reskin an app tutorials

Update SDK Tutorial – How to Upgrade an SDK for an Ad Network

How to Update an SDK TutorialWith iOS 8 creeping up on us, ad networks are scrambling to release upgraded SDKs. If you just published an app, it can be a pain to update the SDK. Your developer might be working on something else, and/or you might need to hire someone else to do it. If you’re new to app development, a programmer could take advantage and overcharge you for the relatively simple task.

But here at Money From Apps, we’re all about bootstrapping (saving money) and saving time. Sometimes that means you need to sit in the driver’s seat or take a bull by the horns… whichever analogy you choose, the point remains…

[Tweet “Building apps is not all glitz and glamour. You’re going to need some technical skills.”]

It often makes sense to do things yourself, and if you don’t have a full team in place, updating an ad network SDK is probably one of those things that is worth it for you to learn. It’s simple, it doesn’t require coding knowledge, and it can save you a ton of time and money. So here it is:

Update SDK Tutorial

As usual, we’re almost always talking about iOS apps here, so that’s what we’re going to show you. If you’ve never programmed before, don’t worry. In the simplest terms, “updating an SDK” is really just about replacing old files with new files. An ad network SDK is just a set of files that the ad network has inside your app’s set of files, and we just need to find and replace them.

The only issue with simply replacing files is that in some cases, an ad network will require some changes to the code as well. For example, they will change their header file names, so you will need to change these as well. Unfortunately this is a case-by-case basis–if you run into build errors after following the method below, this is probably the issue, and you’ll have to do a little research or ask someone what needs to be changed in the code (this should be a quick fix).

What you need:

  • The app source code (Xcode project) of the app you want to update.
    In the following “update SDK tutorial,” we’ll be using our Bingo source code.
  • Xcode (free software you can get in the App Store on your Mac computer).
  • The updated SDK.
    This will be a file, or more commonly a folder, that contains code that your app will use. You can download an SDK straight from the ad network’s website.
    In the following “update SDK tutorial,” we’ll update the AppLovin SDK as an example.

If you’ve never opened an app in Xcode before, it would be a good idea to check out our free YouTube tutorial on preparing an app for testing in Xcode. Better yet, you should take one of our Udemy courses for free and get a good feel for Xcode.

How to Update an SDK:

  1. Go into Xcode and find the old SDK in the left pane among all the files and folders (for this example, the “AppLovin” folder in the “AdsFrameWorks” folder). Within Xcode, right-click on the folder in the pane on the left and delete it. When the alert pops up, make sure you choose “Move to Trash.”

xcode move to trash

2.  Go explore the project folder through your desktop, and also delete the AppLovin folder through there if it’s not gone.

3.  Download the new SDK from Applovin.com.

4.  Go back into Xcode, and go into the AdsFrameWorks folder where the ad networks are and where you originally deleted the old SDK. Right-click on the “AdsFrameWorks” folder and choose “Add Files to YourAppName.”

xcode add files to

5.  Find the AppLovin folder that you just downloaded and select that. Make sure check the box that says “Copy Items Into Destination Group’s Folder (if needed)” and “Create Groups for Any Added Folders.” Also make sure “Add to Targets” is checked. Then add the folder.

Copy items into destination group's folder

That should update the SDK!

Our free Udemy courses also include a tutorial showing you how to send an app to Apple for review, so you can follow those steps as well!

app reskinning

Does this app use the Advertising Identifier (IDFA)?

Fairly recently, Apple added a new field when you’re ready to upload your binary.

Advertising Identifier IDFA

It’s headed:

Advertising Identifier

Below that, you need to answer:

Does this app use the Advertising Identifier (IDFA)?

If your app is showing ads, you’re going to need to click “Yes” for this. And that opens up some more questions…

Serve Advertisements Within the App

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Are you showing ads? If so, click yes. That is the one that we click 99% of the time, and also 99% of the time, this is the only one we click.

