Growth November 17, 2020

Tip: Leverage open data APIs to get traffic to your product

Growth Bites @growthbites

You can't replace good, old-fashioned blog posts. But if you need to get traffic to your product in a hurry, consider using an open data API to automatically generate information that is meaningful to your target customers.

On a previous product, @karlkong of Mocki went from $0 to $2000/mo within two weeks by leveraging open data APIs. He needed traffic for his product (an SAT prep SaaS), so he put together a list of questions that his target customers were Googling (e.g. What is the SAT requirement at [university]?). The next logical step would have been to start writing articles to answer these questions, but Karl took a developer's approach instead. He found an open data API with tons of relevant data. Then he created webpages with hundreds of automatically generated words, graphs, and tables that provided meaningful answers to the questions. This quickly moved him up the search rankings and brought in around 10,000 visitors per month. And he capitalized on that traffic by using banners to point these highly-motivated prospects to the product.

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  1. 2

    Did he use AI of some sort to automatically generate all this content?

    1. 1

      Great question! @karlkong do you mind weighing in?

      1. 3

        Hello! No, not an AI but a set of different texts where the data from the API was inserted based on specific conditions. The conditions will vary based on the data set you are working with.

        Example:

        I have a data set with the number of applicants for a university. The raw data looks like this

        university: Harvard University
        year: 2020
        total: 100
        male: 42
        female: 58

        The resulting text could be "At Harvard University there were 100 applicants in 2020. Out of these applicants, 42 were male and 58 were female. In 2019 however, a majority of the applicants were male."

  2. 2

    @growthbites Can you please elaborate on what Open Data API actually means? Or probably share any example?

    I found this post quite interesting. It might help me in scaling my product, ruttl as well.

    1. 1

      Sure thing 👍 What I'm saying is that it's possible to find publically available data and retrieve it through an API. I just did a quick search found this list of open APIs so hopefully those will add context. Good luck!

      1. 2

        Thanks a lot for sharing this link! Will dig into it further!

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