App Developers’ Checklist for Success

Every developer dreams that their app or apps will bring home the bacon. The kick off of an app can change your life.  Apps such as Instagram and Angry Birds…can you imagine how much money they are bringing in each day? Each year?  Instagram has made $110 million so far this year, and Angry Birds‘ revenue not only comes from the game itself, but also merchandises such as toys and clothes.

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These are the success stories, but the sad reality is that a lot of apps barely make anything. An example of this is Reacted,  an app that helps you easily obscure sensitive information in photos such as licence plate numbers, addresses and etc. It’s a good idea, it’s useful, and costs $4.99 in the App Store. Not only is this an app you would have to pay for, it was also on the Top Apps list. How much do you imagine developer Sam Soffes made off of Reacted? I would imagine probably a couple thousand dollars to say the least; however, Soffes only made $302 after 94 downloads. These days, being on the Top 10 list doesn’t promise you anything. The developers’ world can exude a lot of glamour but little pay.

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So where did Soffes go wrong?

There are actually a lot of things that you as a developer should know that could help boost your success. Here is a list of factors developers like Soffes should’ve/ could’ve considered if he didn’t:

  1. First and foremost, your app needs to work. Minimal bugs, minimal crashes, and serves its function.
  2. Appropriate use of ads. We all know that you can make your money off of running ads on your app, but too many ads can cause retention rate to decline. The types of ads matter as well, whether it be a bold and hard-to-miss interstitial ad, a video ad or subtle banner ad.
  3. Ads aren’t the only source of revenue. In-app purchases are essential (ie: more lives, special boosts, more filters, etc.), especially if your app has a high retention rate. Check out this article on Gacha systems.
  4. Make your app available in the right stores. App Store and Google Play have the most downloads and users. For example, maybe you shouldn’t put much energy in creating a strong presence in the Blackberry App World because it has a tiny market. The focus on where is important. 
  5. Not all currency is created equal. The way you price your app is also really important and you need to adjust apps prices and in-app purchases accordingly. Countries where the price get reduced will increase in revenue due to more willingness to download or buy. Check out this article on how Hashcube changed their pricing and increased their revenue.
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App Developers’ Checklist for Success

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