Saturday, October 13, 2012

How to Get Your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad App Into the Top 25

A year or two ago, I created my first iPhone app, Private Money App, as a way for real estate investors to get hard money for their real estate deals. I learned a lot from the process, and the app continues to see downloads and create business to this day.

Last week, my brother Ben Merrill released his first app for the iPad called Concepts. The app is far more ambitious and expensive than mine. He spent many months and at least $75,000 to develop it.

Here's a video of the app in action, directed by movie director Dave Skousen:

Rewind two weeks.

In late September, I was at CEO Space International's Free Enterprise Forum in Las Vegas. A few days into the week-long forum, I overheard someone talking about what it takes to get into the Top 25 on Apple's App Store. The person directed me to another table where Wes Chapman of was leading a discussion. The table was full, but I caught up with Wes later in the day and we talked for half an hour. On Saturday, he taught a workshop on building and marketing apps, and I passed on the information to my brother.

The result? While my brother's app is not in the Top 25 yet, within a week of release and without doing half of the steps, Concepts was chosen as New and Noteworthy by Apple.

I'd really like to say what the steps are to get into New and Noteworthy (as opposed to the Top 25), but that is really more of an art than a science. My brother deserves 100% of the credit for putting together a really top quality app that appeals to Apple and will be fun and useful for millions of people.

Getting into the Top 25 is both simpler and more expensive than getting picked for New and Noteworthy. Give away or sell apps! You have to get a lot of downloads in a single day, about 26,000 at present, to break into the top ranks.

There are a number of ways to do this, most of which cost money. One that I have seen work over and over again, especially with free apps, is TapJoy. There are many other models, like offering your paid app for free for a day via and other promotional pages. Getting noticed by the media also helps drive downloads. Getting noticed by major media often begins with paying to be featured on an app review site like 148 Apps. Here is a link to more than 150 other blogs that might feature or review your app:

If your app is for the Mac App Store rather than iOS, I suggest to rocket your app into the top 50.

If you have an iPad, I strongly recommend trying out my brother's app Concepts, currently a free app, and upgrading for $2 to precision mode. It's really a steal at that price, and I am telling Ben it should be at least $5 for what it offers. There are some really cool updates planned that Apple doesn't know about, but will really show off what the iPad can do.

Profitably yours,


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