What’s the point of building an API if nobody uses it?
In the API world, the saying “If you build it they will come,” absolutely doesn’t hold true. As a matter a fact, if you build an API without marketing, explaining, and documenting it well, you’re on your way to getting lots of people to hate your business.
Here are the absolute basics of growing your API users. All you need to start are an API, and a website for it.
As simple as it sounds, books are often chosen by their covers, and so is your API. You are not unique. There are other ways for users to accomplish what your API allows them to do. Convince them that your API is the best way. Users will make instant assumptions about your technical prowess, software design, and support immediately after landing on your developer hub. What do you want them to come away thinking?
Why Should Businesses Use Your API?
Your developer site should explain why companies should use your API. Most companies explain the value of their platform to prospective users via their main marketing website, but when it comes to the API, it’s suddenly acceptable to dump a page of endpoint URLs on somebody and say, “Figure it out!”
How Do Developers Get Started?
You’re doing great. Now I see that you have an API, and I know why I should use it, but where do I get started? Specifically, how do I get access, and where do I go for support? Explaining briefly how users can sign up, and who will help them if they have questions are essential. Ideally, documenting a path to their first API response is the most complete experience.
Market Your Developer Site!
Blog posts, sales emails, podcasts etc… Design a beautiful, well organized developer site that your company is proud of. If you market the site, people will go to it and click things. It’s a tale as old as time.
Listen to Your API Users and Iterate
Your users will tell you everything you need to know about your API. Does it work? Is it useful? What parts of it suck? Set up a support community just for API developers. They are not the same as your UI users and have very different questions. Give them the technical support they need and deserve.
Of course, these are just the basics. For more advanced techniques feel free to schedule a chat with our sales team! We’ve helped thousands of enterprises build awesome developer hubs.