Attribute this App Installation to a Previously Served Advertisement

You select this if your app is using the unique identifier of the iOS device. Call me lazy, but I have never felt like looking up every single SDK’s documentation to figure out if they use the unique identifier. And I vaguely remember when crap hit the fan and all the ad networks were updating their SDKs like crazy because of all of this. So do they use the unique identifier? I have no idea.

In all of our apps, we have not checked this box, and we’ve passed the review process.

This has been true for the following SDKs (we did not click the checkbox when using any/all of the following):

  • Flurry
  • Revmob
  • Chartboost
  • Upsight (PlayHaven)
  • AppLovin
  • StartApp
  • Vungle

I am definitely not an expert in this area, but the point of this is to tell you what has worked for us.

Attribute an Action Taken Within this App to a Previously Served Advertisement

This one has to do with re-engagement; that is, a user will click an ad, enter an app, and events that happen are attributed to the ads. Again, we don’t click this. Hey, maybe we’re wrong, but I’m writing this to let you know what we do and what has worked for us consistently.

Feel free to comment if you’re an expert in the field of identifiers and tracking, or if you know for sure that specific ad networks do use the IDFA/re-engagement, etc. This post is more about figuring it out than telling you how to answer this question

Now for my iOS Developer rant of the day: Have you ever noticed that you can have Frequent/Extreme Sexual Content & Nudity–not just mild, but extreme… but if you select even Mild Graphic Sexual Content & Nudity, you can’t submit your app to the App Store? Classic Apple Review, making no sense as usual.

app reskinning

How Do Apps Make Money? From Ad Networks Like StartApp

 

When we’re talking with friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers, one of the first questions we hear is:

How do apps make money?

We could go on for hours about this, but for the most part, it really comes down to only two things:

  1. Ads
  2. In-App Purchases

Making Money From Apps by Using In-App Purchases

Let’s talk about in-app purchases for a moment. Unfortunately, if you’re just starting out, making money from in-app purchases is extremely difficult. If people are willing to buy your coin packs, your “unlock weapons” or “remove ads” feature, and more, then they must really love your app. Think about it… in which apps have you spent money? Did you like those apps? Most certainly.

But getting to that level–where people love your app–is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of time and money to develop a product that people love. In fact, it’s so difficult, that we recommend starting with simple apps that you know aren’t amazing, but will make money in other ways… namely, ads. Then you can take that money and invest it into new projects.

One example of this is reskinning apps. In a nutshell, you could buy a Bingo source code, change the ad network IDs to your own, and re-release the app into the App Store as “Summer Bingo,” or some other theme. Thanks to Apple’s tendency to feature new apps, you will most certainly get downloads, and every person that downloads your app will see ads of other apps, and you’ll start making money quickly.

So if you’re starting out and want to make a profitable app instead of spending thousands of dollars researching and developing an app that people may or may not like, ads are the way to go.

Making Money From Apps by Using Ads

This is getting easier and easier by the day, because more and more apps are entering the market, and the app development companies can afford to pay premium prices to advertise their app inside of yours. On top of that, ad networks are becoming more convenient, as competition grows among them.

Ad networks do all the hard work for you–they find the advertisers and pair them with you. They build the code–all you have to do is drop it into yours. Our free tutorials on how to reskin an app will give you an idea of how this works.

Unfortunately, some of the source codes you might purchase today will have outdated ad networks. First, they’ll use old school ad networks that might not make you the most money. Second, the SDKs (the code you drop in) might be outdated. So one way in which you can have an edge on others is to seek out new ad networks and test them out. This can easily turn a loser app into a winning one; we highly recommend trying out different ad networks.

Today, we want to encourage you to try a new one: StartApp.

Why You Should Try StartApp

StartApp is a relatively new ad network for iOS. It’s actually been startapp ad networkaround for a long time on Android, and is one of the largest and most successful Android ad platforms ever. So when a network like this moves into iOS, you should pay attention.

When an ad network makes this sort of move, it usually comes with promotions and better eCPMs, and that’s why we’re telling you about this right now. If you capitalize on these promotions and great CPM, your apps can make double, triple, or even more than if you stuck with the same old ad networks. Not only that, but you get to test new ways to monetize your users, which is critical in this business.

