With over 700,000 downloads and 12 iOS apps built from scratch, I have a history of creating successful apps. With roots in marketing, I'm equal parts developer and marketer, a rare thing is the mobile app industry. The App Store is a unique marketplace. My experience brings a strong understanding of what works and what doesn't. As an independent developer, I have built every one of my apps from scratch, handling all marketing and design, outsourcing when needed. I learned early on that developing a good app is only half of what makes it successful. My current apps can be found at http://cozyapps.com. My weekly newsletter, Indie iOS Focus Weekly, focuses on the latest trends in app development. I personally curate each issue, allowing me to stay fresh and learn more each day. Founded in January of 2015, Indie iOS Focus Weekly is a collection of the best iOS development links, tutorials, and tips beyond the usual app news. Check out the newsletter at: https://indieiosfocus.curated.co
With my weekly curated newsletter I have used both sponsors and affiliate links. Sponsors work well in a narrow niche. I haven't had much luck with affiliates. Lots of clicks, little action. If you grow your list a bit, you will be able to find sponsors. You might not make as much money as you would like, though. A typical sponsor for a 2000 subcriber newsletter would expect to pay $50-$75.
I have found that the networking and status you achieve by curating a newsletter is more valuable.
Blake makes great points about going viral. That is not something that is planned, but you can do several things in order to give you app a chance for this type of exposure. Since most of those 24,000 people that like your FB page do not see your posts (because that's how FB works), I would start there. Promote you posts through FB ads to reach that audience first. They have already showed an interest in your product. You can spend as little or as much as your budget allows. Driving app downloads through FB can be a challenge, considering paying .50 a download can be difficult to stomach for a free app. But to get started and get some traction, it could be the best route.
After leveraging those you already have interested, you can look at other avenues (twitter, instagram, etc). I would also consider Product Hunt. A site I created recently was featured on Product Hunt after being hunted by a top influencer on the platform. Be sure to research Product Hunt thoroughly, though. It does you little good if you aren't featured and there is a process to follow for a chance at that.
For the most part an idea is a very small part of creating a successful app. Sure, you have to have a good idea to begin with, but many great ideas have failed in this competitive landscape. Regarding patents, that's the last thing you should be worried about. App creators and companies do not get patents. Patents are very expensive and can take a couple years to get, which doesn't work with apps at all.
You will not be able to sell your app idea, either. Everyone has ideas. It's the ones that follow through and build out the idea into a viable business plan that have a chance for success.
Hope this insight helps you. I see way too many people throw their money away by not understanding how the app ecosystem works.
I would start by looking at the apps and software you like to use that was created by smaller firms (not the big companies). Many of these firms also do client work, which you can find out about on their web site. If you enjoy the apps they produce and they have the expertise you are looking for, it can be a great fit. A good example would be a company like Black Pixel.