Ever wondered how those nifty APIs powering your favorite apps can turn into a goldmine?💰
Get ready for the journey of a lifetime – “Building and Selling APIs.”
The global API market is skyrocketing. It’s expected to hit $621 million by the end of this year (2023) (ie just two months!). We’ve got creative API ideas to fuel your dreams, and you don’t need a PhD in coding to start.
Whether you’re a coding wiz or just curious, this is your roadmap to building a new income stream.
What is an API?
API Stands for Application Programming Interface (No need to memorize or know this 😅).
Let’s make things as simple as possible.
API allows programmers and developers to interact with a specific platform or access data and tools directly from their custom application (code).
Suppose a programmer wants to develop social media management software like Buffer or Hootsuite.
In that case, he will need access to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social platforms directly from his code so he can publish, schedule, access analytics, and do other stuff from his own application.
But this is not possible by default because if you want to post on social platforms, you must use their interface. So what to do?
How do social media management tools access platforms like Facebook and Twitter?
Here, the API solves this issue and acts as a gateway or a broker between the programmer and the target platform.
For example, Facebook allows programmers to access Facebook through Facebook API, just like Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and many other platforms.
Another Example of APIs is allowing programmers to access data on a specific server or database.
We can’t give programmers public access to our servers and databases. So we created an API that can manage and handle this securely.
And if you like reading technical definitions, here we are:
API stands for Application Programming Interface. It is a set of rules and protocols for accessing a web-based software application or web tool. Simply, it allows communication between different software systems and enables them to exchange data.
I think that’s enough; hopefully, you’ve grasped the concept of APIs.
The API Business Blueprint
Let’s Understand The Idea behind making money with APIs.
How can we, as simple human beings, establish an online income stream with APIs?
We mainly have 2 ways to make money with APIs:
- Build and Sell APIs
- Consume an API and Build Your own tool or SAAS.
1. Build and Sell APIs.
And this is what this post is all about.
The idea is simple. You will find an idea that can solve a specific problem for certain people.
Then, You will build and Host the API. After that, you will List the API on Marketplaces like RapidAPI. Then, you will promote the API. And you will establish a recurring monthly income.💸
The Idea may seem complicated, but it is not. Believe it or not, you can do this every month!
2. Develop a tool, app, or SAAS based on APIs.
The second method is to build a tool’s website based on APIs.
This website can be a free tool or a SAAS subscription-based website. Or even a mobile app!
I do this with PromoterKit and built many tools based on third-party APIs.
For example, the Hashtag Generator Tool is built on top of the Hashtagy API.
This method is out of the scope of this post.
Let’s now get to our main point, the whole step-by-step strategy:
Step 1: API ideas
APIs are like any business. You need to find a profitable idea and build an API around it. Here are the 3 top strategies I use:
Strategy #1: Market Analysis
You can go to websites like RapidAPI, search for a specific niche like Domain Authority, and check for some APIs, to help you brainstorm a couple of ideas.
Choose APIs with high popularity and low service levels/functionality that need improving. Then, you can build a new API with a topic already in demand with improved stats.
Strategy #2: Combining Multiple Endpoints
This strategy is about using multiple endpoints in the same API to create another API.
I’ve used this method to develop my YouTube Popular Videos Free Tool, which combined the “Find videos” and “Channel” endpoints from YouTube V2 API. This resulted in a new unique API that provides a different functionality.
Then, by understanding this concept, you can create complex APIs combining a ton of endpoints.
Strategy #3: Using AI
And no, we’re not talking here about using ChatGPT to brainstorm ideas (You can do it tho😂).
The idea here is about using the power of Artificial Intelligence to build APIs. There are 2 methods that you do this:
- RJP Technique: Reverse Engineering APIs with AI and create a new one.
- Function Chaining: You can use it to create 100s of APIs easily!
Step 2: Building APIs
We mainly have two methods, you can either build the API by coding if you have the specific expertise to do so, or you can use no-code tools like Xano. You can check how to do that here.
However, in this guide, I’m gonna help teach you how to create APIs with the help of AI. Simply go to ChatGPT, craft a good prompt, and ENTER. Here’s a sample prompt you can use:
As an expert Python programmer with 20 years of experience. Your task is to build an API with Python Fast API framework. Style: Write the full code without skipping any part, and make sure to comment and explain every step, write for beginners! API Idea: quote generator
And here’s what ChatGPT would generate:
The API is all set and ready to use. However, you have to take into consideration that ChatGPT can’t do everything for you. There are many times that it generates a wrong output. So, you have to invest some time in learning how to code.
But don’t worry, I got you. Here’s a Free Python Course!
You may be asking yourself: “Why should I learn to code if I can just use no-code tools or hire someone to do that for me?”
Trust me on this one, AI can help you save a lot of money and time, so learn any coding Language and do that yourself.
Step 3: Host and Publish
In order for people to use your API it should be hosted online, and published on marketplaces for them to know about it.
Then, you need to publish your API to marketplaces like RapidAPI. It’s very simple and straightforward to publish your API, just follow the steps and you’re good to go.
Plus, keep in mind you can always ask AI for help. Just enter your problem and it will help you seamlessly. For example, you can ask it to generate for you a full beginner step-by-step guide on how you can host your API on a [your hosting service].
Step 4: Promote Your API
Important Tip: Dont sit down waiting for clients!😂
Do some work and promote your APIs. Here are my top 3 methods to do so:
Method #1: Build Free / Paid tools
You can build tools using your API and promote the API in them. For example, on PromoterKit I have an Email Validation Tool that is free to use, and I promote my Email Validation API that you can use and access the API through your code.
So, I work on getting a lot of traffic to these free tools and then the API popularity will increase.
Method #2: Indirect Promotion with Guides
You build a step-by-step guide (can be a blog post) to do something using your API and you promote the API inside it.
For example, I have this blog post about Building a Full Online Business – An Email Validation Service (With ChatGPT), it’s a guide that shows you how to build an email validation service. and within I can link to my email validation API.
So, you can promote APIs indirectly in a guide.
So, when people are following your guide and doing the steps they’re gonna have to use an API, and they would buy your API to do so!
Method #3: Publishing Open-Source Projects
If you dont know what open-source projects are. They provide free access to the source code, allowing anyone to use, modify, and share the software. This provides collaboration and innovation among a global community of contributors.
So, if you are a developer you can build your own open-source project, upload it to GitHub, and promote your API in it. So, in order for people to use your project they’re gonna have to access the API too.
There are a ton of other methods to promote your API like paid ads, outreach, libraries, content creation, etc… But, these are the top strategies that I use to promote my APIs.
Final Step: Rinse and Repeat
You can repeat this method multiple times, build a ton of APIs and have multiple monthly recurring income streams just from APIs!💰💲
I did this and now I have a ton of APIs on my RapidAPI account, you can check them if you like.
That’s a wrap!
If you would like to know more details about building APIs with the help of AI you can check my full YouTube Video here:
In case you would like to go more in-depth on the topic and get private support on our premium forum and discord server, you can check out my full course:
You can still take advantage of the early bird discount and save over $60!