Tag Archives: amemoryjog

How to Build a Product Website for your App

This blog is all about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and cool mobile apps. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I build mobile apps as a side hustle to supplement income for my early retirement.

Many people are surprised to know that building an app does not require programming skills. I haven’t written a single line of code for my apps. Instead, I subcontracted that work out and documented the exact process I follow.

If you develop an app, it is imperative to create a product website for your app. Why? Because people often search Google for apps and having a product site will increase the number of people who find and download your app.

How to Build your App Product Website

I highly suggest you use WordPress to build your product site. Here’s why:

  • The WordPress engine is free
  • WordPress allows you to categorize posts and include links to recent posts
  • WordPress allows people to sign up to receive your posts via email
  • WordPress allows people to search your posts via the search widget
  • WordPress allows you to create pages without any HTML or programming knowledge
  • Most WordPress sites work well for mobile devices as well as web browsers

OK, the advantages of using WordPress are clear. To get started, simply go to http://www.WordPress.com and click Create Website.

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

Customizing your WordPress Site

Once you create the website, you can customize the look with WordPress themes. Some of them are free, but if you are really serious about developing a site that will attract lots of attention and be visually appealing, you should consider purchasing a WordPress theme.

I use Template Monster because they have themes for pretty much any look you are going for and they normally cost about $75. That’s a lot less than you would pay a professional website designer to create a site for you. To get started, click here and view the templates.

Hosting your WordPress Site

When you create a site in WordPress, they offer free hosting and this works absolutely fine when you are first getting started. However, I like to plan for the future by hosting the site myself. By doing this, you get more control over your WordPress site and you can include advertising in the future. If you self-host, It will normally run faster too.

One of the things you will want to consider is creating a blog in addition to your product page so that you can build an audience and loyal fans. Once you begin building followers of your product and blog, you can advertise on those pages and drive an extra revenue stream for your business. You can’t do that with a free WordPress account but you can by hosting your own site.

I use Winhost to host my WordPress sites because it is economical (about $3.95 per month) and it supports .NET, PHP, and includes the ability to create your own MS SQL and MySQL databases. This can be valuable if you later decide to add web services to your apps or want to sync your app data to the cloud. So it supports not only your WordPress site but also your app development efforts.

Installing your WordPress site on Winhost is pretty easy to do (it takes less than an hour), here is a tutorial.

Structuring your Product Website

When you are in the development stage of your app, I suggest you create a simple product website that allows people to sign up for your beta once your app is in that stage. By doing this, you will get some great feedback before moving to the app store and you will gain loyal followers that may evangelize your app within their circle of friends.

I am in that stage with my Count Us Down app. Notice from the website, the users can enter their contact info to sign up for the beta. In just a few weeks, I had about 100 beta testers signed up, here is my sign-up page:

Product Website for Count Us Down app

I use a free tool called Zoho CRM to keep track of people who sign up for the beta.  Zoho CRM allows you to embed sign up screens into your WordPress site and when  someone signs up for your beta, it keeps track of them and sends them a welcome email. It is free for up to 10 users, so indie appreneurs will probably not outgrow the free version.

In addition to including a sign up for beta, I also suggest including these pages on your product website:

  • Blog – Build loyal fans by including a blog
  • Products – If you offer more than one app for sale, include information about each app. If you only have the one app, include information about your app, features, and links for downloading it.
  • Press Kit – You will want the press to talk about your app so include app descriptions, screen shots and press releases here.
  • Support – You will want your users to submit bugs and feature requests to you. I use Zendesk for this. It is an excellent support tool and is only $1 per month.

If you would like to see an example of an app that is already in the app store, here is the website for my password management app (aMemoryJog). Notice that it has the same links (Home, Blog, Products, Press Kit, Support).

Product Website for aMemoryJog app

Using YouTube

I also suggest you create a video that shows how your app works. I use Camtasia for to create my app video but you can use a free tool called Jing. Once done, you can upload it to YouTube and people can view it from there.

When creating your video, focus on how the app will benefit the user, don’t focus on every feature of the app. When I first created my video for the Count Us Down app, I sent it to about 10 appreneurs that I respected. I got some candid (and harsh) comments and recreated the video several times before I feel that I nailed it (watch it here).

By uploading your app video to YouTube, you will also build additional followers which leads to more downloads.


By creating a product website, you will increase your downloads and fan loyalty. In summary:

About this Blog

Steve and his wife built a software company, sold it and retired early. Steve enjoys blogging about lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology. If you like this blog, subscribe here to get an email each time he posts.

If you like this post, you might also like these prior posts:

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App Guy Podcast: Living the Dream of Entrepreneurship & How to Sell a Company

Many of us have wondered what we would do with ourselves if we had the means to retire early. What would you do with your time? How would you fill your day?  Would entrepreneurship be part of your plan?

If you ever wondered what it would be like to retire early, you can find out by listening to a podcast that was just published by The App Guy Podcast.

Steve Miller - Retired Early

Steve Miller – Entrepreneur

Here are just a few of the topics covered:

  • How we built the business and planned our exit strategy
  • How our company was acquired
  • How I spend my time now that I’m retired
  • What freedoms do early retirement bring?
  • Is entrepreneurship possible after retirement?

Listen to the podcast

Ready to listen to the podcast? Click the link below:


 Our Apps

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aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

8 Lessons I’ve Learned from my App Development Experiment

As my regular readers know, I embarked on an experiment to determine if app development might be a good lifestyle business for a retiree or for someone looking to bring in a little extra cash. I promised to be transparent with my findings, so here you go.

Key Indicators from the First Month in the App Store

My first app, aMemoryJog (a password management app), went into the app store on March 26, 2015 so it has now been in the app store for a little over a month.  So how is it doing? Here are the key indicators:

  • Almost 1,000 Downloads – In just over a month, it has received just under 1,000 downloads but less than 1% of those upgraded to the paid edition.
  • 30 (5 star) Reviews – The users that have downloaded seem to like it, it’s received about 30 reviews, all of them 5 star.
  • App Worth is $5,110 – Sensor Tower says the app is now worth about $5,110 (if I were to sell it to another app developer).

Will this app be successful? It’s too early to tell but my gut tells me that it is in a very competitive space and it could do OK but not great. I will continue to tweak the app, work on ASO (app store optimization) and continue to evangelize it until I have enough data to determine how well it will do long term.

Lessons Learned from the App Development Experiment

Going into this experiment, I researched it pretty heavily. From everything I learned, you should do a few things to make an app successful (I did all of the items below):

  • Research competitors and figure out what they do well and their weaknesses
  • Localize it so that it has exposure in different countries (I localized it for 8 languages)
  • Encourage reviews by asking for them within the app
  • Submit the app to as many review sites as possible
  • Write a press release and press kit to make it easy for magazines and e-zines to pick up
  • Implement ASO techniques to drive traffic for specific keywords
  • Make it easy to share information about the app using social networks

In hindsight, here are mistakes I made:

  1. Crowded Competitor Landscape – I researched my competitors and found their pros and cons but I ignored the fact that the space was very crowded with well established competitors. I’ve decided to cut the price of aMemoryJog in half (was $9.99 it is now $4.99) to better compete on price. The features of aMemoryJog are very similar to the large competitors but now it is half the price.
  2. Did not Implement a Minimal Viable Product – Rather than spending almost a year having the app developed, I should have tested the idea first with a minimal viable product (MVP). This is where you create an app with very minimal (but well tested) features and get it into production quicker and allow your user feedback to steer the development of future features. By doing this, I could have spent less money and gotten into into the app store faster so that I could see how the product was going to do.
  3. Localized too Early – I localized the app in 8 languages and this was a MUCH bigger investment than I knew going into it. I had to localize not only the app but all of the app store descriptions, screen shots, keywords and titles and had to enlist services to do this. All of this costs money but more importantly, it takes a lot of time and effort. I should have first tested the product in English then once I knew it was successful, start localizing in other languages.
  4. Difficulty in Getting App Reviews – Getting app reviews are harder than it seems. I’ve submitted it to over 100 app review sites and found that most of them want to charge you to write a review. I think that skews the integrity of the review because you are paying to have it reviewed.
  5. Difficulty in Getting Press – After creating a press kit and press release, I was not able to garner any significant press.
  6. Spent too little time on ASO – I did not spend enough time getting my screen shots, keywords and descriptions within the app store correct to drive more traffic (I am fixing that now). I have now immersed myself in ASO techniques and will hopefully make an impact in the next release.
  7. Underestimated the App Approval Process – Since my app requires a high level of security, we encrypt all of the data. I did not realize that you must fill out a lot of forms with the app store to implement encrypted security and you endure higher levels of scrutiny by the Apple app store. That makes sense because it protects the users but it takes much longer to get your app approved.
  8. Impact of a Login Screen – I found that a lot of people do not like logging into an app, they prefer to use it more anonymously. With an app like aMemoryJog, you obviously have to have a solid login process to protect the user’s information but it does cause people to turn away from the app once they see the login screen.

Related article: How to Build a Product Website for your App

What’s Next?

Now that I have a much better understanding of the app development space, I plan to pivot my activities. My gut tells me that you can make a descent income doing app development but it will take a while to get it right. I plan to continue this experiment for at least a year because I think it will take that amount of time to determine if it is viable. Here is my new focus:

  • Tweak aMemoryJog – Continue to tweak aMemoryJog from a marketing perspective (ASO, reviews, etc.) to try to get more downloads. Learn from our users and only add features they care about.
  • Create my next App as an MVP – Develop my next app as an MVP (minimal viable product). This app will be a Count Down app that allows you to count down to a specific date (like a birthday, anniversary, retirement, sporting event, etc.). I will first launch it with minimal (yet very well designed) features then add on as the user dictates. It will cost a fraction of what I paid for the development of aMemoryJog and I am designing it in a way that I can make changes myself once it is developed (using a different technology) and can more easily port it to Android if it does well.
  • Create Derivative Apps – If the Count Down app is successful, I can cheaply and easily make derivative apps from it.
  • Find Less Crowded App Ideas – Look for other app idea that are much less crowded in the app store and would be quicker and easier to implement.
  • Create Apps without a Login Process – Try to create apps that do not require a login (I’ve noticed this turns many people off, having to supply their email address to use the app).
  • Create Apps that encourage Sharing – Try to create apps that work well if shared with others. This takes a lot of thought but if done correctly, it will drive a lot more downloads of the app because people will be sharing it with their friends and peers.

Brought to you by aMemoryJog

This blog was brought to you by aMemoryJog, a free password management app for the iPhone. If you are looking for an app to track your passwords and other easy-to-forget information, download aMemoryJog now at http://apple.co/1BsnQ7K. Why not, it’s free!

Password Keeper App

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8 Keys to this Entrepreneur’s Happiness

Are most entrepreneurs happy? I’m not sure, but of the ones I’ve met, most seem to be. I’ve always had a feeling of happiness, ever since childhood. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have down days, everyone does. But for the most part, I am really happy and I started to ponder why that is. In this post I will share with you a bit of my self-reflection.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi


8 Keys to this Entrepreneur’s Happiness

After a bit of reflection, I’ve identified things that have created happiness for me:

  1. Exercise – As a kid, I spent lots of time outside: hunting, riding my bike, playing sports, and walking the farm where we lived. Once I graduated college, I started working out with weights and doing cardio every week. Now 30 years later, I continue to workout every week and intertwine lots of outside activities into my day (cycling, hiking, walking, golfing, etc.). Although I did not start working out to feel happy, it just happened. Exercising increases your self-esteem and it releases endorphin, the happy chemical.
  2. Relationships – I try to surround myself with like-minded and positive people. I have an incredible wife, great kids and friends that I try to do things with weekly. It may be just a chat or a golf outing, but it is important to build and maintain relationships.
  3. Being Nice – Being nice to others is rewarding. I like to greet people with a “hello” or “good morning” and strike up conversations with people I don’t know and I say “thank you” and “please”. I don’t try to monopolize conversations, I learn a lot about a person by just listening. And I love hearing about people’s successes, no matter how trivial or monumental.
  4. Money – As they say, money can’t buy you happiness but neither does poverty. I do think that a certain amount of money can aid in happiness– at least enough that satisfies your immediate needs (food, clothing, housing and health care). Past that, “wants” tend to disguise themselves as “needs”. I’ll admit that I could be much more frugal but I do get a rush of adrenalin when I under spend my budget for a month.
  5. Optimism – I am wired to think that everything is going to work out well and many times it does. When things don’t, I try to learn from it and use that knowledge in the future.
  6. Hobbies – Work hard but play harder. I’ve met lots of people who consume themselves with work and when they get a day off, they don’t really know what to do with their time. Having hobbies will make you happier. What are mine? I love to cycle, play golf, fish, travel, hike, swim, hang out at the beach, boat, watch college and pro football — just to name a few! I also set goals for my hobbies (like cycling 50 miles in 3 hours, hiking a strenuous mountain, and lowering my golf handicap).
  7. Being Grateful – I realize how lucky I’ve been. My parents sent me to college but they nor their parents or their grandparents had the opportunity to do it. I couldn’t have built and sold my software company without learning from some incredible mentors. I am lucky to have an incredibly supportive family and our kids have grown up to be something we are truly proud of. I survived cancer at just over 30 years old. I’ve been really blessed.
  8. Faith – I don’t consider myself a religious person but I do consider myself a spiritual person. I grew up in the church but don’t attend regularly. However, I have a close relationship with my maker and pray everyday. I’ve personally witnessed the power of faith.

This Article Was Brought to You by 2HourAppreneur

This article was brought to you by 2HourAppreneur makers of the aMemoryJog Password Manager app.

aMemoryJog: Best Password Manager

Every few days, 2HourAppreneur publishes an article that we think is cool, thought-provoking, motivational, or makes life more fun and a bit easier. If you would like to receive these articles in your email every few days, sign up below.

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Hopefully these 8 keys are helpful to my readers. I would also like to hear your stories and understand what makes you happy. Please leave a comment!