First, thank you to everyone who read my last post, left a comment, sent me an email, and/or shared it!
I loved reading how it inspired people. I got so many emails from people telling me their story and goals.
It’s been life changing up till the time of my last post. Little did I know, life was going to surprise again me three days after that post.
I published the $4,739 iPhone app week post on a Monday. The next afternoon around 4:30pm, I get an email that said this:
My name is (name removed), and I am writing on behalf of the App Store Marketing Team to request art assets for a potential upcoming promotional opportunity on the App Store.
The team here is excited about Photo 365 – Remember Your Year One Photo at a Time, but we want to be clear that we cannot make any guarantees about promotion on the App Store. These art assets are necessary for our Design team to have on-hand should App Store featuring for your app be selected by our staff.
For consideration, we would need to receive your artwork no later than 9am PST on Wednesday, August 24th.
I realize this is a extremely short turnaround, but if you are able to accommodate us, please email all artwork to…
Oh….my….goodness. Oh…my….goodness. Oh my goodness!!
The email told me the specifications needed and an example of how it should look.
I reread it so many times. This can’t be really happening I thought. The App store marketing team wanted art for my app? The deadline was 19.5 hours away!
I did a Google search to find out more information. I could only find one post in a forum that talked about it. That person also got an email, sent in the necessary art work but Apple never used it. I learned this is not an everyday email.
My next thought went to calling my younger brother. THANKFULLY he studied illustration at Savannah College of Art and Design. He is a pro at Photoshop. He currently works at an animation company that is working on a cartoon for Adult Swim.
I gave him a call. No answer!! Frantically I sent a text to his wife who also is an also a Photoshop wizard. She was at running errands and I told her I desperately needed her help.
I sent questions to the contact person to clarify their needs. For example, they asked for a company logo but I didn’t have one. This was my only shot and I wanted to get it right. She replied back quickly with answers including not needing a company logo if I didn’t have it.
The Design Process
My sister-in-law and I decided to wait till my brother got off work. He would be better for this. During that time I brainstormed what the art should look like. I came up with nothing.
Apple said it could be simple or could be playful as long as I was comfortable with it. I knew it had to look great. If it didn’t, it had no chance.
She briefed him on what was going on. I sent him the email that they had sent. We talked about how it should look.
What was important was the background represented the feel of the app. The choice for the orange matching the one used in the app was easy.
What to else to put? My app is about taking a photo a day for 365 days. A pile of photos? A camera? A calendar? I wanted it simple but give users an idea of app. Since my brother is the artist, I let him sketch something. He came up with a calendar and a point and shoot camera on top based on my suggestion.
It didn’t feel right.
Then I suggested a pile of pictures on top of the calendar.
He showed me a pile of photos, fanned out, with the main photo being our family dog, Archie. I loved it!! I asked for a few more photos behind that one.
I wondered if using photos of people would look good so I told him to use a wedding photo of Eleanor and I. He did and I showed her. She thought Archie looked better.
My brother said using our photo made it feel like the generic photo you would find in a photo frame you buy at the store. Ok maybe he was right.
He sent me the files in the exact specifications Apple wanted. I went to bed relieved it was done. Total time it took for him was a couple hours.
The next morning, I sent it off. I got a reply saying thanks and will let me know if they need anything from me. It was out of my hands now.
They didn’t say what it would be used for. Just said it was for promo. The size of the art they needed fit the dimension of the art they use for App of the Week in iTunes. That was what I guessed it would be for, but I knew they may not use the art.
Hitting the App Lottery
On Thursday, I worked a full day at the restaurant. I didn’t know what time the featured apps would be change. On break between lunch and dinner, I was on my iPad and read a private message in an iPhone forum about a question I had asked. In another message from that person I read…
APP OF THE WEEK FOR YOU! CONGRATS!
I quickly got on my iPhone. It felt like it took forever for the App store to load! When it did, this is what I saw.
I jumped and screamed and spun around in circles!! People at work probably I thought I was crazy. I didn’t care! I couldn’t believe it! App of the Week!!!
My app had just been released two weeks ago. Now the App store marketing team thought my app worthy enough of being App of the week?!?
The rest of the night I couldn’t focus on work. My heart was racing. I couldn’t stand still. App of the week. App of the week. App of the week. Crazy!!
I sent out a tweet cause I couldn’t hold my excitement!! I got some awesome tweets from many of you. (Thank you!) I tweeted Pat at Smart Passive Income and he couldn’t have been any happier. I didn’t have my computer so I asked him to take a screenshot of what the art looked like on iTunes. He posted the photo to his Facebook fan page. It looked so great.
I love what they said below the title – “We’re having a blast with this app, which chronicles our lives one day – and one picture – at a time.”
That’s the best endorsement money can’t buy!
How much did I earn?
I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep that night or the next few. How would this impact sales?
I averaged $1,353 a day since being on the New and Noteworthy list a week ago.
What will this do?
The next morning I checked sales for Thursday
It definitely boosted sales since the day before I did $1337! I knew the weekend would pick up.
- Friday – $2,182
- Saturday – $2,936 (record day!)
- Sunday – $2,572
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Three straight days over $2,000! Seeing me make that much money, whether I was working, playing or sleeping was a dream come true!!
My ranking went as high as #20 overall in the app store! My little app!