What promotions?

  1. Sign Up Bonus – Because they’re new to iOS, StartApp is running a sign up bonus. Just use this link: StartApp Sign Up Bonus. You will get an extra $50 this month once you reach only 1,000 impressions. If you have any issues with that link, just contact their support and they’ll make sure you’re all set. They’re very responsive.
  2. Double Revenue – Again, you’ll only find these kinds of deals with newer ad networks. Take advantage of the double revenue now. Get cracking!

This can turn $15 eCPMs into $30, which makes a huge difference, especially if you release multiple reskins of one app. Don’t miss out.

We’ll keep you updated as we find other great deals like this.
If you want help implementing the StartApp SDK, you can join our free course on how to reskin an app and find support there.

Happy Money-Making!
Justin

StartApp in the Press:

  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-monetization-platform-startapp-rakes-in-one-billion-downloads-2013-9
  2. http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/31/10x-growth-in-18-months-startapp-hits-1-5b-downloads-70k-app-installs-and-200m-daily-ad-impressions/
app results

“Bingo Hall” Results From Bingo Source Code

Our first skin of our very own Bingo Source Code has just hit the two-week mark (this past Friday) of being live in the App Store.  We wanted to give you an exclusive look behind the scenes to see how we are trending.

Title: “Bingo Hall – Play Bingo Games for Free”

Released: April 18, 2014

Keywords: daub,stamp,rush,fast,speed,
against,compete,aarp,simulator,keno,gamble,
simulator,gsn,+,bash,alisa,fun

Expenses: $597

Income: $598.54

  • Revmob: $70.76
  • Chartboost: $5.82 (More Apps page only)
  • AppLovin: $518.48
  • In-App Purchases: $3.48 (net after Apple’s cut)

Net After Only 17 Days: $1.54

# of Downloads: 4,384 (no marketing)

Quick Take:

Bingo Source CodeAfter 17 days, we are officially positive–this is amazing! The general rule of thumb is that a source code should get you even at 30 days. The Bingo source code kills this!
We still generate triple digit downloads every day and expect the advertising revenue to continue to increase over the next few weeks. As all experienced app reskinners know, if you can turn a profit on the 1st skin, and in less than 1 month, then you have the potential to make a lot of money with this source code.
Based on the low costs for additional versions of this app (there are only 35 graphics to change + the icon), we can expect to see a net income of approximately $500 within 2 weeks of our next reskin’s release.  So if you plan to release 3 versions per month, you could reasonably expect to net $1,000+ in the 1st month alone!
This is also not using Upsight (formerly known as PlayHaven) interstitials at all. You can turn Uspight on (and Revmob off) and test those results… or you can turn off all the ads and see if you make lots of money with in-app purchases! There are great options here.

The Best Part:

What is better than putting an extra $1,000 in your pocket in the 1st month?

Doing it quickly and easily!

Justin has created a Step-by-Step Guide that will show you how to reskin this app.  And the course is FREE!  Each version that you reskin will take you less and less time, which means you’ll be able to calculate your hourly return on each version.  If by the time you create your 7th version of the Bingo Source Code you are able to complete it in 2 hours and can expect to make $1000, that is $500 per hour! Tell me where else in your life you are seeing that kind of financial return on your time.

Act Fast!

For those of us that have been reskinning apps for a while, we know that there is a shelf-life for each source code and the key to maximizing your returns is getting in early and producing quality versions ASAP.  We are confident that this is the best and best-priced version of a Bingo Source Code that is available.  We decided to sell the source code at a price point that we know you can be successful with and our early results showcase the revenue-making possibilities.  We are still in the early-adoption phase of the Bingo Source Code, which means there is still a lot of time left to make money, but those who are ahead of the curve will see the greatest returns.

app results

Best CPM Ad Network for iOS

Update: We’ve pulled newer numbers and with more ad networks. Check out the new post here: Best eCPM Ad Network for iOS in 2015

