This course will teach you how to develop iPhone and iPad apps with zero programming experience.
My name is Benny Hsu and I had an idea for an app back in 2011, but didn't know any programming. I tried to learn from books and courses but found it way too hard. I didn't have years and the patience to learn how.
Then I discovered outsourcing. I thought outsourcing was for simple tasks only. You know - make reservations, update calendar, maybe book some airplane tickets. It turns out - there is a lot more to it. This was the answer to how I could get my idea developed amazingly fast, without spending hours and hours learning new skills and technologies.
Outsourcing was my ticket to make it happen, but I still I had a lot of concerns:
So I learned as much as I could about this business to just get started. I would learn the rest along the way.
I finally got started in 2011 with my first app, Photo 365. When it was released in August 2011, it had earned me $33,997.77 in 30 days.
Apple featured it as New and Noteworthy two weeks after I launched. A week later, Apple named it ‘App of the Week’. Unbelievable!
Usually apps that get selected are from companies with employees and startup funding. Apple probably didn't know I was just a guy, with no experience, who outsourced his work overseas.
If it wasn't for outsourcing and the process I created, this would have never happened.Now I have three more apps (see my bio) and am developing more.
I still have no idea how to program. I couldn't write a single line of code to save my life. I don't even know how to upload my apps. I'm not technical at all.
I'm just a regular guy who hated my job and wanted to find a way to make money that I actually enjoyed.
What about you?
Have you dreamed about developing an iPhone app, but don’t know how? I can teach you.
Building my first app has changed my life. I used the same framework again and again to create my other apps, and I’ll keep on using it. I want to give you this framework, so you can start creating your very first app.
I know that’s what I needed two years ago when I was looking for answers.I have step-by-step videos that will teach you my proven framework for developing a winning app idea, where to hire, what to look for, how to conduct interviews, hiring the best team, and getting your app looking good in the App store.
When I began creating apps, I learned a lot! I've made costly mistakes, but I have learned from them. I'm made adjustments and have fine tuned the process. I want to make sure you don't make the same mistakes and don’t have to go through such a steep learning curve.
You will get answers to all of these common questions:
I have an idea, but what should I do if it’s been done already?
How can I make sure I don’t get ripped off when I hire people?
How can I protect my idea?
Will this cost a lot of money?
I have an idea for an app, but don’t know what the next steps are.
How can I make money from apps?
I’m not technical so I can’t do this.
I’m really bad with graphics and don’t know how to make it pretty.
All are good questions, but none of the above can stop you from achieving your goal if you follow my framework.Are you ready? Let's do it!!
I want to make sure you’re in the right mindset when starting on this goal or any other goal from now on.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. If you’ve failed ten times, it’s not going to make a difference this time. I’ve failed numerous time trying to make money online, but I still took a chance developing my first app.
Have you started and failed on your previous goals? Most likely. We all have!
This time it’ll be different if you can find your why.
Knowing how to do something is easy. Anyone can find out. But if you can find your motivation for achieving your goal, you’ll have more success than those who only focus on the how.
Be sure your reason why isn’t vague like, “I want to make money.” It’s just as weak as, “I want to lose weight.”
It needs to be specific and be your real reason why.
Doesn’t “I want to lose weight so I can play with my children and watch them grow up” sound better?
I’ve tried so many different ways to make money online. You name it, and I’ve probably tried it. What was my main motivation back then? To make lots of money.
Looking back, now I can see why I quit so soon. I was doing it for the wrong reasons. Money alone wouldn’t be enough to motivate me.
Even when I narrowed it to living the 4 hour work week lifestyle, it wasn’t specific enough. My main focus was still money.
I know we all want money. We all need money. But think of WHY you want that money?
Whether you have an idea already, or you’re looking for one, I’ll give you the way I suggest to look for an idea.
Don’t think you have to come up with an idea that hasn’t been done before either. That’s the big problem I see when people develop apps at the beginning.
The best way to find an idea is to find a type of app that’s doing well. Take a look at the top paid, top free, and top grossing charts for the App store and for the category you’re interested in.
