Category Archives: App Development

Why it’s important to have Twitter Followers (and how to get them)

Just a year ago, I had 630 Twitter followers. At the time of this writing (November 2015), I have 22,600 Twitter followers. By growing your Twitter followers, you will get your message out to more people. This will result in more sales (if you are a business) or more visibility and social clout if you are doing it from a personal perspective.

Twitter statistics

So how did I go from 630 followers in November 2014 to over 22,600 a year later?

Related post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Follow Others

The first key is to follow other Twitter accounts, especially people who have similar interests as you or to what you are selling. When you follow someone, they are more likely to follow you back. I try to follow about 500 new people per day.

Unfollow Others

If you begin following someone and they are not following you back, consider unfollowing them. There are times when you will want to follow people who are not following you back. For example, you may follow business mentors, famous people, or others that are unlikely to follow you back. That’s totally fine and it makes sense in those scenarios. But for the most part, unfollow those that don’t follow back.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts

Some people create a Twitter account but never use it. If they are not using it, they will never see your message, so there’s no need to continue following them. My rule of thumb is that if someone is not active in Twitter for a month, I unfollow them.

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Follow Competitor’s Followers

If you are selling a product, it’s a good idea to find out who is following your competitor and follow those people. If they were interested enough in your competitor’s tweets, they are probably open to seeing yours.

Follow People with Similar Interests

If you are selling a product that helps with productivity, you can easily find Twitter accounts that follow productivity experts. By following those people, they will probably be interested in your product since it solves an issue they are already interested in.

Tweet Often with Good Content

I normally tweet about once an hour and I tweet articles that I am interested in. I figure if I find a cool article, my Twitter followers will also enjoy that article. By streaming hourly Tweets, you will build fans that want to see more of your tweets.

Twitter Automation

If you made it this far into this post, you are probably scratching your head saying “how can you follow 500 people a day and tweet every hour?”. The secret is automation. I spend about 30 to 45 minutes a day building my Twitter followers and setting up automated tweets that fire every hour.

I use a tool called Crowdfire to follow 500 people a day, unfollow those that have not followed me back, unfollow inactive Twitter accounts, and to find new followers with my interests or from a competitor. Crowdfire costs me $9.99 a month and is well worth the cost.

Crowdfire

To tweet every hour of the day, I use a tool called ViralContentBuzz. ViralContentBuzz allows you to post your own articles for others to tweet. In exchange, you can find interesting articles that others have posted and schedule them to tweet on whatever schedule you decide (I do it hourly).

ViralContentBuzz

ViralContentBuzz has a free edition (that’s the one I use) and it allows you to build up credits by tweeting other people’s articles. Since I am doing this hourly, it gives me plenty of credits to allow other people to tweet my articles.

Further Reading

If you really want to maximize visitors to your website or blog, there are other strategies you can use as well. For example, you will need to implement good SEO strategies, post your articles on different distribution platforms, and market your blog. If you want more information on that, see an article I recently wrote entitled “WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking“.

Also, check out these success stories I’ve been a part of for driving more blog visits.

Conclusion

By following the tips in this article, you will begin gaining more Twitter followers and driving more traffic to your website or blog. If you’ve discovered other strategies that have worked, please share them in the comments below.

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:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

Ask Alexa: How Popular is your Website or Blog?

I’ve been blogging for years, but I’ve just started taking it more seriously a couple of months ago. I decided I would start blogging more often and I wanted a way to determine how well the strategy was working. Here are some strategies for determining your blog popularity using Alexa and to build your following more quickly.

Using Alexa to determine my blogs popularity

Using Alexa to Determine Blog Popularity

Alexa (http://www.Alexa.com) is a ranking system created by Amazon that tracks the number of visitors sites get. The lower your Alexa score, the more popular your site is — if your score is below 200,000, you’ve got a pretty popular website.

When I first checked my Alexa ranking a couple of months ago, it had a Global Ranking over 10 million and the USA ranking was over 1 million. Not so good.

Now after 3 months of focused blogging, I have improved my Alexa ranking to just over 1 million globally and about 148,000 in the USA and it is improving by leaps and bounds each month.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Using Alexa to Analyze Your Website

If you want to check your Alexa ranking, simply navigate to Alexa.com and type in your website URL, it will analyze your site.

