Over the past few months my business has gone through the roof. Not only in terms of my apps, but by being lucky enough to connect with some of the people on the front edge of the app market – individuals, appreneurs, marketers, and everyone else. I cannot stress how grateful I am to be able to learn from all these people, and I want to share my information with all of you.
In a market like this, it's hard to find good information. Many of you found this blog via google or other methods but have a hard time finding more resources. I'm in a unique position of having people bring ideas to me and because of that, I feel a responsibility to bring that to my community. I want you all to absolutely kill it and I will do whatever I can to help make that happen for you.
This is a list of some of the coolest and cutting edge information out there right now. Realistically, I'm probably only scratching the surface, but it's a good place to start. If I missed something, please leave a comment so everyone can hear about it.
Without further ado and in no particular order, let's rock.
1. Chad Mureta's App Empire
Some of you probably saw Chad's big product launch a few months ago – a full service course designed to take your efforts from idea to reality. Chad has some major success early on in the app store and has a great story to prove it. You can read more about what he's up to on Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Work Week Blog.
More importantly, Chad did the first major and full scale marketing push in the “appreneur” space (and bringing that term to the forefront of the marketing world). Chad is on the “live the app lifestyle” end of the spectrum and talks about how to make a ton of money so that you can spend half your time on the beach.
I was introduced to Josh Hubball a while ago by a mutual friend (who is going to launch the biggest music app in history, FYI) and was really impressed. App.net is a turnkey solution for app developers who need marketing assets. By putting in your iTunes URL, the app.net service will automatically pull in everything and create a beautiful website and Facebook tab.
I did a test for one of my apps too see how the whole thing worked. Pretty slick – you can see my example here: https://app.net/addictive. I didn't do ANY of the bells and whistles, including the Facebook integration, but with 20 minutes of work, this could be even better.
App.net was started by some total slayers in the development world and are destined for big things. It's a great solution for anyone who doesn't have time or knowledge to build a website, etc for their app. Check out app.net by clicking here.
3. Trey Smith
Trey has been around the internet marketing world for a while and made a bunch of money selling software a few years ago. He has since transitioned over to the app space and is doing some very cool stuff, similar to what I've been doing but in his own way. He's had some big success with a few of his games and publishes his results for everyone to read about. He's recently gotten more technical which is nice to see and shows some ways he makes money with apps.
It's a cool blog and he's got a good FB page going, so you should sign up for both. I also know he's trying to SEO himself to beat out the singer trey smith on Google, so hopefully this link juice will give him some BIG juice. Check out Trey Smith Apps.
I was introduced to Michael Masters a while back and learned about this new ad platform. I'm not entirely sure how to best phrase this, but I was floored. I was sitting in my chair saying to myself “oh my god, this is the next billion dollar idea.”
Michael built and sold his own ad network a few years ago and then started AdTonik. What is it? Well – it's Shazaam + iAds. Check this out:
You're sitting at home watching tv, playing a game or using an app on your phone. There are some banner ads being displayed. Now, instead of some server side AdWhirl-esque parser determining what ads to serve, the app LISTENS TO WHAT'S ON TV and serves the ad that matches the commercial.
Insane, in the most brilliant way imaginable. The best part is that he can package this entire platform into a digital media buy with television, not mobile. Just an FYI, the money advertisers pay for tv ads absolutely dwarfs mobile buys. So – he'll get the reach and power of mobile with the pricing of television.
They're still working out some kinks, but should be up and running soon. Follow these guys by checking out their site here and check out their code on GitHub here.
Appclover is going to be the next big hub for mobile marketing information. Started by Matt Lutz and Len Wright, this website is going full steam ahead to build an awesome place where you can learn about everything you could dream about regarding apps. I was actually one of the first contributors to this site and wrote the two e-books they give away about marketing and monetization.
They've also just launched an iPad magazine called Appreneur Mag which features great articles from top contributors around the world. I'm writing some stuff for it which is pretty exciting. More than anything, these guys are rolling out new content and products every week – last Wednesday we did an 80 minute podcast that is probably the best “mastermind” session you can ever ask for.
Check out AppClover here.
This service is SICK. It's the Google keyword tool for the iTunes App store – competitive research, real time rankings based on keywords, and keyword suggestions for your apps. As far as I can tell, it's the only service out there doing this and it's amazing. I use it for all my apps and am continuing to use it for updates.
At the very least, you should check out the powerpoint slides to see the latest news on app store keyword search topics. It's $14.95 a month to use this service – probably the best money you can spend, in my opinion.
7. Taylor Pierce
I had a phone call with Taylor and then read his book about the app market. Really cool stuff and someone I can completely relate to – he's a programmer turned marketer turned business owner and understands every part of the cycle. He also worked at Apple for a summer and has an really great perspective on how that company works.
What's refreshing about Taylor is that he's tactical and real about expectations – he's not going to wow you with flashy presentations and big dollar claims, he's going to tell you how it is and then show you creative ways to make it happen.
What's unique about Taylor is that he's talking about selling apps and app businesses, not just making money with them. Meaning you develop and app, make it valuable, then sell it. He's done it with a bunch of his own apps and shares great info about how to do that. He started a development firm that will build your app at zero cost if your idea is good enough, paying you a percentage of the profits once it launches. Dream come true, eh?
If you're interested in a good, informative read, check out his book here.
8. David Janner and MakeAppMag
David contacted me a while back and asked if he could interview me. My initial response was lukewarm, as I get a lot of people asking me for that sort of info, but David came back with an impressive pitch – he is launching an iPad magazine, is going to do all the work, and is very ambitious. All I do is give him the interview and he does the rest. Yes, please.
His magazine just came out and the interview is pretty cool – I walk through a bit of how I got to where I am and talk about my method of building apps from existing apps. He's got some other great interviews (Amish Shah, Chad Mureta) that are worth checking out. If you tell your friends about the app, you'll be entered to win a 30 minute Skype call with me where I'll answer any question you have, or tell you anything you want to know about how to kill it with apps (the stuff that I don't tell everyone). Enter that contest here
Download the app and see for yourself. Also be sure to leave a good review.
Jesse Lakes managed the iTunes Affiliate department for Apple a few years back and saw a big opportunity – international commissions on affiliate clicks. If you have a LinkShare account (you get paid every time someone downloads an app through your link), you know that you have to sign up for multiple stores around the world to capture international traffic. Who's going to do that?
What Jesse did with GeoRiot is create a system that consolidates all the affiliate accounts into one link, maximizing the money earning potential of every click. This is a great way to turn website traffic into dollars, or in-app users into more money.
Jesse's a great guy and has a very cool business model. Check it out here.
The last I heard, oDesk and Elance did $500M in revenue in the last year….on mobile contracts alone. Read that again. THAT is crazy! Jeff Williams saw this opportunity and quickly capitalized by launching Weblance (still in beta) that is a much more engaging platform. With a pay-as-you-go model, Jeff is introducing features like 3rd party code checking so that the one-time newbie knows that he's not getting garbage from an outsourced developer.
Jeff's got big plans for the site and is going to make some big moves in the outsourcing world. Take a look at what he's got going on and sign up for a beta membership (gets you a free premium membership). Check it out here.
That's it for now. I'll publish more articles like this as I find more resources worth spreading. Again – please leave a comment if you have something I should include.