In this video, I show you how to navigate the App store to find out what types are doing well.
I've linked to a website called Distimio that displays the top apps in different categories. You can see it by day, week, month, paid, free, top grossing, different countries and more.
The most common mistake for new app developers is to come up with an idea that hasn’t been done before.
If there is no market for your app, be careful.
It could be like opening up a McDonald’s or Wal-Mart in a town with a population of 11 and the nearest city is 2 hours away. You’re not going to get many customers despite how great you think your idea is.
Now you need to start researching to see if your idea is one worth moving forward with.
If you have an idea or a bunch of ideas, but don’t know which one to focus on, you need to take a look at how other apps are doing in your market.
How competitive is it? Do you have a chance to have success?
You want to make sure you’re not entering a ghost town. No matter how great you think your idea is, it’s not great if users aren’t interested in buying or downloading an app like that.
Apple doesn’t release any sales info for other apps, so we have no idea. So instead, we have to find another way.
I came up with a way to find out how much interest there is in a market. It’s something I used when I first developed my idea for Photo 365 and I still use now.
This isn’t the only metric you should use, but it’ll help you.
Another great tool to find out whether an idea is worth developing is to use Top App Charts .
It’s a website that will show the ranking for a particular app from the last 30 days.
It’ll show if it’s ranked in the top 200 of its category and overall in the App store. This is a great tool because we can search apps in your market and see if users are downloading these types of apps.
If you see apps in your market and most of them are ranked outside of the top 200, that means they’re not getting very many downloads.
You want to find types of apps that users are downloading consistently. Remember, you want to follow the money and the downloads. Top App Charts will give you a great snapshot of what type of apps users are downloading.
In order to make your app stand out from the others in your market, you have to find ways to improve it. You don’t want to put a bad copy of it in the App Store.
You should think, “What can I do to make this app unique? How can I make it so users will want to download my version?”
Even if there is one app that is dominating the market, you can still make your app appeal to a group of users who may be looking for something with the same idea, but done differently.
In this video, I get you thinking of ways you can improve an app.
Once you have your idea, you need to start putting your ideas on paper.
Your wireframe is a skeleton of what your app will look like. It’s not very detailed. I used paper and pencil for my first two apps and it worked just fine.
App specs are the blueprint for how you want your app to look and work. It details what the finished product will do, how a user will interact with it, who your demographics are, and anything else to describe your app.
By creating a blueprint of the product first, time and productivity are saved during the development stage because the programmers can program instead of also working out the logic of the user-experience.
My current favorite way to prototype is using POP iPhone app. It's as easy as drawing your wireframe, taking photos of it, and adding into the app.
When creating an app, one way to make your app stand out is to focus on design.
Looking at the top paid and free charts and you’ll the vast majority have a great design.
Even if your app has great features, users may not give your app a chance when they see the design. With so many apps, you have to make a great impression.
If you’re not a designer, there are websites online where you can find design inspiration. Showing samples of the design you like is all you need to do to your team when it’s time.
There are four ways to price your app
Which one you choose will depend to you and your app.
Besides just making the app a paid app, think about a freemium model or a lite version that lets users try out your app and get them to upgrade to the paid version for all the features.
I told you earlier to emulate other apps when coming up with ideas.
You also should emulate what successful apps are doing to monetize their apps. It’s working for them in that market, so why reinvent the wheel?
Download successful apps in your market or in other markets and find out how they’ve set up their business model.
Here are some things you should look for:
A good boss motivates their team, makes sure the project stays on track, but doesn't have to know how to do everything.
If you’ve never been the boss before, it’s time to start now.
When you’re outsourcing your work, you have to remember you are the boss. Treat this like you’re running a company and you are the CEO overseeing the whole operation.
Decisions are left up to you. You have the final say. You make the hiring and firing decisions.
You need to make sure the right work is being done. If you find your developer is doing something different than what you wanted, you have to say something.
You have to put your foot down when needed, but keep them excited to be working on this app.
There are lots of place now to outsource work, but I’m going to just focus on my two favorite places, Elance and Odesk.
