Looking for a way to start an entrepreneurial venture? Maybe you should develop an iPhone application. Web solutions provider Susan Finch did just that.
"As a long-time freelance video editor and writer, I'm constantly searching for new business ideas" she noted. "I recently wrote the iPhone app 'NYC Nature & Outdoors,' where I make 30 percent of every sale. It's been a great revenue stream without an investment of money. I would say in all I spent about $10 buying a URL and putting together my travel writing portfolio to land the job."
Finch's app offers content, ideas, tips, photos, videos, directions, maps and any admission prices to 100 nature and outdoor destinations in the five boroughs of New York City. Visitors and locals can download and find activities year-round. Some are more off the beaten path like the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Center in Queens, the rugged cliffs of Staten Island's Mt. Loretto. Others are accessible right in Manhattan like the peacocks and gardens at St. John the Divine Church. The app costs $1.99 to download and Finch gets 30 percent.
She promotes the app by sending out press releases to local newspapers, magazines, websites, and blogs. She also posts comments on blogs with a link back to the app, joins Facebook travel groups for more exposure, submits free articles to websites, and occasionally posts flyers. As a professional travel writer (she's written guidebooks and articles for national newspapers and magazines) she is pitching for opportunities to be a regular contributor and consequently promote her app whether in a byline or writing more about apps and travel content.
Finch said the app sold reasonably well with little promotion at the very start, roughly one a day with some ups and downs since its release. As she places more PR and increases her marketing efforts and exposure, she is looking to make $100 a month on the low end. Her long-term goal is to release more apps, refine her marketing efforts, and earn up to $1,500 a month. "I see the app as both a credential in my travel writing career, and a business. It's only through marketing, persistence, diligence, and flexibility that I expect it to be a success."