In a normal week, I receive about a dozen emails from PR companies and iOS developers asking me to review or feature their app on MacTalk. The App Store is a crowded place and devs are desperate for any grain of publicity for their app. I don’t blame them for contacting me. If you’re Australian and making iOS apps, I implore you to PLEASE CONTACT ME. I love Aussie iOS apps. However, there’s a good way to do it and a bad way to do it. Below is a typical conversation I might have with someone who goes about promoting their iOS app the WRONG way, by spamming the MacTalk forum with info about their app:
Why was my post deleted from the forum? The deletion message said to contact you in regards to advertising? I don’t want to advertise, just want to let people know about my app.
Your post was deleted because you signed up purely to promote your iPhone app.
I’m just letting you users know about my app, why is that bad? Please reinstate my account ASAP!
Well, unsolicited advertising is called spam. We don’t like that.
I AM NOT A SPAMMER! I’m just letting people know about my app!
If you want to promote your app on MacTalk, you need to pay for that privilege. Alternatively, if you are already a member of the forum, who contributes and is involved in the community, then on a case by case basis, you can also promote your business for free. If you simply join the forum to post about your business, then you need to pay to have access to our community.
Oh okay - I don’t have any marketing budget. I just want to let people know about my app. I’m trying to set up a business with my app and hopefully leave my job. I’ve invested many months into my app. It’s really great.
You can’t post on the forums in regards to your app unless you become a forum sponsor.
Can we do a link exchange? How about I put a banner on my site for MacTalk and you put one for Shitty iPhone App 3000 Deluxe, on yours?
Doesn’t seem like there’s much in it for me. If you want a banner on MacTalk, they start at US$60 and are available from BuySellAds
I really can’t afford that - my app is new and I’m looking to not spend any money on marketing.
Sorry, I can’t help you. I will add your app to the pile of apps sent to me to review on our site though. I can’t guarantee a review though.
That would be great! A review on your site would really boost my apps sales!
3 days later
Why isn’t the review you promised up on MacTalk?
I didn’t promise a review, I said I will “add it to the pile”
How much does it cost to have an app reviewed on MacTalk?
MacTalk doesn’t accept payments for app reviews.
If I was to buy a banner ad, does that include a positive review?
No, reviews are separate to advertising, that would risk the integrity of MacTalk
I’m sorry, other app review sites take payment, I thought MacTalk was the same
1 week later
Just checking if you have everything you need to review my app?
At this point, just I stop replying…
If you are an app developer and you want to let MacTalk know about your app, here are some do’s and don’ts:
- Do contact me if you’re Australian and making iOS apps. MacTalk is an Australian site, so anything relating to an Australian audience or even made by Australian developers is right up my alley.
- Send a brief email (1 paragraph max) to me describing your app, with a link to your website, the app store and a phone number & IM details for me to contact you on if I have any questions, want an interview or just want to say hello.
- Be respectful. If I don’t reply to your email, it means I don’t care about your app. Either make it better, or more interesting, or go pitch it to someone else.
- Don’t sign up to the forum, specifically to post about your app. This is SPAM. It’s not mangled English and not selling fraudulent products, but it is still unsolicited advertising.
- Don’t email every day asking me to review your app or check if I got the email. If I want to review your app or have any questions, I will reply back, trust me!
- Don’t send a long and winded email about your app. One paragraph, max. If after that one paragraph I still care, I’ll contact you, go to your website or visit the app store.
- Don’t include a promo code in the hopes I will review the app. The Australian iTunes store doesn’t take promo codes and I don’t like having two iTunes accounts on the one device. If I want to review the app, I will buy it with my own money (even if it’s $50-$100).
- Don’t contact me unsolicited on iChat/MSN/Gtalk and ask me for feedback about your app. It’s virtually the same as walking up to me in the street and going “HEY STRANGER, LOOK AT MY APP!” - email me first and if I care enough to reply back, feel free to add me to any IM service.
- Don’t send me apps that are not in English or that are not available on the Australian iTunes store. I unfortunately don’t know any languages except English and my audience (MacTalk) is predominately Australian, so if the app isn’t available on the Australian store, you’re wasting your time.
Bottom line is - if your app interests me and you let me know about it in a non-douchebag way (a simple email with plain formatting and an accurate and brief description with links to the app store), chances are it will be reviewed on MacTalk. If you want to promote your app on MacTalk, YOU MUST PAY FOR THIS. Other advertisers pay me to promote their business on the site, why should you get it for free?
CES & Macworld - Jan 5 to Feb 2
Las Vegas for CES & San Francisco for Macworld, with a visit to San Diego and Orlando in between. Would set me back around $10,000 including flights and accomodation for 2 people. CES is gadget heaven and Macworld is well, Macworld, regardless of it’s status today, it’s still Macworld!
Antarctic A380 Flight - 31st & 1st of Jan
$8,000 for two people in premium economy - a 12 hour flight from Melbourne over Antarctica and back. A charter thing via Qantas/Croydon Travel.
SXSW/Texas - Mar 9 to Mar 27
About $7,000 for 3 weeks in Austin for the length of the conference, plus a few extra days to see some more of Texas - Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Dunno what’s gonna be at SXSW this year, but it’s usually pretty awesome going by past years.
WWDC & New York - June
Don’t know the exact dates of WWDC, but it was in June this year. Most certainly going back in 2011! Will add on a trip to New York at this time as well, because New York was fun and Natalie needs to go there. Will need a good 3 weeks in NY. Would be around $10,000 or so for two airfares and accommodation in SF & New York plus the WWDC ticket (was $1,700 or something stupid like that this year).