Hello everybody! I decided to gather all of the important things to be aware of when building a Telegram bot. All of my bot development experience is condensed in the following manifesto.

  1. Localize your bot right away. At least, localize it to Russian, English, Persian and Brazilian Portuguese.
  2. The easiest cheapest and fastest solution is to build a bot with the bot constructors or with IFTTT or Integromat.
  3. If their abilities aren't sufficient for you, build your own bot with Python or JavaScript/TypeScript. Or find someone else who can build it on any freelance market.
  4. Use pre-built frameworks like Telegraf.js. Do not build your own solutions to handle Telegram Bot API requests. You can also use my Telegram bot starter.
  5. Almost any bot can be made in 1 month. Most of them in 2 weeks.
  6. Bots must be extremely simple with the simplest UI possible. Don't over-complicate them.
  7. Bots need to bring value to the users. Otherwise, no one would use them.
  8. 99.9% of the popular bots cannot be monetized. Don't do this for money.
  9. Launched your bot? Tell everybody about it! You can use PostYourStartup to see where you can publish them.
  10. Bot growth is going to be slow until it becomes popular — around 10-100 new chats per day. When the bot is popular, it gets around 1000-10 000 installs per day. The snowball effect is highly prominent on Telegram.
  11. Bots don't need expensive servers. Voicy with 7 500 000 users is hosted on a $20/month server.
  12. Always integrate the newest Telegram features. When Telegram rolled out circle videos, adding their support to Voicy increased the number of the voice messages recognized per month from 10 000 to 20 000.
  13. Don't be afraid of bot limits. As your bot grows, Telegram will adjust the limits.

That's all, folks! Hope I didn't miss anything. Cheers!