This is a collection of resources to help you successfully launch and market your next app.
Since 2015, Wharton Apps has produced apps for over 300 clients. We offer transparent pricing, quality development and eye-catching design, all at the most affordable prices on the market.
Code Canyon App Templates - Before commissioning a custom app, you should search Code Canyon to see if a similar app source code is available for sale. If you think a Code Canyon app template accomplishes most of what you want your app to do, you can license the code for as little as $15. From here, you can hire Wharton Apps (or another development company) to reskin the template with new graphics or add new features.
Chupamobile - This app marketplace has mixed reviews from developers and customers. Often you can license a Chupamobile template for $300 that is no better than a Code Canyon template priced at $15. Before purchasing a code license, you should shop both marketplaces, and test apps made with the app templates on your device. Avoid assuming that a high price is any indication of quality.
Behance - Look through thousands of quality art portfolios to find great designers for your next project. Use the location filter to find affordable designers in countries like India, Sri Lanka, or Ukraine.
Graphic River - Purchase affordably priced pre-made artwork, and combine it with an existing app template to produce a new app. You can buy "sprites" (animated image sequences for games) on Graphic River for about $10 each.
How to Optimize Chartboost eCPM - If you are planning to monetize your apps by showing ads, this blog post will give you an understanding of the process for setting up Chartboost ads, as well as useful definitions for jargon related to advertising. Justin Malik summarizes his app company's highest performing ad networks in another blog post, Best eCPM Ad Network for iOS in 2015. He concludes that Chartboost is the highest-earning ad network for rewarded videos, StartApp is the highest-earner for banner ads, and either StartApp or AppLovin will earn the most for interstitial ads.
Top 20 Mobile Ad Networks 2016 - Get a detailed look at the major ad networks to get a thorough understanding of each one's unique strengths and weaknesses. This similar article from 2015 provides additional information to help you decide the best ad networks for your app.
Freelancer.com - Compared to its major competitor, Upwork, Freelancer offers better terms to employers and a much broader network of available freelancers. Hire someone with at least 20 reviews, a minimum 85% project completion rate, and a 4 or 5 star average rating. It is also best if you hire people who are individuals (not outsourcing companies), and who have good English fluency. In the long run, the easier communication is worth the extra cost. You can vet freelancers by asking them to break down the project tasks into sub-tasks and then asking them to estimate hours for each sub-task. If a freelancer is not willing to do this, then there is a high probability that they are not experienced enough to know how to do the work.
Fiverr.com - With Fiverr, you can hire freelancers to do jobs for $5-10. Many people here work in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh, so they can actually accomplish quite a lot for $5. Start by hiring multiple freelancers for the same project. Release payment to all of the freelancers who complete the job, but note which ones were exceptional to work with. Hire them again for similar tasks in the future.
Flippa.com - Purchase apps, websites and domains at low prices. Then "flip" them into more valuable assets by adding new features and marketing them. Wharton Apps sells about 4 brand new apps each week on Flippa at prices ranging from $200-400. So if you are looking for great affordable games to launch, consider reviewing our latest pre-made apps.
The Video Game Name Generator - Start with a theme that you want to make a game about (for example "dinosaurs"). Open the Name Generator and click the "Generate" button about 10 times. Each time you click, the generator will display a new random app title. By the time you've clicked 10-20 times, you're sure to find a couple words that you can pair with your initial theme to create a winning game title.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
App Store Optimization (ASO)
The App Store Optimization Checklist: Top 10 Tips - App Store Optimization is the process of increasing how well your app performs on the App Store by boosting rankings and adjusting elements that will make users more likely to download your app. This article gives a high-level overview of all of the components that go into ASO.
13 Essential Key Strategies For Ranking Mobile Apps - 72% of online searches occur on mobile devices. This article lists key strategies for ranking on App Stores and online mobile searches.
ASO Professional - Gabriel Machuret is a leading ASO expert. App Store Optimization changes multiple time per year as app stores update their algorithms. Many ASO techniques are based on guesswork and testing, so they may or may not be reliable. However, Gabriel also shares underlying principles that can help you even when algorithms change.
How to Get Your App Content Indexed by Google - Internet searches are a primary way that many users discover apps. This article explains how to make it easier for users to find your app through online searches. If you would like additional detailed information about optimizing an Android app, read How to Master Google’s First Page and Everything You Need to Know About Mobile App Search.
