A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.
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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
Give us a link to your website and we'll be able to tell you for sure. Here's one guess: the registrar (whois) information for your domain.
Friday, March 14, 2014
Perhaps someone put your name in the anchor text of a link to your website?
Friday, March 14, 2014
Google is more creepy than that old uncle at weddings.
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Also, I remembered my PAD file has my real name, so a lot of sites are linking to mine from that. Not so scared by Google's response now. :)
Also, I didn't want a private whois record for three reasons: (1) It costs money, (2) I have no real reason to keep it anonymous, and (3) some download sites (like SnapFiles) won't publish your software if your whois is anonymous.
And yes, I did go live in late Feb. :) Will see how it goes for a few months before sharing the site here.
I'm starting to doubt my app now and thinking it's a crap idea, though... weird. I use it every day and the Softpedia editor gave it 3.5/5 stars, which is not bad, but still I have this real lack of care about it now. Can't explain it. Hopefully this phase will pass if I get a sale.
Here is something to cheer you up.
I released an app, and got a sale 4 days later.
Then nothing for couple of weeks.
I knew my idea was useful to others, so I kept at it.
But I cant remember how many times I've wanted to throw in the towel and do something else. I'm glad I did not tho.
Same product that ws selling 5-6 a month when was released.
Is doing about 10 sales a day now after a couple of years.
It takes time and patience if you dont hit it big on released (which 99.998% of products dont)
I would advise you to share a tinyurl link of your product here so you can get some real feedback. Or find forums where your users hang out, and pass out free licenses for real feedback from the read target market.
For example, if its a marketing tool, ask in warriorforum, if its a dev tool, ask here. If its an account tool, find an accounting forum, etc..
Pass out free licenses, dont be stingy, costs you nothing. Dont think of it as it costs you a sale to give away a free license, because the likely hood of that person hearing about your product and then actually buying it is probably 0.0003% (number I pulled out of my a$$ ) :) but I think you get the point.
Pass out free licenses, get the word out, and see what real users say. Maybe you need to spin the product in a different direction based on real user feedback (pivot is the buzz word)
You will get some real feedback from the guys here. If you are open to ideas.
One thing I've learned is that ideas are a dime a dozen, execution is key.
Have you sold any yet?
Oh and 3.5 out of 5 is not a very high rating, that's a C on an ABCDF scale :) but dont let that get you down. Get feedback from real users. A software download reviewer is not your demographic.
They usually grade based on app performance, sleekness, bugs, errors, showstoppers. etc.. Not based on usefulness of a product for a market. Find out why you got a 3.5 and not a 4.5 maybe the review itself tells you whats wrong with the app.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
120 downloads is not much to make a decision on. Dont sweat it.
However, if you have a way to reach these people, though email, etc. Or notification in your app. You should ask for a survey to be filled in exchange for free license.
And see if you get feedback from them.
"Just can't be bothered marketing it at the moment. "
If you are busy with other stuff like a 9-5 job. That statement is acceptable, but probably worded differently. :)
But if you are free, but dont want to bother doing what it takes to get your app off the ground because you dont have motivation, or are scared of marketing. You might as well stop paying your hosting bill now and save a few bucks there, because you will have to close shop eventually if you skimp on marketing. And you'll save us time, since we dont have to post long posts to try to help :) (I mean this in a nice way. I'm sure it will come across rude or arrogant through text, dont take it that way) Key point is: without marketing, your app is dead in the water.
Try adwords, $1-3 per day and see if people are searching for your product related keywords. and u can see how many clicks it takes to get a sales and what it costs.
Try finding where your customers hang out in forums.
Look for facebook groups of your demograpic and be helpfull with posts, dont sell them ur product yet.
Dont waste time with bing, yahoo, etc.. ppc unless Adwords is working for you.
Most sales are done in the first 1-5days of a software trial.
Unless you have a long 90day trial, then expect to have users use it for a while before signing up.
But if you have a 30day trail, its not long enough for someone to want to just use it. They usually end up purchasing on the first few days of a trial.
90+ % of my sales are done in the first 48 hours of trail installation based on my stats tracking.
Does your software look good? visually.
Does your website look good?
If not, find a template from themeforest.com and update it if your site looks like it was designed by a programmer, ur hurting ur sales.
Do you track Download to Install conversions?
Upon install, have your install open a thank you page on your site.
And track how many people goto that page. Make sure that page is not accessible via another page. or use a variable like thankyou.html?ref=installerV1 or something like that
So you can know how many of the 120 downloads actually got installed and ran for first time.
First App Run
I also track if Install, uninstall, first run, app upgrade, was done while in Trial mode, or Paid Mode.
This way you can know how many of your
Visitors > Downloaded
Downloads > Installed
Installations > Actually Opened the App and ran first time. (some people download, but never actually install or ever ran your app, to go on with their life and forget you existed)
Visits > Purchased (great metric to track)
Installs > Uninstalled (important, put a survey to collect why people uninstall)
Purchases > Refunded (not important at this stage in the game)
Downloads > Purchased (great to know)
I read that tracking installs and uninstalls via a web form is bad, as it breaches the user's privacy. I may do it with an update, though. As a side-note, I do actually do it if the software is cracked (it opens a page stating there's a license problem). Luckily no hits to that page yet. :)
Yes, I have a 9-to-5 day job with wife and 3 under 10 years old kids to support. I fully intend to start marketing one day, but when I feel ready. To me, there's no rush: I'm currently in no different position to a few weeks ago, except that now I have an app sitting on a website, waiting to be better discovered.
To be honest, I totally don't understand how AdWords even works. All this talk of bidding and such is over my head. No idea what they mean. Not much money for me to spend on it anyway. Is there a good website or something that explains it in layman's terms? I'm a coder, not a marketer or businessman. Maybe that means I'm destined to fail. If so, so be it. At least I can go to the grave know that I tried, intead of sitting on the couch watching football all my life.
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