As for the total for the week? This doesn’t count today’s sales (Thursday) as my last day as App of the Week.
Pretty amazing since three week ago I hadn’t made a penny yet.
App of the Week has been such an amazing ride
Every week things have kept getting better and better. Things have been happening so fast. I’m probably known as the blogger with the app. If so, I’m happy with that!
I’ve gotten asked to write about it. I have an phone interview coming up.
These last two weeks have felt like two months. I never want it to end. However with all good things, they must come to an end. Thursday around 4pm EST, there will be a new app of the week. My hope is I get moved to the “What’s Hot” list, which is still great but it’s not App of the week.
So many developers create apps but never get App the week. There are so many successful apps in the store right now. Ones that make way more money than mine. They never get featured but still have strong sales. However, not all can say they were App of the Week. That’s a pretty cool honor to have.
Writing Down my Goals
Before 2011, I never believed in the power of writing down your goals. This year has been different. I’ve written down monthly and yearly goals. Some goals I write down not knowing how in the world I would achieve it. I write them down, review them, and keep my mind open for opportunities.
It can’t describe in words how it feels to reach seemingly unattainable goals.
Here are the goals I had for my iPhone app. I wrote these down August 8th, three days before my app was released.
- Top 5 photography app (currently #2)
- Top 25 overall app – (reached as high as #20)
I couldn’t believe it really happened.
Then I had a wild goal for the year. One that I didn’t know if it would even come true. I came up with a number that sounded nice. My favorite number is 21 so that’s what I started with.
Again I wrote this down before my app was released. I had no plan. No strategy. No idea of what would happen.
- Earn $21,000 in sales by the end of the year.
What was I thinking? I hadn’t even made one cent yet. At least I gave myself 4.5 months to achieve it.
I reached $21,000 in my 19th day.
Amazing. Those were the only three goals I written down for my app and all three came true.
What’s next for the app?
This app has turned into a little side project into having over 35,000 customers around the world and growing every day!
I know being App of the week has boosted my sales to its highest current levels. I know sales will decrease. I just don’t know how much. I hope not too much.
I will still be archived in the App of the week page. I hope to remain highly ranked in the photo category. I hope people who love the app share with their friends.
Now I’m working on adding more features. That’s taking most of my time now. I get a handful of emails every day with suggestions.
It’s been an amazing week. I’m so thankful and take none of it for granted. I haven’t gone on a wild shopping spree. In fact, I haven’t bought anything that I wouldn’t normally buy.
I don’t want to just be the app guy who had a few weeks of success. I want to turn it into more than that.
Now the real work is ahead of me. No matter what happens, I’ll never forget these last few weeks.
Thank you to you all who have supported me along the way!!
If you want to learn more about my app, you can go to Photo 365.
If you want to develop your own app, but don’t know how, I share everything from how to get an idea that can make money to how to hire someone and not get ripped off. Join my course App Academy and develop your first iPhone app.
That is just awesome! And to make that much money in a short about of time. Most people don’t see that in two months of work! That’s just amazing!!
Thanks so much Terry! I hope to read about your success when you launch your app! The journey to get the app from idea to release is pretty fun.
Keep me posted how things are going!
Don’t look this gift horse in the mouth. All the Android 365 photo apps are awful. If you make an Android version of Photo 365, I and possibly hundreds of thousands of people will buy it.
Good luck with your race against time Benny.
Thanks for reading! An Android version is on my list for sure! Want to get the next update out for this one with new features and then port it over to the Android version. Keep your eyes out in the future!
Steve Roy says
Benny! Holy crap man, this is insane!!
Honestly, this kind of success couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy and I’m really excited for you.
It also gives me hope that stuff like this can and will happen if you put in the time, work, and effort.
I hope this app earns you enough to eventually walk away from your job. Congrats again.
Thanks Steve! That’s nice of you to say! Great to see you coming by here! It really is insane. I don’t know what I did. I just had an idea and made sure it was something I was happy with. I still can’t believe the App store loved my app enough to feature it for a week. Like I said, it’s hard! For example, the week before me the App of the Week was the Linkedin app. Now it’s the NFL 2011 scoreboard app. Those apps are by huge companies with lots of money! Somehow the small guy snuck in there.
I know you work your butt off to end the grind. It will happen for you! I believe in you and the work you’re putting in!
Julie | A Clear Sign says
OMG OMG OMG!! Did that sound too excited for you lol?
I didn’t know you were doing this as I have been too busy in “real life” to get around to blogs lately, so how thrilled am I for you! You rose to the challenge, you wrote it down, you took action, and when opportunity knocked you were ready (or knew people who could get you ready, same thing). Let that be a lesson to us all. Go, Benny! (P.S. Am getting my first “i” anything shortly and will be the laggard who checked your app out after your week was over!).
Hey Julie! You sound really excited. LOL. Thank you!
Great to see you back! I understand being busy and not getting to blogs. I haven’t been to as many as I’d like the last couple weeks. Things have been really taking off with the app.
Are you getting an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad? If it’s the iPhone, wait till October when a new one comes out! It’s never too late to buy my app. I’m in the beginning part of adding new features to it to make it even better. So it’ll still be there when you’re ready!
This is so awesome Benny! I love reading your blog and I’m so happy for you! No limits my friend! Congrats!
Hi Jill! I believe this is your first comment. Thanks for being a regular to my blog. Please do drop by in the comments more often in the future!