Alexa Traffic Rank

Here’s what mine says as of the date of publishing (October 2015):

Alexa Traffic Ranking

Once my blog is ranked under 100,000, it will start to compare my site to others so I am working hard to reduce my ranking.  It will also tell you where the majority of your traffic comes from — for me it is from the USA and India.

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Visitor Engagement

Next, it shows me how engaged my visitors are, here are my stats:

Alexa Engagement Statistics

I am pretty proud of these numbers, here’s what they mean:

  • Bounce Rate – This is how often people come to my site and only view the page they landed on. For my site, it is 34% of the time. In other words, 66% of the time, people find other content on my website that they like and continue looking at other pages. If you can get your bounce rate to 50% or less, you are doing well.
  • Daily Pageviews per Visitor – This is the number of pages a single user will view on your site in one day. If you can get this number over 3, you are doing well.
  • Daily Time on Site – This is how long people are hanging out on your site. My visitors are spending over 10 minutes a day on my site — that’s pretty good. If you can get that number over 5 minutes, it is good.

Sites Linking In

Finally, use Alexa to view the number of sites that are linking to you. If other sites are linking to your site, search engines reward you because it assumes you have important content on your site. One of your strategies is to get more people linking to your site and this is a way of determining if this strategy is working:

Alexa Sites Linking In

The Alexa Toolbar

If you want to check the Alexa ranking of any site you land on, consider installing the Alexa toolbar, it makes it a lot easier.

How I Improved My Alexa Ranking

I greatly improved my site visits and Alexa ranking in under 3 months, so you may be wondering how I did it. Here’s my strategy:

  • Create Great Content – I spend a lot of time thinking of interesting content that I think others will enjoy.
  • Blog often – I try to create at least one new blog post a week, more if I can.
  • Make each blog SEO friendly – If you’re spending the time creating a blog post, make it SEO friendly so that the search engines can find it, here is how to do that.
  • Market each blog post – I market my blog posts on Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, ViralContentBuzz, Google+, LinkedIn, BlogSpot, Tumblr, Pinterest, Medium, Niume.com, Buzzsumo, and Gizmodo.
  • Follow Other Blogs – I follow other bloggers that I admire and am interested in. Each time they post a blog, I post a comment on their blog. Many of those blogs use a tool called CommentLuv which puts a backlink to your website when you post a comment. This is how to get other sites linking back to you.
  • Build Your Twitter Following – At the time of this writing, I have almost 22,000 Twitter followers. When you tweet something (like your blog post), a lot of people see it and many times they will retweet it to their followers. Use a tool like Crowdfire to build your following.
  • Participate in Discussion Forums – I regularly participate in discussion forums where I ask and respond to questions. In each forum, I have a link to my blog and my Twitter account. People are curious and will visit your site as they see you posting in these forums. The forums I used most often are Mr. Money Mustache, Reddit, and Blonde on a Budget. I don’t use this strategy specifically to drive traffic, I just enjoy the interactions. But it does have a side benefit of driving traffic.
  • Joining a Tribe – I’ve just discovered this technique, but the idea is that you can interact with a group of other people that have similar blog content and you can share each other’s content. The software I use for this is Triberr and I think this will become a regular part of my blog strategy.
  • Create an About.Me page – An About.Me page is an online profile where others can learn about you, here is mine.  I include that information in the signature line of each email that I send out, here is how my email signature looks:

    Steve Miller
    www.FlipFlopSoftware.com
    Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  | About.Me

Conclusion

With a bit of effort, you can drive more visitors to your website and improve your Alexa ranking. I hope you enjoyed the tips I provided for building your website following, do you have other tips that I haven’t considered?

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

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:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking

You spend countless hours tweaking your web pages and blog posts, but are you making them easy to find in Google, Bing, and the major search engines? In this post, we will discuss tools and best practices for optimizing your rankings. I use WordPress for our blog (here’s why), but the techniques discussed here works regardless of what blogging tool you use.

Tip 1 – WordPress SEO: Target a single keyword phrase

When creating a blog post, think of what the main focus of the article is. In this blog post, my focus phrase is “WordPress SEO” because by focusing on a single keyword phrase, I can optimize the content for that phrase and drive more targeted traffic.

