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Showing posts from 2015

Mobile Advertising Network With 100% Fill Rate? Oh Dear!

When advertising is your main method of monetizing your mobile apps, you want stellar fill rates.

You want to be sure that every ad opportunity is filled up. That every chance you have to show an ad to a user, you HAVE an ad to show them.
The problem is, that when it comes to some ad networks, a 100% fill rate isn't really a 100% fill rate.
Loop de Loop
Showing the same video over and over again should not be considered a 100% fill rate. 
Most of the time, when a  user has dismissed an ad, they'll most likely dismiss the same ad again.
The same goes for variations of the same ad. Yes, variations are recommended for advertising strategies. But after a person dismisses the variations too, please don't go back to the earlier variation.
Its too bad that many ad networks (even those I have highly recommended before) have removed their fill rates. Something to hide? Questions to avoid?
Mediation Nightmare
This "100%" fill rate throws your mediation plans out the window…

Developing & Monetizing A New Mobile Game

So, someone said that if you're not the top 500 developer in the app stores, you're not making it.He might be trying to be nice.It's tough out there. And let me relate.My last post was about a new golf game I published. And I wanted to share its progress and how it achieved $1.3m USD in just 3 weeks.Of course it never came close to that.It was a disaster!The StatsThe game got about 9k downloads in its first 30 days. And a great grand revenue of less than $100 ( didn't bother really checking exact amount ).Now, this was a really bad performance. I looked at giving value to users, as compared against my previous golf games.There were 3, 18-holes golf courses to start with, and I added a 4th about a week later.And the ads were lesser than my previous games.I also felt, design wise, the game looked a lot better than my older ones.Yet, it failed terribly.2 weeks of work and really nothing to show for it. My previous hits often took just a few hours of work!Thus, yes, its to…

A New Case Study on Android Mobile Game Publishing and Monetization

Last year I did a case study on publishing and monetizing a new Android mobile game.

Those series of posts were rather popular with you readers. Hey, everyone is interested to find out how much one can get for downloads and revenue right?

That game has garnered over a 1.2 million downloads as of this writing. Not bad for "hardly working" on it.

So, I just published about 24 hours ago this awesome Tiny Course Mini Golf Game on Google Play.


Development Time
It was developed over the course of a month. But I did not really spend a full month on it. It was more like a couple of hours here and another hour there.

Then there were many days not touching the project. Seriously, I need to work on procrastination.

So, if one were to consider the proper full time in development, the game probably took about a week to develop.


Giving Users more Value
My previous golf games usually consisted on a single course only. This time around, I decided to give users a bigger value for their down…

Nintendo, The Missing Giant in the Mobile Games Scene

Probably a new trend is about to start, and might change the mobile game space as we know it.
Going Mobile
One giant woke up a little late. Maybe they did wake up early, but decided that they aren't gonna get into the mobile gaming space.
Nintendo is probably the last big name missing in the mobile space. And as many must have predicted, sooner or later, they had to get into this space.
And now they are. The pressure must be really great, and let's face it, not keeping up with tech will surely be a tech company's demise.
Its not like we have a lack of Mario clones in the first place. There are better options sometimes out there, and updated to be great on mobile.
On that count too, any indie developers using their IP in the stores better get your acts clean. Who knows when they gonna start submitting DMCA take downs.
Late To The Party
The mobile gaming world is so far ahead, a new comer might not be able to rise to the top.
But let's not play out Nintendo at all. The…

The Game's Changed: Thriving & Surviving in the Mobile Stores!

