Last night here in Jacksonville the Microsoft Developers User Group Jax (@mdugjax) met for just their third time since the group formed up. Mark Radacz (@MarkRadacz) is the primary mover and shaker behind the groups creation and they meet monthly to share their developing experiences and to hear from various speakers.

During last nights meeting it was my friend Luis Perez (@LuisNeuralnet) who presented to the group.  Luis, who along with his brother Alex (@Aapg1102) are the brains behind Neuralnet Systems an Orlando based development company, shared tips and tricks on how to create successful apps and rescue an app from the bottom of the app’s category listing.

Their credentials for making a presentation like this are pretty straight forward:

  • Developers of Football Pro 12, Football Pro 13 and the soon to be released Football Pro 14
  • Number 1 Sport application since October 2011
  • Maintains approximately 150,000 ad impressions on Sunday’s during football season
  • Has more than 1000 reviews for an average of 4.5 stars
  • Featured across the Windows Phone universe including write ups on the official Nokia US and Windows Phone blogs

I wrote about these guys back in December of 2009 after I met them at a Windows Phone Camp here in Jacksonville that same month.  Even then they were already experiencing great success with their apps on the Windows Phone platform.

Since then they have continued to publish apps for Windows Phone and have also started publishing apps on Windows 8 and even have an indie game on Xbox 360.

Some of the steps he recommended you take as you look at your app and give it a new lease on life included:

  • Outline the problems – User feedback is usually your best avenue for learning these types of things.  Analytics in your app to understand how it is being used is another.
  • Make a plan – Once you know what needs to be done then decide how you will address the issues. Primary goal should be to get users the features they would like to see.
  • Reload and fire – Market your freshly updated app to sites such as WMPoweruser, WP Central or even use the website which will produce a video and PR for your app for a fee.

As part of his presentation last night Luis offered advice to the group based on Neuralnet’s successes and here are a few of the top tips he gave for generating revenue with your app:

  • Ask users to review your app using an occasional in app prompt. Reviews and ratings are the only way to climb the charts in the app stores.
  • Analytics, analytics, analytics. If you do not know how your users are navigating your app then how can you help improve it.
  • Update your app regularly with bug fixes and enhancements because regular updates show your users that you are engaged and taking care of the app.

Another key thing is to pick the right revenue stream for your app by knowing how it is used. If it will generate a lot of page views because you are displaying updated info likes sports scores then it should be ad based. If it is an app that you can generate affiliate type revenue then free without ads may be a good avenue. Lastly if it is an app that may not have many page views but provides a unique service then the paid model would likely be the best.

Hopefully these tips and ideas will help you out. I also recommend that you look in your local area and find groups like MDUG Jax and come together with link minded developers to share ideas and experiences.

Good luck with your apps!