • As you are on the beginning it would be great to see your progress somewhere. Especially as I am going to try with iPhone as well. Thanks for the comment and good luck!

  • Like Jason, you are in my RSS feed.
    And more, you are in my ‘very interesting’ section !

    Your blog gave me a lot of useful informations when I needed it, that’s for why I follow you.

    What I’m also searching for is some details about Ads.
    Such as : “how do you determine where to place the Ads banner”, “what is your way to improve revenues, click, …” etc.

    I started 7 months ago, and I “only” have arround 400$ a month ( as I work in a company, it’s already very cool :D) but I want to improve my understanding of advertising stuff.

    So if you have time, I would like talk about this kind of things with you, maybe on a forum, or a google discussion ?

    Anyway, great job man :D
    Keep doing so !

  • 10k$? what job you had before? it is really really a low pay….

    • It’s Poland :) I am from Poland too and 750 euro peer month is big pay! Usualy ppl have 300-400 euro peer month:/
      I am going to London in next half year to find some developer job. Good bye Poland forever :P

      • Why live in expensive London, when you can earn MANY dollars from AdMob and live for A FEW dollars in Poland? :) Read some Ferriss’s stuff ;)

        There is something funny when two Poles are speaking in english in polish-author blog :D

        • It’s strange ^^ :D haha

          Why live in London ? To try better life, modern, big town. To play poker too (we can’t in Poland).
          Few dollars is not my ambition. I need to earn some money to buy house, car and open company. If you want buy house in Wroclaw, u must save full earnings by 16-24 years!!!

          Pawel, you had luck with Jedi Saber, but what is $5 000 peer month ? To buy house u need $200 000…

  • Thanks for posting this in so much detail! One of my goals, over the next five years, is to become an independent developer. This really helps the SO and I figure out what we need to have done by then, and how my income stream will be affected.

  • My first app is going to market next month. I have something much better than admob and mobclick ^^

  • Here in India the Average Income is $500 , So you are guru for me and my fellow Indian ( though i am following you from march 2011)
    I feel you have the thinking that, If i am successful, i will make others successful too with my help. Which in Today’s world is not found easily and that too on the internet.

    I just want to say that you are still making enough, with the amount of time you have spend.
    You can make even much more but not with this much time you have enjoyed with your Family and live life So free.

    • Cost To Compancy(CTC) is 3000 Euros/month including all benefits in India and I get nearly 2000+ Euros/month after tax deductions. Also I am Nokia Ovi publisher & my income are somewhere above 300 Euros as I do it as a very part time & not full time. Kreci has really impressed me & I am sure if I do full time I can overtake my day job salary.
      Kreci reports are really encouraging & I am also entering to android development.

  • Thank you sharing your experience here.Working independently and self employed is different from as a group and working under some.As self employment give more satisfaction than money.

  • Which I want to find is how to promote your apps and books.
    I think the cost on promote will be more interesting.
    Will you share the way to promote your products?

  • can i ask how many Android apps you have in the Android Market and number of downloads / active users?

    i have an app, 150,000 downloads, ~40% active users, i make some money on admob, but i think if i have maybe 10 apps as successful or one app 10 times as successful, i will be able to make around $1500, but of course all apps are different.

  • Chris,

    Thank you for posting this report! I’ve been following you for a few months now and find you very refreshing. It’s great to have someone report honest numbers and give us an idea of what to really expect.

    Please keep posting!

    Thank you!
    Julie :)

  • Your income is really impressive.
    I just released my free app yesterday and my average earnings per user are about $3.6 and increasing.

    Is that bad or good?

  • Thanks for the update. It’s very inspiring to see what you’ve done in just 12 months. The breakdown and income graphs you posted have been very helpful as well. Interesting to see that in the long run, passive income from ads turned out to be a winner over the more involved website flipping. This was a debate I often considered myself, before deciding to stick with the Android ads option.

    All the best in your next 12 months, hope you can double your income very soon!

  • Which of the projects are you managing with the help of freelancers from ? And how much do you pay?

    Could you share? Can we find that info in your ebook? :)

  • Great to hear you’re doing well KreCi. The iStockPhoto passive income seems like a winner to me. Not being a photographer myself, going out snapping a few photos and having the checks roll in sounds like a great lifestyle. I’m sure it’s not that easy though…

    I ordered your eBook last week and read it straight away. I thought it was so good I’ve written a review:

    You have convinced me with the information and statistics in the eBook to pursue an ad-supported business model for my future Android applications. Thanks a lot KreCi, you’re an inspiration to me and all your readers.