What’s the best CPM ad network out there? When you’re first starting out developing an app, either from scratch or as a reskin of a source code, one of the toughest things to figure out is which ad network(s) you should implement. Every ad network (Revmob, Chartboost, AppLovin, PlayHaven/Upsight, etc.) boasts huge eCPMs, but which ones perform the best and will make you the most money from apps? Which categories of apps generate the best ad revenue? We analyzed about a year of data with over 50 iOS apps from our portfolio and as usual, we decided to share the priceless results with all of you, which can generate a lot more cash in the long run.
Just a quick disclaimer: these numbers aren’t perfect because our tracking of impressions isn’t perfect; however, we believe these “averaged eCPMs” that we drew up are just as useful.

Drum roll please…

The Winner: AppLovin

AppLovin wins in every category, but let’s take a look a little closer at the data and see if we can come to some more conclusions that can make us all more money.

By Source Code

best eCPM ad networks

Here we see the data organized by the source code. A few numbers jump out–$12.94 eCPM for the poker source code with AppLovin interstitials, and the next highest $7.22 eCPM for the big slot machine source code. This isn’t very surprising to us since we see these numbers on a daily basis. Whenever we get a good amount of downloads from a slot machine or poker app–pretty much anything that can be considered a “casino” app–we make great money from AppLovin.

The other interesting thing is that AppLovin also wins for every type of app when we look at interstitials (pop-up ads). Based on this data, it really seems like we should consider changing all the codes to implement AppLovin. But let’s try looking at it from a different angle…

By Category

best ecpm ad network by category

Again, we see that AppLovin wins in every category for interstitials. The only place we see higher eCPMs are with PlayHaven’s More Apps page, but this isn’t clicked as often, so it generates less revenue. Along those lines, note that we don’t have any data for PlayHaven interstitials in the casino category (by the way, PlayHaven is now known as Upsight, so you might hear both names used). This would definitely be worth the test. If any of you readers out there have the data handy, we’d love to hear how Upsight pop-up ads performed for you in the casino category. Going forward, this is definitely something we’ll implement.

Another key here is to notice the difference in Casino Games versus everything else. Why do casino games consistently get higher eCPMs? It’s because there are a ton of casino games in the top charts that make a crap load of money, and the developers shell out top dollar to advertise these apps. The more they pay, the more we make. So when we reskin a casino game and it’s successful, we make a lot more than if we reskinned a flappy bird game that got the same amount of downloads. Flappy Bird players probably aren’t as interested in downloading a game (from a casino advertisement) than someone who is already playing a casino game.

So if you’re just starting out and are curious what area you should go into, we’d probably suggest casino apps, especially if you think you have something that will get a solid amount of downloads and/or you have a unique theme that you can jump on. I wouldn’t necessarily get a slot machine, though, since there are so many reskins of slot machine source codes already out there and it’s tough to get downloads on them nowadays, unless you’re doing something a lot different or you’re doing a full re-skin of the code. Conveniently, we just might have something for you in the next couple of weeks that satisfies all of this. Keep your eyes and ears open, and make sure you’ve signed up for our mailing list on the right side of this page.

Are you having different results from ad networks? Have you found a new ad network that is killing it? Let us know in the comments.

app reskinning

How to Optimize Chartboost eCPM

On our last post, we got a question about ad networks. The lingo and all the functions can be pretty overwhelming–I know it was for me at first. How do you best use ad networks for app monetization? Is there a way to set up campaigns that will yield the best results? I’m going to give you some tips that will boost up your Chartboost eCPM because in my opinion, Chartboost is probably the most complicated to understand since it has the most options. If you see a term you don’t understand, look at the end of the post–it might very well be in the glossary. So let’s get to it…

Chartboost

If you have an app that is a game, chances are you’re using Chartboost. It’s one of the most popular ad networks for games out there. It’s most commonly used ads are shown as pop-up ads (also known as “full screen interstitials”) and the famous Chartboost More Apps page. While you can technically still put the Chartboost SDK into an app that isn’t a game, if Chartboost finds out, they could stop you… so only publish campaigns in Chartboost

The first screen below shows what a typical Chartboost interstitial looks like. You can usually tell right away that it’s a Chartboost ad because of its size. Unlike other ad networks, a Chartboost “full screen” ad doesn’t take up the whole screen.

