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For those of us who don’t earn a fortune in our regular jobs, finding a simple way to supplement our income without a huge amount of time and effort would be absolutely ideal. Clearly we’re not going to be able to make ‘mega bucks’ in this way, but a little bit extra each month can go a long way. A great way to do this is to find opportunities to make money whilst working from home, so that the job can be fitted around our other employment and our family commitments if necessary.
One way in which it is possible to generate additional income is to get paid for answering questions online. This may sound strange, but when you consider than all you will need to get started is a computer, an internet connection and maybe a working telephone and telephone line, it’s easy to see why more and more people are having a go.
Once you are registered with the appropriate companies, you will be contacted with questions that have been directed at them by their customers.
Often you will have been asked to list your areas of expertise during the signing up process so you should be receiving questions to which you either already know the correct answer, or you at least know where you can go to find out.
However, you should also be prepared to answer more general questions and as you will get more money the more questions you answer, it is worth your while to have reference sources such as maps and phone books to hand as well.
You will need to be able to communicate in clear, written English and to be concise with your answers. Sometimes your answer might be sent by text to the person who posed the question, so you will need to moderate lengthy responses accordingly. At other times, your answer might be emailed and it might also be included on a website, whether that be on a specific page or as part of a chat forum.
You will need to be able to work at a reasonable speed, because people usually want their answers quickly and will be unlikely to use the site again if you take an unreasonably long time to respond.
You will need to be resourceful and to consider many different avenues when answering the questions you are sent. Some of them might simply require a quick internet search, but some might need a bit more thought and perhaps a consultation with other information sources, such as books, as well.
Bear in mind that each company will probably issue a set of guidelines about the types of questions that you shouldn’t answer so make sure you are clear about them. You should never divulge any personal information nor enter into any prolonged communication with someone who is asking questions. You will be given set responses to potentially unanswerable questions such as, “What is the meaning of life?” and these will depend on the forum in which your answer is being published.
Initially you might well find that your answers are moderated and checked before being finally published, but once your employer gets to know and trust your work you will be able to respond directly by yourself.
In most cases you will need to accumulate a certain amount before you can claim any payment. This is likely to be around £20 or so, though it could vary from employer to employer. With some companies you will only get paid if your answer is chosen as the most appropriate by the person asking the question, so payment is not guaranteed. For other companies, you will get paid every time you answer a question and it will be up to you how much time you put in to this task each day.
Once you have accumulated the right level of funds you will be allowed to access it and claim payment. The most popular option is to make all transactions via PayPal, though some employers may choose a different method.
You will earn in the region of twenty pence per answer, but a few sites will store all answers to the questions that they are posed within an archive and will continue to pay you a small ‘royalty’ type fee every time your answer is viewed in the future.
The first thing to do is to clarify in your own mind what your areas of expertise are so that you can quickly and easily share this information with potential employers.
After that, you should perform a quick internet search to find suitable employers in your geographic region. The answers to some questions will not be affected by where you are located in the world, but others will be dependent on your knowledge of a certain place or area, so you will need to bear this in mind when seeking out work.