This case study looks at how I went about building a one page website around the trending WallStreetBets community.
- Creating A Niche Website To Filter WallStreetBets [Video]
- The Problem & A Simple Solution
- Starting With A Script
- Lean Methodology For Niche Websites
- Marketing A Niche Website
- Niche Website Monetisation & Financials
Creating A Niche Website To Filter WallStreetBets
The Problem & A Simple Solution
WallStreetBets has provided a spark of interest in the financial markets. After the success of “the big long” on Gamestop what are the chances that the community will call it a day and quit while they’re ahead? The money is going to rotate into something else. There’s going to be another play, the next big thing and there will be opportunities, risk and ruins along the way.
The problem is that to monitor the community, the ideas and the sentiment there is a lot of noise. Maybe it’s just because I’m a boomer but the s**tposts are out of control. The meme culture and banter make it very difficult to consume content.
My idea for a solution is a filter or algorithm that ranks the posts based on a quality metric or scoring system. This then creates a newsfeed of the best content.
Throw in some analytics to measure trending companies and we have a plan coming together.
Starting With A Script
When starting a project like this I normally start with a node.js script. This eventually morphs into the backend engine for the website but to start off it’s just a test script to see if it’s possible.
The code for the back end is here:
I’m using the node-fetch library to hit the Reddit API and make pretty standard GET requests. Once every 10 minutes the script checks for new messages on the /r/wallstreetbets subreddit.
These are then put into a standardised format and the text is used to create a quality score. Good keywords such as ‘diligence’,’float’,’exposure’,’volume’ and bad keywords such as ‘mom’,’stupid’,’newbie’ affect the score alongside things like too much caps lock and patterns that match low quality content.
Once the script is working and it’s outputting the data that I need to a JSON file I can upload it to a Linux server and setup a cron job to run it at regular intervals.
Lean Methodology For Niche Websites
These type of sites need to be developed fast and launched as soon as possible to jump on a trend. Generally I aim to complete a project like this within 24 hours from start to launch. To hit that kind of deadline I use simple HTML/CSS/JS templates with responsive designs to minimise the front end development work.
I registered the domain name and set up cloudflare to handle SSL. I started with a VanillaHTML boilerplate and built the site out using a mobile first approach. Using Inkscape I added some geeky glasses to the WallStreetBets avatar and this is what we ended up with.
I developed it primarily for mobile devices but more through luck than judgement it expands out to desktop quite nicely too.
The theme is quite dark with but I didn’t like the original full dark mode so lightened up the text body. I added a few emoji’s and icons to give it a tiny splash of much needed colour. Once there’s enough data the tickers at the top should go green and red as well depending on if the stock is up or down over the previous 24hr period.
Marketing A Niche Website
To run some seed marketing to the site I originally planned to use Reddit Ads for obvious reasons. Targeting was an issue however as I couldn’t specifically target the wallstreetbets subreddit.
Undeterred I setup some Google ads and Twitter ads to get some traffic flowing to the site.
For the Google Ads I started with a search campaign. As always creating multiple ads to split test and then targeting keywords related to wallstreetbets.
There’s a full blog post about how I create Google Ads here:
Here are some initial results after about 12 hours of running ads.
Google Ads will likely provide the better quality traffic and with the lower CPC it suggests this will be the primary source of traffic moving forwards, although it is still early days.
Niche Website Monetisation & Financials
Getting this type of site profitable comes down to three factors:
- Getting a seed audience
- Virality, can’t pay for visitors forever
- Longevity, returning users.
I’d say chances are always pretty slim to be honest as getting all of these things right doesn’t happen that often. This type of website wont get any organic search traffic because it’s all syndicated content. It therefore needs to grow mainly through word of mouth.
It’s a lottery ticket and if people find it useful and it does start to gain traction then budget can be allocated to accelerate growth through scaling paid advertising.
Monetisation is fortunately much easier on a financial niche website. For small traffic amounts adsense could be used. That could be expanded on with affiliate links to brokers such as eToro & FTX. From there the next step would be to start building a community and perhaps creating premium digital products and subscription services.
How To Monetise Your Website | 8 Ways To Make Money Online
These little niche projects are easy to complete within a short time frame. Developers and web designers can jump on trends to create useful little sites and web apps that can, if successful, generate passive income revenue streams.
The full code has been open sourced here: https://github.com/jamesbachini/WSBsignal/
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