No limits for sure!
Holy cow. You’re the man! You definitely work hard Benny. This is well deserved!
Thanks Paul! Hard work and some luck for sure. But I’d like to believe the luck came cause of the hard work.
Hope you settle into Chicago nicely! No more of that crazy LA traffic! LOL
Chris Stott says
Dude this is just outstanding. Really. I am so pleased for you.
Of course the money is great, but the real point I focused in on was 35,000 users. It must be cool to touch so many people’s lives in such a short space of time.
Put an email sign-up form in your next app update for your blog 😉
That’s the power of the app store. I think there are 45 million iphone users? I may be wrong but it’s millions and still growing. This year a new carrier will have the iPhone. That means more new users and more potential customers.
But I have to keep those customers happy so I’m working hard to do that now.
What I want to do is put an email signup in the app to get updates for future new apps. Imagine if I had a list of that many. Wow!
Personal Growth@Seleema.com says
I think that’s a great idea Benny. I don’t know anything about getting it done, but I do believe it’s possible. You have to get that email sign up in there, even if you have to put the profits from the sales to do it. Wow! Just Wow! You could also add it to the http://photo365app.com a landing page too(you know, so customers can get free updates or learn about new upgrades and such). Again, so proud of you!
Naomi Lancet says
Super inspiring….my heart raced with excitement with your OMGs and !!! 🙂 Congrats~ Any chance for developing a similar website for non-iPhone users? 😀
Thanks so much Naomi for cheering along!!
I’ve had so many friends ask for an Android version. So if that’s what you’re talking about, it’s on my list for sure. 🙂
Naomi Lancet says
Actually….I’m behind cell phone technology. I’ve been moving countries every few months and don’t have either Android or iPhone. I meant as a regular website to access from a computer, a normal www. 😀
Oh I understand now. Thanks for clarifying!
Jordan Trump says
Congratulations Benny. I know how huge this is for you, and it’s great to see that all of your hard work paid off so quickly after the launch of your app. I hope you enjoy your success for months and years to come, and continue to build on it! Good luck!
Thanks Jordan for your support! It’s been an exciting journey so far. I’ve got much more hard work ahead of me. This just gave me a taste of the good life!
Hi Benny.. You are such an inspiration… Keep up the good work!
Thank you Reign! I hope to keep inspiring!
Steve Rice says
Am really enjoying going on this ride with you. Keep up the great work.
Thanks Steve! Glad to have you along. Will definitely keep on working hard.
Deacon Bradley says
Way to go Benny! Thanks for sharing your awesome journey! Super exciting your BHAG is in the… bag?
For those of us who are on similar journeys thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Deacon! It’s been an exciting couple weeks! I hope there’s more of that in the near future!
shawn kummer says
I first read your story on SPI amazing. My son loves the app 😉 he enjoys taking pictures of his new brother.
That sounds really awesome! Sounds like you’ve got a couple great sons there.
Matthew Hooper says
Amazing! Simply amazing. Congrats on the success. I’m sure you and Eleanor will have a fantastic honeymoon with your new found “wealth and riches”!
My real question is this: How many times did your co-workers have to pick you up off the floor? 😉
Keep up the good work!
Hey Matt! We’re definitely going to enjoy this. We won’t blow it all just on the honeymoon either but hopefully we can have a nicer one.
My co-workers actually were pretty nonchalant about it. Just one girl was really excited for me. The others didn’t understand my excitement as much as I did. Still I didn’t care. I’ll never forget that moment I saw it on my screen! What a memory!
Wow Benny. This is nuts! Great job dude! Not only is this motivating as all hell but it’s proof positive that it can be done if you put in the effort. Can’t say enough about how awesome this is.
Thanks Eugene. It’s all happened in less than a month. It’s like I’ve been shot out of a rocket! I’m trying to keep up. But it’s definitely positive proof to that working hard and believing in yourself can make some magical things happen.
marlon @ productivitybits says
Spend portion of that money to spread your inspiring story. Stories like this usually happen to startups with capital to spend. Please emphasize hardwork, please dude. Hardwork makes this stuff happen. Not by luck.
May God continue to shower you more successes in all your endeavors!
Understand Marlon. If you remember my last post, I did talk about the things I had to do to make this happen. Definitely it didn’t just happen by luck. I put in the hard work. People who read the last post understand it didn’t happen overnight. They knew it took seven months to get to my app ready to be sold.
I’ll be gosh darn Benny! I’m so darn thrilled for you my friend. No wonder I haven’t seen you around as much. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on anything else either. I’m so very proud of you Benny! I have no doubt your sales will continue to pour in like that and with your upgrades, well who knows. Sounds like more apps are on your horizon my friend. I can tell where your heart is now!
Truly amazing Benny, I’m just so darn happy for you! You definitely deserve this and I wish you so much more success.
Thank you thank you my friend!
Yes I’ve felt like I haven’t been reading my favorite blogs enough lately or left enough comments. I’ve been answering emails about the app. I’ve been answering emails from new readers who share their story with me. That’s the part I enjoy! I love to meet new people doing great things!
Thanks so much Adrienne!
Carrie Smith says
This is a wonderful and inspiring story Benny. Congratulations to you, it’s well deserved. I have really enjoyed reading your journey and success with your new business venture.