The Apple App Store SEO Keyword Selection Process In A Nutshell - When users search an App Store, they type keywords that they think will help them find what they are looking for. Apple and Google use algorithms to control how apps rank for users' searches. Both companies allow developers to choose keywords for their own apps that they would like to target. Your goal is to target the search terms that users frequently search for, but that you can also rank well with based on the App Stores' algorithms. This in-depth article will provide detailed information to help you master the process of optimizing what keywords you choose to target with your apps.
Business Model Canvas - If you are developing a new business, many of the assumptions underlying your business may prove incorrect. Perhaps you are not targeting the best type of customer, maybe the product you are offering is not something your customers are willing to pay for, or possibly you have not yet found the best sales channels and marketing strategies. Steve Blank and Alexander Osterwalder designed the Business Model Canvas to help start-ups and major corporations design experiments to rapidly test and validate new ideas. Following their methodology can help you create a sustainable business faster and at lower cost. You can learn about developing business model canvases from these videos, by reading this book, or by taking this online course.
BlueCloud Select - After making over $500,000 on apps, Carter Thomas started a private group for app developers. A one-time membership fee of approximately $150 will buy you access to his source codes, e-books, video tutorials, and private Facebook group. The Facebook group is perhaps the most valuable resource because it is an opportunity to network with other serious-minded developers. You can use the Facebook group to learn from other developers by contributing to discussions about their projects, and you can request feedback about your projects. When Carter does a Facebook Live event, you can ask his advice on how to get past any hurdles you are currently facing in your business. Before (or after) purchasing a membership, you also can gain industry insights from listening to Carter's podcast on SoundCloud.
Small Business Development Center - If you are in the United States, Google "small business development center" and see if there is an SBDC in your region. SBDC's can offer important free strategic advice as well as connect you to business partners, mentors, and potential customers in your community.
The Way You Work - In 5 succinct tips, Austin Church offers excellent advice on choosing great people and inspiring them to deliver their best work. His advice can help you build a fantastic remote team that consistently delivers on time, on budget, and above expectations.
400 Awesome Free Tools To Build Your Business - This exhaustive list by Growth Supply ensures that you will never be at a loss for potential resources. Don't get overwhelmed. Take a look at it, then set it aside and focus on the job you're trying to accomplish. You'll know when you need a resource to gain a creative insight, speed up a task, or learn a new skill. At these times, you can return to this list for endless assistance.
Clarity - Clarity lets you pay by the minute to speak on the phone with experienced app entrepreneurs. You can also use Clarity to connect with entrepreneurs and experts in many other fields as well.
Pixeden - Pixeden offers premium resources for web and digital service companies. Among other resources, they have great free files for iOS device mockups for iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, iPhone 5S, iPhone 4S, iPad Air and iPad Pro.
App Icon Template - Designing interfaces, screenshots and icons does not need to be complicated. However, if you want the absolute best resources to create world-class designs, the tools on this site will help you produce pixel perfect images and efficiently export them in all of the file formats you need.
iTunes Connect Properties - Apple specifies the properties to use when creating screenshots and app preview videos, and describes how you should complete the rest of your app's record inside iTunes Connect.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: Choosing Screenshots for Your iOS App - This article summarizes key information about making app screenshots.
Ultimate Collection of Free Photoshop Styles - Usually Helvetica or San Francisco font is ideal for creating a clean app interface. However, sometimes a game or particular app will call for text that fits with a unique art-directed style: arcade, sci-fi, whimsical, gritty, or something else. When needed, these Photoshop style presets will save you hours in designing the perfect look for your icons and text.
These 50+ Awesome Photoshop Plugins Will Save You A Lot of Time and Money - If you are a full-time designer, these paid resources might be useful for specific projects. These niche plug-ins can accomplish tasks ranging from turning photos into paintings, to exporting multiple Photoshop layers at a time.
iPhone App Localization: How To Get 767% More Downloads By Localizing App Keywords - This article provides information that will help you successfully market your app to foreign markets. Since the majority of apps are not localized, you can gain a huge advantage by ranking well on App Stores in foreign countries.
