Hi, this is my first real post here. I have launched two apps on the App Store since January 2019.
Today I will write about how I managed to get a high amount of downloads without paying money for ads and without coverage by a big news publication.
Lightsync, one of my apps, was launched in January of 2019. It allowed the synchronization of Philips Hue lights with Spotify music playback. I wanted to make the app as easy to use as possible. There were already alternatives but they were too hard to use in my opinion for the average user.
The first days after the launch of my app it got about 5–10 downloads a day. Not much but more than I thought.
A few days later I decided to post the app on Product Hunt, where it gained 71 upvotes and Apple featured the app in the „This week‘s favorites“ section in two countries. This helped me get about 500 downloads in the first month which was way more than I expected.
In February the app got about 10 downloads a day until Philips decided to add the app to the „Apps we like“ section of the Hue app. No, this didn’t help me get 2K downloads but from this, the app was getting about 50 downloads a day.
Then in March I added a feature to the app that allowed syncing the lights with the screen of an iPhone / iPad (Ambilight). I decided to post this on Reddit where it got 2K upvotes in one day which lead to 1.2K downloads of the app on that day. After the next two days the post ended up with 3.6K upvotes that generated 2.1K downloads in three days.
The app has now reached over 6,000 downloads and taught me a valuable lesson.
It‘s not about spending money on ads or getting coverage by a big news publication. These things can help but if you do it right you can achieve many downloads without those things. I know 6,000 downloads in half a year are not that much but considering I am still young and this was my first app it‘s quite an achievement.
The app hasn’t made me a single penny, in fact it has cost me money because of server costs and Apple‘s $99 a year developer fee but I‘m still thankful for what I learned from it.