Writing down goals and visualizing them can make a huge difference. Good luck in the future and I hope you keep updating your progress.
Thanks so much for reading my story. It’s been a fun journey so far. Writing down goals has made such a huge difference in my life. It’s not just writing it down at the beginning of the year and putting it away. You have to review them daily and weekly.
Thanks for including me in that wonderful group of bloggers in your tweet today. That’s a great honor coming from you. Thank you!
Jason Spencer says
My wife is one of your 35,000 customers and is loving the app Benny! Awesome work, and inspiring story. Keep it up, man, you’ve got what it takes, just believe in yourself.
Thanks so much Jason! The next phase is to work on an update for it. I’ve gotta keep believing that it will all be fine. I’ve got a huge customer base to keep happy. That’s a first for me! Thanks for your support.
Krista Stryker says
Benny, I can’t even tell you how cool this is.
It’s amazing, inspiring, and frankly just AWESOME.
I’m so glad you pushed yourself to pursue your dreams and had such a huge success. Your story will no doubt inspire others to do the same!
Thanks Krista! I love reading these kinds of stories so I’m glad to finally have a chance to have my own. I do hope my story inspires and in six months I hope I can read a success story that was inspired by mine.
I hope you’ve been enjoying SF!
Jk Allen says
Wow Benny! That’s awesome news man. I love watching this type of stuff happen before me…especially for people who I have great admiration for.
You’ve been focused on making a difference in your life and so far…it’s panning out! Best of continued luck to you buddy!
Thank you JK. 2011 has been one of the best years ever in terms of achieving my goals. It’s been little by little but now the results are coming through. Thanks so much for your friendship and support!!
Personal Growth@Seleema.com says
Congrats again Benny! I know there are more good news to come. Keep up the awesomeness. I am truly inspired again. I just know you will have continued success. I’m so proud of you.
Thanks so much Seleema! Happy to have you cheer me on. It has brought a smile to my face! I will keep working hard and look forward to sharing future good news!
John Garrett says
Benny I cannot properly express how happy I am for you!
That you have realized your goals is a truly inspirational achievement. I’m certain things are only going to get better for you. I can’t wait to see what you do next, bro!
Thanks so much John! That’s so awesome for you to say! It’s been a dream come true for sure but be sure I’m not resting on this. I’m now motivated to work even harder to keep doing great things! Stay tuned for sure!
Thanks for your friendship!
Matt R says
This is legendary. Just to know someone that is app of the week = an amazing feat. I’m so glad for you Benny. Congrats!
Armand Polanski says
That’s what we call working under pressure. Good thing you had resources to pull off a log for Photo 365. If that happened to me, I would break under the limited time frame. Congratulations to the Continuous Success Benny!
Thanks so much Armand! Now I need all my resources to keep the momentum going.
Armand Polanski says
You will surely need to use your resources for future improvements on Photo 365. Users will definitely wait for the upgrade and new specifications.
Your hard work is paying quick dividends. Keep hustling and you’ll keep rocking it. Congratulations.
Thanks very much Aaron! I’ve got much more up my sleeve so I’m going to keep hustling.
Marianne Worley says
Congratulations Benny! I knew when I saw that tweet from you that Apple needed an ad from you that I was going to be something big! Yours is a great story about building an online business with a true online software application. So excited for you! 🙂
Thanks Marianne! That email took me by surprise! Thankfully I had the resources I need to get it done. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have had such a great looking ad for them to use.
Great to hear from you!
Hi! BIG Congrats to you:) I read the first post about your iphone app and just saw this one today. I cannot even remember how I found your site and started following your RSS feed, but I’m glad I did. I’m so inspired by what you’ve done and how you’ve shared the process with your readers. Looking forward to what happens next…
I’m great you found me. The app was a project I started but my first passion is blogging. So I’ll be sharing whatever happen next for sure.
Thanks for commenting!
Inspiring story Benny. Congratulations. Have you got any more in the pipeline then?
Thanks Graham. I’m brainstorming for my next idea while focusing on making this one better.
😉 Make it great.
Justin | Mazzastick says
That’s awesome my man, congratulations. I also am a big fan of writing down my goals because once they are written ideas and goals actually exist in the physical world.
Thanks Justin. I didn’t believe in writing down goals and reviewing them but I’m a believer now.
Great to hear from you.
J.D. Meier says
Congrats and it sounds like it was a beautiful week where skill and opportunity came together.
It was an amazing week for sure, J.D. It’s taken years just to have a week like that. Now I’m hoping for more.
Brian D. Hawkins says
Wow, congratulations Benny, I am so happy for you. I can actually read the excitement in your blog post which even makes the post amazing. That’s a fantastic sales page too by the way. Two thousand dollars days is an incredible achievement and I’m sure it’s only the beginning. I’m sure you are already putting some of that money away for your next big app project.
Running out of ideas? Let me give you one. It might be impossible or perhaps there’s no income potential, I have no idea. It seems that word games, similar to Scrabble, are getting pretty popular. I have several friends that are addicted to the Word Feud Android app. I would think that a cheat app that could look at the board being played and the available tiles (letters) and cross reference them with the dictionary being used to display possible moves would be worth purchasing for a lot of people. There may already be an app like that, I have know idea. I just thought I’d run it by you. Good luck, you are doing a great job.
It was an amazing week for sure. One that I’ll never forget.
