My First week on Android Market

For those that have been reading this over the last few weeks I thought I would share my experience’s with finally publishing an app to the Android Market.

Here it is – Please give it a try

The app as you will have gathered from previous posts is a simple game the concept being it would be a good learning exercise. Once I completed the app I thought I would place it on the market and use it to see how the publishing side works, So here’s  what i’v found out after a week.

1. Its really hard to get noticed!

This is one thing I have found quite frustrating, albeit the app I made is no Cut the Rope or Angry Birds but I wanted people to download and play and critique, leaving your app on the market with no promotion will get you nowhere. I posted on reddit the community is great and 99.9% of the time give you great feedback  the other 0.01% someone mentions the app would be made better with the addition of a penis or boobs but the rest of the comments more than make up for this, from reddit I recieved great feedback and support and made few changes to my game but after reddit I found myself with no other form of promotion. I could have spammed forums and so on but I wasnt keen on this so for now I have gave up to concentrate on another project I am excited about, though I am still enhancing Killerballs. So if you want your app to be popular you have to push it out there.

Of course their is the Amazon Market and GetJar to explore this is an option I may look into in future I will post if I do!

2. Ad’s – Worth it ?

Now if you are like me you will have already seen the vast majority of blogs that post sensational earnings from the android market in a short period of time with no promotion and all that, now I am not saying they are lying and no so long ago I believe it was a lot easier to make money from ad’s but now it is much harder.

I signed up with admob, you get around $0.03 cents per click of an ad, for an app like mine which currently has low traffic and is likely to stay that way it is unlikely I will ever make any decent return on ad’s. The biggest lesson i made with the ad’s the first few days is I forgot all about the users network connection as I was on wifi while testing so ad’s loaded with super speed even the larger ad’s so I had them inbetween rounds on a time delay dialog. For the first few day my requests were in the 100’s but impressions very low, I quickly realised this was because I was trying to show large ads in a small space of time and they simply never had time to load. I fixed this in an update and seen a great difference as shown below.

Ad Table

The add table for first week

So seeing the poor return from Admob I decided to look at better alternatives and found Leadbolt, If you havent tried I strongly encourage people to take a look they Ads even come in HTML form so you dont need to integrate any SDK like with most providers. The provide a feature called  an AppWall which gives the user a list of top apps that they can download and of course you get compensated for this. Check it out here – LeadBolt – It is free and easy to sign up and you get a great service ! I will update as I use them more

3. Scoreloop

If you are making a game and need leaderboards,awards or anything else of that nature check scoreloop out I have just used them to integrate a highscore board but will be looking into them a lot more.

Conclusion 

I have made a grand total of  $0.17 cents which is around 10 pence UK money so a long way before Im retiring

So far a slow week (5 days) for my app hopefully it can start to pick up as i update it and improve it after all it was a learning exercise and wasnt meant for public consumption so is far from perfect. I will also keep you updated on the latest Ad providers and how they treat me and Id love to hear your feedback.

Thanks

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14 thoughts on “My First week on Android Market

  1. Hello, I just want to share my story of my first week on the Market.

    I created a simple app directed towards MMO grinders, especially eastern MMOs where grinding is a big part of it. I released it with one main function with the promise of more (that I am working on). After a couple of days I had a steady increase of 10-25 net installs per day. I didn’t advertise for this app so all those came from search results and people impulsively installing the app.

    I’m on my 11th day now and have passed 300 total downloads and 170 net installs with the same steady increase per day. I think one trick is to have good search words and screenshots, for games, a video probably helps a long way as well.

    I don’t have anything in particular to comment on as far as ads go. I haven’t used them in my app because I’ve read that you don’t earn anything with a small userbase. Advertising is all about massive amounts of clicks. When the app is growing you need staying users and good ratings rather than one or two cents income. Also, admob sucks and there are supposedly much better alternatives.

    • Hi, Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yes I agree completely with what you said the ads aren’t doing much im considering taking them out completely as im doing this for a hobby not for payment. I think where I fall short is my keywords and perhaps name I couldnt think of anything decent, any advice on this ?

      • Well start by having a more descriptive description which uses common words that are more likely to be searched for. It can be more than a couple of paragraphs long as long as you write the most “catching” part first. Write it as you would write an article. And remember, use words like game, fun and other keywords that apply to your game. And don’t write it like it’s blatantly slapped onto just for the sake of keywords.

        Looking at your app on Market it really lacks good screen shots. Maybe create some images in Photoshop that incorporates a short description of gameplay accompanying the screenshots?

  2. I had a similar experience with my game. It really is hard to get noticed, and I think thats due to the unfortunate fact that there are always tons of bs apps being submitted every day, and that pushes you down on the new apps list (or “top new”). Unlike you, however, I paid $50 for a 5-day marketing campaign with admob. That got me absolutely nothing. In total I made $15 from my game, and 12 of those dollars were from friends and family (and the rest of the purchases came weeks after the campaign ended). So I actually lost $35

    I did notice something, however, and that is that people seem to download things that have good-looking screenshots. My app had very ugly screenshots because the main appeal of the graphics was intended to be the 3D animations (and you can’t see animations in screenshots). Other crappy click-the-ball type of games with smooth and pretty screenshots were getting 1000+ downloads! For this reason I’ve begun redesigning my graphics to see if I can figure out how to make a game get more popular before I release my next one

    BTW, I used OpenFeint instead of Scoreloop since it seems to be more popular.

    • Thanks for taking the time to reply, the graphics were something I took a lot of time to create when making this game but it is very hard with no previous graphical design or even game design experience to get good looking graphics, but so far I’m fairly happy with how it looks could always be better though.

      TBH I feel that I may be in the same position as you and this app for me has been a great learning exercise and that might be where it stays, hopefully can take the lessons iv learned here and not make the same mistakes twice on future projects.

      Please let me know how you get on with your redesign,

    • If you want to advertise you should really check out AppBrain’s pay per install service, its for free apps and you pay as little as 0.22 dollars per install so for $50 you get yourself a little over 200 installs.

    • I suppose its quite hard to get noticed because you have a lot of big apps already and as a hobby Android developer its hard to compete with them but Market place is filled with spam apps and such. Maybe we just need to find the right advertising methods Tretherio ! Im not too bothered this time round but for my next app if and when I get round to it I dont want to be in the same position.

  3. I’d like to point out that LeadBolt is one of the “bad guys” that will show notification ads even when users are not using the LeadBolt-enabled app. It sounds like you’re not using that kind of ad, and even so, I don’t have any gripe with you trying to make money. Still, I decided not to try them out because I don’t want to be associated with a company doing that sort of thing.

  4. Interesting read. Do you know why your app is so large? 4.6M seems big compared to other Android apps and the game doesn’t have any crazy functionality. Good work keeping the graphics clean and simple.

    • Hey, Yeah It’s quite large as I have a few large graphics in there that I need to clear out. I think that is whats hogging so much space been trying to find the time to address it! Thanks, I tried hard with the graphics was really hard to create original ones with no prior graphic design experience,

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