iPhone App Update – Video #1

By Spencer Haws |

For those of you who have been following this blog since the beginning, you will know that I originally set up this blog to try different “niche pursuits”.  These pursuits were in reality meant to be small business ideas that I could try out to diversify my income away from just search engines ( I view the income source as truly being the traffic to my sites NOT Google adsense, Amazon Associates, or other ad networks.   If the traffic stops – Im done, but if Google Adsense stops I would just move to a new ad network).

So, I brainstormed lots of different ideas and even took feedback from my readers (You!).  At that point I narrowed the choices down and held a vote.  The winning idea was that I build an iPhone App and document the process on the blog.  Well, its been a couple of months now and I have not made much progress.  And I’m blaming YOU! 🙂  You see, the feedback has been so great from all of you when I discuss building niche websites and my processes there – that I have felt like I should focus the blog on that.

I am going to continue to discuss building niche sites, but I am now going to try and squeeze in at least a video post perhaps once a week with updates on how my iPhone App is coming along.   So, this is video #1 that shares where am in the process and my plans for the future.  I have to warn you that the video is a bit shaky because I was actually just holding my iPhone to record this.  But I think that gives it a sense of “reality”.  Check out the video here.  By the way, yes, I know the music is a bit quirky…I’m just trying to make it a bit more interesting!

So, in reality the point was to focus on one project for 90 days and then move onto another one.  So, I have spent WAY too much time already on the iPhone app (started around May).  So, I am going to commit to spend 90 days starting from today!  So, I hope to have an app up and running by February 17th, 2012.  Then I will start a new small niche pursuit at that point (with you input of course).  I have a few other ideas already…

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I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about my first “video blog”!  Would you like to see more of this in the future?  I think that doing videos is going to be the easiest and hopefully most interesting way for me to keep you updated on this iPhone app project.

Update 5/28/2012: The Ad Alert iPhone app is now complete!  Check it out in the app store here:


Stories & Projects | 27 comments

By Spencer Haws

Spencer Haws is the founder of After getting a degree in Business Finance from BYU (2002) and an MBA from ASU (2007) he worked for 8 years in Business Banking and Finance at both Merril Lynch and Wells Fargo Bank.

While consulting with other small business owners as a business banker, Spencer finally had the desire to start his own business. He successfully built a portfolio of niche sites using SEO and online marketing that allowed him to quit his job in 2011. Since then he's been involved in dozens of online business ventures including: creating and exiting Long Tail Pro, running an Amazon FBA business for over 3 years and selling that business, founding, and co-founding You can learn more about Spencer here.

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BOOM! Spencer’s getting ready to take on an iPhone app! That’s pretty cool, man…interested to see how this works out.

This is something I thought would be QUITE fun and Joe and I had discussed some fun/cool apps we thought we’d like to work on. I looked into it briefly and asked around, though, and have spoken to some that have built apps and heard some pretty negative things about it, actually. Not that they didn’t make money (although some didn’t)…it’s just that they didn’t make money that made the efforts worth it.

All the same…I think if you make a few and don’t lose too much…(AND keep your main money makers rolling it in) it’s actually a win. A good learning process and…hell…it looks like fun! hehe


Justin – thanks, I’m excited to get this project going! I almost feel guilty for letting the idea sit around for so long – especially since I’m supposed to be blogging about it here! I agree that the return on investment could be less than stellar the first time around – but who knows. Either way I think it will be a good learning process for all.


Good luck with creating an iPhone app Spencer!

This is something I’ve always wanted to do too but I think it will cost a decent penny to create unless I did the coding myself which I am not familiar with.

I’ve heard of great success stories of people developing iPhone apps and getting their money back in days. I could only imagine developing an iPhone app that is a top seller on the app store. Would be insane!

Hopefully you can make it there Spencer.


Thanks Michael, I’ll keep you posted with how it goes!


First of all I have to say I love the music. Brings back some good memories.

