Getting the most income from your Android app involves more than just throwing your app up on the market. However, that seems to be about all many developers do. That may be good for you, though, because there are a few things you can do to put yourself ahead of the crowd, and make more money.
The process to getting more revenue from your Android app starts before you even release the app. This is the first part of a two part article. The second part focuses more on what to do after you release – however, it’s not too late to do these things if you have already released your app to the Android Market!
Also, don’t forget to check out the free Android Income Quickstart Guide – a free e-book showing the steps to get your Android app released with ads in the Android Market.
1. Get Your Assets in Order
Your app requires assets – specifically graphic assets. A small subset:
- Icons in three sizes: 36×36, 48×48, and 72×72
- A super-sized icon at 512×512
- Images that you show in your app at different resolutions (e.g. to look good on both tiny and huge screens).
- Promotional images (optional, but highly recommended)
- Screenshots (make them look good – they get looked at!)
There is a lot more information on the graphic assets needed for the Android Market as a free bonus for the Android Alternate Markets Report (also available separately here) so check that out for a complete checklist and worksheet to generate the needed (and highly suggested) graphic assets that you should have when you release your app.
Another good resource is Google itself, which summarized the required assets in a forum post.
2. Prepare Your Marketing Copy
Your icon, app name, and screenshots will already do a bit of selling. That’s not enough, though. You need some text to convince the more skeptical users.
The name and the icon are the hook – they get attention and pull potential customers in closer. Android users can be as interested in a polished look as iPhone users. That’s when you want to fully convince them that your app is worth downloading. It doesn’t matter if the app is free or paid, users can easily get scared off if your app description is terrible.
Sales copy is actually a pretty established field, and not unique to Android apps at all. However, there are a few key points to consider when writing your sales copy for your Android app:
- The first sentence should grab the reader’s attention. More importantly, it should convey what this app does. If a user isn’t interested enough, they won’t click the ‘more’ button and see the rest of the description.
- Be thorough and use keywords to help people find your app in the Android Market.
- Use clear and simple language, so users can read through quickly.
- List the key features of your app
- Explain things that users may question, such as why certain permissions are requested by the app
The same concepts apply when using alternate markets such as SlideMe or Amazon’s Appstore. However, there are always a few small (and sometimes not-so-small) differences that must be accounted for.
This is a giant subject, and worthy of a post in itself (sometime later!). Again, you’ll be ahead of the game when you deploy if you’ve completed the Android Market Deployment Worksheet.
3. Create a Website to Promote your Android App
I know what you’re thinking – you just want to build Android apps, not become a web developer.
While setting up a good looking webpage wouldn’t have been quick a few years ago, it’s becoming increasingly easy. For those who don’t have hosting and don’t want to outlay any cash, there’s an easy solution (several in fact): Blogs.
Blogging hosts like blogger.com and wordpress.com have made it very easy to set up your own personal web space, and with very little time and no experience at all you can make it look fairly polished.
If you want more control, my preferred way is to get your own hosting (I use HostGator) and set up your own blog using the WordPress.org free software. It’s a snap to set your blog up with the 1-click install features on HostGator and other hosting services.
A few things to consider when setting up a blog to promote your Android app:
- Consider focusing the blog entirely on the app– new features, release announcements, etc.
- Prominently display the name of the app, as well as a quick description so people know what it is for
- Display ongoing information, such as development status, release notes, and announcements.
- Include contact information if you want people to ask more.
- Include links to places people can get the app (if you’ve been reading this blog, you know there should be more than one app store hosting your app!)
- Include screenshots of the app in action
- Include links to your other apps
- Include a description of the developer (that’s you!)
And lastly, include this blog as the web page when you release your app. That way, people looking at your app on the Android Market (or any other app market) can find the page (and people finding the page can find your app!).
To Be Continued…
OK, that’s it for part 1. Tune in soon for Part 2, where we’ll cover more steps that you should be following to make more revenue from your Android app or game. As a preview:
- 4. Deploy to the Android Market and be sure you have ratings
- 5. Promote your app with your web page, reviews, and press releases
- 6. Deploy your app to more markets to increase your coverage
- 7. Maximize your ad revenue
Done with the above steps and ready for more? On to part 2 for even Greater Android App Income!