The More Apps page is usually connected to a “More” button in your app and displays a list of apps–your own, other people’s ads, or a combination of both. The orange theme is how I usually know that it’s Chartboost.

Set Up

How do you set up Chartboost? Here’s the quick breakdown, assuming the Chartboost SDK is already implemented into your app:

1. Add your app – this should be pretty straight-forward. However, if you can’t figure this out, I’d recommend our video tutorials.

2. Create campaigns (sets of ads) – Don’t create only one campaign. Create a few–maybe one that has lots of filters and only accepts a minimum $4 per install. Set that as your “highest priority” campaign and then for the “high” priority campaign, set a $3 or $2.50 minimum for an install. By doing this, you will force Chartboost to give you the highest paying ads first. If there are none that match your criteria, it will go to your next highest priority campaign and try to find an ad that fits that criteria. For your lowest priority campaign, don’t include filters–that way you will only show low-paying ads if Chartboost couldn’t successfully find a better one first.

3. Set up the More Apps page (if your app uses it) – This part is easy to miss. Open up your app in Chartboost, and navigate to the tab: More Apps. There’s a search bar on the right side. Click in the bar and type in your own apps (if you want to promote your own) or the names of your campaigns to show other people’s ads there!

Placement

Where should you place your ads? First, if you’re not familiar with Xcode and Objective-C, or you’re not developing an app from scratch, chances are you have no say over this. But if you do have the control, then the answer is… it depends.

If you have an awesome code with great retention, you probably don’t want to bombard the user with ads right when they launch your app. Actually, you probably aren’t doing that if your app has great retention, because most people are turned off by ads and will steer away from apps that have loads of ads appearing within a minute of launching the app.

However, if you’re reskinning a game a bunch of times, and you expect that most users will only use your app a couple of times, might as well take advantage and show an ad or two right at launch and whenever you can. Note that Apple can reject you for showing too many ads. It’s happened to us before, but we found a way around that.

This is something to experiment with (some ad networks have A/B or Split Testing, which allows you to try different strategies at one time). Each app will be different, and if you’re able to master this, you should go into marketing for an app development company, because this kind of knowledge is powerful.

Cross-Promotion

Should you do it? Well, unfortunately, again the answer is “it depends.” You’ll find that some huge apps only use cross-promotion. Other times, like with Flappy Bird, you’ll see that the app only advertises other people’s apps. Sometimes you’ll see a mix of both. So what strategy should you use?

Here’s how to think about it. In general, if you wanted to advertise your app, you would have to pay around $0.50 f0r an install of your app. On the flipside, if you advertise someone else’s app, you would make somewhere around $0.50 every time someone installed that person’s app. So what would you rather have? $0.50 or a download of your own app? Personally, I would rather have $0.50 because my app probably won’t make $0.50 from that person that downloaded it. Make sense?

However, there are some things to take into consideration. Let’s say you have two apps: a photo-framing app, and an app that gets you more followers on Instagram. Those two are very complimentary. A user of the Instagram app would probably be interested in a photo-framing app… so in this case, it might work to cross-promote. You’ll probably get a higher CTR and IR with your own app compared to an ad of Candy Crush Saga or Clash of Clans. Also, that user might spend money $1.99 in your photo framing app, and now you’ve made a lot more than if you were advertising someone else’s app.

So again, this depends, and you have to take it on a case-by-case basis.

Other Tips

  • Chartboost recommends customizing your frame. The frame is the border around a full-screen interstitial ad. You can change this so that it matches the theme of your app, and will then (hopefully) get you more clicks because it looks less intrusive. I don’t doubt that this works, but we’ve never tried this because it’s pretty labor intensive to create a new frame to match the theme of every app you have.
  • Filter out apps that perform badly! Sometimes a terrible ad will show up hundreds or thousands of times, and it gets either no clicks or no installs. You can analyze this and eliminate the ads that perform poorly. Check out this step-by-step tutorial created by Chartboost. We do this approximately once a month.
  • In addition, to combine Carter’s tip mentioned earlier with filtering apps, you should probably create different campaigns for different categories of apps. For example, gambling apps should probably have different campaigns than Flappy Bird-style apps, because a user of a Flappy Bird app might not be interested in a poker app, and that could be good to filter out of a campaign that is showing in your Flappy Bird-style apps.

