How did you attract early users to your API?

🥳 Built a little machine learning based API over the last few weeks.

😭Currently no one has even tried the API https://rapidapi.com/SpamDetector/api/spam-detector

I have a very small goal to get one user of the free tier of my API in one week.

What has worked best for you (landing pages, paid ads, blog posts etc)?

Stretch goal - Would love to have 1 paying customer in the first month.

Im a dev and very new to marketing any sort of product.

  1. 3

    I noticed you have a soft limit on your basic plan. This requires the user to enter payment details. If you switch to a hard limit, you can lower the entry barrier as the user is safe it won't ever cost money. Think about the basic plan as a trial plan that should not require any commitment.

    1. 1

      Great shout. Im newish to Rapid API so still getting my head around some of the pricing config. Definitely want a low bar just to get people trying/feeding back on the API

  2. 2

    I made my first few sales all through cold outreach & direct sales (first within my network, then outside). It took me hours of meetings to close each, and the money alone was definitely not worth the effort, but those early customers made me realize what I should or shouldn’t spend time building and marketing so in a couple of months I reached the point where people were signing up on the site and deciding to upgrade without even talking to us. I’d recommend a similar approach in cases like yours.

    1. 1

      thanks for this! I've been torn between the direct sales vs write a valuable blog post approach for my next steps.

      I had personally come down on the side of helping a small group get real value from the API. Basically taking the time hit with early customers and helping with integration and offering great support. All in the hope they have good experience and share in their networks. Nice to hear this has worked for you too.

      If its not rude to ask... how are you doing revenue wise from your API. My personal goal is to have a decent side hustle on top of my full time job.

      1. 1

        No worries! Yeah I'd definite do direct sales first again.

        My product is not just an API. But almost all our customers are primarily using the API... so maybe it wasn't my best call building out the dashboard and web-based interfaces first. The MRR is on the IH product page. It's not much, but we started selling just recently and I'm happy with the progress ever since.

  3. 2

    I have like no experience in this but I think I have some ideas on how you could get some users. First, as @felixmelchner said, switch to a hard limit and write to see if you can get added to their newsletter. On Github there are a couple repositories that are just lists of APIs, you could open a PR to add your API to the list. You could then also possibly write a blog post or something with a list of really good APIs and put yours on it at the end, but I don't know how much this will actually help you.

  4. 2

    Similar problem here. Published to RapidAPI and almost no users. Even got promoted in their newsletter, but didn't help much.

    1. 2

      I suggest you to write them an email if they could promote you in their newsletter. That's how we got featured.

    2. 1

      Ye it's tough. One idea I have been toying with to help get some traction is:

      1. Go to Github
      2. Using their search, find projects that could benefit from my API
      3. Grab email of devs who worked in the area of the code where the API would be integrated.
      4. Cold but friendly email to dev offering free access or some other incentive to try. Also offer to support integration

      Feels a little bit spammy which is ironic as my API is meant to detect spam. They might see the funny side of that though.

      Worth a shot?

      1. 1

        haha yeah sure! Try it out with a few devs and see what the responses will be. I'm always a friend of experiments.

  5. 1

    It took me 3 month to get first subscriber of my translation API:


    There are much more competition in the space of neural translation on RapidAPI now so I still struggle to get more than $200-300 per month on subscriptions there.

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