December 13, 2021
7 min read

A step-by-step guide to creating your own API business

It’s been over 10 years since Apple trademarked the saying "There’s an app for that". Back in 2009 apps were making overnight millionaires. While Angry Birds might still be successful today, most apps are doing well if they have a 5% retention rate. These days you’re more likely to hear about Ethereum and NFT success stories. If you’re dreaming of your own tech success we have another business idea for you. 

APIs are in high demand. They are what’s fuelling the digital economy. They are behind most of the apps we use, help automate processes, connect data with customers, and create the easy interactions we enjoy in the internet of things. 

Now is the time to start your API business. We’ll guide you through the whole process to start your own API business from: 

  • brainstorming the idea;
  • building your website;
  • sharing your API with the world;
  • and monetizing it.

Best of all, this can be done in 3 hours or less using no-code tools. Here’s an example of an API business you can use for your own inspiration. 

Step 1: Brainstorm your API 

With the exponential growth in APIs, it may seem like the market is saturated. The truth is, it’s only getting started. As available data increases every minute, there are new opportunities to return that data as valuable insight. 

We brainstormed an API idea to use as an example. If you want to watch this step-by-step guide from Blobr’s founder Alex, you can see him going through the process in the video at the end of this article.

Our API business idea provides information on hotel reviews. This information can be used by the hotels themselves to improve their customer service. It can also be used by other local businesses like estate agents to understand the market, or travel agents when packaging offers. Once you have a clear idea you can write and test your API. We use Postman to do this. 

Step 2: Build a no-code website 

Once you have your API, you can create a website to define your API products. There are many ways to use the data from this API. We’ve defined 3 ways to segment the data, which will become our 3 API products. 

Using a low code website builder like umso, you can set up a website with minimal effort. There are many other website builders you can use. What we like about umso is that it does all the design work for you. All you need to do is define your value proposition. Use the headline area to outline the purpose of your API. In our case, we called our business the "Best API to obtain Hotel reviews".
 

Next, define your 3 API products with descriptions and sign-up buttons (we’ll come back to these later). Here’s how we broke down our 3 products: 


PRODUCT 1: HOTEL REVIEWS IN EUROPE

This product will return all hotel reviews across Europe. It’s a mid-price product for a wide range of clients. This aggregated view will show how each hotel in Europe is rated. 

PRODUCT 2: 4 AND 5-START HOTEL REVIEWS IN EUROPE

This is a higher-priced product for premier hotels. They will get detailed written comments from 4 and 5 star reviewed hotels. This will highlight what is most important for guests and can be used for hotels to compete as luxury, high-quality accommodation. 

PRODUCT 3: GET REVIEWS FOR YOUR HOTEL

Our third product will be tailored to a specific hotel. It will be private and customized on request to return only the reviews from your hotel. This can be used to display the latest rating directly on your website to give guests confidence in their bookings. 

Once you have clearly defined your products and data it’s time to upload your API and make it available for purchase through Blobrs portal. 

Step 3: Create your API product in Blobr 

Simply register in Blobr and click "get started". You will be guided through the process to create a live API product. 

Upload your API 

First you will need to upload your API. This can be done with an OpenAPI or Swagger 2.0 format. You can also add the API directly into Blobr. When you process your API Blobr will automatically understand the structure and presents the endpoints visually. 

With this visualization, you can configure your different API products. Once you have created your products, you can add descriptions and choose how to monetize them individually.

Configure your API Products 

Here’s how we configured our API into the 3 products in our example.

PRODUCT 1: HOTEL REVIEWS IN EUROPE

Start by naming your product, then enable the data for the defined response. For our first product, we’ll display all the information except the average mark. This data could be used for a future product. We added a query parameter on the region so the product only returns hotel reviews in Europe. Next choose the number of calls you’ll allow per month, for this product we set the limit to 10k calls. Then you’re ready to choose how to monetize your product. We went with a subscription option of $99.00 per month. The final step is to describe your product. As you’ve already described the product on your website, you can copy and paste the description straight from there. 

You’re now ready to make your product live. This takes seconds and will make your API product available globally. Blobr's world-class infrastructure will mean your API product benefits from low latency and additional security features. When your product is live, anyone will be able to subscribe. 

PRODUCT 2: 4 AND 5-START HOTEL REVIEWS IN EUROPE

Follow the same steps for your next product. The only difference will be the data you include. In this case, we want to include the average mark, the hotel content, and only show 4 and 5-star hotel reviews. For this product you’ll need a lower number of calls per month, we chose 5k. We added an option to charge 5c for any additional call so that your product won’t be blocked if the 5k is reached. 

PRODUCT 3: GET REVIEWS FOR YOUR HOTEL

For the last product, we’re returning data for a specific hotel. We can add a parameter to fix the results for that hotel. We keep this product invisible and will share it directly with the client it’s built for. Once the products are saved you can see the results on the API portal. In our case you see the 2 visible products with descriptions and the number of endpoints and calls prepopulated data by Blobr. 

Brand your API portal 

Blobr makes your API experience even more personal. You can match the branding of the portal to your website. Do this by changing the name of your API portal, uploading your logo, and changing the colour. 

You’ll see your portal transform in minutes to give the same look and feel as your website. Once you’ve matched the branding, you can link the "sign up" button on your website so it takes your customers directly to your API portal. Congratulations, you now have an API business! 

Grow your API business 

We’ve just given you one extra reason to stay at home this weekend. Set aside a few hours to create your very own API business. 

When your API is live you can monitor its usage through the Blobr portal. Use these insights to look for improvements and new product ideas. What’s more, is that you haven’t just created something that will benefit you, you’ve also created a gift for your customers. We’ve worked hard to create the optimal experience for your customers. When a customer purchases your API they will automatically get access to a great and easy-to-use API portal. They’ll also be able to download their invoices and see their own usage data. 

We’d love to hear about your experience using Blobr. If you have any questions or need support, please get in touch. To get started, sign up for your free API portal.