Glossary

They pretty much apply to any ad network.

  1. Advertiser – You are an advertiser if you are paying to show ads for your apps.
  2. Publisher – You are a publisher if you show ads in your apps and make money that way.
  3. Campaign – In Chartboost, you need to create a campaign to show ads and make money. Think of a campaign as a set of ads. You can create just one campaign if you wish; however, in general, it would be best to create a campaign (or a few different campaigns) for each category of app you have. For example, you could create a campaign for your “Gambling” apps and then another for your “Flappy Bird-style” apps. This is optimal because users in a Gambling app have different tastes and preferences than someone using a Flappy Bird-style app.
  4. Cross-Promotion – This is a case when you act as both an advertiser and a publisher. In simple terms, you are advertising your own app(s) inside your own app(s). Note that by doing this, you won’t be making money when users click an ad and install the app, since you are referring to your own apps.
  5. Direct Deal – This might be exclusive to Chartboost, and it’s only available if you’re able to get 20,000 boot-ups of an app in a single day. This qualifies you for Direct Deals, in which you can talk to advertisers directly and make deals to show their apps. This will make you a higher eCPM or eCPI than the normal way of showing ads.
  6. CPC – Cost per Click. That is, how much money an advertiser spends whenever a user clicks on your ad.
  7. CPI – Cost per Install. That is, how much money an advertiser spends whenever a user clicks on an ad in your app and installs/opens the app. Some ad networks, like Chartboost, use both–sometimes you’re being paid for clicks and sometimes you’re being paid when the user installs the app.
  8. eCPM – It stands for “Effective Cost Per Mille.” That’s probably not helpful. In plain English, if you’re a publisher making money by showing ads, it means how much money you make for every 1,000 impressions, whether you make that money from clicks or installs. The calculation is:
    Money/Impressions x 1000. We’ve experienced eCPMs ranging anywhere from $0.01 to $250 on a given day.
  9. Impression – An ad view. One user can experience any amount of impressions while using your app in a sitting. For example, if you show an ad right when your app launches, that’s 1 impression. If the same user sees another ad after completing a level, that would be a 2nd impression. The more ad impressions, the more clicks you should get, and the more money you should earn; however, if you bombard a user with ad impressions, they’re likely to get pissed off and never use your app again.
  10. Bootup – Same as a “Session.” Every bootup or session is counted each time a user opens your app.
  11. Uniques (Unique Users) – How many individual users use your app in a given time period. If the same person opens your app 7 times in one day, that’s 7 bootups or sessions, but only 1 unique or unique user.
  12. CTR – Click Through Rate. How many clicks an ad received compared to how many times it was shown. For example, a CTR of 50% means that every other time the ad is shown, on average, it gets clicked once. The higher the CTR, the higher your earnings (usually) because you are paid per click or install.
  13. IR – Install Rate. How many installs an app received compared to how many times the ad was clicked. For example, an IR of 50% means that every other time the ad was clicked, it resulted in an install of that app.
  14. SDK – It stands for Software Development Kit. You implement someone else’s SDK into your app in order to use their service. For example, in order to show Chartboost ads, you need to add the Chartboost SDK into your app’s code.
  15. Placement – An ad location. For example, an ad might be located (or placed) right when the game launches.
  16. Retention – How often a user comes back to use your app.
app reskinning, app results

“Halloween Casino” results from 20 Line Slot Machine Source Code

Update:  We recommend looking into the Bingo source code.

We just crossed the 2-month mark for another casino app reskin that we created, using the same “20 Line Slot Machine” source code that Carter Thomas  has made available at bluecloudsolutions.com on this page.

