How I grew my audience by launching a 99c mobile app – Jarrod Robinson

This is a continuation of the story of how I transformed from a regular PE teacher to ‘The PE Geek.’ Today, I am an advocate of healthy and active lifestyle, improved with the use of contemporary technology, but it wasn’t always this way.

If you’ve just tuned in, you might want to read the first part before you go on: here

So, I’ve made my blog, collected some experience, and published an ebook- I’ve done something concrete, and the first online-made money is coming in.

It feels amazing!

As a matter of fact, it has invigorated me to do even more.

 

The First Free ‘PE Geek’ App

mobile app

My head was racing with all the possibilities of what I could accomplish, and how I could bring what I was doing to a whole new level.

At around the same time, I also received my very first smartphone. This was a completely new thing back then, and it blew my mind with everything it could do.

Every spare moment I had, I spent exploring this intriguing device. I was gushing to everyone who’d listen about the apps I was using, the apps I’d downloaded, and the apps I’d prepared to download.

Even then, I already knew this was something game-changing. This little gadget was the future.

It was as I was browsing apps, that I started to think about enriching the market with something that would be useful to my audience and me.

You have to remember that the App Store of this time was not even close to the saturated and shiny platform it is today. I quickly noticed gaps which could be filled with something I could create, something both interesting and helpful.

An app I built could help my audience, and potentially become a source of passive income for me.

All only within the emerging field of smartphone apps!

What I did next was basically just googling : “how do you make a mobile app?”

It actually worked! I found this neat website called appmakr.com, which offered all the info I needed to build my very first app, using various websites, social media feeds, and other digital resources.

Five minutes later I was already building my prototype app.

Of course, the result was pretty basic- and that’s an understatement!

It was a rudimentary tool which pulled the RSS feed from a website here, connected with Youtube there, and gathered info from a podcast on another page.

And yet, simple as it was, it served its purpose perfectly. It was exactly what I needed.

The PE Geek apps

It goes without saying that this wasn’t a groundbreaking app: there were many apps more innovative and detailed, with bigger support.

But this app addressed a unique need: combined with my blog and ebook, it acted as an info centre for people who were passionate about PE & technologies.

The fact that no one else had built an app like this, meant It could shine.

After a month of development and polishing, the app was uploaded and ready to go.

To say I was excited wouldn’t even come close to how thrilled I was; I was completely filled with joy and anticipation!

The app skyrocketed to 500 downloads a day.

It was wonderful. The app actually resonated with my audience, and they loved it!

I was overjoyed with the outcome.

It wasn’t long before I had the epiphany; my app was currently free, but what if I created an app for which I charged a small amount – say, 99c per download – for a quality product that people were actually using?

500 downloads per day, multiplied out to 99c per download? A decent income considering all I had to do was a little occasional maintenance and tweaking.

It was time to start work on another app.

 

The Second, Paid App

Jarrod The PE Geek

The concept was like this: my base product was worth 99c, not much, but not bad for a base.

I could expand that base for a higher cost, with more content that my audience was looking for, without straying away from what I did best.

Naturally, I turned back to my students.

What followed was coming up with the idea of a quiz app which allowed students to test and grade themselves on PE topics.

I began the research to determine how to create a friendly and constructive mobile environment for self-evaluation.

I wanted to bring multiple choice and short answer questions into the smartphone environment.

The resulting journey of information led me to buzztouch.com, which allowed me to create an iPod, iPhone, or Android app with zero programming experience, using only drag & drop menus, and folder structure hierarchies.

Three weeks of dragging, dropping, and creating content left me with a neatly-functioning app, which offered more than 100 PE-related questions and answers, divided into subcategories.

Since I was still a novice, I hired a programmer to upload my app onto the Apple App Store. I sent off a zip-file with my app and my account details, and that same day I received a message telling me my app was being assessed, and it would be online in 7 days.

The prospects of having another paid app online, and bringing on an estimated income of a couple of hundred dollars were beyond exciting!

As Apple required some screenshots of the app beforehand, I hired someone from fiverr.com to edit some of them. They turned them into marketing pictures with text — something you’re most likely to see when you scroll the app store — for $5 per screenshot.

I waited.

A week later, an email confirmed that my app was online.

I had to go online for myself, unable to believe it. It was there.

The first sale was made by me. I clicked the buy button, which did mean that I gave 30% of my dollar to Apple.

So what? This was a big deal for me- to hell with that dollar! I was in heaven.

Check out all of the apps I’ve made so far, including that first one, here.

I’m still working and innovating, and I will be, for as long as I have something to contribute.

Thinking about making a story of your own career? Visit Teacherpreneur and join the rest of the crew!