End of Year Craziness

This month was kind of a whirlwind. I was busy at my regular day job pushing to reach year-end financial goals before time ran out. All the while working to keep on top of my regular 8-5 workload. For those of you who don’t know, I have a regular full-time job working for another company, and I really do enjoy it. But I long for the financial freedom to be able to choose what to do with my time. So I work nights and weekends on my app development business so that I can reap the rewards later on — and have more freedom and flexibility down the road.

A New Word Puzzle Game Release

In addition to being busy with my day job, I was also really pushing to get a new game released before the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. On November 25 my new game, Qumbo Word Puzzle was approved by Apple and released into the wild.

qumbo-iphone5This was a slightly new experience for me. First, because I was using an open-sourced template of a previously successful game (the word puzzle game, LEX). And second, because I decided to hire a developer to help me get this one launched.

All year I’ve been struggling physically and emotionally to try to find enough time and energy to get everything done, and I decided it just wasn’t going to happen the way I envisioned without some help.

I found a great developer on Odesk willing to reskin the LEX template for under $200. Which. Was. Awesome!

He had some previous app development experience and was looking to get some additional project work under his belt, so he was willing to work for a little less than I was asking. It really worked out great! I can’t recommend Odesk more highly. If you have any projects you’re working on where you might benefit from some additional help, it’s really surprising what you can get done — and for less than you might think.

I’ll provide a better performance overview for Qumbo in December’s income report, but suffice it to say it has not been getting the traction I had hoped it would.

Anyway, down to the nitty gritty income details. Here’s November’s results:

 

App Downloads (November 2014)

App Download Report November 2014

I have seen downloads go up in previous years over Thanksgiving and I sort of expected things to follow suit this year as well.

But, as you can see, there was only a slight post-Thanksgiving bump in Bacon Farts downloads — and only a few hundred total downloads of my new game, Qumbo.

Overall a bit of a disappointment for downloads.

But that’s why we keep plugging away, right?

 

App Income by Ad Network (November 2014)

App Income Ad Networks - November 2014

Overall, ad network revenue was looking pretty decent this month at $539.99

With a nice spike the week of Thanksgiving. Very little of this income is the result of adding an additional game, it’s mostly additional usage of Bacon Farts during the Thanksgiving week. (I have a Thanksgiving theme, and it’s a fart app, so folks must be finding that useful at the dinner table during their family get-togethers.)

Looking at individual ad networks:

Vungle eCPM have been down significantly for a while, so those are pretty disappointing results at $3.86 eCPM (considering I’ve seen months in the past at $10-$15 eCPM). I haven’t seen a lot of new ads on their network lately, which is probably why fewer downloads and less income.

Playhaven have been doing well this month, with pretty standard results around $3.42 eCPM. I’ve been having good results with Playhaven lately and will continue to keep them throttled up in my ad network mix.

RevMob have been doing pretty poorly, so I have had them on low-rotation for several months. As you can see at $0.57 eCPM they’re not ranking very well. I’d say 95% of these are banner ads (320×50) so it’s somewhat to be expected, but interstitials haven’t performed well for a while either. I’ll keep watching them though, they might go up over the Christmas season.

I threw Adbuddiz in on low-rotation. They seem to be only running PPI (pay per install) ads and I’m not seeing very good return from them… although the eCPM looks amazing at $7.60 for the few ads I ran. I may throttle them up a bit and see what happens next month.

 

Overall App Income (November 2014)

App Income November 2014

Overall, not a bad month for app income at $618.59 (I’ve seen much worse).

But a bit disappointing given the lower than expected Thanksgiving results and fewer downloads of Qumbo than I expected. My goals for December are to tweak Qumbo keywords to see if I can improve downloads over the Christmas break.

Also, I’m already working on my 2015 plan which I’ll be sharing some time in January. In short, expect to see a huge jump in apps being published… I’m going to strive to put out at least three per month. Stay tuned, more on that soon… (in fact, sign up for my newsletter and I’ll let you know when I publish my 2015 plan.)

Before you go, I’d like to leave you with one question and read your response in the comments below:

What is the main thing you’d like to do to improve your App Development business in 2015?

Leave your answer in the comments below, I look forward to hearing how you look to improve in the coming year.