Carter Thomas - BlueCloudSolutions.com
Carter Thomas – BlueCloudSolutions.com

Conveniently, we’ve also released a full video course on how to reskin this app from the moment you purchase the source code, to submitting to the App Store. It’s super comprehensive, yet incredibly manageable. After you see these results, you might very well be sold. You can get the course here.

Here are the results for the second reskin we made of this code:

Halloween Casino Icon

Title: “Halloween Casino – Slot Machine with Bonus Games”

Released: September 12, 2013

Keywords:

  • scary, spooky, gambling, slots, spin, win, coin, treat, play, candy, chip, ghost, cash, trick, jackpot, contest, cat
  • Think we’re crazy for telling you this? SensorTower is like 95% accurate, anyway, so you could’ve just looked it up yourself

Expenses: $140

  • Code: $0. Why? We already purchased the code and re-skinned this game before. We counted the cost of the code into that post.
  • Stock Graphics: $40
  • Development: $0
  • TapJoy Ads: $100

Income: $2,109.81

  • Revmob: $32.98 (-5%)
  • Chartboost: $367.73 (+100%)
  • PlayHaven: $39.99 (-27%)
  • AppLovin: $1,669.11 (+307%)(% change compared to our first reskin)
  • In-App Purchases: $116.61 – $34.98 Apple Share = $81.63

Net after 2 months: +$2,051.44

# of Downloads: 7,462 (+68%)

Lessons

1. Again, we really can do the graphic and development work ourselves. It’s not that difficult… And each re-skin takes less and less time. You can do this, too! Learn how to re-skin the entire source code in about an hour here.

2. AppLovin continues to dominate eCPMs compared to other ad networks in this genre. We learned that from the last version of this code and decided to show more AppLovin ads. We also decided not to promote this through our gigantic Instagram network like we did with Animal Wheel. This improved our eCPM, because we didn’t have a ton of kids coming in that didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. SIDE NOTE: Speaking of gigantic Instagram network, this has been another very profitable project for us, and Lee is currently working on an eBook that explains how we managed to get 100,000 Instagram followers in a month. We’re super excited about that–more details coming soon.

Halloween Casino - AppLovin Income

3. PlayHaven made about a quarter less money than Animal Wheel, but this is probably because we also cross-promoted our own games in the “More Games” page. When we released Animal Wheel, we didn’t have any other games to promote in PlayHaven, so every install was revenue for us.

4. Paying for TapJoy “Rewarded Installs” wasn’t worth it, even at only $0.10 per download. At best, we broke even. We wouldn’t recommend this unless you’re making $0.50+ per download. This app makes $0.30 per download, which is still incredible for the amount of effort put in.

5. Theme, icon, screen shots – Unlike Animal Wheel, I took a whole 2 minutes to do this icon… I just took one of the slot machine images and used it for the icon, and this performed so much better than Animal Wheel. Sure, you can say that it was due to the overall theme, but this icon is just a lot cleaner. Combine that with so little work put in, we’re definitely going to use this strategy going forward. But there’s also a good course on Udemy that gives you Photoshop files and a great tutorial on how to make your own great-looking icons very quickly/cost-effectively. It’s normally $97, but you can access the 50% off coupon here. That course also comes with an automation tool that will resize your icons in like 2 seconds so that you don’t have to keep saving it over and over for different sizes. Very cool.

As for the theme, we thought it would be risky, since “Halloween” obviously has a very limited lifespan and we knew there would be a lot of other Halloween apps out there. But the results speak for themselves.

Screen shots were exactly that—screen shots—nothing special, but again, the images just looked a lot cleaner this time around.

Screen Shot example

Again, we didn’t bother spending time to add text and call outs on these images. Personally, I don’t think this is worth the time.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights on what worked and what didn’t in your opinion, and if you’ve bought this source code, what you’ve learned as well.

Coming soon: More results coming (and yes, we made a holiday/Christmas version of this app), and crazy ways we’ve been able to get nearly a quarter million app downloads in 6 months using Instagram as an ad platform. You’ll definitely want to hear about that!

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