The overnight success of the ‘Angry Birds’ app has nearly every iPhone user wondering whether they, too, can create a profitable, mobile app, and become the latest wunderkind millionaire.
There’s a lot of competition in this new technology niche, to be sure: 148 new apps debut every day on Apple’s App Store. The store is promoted every day by Apple, Google and Amazon.
But if you are clever, and follow seven proven tips for success, you too can see your work online, and begin making a market for your app.
The first thing to remember is: that you have to come up with an idea that actually improves the user experience with the iPhone, so that means being creative, but customer-centric.
“We listened to our stakeholders and made sure to design our app in a way that puts them in complete control of what they ultimately see on their phone,” said Rod West, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of New Orleans-based Entergy, an energy utility that this week launched its first app, The Entergy iPhone App.
For most developers, like Entergy, the iPhone app is a cool way to promote an already existing product or service.
Once you’ve come up with your brilliant app idea, find a free app builder online, sign in, and start building your app. That’s steps two and three. The app builders are generally quite easy to navigate. Go through the menu there, and you will see how to make a new title for your application, how to create an icon for your app, how to upload graphics for the app, and how to build the information screen for the app. Step four is to link the app to content you’ve already created on the Internet – at YouTube, or Twitter, or Facebook. This will enable customers, once they learn of the app, to contact you, after they download it.
Step five is set the money making strategy. Do you want to use the app to promote your company? Or do you want to sell it as a game? Or do you want to offer it as a game, and include ads from others, and offer it to users for free? Once you’ve decided that, you’re at step six, which is deciding where you want to make the app available. You can go to the iTunes store, follow their instructions, get approved, and market from there. Or you can offer the app from your own web site.
Keeping customers interested in an app is not easy. According to Cambridge, Mass.-based mobile analytics firm, Localytics, just 31% of mobile users opened up their apps at least 11 times or more over a nine-month period, an increase 26% last year. Most users, 69%, open an app 10 times or less. Approximately 25% use an app just once after downloading it.
The good news for would-be iPhone developers – iPhone users are twice as loyal as Android users when it comes to using apps, according to Localytics.
That bit of information sets us up for the final step here. Step seven in creating profitable mobile app – be willing to fail. App developers like Rovio – of ‘Angry Birds’ fame – are making money now. But most folks don’t know that Rovio failed 51 times before its big hit with Angry Birds. If at first you don’t succeed…