If you’ve never outsourced before, I would recommend these two websites to start. There are other options, but these websites have the most candidates and do a great job for anyone outsourcing work.
I hired my first developer on Elance and since then have used strictly that and Odesk for all my outsourcing jobs.
Here’s a great piece of advice: Post a job on both websites. Yep you can definitely do that. It’s free to post a job and by doing that you cast a wider net on applicants.
You want an ad that’s going to attract the best candidates for your app. You’re going to get all kinds of replies, but the more you can get the more you have to choose from.
Writing an ad is pretty simple, but there are somethings you should keep in mind. One of the mistakes beginners make is to reveal everything about their app in the ad.
You should save the details for later.
Also mention the qualities you look for someone you’re hiring. Be honest up front.
I’ll walk you through how to post a job on Elance.
If you haven’t yet, sign up for a free account on Elance. You’ll need that to post a job.
I’ll walk you through posting your job on Odesk.
Remember it’s a good idea to post a job on both Odesk or Elance. By doing this, you’re trying to reach more candidates and you’ll have more to choose from and hopefully find one that’s the best fit for your app.
If you haven’t yet, first sign up for a free Odesk account.
After you’ve posted your job, you’ll get candidates replying to your job.
You may get some. You may get a lot. Don’t worry too much if you don’t get that many. Wait a few days at least.
Go through what you have and if you’re not very excited by what you see, go ahead and post your job again. When you post your job again, change the headline and the body of your ad.
Go through each applicant.
You need to get to know your candidates even better. You should have narrowed down your list based on the initial conversation (via messaging), looking at their past reviews, and portfolio.
Just like hiring in the real world, you need to have an interview with them. Won’t take very long, but it’s important to get a better feeling for them.
Be in control of the interview and ask the questions that are important to you.
Before you give the full details of your app to any potential developer, you need to have them sign a NDA first.
What is a NDA? It’s basically an agreement that what you’re about to share with them is confidential. They can’t use your idea without your permission.
Here is a sample NDA that you can use. Sign it first and send it to your developer and have them sign it and return it back.
Once they have signed it, then give them the full details of your app.
After you’ve given them the full details about your app, they’ll give you their final bid.
They may have given you a bid when you first posted an ad, but I don’t know how they come up with an amount without know details about the app.
Sometimes you might get a wide range of bids. I know it doesn’t make sense how different companies can come up with different prices.
Just remember that the high bid doesn’t necessarily mean the best quality, while the lowest bid means the best deal for you.
If this is your first app, don’t go crazy and spend a lot on it. My suggestion is no more than $3,000. The more you spend on your app, the harder it’ll be to recoup your investment.
No matter how great a company, you just won’t know exactly how the market will respond to your app.
It’s better to spend less, see what the market says about your app, and save that extra money to spend on updates.
For example, if I had a budget of $5,000, I’d rather spend it on two or three apps than one app.
If you’re using Elance or Odesk, handling payments will be much easier.
They have it setup so the process will help protect you. You will only pay for work that has been done and when you’ve been satisfied with the work that was agreed on.
If you’re using a development company or any other way, make sure you pay them in a way that will protect you.
If you feel like one candidate stands out, then it’s time to make your final decision.
But before you do, go through the checklist I provide to make sure you’ve covered everything.
I do suggest if you’re hiring for the first time, to go with a team. A team will have designers and programmers all under one roof. My first app, Photot 365, was done with a team and I know that helped me so much.
You can hire a programmer and designer separately too. Why would you do that? If the individual or team doesn’t do design well, but you like their work, then you may want to look into hiring a designer separately.
This will take much more work because you have to be the middle person to communicate between both sides.
For other apps, I decided to hire separately to experience it. It’s definitely more work involved.
So keep that in mind.
I don’t remember where I heard “slow to hire, quick to fire”, but it’s great advice when it comes to outsourcing your work.
The hiring process shouldn’t be done quickly or rushed. It’s like being single and walking into a bar and noticing a very attractive male/female and deciding he/she is the one you want to date.
You have to get to know that person more before you can make a proper decision.
If during the project you just get a bad feeling, or the work isn’t what was promised and no matter what feedback you give, they can’t fix it, it may be time to fire them.
