App Dev 5: Buying a Mac for iOS App Development

September 17, 2013 in App Development

iPhone App DevelopmentI’ve been a Windows user for over 15 years but because I’m going to start developing iOS apps, it’s time to move back to the Mac platform. In fact, it’s required to have a Mac to upload apps to the iTunes store. Plus, the required software called Xcode only runs on a Mac. I didn’t really need a new computer because my current PC laptop has been enough to run my business up until now. But if I want to complete my goal of developing an iPhone app, I had to get my own Mac.

When it came down to shopping for a Mac, I had several options. First, there was the form factor. Each form factor has it’s advantages depending on what other functions I need it to do but the two to consider are:

  • Desktop
  • Laptop

For me, the only option was a laptop because I wanted to be portable. And I decided long ago that I would never own a desktop again. Still, for a little bit, I did consider a desktop option with the Mac Mini. Macs cost more than PCs and the Mac Mini was really the most inexpensive option when it shopping for a Mac computer. At around $600, I could’ve been all set but I would’ve been tied to a stationary desk connected to AC, monitor and external keyboard. But if budget is a concern, the Mac Mini is a viable choice.

My next option was to buy used. When I was comparing MacBooks, buying used was cheaper but at times it wasn’t that much cheaper than buying new. I searched my local Craigslist page and found lots of used MacBooks for sale. But the prices weren’t as low as I thought they were going to be. Also, a lot of the MacBooks were older models and would require some upgrades before I could even install Xcode.

But I also ran into several ads that seemed kinda scammy and the thought of meeting a stranger that knows I have $600+ cash in my pocket was an unsettling thought. I know there are trustworthy people out there but I didn’t want to risk being scammed or buying computer that might break right after I take it home. Read the rest of this entry →

My August 2013 Income Report

September 7, 2013 in Goals, Income Reports

Welcome to my August 2013 income report! This is where I total up how much I earn each month through my various online projects. I post my income reports here to keep track of my progress so I can look back and see how I’m doing on the goals I’ve set for myself this year.

Another Amazing Month!

I was a bit worried that my August earnings was going to take a bit of a nose dive! But after looking at everything, I’m quite satisfied with my totals. In fact, I’m really amazed at the final total considering I did nothing in August to add new income to my portfolio. That’s partly because I took a one week vacation to Cannon Beach, Oregon right at the beginning of the month and after that, I hit a spell of laziness. But how could I get my head back into work after being around scenery like this?

Cannon Beach sunset

Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon.

That photo was from the first night I was there. Now that I’m back, I’m a little disappointed that I just kinda let August go by without doing any work on my business. After all, I made it a point to complete one major project each month that could potentially add to my monthly income. I stuck to that goal until August. But now, I’m ready to start on one of my bigger goals for this year and that’s the one where I build my first iPhone/iPad app.

As a preparation step to my first app, I created a Udemy course called How to Create Top Ranking Mobile App Icons. It’s for app developers and graphic designers and includes a several Photoshop templates to make it easy to create great looking icons. With these templates, anyone can make a great looking icon in about 5 minutes. Keep reading for a special coupon to get 50% off the course! Read the rest of this entry →

App Dev 4: Buying Source Code For Sale and Reskinning Apps

August 21, 2013 in App Development

iPhone App DevelopmentI think it was in the post called App Dev 2 where I laid out the guidelines I wanted to follow when planning my first app. Over the course of the year, I’ve been thinking about building my own app but it wasn’t until July that I decided to get serious about it. You see, my goal is to have my first app in the App Store by November. Now it is in the middle of August and I still haven’t made any efforts to set this goal into motion.

So what have I been doing instead of developing my app idea? I’ve been doing a lot of research. This involves reading lots of blogs and listening to podcasts. I should be a bit stressed about getting my first app built by my deadline but I’m not really too concerned about it. In fact, I’m glad it took me this long to dive into app development.  And that’s where my plans are changing ever so slightly.