There was a time, not too long ago, where you could release a mobile app and get much downloads for it.
It didn't matter what that app was, or how good it was. You could always be sure to get downloads for it.
Those great old days..
Harder To Be Noticed
These days, its gotten tougher. Honestly, it not only affecting you, it also affected me and that other indie developer reading this post a few minutes ago.
You see, there is a shift. The game of app publishing has changed.
Some call it the death of reskinning. I don't totally agree on that though. Reskinning is very much alive, its just  mutated. And for the better.
There was a time, when the best way to build a great revenue stream being a mobile developer was by volume releasing apps on the store.
I've committed that sin too! (And a few others, but that's for another blog post!)
These days, this doesn't get you far. With a bazillion apps on the stores (thanks much to reskinning), it is not easy to pop up to the …

Mobile Game Development: Make a Great First Impression

An often missed point from many app store optimization topics is "great first impression".
First impression matters tremendously for any app, and more so for mobile games.
A first impression will hook a player longer. So make your first impression BIG!
Take a look at the intro of the first Half Life game. Or Elder's Scroll: Morrowind when you first step off the ship.
The impressions from these games are still fresh in my mind many years later. (OK. The Half Life one got annoying the 3rd time around).
When making your game levels, start off the game with one of your best aspects and effects shown.
Its often a habit to keep our best till further into the game, where we think that a gradual improvement will keep users wanting more.
While this may be true in some cases, it can also cause your users to forget about your game after the initial game play. 
Big impressive impressions, when it comes to mobile games, should also take place at the stores.
You want a potential user to be imp…

What mobile app or game to make next?

A Million-Download App
I want to make another million download hit.
In fact, I want to make that every time I release an app.

But I know (and have faced) reality, and there are times I release simple, life-lacking mobile games. These are more for my satisfaction that I have completed another one.

Sometimes too, these come out of a challenge for myself.

I recently tried making a pinball game in Unity3D. It is published, with a modified and simplified gameplay. And it took just a day to do it. Ketchapp be the inspiration!

You never know when your release will be a hit , eh? Flappy bird probably best falls into this category.

The Secret to Mobile App Success This really is a secret to mobile app success. Maybe not each and every app, but eventual apps.

So I sat down today, and tried to list out where I've been successful. I guess one of the mantras of successful people is, "do more of what works ".

My list went with the usual suspects. Golf games, soccer/football, pool/bill…

App Store Optimization - How to get more downloads from app store search

You know that app store optimization can help in getting a huge number of downloads for your apps. App store search is the biggest source to increase app downloads you can expect for your app. And as you would be aware, a bigger download mean a higher revenue.

There are a million things to do to improve your app store ranking using app store optimization (ASO). And language or translation plays a really important in that strategy.

What Is ASO? App Store Optimization, or ASO is the process of where you tweak your app store listing so that it shows up higher in app store searches.

The higher you rank your app, the higher the number of downloads. Below a certain level of listing, you are most likely not going to get any downloads.

What is the one thing you can do today to improve your app store ranking using ASO?
Optimizing App Store Listing
I recently updated an ancient game of mine on Google Play. This game, a football juggling game, was my first game out on Android.

Yes, it is ancien…

Google stepping on my toes: Ads in Google Play searches, how am I affected?

I guess Google woke up yesterday and smelt the coffee. Then it went out for a walk to smell the grass.

Google then went further down their lane to the shops and got themselves some bacon and bread.

As Google was stepping out of the shop, a brick magically dropped from the sky and hit it in the head.

And a realization came to Google, that they have the most popular app on Android, the Google Play market app! Who cares about the brick right?

Show me the Money!
Google, the big G, is now onto apps advertising business! Welcome buddy!

Note: If you're gonna tell me that they been in ads all this while, please, just let me be dramatic a while!

So searches on Google Play would start showing ads in them. Well, it is their eco system after all, they should have the rights to make money from it.

My biggest annoyance with this really is that app discovery is about to get a hell of a lot tougher! Already its tough getting ranked, throw in a few more ads in between the searches, and good luck pe…

App Store Optimization : Improving App Search Ranking with Keywords

You've heard this many many times the past weeks. Heck, even the past months and past years!

Keywords make all the differences in your app store optimization strategy. This key ASO strategy affects your app's search and discovery.

Unless you're a big brand or a big app of course, then you can screw keywords (maybe)!