  • Your income report is a good source of inspiration and motivation for me. Please keep us posted on your new development and growth update! I hope that I can make similar achievement like you in the near future!

  • Very interesting sharing. I have two questions.

    Do you remember when did the first burst wave start after you publish your app on the market? After a day? After a week or a month? Trying to grasp a feeling how fast it will be.

    Do you have to pay tax on those income you mention?

    Keep up the great work!

  • You’re an inspiration Kreci and will be definitely be featuring in coming blogposts. if you ever fancy being a guest writer it would be an honour.

  • Hey Kreci, I am from Karachi, Pakistan. And in my country average salary is $300 per month which is just enough to pay bills and live a happy life.

    You are a inspiration to me, if I get close to $1000 per month that would be MORE than enough for me.

    I want to ask you a question, is it realistically even possible to make that much money just from Android. I mean, I feel you are just one exception, I don’t think everyone can make so much money. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Cheers from Pakistan :)

    • I am not an exception. People are doing a lot more with much more popular apps. Mine are not on top but I am fully using all marketing options that may be legally used and I am doing better each month. I believe that anyone with some developer skills (or even outsourcing it) may be doing $1000.00 per month.

  • Average salary in China is much less than Poland, if you are here you will be a rich man.

  • Nice to meet you, want to learn from you!

  • I see this discussion, and because as a Polish company owner I’ve been working both with Indian and Chinese employees, I’m going to give a little bit clariffication regarding the wages issiue:

    – The average wage in Poland is c.a. $1200 per month – those are the official numbers. In Warsaw, Gdańsk, Kraków etc. – you can earn c.a. $1800-$1500 per month, while in the countryside, the average wage is something arroung $500. The problem here is that, beside taxes, everybody in Poland has to pay a compulsatory social & health insurance (c.a. $300 per month – which really sucks, because we’re getting next to nothing out of it).

    – As for India, I remember that some 2-3 years ago a – manager in an IT company – was earning there c.a. $400 per month (Back then I’ve been hiring freelancers from India) The differences in wages from region to region there is quite dramatic. It’s also quite difficult to find competent specialists, because there seems that each and every Indian with a computer wants to become a programmer or a graphic designer – and most of them are really bad at it. The really good companies in India charge as much as similar ones in Belarus & Ukraine.

    – The wages in China are a bit higher than those in India. Though from my experiance, the Chinese are in overall much more professional, and in most cases are skilled at what they’re doing.

  • One more thing about earnings in Poland, which is a known fact, but most people aren’t really quite aware of, and which I haven’t mentioned.

    – The average earning in Poland (countrywide average) is about $1200 per month.

    – The compulsatory social & health insurance is about $300 per month (which basically is just wasted money).

    Lets say that I, as a Polish small/micro company owner, would hire Polish employees (instead of Belarussian & Chinese contractors & freelancers) – Let’s say I would hire a Polish employee – and his name would be “Wiesiek”.

    – I’d pay Wiesiek, the average pay, which is $1200 /mo.
    – As an employer, I’d have to deduct from his pay $300 /mo. As a result, Wiesiek would get $900 each month instead of $1200 –

    This is creating an additional cost for me because:

    A. I’d have to pay an additional $50 per employee to my accountant for handling the huge amount of paper work that is associated with – paying the compulsatory social & health insurence.

    B. Wiesiek would be less motivated and he’d deliver less guality work.. because he’d receive $900 instead of $1200.

    This is not the end of Wiesiek’s story though., as he’d have to pay:

    – an 18% income tax – which would leave him with $740 in his pocket.

    – an 23% VAT on each product (this is one of the highest taxes in Europe), which would leave him with $570 in his pocket.

    So from the c.a. $1250, that and employer is paying for the services of this average employee – the employee is getting about $570 on his end. The rest is taken back by the state and the paperwork created by the state.

    $570 here is just berable to live from one month to the other, over here.

    I don’t see any sense in this.

    This is also the reason why so many people in Poland are pissed about their pay – and why we have a rally – huge number of individual entrepreneurs – such as the author of this blog – compared to other countries.

    • 23% VAT is paid from buying products/services. Another words company owner needs to add it to the netto price of his product. So it is not being deducted from salary of the employer. The rest is true. Sad bad true.

  • hi! thanks for sharing, very inspiring :D

    wish you all the best for the future, you did great steps.

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