Tip 2 – Include the keyword phrase in the blog title

Once you’ve decided on the keyword phrase, put that phrase in the title of your post and as close to the beginning of the title as possible. Notice in this post, my title is “WordPress SEO: 10 Tips to Boost your Google Ranking“, so the keyword phrase “WordPress SEO” is at the beginning of the title.

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Tip 3 – Include the keyword phrase in an early heading tag

Notice the first bolded section of this post “Tip 1 – WordPress SEO: Target a single keyword phrase” is created as an H2 (heading 2) and contains the word “WordPress SEO” close to the beginning of that H2 tag. When Google and other search engines crawl your post, it looks for important words (those that are used in the title, H1/H2/H3 header tags, and words that are used repeatedly throughout the post).

By finding a high-density word, it assumes that this word or phrase must be what the article is about and provides a better ranking.

Tip 4 – Bold your keyword phrase

Notice that I mention the word “WordPress SEO” several times during this blog. By bolding the word, the search engines figure it is an important word.

Tip 5 – Include a META description containing your keyword

In HTML, the meta description tag is shown when people find your blog posting in a search engine, it is the description it provides there. Here is an example of the tag:

<meta name=”description” content=”Use these tips to Improve your WordPress SEO and to boost your Google ranking for a specific keyword phrase. Yoast SEO for WordPress makes this much easier.”>

When creating the meta description:

  • Keep the description to 156 characters or less because that’s the maximum characters shown by search engines.
  • Include your keyword phrase in the description, as close to the beginning as possible.
  • Use as much of the 156 characters as possible to target your keyword phrase and explain your blog post.
  • Be sure your description sounds like a normal sentence, don’t just put your keyword phrase into the text over and over in a nonsensical manner.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Tip 6 – Include images in your blog post

Images inside your post get indexed by search engines, so put as many images in your blog post as is feasible. You will notice at the end of this blog post, I put in several images that show how to use Yoast SEO.

When you include an image, name the image something that includes your keyword and use the IMG ALT tag to describe your image and include your keyword phrase there, here is an example:

<img src=“WordPress-SEO-Yoast-General-Settings.gif” alt=“Wordpess SEO – How to use the General Settings tab in Yoast SEO”>

Tip 7 – Include Facebook Sharing

Include the ability for users to share your blog post via Facebook. When doing this, include a strong Facebook image, title, and description; each of those should have your keyword phrase included.

Facebook Image:
If you include a Facebook and Twitter image for your post, it will generate more reads. According to Buffer Social, including a photo in your tweets increases retweets by 35%.

I normally put together a special image for this (440×220 is the optimal size), here is an example for this post:

Wordpress SEO Boost Google Rankings

Facebook title example:
How to use Yoast SEO for WordPress SEO to boost your Google rank.

Facebook description example:
WordPress SEO is an important consideration if you would like to increase your Google ranking for a specific blog post or web page. This article explains best practices for implementing WordPress SEO.

Tip 8 – Include Twitter Sharing

Similar to the Facebook sharing tip, do the same for Twitter. With Twitter, make your title and description shorter, as you only have 144 characters to work with (less when you include an image). Also, use one or more tags to improve Twitter SEO.

Twitter Image:
Use the same one as Facebook.

Twitter title example:
WordPress SEO: Boost rankings

Twitter description example:
Techniques for boosting #Wordpress #SEO

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

Tip 9 – Use Yoast SEO for WordPress SEO

All of the things mentioned in this article can be done with or without WordPress. However, using WordPress can make your life easier because it provides lots of plugins to make maintaining your site a breeze.

If you are using WordPress and are hosting the site, consider using the Yoast SEO plugin. With this plugin, you can easily make your blog post SEO friendly. Download the Yoast SEO plugin (it’s free) and install it using these instructions.

Once it is installed, write your first blog post, then scroll to the bottom of your post, you will notice the Yoast SEO General Settings panel. From here, you can specify the focus keyword, SEO Title, and SEO Description:

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO General Settings

Notice how I filled in all of the information described in this blog post. Once you’ve done this, click the Social tab of the Yoast SEO panel:

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO Social Settings

Finally, you can check how well you did by clicking the Page Analysis tab within Yoast SEO.

