As APIs continue to flourish and become indispensable tools for building modern software applications, interest in API monetization has skyrocketed. As a result, developers today are finding pots of gold by building and selling APIs.
Here at Rapid, we’re excited to provide the “rainbow” where forward-thinking developers and businesses can expand their revenue streams by making them available for purchase on the Rapid API Hub.
Rapid offers various API monetization models that have helped developers and businesses fit monetization into their API management strategies. A range of pricing, plan, tier, and subscription options help to make the monetization process flexible and effective — and lucrative.
Here’s a look at how one Rapid API provider has put API monetization into action.
One developer’s journey
Morocco-based developer Aimad Eddine G. has certainly earned his share of “gold” via API monetization on Rapid. His hit API, ScrapTik — which enables users to scrape data from the TikTok mobile app — is one of Rapid’s top 50 most popular APIs, with a popularity score of 9.9/10 and a service level of 100%.
He also hosts several other successful APIs on Rapid, including:
The former website developer got his start a few years ago by making an unofficial web version of TikTok — the first one of its kind — which gained a lot of notoriety, including write-ups on various tech websites, before TikTok asked him to pull it down.
A friend who worked in marketing convinced Aimad that businesses would want access to the TikTok data and would be interested in an API version of his project. Aimad also felt early on that TikTok would dominate on social media. The two agreed that his API was ripe for monetization.
“After researching API hubs online, I found that Rapid was the best one — it was reputable and effective,” he says of his choice to publish on Rapid’s API marketplace.
“ScrapTik is the most stable and highly maintained TikTok API on the market,” Aimad says. “It gives users the ability to scrape user profiles, challenges, videos, and comments, as well as login and start a live stream.”
The power of reverse engineering
Aimad uses a unique model of reverse engineering to come up with the ideas for his APIs.
“I look for sites that are trending or for problems that need to be solved. Like right now, you see everyone talking about ChatGPT. Or, during the World Cup, there were a lot of searches for FIFA,” Aimad explains. “I’ll look for keywords that people are searching for on social media, on the Rapid marketplace or on Google, etc. From there, I get the API from the apps and build my own API, then publish it on Rapid.”
He also looks on sites like Upwork to see what types of sites and apps companies are looking to build, and taps into developer forums for additional ideas.
Largely self-taught with a high school diploma, Aimad now works full-time on developing APIs. He’s monetized those APIs to the tune of a five-figure-per-month income. “And it’s still growing,” he notes, adding that he is planning to expand his business by creating additional APIs.
He admits that he never imagined API monetization would become his primary gig. The ability to work from his small town in Morocco and reach users all over the globe while earning a great living is not lost on him.
“Everything is perfect!” he says of his journey to the proverbial end of the rainbow. To read more on Aimad’s story, including his list of tools for building APIs, visit his developer story on Rapid’s Developer Learn site.
Tips for API monetization
Developers looking to emulate Aimad’s experience have a clear path to success with API monetization on the Rapid API Hub.
Here are some helpful tips to consider:
- Pricing models matter. Choose the right pricing model based on which type will give you the most value and is most likely to attract customers.
- Don’t forget about documentation. Rapid offers robust documentation support, including tutorials and example use cases.
- Make sure to market your API. Aimad spends a lot of time on marketing efforts for his APIs, such as writing SEO-optimized content for his site, promoting his APIs on developer forums, and seeking ways to increase organic traffic.
- “Housekeeping” efforts pay off. Testing, maintaining, and improving your APIs as well as using and updating keyword-specific descriptions in your API listing can go a long way toward increasing your APIs popularity, and revenue-generating potential.
- Continue learning. Upgrade your skill set and build cutting-edge solutions. Rapid’s Developer Learn website offers training tutorials, how-tos, and more educational assets so you continue learning and developing.