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How to make money online by sharing your knowledge: A review of the WebAnswers website as a legit way to work from home

Updated on January 28, 2013
WebAnswers has proved to be a legit way to work from home and to make money by answering questions.
WebAnswers has proved to be a legit way to work from home and to make money by answering questions.

My initial thoughts of using WebAnswers to make money online

A while ago, I was told by a friend to check out a website called WebAnswers. I was told that the idea behind the website was to be a meeting point and forum for people with questions that they wanted to be answered. However, as we know, the internet is crowded with such discussion forums. It was not until I was told that users who actually do provide quality answers have a very reasonable chance to make money that I started to pay some attention. Needless to say, I was very skeptical at first. Again, we also know that the internet is filled with scam sites claiming various obscure methods for people to make instant fast money online by working from home. In any case, after the discussion I decided to actually have a look at WebAnswers to see if there were some truth behind what I was just told or if WebAnswers is yet another scam site for online money making.

Basic principle of WebAnswers and how it can be used to make money

WebAnswers offers the possibility for anyone to ask a question and also the possibility for anyone to answer the questions asked. The difference to many of the other Q&A websites out there such as, Yahoo! Answers, is that users who provide high-quality answers can earn a share of the advertisement revenues generated by the website. It is important to understand that WebAnswers does not claim to be an online job nor is it a get-rich-fast website to make money by working from home.

Technical details

The WebAnswers website runs ads served by Google AdSense and as usual generates revenue through users that clicks on the advertisements or page views (impressions) of the advertisements. However, WebAnswers also share their revenue with its users. Currently WebAnswers keep 40% of their earnings and give 60% back to the users.

It is worth to mention that in order to be able to take part in the earnings sharing with WebAnswers, i.e., to actually make money, the user is required to have an active Google AdSense account. If the user does not have an account, WebAnswers offers the possibility to send an invitation to the user after the user has answered 50 questions. However, prior to an invitation being sent, the answers of the users will be reviewed by an administrator to judge the relevance and quality of the answers. This is clearly to avoid opportunistic users who spam the website with poorly written or irrelevant answers simply to reach the threshold in an attempt to make money online.

The working of it is as follows. When a user posts an answer to a question, WebAnswers will analyze the answer through a proprietary algorithm that assigns the answer a Quality Score (QS). While the details of the mechanism is non-public, it is known that the QS is influenced by things such as the relevance of the answer, the length of the answer, the uniqueness of the contents of the answer, the activity of the user, answer award ratio (discussed below) and also the grammar used in the answer. In practice this means that very short and relatively uninformative answer of only a few words, for example, yes/no, will obtain a very low QS as compared with an elaborative answer that is written with good grammar and spelling. While it may be tempting to copy contents elsewhere to answer the questions, I can immediately warn those that are tempted that WebAnswers runs strict control (both automatic and manual) to combat plagiarism.

When an advertisement is shown on WebAnswers, a user will be chosen to be affiliated with it, i.e., one user will be able to make money from it if it is clicked. The Quality Score of a user will directly reflect the number of advertisements that are shown on the behalf of the user throughout the website. Optionally if the user provides a good answer, the person who posed the question may award that particular answer. The answerer will then become the only user who monetizes on that particular question.

A common misconception with WebAnswers is that only questions that the user has answered will be able to generate revenue for him/her. However, this is not true, advertisements will be shown across the homepage on the behalf of the user regardless of which particular questions the user has answered. For example, a user that has answered questions in the Autos & Transportation section may very well make money from a completely different section such as the Legal section. This is a brilliant move by WebAnswers as it motivates the users to contribute only in those sections that they have true expertise in. In return, WebAnswers receives answers that are actually mostly well written and of high quality instead of having all questions flooded by poorly written or incorrect answers.

Great! So does it actually work and can I really make money online using WebAnswers?

Throughout my time on WebAnswers I can say that the system not only work, but it is actually working very well! Certainly this is not a get-rich-fast scheme for people looking to make money online by working from home, nor is it the intention. Rather I view it as a forum where people with different backgrounds can exchange information and knowledge with each other and earn a few extra bucks in the process.