Wordpress SEO Yoast SEO Page Analysis

Overall, it gives me a good SEO ranking for this page. However, notice the first warning “the slug for this page is a bit long, consider shortening it”. The “slug” is simply the file name for the post. In my case, WordPress made the filename the same as the blog’s title (wordpress-SEO-10-tips-to-boost-your-google-ranking) so I tapped the edit button and renamed it to “wordpress-seo-tips-for-google”:

Editing the Slug for WordPress SEO

Tip 10 – Market your blog post to drive more traffic

Until a couple of months ago, I would post a blog and wait for the traffic to roll in. I certainly did not break any readership records with this approach so I started researching ways to increase readership of my blog posts. By following the tips below, I increased my average blog reads by 5 times once I started implementing these techniques, here is a graph to prove it:

Blog readership increased 5 times

Publicizing your Blog Post

Once you post your blog, do these things to publicize it:

  1. Social Sharing – Post the blog post to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Pinterest) — be sure to include an image with your post to gain a 35% increase in retweets.
  2. Viral Sharing – Use ViralContentBuzz.com to allow others to retweet your blog post in return for retweeting blog posts that would be of interest to your readers.
  3. StumbleUpon – Post your page to Stumble Upon so that others can stumble onto it, here is an example of one I’ve posted.
  4. Blog Spot – Post your blog post to BlogSpot, here is an example of how I this for a prior post.
  5. Tumblr – Post your blog to Tumblr, here  is an example.
  6. Medium – Post your blog to Medium, here is an example, Try to find a publication with related articles and ask the editor if they will post your articles.
  7. Google Plus – A Google Plus posting tends to get better rankings with the Google search engine because they are owned by the same company, so be sure to post a link to your blog post there several times within the week of publishing it so that you can drive more organic traffic. Here are some example posts I’ve created there.
  8. Find Related WordPress Blogs – Now that you have your keyword phrase, find other people’s blogs that compliment yours. You can find this with this URL: http://www.Wordpress.com/tags/[tagname], here is an example: http://www.wordpress.com/tags/seo. This will bring up a list of blogs that posted about SEO. I read the posts and LIKE the ones I find interesting. If appropriate, I will also add a comment to their blog that tells them why I liked their blog post and tell them I have a blog that expands on SEO and provide a link to my blog post within the comment. By LIKING the post, the author will most likely check out your blog. By posting a comment with a link to your blog, the author’s readers may check out your blog post.
  9. Find Recent Posts via Google – Similar to the finding related WordPress blogs, you can do the same with Google. Search Google for a specific keyword (WordPress SEO in this case). Once it lists the sites targeting this keyword phrase, show only the ones posted in the last week so that you are finding recent posts:Use Google to Find Related Sites for WordPress SEO

    Once you filter the list, look at each article that catches your interest, like their article, and comment (with a link to your blog post) if appropriate.

Conclusion

By following the tips in this article, you will begin ranking higher in Google and will drive more readers to your website or blog. By driving more traffic to your blog, your Alexa ranking will increase and it will snowball into more people finding your blog.

Related Post: Success stories for driving more blog visits

P.S. Can I ask a Favor?
Leave a comment and let me know tips you’ve found to increase the number of readers to your blog or website.

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:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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.

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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.

Conclusion

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:

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn  |  Subscribe to this Blog

 

Get a free copy of the Appreneur Playbook

Appreneur Handbook by Charlyn Keating

Although I’m retired from the corporate life, I create mobile apps as my side hustle.

Creating a mobile app does not require that you know programming but it does require that you understand the app market, how to drive downloads, and how to make your app easy to find in the app store.

I’m excited to tell you about a new book that just hit the Amazon bookstore yesterday. It is by a fellow appreneur, Charlyn Keating.

Charlyn interviews the top app entrepreneurs (appreneurs) and pulls all of their advice into easily digestible content that educates you on all of the ins and outs of mobile app development and marketing.

Oh, did I mention the book is free through Monday, August 24? If you’re reading this after Monday, it’s worth the cost because it is 147 pages of how-to advice from the top appreneurs.

I personally helped Charlyn edit the contents of the book, so I can highly recommend it if you are interested in app development.

Get the book here: The Appreneur Playbook: Game-Changing Mobile App Marketing Advice from the Pros

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

About this Blog

Steve Miller built a software company, sold it and retired in 2012. Steve now enjoys blogging, traveling and staying fit. He creates mobile apps in his spare time. If you enjoy lifestyle freedom, financial independence and technology, follow Steve’s We Retired Early blog.

