“ Website to ask questions and write answers for payment „
I really enjoy writing for review websites such as this. Of course it isn't only the writing I enjoy - the extra few pounds is a nice bonus too! I'm also a member of a few survey sites although I find these to be very hit and miss, and I often get frustrated with some of them (and have unsubscribed from several).
For a few months now I've been looking for other opportunities to write online and make a few extra quid while I'm at it. I'm not expecting to be able to pay off the mortgage any time soon, but I really like earning a few extra quid each month which to me is useful pocket money towards my addiction to clothes shopping.
I have looked at a few sites such as hubpages, but I found this to be overly complicated and time-consuming - and sadly I just don't have the time to write the long, consistently high quality articles that sites like this demand. But then I read a review of webanswers.com - it sounded a bit odd but I decided to go and check it out!
So what's the idea behind webanswers.com?
It's a very straightforward idea. People go on to this site and post their questions. Then, registered members can answer these questions. The person who originally asked the question can then look at the answers and choose the most helpful answer, which is then called the "awarded" answer.
This is a very simple process - you just give some basic information and that's it. For your member profile, you can add an image and some basic information about yourself on your areas of expertise. You don't have to use your real name so you can have a moniker like on here. You will also need to have a google adsense account if you want to make any money - more on this later...
Who is asking what?
People ask all sorts of questions on here on a wide range of topics from travel and transport to make-up and music. Some questions are after personal opinions while others are after quick, factual responses. Some questions require very short answers while others need much more detailed information.
You also get the chance to write personal opinions on here - when I signed up there were lots of questions regarding the London riots - so if you want to express your thoughts on an opinion or topic then this a good place to do so.
I must admit this is something I find incredibly strange about webanswers.com. People go on here and ask questions like: "Who wrote the Harry Potter books?" or "How far is it from London to Oxford?". Now in the same time it takes you to type this question into the site and submit it, you could just as easily type the same words into google or another search engine and get the answer straight away, without having to wait for someone to respond. I find this aspect of the site very strange!
There are a few other frustrating things about answering questions on here. Firstly people often write very short questions which lack clarity. So, for example, "How long will it take to get from London to Scotland?". And that's it - no indication of where in London or Scotland, or mode of transport. With questions like this you have to decide whether to answer at all, if you request more details or if you give a vague answer! People also don't always specify where they are from, which of course may affect your answers.
Other questions are written in very bad English (sometimes becoming undecipherable) and others are clearly spam so watch out for those!
People also put questions of a very personal nature on here - some obviously not to be taken seriously - but there are lots of "I slept with Boy A three times and Boy B twice and Boy C seven times - am I pregnant and who is the father..." and so on. Personally I don't answer these questions but there are people on the site who do!
This is pretty simple. Choose a category and you will see a list of questions. You can see at a glance if people have already answered the question and if so, how many, and if an answer has already been awarded. You then just click on a question to open up the relevant page where you can see other answers if there are any posted. You can then very simply type in your own answer. There are also two tick boxes which you can select if you want to be emailed if the person who asked the question submits more information (handy if the question is vague as suggested above), or if anyone else adds an answer.
Once you've answered a question, it's up to you if you ever want to refer back to it. In your account section of the site you can see at a glance all the questions you've answered. You also get an email
However, a lot of answers never get awarded - this may be because the person who asked the original question never returns to the website or chooses not to bother to award anyone - or it may be because the person who asked the question feels no one has provided the "best" answer. I believe about 90% of the questions on the site go unawarded.
What's the site like?
It's a pretty simple format and it's very easy to use the tabs at the top of every page to click between your account and the home page which is where all the question categories are. You can then simply choose a category and a sub-category (for example, beauty and fashion > make-up) and then look at the questions most recently being asked. You can also sort questions by those with the most answers and other options. In each category there is also a link you can click to get 30 unanswered questions in that category. This is good if you want to be the first person to answer a simple question - but beware as some questions can be days, weeks and even over a year old.
It is a text heavy site - there are no images other than ads and although it isn't the coolest looking site out there, I find it's very simple to navigate and I got used to it really quickly.
Once registered you can, of course, ask questions yourself. You can ask absolutely anything so you can ask for holiday recommendations, the capital of France or what your favourite colour is. While you won't get money asking questions, it will improve your member rating and it's a good way to become 'known' on the site. And you can of course "award" the answer you like the best.
So how do you make cash on this site? Well, once you have answered 10 questions on the site (which you can do pretty quickly), you are invited to sign up to google adsense. I already have an account from my hubpages days, and it's a very straightforward process. You can then potentially start earning money straight away.
The key is to write high quality answers to the questions on the site in the hope they get awarded. Once a question has been awarded, you receive money from anyone who clicks on one of your awarded questions and then clicks on ads on that page. This of course means your earnings are unpredictable, but there are people on the site (those that have answered thousands of questions) that apparently earn hundreds of dollars a month.
You can also receive money on answers that haven't been awarded as the payments are shared out between everyone who had provided a response - useful when such a high quantity of questions go unawarded..
Is it easy to do?
I think this is a really easy site to use and it is far less complicated than, say, hubpages. Some questions require extremely simple answers and it's always possible that if you are the first person to answer a question like this, you'll be awarded for your response. Other questions need longer, more detailed answers but if it's a topic you know about this shouldn't be too difficult. On the first evening I went on the website, I answered 16 questions and was awarded for two of them within a few hours. I didn't spend hours researching and writing so this was fairly straightforward - it certainly isn't as tricky as getting a crown on here!
Have I made it rich?
Well of course the answer is no. However I have made a few good few pounds on the site and I think with a lot of time and dedication you really can make some decent extra pocket money on here - which leads me to...
Finding the time
The problem for me with webanswers is I find it takes a lot of time to trawl through questions, find ones you want to answer, do any research that may be needed, and so on. I think realistically to make a decent amount of money you may need to spend a good hour or two a day online. And I simply don't have the time to do this. I am also put off the site by the high percentage of nonsense questions on there.
I think what is also a barrier to me is that I don't really 'get' it. While I can totally understand why people want to read product reviews, I don't really see why people would ask simple questions on a website and wait for answers. Having said this, it is clearly a popular site so maybe it is just me!
Overall I do like webanswers - it is easy to sign up and start using straight away, and you do make money. However, there is a lot of rubbish to trawl through on the site, and the real barrier for me is time - I simply can't commit as much as I would like to! But overall, if you do have a spare few hours a week and fancy writing about something different, I would recommend checking it out. if your answer gets "awarded".