On July 11, 2008 the Apple App Store had just 500 available apps. Today, over 700,000 apps are available for download. Although it’s much harder to get your app noticed today than it was just a few years ago, you can still make money with apps, provided you take these three things into account.
Find a Niche
Whether or not you succeed in the app world depends on you capturing trends in the marketplace and seeing how you can improve upon what your competitors have already done in existing app categories such as medical, reference, and photography. Sure, you can come up with a completely new category, but you stand a much better chance if you create something which already has demand.
Marketing your app properly (keyword optimization, paid advertising, and press releases) will help, but most of your success will come from a unique app which does something different from every other app in your target app category. For example, take a look at the weather category and see if you can make an app which tells people the weather in a unique way.
Your goal should be to make the top 100 in a category because, once you do get in, your exposure and amount of downloads will snowball. And, you stand a much better chance of getting into the top 100 if you stay away from categories such as games, utilities, and sports by focusing on less charted categories such as fitness, which aren’t nearly as saturated.
Don’t Try to Make the App Yourself
A lot of people have a misconception that because they don’t know how to program or design an app, they can’t make apps. However, you can go on sites such as Elance.com or Odesk.com, post a job without mentioning the exact specifics of your app, and hire a freelancer to make the app for you.
Once you find a few trustworthy contractors, you can begin sharing the specifics of your project and not have to worry about them stealing the idea from you. Their job is to make apps and your job is to come up with a unique idea the fills a need in the marketplace.
Yes, a developer may steal it from you. However, he likely doesn’t see its potential like you do and would destroy his freelance reputation if he stole your idea.
According to Quoc Bui in a Mixergy Interview, a lot of people, “Just sit on their idea because they’re scared somebody’s going to steal it. Well then they’re not going to get anything from it. They don’t take any action, they don’t do anything, nothing comes from it.”
Keep It Simple
When developing your first app, you may want something on the same scale as Angry Birds, with a lot of bells and whistles. However, the more gizmos you add to your app, the more time and money it is going to cost you, increasing your risk of losing everything.
Rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket, focus on creating simple, less expensive apps, that fulfill a need in a category. Fact is, existing websites and businesses already have the know-how and technology to make complex apps with a lot of bells and whistles that are also very useful (Facebook app, Priceline app, Travelocity app).
Your best chance of success is to create a bunch of very simple apps that may or may not go viral.
I think a lot of people when they start their first app, number one, they’re scared. Number two, when they actually start writing it out they make it more complicated than it needs to be because they’re like, ‘Oh, I have this next great idea and it’s going to be really awesome with all these bells and whistles.’
But in reality when you put in all those extra features you’re just going to run into more problems. It’s going to be more expensive and it’s probably going to take a lot longer to get out on the store and start making money. So I would say probably those are the two big things.” – Mike Moon in Mixergy Interview
Mike Moon and Quoc Bui of FreeTheApps have created applications that ended up being in the top 0.1% of popularity of the app store. Those may seem like insurmountable odds, but think of it this way:
Most apps are not doing anything unusual or even have a goal of cracking the top 100 in any specific category. Moreover, a lot of app developers try to compete in oversaturated categories such as games and entertainment.
Nickolay Lamm is an internet marketing specialist at InventHelp Scam Watch.
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