Granted, in order to be able to make any large amounts of money the user will be required to be very active and spend a lot of time on the website (an article discussing and presenting data on how user activity affects the ability to make money online using WebAnswers can be found here). But it is very doable and there are several users reporting that they make hundreds of dollars every month from WebAnswers alone! However, remember that these top users probably spend several hours on the website every day, in essentially one may consider them to work from home on WebAnswers.

During my time there, I have spent an hour or so every day answering topics that I have knowledge in, typically 10 answers or so every day. This has resulted in actually a relatively nice and steady income stream. It will not pay my rent, but it does serve as a good supplement especially since I do it purely for fun (I do have a real job as well...). This is the strength and brilliance of WebAnswers. Anyone can participate and contribute and as long as you provide quality answers and contents you will be able to make money online and be paid through the Google AdSense program.

Tips to get started and optimize your means to make money online using WebAnswers

If you decide to join WebAnswers, below are a few tips that I can offer that will get you started and hopefully optimize your income somewhat.

  • Perhaps the most important point for a new user to understand, WebAnswers is not a get-rich-fast scheme. If your intention is to be able to work from home and use it to make money online fast, then look elsewhere.
  • Answer only questions that you truly have knowledge about. This cannot be stressed enough, but answering few questions properly and elaborately will pay off much more than answering many questions with short and content dry answers. In particular as you will make money from advertisement revenue across the website no matter which section you choose to focus on, it does not make any sense at all for a user to answer random questions poorly, and in turn kill their Quality Score.
  • Use the search function to find questions that matches your expertize. If you are, for example, very knowledgeable in tax-related questions. It could be worth it to use the search tool and answer questions that matches your knowledge just to get started. After all, you need to answer 50 questions before you can partner up with WebAnswers and make money.
  • Write your answers with proper English and grammar. WebAnswers will automatically language check your answers. An answer with multiple grammatical errors is bound to result in a poor Quality Score. In addition, you should not use profanity or rude phrasings. Respect not only the person asking the question but also any other answerers that may or may not have provided a good answer.
  • Ask questions. This is often overlooked. But in WebAnswers, the users can actually make money by asking questions as well. While it may not be as rewarding as answering questions, if you have any questions that you are pondering about, you may just as well ask it and earn a few bucks from it! The exact mechanism for this is unknown, but it is believed that when a user posts a question, advertisements shown in that question's page will link to the question asker by some probability.
  • Have fun! Maybe the most important point of all. Remember that WebAnswers is not meant to make you rich or be an online job. You will not be able to quit your job and work from home. It is meant to be a fun way to help people out with any questions that they may have. If you are only after to make money online and get rich, then you better look elsewhere as you will surely very quickly lose interest in WebAnswers.

Conclusions and summary for WebAnswers as a way to make money online

WebAnswers is truly unique. While there are a few other sites out there that pay users or allows the users to make money online by answering questions, such as Just Answer, Mahalo and Paid Answers, none of them actually come close to WebAnswers. Their revenue share with the user is either too small (negligible) or they are not active enough to generate enough traffic to sustain a flow of new questions and traffic. In addition, many of the other site claims to be a way for people to work from home to make money online. WebAnswers, on the other hand, never claims this and is a very active website with a very friendly community. I can almost promise, judging from my experience there and other users' experiences, that if you provide answers of high quality, no matter if you answer a few or a lot of questions every day, you will see the income curve climbing upwards from day one!

In my case, already within 3 hours after I linked my Google AdSense account up with WebAnswers, I saw my first click!

Still not convinced? Well in that case at least check out the WebAnswers website and form your own personal opinion. You will quickly find out that lots and lots of users are actually making a significant amount of money by simply sharing their knowledge and having fun at the same time!

Does WebAnswers sound too good to be true to make money from?

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Excellent and unique website with a lot of potential to make money online!

5 stars for WebAnswers

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      Anshu Rozario 2 years ago

      It's really sounds great