Follow me: Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin  |  Subscribe to this Blog

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Count Us Down App: Status as of 10-July-2015

Thanks for being a loyal follower of the 2HourAppreneur blog. As you probably know, we are developing a new app and we will be providing monthly updates as we progress with the development of the new app and let you know once the app is ready for the first round of beta testing.

If you want to sign up for the beta team, you can do it here: http://www.CountUsDown.com. If you are interested in how that might benefit you, read this article.

Current Status of the Count Us Down App

Currently, we are making great progress on the development of the app. We plan to have 2 formal beta releases:

  • Beta 1 – This will have the basic features of the app. We will be soliciting feedback on colors, design, and ease-of-use. We expect to be in Beta 1 by the end of summer.
  • Beta 2 – This release will have sharing capabilities built into the app. You will be able to create an event and share it with others. We expect to be in Beta 2 sometime in the fall.

#CountUsDown Website

We just finished the first iteration of the Count Us Down website, it would be great to get your feedback: http://www.CountUsDown.com.

Specifically:

  1. What do you think of the colors of the website?
  2. Can you easily understand what the app does by viewing the website?
  3. What do you think of the logo (top left area of the page)?
  4. Are we missing anything on the website that is important to know?

CountUsDownWebsite

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

#CountUsDown Movie Trailer

We just finished the first iteration of the Count Us Down Youtube video, it would be great to get your feedback:

Specifically:

  1. Is the video too short, too long, or just right?
  2. Can you easily understand what the app does by viewing the video?
  3. Are we missing anything in the video that is important to know?

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

#CountUsDown Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots from the app. Please review the screen shots and let us know what you think about them (any feedback is helpful).

AllEvents Baby Concert Superbowl Vacation Wedding

Ever wonder what it would be like see an app being developed?

We are working hard on a new mobile app that will work on both the iPhone and Android devices and would like your help!

What is the new app?

It is a friend-sharing app that allows you to countdown and celebrate your life’s big events. It’s called Count Us Down.

How is the app used?

Weddings: Imagine you are planning a wedding and would like to share the big date with your friends and family. Simply open up the app, add your wedding date, share it with your friends and now all your friends can count down the days with you!

Travel: Let’s say you are planning a vacation with friends and/or family. Add your vacation date, share it with your travel mates and you all share in the anticipation of counting down the days until your fun trip.

Baby on the Way: If you’re pregnant and want to share the baby’s arrival with friends and family, you can have them count down to the arrival of your bundle of joy.

Sporting Events: Imagine counting down to the Superbowl, World Series, the Stanley Cup finals, NBA finals or the Women’s World Cup!

You get the Picture: Any event coming up (retirement, soldier coming home from deployment, concert, family reunion, class reunion) — count down and share the excitement!

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How can you help?

We are in the development stages of the app now and will soon be testing our first release of the app. We plan to have 2 formal beta releases, the first will have basic features and the 2nd will have sharing features.

We are looking for about 100 beta testers (we currently have about 25 signed up). As a beta tester you will:

  • Download the app and ensure it works as it should on your device (iPhone, iPad or Android)
  • Give us candid feedback on colors, features, and ease-of-use.
  • Give us suggestions for future versions of the app.

What’s in it for you?

  • Get a free copy of the app once it is in the app store.
  • Get exposure to how an app is developed and tested.
  • Brag to your friends that you helped test an app that is used world-wide.
  • Nab Karma points for helping us out (we will also give you a shout out in an upcoming blog).

Sign up for the Beta:

Sign up here: http://www.CountUsDown.com 

Movie Trailer

We just finished our first YouTube movie for the app, let us know what you think of it:

Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots of the app, let us know what you think:

Baby Concert Superbowl Vacation WeddingAllEvents

Sign up for the Beta:

Sign up here: http://www.CountUsDown.com 

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

Count Us Down Video: Count Down to big events in our lives

We just published our video trailer for the Count Us Down app, a cool new app we are working on that will allow you to count down the days to your next big event.

Take a look at our video trailer, it’s only 45 seconds long. Let us know what you think!

