A question we get asked a lot here at Seeking Alpha is: What's the best way for new contributors to gain followers? While there's no one simple answer, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting people to click on that orange "Follow" button. Below are some words of wisdom from a few veteran contributors.
Daniel Jones, who runs "Crude Value Insights," a value-oriented SA Marketplace newsletter aimed at analyzing companies in the oil and gas space:
[It's] about finding a voice. Once I found mine, my follower count soared. ... My voice: I write about oil for the most part. I do write about non-oil stuff as well ... but probably 90% of my articles relate to oil. I'm starting to diversify into the REIT space because I find it interesting, but it's not for the purpose of a cash-grab. Write what you find most appealing to you. That said, areas that I noticed do really well include gold, popular tech, and REITs. Oil does pretty well too, if you know what to write. Don't count on macro articles doing well. ... I only write those types of pieces because I learn about that stuff in the process and I believe my [readers] find it valuable. Company-specific stuff does much better.
Avi Gilburt, who authors a Marketplace newsletter called "The Market Pinball Wizard," which focuses on the Elliott Wave approach:
Personally, I think nothing builds followers more than accuracy in analysis. I have been directly told numerous times that people follow me due to accuracy in analysis, since they think what I do is akin to voodoo. When you consider that I am a technical analyst writing on a fundamental-based site, it would seem the deck had been stacked against me from the beginning. Yet, I developed a nice following. So, I would suggest you make sure you put most of your effort into providing as accurate analysis as possible.
Bret Jensen, author of "The Biotech Forum," a Marketplace newsletter that focuses on promising biotech and biopharma stocks:
Definitely helps to ask readers to follow you if they want instant notification on future articles from you. However, while followers are nice, they are just the starting point. One has to invest in [one's] infrastructure (social media, website, free report generation, lead gen database, email campaign capability, etc.). The trick is get folks to follow you, preferably in real time, and then get them to move to your lead gen database where you have their email and other information. This is how I look at my ecosystem and what each type of entity is worth to me on an annual basis.
Beyond Saving, whose investment focus is on REITs:
I think the best way to gain followers is to be active in the comment threads, and not just your own. Be helpful, answer questions and make cohesive fact-based arguments to create a little friendly debate. I have found that on days where I write several comments, I get a noticeable bump in readership of my old material and new followers - sometimes I recognize the name as the person whose question I answered. I have even gotten PMs from some people telling me that they followed me because of a certain comment.
Are you a new author and have specific queries about increasing your follower count early on? Feel free to ask away in the comments section below. For established authors, what methods have worked for you? When do you see the biggest uptick in your follower count? We'd love to hear your thoughts as well.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.