10 Steps to Build an iPhone App for Your Blog

If you’re reading this site, you’re probably a blogger or someone interested in making tons of money from blogging at home. With the world going mobile and online even more than ever before, you’re going to have to make your presence known on the go, so you don’t get left in the proverbial dust.

Since I do a lot of the iPhone development for my current company, I have learned so much about the industry and how important it is for people to really put your presence in mobile devices and with my relatively young site Lakers Nation, I wanted to create an iPhone application to compliment our ever-expanding Twitter (@LakersNation) and Facebook Fan Page (Facebook.com/LakersNation) presence,  that could really give Laker Fans all over the world a way to read our content in the best possible mobile format. I’ve reached out to dozens of vendors from all around the world and the starting price for some of these apps would start off at like $5,000 because of the relatively low supply of developers in this highly demanded market.

Then I read a Mashable Article that had me jumping out of my seat – Build an iPhone App for $50? – I thought there was no way possible that could be, but I checked out the video and low and behold, it’s true. I created one for Lakers Nation in less than 10 minutes then gave John a quick IM and told him I’d make him one, too – so tempted to charge him more, but bad karma stopped me.

So, let’s get started on how you can build an iPhone App for $50.

1) Go to AppMakr.com and register for an account – no affiliate link or anything. I’m not making a dime off this and neither is John (yes, he resisted, but it’s for the betterment of the blogosphere!)

2) Once you’ve created an account and logged in, you’ll be directed to your App Manager Page. To get started, you’ll want to press the “Create an App” Tab on the upper left as seen below:

3) Choose which iPhone App template you’d like to use – Since they are new, you only have one option, so press “Choose This”

4) Submit your RSS Feed of your Blog as I show you below. If you’re using wordpress, you’ll find that adding “/feed” to the end of your category URLs is going to come in very handy.

5) Now, we’re getting into the main graphics of the app. If you have any custom logos, you should get them ready. Here’s what you’re going to need:

  • 512 x 512 pixel Logo – This will be the “button” on the iPhone Menu.
  • 320 x 480 pixel Splash Screen – This is the loading screen which is the first graphic your app will load.

6) Creating Buttons that represent different feeds to different parts of your site. Remember when I told you that “/feed” comes in handy, well, this is where they come in. These are the feeds that I will be submitting for John’s site by pressing the “+ Add RSS/Atom Feed URL”:

  • Blogging – https://www.johnchow.com/category/blogging/feed
  • Fine Dining – https://www.johnchow.com/category/fine-dining/feed
  • Technology – https://www.johnchow.com/category/technology/feed
  • Cars – https://www.johnchow.com/category/cars/feed
  • Investing – https://www.johnchow.com/category/investing/feed
  • The Net – https://www.johnchow.com/category/the-net/feed
  • Dot Come Lifestyle – https://www.johnchow.com/category/dot-com-lifestyle/feed
  • Make Money Online – https://www.johnchow.com/category/make-money-from-a-blog/feed
  • Trade Show – https://www.johnchow.com/category/trade-show/feed
  • Featured – https://www.johnchow.com/category/featured/feed
  • Ramblings – https://www.johnchow.com/category/uncategorized/feed
  • Videos – https://www.johnchow.com/category/videos/feed
  • Featured Video – https://www.johnchow.com/category/featured-video/feed
  • Reviews – https://www.johnchow.com/category/reviews/feed
  • WordPress – https://www.johnchow.com/category/wordpress/feed

After submitting each feed, make sure to press the “Validate” link to make sure your feeds work.

This is what it looks like:

Now you may think these are a crapload of categories aka buttons to put into the app, but there is a more button users can press on their iPhones and if they would like to rearrange the buttons on the bottom, it’s as simple as drag and dropping.

7) This is the final customization part of the look and feel of the app, so this is what you’re going to need here:

  • 320 x 46 pixel Header Image – This is located at the top of the app at all times.
  • Color Codes for Fonts – Linked and Regular – I would suggest similar color scheme to your current blog.

Controls

And this

Controls

8) Monetizing your iPhone App. To get started, you’ll need to select one of these Mobile Ad Platforms. For Google’s Sake, we’re picking AdMob – Sign up with them and get your publisher ID to put here:

John has decided to make his first iPhone app Ad free, so you won’t be seeing this implemented.

9) Publish your App – This is the part where you’re going to see $199 and freak out, but guess what, I’ve got a coupon from Mashable to save you $150 bucks that expires 1/6/10, so HURRY! Ready? Type “MASHABLE” into the Coupon Field like I did below then press Publish.

10) Once you have paid the $50 for the iPhone App, you’ll be asked to submit details for your App, so that it is listed properly in the iTunes store. Submission and approval takes about 2-4 weeks even though AppMakr is claiming 1-2 week turnaround. I guess YMMV here.

That really did just take 10 steps and I hope you really enjoyed this tutorial.

If you’re a Lakers Fan, feel free to follow my Play-by-Play twittercasts of Laker Games @LakersNation and if you’re an old school blogger, you might remember me at MrGaryLee.com

Now, let’s see those apps. Leave a comment when you’re finished with yours!