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So You Made An App, Now What?

So you’ve just made an awesome app and you have no idea how to get the word out. This is a problem most app developers have, so you’re not alone.

I’ve released many mobile apps to the app store, most of them Android, but still a diverse collection. It has been tough work, but I’ve established myself by getting many downloads, maintaining a high average rating, and getting a few hundred dollars monthly in app revenue.

The following is information that has helped me as an indie app developer. My apps have not made me rich, but they do have many downloads and have steady income. You should use this information to help you, but definitely seek further information elsewhere or invent your own strategy.

Social Networking

One of the best things that you can do for your app is to get it all over social media. I personally post to the following social networking services:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

You could always post beyond the three, but those are what I feel the most comfortable with. After you post, get all your friends and family to share or repost your post. Then take it a step further and ask your friends and family to ask their friends to share it. The more your app appears on the internet, the better shot you have at someone seeing and downloading it. The app stores have a ton of content, so if you don’t get visibility, chances are it will be lost in the store never to be seen again.

Blog About It

If you’re like me, you probably try to avoid blogging because you never have enough to say. It is very important to disregard this mentality and come up with a blog listing for your recently released app. Put effort into explaining what your app does, why it is better than others, and where to find it. This should create pretty decent SEO for anyone searching the internet for your keywords.

Post To Niche Websites

There are plenty of websites that can relate to your app. If you’re lucky, those sites will have a forum or self promotion area. Use those areas to your advantage. Some great websites I use for promotion are as follows:

App Store Optimization (ASO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

App store optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app in the app store. Search engine optimization is the process of improving the visibility of a website in search engine results. Both of these are very important in the success of your mobile apps visibility.

When writing your app description and blog post make sure to use keywords that people will actually search for. For example if your app is about shoes, use keywords such as, but not limited to, shoes, Nike, Adidas, and Sketchers. Repeat the keywords in a well written description to rank higher in search.

A great tool that I’ve found for checking SEO is SEO Site Checkup. It won’t check the quality of your app listing, but it will do a pretty good job of checking your blog entry. If you’re using WordPress for your blog, make sure to use Yoast as well for added benefit.

My Mobile Apps

SQLTool Pro Database Editor – (Android, Amazon Kindle)

https://www.sqltoolpro.com

Database SQL editor for Android. Connect to and manage MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase ASE, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, and Derby databases directly from the mobile device. Add extra security by using the optional built in SSH tunnel in your connections.

Snapper for Digital Ocean – (Android, iOS, Amazon Kindle)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/snapper-for-digital-ocean/id894457804

Connect to your Digital Ocean VPS account and manage your droplets, domains, and SSH keys from this mobile dashboard like application.

Turbo Prop – (Android, iOS, WP8, Amazon Kindle, BlackBerry)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nraboy.turboprop

Fast paced arcade style game. Use swiping motions to control your plane and avoid the lightning while collecting Bitcoin for extra points.

Maintain Your Success

Spreading the word isn’t everything. You need to be able to maintain your success. Doing the following will not only increase your customer satisfaction, but will make them more likely to leave a review and tell their friends.

  • Have a way for your customers to reach you. If they can’t reach you their going to leave a bad review in the app store and that will hurt your downloads.
  • Convert all customer email inquiries into ratings. Include in your email a request for the customer to leave an honest rating of your app and good service.
  • Ask customers for suggestions to let them know you care and then follow through.

Things I’ve Found To Be Useless

I’ve tried a lot of things, and followed advice from a lot of blogs. Here are some of the things that did nothing for me:

  • Don’t pay for advertising on social networks as an indie developer. You’ll waste a lot of money because most of your clicks / likes / favorites will be from spam users who have no intention of downloading your app.
  • Don’t pay for sites to review your app, but if you feel you need to, make sure you use a very popular review site. Most review sites don’t rank well and don’t have as much traffic as they lead you to believe. You’ll spend a lot of money for a review that will be buried and lost forever in no time at all.

There are probably plenty of other secret recipes to strong app performance after release, but these are just the steps I took in my app adventure. I encourage comments with your own success stories or things that didn’t work for you.

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy is an advocate of modern web and mobile development technologies. He has experience in Java, JavaScript, Golang and a variety of frameworks such as Angular, NativeScript, and Apache Cordova. Nic writes about his development experiences related to making web and mobile development easier to understand.

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