The key to starting making apps as an indie

Published on August 29, 2020

After a few months of doing indie apps on the side of my normal job, I have thought about key elements to make your apps successful based on it, there might be some obvious ones but I will still make the effort to point them out.

Study your competition

The goods and the bad ones, they are there, they are still hanging in the AppStore, do they have reviews? how many? How recent? What do people say in them?

This is one of the things I constantly check, at least once a week, because it gives me insights into what I could add to my app that people are clamoring on others and make them convert from their current one to mine.

Studying the bottom of the charts, however, will help you realize what not to do, and especially not make the mistakes that others did.

Make use of your time

My free time isn’t the same as the amount of time I can invest in my day to day work, I don’t have the same energy and I don’t have the same responsibilities. So make simple applications, focus on working on the ideas that can be solved by making something in 4-8 weeks. This will allow you to make more than just one and increase your odds of succeeding.

Good looking things sell more

Design means almost everything for most users, clean, understandable design with a good icon and good looking marketing material will make your app stand over your competitors. I focus on what the big market apps are doing for their marketing material on the AppStore for this one and focus on recreating what works for mine.

Make it about something you love

We constantly hear about this, if you are not passionate about it, you will quickly lose interest in it. I have been in this situation so many times that you would think at this point I should have a master degree in it 😂, but it’s true, doing what you love sparks joy.

Being persistent is key

Making apps on the side (which is my case) requires you to be in the focus of what you want to accomplish and what do you want to make, you have to dedicate a few hours every week to get it if you don’t then you’ll probably leave it in the drawer like many other projects in the past.

It’s never too late to start

There might be an awesome idea in your head and you rush to see the AppStore if someone else had it too and already made it, and to your surprise, yup, someone did, but it’s never late to get into a market and make a killing with your concept and ideas.

Be clear to yourself

Be honest with what you want to accomplish and set a reasonable goal, heck I could use this advice more, I know it, when I started making these apps, I set a goal of getting at least $1000 from them over a year, but after the first 4 weeks I realized and went honest with myself and changed my goal to something I could truly be happy with and was my bare minimum, so my new goal was to get $100 which covers the cost of the Apple developer account and to make people and their pets happier by using my first app.

So… to recap and draw a conclusion…

There’s not a big difference between a good idea and a bad one. Do your homework, take as long as you need to get started but look at yourself in the mirror and think about what you want to accomplish, and if by investing in this idea you’ll be happier after you finish and if it will contribute to your end goals. If it does, jump in and assume success.