You’re better off losing a bit of money on bad work, then losing much more money on bad work.
As the boss, you have the power to make this decision.
I certainly hope you don’t run into this situation, but it’s something I’ve had to do before.
The reason for testing your app is to make sure it’s working the way you want.
You also are testing for errors in the app. What’s is not working correctly? What causes the app to crash?
When testing your app, don’t just do it once. Go through the steps often. Try every single button and feature.
You may want to get other people to help you test your app, you can do that.
That is a great way to get feedback about the flow of the app. Is it confusing to them? What could be improved?
The link I mention in the video are
This makes you an official Apple developer! Well at least on paper.
This is a step you must do in order to submit your apps to the App Store.
Cost is $99 per year.
I show you exactly what you need to do to register and discuss whether you should sign up as an individual or business.
When your app is done, and ready to upload to the App Store, you’re going to need some important things.
You’re trying to make a great impression when someone is browsing the search results or in a certain category.
This is a really important video because I talk about how to make sure you’re doing it right and what the most important items on that list are for sales.
A website is an important part of your app marketing.
You’ll want to setup a website to send people to. It looks more professional if you have a website. If you’re sending your app to blogs to be reviewed or doing a press release, they will ask for a website.
Finally when you submit your app, it will ask you for a website to send users
You don’t need to spend a bunch of money on a custom website. I thought about it for Photo 365, and I got quoted $900!
I looked for a long time to find a great looking website that was easy to setup. I found something I really love.
What I use for my apps is Appifywp.com.
I love it cause it’s easy to setup if you know how to use WordPress. I’ll show you how easy it is to customize in this video.
(Note: If you don’t want to do a website yet, I’ve seen apps direct people to a Facebook fan page instead of a website. Apple does allow that.)
Once your app is live, you’ll definitely want to know how many downloads and sales you have.
My favorite tool to do that is App Annie. It’s free and not only tracks downloads and sales, but also your daily rankings for different categories.
You can also see which countries are downloading your app.
You can have this information sent to your inbox.
Lots of great features for a free service.
There are others on the market that have more, but App Annie is a great one to start. I still use it now.
Apple gives you 50 promo codes to dispense however you want. This is for paid apps. If it’s a free app, then obviously you won’t need promo codes.
In this video, I’ll go into details about promo codes.
Did you know that the App store/iTunes has an affiliate program. I didn’t know when I first started.
It’s worth signing up for.
When you sign up and refer any customer who makes a purchase you make 5%. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s easy money for a little bit of work.
Where can you add your affiliate link? Websites, links in your social media updates, your email signature, and within your app if you’re promoting your other apps.
You can read more about the affiliate program here.
To sign up for a free affiliate account, sign up at Linkshare.
Just cause your app is done, doesn't mean your work is done yet.
If your app isn’t getting very many downloads, don’t worry just yet. Give it some time first to get your app into the users’ hand and into the App store search rankings.
There are some tips you can try to increase downloads.
Some you can do right now. Others you have to wait till you make an update to your app.
Also consider changing how you monetize your app. If it’s a paid app now, think about a free app with in-app purchases or ads. A lite version to go along with the paid version is a great option as well.
Getting great reviews is one important part of getting more users to check out your app and hopefully download it.
An app with 100 4-star reviews will look more favorable than an app with 10 5-star reviews.
I learned a great trick to get users who like your app to leave a review.
I wish I had known about this when I first started. I would have had so many more reviews than I do now!
It’s an easy way to get more legitimate reviews from fans of your app without annoying them.
I have been an app developer since 2011. My first app, Photo 365 , was named App of the Week by Apple in August 2011.
I was fed up with my life and my job and took a chance developing my first iPhone app. I had no idea how I'd get it done since I don't know any programming. Thankfully I learned about outsourcing!
After the success of my first app, I've been the go to guy for friends who also want to develop an app.
I finally decided I needed to create a course to answer all the questions I got and to share everything I know.
Besides developing apps, I run a blog called Get Busy Living where I help and inspire people to live a more epic life.