Smart Keywords App Store Optimization
You've got to get keywords right though, and know where you should have them and how.

Pssst! To get more tips and tricks of app store optimization, do sign up for the newsletter!

Here is how the priority goes:

1 - Keywords in App Title
Keywords in app title carries the biggest weight. Its crazily heavy, that if you are not doing this already, please do it.

The app stores put pretty high value in title keywords, that not having a keyword in would mean a big lost of download potential.

Its tempting to make a short app name. To build your brand especially. But when you are that small fish in the big pond, you want all the d…

Are privacy issues hindering our growth potential?

The problem with privacy is, well the lack of it. But not in the sense we've been told.

There has been all the noise about privacy that even the mobile app world was not spared.

Privacy on an Android device
We now have the Android advertising ID that mobile ad networks must use.  I just checked the setting on my device, and the opt-out is unchecked. If this is the default setting, then we know that most users are not going to turn this on. Neither will most users reset their ad ID every now and then. Its a good thing I guess.

Submitting the list of apps that a user has on his/her device(s) is also a big No-no now.

On the bigger picture, in my opinion, worrying about some basic simple stuff is really hindering our progress.

My simple search and wasted opportunities

What the other app marketers are NOT telling you about app icons!

I was out visiting the local weekly night market recently. Its a great place to get all sort of stuff, food, and to see people.


From a distance, as I neared the street where the stalls are set up, the noise (and wonderful food smell) started streaming towards my ears (and nose). And as I approached the centre of the market proper, the screaming started to get louder and louder.

You'd think a triad has started a street war or something!

8 Brilliant Ways to Make Money with Android

Are you wondering if you can truly make money from Android apps business? Truth is, you can make pretty solid money from Android.

The Android ecosystem is really huge, that the slice of cake each developer can potentially get is, pretty sweet.


I've been developing and making money with Android for over 4 years now. It took me about 2 years to get the "hobby" to start giving a stable enough income to leave my day job. And the 2.5 years after leaving the job? Well, that has been the best days of my life!

Here are some common, and uncommon, ways you can make money from your Android apps.

3 Powerful Strategies to Get More Positive Reviews & Ratings for Your Apps

Have you published a pretty awesome app, but are struggling to get reviews and ratings for your apps? Worse still, are you getting negative reviews and ratings for your apps?

The mobile apps business is pretty complex. Its not a "build it and they will come" like it used to be. There is the app store optimization to take care of. And then there is the app marketing and promotion to work out. Don't forget the app development and publishing process itself.

One important aspect that many developers tend to miss out on is reviews and ratings optimization. Are you one of these developers? If you are, you may be missing out on one of the most important marketing machine your app has.

Support Android Developers : Sign Petition for a Fairer Treatment from Google

Android developers, especially the small indie ones, have one big concern when it comes to publishing apps on the Google Play store.

Apps suspension, and ultimately account banning from Google. And that too done in such a way that developers don't have ways of defending themselves or given any opportunity to fix the issues.

Sign the Petition Here!

Check out following problems reported by Phandroid and another developer on Reddit. There are countless other similar cases that's been reported by developers.

Is Google Evil?

An Easy Keyword Research Strategy You Can Use Today for Your Apps

Like it or not, we've got to accept the fact that the Apple's app store and Google's Play store are both getting terribly crowded.

(Psst! Read to the end for a hot tip on app naming!)

Keyword research play an even bigger role now. Gone are the days where you could slap together, for example, a  flashlight app, and your app would show up for flashlight searches. In fact it's gotten so bad for flashlights, that Apple has even stopped accepting flashlight apps!

A new year, a new look!
Before I proceed, I would love to wish you and all your loved ones a wonderful 2015! May you publish a new flappy bird killer app or game this year.

This blog has just undergone (still is undergoing) some renovations, and hopefully this new look gives the blog a more professional look. But the changes are not final, and not only limited to how it looks.

This year MobiAdage changes its tag line to "the business of mobile". With that, I am striving on providing you with much better ar…