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mobile apps

So you have spent hours and hours learning how to code it is now time to start your first mobile application.  So many questions begin to pop up.  Where should I begin?  How can I make my first app a total success that will start my global app empire?  How long will it take to earn my first million downloads?

Before you can answer these questions, you should answer the questions below.  These questions will help you to focus your attention on the most important aspects of starting an app and pointing you on the right direction to building your solid first app.

1. Who are my customers?

In order to make your mobile application a hit, you have to define exactly who the app is for. Generally describe the type of customers that will use your app. Are they female teens that likes shoes and bags… or yuppies that likes to download apps that will make them more productive… or gamers that spends $500 or higher for DLC’s… or whom? Be as clear as possible.

Once you know who they are you can focus on their issues… their “PAIN” that your product is designed to address. This can be a true and dramatic unmet need or just might be a less of a need than a want. For instance, Whisper, an app designed for easily sharing secrets anonymously with other users. Users can upload or search for images online and then adding text messages on top of them. Whisper users can also privately message each other, as long as they are willing to pay for the feature.

Always keep in mind that you are developing an app for your intended consumer. Either it’s for your own use or for others to enjoy.

Be sure to focus on their PAIN and how you’re mobile application can SOLVE it.

2. What need will the mobile application serve?

Even before writing the first piece of code you need to, in a nutshell, describe your customer solution. What kind of features will your app offer?

Before beginning a mobile app development project, it is critical to consider how the app will be used to both engage the target customer and contribute to your overall marketing strategy. You should determine your customer’s need that will be fulfilled by your app.

3. What platform will I use for my mobile app?

After you have determined your target market and how to solve their pain, you need to decide on which platform will you develop your app. You need to determine what platforms your target market is using. Are they on Android?.. or Apple’s iOS?.. or are they using other platforms?

Once you have determined which platform your target market uses, you need to research the screen size of the devices they are using. You need to conduct a market research to find out which devices are most popular with your audience and develop those first. Expand from there if and when possible.

4. What language should I use?

You also need to determine the language your target audience uses. Is your native language your customers uses?.. or are they using a different language? Releasing your app in English-friendly markets is a good first step. The good news is that a lot of international markets are actually using English content.

5. How do I distribute my app?

The app stores can help you distribute your app for download. They’re certainly easy to use. But you should look both at the app store’s performance in the specific audience you’re looking at and at alternative distribution channels in that market.

6. How do I promote my mobile application?

In order to get high download numbers you need to promote your product in a way that will appeal to your target user. Choosing a great name for your mobile application is key here. Try something fun and memorable that mentions the problem it solves (think about GetTaxi, or 4 Pics 1 Word, or Evernote). Make sure also that name you chose is not yet taken.

After you have chosen a great name for your app, you need to find out where are your target audience hangs out… Are they on Facebook?.. Twitter?.. or maybe you can reach them at your local grocery.

Tip: If you’re app is about how to budget or save time in the groceries and your target market are budget conscious tech savvy moms, then the groceries is the best place to promote it or show it firsthand to shoppers.

You need to find out where your target audience spend most of their time and promote there.

7. How do I make money from my app?

And last but not the least in monetization. There are many different models you can use to make money. Some will work better than others depending on what type of app you have.

Based on the survey conducted by VisionMobile, among the revenue models that are most popular and more accessible to developers, In-app purchases come on top, generating, on average 34% more revenue than Freemium and 43% more revenue than Pay-per-download. In-app purchases and Freemium models are becoming increasingly popular, now being used by a quarter of developers as they seem to be appealing to consumers. iOS on the other hand, continues to dominate platform revenues generating on average 30% more revenue per app-month than Android.

How about you?

We’d love to know what are your personal questions before you started your first mobile app. Did it help to make your first app a success? Any other tips for new mobile app developers?

And if you’re looking for tips on designing your apps – check out 5 Things To Consider When Designing Mobile Apps.