I don’t know about you, but I started learning about Internet Marketing back in 2004 for one reason: To make as much money as possible and to do it while sitting in the comfort of my own home. And I’ve been Blessed enough to be able to do that for the past 4 1/2 years since getting out of the Army in 2007.
But up until early 2010 the extent of my profits were from info products, affiliate sales, adsense revenue and ad selling. And I still make money with all of those things to this day, but in early 2010 I realized something that has since made me much more money.
I realized that even though I’m not a developer, there is ALOT more money in software!
Don’t get me wrong. There are people making millions just concentrating on affiliate marketing. There are people making millions just concentrating on adsense etc. etc. all of those things are good money makers and have the potential to be huge. But there is one major difference between all of those things and software and that is in the fact that with one good idea, anyone can have some kind of software created, whether it be a desktop application, web app, mobile app, or something else, that could make them millions in a very short amount of time, with little work and in some case with very little investment!
My first two software ideas weren’t groundbreaking, they weren’t even anything super special to be honest. But both made me tends of thousands of dollars in profit and like I said, they were my FIRST ever software products, 100% outsourced.
There is somewhat of a learning curve, but that should be expected with anything that has this kind of potential. With software, it really is all about the idea… ok you have to figure out how you’re going to accomplish it too, but that’s where API’s and really good developers come into play.
Getting your First Software Project Off the Ground
1. First thing’s first, the idea! Don’t make the mistake that many make and start brainstorming ideas that you THINK other people would like! Instead, think about your own processes… what YOU do in your business and start thinking about all of those things that you’ve said “a tool that does ‘this’ would make this so much easier.” THOSE are the software ideas that really sell.
2. Now you’ll need to do a little research on how you’re going to accomplish this. This step can be skipped if you have no clue, as you can just find a developer who can figure that out for you. BUT over time, as you learn more and more, you’ll realize that the more logic and detail you can provide to your developer, the happier your developer will be, the better the software will be and the more money you will save.
API’s are often times VERY useful… so that’s typically the first thing I do… look for API’s. If you don’t know what an API is, it’s basically a “backdoor” that most big product/service providers offer either for free in order to reduce “scraping” (scraping is basically using software to perform queries on a site that are meant to be performed by actual users) or for a fee, usually a small fee per query. For example, most software products that show their users estimated cost per click numbers of keywords, usually pull that data directly from the Google Adwords API. Almost every big website/product/service has some form of an API… some even have multiple API’s.
But if you can’t find an API that provides the data that you need, then you may need to have your developer figure out the logic for doing whatever it is you need done. That will take more time and money, but sometimes that is what needs to be done to create an awesome product.
You will also want to draw (literally) the UI (User Interface… what the software actually looks like… where the buttons are etc.) unless you want your developer to do it, which I never want. It’s my software and I want it to be just as I have it in my head. Just grab a few pieces of paper and draw exactly what you want it to look like.
3. Now it’s time to find your developer! I use oDesk to find my developers. There are alot of low-quality, low-end developers on there, but there are also alot of high-quality developers! I’ve found several REALLLLY good developers there who I still work with to this day! If you sign up there and need a little direction, shoot me an email and I would be glad to help. I’ve used many of the different freelance sites, and oDesk is by far the best!
You will want to be as specific as possible with your developer. When choosing him or her, be sure to look at the feedback… be sure they have a solid work history with at least 4.5 star feedback. Look at the length of time they worked on projects. If you see a bunch of 1, 5, 10 hour jobs you may want to think twice. If they’re good, why are they messing with little 10 hours jobs. Also look at their rate on their profile. If this is a complex project you may want to think twice about $17/h. developers. I find that the really good ones charge no less than $20/h. which may seem expensive, but BELIEVE ME! If you give a complex project to a bad developer, you’ll end up spending much more money, as you’ll end up paying him or her to go back and fix bugs every time they add functionality. In most cases, unless your project is very small and simple, you will actually save money by hiring a more expensive developer!
4. Once the software is done it’s time to test. Test, test then test some more! Open it up to a small number of users or even friends. Have them test. If it’s a desktop app (software that must be installed on the user’s computer) be sure to test on Windows 7, Vista, XP and Mac if compatible. If it’s a web app (no installation, just login to a website) be sure to test on all of the common versions of IE, FireFox, Safari, Chrome and Opera.
That’s about it. I could probably write a book about all of this and I’m still learning myself, but this should enough to at least get you going, if you’re interested in getting your first software product out there.