I’ve tried games like Word with Friends. It’s pretty fun. My sister is a big player. There is an app that’s called Cheats for Words with Friends and Scrabble. It does exactly what you say according to the description. It can import the board and tell you what word to play. Plus lots of other stuff. It’s been in the top 100 for as long as I’ve been tracking my app. So it’s profitable for sure. Great idea though! Sadly someone did it first!
Susana Aires (@Susana_Aires_) says
Hi! WOW, What an amazing accomplishment! I just wanted to tell you:WELL DONE!!!
Good(Great)things come to those who focus on their goals and keep a positive attitude! 🙂
Wow, even more good news for you. You must be super-excited about all the success your app has been having. I’m so glad for you. You’re a great guy and deserve all the attention.
Paul Wolfe says
Firstly, that’s a great story. I’m about to write a post about something similar – what I like is that it’s a real life story, not one of those guru bull shit stories about making 6 figures with 30 minutes of work.
Secondly, I don’t know much about apps and stuff but is there any way you can leverage your buyer list of 35,000? And do you have anyway to market to them? (as I say, I don’t know anything about Apps and what happens once the App goes on sale).
Keep rocking it man – and well done!
Ruth - The Freelance Writing Blog says
Wow…congrats….so, so inspiring!
I think Archie is adorable, and perfect for the app (though I’m sure the wedding photo was lovely as well).
Keep blogging about this journey!
Thanks Ruth! We love Archie but I thought a wedding photo would have looked great! I got overruled by my brother and my finance! Hahaha.
Thanks so much Ruth!
just want to drop by to say congratulation to your photo app. I came across your article from Pat. Is good to hear inspiration story like yours. keep up the good work.
Thanks so much for coming by from Pat’s blog! Keep coming back cause I plan on inspiring for a long time.
Josh Kohlbach says
Benny this is AWESOME! Really happy for you dude.
I have especially loved reading this series of posts from you, keep them up, we’re all eager to know what’s next for Mr. iPhone app wizard.
Benjamin Spall says
Just wow, Benny. Just FUCKING WOW!
Sorry for being late in the game for congratulating you on your success, be assured I’ve been reading your posts about it (and numerous guest posts around the web)!
Aside from the huge success of the app, I have to say this post was incredibly well written. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the page, which is rare for a post this long! Suspense, drama, all in a days work for an App of the Week CEO (I’m going to call you a CEO) no doubt!
I also like how honest and aware you are about the fact that income generated through the app will decrease. I think you’re bang on the money when you say it should stay up high in the photography category though, and I’ve not got any numbers to back it up, but I bet that is a very frequently browsed category.
I would definitely move it onto Android ASAP if I were you. With the profits you’ve generated so far you’ll be able to hire an iPhone to Android app wizard (I assume people do that as a job) to make it look just as good on that platform as it does on the iPhone. I’ve no doubt you’ll have a huge success in your hands once again!
Huge congratulations again man – as a side note, Spy Mouse looks like an awesome game 😉
Benjamin! Sorry for the late reply! I get so many comments these days that I miss some. Coming back to this post I saw that I missed your great comment!
I do want to get it on Android so that’ll be something I look to do in 2012. I want to make the iPhone version the best I can and then focus on expanding it to the Android.
App of the week CEO? I like the sound of that!
So I am going to have to say congratulations again because this is just so freaking cool! I am so happy for you! I love this post because I know for a fact that you are a regular person who isn’t just trying to scam people into believing how they can make their goals come true – you are a real person who cares about showing people they can truly change their life or improve it in some way. I think the best way of convincing people is by demonstrating how it works. You really are making me realize that actually taking time to think about goals (big or small) and then writing them down makes a huge difference. Thanks so much for keeping us all in the loop and allowing us to learn from your lessons in life 🙂
That’s so nice of you to say! I’m totally honest with how I do things. I hate the people who lie with their numbers and pretend have a lifestyle they don’t have. Here I share lessons I have learned but I also apply those lessons to my life. I don’t write about something I don’t believe in. Now I have this result to show for my efforts. That’s really cool! I plan on keeping it up and coming up with new projects. Thanks Julia!!
James Khoo says
I am searching effective app marketing on Google, and somehow a tweet link me to here, and wow, Thank you, Thank you. Thanks for your time and effort on writing such a great article, and you passion on answering almost every comment, although we didn’t know each other, from what I observe I do know that you are kind and helpful person..
I do have couple of questions in terms of app marketing, I have app, call “My Mobile Tracker” (available in both Android and iPhone App Store, which provide personal safety base on preventive approach, the app is well received by many, and has won couple of international awards, including:
– Sony Ericsson 2011 Application Awards (Top 5), do check demo video here http://youtu.be/z6ygQ0DVvJY
But the app seem slows to pickup, at best I could only get about 50 downloads per day, wonder what I did wrong? Could you enlighten me..
I’m glad you found me through a tweet. That’s great! Your app look great. A really great idea and winning awards shows that you’ve done great work!
Well I’m not a marketing master but I’ll share with you what I’ve learned. What about your keywords? The App store is like Google. People wil search for apps through keywords. I believe there is a way to change keywords but I haven’t done it so I’m not sure how. I know you thought about your name for a long time but to me, it sounds like it its an app that tracks where my mobile phone is if I lost it. Maybe that confuses some people. You can change your app name with each update I believe. Also people don’t read app descriptions. One developer accidentally put “aasktaewktjhwe” as his app description and he still sold copies of it. Most users will look at the title and look at the screenshots. I know that because I’ve had people send me emails upset my app didn’t do a particular feature but no where in the description did it say it would do that.
