1 million downloads,1st app,within 8 momths.0$ spent on ads.

Here is what I did to acquire 1 million downloads for my first app(or business you may say) within 8 months without spending any money on advertising.

One day,I thought of investing my time into apps.
After learning on how money is made via apps,I reallized a general purpose app with more user engagement will earn me more money than a niche app.
Games can earn a loat of money but the average life span of a game is very small.There are so many games out in the market that getting attention of the users is very tough.
I don’t believe in getting lucky,I think none of us do.It’s better to buy a lottery ticket than to hope that your first game will become a hit.
The flappy bird game wasn’t Dong Nguyen’s first game.He had been into game developement for 8 yrs. Imagine that !

So after thinking for some time,I thought it would be a music player or an audio player.
When you search for a music player/ audio player on the playstore,more than 300 results appear.
I am sure there are more than 1000 music player/ audio player on the playstore.
Scroll down to 50th music player / audio player ,even it would show 1million downloads.
It signifies that people try out the music player / audio player a lot. A good sign !
What most of the music players lack is a good UI,

So these two things were my ways of getting downloads.

A good UI

A general purpose app

During the days I was developing the app,I used to read blogs while in bed,before going to sleep.
The articles were about Business,entrepreneurship, apps etc.I developed a habbit of never giving up on something ,if I BELIEVED it would work !

Since I was just a college student, I didn’t have any money to advertise.
However I managed some money for other things like screenshots ,video,website icon etc etc from

  1. The selling point for my app was the UI/UX. And for me the presentation was everything. I knew I was short on budget,and I wanted to convert every click into a download (there is a high probability that if a person clicks on the link,he may not download it because of poor presentation )
    So good,professional looking screenshots were important so for that I needed a photoshop professional.
    I hired a guy from freelancing websites.

Now I asked around the rates for an icon. It came out to be 20$.
There are a limited number of repeations a person would make for 20$
I thought the best way to get as many ideas for the icon would be by holding a contest for 40$(double of the normal rates)
the reason for the double price is,it seems like an opportunity to people that they can earn more than usual so they put in extra effort. Because there is this chance to “win”.
I got about 60-80 ideas for the music player/ audio player ,I didn’t like any of them.I awarded the contest to a good freelancer on a condition that he will be making more repitions for me.

Here is the freelancer guy i hired for icon,screenshots etc etc
Page on freelancer.com

I paid the guy 50$ for 5 screenshots. Now you can get even better rates for screenshots from Get everything you need starting at $5
It is highly unlikely that you will get some one good, for the icon from fiverr,but get your screenshots done from fiverr,it will be cheaper.

I then hired a guy for the video.
If someone does’t know the rates around,he may end up paying 150-400$.
There are websites from where templates can be bought for a lot of things . http://Videohive.net is a website I got my template from.

I purchased a 25$ template,hired a guy for 40$ to do the changes to it.(His fees was 20$)
So the whole video was done for 65$
Here is the guy i hired for the video

2 I got fake facebook likes(40,000 likes for 40$ people are real but they don’t come to know when they liked the page,there are scripts for fake facebook likes) as I thought it can be used as an audience,but turns out it was a waste,as facebook has changed it algorithms,and a post’s visibility only increases if it gets enough momentum(i.e comments and likes).And it is quite obvious that no one would be interested in a post from a page which they never liked themselves.
The post never reached 40,000 people which was my intended target.

  1. I wrote the description,optimized for ASO.There are websites for SEO (or ASO ,app store optimization)like sensor tower which can be used for figuring out which keyword to use.
    Here are the general rules of ASO

A keyword should be 5 times in the description.

Put the keyword in the name

Put the keyword in the package name.

  1. I Added 1000+ friends on facebook from my college before the launch

  2. I launched the app.

  3. I gave credit to my new facebook friends on how they were so supportive and accepted my random friend requests ,after that I sneaked in the download link with very proffesional images. People like to take credits for no reason ,just like they want to feel good and superior and want to be a part of something, without any reason,I exploited it.

  4. The early downloads and reviews were quite important

  5. My friends reviewed and downloaded.About 200-300 of them.

  6. Just after I launched it,I changed my schedule and started sleeping 9 hrs in 2 days .i.e 4.5 hrs a day,with 3 hrs of sleeping shifts.
    i searched for lists of websites which review android apps.Sent them a copy pasted message and often making intentional mistakes while typing the subject like “Android ‘ApP’ Review”,to get their attention as you are not the only one sending them emails. we tried to make it look as professional as we could.But tried to keep the message friendly.I posted them 100 each day.
    Here is the list if incase anyone wants to use it.

  7. Posting on facebook groups.The post here doesn’t have to be professional and the screenshots should not look professional,if they are
    ,(these screenshots were differnt from the ones one the app page) you will give an impression that your app comes from a company and it won’t appear as a personal request but like an advertisement, which you don’t want.I posted them 100 each day. Got about 2000 downloads from such posts.
    Telling stories was helpful. No one wants to listen about your organization,your culture etc but instead they like stories ,Very little about the app, focusing more on how the app looks.

