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Why Blog Reviews Matter

Blog reviews mean exposure. Big blogs mean bigger exposure. It’s as simple as that. Want to develop a big audience? The bigger the blog exposure, the more you benefit, especially if your product is solid and receives a good review.

How big? Here’s a real-world reaction from Dave Clarke of Kashoo, telling us how a TUAW review influenced his sales:

Wanted to relay some numbers to you. In terms of iPad app downloads, the TUAW review led to our biggest day ever at 7x the average day at that time and 1.5x the previous biggest day. We had more downloads of the app in the 3 days after the review than the previous 2 weeks combined. The immediate effect was a substantial 4-day lift (almost 300% over previous 3 days; and, over previous Monday-Thursday).

BigBlueCouch received a nice boost from our in:play write-up. Here’s what its creative director had to say in a follow-up email to us:

I and the rest of the team at BigBlueCouch want to give you a big thank you for your review of in:play on TUAW! We can’t thank you enough. Your article kicked off a landslide and in one day we went from being non-existent in the app store to #64 overall in the United States, #4 in Music, and made it into the New and Noteworthy category. Thank you!!! Just wanted to give you an update and express our deep appreciation.

These reactions are typical. A big positive push can launch your product to a larger audience. One small developer sent us a trends chart showing a 6,400% boost in sales for a game app that was otherwise orphaned in App Store obscurity.

Victor Agreda, our editor-in-chief, has stated that TUAW frequently drives more sales and downloads of an app than an Apple feature in the App Store. TUAW and other blogs act as readers’ “trusted friends.” A blog site’s opinions are very influential compared to banners, which customers treat as simple “billboard on the highway.”

The chart in Figure 1-7 comes from developer Lyle Andrews. We featured Lyle’s app Fireworks HD as our Mac App of the Day on December 27, 2011. Its “Top Paid Entertainment” rank jumped from around #100 up to a peak of #4, and stayed in the top 10 for a while.

Figure 1-7

Figure 1-7 Fireworks HD market position over time.

On New Year’s Eve 2012, Fireworks HD entered the “Top 10 Entertainment” charts of 13 countries. Andrews writes, “Over the next few weeks, Fireworks HD trended down as expected but happily ended in a higher average range which has persisted to date.”

In other words, blog coverage works. It exposes your product in an unparalleled way to an audience that is specifically interested in buying these kinds of goods. The downside of this is that we’re often under siege by eager devs who see us as their only hope for making their business work.

Marketing is the art of moving a product into the public eye, helping it become desirable for purchase (see Figure 1-8). Good products need word of mouth to establish an audience. Positive blog reviews help get that ball rolling and should form an important part of your marketing plan.

Figure 1-8

Figure 1-8 Blog write-ups help move products into the public eye.

At the same time, keep the following lesson in mind: It is hard to be an honest developer and make a go out of it, but it’s not impossible. If your product is clever and noteworthy and eye- and ear-catching, it will find itself an audience. It’s not easy, but good products, exciting products, always find their audience.

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