I’d work on your screenshots. Have you seen apps with enhanced screenshots? Like it will be a screenshot with description of what the features are. I tried to find a good one but one example would be http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiger-woods-my-swing/id425808685?mt=8. Something like that. Users don’t spend much time looking. You may have to outsource the graphic work if you’re not good at Photoshop.
What I would do is go to http://www.iphonedevsdk.com/forum/promotion-techniques/ and ask your question there. That’s where I have been visiting. Lots of guys smarter than me there. Maybe someone will have some advice. Also you can do a search for threads talking about promo techniques.
I hope that helps you to start. Email me if you want to talk further about it!
James Khoo says
Thanks Benny, you did spot on on some of problems we have in terms of market or promote our app, will take your advise (i.e change of better name, better icon, screenshot and etc)
Will keep you posted on my app progress.
I’m glad the advice was spot on. Please do keep me posted! Would like to know how you improve it to help market it.
Congrats Benny, that is so awesome! Woohoo! -Sydney
Thanks Sydney!! Woo hoo! Hope you’ve been doing well. I been so busy lately so haven’t been to my favorite blogs. Tonight I finally had some time to check you out there.
Michelle@life insurance canberra says
Wow, this is AWESOME!
It’s amazing how reading about someone else’s success can be so encouraging and inspriing. Thank you!
Hi Michelle! Thanks for your comment! I wanted to share my story to inspire. It’s been a long time since I wanted to make real money online. This was my first taste of it. I know others can do it as well!
Chris Barba says
AH! Thats awesome Benny, as I was reading the post I couldn’t help but get excited with you!
My next stop after writing this post is checking out this app. What a cool idea!
And yep, you definitely have some work ahead of ya, but you have such a lethal combination of amazing ideas, tenacity, and a helping hand that I’m really excited to see what’s to come!
Do you Benny – and congratulations man!
Thanks so much Chris! Yes it’s been a learning experience for sure every single day. I’ve had to put on my customer service hat. I’ve had to figure out the direction I want to take the app. It was an exciting week that I’ll never forget. I plan on having more weeks like that though. That’s the goal.
Thanks for dropping by Chris!
It must feel totally unreal to login into Connect and see all those sales. I hope the best for you, as well as a very prosperous future in the App Store!
You are already off to an incredible start.
It left me speechless most days. Now that I’m doing way less than that now, I really appreciated those big days! I’m working on making the app better so hope that boost sales heading into the release of the new iPhone!
Andrew Richardson says
I was really hoping you would share the results of your featured time in the app store. Congrats again! It’s a really cool app and I’ve been using it almost every day to document my life. I’m so inspired to jump into the app world now! It’s been somewhat of a dream for me to do something like that for a while now.
I love the part about setting goals and them becoming more realistic than you had imagined! That really helps me push myself to be the best as possible and not settle for mediocre goals I KNOW I can achieve.
If you don’t mind, I’d LOVE to know the team you used to create your app, they seem to do very good work and I’d love to possibly use them when I start creating my own apps.
Thanks for reading! I had many people ask me so instead of emailing them one by one, I decided to just write a post. I’m glad you’ve been using it! That’s the best thing to hear. I’m working with my developers now on some updates.
I wrote down those goals and reviewed them. I had no idea if they were attainable. I just knew if I reached those goals, it would be a dream come true. I had to just smile when I looked back and saw I actually wrote down those goals. It’s possible for anyone!
I’ll send you an email about the team I used.
Thanks for your first comment here Andrew! Look forward to seeing your around!
Ken Stewart says
Benny, this is just awesome! I’m so glad to hear how empowered ‘normal folk’ can be in today’s new economy.
You have a great blog here – and it’s so well designed it was a pleasure to browse through.
I have a question I am not sure if it fits in here. But I saw that you have pages which show a certain number of posts of certain category. I am thinking about setting up a blog too and would like to know how to sort my posts as you did. Is there a plugin to use? Is it a php code snippet?
I’d appreciate your reply! Thanks, Marc
Thanks so much for coming to my blog and leaving a comment! To answer your question, could you tell me which page specifically you were looking at? Some pages were setup by the premium theme I use and others I setup myself. If you could tell me, that’s be great. You could email me bennyhsu at gmail dot com and I can help you by email.
Ramy Khuffash says
Congrats on getting app of the week! I hope you continue to be successful with your projects!
Thanks so much Ramy!!
Daniel Lim says
I can’t believe I found your blog! Awesome design! I saw your comment under Tim’s latest post featuring Noah and the million dollar business plan and followed you all the way back here.
I’ve always been super inspired by all these stories, all the successful muses that Tim posts about, his book the 4HWW, and now your blog. But I always find myself stuck and not being able to do anything because I don’t have any capital to make use of.
I understand that before you “invested” your money into the design and coding of your successful photo365 app, you were working. Do you have any advice for a student like me? I’m currently getting by with minimal savings from the allowance I have. That barely covers food and transport. I’m wondering whether I should find a job outside of school, and study at the same time, or only wait till I graduate in 2 years time before embarking on a muse.
