Pennies for Your Thoughts: Making Money with Reviews at Epinions
Seen any good movies lately? Read any good books? Or maybe you’ve just used a product that just doesn’t work, so you want to warn everyone about it. Epinions is a website that lets you post your reviews to an Internet audience. And get paid for doing it. It is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. residents.
© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.
The site’s tag line is Unbiased Reviews by Real People, so it stakes its reputation on opinions written by ordinary people rather than professional reviewers. And the first rule of the review is you must have used the product. Categories include cars, books, movies, music, computers and software, electronics, gifts, home and garden, office supplies, sports and travel.
- You can search for a particular product or select one from among the tens of thousands listed.
- You can drill down through subcategories or sort selections by price range, brand and features.
- Clicking a product reveals the ratings bestowed by other reviewers, ranging from one star to the highest five stars.
- You can read individual reviews, compare prices and view details of your selection.
If you want to review a product that is not in the database, you can request that ia category lead add it.
To compose your opinion, click Write a Review to display the review fields. You can type directly into the fields but risk losing your words if your system goes down. It’s best to use an external word processor to write and save the review. You can then copy and paste your words into the site fields. Reviews must contain at least 20 words, though 100 words or more are preferred. Most reviews are in the 400-500 word range.
You can then post your review to the site. You may return to your writing and edit it at any time, for example, if you want to update any information. The community of reviewers can vote on your review by assigning Not Helpful, Somehwat Helpful, Helpful and Very Helpful. Category leads can further dub your effort Most Helpful, if it’s the best one of all the reviews. All members can also write comments. These in-house ratings and comments are only visible to members and not to consumers. As with many such sites, Epinions has a forum where you can read and write about your experiences.
Your earnings come from the number of times your review is read and whether anyone buys a product from it. Your reviews display Adsense ads, but you have no control over their placement and subjects. The money earned by all the reviews of a product is split between Epinions and the pool of reviewers. The number of visits your reviews generate is updated continuously. However, the amount of money you earn is not revealed until after the end of the month.
The site often runs special promotions. For example, on some months, the first review for a product automatically earns $1 aside from standard royalties. Your earnings also go up if you get promoted to a Top Reviewer, Adviser or Category Lead.
When your total earnings reach $10 for U.S. residents or $100 for non-U.S. residents, you can request a check, which takes a frustratingly long two-to-six weeks to arrive.
Earnings range from nothing to a few cents to a few dollars per month per review. Obviously, the more reviews you write, the higher your income. The money keeps coming in every month without you having to do anything else. The most income goes to popular products, particularly electronics and technology items. Consumers can read your reviews by searching for them on Google or through Shopping.com, with which Epinions is affiliated.
You’re not going to get rich at the site. But the writing is easy, the members are friendly and the money rolls in month after month. I’ve been a member for about six years and invite you to check out my Epinions reviews.
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