It’s time to app-ify your content

Imagine a world where there are less than a million websites, and the internet is easily categorized by the type of content each site covered.

That would put most of us in a pretty sweet spot.

Alas, the internet has billions of sites. So good luck with that.

But there is a world out there that most of us don’t dare go near it because the costs seem prohibative. Of course I’m talking about mobile apps.

Recently launched a service that turns any WordPress blog into an app for the Android, Blackberry and Playbook.

Combined these app stores have less than 500,000 apps.

That sounds like a lot. But imagine if there were only 500,000 websites to choose from. And a good chunk of them only made fart sounds.

There are currently 1.8 billion smartphones floating around, and by 2014 Pew Research predicts web traffic from mobile devices will overtake desktops.

So this if there was ever a right time to get into this space, it’s yesterday. But if you want to take advantage of this exploding opportunity you can still get in on the action.

Here are a few tips that I’ve come up with.

Choose a name for your app that is keyword rich and descriptive. Nobody cares about your company, they care about what your app will do for them. If you are an expert in management and team development – don’t have the same name for your app as your URL or company name. Give it something snappy like The Management Toolbox.

My app is called Web Marketing Tips (and it’s available on the Android store here). The description is about what the app will do – which is provide tips and articles like this one to help small businesses market themselves more effectively online.

  • If you’re a realtor in New York, call your app New York Real Estate. You can use the app to showcase articles or new listings in the market.
  • If you’re a retailer, use your app to focus on new products or discount coupons.
  • If you’re a recruiter in Edmonton, call your app the Edmonton Job Board and have all your positions pushing out.

For your description, use the Google Keyword Tool to find words folks might search for.

An unintended consequence of having an app like this, is the focus it brings to your writing. If somebody downloads an app they don’t want it to be overly promotional – which far too many blogs tend to be. This is your opportunity to break open a completely new channel to market your expertise by creating quality content for millions of people around the world.

Once you’ve created your apps, submit them to the Android Market and Blackberry App World.


Is your site mobile-ready?

Where do you do most of your surfing?

Three years ago I would have said my computer.

But the iPhone changed my internet life along with the world of mobile computing.

Now I can check emails and keep on top of news and events anywhere I can get a connection.

Information is now more mobile than it’s ever been.

So why are most websites only optimized to run on PCs?

Phones and tablets made to run on RIM, Apple and Android devices have changed things.

This afternoon when I log off to pick up my kids, I’ll shut down the laptop for the evening.

But I won’t turn off my phone, and the iPad will be sitting next to me ready to dole out useful IMDB tidbits on whatever b-list actor I can’t place from Law and Order.

This is just a long winded way to say that if you have a site that doesn’t run properly on the iPhone or iPad, you’ve lost me (and millions of other potential visitors) for the night. And if it doesn’t run on the Blackberry, you can count my wife and her friends out as well.

Now don’t start sweating. I’m in the same boat as you. My site isn’t built for mobile devices.

But today I did discover a little tool to make it a bit more mobile friendly.

This free service will turn your blog into a native Blackberry App. It took less than 40 minutes for me to set up and it works great. If you happen to be on your Blackberry, download my app here.

I had a back and forth with a guy from the company today on Linkedin and he told me that there are plans afoot to expand this little offering to iOS and Android devices in the near future.

Obviously, when everyone has this installed on their site, you’re going to have a hell of a time competing against every blogger on the planet.

So I’m going to recommend you set this up now and get the word out to your database.

Because this is one instance, where being first could really make a difference.