This is because all my research has uncovered a way where I can essentially accomplish my app development goals in a simpler way. It’s gotten me really excited because I will be able to create multiple apps in a much shorter time frame than I orignially planned… and at a much lower cost! But to recap, here are the original guidelines I set forth earlier this year:

  • It has to be simple to execute
  • I will create the graphics
  • Outsource programming for under $500
  • The app structure/template needs to be reusable
  • Uploaded to iTunes by November 2013

When I look back at that list, little did I know how exact I was going to be able to follow my guidelines. The only modification I’m making to my list is the part about outsourcing the programming. I will not need a programmer (I think). Oh, and one more thing. I was originally going to develop utility and reference type apps but I’ve thrown that idea out the door. Instead, I’m now going to develop games which on the surface, seems much more difficult and time consuming. But I’m telling you it is not! Read on to learn more. Read the rest of this entry →

My July 2013 Income Report

August 2, 2013 in Goals, Income Reports

Welcome to my July 2013 income report! This is where I report how much I earn each month through my various online projects. I post my income reports here to keep track of my progress so I can look back and see how I’m doing on the goals I’ve set for myself this year.

Another Record Breaking Month!

July was a spectacular month! In fact, I hit another record and getting closer to reaching my goal of generating $1000/month (or $35/day) of passive income by the end of the year. The prior month (June) was my biggest earning month to date but I managed to surpass it this month! How did I do this? Every month, I try to build at least one online asset that will add passive income to my business in the future.

The main project I worked on this month was kind of a big one. In fact, I finished it just a day before the end of the month deadline. I didn’t know what type of project I was going to do so it wasn’t until about mid-July before I started on this project.

So what I did was create a new Udemy course. This course goes right in line with my goal of developing my first iPhone app this year. The course I created is called How to Create Top Ranking Mobile App Icons. It’s for app developers and graphic designers and includes a several Photoshop templates to make it easy to create great looking icons. With these templates, I can make a great looking icon in a couple of minutes. Keep reading for a special coupon to get 50% off the course!

I’m excited to get this course out there because in August, I plan to start work on my iPhone app. I’ve got my game plan and strategy worked out as I get ready to dive into the app business. For now, let’s get down to the income report. Read the rest of this entry →

Get 10 Apps Free During Apple’s App Store 5th Anniversary

July 11, 2013 in Mobile Apps

One of my goals this year is to develop my first iPhone app. I’ve been trying to stay on top of everything that is related to mobile apps and had to share the following news. The Apple App Store is celebrating it’s 5th anniversary and they’re celebrating by giving away 10 apps for free! Great news for iOS users!

Apple's App Store 5 Year Anniversary

The App Store was launched in 2008 with about 500 apps available to iPhone users. Today in 2013, there are about 900,000 apps available for iOS devices. I will be contributiting to their growth soon and hopefully more in the future. I’m currently sketching out the details of my first app so I can present it to a developer. For now, it looks like Apple has hand-picked the apps they want to give away during their anniversary.

Apple has categorized the free apps into 2 categories:

  • Landmark Games
  • Groundbreaking Apps

There are 5 free apps in each category. I’ve downloaded half of them but a couple of the apps are over 1GB and I don’t have enough room on my phone for them. I think 2 of them are also only for iOS 6 so I wasn’t able to download those. I’m on iOS 5 right now and don’t have enough room on my phone to upgrade! It requires 2.8GB of free space to upgrade!

Here’s the list of apps that will be free for a limited time:

If you love free apps, download these now before Apple starts charging for them again. Hope this brightens your day!

My June 2013 Income Report

July 9, 2013 in Goals, Income Reports

Welcome to my June 2013 income report! This is where I report how much I earn each month through my various online projects. I post my income reports here to keep track of my progress so I can look back and see how I’m doing on the goals I’ve set for myself this year.

A Record Breaking Month!

June was a spectacular month! In fact, I hit another record and I’m well under way to my to reaching my goal of generating $1000/month (or $35/day) of passive income by the end of the year. I knew that June started out pretty strong but didn’t know I was going to beat my previous record set back in April by so much! How did I do this? Every month, I try to build at least one online asset that will add passive income to my business in the future. So in June, I launched a new niche website and produced 2 new product review videos on YouTube. Since I monetized my YouTube channels, I’m making more of an effort to create video reviews of any gadget I can get my hands on. For me, this is an easy way to generate a little extra income from relatively little work.

Also, back in May, I published a new Kindle book that literally had no sales. I spent $320 to have this book written by a ghost writer and was worried that I had wasted money creating a book that seemed like no one wanted to buy. I waited about a month and a half before I ran my free promotion through KDP Select. Partly, I wanted to see how the book would do without any promotion. I was expecting at least some sales but in reality, no one was buying the book. Finally, I ran a 2 day free giveaway and used the promotion method I wrote about in this post.

