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Difficulties of App Marketing for iPhone - First Steps

12/01/2011 Share/Bookmark

One of the main problems of App development is getting your App noticed.   This can be a big hurdle for a new developer such as myself.  My first iPhone App Orbz was  released over a year ago and didn't get much traction in it's initial release period, I put this down to me not understanding the App Store release process and lack of experience.

I ended up making Orbz free just to get some downloads, after a year it still gets a steady flow of 5-10 downloads per week, I don't think this would be the case if I still charged for it!!

For my latest App Chained I've followed the same basic release techniques as I used for Orbz, apart from this time I thought I understood the way the App Store worked!  My assumption was that I needed to get the release date correct on my App once apple had marked it as 'Ready For Sale', once I'd done this it would appear on the list of 'New & Noteworthy' apps in the App Store.

I was wrong! Just because this list says 'New & Noteworthy' doesn't mean your game will appear on it automatically, this list is yet another place that is controlled by the App Store review team, they decide what appears on it, so it can not be relied upon to get your App noticed.

This time I'm not going to make Chained free to increase download numbers as I'm in this to try and make some money, even if it is only a small amount.

I've therefore taken a step back, I've put on hold my developments to concentrate entirely for the next few weeks on working out if there is a better way of marketing my apps that I've missed.

To this end I've recently purchased two marketing books and I would recommend any budding Indie developers out there to consider doing the same. The first book is by APress and is titled "The Business of iPhone App Development: Making and Marketing Apps that Succeed". Although I'm only half way through this book I've picked up some very good tips and it is well written. Some of those tips I've already started to implement on my website, such as having a blog, links to a twitter account (stssupport), RSS feeds and the affiliate program in iTunes (as previously mentioned in my last blog entry).

The second book I purchased is called "iPhone and iPad Apps Marketing: Secrets to Selling Your iPhone and iPad Apps by Que Publishing. This one I haven't read yet, but looks like it may have similar content to the previous book and just as valuable.

I will continue over the next few weeks to make progress with my Marketing strategy and put various changes in place. I will let you know how I get on.

But for now, if you want more chance of being a successful app developer than relying on pure luck, I would whole heartedly suggest that you seriously think about your marketing strategy, before you even attempt to release any Apps.

Good Luck!!

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Software developer working on iPhone Apps and Games in spare time. Full time job is working with a corporate IT company supporting and developing various software installations.

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