Make Money Answering Text Messages

Typing a Text Message

Last week we had some friends over for a card night and like most game nights, there was a slight disagreement on the rules of the game. One of my friends suggested that we text “ChaCha” to settle the dispute. If you haven't heard of ChaCha before, they are a a free service that will instantly answer any question you ask via text or online at ChaCha.com.

The experience got me a little curious about who these imaginary elves were that were answering all these questions they receive. Well, it turns out that anybody can sign up to answer questions and ChaCha will pay you for your help.

Different Types of Guide Positions

There are a number of different positions you can apply for on ChaCha. Here is a rundown of each position and what it requires from you:

  • Expeditor – An Expeditor answers questions in real time and is considered a pro.  He or she possess rapid research skills and quick and nimble texting fingers.  “Requires: Friendly attitude, desire to help people, and a sense of humor. Fast typing and quick thinking are a definite plus!”
  • Generalist – A Generalist has great research skills which make him or her ideal for a Guide position.  Despite not being an expert in a subject, he or she can find the answer to any question quickly.  “Requires: Exceptional Internet search skills, strong general knowledge, good grammar and spelling, fast typing, strong reasoning ability, and sound judgment.”
  • Specialist – A Specialist has a specific knowledge base.  The Guide receives a question in his or her line of expertise from the Expeditor and is able to answer it in no time flat using very little research.  “Requires: Specific knowledge in chosen subject areas, exceptional Internet search skills, strong reasoning ability, sound judgment, good grammar and spelling, fast typing, and strong general knowledge.”
  • Transcriber – A Transcriber listens to voice messages and writes them out into text questions for others to answer.  They are lightening quick typists and have impeccable grammar and spelling.  “Requires: Good ears, good spelling, fast typing, broad general knowledge, and the smarts to figure out what customers are really asking when they call in.”
  • Vetter – A Vetter chooses from a list of answers to find the best one to answer the question.  They hold a unique role within the company and are crucial to the flow of ChaCha because they are able to answer questions quicker than most.  “Requires: Positive attitude, quick reaction time, and a desire to help people.”

How Much Can you Earn?

I wouldn't expect to get rich from answering text messages, but it might be a nice way to pick up some extra pocket cash. ChaCha will pay you between .10-.20 cents for each question you answer. They estimate that the average person can make between $3-$9 per hour depending on how fast you are. Definitely not a substitute for a real job, but it might be something fun to do while you watch TV.

It can take a bit of time to register, because you do have to read about the company and answer a 20 question test.  If you do well, you'll be accepted as a Guide and can start answering questions. ChaCha does help direct you in the right direction when it comes to answering questions and will give you a number of resources to look up answers to questions. If you are interested, here is a link to the Guide Application.

Good luck Penny Hoarders!

Update: Special thanks to GetOutofDebt.org for including this article in their weekly personal finance carnival.

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