After having the book available free for 2 days, it generated 5943 downloads. Subsequenly, in the 11 days that were left in June after the giveaway, this title generated sales of 23 copies and 2 borrows in the Kindle store.  This book is also available as a physical print book and also had no sales before the promotion. After running the free promotion, I was able to sell 5 copies of the print version. Remember, I had no sales before the promotion. I am a believer of using free promotions to kickstart book sales. Now, I’m not worried about covering the costs of hiring the ghost writer because in time, the book will pay for itself. I also received four 5 star reviews for this book… and these weren’t from friends or family!

I priced my book at $3.99 for Kindle version and $11.99 for the print version. That’s quite a difference in cover price but the royalties I receive for each copy sold of the print or Kindle version are roughly the same.

Those were the highlights of the month. I’m sure you’re ready to see the record breaking numbers so let’s get down to the details and income report. Read the rest of this entry →

How To Market Your Kindle Book And Generate Sales

July 1, 2013 in Createspace Publishing, Kindle Publishing

How to market your Kindle bookGetting a Kindle book written is easy. You can write it yourself or hire someone write it for you. I’ve done both. But getting people to buy your book is not so easy. This post isn’t about how to pick the right topic (although that is extremely important), instead I’ll focus on how to jump start sales of a freshly published Kindle book on Amazon. The method I’m going to talk about is the same method I’ve done for all my books. I’m going to use examples from my latest book to illustrate what I did to go from no sales to some sales. Notice that I didn’t say “from no sales to spectacular sales”. I’ve never experienced spectacular sales but my books do manage to maintain a certain sales volume month after month. This is nice because I’ve done all the work publishing the book and now it becomes another passive income generating asset in my business.

Promoting My Latest Book

So last month, I published a new Kindle book. I hired a freelancer on Elance back in February to write the book for me. When I got the completed book, it was great except that after a few days of reading it over, there were some things I needed changed. I paid the writer her fee because she did exactly what I described in my job posting. but I knew I needed to modify a few things before I was willing to publish it. So it took me a few months to get around to re-writing and taking all new photos myself. Finally the copy was how I wanted it.

Before I continue, you may or may not know that when I publish a Kindle book, I also publish a print version as well through Createspace for the reasons I stated here. So when I got my books approved on Amazon and Createspace, I was hoping for big sales. I did get 2 Kindle sales on the first day but from that point on, there were no sales at all! Both the Kindle and print versions were sitting there idle. Read the rest of this entry →

My May 2013 Income Report

June 14, 2013 in Goals, Income Reports

Welcome to my May 2013 income report! This is where I report how much I earn each month through my various online projects. I post my income reports here to keep track of my progress so I can look back and see how I’m progressing (or regressing) over time.

May was another great month! I fell a little below my earnings from April but not much. I’m still working on my goal of reaching $1000/month (or $35/day) by the end of the year. We’re at mid-year and I’m about 1/2 way to my 2013 income goal. I know I need to continue to work harder and keep adding new assets to my online portfolio if I want to continue to grow my business.

In May, I published a new book and finally monetized my YouTube channels. Let’s take a look at the earnings numbers to see how things panned out! Read the rest of this entry →

App Dev 3: 30+ Ways To Make Your Mobile App A Success

May 6, 2013 in App Development

iPhone App DevelopmentI’ve only been working on my app project for a couple of weeks now but I have been thinking about it for much longer than that! Since then, I’ve been keeping notes of things that will come in useful when I start building my app. For this post, I thought I’d share the resources I’m using or will possibly use in the future as I attempt to build a successful app development business.

Over time, I will be making updates to this list as I discover more resources that I think you’ll find helpful in your own app development journey!

Source Codes with Video Tutorials

I am following the practice of reskinning apps. It keeps costs down and I don’t have to know programming. However, there are a few technical related tasks where a little help can go a long way. The following tutorials will help you get started in app development and reskinning. The first course on the list includes a game source code along with the video tutorials that can help you get your first app into the Apple App Store. And in the world of reskinning, the price is extremely low. The Jelly Flow course below is the video instruction and source code for an app that I am personally reskinning at the moment. There are intro videos on each course below that I think you should check out.

Make Your Own iPhone Game in One Day Without Coding (includes Pinball game code)

Make & Publish Your Own iPhone Jelly Flow Game (includes Jelly Flow clone game code)

Reskin Your Own Candy Crush Game (includes Candy Crush clone game code)

Podcasts

These are the podcasts I listen to when I commute back and forth to work. I’ve learned tons of information in the many hours I’ve spent in my car. These are not the only podcasts I listen to but they are the ones that are related to my goal of building an app business. Read the rest of this entry →