OneSky - OneSky's professional translators will localize your app's title, keyword, and app description at $0.10/word. If you keep your app description under 3-4 sentences, you can probably translate your app's data to 8-10 languages for $100. One Sky put together this list of statistics to prove why translating can be the most effective marketing decision you make.
SensorTower - As a free service, SensorTower translates your app's keywords into all of the languages offered on the App Store.
Unbabel - If you are on a tight budget, Unbabel can translate for about $0.03/word. Unbabel runs your text through Google Translate and then has translators tweak the output to make sure there are no mistakes. Fluent multi-linguists have reported to us that the output from Unbabel is sometimes awkward compared to the translations by OneSky, so you may benefit by hiring OneSky if your budget allows.
Apptentive 2016 Guide to App Marketing Channels - Get an overview of channels through which you can market your app.
Top 34 Techniques to Get First 100,000 Downloads For Your App - Effective marketing is unique marketing. No group of techniques can work for everyone. This article presents specific ideas for marketing apps that have worked for different app publishers. Consider what group of users you want to target, where and how they spend their time, and what types of media attract their interest. Next, choose a few techniques from this list that will draw their attention to your app. If they don't work, try some of the less conventional creative ideas toward the bottom of this list. To rise above the noise of all the apps available, often it pays to choose unusual app marketing strategies.
The BuzzFeed Approach to Social Media Strategy - Learn a marketing mindset and specific techniques by analyzing BuzzFeed, the disruptive company that distributes content primarily on social media.
Appiness - Austin Church was one a few successful app entrepreneurs who wrote a concise, helpful guide for other app entrepreneurs. This $38 e-book has not been updated since 2013, so many of the specific resources it suggests are outdated. However it still provides some good advice for newcomers to the app industry.
The Complete Guide to Enterprise App Marketing - This free e-book details all the component of a successful marketing campaign for an enterprise-level app such as a new social platform. The e-book is co-authored by numerous authors from popular app marketing companies.
Click Funnels - The most advanced resource on this list, Click Funnels costs $97/month. It is a collection of sales funnel templates that enables you to build and deliver a comprehensive online sales strategy. We only recommend this resource if you have a collection of high-revenue earning products that you are at least nearly certain will produce a positive monthly return on your investment. There are less expensive alternatives if you are still developing sustainable revenue streams.
Bright Newt - It's always valuable to look at exit strategies and alternative ways to generate revenue. If you create or commission an original source code, then licensing it can be a great way to quickly earn back the money you invested. You can sell licenses to your source code on Chupamobile, Code Canyon, or on your own website. If you ever go this route, then writing compelling copy will be essential to making sales. You can model your presentation after one of the greatest app code sales teams by analyzing this masterful sales pitch.
Press Farm - Get 250 e-mail addresses to tech journalists at Wired, TechCrunch, 9to5Mac, Re/code, Yahoo, The Guardian, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, all for just $9. But beware, journalists hate being spammed. Before using this list, read this article by TechCrunch on how to write the type of e-mail that will get a journalist's attention.
13 Ways to Get Press When You Launch Your Startup - The day your app is featured in a tech journal, you'll likely see a 5,000 unit spike in app downloads. This blog post illuminates the mystery of how to get a journalist to write about your app or startup. If you would like more information, you can get another writer's perspective and tips in App Press Release Basics: Writing and Distribution.
iOS App Review Sites - Over 100 sites publish app reviews. Mashable and Gizmodo will certainly get your app a lot of attention, tweets and retweets, but only a particularly remarkable app will get featured. Other sites on this list are much easier to get featured in, but they have smaller traffic. If a journalist chooses to review your app, fantastic. However we strongly discourage paying for reviews; this is unfortunately a common scam.
MailChimp - E-mail is the most effective tool to get potential customers to "convert" (take a desired action). You can use MailChimp for running campaigns to keep in touch with users and incentivize them to leave reviews or download your newest apps.
FreePik - FreePik aggregates free stock vector artwork, photos, icons, and Photoshop design templates from around the web. Their generous licensing terms usually only require writing "Design by FreePik.com" in a discreet location on your work, such as at the bottom of an app description.
