Making money with android apps
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Making money with android apps



A session at Portland Code Camp 2011 about making money with Android Apps.

A session at Portland Code Camp 2011 about making money with Android Apps.



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    Making money with android apps Making money with android apps Presentation Transcript

    • Making Money with Android Apps
      Nathan Mellor
      CritterMap Software
      Signup for links at
    • Agenda
      About you
      About me
      Ways to promote paid apps:
      Android Market
      Paid advertising
      Internet Marketing
      How to get this work done
      Software Tools
      Human Labor
    • Is this you?
      “I heard about some high school kid that wrote an app in a weekend and is now a millionaire”
    • Is this you?(licensed from
    • Is this you?
      “I write Android Apps just for fun”.
      Would it be less fun if you made a profit?
      “I make $50 a month with my app I spend a few hours a week on”
      Is your time worth more than $2/hour?
      “I mostly do apps for the experience”
      Nothing wrong with that.
      Getting some experience with marketing apps is also helpful
      “I have a solid, fulfilling, well-paying day job”
      Will that always be the case?
    • About me
      Worked for a major printer manufacturer for 12 years
      Feb 2009: “routine” meeting with boss
      Downsizing announced
      New house, new mortgage.
      March 27: Last day at work
      March 28th: Third child born
      April 2009: “Outplacement” counseling
    • Outplacement outcome
      My true passion:
      “Become a successful online business owner”.
    • Getting Started – Nov 2009
      Trade ACT reeducation.
      Enrolled in University of San Francisco’s Internet Marketing program
      New phone operating system called Android
      Got a G1 on craigslist.
      Wrote first lines of Android code
    • Can you write an app this weekend and be rich next week?
      June 2010: First released to Market
      I was aiming for 56 sales / day
      I got 5 on a good day
      In 2010, I paid zero taxes AND got a refund
    • Would you rather someone else paid you?
      Fall 2010: some recruiters call.
      My house
      Easy commute
      Nice Android Job
      Columbia River
    • There is always more marketing to do
      400,000 Android activations per day.
      1% might be target customers
      If 100 buy my product, that’s
      .25% of target
      Or .025% of Android users
    • Marketing through Android Market
      You will probably do this.
    • Do you want to be at the top? Factors
      Total number of downloads/sales
      Recent number of downloads/sales
      Active Install Percentage
      Number of ratings
      Average rating
      Number of comments
      Since December 2010,these factors affect search ranking also
    • To Rank High in the Android Market . . .
      Sell a lot of apps (you want to do this anyway, right?)
      Stay installed
      Keep users happy
      Keep users engaged.
    • Why the comment system *is* against you.
      You can’t respond to comments.
      You won’t get enough information to fix the problem or improve the UI
      You will be blamed for:
      Limitations of hardware
      Glitches in the Android Market
      Imperfections in Public domain data
      But you can always make your app free and get more positive comments, right?
    • Which App would you buy?
      Buena Vista
      Mojave Desert
      The maps are outdated.
      Poor quality, drains battery.
      Horrible interface
      Useless after trial period
      UK map is rubbish
      <Hawaii App> is better and free.
      Extremely useful, with many features
      Best app ever!
      Well worth the money!
      Super program
      Saved me from getting lost
      Great for UK maps!
      Better than anything I've found so far
    • To (try to) get good comments . . .
      Avoid confusion
      Increase the price?
      Continually improve User Experience
      Be clear on what your app does
      Get more of the “right” people to comment !
    • How can you engage the right people?
      Have a weekly email newsletter.
      Subscribe users of your app
      Can use autoresponders
    • What can you cover in a weekly newsletter?
      New features you just put out
      Response to comments in the Market
      News and topics of interest for your target customer
      Ask users to take action:
      Leave a comment in the Market
      Respond to an important survey
      See and comment on your YouTube Video
      Like your fan page on Facebook
      It also serves as a reminder to buy.
    • Reaching the top of your category
      Is it everything?
      When you do:
      Take a screen shot – it can fluctuate
      When you don’t
      Be sure and complain about the algorithm!
      Think of it as a lagging indicator of success.
    • Tracking Performance
      Analytics (Google/Flurry) can track your users behavior
      For marketing, two things are important:
      Source of traffic: how the user arrived at installing your app
      Conversions: does the user take action you want them to take. Subscribe, upgrade, buy extras.
    • Google Analytics for Android Apps
      Conversions can be tracked as goals.
      Android Market Referral Tracking – allows you to tag urls that link to the Android Market.
      Tag your urls:
    • Referal data – Google Analytics
      (direct)/(none) is traffic from Android Market
      Tagged urls track through.
      Boring, isn’t it?
    • After some proprietary hacking . . .
      We can see the keywords being used to find the app in the Android Market!
    • That’s not all. . .
      How about. . .
      Referrals from a Market category (ie Travel and Local) with the position number
      Referrals from “Just in”
      Referrals from “Similar Apps” and which competitor they came from!
