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App Marketing Quick Tip: Beating the Odds and Winning the iPhone Lottery


We've all seen the story on Gizmodo, TechCrunch or some other blog: developer creates iPhone app, makes $300,000 in six weeks, and quits his day job. These stories are the ones that have driven many developers into the modern day gold rush: iPhone app development. With so many apps competing for the attention of the platforms users, developers are now creating apps and crossing their fingers. Their goal? To make it into the Top 100, where millions of users will see their app for free, and they can soon ride the waves of cash that will surely come in.

So the question is this: how do you get your application into the top 100?

Is it being featured by Apple?

Maybe a blog post on TechCrunch or Gizmodo?

Perhaps it could be having your app in an iPhone commercial?

For most apps in the top 100, it’s likely a combination of developing a high quality product and blind luck (there is always the occasional flatulence app). Statistically, becoming a wealthy iPhone developer is unlikely. If you’re going to pour your time into creating something of value with the hope of making a substantial profit, you simply cannot rely on luck.

Let’s look at the iPhone Lottery for what it really is: a chance to leave the “rat race” and become your own boss or, at the very least, a way for you to add enough passive income so that you can enjoy life a little more. Using iPhone development as a tool to leave the “rat race” is possible, but what is more likely is that you can increase your income by $15,000 to $30,000 a year.

Simple Math

The key to making money with this platform can be seen by doing some simple math.

A $1.99 application will yield $1.39 after Apple's 30%.

One application at the price of $1.99 with 30 downloads per day equals $1,251 per month or $15,012 a year.

Now, three applications at the price of $1.99 with 30 downloads per day each equals $3,753 per month or $45,036 a year.

I won't even venture into the income range you would make if you were doing 60, 100, or even 200 downloads a day per application. These download numbers are substantial, but they are far below what is necessary to get into the coveted Top 100. The point is that by creating multiple high quality apps, you can make money on this platform. It may not be $300,000 in six weeks, but it very well could be enough to positively impact your life.

Cross Promotion

There is an added benefit to creating and marketing multiple applications.

Each app is a free marketing resource that you can use for cross-promoting your applications. Cross-promotion is a huge asset in marketing your apps, and it is free! A simple useful app with a great UI could easily reach twenty downloads a day with a good marketing effort. If you have multiple applications and cross-promote within them, you'll see that your applications will begin to drive sales for you.

If your goal is to supplement your income or potentially quit your job, the aforementioned plan is not only logical but easily implementable.

My advice to you is simple: become a realist as soon as possible, work on changing your perception of what success is in the App Store, and get out of the "Get Rich Quick" mentality that drives lotto ticket sales. Master the platform, find an awesome UI designer, and have fun building great apps!

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