ShutterStock - Shutterstock sells stock photos, vector and illustration artwork. It is ideal if you have an established business with a need for a high volume of high quality graphics. If you are in this position, a good option is to purchase a 1-month professional subscription, which will allow you to download 750 images for a total of $249. Over the course of the month after you subscribe, plan out your next 20-40 apps and download all the images that you foresee needing to produce them. Then, when you have a few days remaining, cancel your subscription. You can re-subscribe at a later time when you have more projects planned that you need images for. If you are not sure what to do with your 750 downloads, look at your competitors' businesses and notice the images that they use in their work. You might benefit by finding similar images on Shutterstock, in case you want to use these images at a later date for future projects.
Pixabay - You can find over 500,000 free stock photos, videos and illustrations that you can utilize for any commercial purpose, with no attribution required.
Unsplash - Unsplash offers hundreds of artistic photos, free for unlimited commercial use. It is one of the most incredible photography resources on the Internet.
Fotolia - You can purchase 5 images for $25 for use on your blog, website or app. Choose from 55 million photos, vectors and videos on Adobe's stock marketplace. Alternatively, you can also purchase 5 images for $39 on DepositPhotos, or buy 5 images for $50 on Shutterstock.
Flat Icon - Flat Icon provides over 100,000 free vector icons. You can download a pack that fits for your app aesthetic. If the icon pack does not have a few icons that you need, you can easily create a new one by sourcing vector elements from another icon on the website.
365 Web Resources - This site provides a potpourri of design resources for digital marketers. Most of them are free for commercial use.
Adobe Color CC - A beautiful color scheme is a necessity for any quality app. Never worry about coming up with a great color scheme again. Browse through hundreds of beautiful color pallets and choose the perfect one for your app. If you still don't see a color scheme that meets your needs, Color-Hex is another good source.
BenSound - BenSound offers high-quality, production-ready, free music tracks. You can also find free music from other sources, though the quality and usefulness of their tracks are much less consistent. These other sources include the Free Music Archive, the Vimeo Music Store and Incompetech.
Audio Jungle - Download the perfect musical track for your app or video. An average track costs $19 to license.
Universal Sound FX - Sound design is an integral part of any quality app. Universal Sound FX is a library of 4,000 high quality sound effects that you can purchase for only $40. The tracks are specifically designed for use in games, however you must install a free copy of Unity in order to download them. If you want a quick solution for just a couple sound effects, SoundSnap offers sound effects priced from $1-3, and FreeSFX offers great free sound effects.
Squarespace - Squarespace is an intuitive website builder with seamless hosting and custom domain integration. It costs $8/month to run a simple website and sell an unlimited number of products. Squarespace offers attractive, mobile-optimized templates with advanced features like parallax scrolling. If you get stuck at any point, their customer service will respond to your request in less than a day.
Code Canyon Custom WordPress Themes - Code Canyon empowers you to build professional, highly customized websites by licensing affordable templates.
Peek - Peek lets you submit your website for real users to review. Each reviewers will send you a 3-5 minute video walk-through of your site, giving you invaluable insight into how real users experience your website. You can submit your website for 3 free reviews per month.
EasyVSL - Easy VSL software helps you rapidly produce sales or instructional videos.
Screenflow - This software costs $99, but is extremely efficient and useful for communicating with freelancers and clients remotely. You can record your computer screen and audio, a “talking head” video of yourself, and the keystrokes that you input on your computer. The software assembles these elements automatically, and allows you to export videos that you can share online. A convenient way to share a video is to upload it to YouTube, ensure it is set to be "unlisted" so that people cannot find it in search, and then send the recipient a link to view it. This workflow is convenient for giving freelancers clear project briefs, instructions, notes, and training.
Toggl - Toggl is a free online time-tracker. Once you have established a good working relationship with a freelancer, it is more efficient to have contractors track hours rather than bid on every project. This requires trust and a decent sense of how long freelancers’ tasks should take.
PayPal - Wharton Apps runs virtually all payments into and out of the business through PayPal. While PayPal takes a 3% fee, you get paid instantly, and your freelancers get paid instantly. This keeps business moving quickly.
Skype - Whether you prefer texting or audio calls, most customers and freelancers like to talk on Skype since it’s free, reliable, and widely used around the world.
Udemy - This is the largest platform for teaching and learning niche technical skills. If you teach on Udemy, it can be a useful free marketing tool. Customers who enjoy your tutorial will see you as an authority on your topic, and may contact you to inquire about hiring you for projects.