Count Us Down Pioneer Program

Want early access to the Count Us Down app? By participating in the Pioneer program, you will get access to the app before it hits the app store and can provide feedback that may change the direction and design of the app.  Sign up for early access here:

http://www.CountUsDown.com

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

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

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How to use Sensor Tower for ASO (App Store Optimization)

It’s really hard to get noticed in the crowded app store. The only way to do this successfully is to spend time with app store optimization (ASO). For optimal ASO,

  • Create an eye catching icon for your app
  • Upload screen shots for each iPhone resolution
  • Upload a preview video
  • Use Sensor Tower to find strong keywords

Create an eye catching icon for your app

The best way to do this is to A/B test a set of different icons. You can do this by getting multiple designers at 99Designs to create icons and then posting them to your Facebook feed to see which icon people think looks best. I did this and settled on this icon for my latest app, Count Us Down:

AppIcon60x60

Upload Screen Shots for each iPhone Size

When creating screen shots, most people like to mix a screen shot along with some wording that explains what the screen does. Showing the screen inside of an iPhone also seems to do better than just showing the screen shot itself. Be sure to upload screen shots for each iPhone size (iPhone 4, 5, 6, 6+). Here is an example of screen shots I uploaded for my aMemoryJog Password Management app:

AllScreenShots

Upload a Preview Video

I wrote a prior blog about creating an app video, you can see that by clicking here.

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

Use Sensor Tower to find Strong Keywords

Sensor Tower is the leading tool for finding keywords for your app. I have been using it for almost a year now and there is no better tool for this. When deciding on keywords, consider these things:

  • Look for relevant keywords – It does you no good to use keywords that have nothing to do with your app. People will see your app and ignore it.
  • Look for keywords with high traffic – I look for keywords with a traffic ranking of 4+ but the higher the better.
  • Look for keywords with low iPhone difficulty (competition) – I look for keywords with a with 3 or less iPhone difficulty ranking, but the lower the better.

To get started with Sensor Tower, create a trial (if you haven’t) and then set it up for your app by adding your app at the top of the page:

ST1

Then click the Keyword Optimization icon from the left margin. From here you can enter a list of keywords  you think might be relevant and it will tell you the traffic and iPhone difficulty ranking of each.

When entering keywords, separate them by commas with no spaces in between and do not include any words that are in your app title. You can enter up to 100 characters of keywords (including the commas), and Sensor Tower will tell you how many characters you’ve used. It will even spot any keywords that are already in your title, how cool is that?

Here is how the keyword rankings might look:

ST2

In the examples above, the traffic rankings are pretty good but the difficulty rankings are pretty high. This means that you may get a lot of traffic, but you will most likely be far down in the list of apps the user sees so you may never get any eyes on your app.

One of the cool features of Sensor Tower is the ability to spy on your competitors. To do this, click on the Keyword Research icon in the left margin. From here, enter a keyword and it will show you apps that rank well for it:

ST3

In the example above, I searched on the keyword gif. You can sort the list by ranking by clicking on that column header. Then click the Keyword Spy icon to see what keywords that app is using:

ST4

It will show you the keywords the competitor uses and compare it with the keywords you are targeting so that you can determine if you might want to use some different keywords.

Localizing your Keywords

It is also a good idea to localize your keywords for different languages. Sensor Tower has a feature that allows you to translate your existing keywords to different languages. You can access that by clicking the Keyword Translation icon in the left margin. This is a good starting point but be sure to use Sensor Tower to analyze each of these keywords in the app store of the language you are targeting.  For example, you may find that the word gif is a good keyword for the US app store but when translated it may not be a good keyword in the Chinese app store.

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone

Conclusion

Spend lots of time with ASO before releasing your app and a great tool like Sensor Tower to find relevant keywords with high traffic and low competition.

Next App Development Project: Count Us Down

Now that my first app, aMemoryJog Password Manager is live in the app store, I am on to my next app project.  My next app is called Count Us Down, it allows you to count down the days to your next big event — vacation, sporting event, or family outing. You can even count down to really big life events like a graduation or retirement.

Many of you mentioned that it would have been great to have an Android or Windows phone version of aMemoryJog. I am using a different technology for the Count Us Down app so it will be very easy to create iPhone, Android and Windows phone versions of the Count Us Down.

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

Sneak Peak of the Count Us Down App

Below is the screen design for Count Us Down:

Count down to your big events

Please Provide Feedback

I just created the website for the Count Us Down app. Please review the website at http://www.CountUsDown.com and let me know what you think about the features and if I missed anything. From here you can also sign up to be notified via email once the app is live in the app store.

aMemoryJog - Best Password Manager for iPhone