It's easy to get bots following you, and that screws up your perception of how popular your account is with real people. You can get interested followers by mentioning your Twitter handle in the real world, on business cards, and by finding and engaging with people who have expressed an interest in your widgets. It's hard to fake authenticity though, and most people can sniff Twitter spam a mile off.
It's hard to be a referral site unless you have something to offer that the sites selling the products and/or services you're referring don't...
- run a contest
- find great deals for people
- setup a way for users to submit reviews of what you're referring
- publish promo / coupon codes
- write really in-depth content describing whatever you're referring, and let the person reading know you make a profit if they click the link on your site then make a purchase (if the site you're referring allows that).
IMO -- referral sites, (e.g.- sites full of Amazon links, eBay links, links to hosting companies, etc), don't do too well anymore -- people are more savvy than they were a few years ago and will just go directly to the source to buy.
And the puzzling thing about that behavior is that such a purchase is actually easier to make by clicking the affiliate link.
I dunno ... on my blog I have a very few affiliate links that integrate pretty tightly with my original and worthwhile copy and still get about zilch for sales. I don't write the copy specifically to make the sale, but add the links as useful adjuncts ... such as links to books I used as sources for research I did.
How do you know they are not listening? Perhaps they are just not responding. Use links to your stories, products, etc., and watch your site stats for pageviews.
Try to engage with your followers. Look at what they are tweeting, and at the very least, RT. Better still, react and communicate back. It's a two-way street. if you're communicating with them thay will see your profile in a different light.
Additionally, just taking a general view that if you're tweeting at time when your audience is asleep you're less likely to see reactions and RTs.
Getting followers that "listen" seems very top down and the anti-thesis of what Twitter is about. You do not talk down to people and expect to them to listen to you. You exchange with people and listen to them hoping to learn something from them that can help you improve your business. People on Twitter are not out to shop. They are there to discover and exchange. I would unfollow any marketer that wanted me to listen to them.
Hey vanderbolt, how do YOU follow people on Twitter? :)
I bet you follow a person if: 1) he is your friend/colleague; 2) he is a celebrity or a well known person in his field; 3) you read a post from this person somewhere and it was good, and you think that this guy might tweet something good as well.
So the above 3 scenarios are most common. Now lets look at them from your perspective: 1) all your friends/colleagues might be following you already; 2) it's quite hard to become a celebrity, especially a "niche celebrity", so that won't work; 3) YEP! this is it! go and submit some cool articles to sites in your niche and mention you're on Twitter - this way you'll get HIGHLY engaged followers! Or maybe start your personal blog and convert blog readers to Twitter followers :)