How to get your mobile app out there.
In a world with over a billion apps, how exactly do you make your own app downloaded by your target users? This is probably one of the biggest concerns of a budding app developer. It is indeed hard to be noticed in a pool of apps, but it’s not entirely impossible.
But first things first: you have to think of your own app. This would be your main product, so there are some things that you should consider before heading on your app development phase.
What app should I make?
If you have a good idea in your mind for your app, go ahead and use it. Usually, there are two kinds of developers: the ones who make apps because they think there is a need for their app, and the ones who make apps mainly because of profits. Of course, both would need to think of revenue at some point or another, but the first one thinks that his idea for the app would sell; the second doesn’t care about his app’s content and is more focuses on the profits or revenue.
Should I code it myself or buy source code?
This would highly depend on you. A new app that is especially developed for you costs significantly more expensive that just buying a source code and tweaking it. However, having an app built from scratch allows you to make it entirely yours. The features and capabilities that you want would be incorporated, just how you want it to be.
Buying an app source code, on the other hand, ties you to the source code’s capability and features. You can only change its interface, some content, graphics and sounds, but the way it runs and how it behaves is already there.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your choice. If you have a great idea, and you think you are able to sell it as it is and get your ROI, then go ahead and tap onto an app developer. Otherwise, if you are just thinking of simply raking in revenues without really thinking of how your app works, then go ahead and buy a source code.
How much do I need to spend?
A typical app developed from the base can easily cost you around $6,000 to $10,000, and this normally depends on the complexity of your app. More complex apps can reach up to $200,000. Likewise, it would also depend on the experience of your developer. Another thing to consider would be the time frame. Building a scratch from the start can easily take a few weeks to even a few months.
On the other hand, buying a source code can cost you $1,000 to $5,000, also depending on the type of source code that you want. The time frame to modify the code can take just a few weeks, or even a few days. Thus, app re-skinning or app flipping is actually gaining more popularity nowadays because it takes so little time to be built, and distributed to the users.
What can I do with this source code?
You re-skin it and make it into a new app. Generally, the content or the interface stays, but you get to modify the graphics, some written content, the music and the sound effects. Everything else changes. It’s just like tweaking what it looks like, but not how it behaves.
You can make 1 app from 1 source code, or make 10 apps. The possibilities are endless. You can actually make a game from one source app, and simply change the character to make another game.
How do I get my apps out there?
There are many ways to actually market your apps. For starters, developers create hype. They ask tech blogs to review their apps. Some also distribute their apps for free so that people can get a taste of it. Others also utilize websites and other SEO techniques to market their apps.
The most common way to market apps is to use advertising, and not simply advertising: it has to be Facebook advertising. This community allows app developers to tap onto real people and see how they behave. Likewise, it also makes it easier for them to be precisely targeted with Facebook Ads. Some integrate Facebook in their apps, letting users ‘see’ their friends who use the same app. The possibilities are actually endless – you just have to know where to market, and how to market your app.
How do I actually earn money from app development?
Apps usually have various price models. The first one is when a user pays for your app before downloading it. This is a one-time payment, and you can only make money by attracting new people to actually buy your app. To maintain a steady flow of revenue, you constantly have to market and attract users to buy your app. This model is usually helpful for apps that are really useful, such as photo editing apps or file compression apps.
Another price model is that the app gets to be downloaded for free. The caveat is that the features are limited; you have to pay if you want to unlock other features. In addition, you can add more to the experience or features by paying more. These are called free apps, with in-app purchases. It works well for productivity apps, as well as games that offer ‘premiums’ to players who actually buy their currency or buy something from inside the game.
The other one would be free apps, but are peppered with advertisement. This is the typical model today, since a lot of apps run on ads already. Some people are annoyed by ads, but that’s really how developers earn money. Most of the time, re-skinned apps fall under this category, as developers are more concerned about getting as many apps out there, even if they technically feel the same, just so they can display ads and easily earn their revenues.