      Referrals from AndroLib, AppBrain, BestApps (they tag their urls.)
    • Sources of Downloads- January
    • What can you conclude?
      ‘Top of category’ *isn’t* everything.
      Keyword Search generates up to 100 times more traffic.
      Action items:
      Don’t fret if you are not top in your category yet.
      Concentrate on being found for important keywords
      Make sure the searchers find what they are looking for.
    • What about alternative App Stores
      I get an email every day about a new one.
      Mostly a waste of time.
      Amazon gets about 2% of my sales on Android Market.
      Most are much less than that.
    • Paid Advertising
      If you’ve got money to burn
    • Rule of Thumb
      Don’t spend money if you can’t track the amount of money each customer costs.
      Not meaningful:
      “We spent a $1000 on advertising last month and we increased sales by $2000”
      “Based on our analytics, we are spending $62.67 to acquire each paying customer that buys our app for $1.99 and then spends $4.39. Umm, we better stop.”
    • Avoid: Untargeted Advertising
      Example: Admob
      Don’t push this button.
    • Beware: Supposedly targetted advertising
      Example: Adwords
    • Consider: Pay Per Install
      Much easier to accomplish the money per customer rule of thumb.
      Some Analytics will be needed.
      Consider charging more than .99 for your app.
      Some options:
      Flurry AppCircle
    • Internet Marketing
    • Web page marketing
    • Keyword Research
      A keyword is generally a multi word phrase
      You want keywords that:
      Are RELEVANT to your product
      Have lots of TRAFFIC
    • Example: Traffic
    • Attainable: The Top Ten
      Do any spammers contact you and tell you they can get you into the *second* page of Google?
    • An Optimized Page ..
      Mentions the phrase (ie Android Topo Maps)
      In the url
      In the <title> tag
      In the <meta Description> tag
      In an <h1> tag
      In the first sentence
      In the first sentence of the last paragraph
      2-3 times in between the first and last parag
      Has about 250-750 words (ave 500).
      That’s all!
    • Getting links
      The most creative part of internet marketing
      The best links:
      Have keywords in the link (anchor text)
      Are from “important” websites
      Are from relevant websites
      Have traffic
      How can you get them?
      Article Marketing
      Social Media
      Non hosted blogs
      Guest blogging
    • Getting links
      The most creative part of internet marketing
      The best links:
      Have keywords in the link (anchor text)
      Are from “important” websites
      Are from relevant websites
      Have traffic
      How can you get them?
      Article Marketing
      Social Media
      Guest blogging
      Get app reviews
      Press Release
      Look for what links your competitor has
    • Check Results
    • Rinse and Repeat
      Establish a blog with wordpress
      Add a post every day
      Get some links
      At the end of a year, you will have 200+ keywords in the first page of Google.
    • What is the world’s second biggest Search Engine?
    • What is the world’s second biggest Search Engine?
    • How can you make videos?
      Camcorder pointed at phone
      Emulator Screencast
      Parody of hitler movie – new subtitles
      3D After Effects rendering
      Cartoon from xtramagic
    • How to optimize them
    • Get views and traffic
      YouTube is a social network.
      Get your newsletter subscribers to watch and comment
      Find friends
      Find subscribers
      Consider tools like TubeToolbox.
    • Benefits include:
      Blended search
      Embedding in other websites.
    • What and how often?
      Videos can:
      Be instructional for your product.
      Discuss concepts related to your product
      Be fun
      They should always:
      Target keywords
      How often?
      Once a week would not be overkill.
    • Can you do all this and still have time left to code?
    • Getting things done
      Reduce the amount of human labor
      Increase the number of humans.
      It’s okay to spend money.
    • Tools
      Reduce Human effort
      Wordpress – for blogging
      MailChimp – email newsletter – in app subscription
      SurveyMonkey – for surveys
      Market Samurai – keyword research
      Link building tools
      XtraMagic – cartoon videos
      ScreenCastoMatic – Screencasts
      Animoto – video creation
      BaseCamp – Online Project Management
      Edumobile – online training
      ZenDesk – online/email HelpDesk.
    • People
      For the small businessman, usually means outsourcing
      Is it easier to:
      Get a contract from a spec and get competitive bids? (ieelance,Odesk,etc)
      Hire a part time freelancer? (ieOdesk,etc)
      Hire someone fulltime?
      What would you have them do?
    • Consider hiring someone fulltime.
      Should you do everything yourself?
      Last year, I was just one guy working out of my home office
      I heard that english speaking college educated people were anxious to work for me for as low as $2.50/hour.
      Of course, I was skeptical . . .
      This year, I am still working out of my home office . . .
    • My Team
      Tech support
      Help Guides
      Aspiring Android Developer
      Experienced Android Developer
      Jennifer Joyce
      Beginning Android Developer
      Graphics specialist
      Video production
      Content writer
      Article Marketer
      GIS Specialist
    • Summary
    • Action items for you . . .
      Optimize for keyword search in Android Market
      Start an email newsletter
      Encourage the right people to comment and buy
      Consider Pay Per Install advertising – skip the others
      Write and link up one web page a day
      Create and promote a video every week
      Use some helpful tools
      Gradually hire an offshore team.
      To get links, go to: