Tag Archives: App Website

#ArticleOfTheDay: New Appreneurs: How to Control Costs on Your First App!

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I am an #appreneur (an entrepreneur Cost Savings for your first appthat focuses on app development) and am working on bringing my first app to the Apple App Store (coming very soon).

I just stumbled on this article and found it to be very accurate. I wrote a blog a while ago about getting the best price from your developer and this article is a good companion to that.

Written by Jeff Williams, today’s article addresses the things a new appreneur should think about when it comes to hiring someone to develop their app. I especially agree with point #1 — it is really easy to “gold plate” your app. Gold Plating is when you add too many features to your app where it dilutes the user friendliness of your app, so be very careful with that.

Without further ado, here is the full article:  http://bit.ly/1wPNcNG

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

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

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Hopefully this article of the day was helpful to you. I would also like to hear your stories and understand strategies you’ve used for reducing your development costs. Please leave a comment!

Sneak Peek at aMemoryJog Lite iPhone edition

After several months of development, the FREE edition of aMemoryJog (Lite) app is almost ready for production.  We are now making final bug fixes, preparing marketing materials, and getting ready for the Apple App Store submission.

To jog your memory (pun!), aMemoryJog is an app that tracks passwords, frequent flyer details, loyalty program information, and pretty much anything else that is easily forgotten. By having this information on your phone, it is a tap away.

The edition shown in this blog will be TOTALLY FREE for download in the Apple App Store very soon.

aMemoryJog Lite Movie

My @2HourAppreneur readers get the first sneak peek of the application.  I created a movie that shows the app in progress, click below to watch the movie:


Additionally, I thought I would include some screen shots so that you can see each screen in detail. If you have any feedback (good or bad), please provide it by commenting to this post. We still have a few more weeks to make tweaks, so your feedback is valuable.

Login Process

From here, you will be able to create a new account (if you don’t have one) or login if you do have one. If you have an account but cannot remember the password, you can have it emailed from here.


Please provide some feedback by entering comments into this blog:

  • What do you think of the logo?
  • What do you think of the colors of the application?

All Your Easily Forgotten Info in Your Pocket

Once you are logged in, it shows a list of items you have stored in aMemoryJog. To add a new item, tap the + sign in the top right of the page.


To view the details of an existing item, simply tap it and the details appear.


One of the cool features is the ability to tap the website address of a stored item and it will bring up that website and allow you to quickly log in without remembering your userid and password (you can tap those to automatically fill them in).  Here is an example of that for the Wells Fargo website:


Questions for you:

  • What do you think about how it organizes all your passwords?
  • Do you like the colors?
  • Are the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page easy to understand?
  • Do you like the website browser integration for tapping a website address to automatically fill in the userid and password?

Adjusting your Settings

The app is also configurable, you will have a number of different settings that allow it to work better for your specific needs.


Questions for you:

  • Are the settings labeled in way you can quickly understand  what they do?
  • Is the look visually appealing?

Getting Help

The Help screen allows you to watch a movie that shows how the product works, access frequently asked questions and request support.


Questions for you:

  • Is it clear how to use this screen?
  • Do you like the colors used on this screen?
  • Is it clear what the Tell A Friend section is for?


Thanks so much for supporting this effort. Your feedback is important, especially now just before getting it ready for production — so any feedback is welcome.

Also, if you like this blog, please share it with others to increase our following:

Thanks again for following the blog!

How Will You Monetize your App?

In our last post, we discussed how to determine if the app you have been considering building would be financially viable. Once you have enough confidence that it is, it is now time to think out the options for monetizing your app.

Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. – Andy Warhol

Different App Monetization Options

There are many ways to make money from your app:

  • You could offer a free app that contains banner ads and each time someone clicks on a banner ad, you will accumulate money from those clicks.
  • You could offer a paid app where each time someone pays for your app, you get 70% of the revenue generated (Apple or Google Play keeps 30%).
  • You could provide in-app purchases that provide value added services (like data backups to the cloud, web access to your application, etc.).
  • You could setup an affiliate program and present other apps as possible purchases within your app and receive a referral fee.


What’s the Right Approach to App Monetization?

So should create a free app with banner ads and in-app purchases, create a paid app, or just rely on affiliate program revenue? In my opinion, you should do all of the above to maximize your revenue. And you should figure out a way to capture recurring revenue.

Free Edition with Banner Ads and In-App Purchases

When creating my app, aMemoryJog, I am taking that approach. For those that don’t have the money to buy an app, I offer the free edition with banner ads.  I feel that once they use the free edition for a while, it will be so useful that they will be willing to pay a small fee to migrate to the paid edition.

Heck, at less than $10, it is probably less than the user spends at Starbucks in a couple of days of sipping lattes. But for those non-latte sipping types that never plan to buy, they will still have a cool app to use. And hopefully there will be occasions when they see a banner ad shown within my app that prompts them to tap on the ad to learn more.  When they do, I earn ad commissions.

Also within the free app, there will be reminders that  are shown that explain what they get by purchasing the paid edition. In my example, they will receive free backups of their data to the cloud to prevent accidental loss of data if their phone has to be restored. It will also provide them with a web edition of the software so that they can use the tool on their PC or Mac and the data entered will automatically sync with the mobile edition. Now that’s adding value with the paid edition!  And, the reminder of this is unobtrusive (also notice the advertising banner at the bottom of the screen that generates ad revenue):

Monetizing Apps

In-App purchase for cloud backups

Paid App Revenue

For someone to fork over their money for a paid edition, you really need some compelling reasons for them to part with their dinero. When developing  aMemoryJog, I decided to offer these compelling reasons to upgrade:

  • No Ads – No ads are shown in the paid edition, giving the user more room on the screen to see their data.
  • Data backups to the Cloud – Each time the user makes changes on their phone, those changes are automatically sent to the cloud for safe keeping.  If their phone ever crashes or they have to restore it, they can easily restore their aMemoryJog data from the cloud.
  • Free 1 Year Subscription to the Web Edition – When they purchase the app, it comes with a 1 year free subscription to the web edition of aMemoryJog. That means they can use it from their PC, Mac, tablet or any other device that has a web browser.
  • Synchronizations with other Devices – Once they love the convenience of using the web edition of aMemoryJog from their PC, tablet or Mac computer, they will want any changes made there or on their phone to sync with each other. The paid edition does that — it seamlessly syncs all their devices.
  • Remote Self Destruct – So what happens if someone steals your phone? Personally, I would like a way to remotely wipe out the aMemoryJog  data from the phone without the thief knowing it.  With the paid edition, you can do that. Just go into the web edition and tell it to self destruct the mobile device. It will wipe out the data when the thief tries to log into aMemoryJog on the mobile device but will keep it securely in the cloud in case you buy another phone and want to restore it so that you don’t lose all the data you kept in aMemoryJog.
  • Recycle Bin – Another feature of the paid edition is the ability to restore a deleted record. Just like your Mac or PC, you can empty your recycle bin or restore selected items.
  • Localized Languages – Finally, the paid edition allows a user in another country to use it in their native language. Whether that be Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese or Japanese — they are covered. I even added something special for English speakers — an option called English (Funny). When the language is set to that, it adds personality and attitude to each message that is displayed in the app.

As you can see, I took a lot of care to provide very compelling reasons to upgrade to the paid edition.

In-App Purchases and Recurring Revenue

Most apps pay you once — when they download the paid software. Another way to generate revenue and ensure the longevity of your app is to add a recurring revenue component. In aMemoryJog, I provide a free 1 year subscription to the web edition of aMemoryJog when they purchase the paid edition. But after a year, they will lose access to the web edition and the automatic backups unless they renew their yearly subscription for $9.99. This is just good business because it is a very low yearly cost (less than a buck a month) but gives the user access to aMemoryJog from the web and keeps their data backups safe and secure in the cloud. I implemented it in a way where it keeps track of when their subscription expires then allows them to renew it from directly within the app via an in-app purchase.

Affiliate Programs

The idea behind an affiliate program is that you can present other people’s apps for download somewhere within your application and if someone downloads the app, you get a small commission from them downloading.  Normally this is done by adding a MORE… section in your tab bar at the bottom of your app where people can click that and see other people’s app for download. It is important to partner with complimentary apps for this type of feature so that users of your app will want to download apps with a kindred spirit.

Even if you don’t decide to add a MORE… section to your app, you can still take advantage of an affiliate program. You can set your own paid product up as an affiliate and anytime someone clicks on the Upgrade button to download your paid edition, you get a small commission through the affiliate program — pretty cool, eh?

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


We now have discussed different ways to make money with your app. My next blog will be out in a couple of weeks — I will discuss  how to determine the demographic for your app (whether your users will be mostly male or female, college educated or not, etc).

Shameless Plug

The app I am creating is slated for production in the App Store around July or August 2014. However, the web edition is already available at http://www.aMemoryJog.com. Once the app is done, it will seamlessly sync with the web version.

Download a free trial and check it out!

aMemoryJog – Web and iPhone editions

Also, if you like this blog, please share it with others to increase our following. Our twitter account is @2HourAppreneur and be sure to like my Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/2HourAppreneur.

Thanks for following the blog!

Is your App Idea Financially Viable?

In our last post, we discussed how to define your competitive advantages as you begin your #appreneur journey. Once you have sized up your competition, it is now time to determine if your app idea is financially viable.

If you want to rear financial blessings, you have to sow financially. – Joel Osteen

How Much will it Cost to Develop My App?

The cost to develop an app will depend on the number of screens and complexity of the app, who you choose to develop the app, and how detailed your specification is before getting an estimate.  If you develop the app yourself, the costs will be smaller because there will be no subcontractor costs. However, I recommend you outsource the development so that you can spend your valuable time on pre-launch marketing and planning.

The first step in this process is to create a prototype of what your app might look like. There are some great prototyping tools available, I use Balsamiq Mockups. The cost of this software is minimal (one time fee of $79) and you can use it for all your upcoming apps if you are successful. Using Balsamiq, you can create each screen of your application, here is an example of the ones I put together:

Balsamiq Mockup

Balsamiq Mockup

By crafting your app ideas into a design, it forces you to flesh out the look and feel of each screen needed for a subcontractor to perform work.  Once you have the prototype done, create a specifications document that a subcontractor can create an estimate from.  In my specifications document, I like to include descriptive text that identifies what to do when any button is touched on the screen, what messages to display, etc.  By defining this level of detail, the subcontractor can provide a much better estimate because there are less unknowns.

In future blogs, I will discuss the specifications document in more detail (what to include and exclude), where to find subcontractors, what legal documents you should have in place when working with subcontractors, and how to pick a good subcontractor.

Assuming you have created a good prototype and specifications document, the cost of the development of your app will depend on the number of screens and complexity of your app. Based on my own experience, here are some very general guidelines, the prices are for a single platform (Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Android device, etc.):

  • Small app (Less than 5 screens and little complexity) – $1,500 to $3,000
  • Medium app (Less than 10 screens and medium complexity) – $3,000 to $6,000.
  • Larger app (10+ screens and medium to harder complexity) – $6,000 to $15,000.

I also suggest that you ask the subcontractor to write the software in a way that allows them to re-use the code when targeting a different platform (Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Android device, etc.). Also, ask the subcontractor for a ballpark estimate for creating a version in the other platforms once the first platform is done. By investing in a single platform first, it allows you to test the waters to determine if you want to sink additional money into the next platform. Once you recoup your costs on a specific platform, move on to another platform.

Other Costs to Consider

In addition to app development, here are some other costs to consider:

  • Registering your Business – You will need a business name and want to register it your state or province. The cost of setting up a LLC (Limited Liability Company) is about $125.
  • D-U-N-S number – It is also smart to get a Dunn and Bradstreet number for your business. This prevents you from having to use your social security number when working with vendors, you can use your D-U-N-S number instead. If you do this, allow 30 days to get it for free. If you want it expedited, it can cost as much as $299.
  • Website – You will want to create a website for your app that allows you to talk about the features of the app and allow them to purchase. By having a website, you will also get indexed by Google, driving more sales of your product. If you know HTML, I suggest writing your own website. Start off by purchasing a website template from somewhere like Template Monster, they are generally less than $50. You can then simply change the template with your site details. If you are not comfortable creating your own website, you can outsource this just as you do the app development. The cost of this will probably run you about $1,000 or less, especially if you ask them to use the template you purchased.
  • Website  Hosting – You will also want to purchase a domain for your app (for example, I purchased www.aMemoryJog.com) and you will need a company to host the site.  I purchased mine from Go Daddy, you should be able to purchase the domain and hosting for about $65 per year.
  • Google Ads – Once your website is up and running, you can purchase Google Ads to drive business to your site. This is totally optional but can increase your sales. You have to analyze the sales it brings to determine if it is worth it. In my past experience, it is, but every scenario is different. I normally budget $100 per month for Google Ads. Of course, do not do this until your app is in available for sale.
  • Apple App Developer (iTunes Connect) – To sell your app in the Apple App Store, you must sign up for iTunes Connect. This allows you to submit your app to Apple for review and once approved, they will post it in the app store. The cost for this is $99 per year. Apple will keep 30% of the sales from your app, and you will get 70%.
  • Google Play Developer – Similar to iTunes Connect, if you plan to create your app for Android devices, you will need a developer account for Google Play. The cost is $25 per year and like Apple, they keep 30% of your sales.
  • Email Marketing – If you plan to do any email marketing, you will need a product to send emails out automatically on your behalf. For example, when someone signs up for a trial of our web edition of aMemoryJog, it sends an email to the new subscriber welcoming them to the trial. Then every few days, it sends other emails explaining how the product works and how to purchase once their trial expires. This automated engine eliminates a lot of busy work of having to send these emails manually. Since I am a programmer by trade, I wrote the software to do this for my product. But you can purchase a tool to do this for your product. Tools like MailChimp are free to start with, allowing you to send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers at no cost. After you exceed that, it could cost you from $40 to $100 a month, depending on the number of contacts you have and the number of emails you send.
  • Contact Management Tools – Once you begin marketing to app reviewers, you will want software to keep track of who you have communicated with and who needs to be sent an email about your app. You can get a contact manager for free until you collect a certain number of contacts. I use Zoho CRM, it is free for 5,000 contacts or less and only $20 per month once you exceed that.

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

Estimating Your Revenue

This is the tricky part. About the best you can do is to try to determine the revenue of your competitors and then estimate yours based on a percentage of that. I discussed this in a prior blog. But I have to tell you from experience, it is a crap shoot.  You really won’t know your revenue until the product is in production. I always try to estimate very conservatively and hope to outpace my estimates. For example, you might look at the competitor with the least number of downloads and estimate that you can capture half that number of downloads.

The best way to estimate your revenue is to estimate your monthly downloads multiplied by the cost of your app, minus the App Store commission of 30%.

Putting it all Together

Once you estimate your revenue for the year, subtract the costs, then you have your expected net profit. If you can live on that net profit, great!  If you can’t but it is at least half what you can live on, you can always create multiple apps to create a profit multiplier and still make the #appreneur life work.

Is your App Financially Viable?


We now have analyzed whether our app seems financially viable. If it looks promising, we should proceed. If not, we should go back to the drawing board – either think of another app idea or bail on app development in general. My next blog will be out in a couple of weeks — I will discuss how to monetize your app.

Shameless Plug

The app I am creating is slated for production in the App Store around July or August 2014. However, the web edition is already available at http://www.aMemoryJog.com. Once the app is done, it will seamlessly sync with the web version.

Download a free trial and check it out!

aMemoryJog – Web and iPhone editions

Also, if you like this blog, please share it with others to increase our following. Our twitter account is @2HourAppreneur and be sure to like my Facebook page at http://www.Facebook.com/2HourAppreneur.

Thanks for following the blog!