I’m really excited to read the rest of your posts, this one has really inspired me. thanks Benny! Looking forward to your reply.
That’s pretty cool you found me that way. I was just trying to help out that one person since there wasn’t a link to his website. I glad you found me!
I love the story of muses on Tim’s blog. That inspires me. It lets me know that a normal person can have a successful business from an idea they came up with.
Yes money. Everyone needs more money to start. If I were to give you advice, I’d say find a job outside of school. Find something you would enjoy doing. Don’t do it for the money. You’ll gain some experience from your job. I’d say don’t wait 2 years to start on your muse. Start thinking about what you want to do now. If you wait 2 years, then when that time arrives, you may be waiting 2 more years. Imagine if you have the idea and plan all ready to go. Then you just need the money and you can take a job doing anything to make and save up money.
As for a muse, you may not need that much to start with. You could start a small business with just $100 USD. It doesn’t take much. You’re thinking you might need thousands of dollars. Start small and learn from it. Your first muse won’t be the one that makes you all the money. It will teach you so much more than just reading about it though. I had a successful iPhone app but I’ve tried so many other ways to make money. The list of failures is longer than the list of successes.
Hope that helps you!
Daniel Lim says
Thanks Benny for the advice! It’s really amazing how the internet connects people like us, from all over the world, so easily and quickly. I’m glad I found your blog too.
I’ll keep thinking of muses to start on and I won’t stop. That need and desire to want to do well in life will fuel me. And thank you for the advice on starting now and not waiting two years. I agree that if I do wait two years, probably in two years time i’ll be telling myself to wait another two years.
You can really start a small business with $100? I always had the impression that one needs thousands at least, to start something significant.
The internet is really amazing. I’ve met so many great people over the years through the internet.
Nope you don’t need thousands of dollars to start something significant. Do you know Smartpassiveincome.com? If not, great blog to check out. Pat started his business with an ebook he wrote. Writing an ebook doesn’t take much money. I think the first month he sold $10,000 worth of ebooks! Pretty amazing. You can look at his income reports to see how he makes money.
So if you write a great ebook that teaches people something or helps them solve a a problem, you could do it for less than a $100 for sure if you did the work yourself.
Daniel Lim says
Thanks for sharing! I just checked out Pat’s website, and it’s really amazing, the stuff he does. I would definitely take that into consideration and try to work something out.
Thank you for sharing and being so helpful over the past few days. I never knew how obsessive one could get after starting a blog. I find myself pouring over analytics and wondering whether people are coming to my site and how they’re coming, when I should be writing more great content like you do.
Anyway, I’ve been telling my friends about your story, a couple of them have actually downloaded your app and heard of your app. Amazing huh.
Keep rocking Benny!
Thank you Daniel! Definitely read Pat’s blog if you want to make money online, be a business man or better blogger. Great stuff there.
It’s easy to get obsessive about analytics. Don’t spend too much time on it because it’s not going to help you. It’s fun to see sometimes. It’s helpful to see where people are coming from. If you’re getting lots of visits from certain keywords.
Thanks for sharing my story!
congrats on your app! And on your blog…man, sometimes when I read your stuff I feel like it’s about me. I want so badly to quit my daj job and finally start my own business. Moreover, online business, because I know it’ll give me a lot of freedom and independency. Anyway! I’m really into the whole app business and I’d like to start the same way like you did. If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few questions:
1. How does your incomes look nowadays? Was the dicrease big? I wonder how long such app can live in App Store and earn you good money…
2. Do you plan to stick to it and depend on new features, updates, etc or bring more new apps? The question is which way you can earn more and is less risky: a lot of apps and quick incomes as they’re new or sticking to one, high-quality app and “milkin'” it?:)
3. What’s your general opinion about app business? Do you think it’s worth entering? The market is so competitive and it seems to be so difficult to succeed…
I’ll apreciate your advices. You don’t even know how badly I want to quit my job:)
PS. If you don’t recommend app business, I’ll be more than happy to hear your other suggestions how to make it start!
There are a hundred ways to make money. Just depends on what interests you. If you’re looking to do something to JUST make money, you won’t be happy. What is best if you find something you really like to do and get paid for it. Then your life would be amazing.
I understand how bad you want to create your own life.
1) Income is still good. Compared to the first month, it’s down. But I’m still making $100 a day so I should be happy about that because many apps may not make that for a long time. So yes there was a big decrease. An app can live in the App store as long as it’s still interesting to people. I’m sure it could be there for years if it’s done right. What I’ve been told is to not just have one app but a library of apps. You cannot just rely on one app and expect to live off that.
2) Yes new features are being added. Taking longer than I’d like but I want to make sure it’s done right. I would say make lots of apps. You can’t get attached to your apps. You have to keep putting apps out there and maybe you’ll find that one that makes it big. So I would say do the best you can for an app, release it, and start looking at the next one. But don’t make your app junk. Make it the best you can.
3) I’d say the app business can be great but with 500,000 apps, there is a lot of competition. It’s worth entering for sure. The number of iPhone users are growing every year. Like I said, it’s a tough market so you have to find an app that is in a smaller market that people will want to download.
I understand you badly want to quit your job. So are you taking any action? Are you working on projects on your free time? If you have to take action, even if it’s small tiny action. Reading about my success or other people’s success won’t get you out of your job. Doing something about it will.
