Friday, 23 September 2011

Adsense earnings come quicker with WebAnswers

I have been very pleasantly surprised by the slow but steady increase in Adsense earnings I have experienced during my first month with WebAnswers. With just over 250 questions answered while taking breaks from my real work, I am currently earning more than for all my other web ventures combined and for far less effort. For those who do not have one yet, WebAnswers also offers a relatively painless and fast way to get an Adsense account approved.

Basically, the site looks a bit like Yahoo Answers or WikiAnswers. You pick questions that interest you and answer them. After answering 50 questions, you will be invited to supply your Adsense ID or to apply for an Adsense account if you do not have one yet.

The beauty of the concept is that your Adsense code does not go exclusively on the answers for which you receive awards. A secret algorithm (ah, these inhuman rulers of our destiny!) is used to determine your quality score based on the length and grammatical accuracy of your answers, and on how many are awarded best answer status. That score decides how often your code will appear on other parts of the site. So far, all my earnings have derived from these other views. This means you do not have to worry quite so much about the types of questions to answer and about SEO-ing the wording of your reply. That said, people with the skills to do this are probably the ones who report monthly earnings in the 100s rather than in the 10s.

This is by no means the first answers site to which I have contributed. Years ago, I answered questions at the now defunct InfoRocket. Although many of the questions were trivial and poorly paid, the site funded quite a few bottle of vintage Bollinger champagne over a couple of years and I got the ultimate accolade of an InfoRocket t-shirt sent to me. Unfortunately, InfoRocket then tried to change from a mainly Internet-based to a mainly telephone-based service, at the same time pushing the psychic helpline aspect, at which point I said goodbye. Shortly afterwards it went bust.

After that, I spent several extremely happy years as a GAR on Google Answers. The GARS were a brilliant, supportive and ever-helpful community, the questions paid extremely well, some being set at $100-200 per answer. I did briefly think about giving up employment to become a full-time GAR. Luckily, I was not brave enough to take the plunge, because eventually Google pulled the plug on the service.

A Q+A site appeals to me because I love chasing down obscure bits of information. To get paid to do so is heaven! Here are three of my favourites from the questions I have answered:

In Greek mythology, why is the sky blue?
Actually, it isn't, but finding out why raised an interesting question about different manners of perception.

Are there any words that rhyme with orange?
Believe it or not, there are two words that give a pure rhyme with orange, and one half-rhyme.

What is a rhyme scheme?
I enjoyed explaining this using the sonnet form as an example. This gave me the opportunity to showcase a sonnet from an excellent book by an accomplished modern poet, who uses fun and fantasy to exemplify different poetic forms.

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