Chrome extensions are why chrome is such a powerful browser, they make everything easier and quicker. With that in mind, what’s in it for the people that make chrome extensions, surely they make money somehow, right?
So, how do chrome extensions make money?
Chrome extensions make money in 3 main ways; by charging a one-off or subscription fee for the extension, offering in-app payments or through affiliate marketing.
Paid chrome extensions
Some chrome extensions charge a one-off or recurring fee to download and use the extension. This way, the owner of the extension earns money from people who pay for the extension. They are usually pretty cheap (under a few bucks).
Here are some examples of paid chrome extensions:
This one costs just over $1 and helps people learn English grammar.
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Again just under $2, this is a pretty inexpensive paid chrome extension and is a good example of how chrome extensions can make money.
Night City 1080p
This chrome extension turns your background into a city at night, I’m not sure why you would want to pay for that, but each to their own!
As stated by Google themselves, in-app payments is a valid way of monetising chrome extensions. This works by offering options to pay for the extension with the service provider, rather than the chrome store. Some good examples of this include Grammarly, which offers paid plans as well as a free version.
If I were making a chrome extension today, this is probably the way I would make money from it since it has higher potential and you have more control over the income from the extension.
This is a clever one. Some free chrome extensions offer you deals and coupon codes for example and then get a commission if you click on the links that the extension provides. This is an indirect and passive way of monetising a chrome extension, yet relies heavily on partners rather than your own product or service. I like this way of making money from an extension, but it can be difficult to do well in my opinion.
Reasons to make a chrome extension
There are more reasons to create a chrome extension aside from simple monetisation methods. Let’s dig a bit deeper into them.
You get a backlink from Google
You might not know, or even care what this means, but basically, it means that Google links to you for producing a chrome extension and this can be very beneficial for SEO. For all the gurus out there, yes, it is a dofollow. This link is provided under the main title of the extension in the chrome web store and you decide which website you want it to link to.
By making a chrome extension, you will almost definitely increase the exposure of your business/product. You can also drive traffic to your website or social media by linking to them from within the extension, so when people use them, they can visit your links.
If you create something useful and provide it to people for free, you’ll not only be regarded as a great person, you’ll make people’s lives easier, that’s pretty magical if you ask me.
How to make a Chrome Extension (4 easy steps)
Making a chrome extension isn’t a 5-minute job, it takes time, thought and dedication but can definitely be done.
Step 1: Come up with an idea
Take your time to brainstorm what your chrome extension will do, how it will work and how you will/will not monetise it. I recommend taking down ideas on something simple like Google Sheets.
Step 2: Find a developer
Unless you’re a code wizard, you’re going to have to find someone to code the extension for you. My personal favourite place to find cheap but valuable developers is Fiverr. I had a quick look and even came across some people offering to make a chrome extension for just over $100.
Step 3: Initiate project
Now that you know how is going to make your extension and what it is going to be, it’s time to get started. If you decided to get a developer, then you’ll have to speak to them and outline exactly what you are looking for. If you’re coding it yourself, you know what you’ll need to do.
Step 4: Launch extension
You developer will probably do this for you without asking, but now that you’ve made the extension, it’s time to make it live on the chrome web store. There are a few pieces of information that you’ll need to submit when you launch the extension, so it’s a good idea to get them ready. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Website URL (if you don’t have a website, use a Facebook page or similar)
- Overview (description of around 100-200 words)
How much does it cost to make a chrome extension?
It depends on the extension you are making. Simple ones with only a few functions cost around $200, whereas highly technical ones can cost thousands of dollars. You can see the live price of chrome extensions on Fiverr.