I wish you luck with the iPhone app development. Have you given much thought to android apps? I’m not sure what the market share is for apple vs. android, but a few months ago the android phones were selling at a ridiculous rate. Im not sure how easy it would be to code cross platform, but it might be worth it to bring out a near identical android app.

I hope to be able to dabble like you’re doing in the near future… Keeps things fresh and never boring. I’m looking forward to these video updates in the coming weeks.


P.S. Thank you for giving us your backlink strategy, it has helped me focus my attention instead of trying to wade through all the information there is on the subject.


Thanks Mason – I grew up playing those Nintendo games, so the songs have a special place in my heart…

I have thought about doing an adroid app. In fact, I did a post about it a while ago:

Glad you liked the video!


It would be best to stick with developing an iPhone app. I’m not sure what the exact statistics are, but Android users tend to buy less apps, and use more free ones. I don’t believe that the large Android userbase would combat the fact that the users don’t buy many apps..


@josh, you right about this and when they do they are cheap apps. generalisation but.

In wired magazine (i think) there are stats showing number of donwload are kinda similar in the last 6 months but the revenue from the apps sote si 100 time more than from the android platform.
It makes sense a fre software platform attracts more free software on it.

Still money to be made no doubt


My favorite part is the background music! ha ha
I was actually reviewing some of the posts yesterday and reminded myself that the blog had kinda deviated from its original intent. . . excited to see some of your ideas come to life.


Thanks! I’m getting back on track!!


So I’m actually on the tail end of making my first iPhone application. I should literally be submitting it to the iTunes store within a couple of days.

All of it I have outsourced and it has been a great learning experience and fun. Now I’m just hoping to make my money back. If not, it’ll be the most expensive app I’ve ever bought.

All I can really suggest so far is be very very specific and detailed with your developers.


Ryan -that’s awesome! I’m sure you will be offer some great comments along the way as I get further along in the process here. Best of luck with you new app! I will take your advice and try to be as specific as possible…

Tung Tran

Haha thank Spencer. I have learned a new tip for increasing my productivity from you is to focus on one project at a time in 90 days. I will implement it now. Thank you very much! I am waiting for your next update on your new business with Iphone App 😀


Well, I work on more than 1 project in 90 days – but really only 1 NEW sort of idea that I have never done before. So, I will still be building websites over the next 90 days, but that’s easy stuff (nothing new).


If you have a Kindle or a Nook there is a great book out about building an iPhone app using an outsourced team.


I bought the book version a few months ago and its pretty good. It’s well worth the price ($9) considering some of the other books (like the one Pat Flynn promotes) are upwards of $100.

I submitted by first app to Apple a few weeks ago and am awaiting approval. Hopefully its in the store soon.


Best of luck on your next Project!!!


One major project in 90 days! Great tip. I’m trying to focus on several niche projects plus my full time work, too. And it’s insane! Whew.

Will also be following your iPhone app Spencer, good luck!


Thanks Miggy!


I’m sorry if I missed it if you already said, but will this be a paid app or free?


I guess I am still deciding…


Music is too funny. My 5yo loves the touch drawing game on my phone. Lots of free ones. I just turn ads off on it so I wonder howdeveloper makes money on it.


I will be adding new bluehost in my inventory from ur affiliate link. Because my hostgator was down of some issue. But still i made $10.



Lindsay |

Good luck with this, should be a very interesting project. With some money to invest it’s so easy to do good things with outsourcing, all you need is the ideas. Only thing that worries me a little is that there are already so many drawing apps around.

Andrew Richardson

I’m really excited about this! Apps have been a pipedream for me ever since I got my first Iphone. I’ll be following this closely.



Great Post! I really liked the post were you talked about iPhone vs Droid apps.

I just created my first iPhone app and would love your feedback and everybody here in the comments feedback:

Political Party Scanner Pro app


Best of luck with your app!

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