  8. Sending messages to youtubers to review it. I used to click their about page and I used to drop in a copy pasted message.
    This is what i used to do,
    Target keywords like “android apps” “android” “technology” “android app review” “best apps”
    Search the keywords on youtube and sort the results by channels and open their about page and drop a message.
    I didn’t spare any channel.
    The message shouldn’t be longer than 4-5 lines.
    This used to be my content.
    "Hi would you be interested in making a review video for my app?
    This is the app link
    It is a music player / audio player,and what’s different about is the UI. It is something which you wouldn’t have seen before.
    [email protected]

Then posting on their new videos ,asking people to try it and asking the channel owner to review it. I posted them 100 each day or maybe more.
I even posted on new videos of PEWDIEPIE etc etc so that people can see it.I targeted all the famous people’s videos,becuase they get millions of videos.
I knew if i get a few hundred upvotes,my app would get ten thousands of likes.
I haven’t yet come across a way to get likes on my comments.

  1. Posting on reddit,forums, qoura etc.Got about 700 downloads from there

I did this for 20 days.
Got about 15,000 downloads within the first 20 days.
Even trying so much, i got 25,000 installs within 20 days.(or 30,dont remember)

I was exhausted and i knew I needed a more sustainable way of getting downloads. I was getting 400-500 organic installs(from search) a day after i left the spamming.(Because of links and the traction and rank it had gained)
But most of the job had been done,the rank had increased because of all the backlinks and the downloads i got within first 30 days.
I started experimenting a lot. Wanted to take that number much higher
I used to spam on quora,and realized how it can improve the ranks.
I started targeting good keywords and my main source of downloads has been ranking within top 10 for the keyword “music player” which helped me achieved a rank in top 20’s for all the main keywords like audio player,mp3 player,player etc etc.

These days the app gets 9000-12,000 downloads a day, all because of ASO

Skype: facebook:ankit.ishu.7
Here is the full article
apps download

so interesting…

15K installs in a month wont affect at all…
Better UI don’t make your app more visible.
I do agree that better UI will bring more chances that someone will download the app and I think propably its important for google algorithm which determines which app to show to the user… It makes sense that the higher download percentage the better for google, therefore its better for you.

So eventually what you saying, get 15K downloads within a month, optimize your keywords, nice UI, makes your app 1 mil downloads.
I somehow think there are missing steps 13,14,15 :wink:

Exactly. I also decided to do this offering ASO services but many people are scammers here. So IMO its better create another app and repeat your success with it and double your daily earnings. when u earn $100 a day, you can earn $1500 in 15 days while sitting at the beach. why bother with scammers.

good for you. All the best!!

The app was terminated :frowning:

Hey ankit662003,

That’s very impressive and inspirational. Thanks for sharing with us. I’ve got one question for you and hoping you would ander it…

Looking at your app on SearchMan’s search visibility chart I’ve noticed that you did something really special on 9th of December to sky rocket your visibility from 98 to 4,779 in one day! Can you please tell us what it was, the chart was really flat before that date.

so this is HOW NOT TO aso? The app and store seems to be banned.

Damn,I don’t know why,but the forum is ****ing up the link again and again,it is adding dots in between the links.updated the link

I had been applying my aso techniques on it,i improved the rank for the word “music player”.

Man what the bot is going on!!

What do u mean?

Haha, what is going on at that moment in time? very spooky!

I didn’t understand what you are trying to say

He did nothing, it’s a bug.
Anyway, Searchmans Search Visibility feature is utter crap. The value it show has nothing to do with the effectivity of your ASO at all. Put words into your description like “Facebook” and your “search visibility” is skyrocketing up to the max, while you don’t get a single download from it.

Screenshot 2015-03-12 14.40.19.jpg

here are some better stats for analysis.
are you sure i did nothing ?

Oops, I thought he meant the sudden spikes on the right that dropped right after… punch me please. You rewrote your description, most likely. This doesn’t change my statement to this feature though. According to Searchman one of our apps has a 10 times higher “search visibility” than your music player. What do we get from it? Astonishing 50 downloads a day. Looking at those 2 curves now, this sudden increase also didn’t change anything to your daily downloads. That came weeks later.

EDIT: It’s also quite funny that you already ranked at spot 11 in the search for “music player” in November and on spot 7 in December, when your downloads where still low. You know what that means? Your downloads don’t come from search, they come from the recommendation page, after your appeared in several similar lists in other music players. That’s kinda lucky.
If your active users now decrease and the similar users between your app and other popular music players decrease, you might disappear from those lists and your downloads are going to drop again. That’s the point where the quality of your app matters the most to keep this success.

I am pretty sure you got the ranks from app annie and that’s why i don’t trust it :slight_smile:
The rank wasnt at #7 in december,so good look trying to make assumptions and trying to “get lucky” :slight_smile:

Appannie is tracking ranks directly from the store and the actual rank also matches with todays rank. Do want to tell me now that you got 10k downloads a day by search alone? You should know that’s not possible.
It tracks the US and JP rankings btw. So when you go into the store from your device without a proxy from those countries, you only see search ranks of the country you live in. Otherwise I don’t know why you’d tell me this.

I have figured it out what is causing Ankit’s Music player to get high ranks. Actually I m already using it :wink:

Its the one and only factor which is boosting rank.