Independent Professionals Find that Answering Consumer Questions on “Expert” Sites Can Be Profitable in the All-Online Era

When Billy Wills, a heating and air conditioning professional from Battle Creek, Mich., Had trouble with a lawn mower repair he was performing, he began searching online for information that would help him. complete the repair. He stumbled across JustAnswer, a site where it is possible to hire experts for a small lump sum or as part of a subscription program and sent his question to one of the experts. “He answered my question, I got out into my garage and in 30 seconds what he recommended worked,” says Wills.

Wills, who lives in Vicksburg, Michigan, was intrigued and in 2008 signed up himself as an expert on the site, answering questions people asked about their HVAC systems. He had a full-time job in his field, but, as a foster father of six, he was happy to earn the extra income, which amounted to $ 1,000 to $ 3,000 per month. Although the youngest of those children is now 16, he continues to answer questions in his spare time and earn money on the site, eagerly awaiting his monthly paychecks. “You can be productive at all times,” he says.

Wills is one of the many freelancers who find there is extra money to be made on expert sites like JustAnswer. JustAnswer, a San Francisco-based company founded 17 years ago, has 12,000 experts, adding 2,200 last year, as well as 900 employees. Other sites in this category include 6ya, Maven, and Skillshare. With many people still leading much of their lives online, business is booming for many experts. Hot categories include reviews of items people put away in their attics and basements, home improvement, small home appliance repair, veterinary care, and auto repair.

As the site has grown, it has raised the bar for qualified experts. “It’s increasingly controlled and quality controlled,” says Andy Kurtzig, Founder and CEO.

The salary of the experts depends on the category. Appraisers of these attic finds average about $ 8,000 per month, although one appraiser made $ 88,000 in a single month, Kurtzig says. Tax advisers average about $ 4,000. On average, freelancers make just over $ 35,000 a year, says Kurtzig.

“The whole industry is growing like crazy,” he says. “Remote working in general has exploded over the past year and a half due to covid. Remote access to professionals has developed with him.

Therapist Jennifer Kelman, LCSW, who lives in Boca Raton, Florida, found her way to JustAnswer in 2012. She had computer problems, used a search engine for help, and then found JustAnswer. Noticing a button that said “Become an expert,” she decided to apply.

Now, she contributes regularly to the site, answering questions on topics such as relationships, parenting and mental health, which earns her around 10% of her earnings. She loves that she can work on JustAnswer at any time that suits her, whether it’s while she’s stuck in the carpool queue or after her children, twelve-year-old twins, are in bed. Sometimes she spends a lot of time working on the site; other times, when she is busy with her office and her children, a little less. “You take out what you put in it,” she said.

She enjoys the opportunity to help people who may not be able to afford therapy. “I’ve always found it disheartening that a lot of people can’t go to therapy,” she says.

Due to all of the emotional challenges people have faced since the pandemic, she has an abundance of patients in her practice, as well as questions from the JustAnswer clientele. One of her biggest challenges is making sure she doesn’t overexert herself in order to give the best of herself to each client. Fortunately, her business and work for JustAnswer is flexible, she notes. “If I feel stress and tension, I will take the time to take care of myself,” she says.

About Genevieve Swain

Genevieve Swain

Check Also

Tree felling: tips from the Michigan MNR

Still taking those decorations apart? The Michigan DNR has several tips for dealing with Christmas …