Stock market commentary site Seeking Alpha, which has depended on a roster of unpaid contributors since its start seven years ago, will now pay writers who agree to provide the site with exclusive rights to their content. Founder David Jackson tells us Seeking Alpha is changing its business model in order to establish itself as a destination where people interested in finance can go to earn money. “If we can create a platform that puts a lot of people in business and we have exclusive content we can build a fantastic business in the long run,” he says.
Jackson also says that the fast-growing site can, for the first time, afford to pay contributors a “meaningful” amount. Seeking Alpha has about 3.4 million unique visitors a month, up from just over 2 million a year ago. And, it used part of the money it raised in a funding round last year to build up its sales team.
The site will pay contributors $10 per 1,000 page views their posts generate. An average entry on Seeking Alpha gets between 3,000 and 4,000 page views, although there’s huge variation, Jackson says. He would not say how much Seeking Alpha charges advertisers on average to place ads, but he says the company is handing contributors an amount that is greater than Seeking Alpha’s own take. And he notes that the payments are significantly higher than those offered by other companies that pay contributors for content, such as Yahoo’s Contributor Network, which offers writers at most $2 per 1,000 page views, in addition to a small upfront payment.
Jackson says many of Seeking Alpha’s contributors are money managers who post on the site in hopes of gaining leads for their businesses. But he hopes that others — including those who are personal investors — will be attracted by the payments and will contribute to Seeking Alpha instead of setting up their own blogs. (Contributors can choose to designate their payments to a charity if they don’t want to be paid). The total volume of content on the site won’t necessarily change since the editorial staff selects and vets submissions before they are posted.
Seeking Alpha’s announcement comes only three days after sports blog network Bleacher Report also said it would pay some contributors for the first time in an attempt to drive deeper coverage of particular teams and specific coverage areas. Read our analysis of the two decisions here.