Hope these help you out!
many thanks for your answers, I couldn’t imagine a better reply! My problem is that, I always look for the perfect idea…and I look too much into the future.
I think I spent my last two years on looking this one, genious idea so I could become a milionaire very quickly. I hate that I lost a lot of time. Fortunately, now I’m wiser (at least I think so;) and I know I have to start with small steps. Recently I’ve worked a lot on two projects…in a few days I will test them.
My dream is to create a so called muse (yeah, I’ve read Tim’s blog too). Do you think it’s easier to do it with ‘website’ business or mobile?
Thanks a lot once again. I wish you lot of success!
You’re welcome! You can’t look for the perfect idea. At least you won’t know it’s the perfect idea unless you try it. I would say it’s easier to do w/ a website for sure. It doesn’t take much money to build a website with WordPress. Again, you can get started for under $100. But if you try a mobile app, you’ll be spending a lot more money, unless you know how to program. Test out your two projects. At least you’ll know if you should continue or not after trying them. But make sure you give them a chance before giving up!
Congrats on this Benny! Wow, what a ride and it’s your hard work that did this. Create something of value and people will gravitate to it like glue.
Thanks Sonia! I spent a few mornings dancing in front of my standing desk when I saw the sales figure. It was awesome. Thanks for reading about it.
thanks for sharing your great experiences with us. Being lucky enough myself for being featured by Apple 2 times in a row (once in AppStore Essentials, and lately in New and Noteworthy), I really know how you felt. 🙂
Keep up the good work and wish you success with your upcoming projects!
Still working at the restaurant? 😉
Thanks Karoly for reading. Being featured by the App store is a great honor because there are so many apps to compete with! So congrats on being featured twice! Nice chatting with you on Twitter a couple days ago. Your apps do look really great, and I’m sure you’ll have more great apps in the future. Let me know when you have a new one, because I’d like to check it out.
Yes I’m still working at the restaurant. Hope not for long. 🙂
Indeed, it’s a great honor to be featured by Apple. It keeps you definitely motivated! 🙂
Thanks, I’m doing my best to produce quality apps. And I always have a few new ideas in the queue, so there will be a new app soon, for sure.
What about you? Hope to see your next app popping up soon as well! 😉
Hey Ben, glad to read this. Infact, you’ve made me increase my faith once more and I believe in following the right thing. I just wrote something about you and your blog which I will like you to check out!
Thanks for reading! Sure send me the link and I’d be happy to read it!
Benny, here is the link: http://www.ivblogger.com/best-bloggers-you-must-learn-from/ hope you go through it when you are less busy.
Take good care of you and have a smashing 2012!
Thanks so much for adding me w/ a great group of bloggers! Many of them I look up to. Thank you Sheyi!
You are mostly welcomed Benny. I’d be writing a full review of blogs and yours will be part as well. I’d like to know if you have specific information you will like me to add.
HI Sheyi. No specific info. Just take a look at my about page and get what you need from there. Thanks!
Alright. I will do just that.
Do have a blessed 2012.
Through your last post i discovered this one and I found out that you created this amazing app. You are featured by the App; that is totally crazy, I mean it is awesome.
Off course I have read 4HWW and Tim’s advice about how to find, test and build a Muse. You are a true example of all that. You give me hope and courage to continue! Thanks 🙂
Spatch Merlin says
I am thrilled of your accomplishments and the digits clearly tells me how blessed you are. So that’s you behind the app huh? It’s not easy getting an approval from Apple to be featured on iTunes and I am happy for you. Good Luck!
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Benny, from one app developer (who has been burned big time) to another (who has made it big), I can only say, Kudos and well done!
The competition is cut-throat out there. But now Apple knows you, I would milk them like the cow they are. Develop similar quality apps, maybe even games and you could ride this wave of getting featured for more projects!
Awesome job, i hope 2012 is even better than 2011 for you!
-ye old loser developer
Thanks so much! Competition is tough so it’s even more important to create a great app. New apps are in development as we speak. I’m nervous but excited about them. Hoping for big things for them! Thanks for coming over and reading. Hope you’ll make that one great app one day soon!
I was also wondering why don’t you create further apps, especially since your very first try was so spectacular! Anyway, good to hear this is not the case. 😉
If I had more free time I would submit a new app every one or two months – so many ideas waiting in the queue…
Hi Karoly. Great question. I have two apps in development now and one more in the planning stages. I certainly wished I had developed them sooner, but I didn’t have a great idea. I had lots of them, but not worth developing at that moment. Now I have a few so I do hope to develop them more often. Hope your apps are doing well!
This is an amazing story of how the little guy went up against the giants in the app store and won! I bet that was an absolutely exhilarating week for you. Congrats!
Makes me want to finally take action on the app ideas that I’ve been nurturing in my head for the past couple of years.
Here’s to your $uccess!
homem completo says
I knew you had something special the moment I first visited your site!
Congratulations on your success and on passing on the torch!
I’m currently reading your book “Get a life that doesn’t suck” and I’ll let you know my impressions on it shortly!
Cheers from Brazil!
Benny Hsu says
Thank you so much! And yes please let me know what you thought of the book and what you enjoyed.
homem completo says
I actually did it via e-mail hehe.
Not sure if you got it though.
Ruby sharma says
guys just launched my first game on playstore
right now i m earning nothing 🙁