No, we are not heading off to the land of Dancing With the Stars to earn fame and fortune doing the Cha Cha. Although I suspect there would be a few of you who would like to see me make a fool of myself on the dance floor. Fortunately there will be none of that. It's just another review of another way that you may be able to make money.
ChaCha has been around since 2006. It's basically a Question & Answer site. It similar to Yahoo Answers. In essence anyone anywhere can call and/or text in a question and voila!, the ChaCha Guides will look up the answers and text you back. When they send the text answer, there will be an ad attached of course which is obviously how they make money. You ‘old timers' who prefer to actually talk to a human being can also call a ChaCha guide to ask your question. But their shtick is really for mobile devices. That is what makes this different from a Yahoo Answers. Think about times you're arguing with friends about a sports or pop culture thing. It's usually times you are away from your computer. But now you can get a text with the answer. I don't know if this is a necessity per se. But I can see the occasional usage.
Obviously if ChaCha is getting questions called or texted in, they need people to answer this stuff 24/7. That's where we as legit work at home seekers come in. ChaCha hires us to be Guides that research and answer the questions that come in as quickly as possible. There are different type of guides you can work as.
1. You could be an Expediter who does the quick one word, phrase or sentence answers that can be found with a quick click on Google.
2. Or you might qualify as a Generalist who can pretty much manage Google searches with ease and find out the answers to most any question on any topic.
3. Specialists on the other hand show expertise in one of more particular areas due to their backgrounds, job or education.
4. Another one is the Transcriber who takes the phone calls and turns them into text format for the Guides to answer.
As expected each of these guides get different pay rates because some involve more work than others. So that's pretty much how you make money with this company.
There are two ways to get paid: Pay as you go and Bonus Money.
1. Pay as you go is when you answer some questions and paid based on the level they have classified you as a guide. This basically works out to 2-3 cents per question. Questions that require more research and a more specialized guide to answer pay you about 10-20 cents per question. But from what I've heard these type of questions and topics are rarely available. So don't bet on that amount.
2. The other way is their monthly point system. You can earn points for each search you complete. It could involve a minimum amount of searches a day to actually get these points. You and the rest of the guides can build the value of these points by putting more time in each month. The more points that the group accumulates the higher the value of each point at the end of the month. You get these credited to you account each month. It is a way to add some ‘oomph' to your monthly totals. Although they don't really tell you exactly the value of these points. All we can ascertain is that the value of these points will increase when guides stay logged on for a set amount of time each day or meet a monthly level? Look I'm just as confused as you. What I can tell you is one happy guide said they made about $3 per hour by answering questions and with the bonus points it went to $4/hour with the bonus points.
At the end of the day, the general consensus from the chatter on the forums is overall you probably can get about $4 per hour by combining the two methods.
Okay now that we know about the money, you might be interested in jumping right in. Well slow you roll there. They just don't let anybody answer these questions There is a qualifying test you must take and pass or they just deny your application. Sadly once they disqualify you there is no second chance. Why would they implement such a policy? I have no idea. Either way be sure you're on your ‘A' game before taking the test.
In any event, once you're accepted you get some video tutorials and a guide to use that shows you tips and tricks for fast and quick Internet searches. You also get suggestions of sites for certain topics. Spelling and grammar count big time with these folks so keep that in mind. Obviously I wouldn't be right for this opportunity. lol
In any event, you also need a high-speed Internet computer that has 512 MB-1GB of RAM with Firefox and Flash installed. Most recent computers meet this hardware requirement so if your computer is relatively new, you should be fine. You may need to just download Firefox which is a better browser than Internet Explorer anyway. Fortunately Firefox is free. So from a technical point of view, you probably already have all the equipment you need or free access to it. That's always a good thing!
You can work as much or a little as you want. There is no minimum requirement. So if you want to sit for 40 hours a week answering questions, that is just as fine as spending an hour or so a couple times a week. They consider this as a way to work for some extra spending money and do not in any way lead you to believe you can earn a full income by being a Guide. It is more than chump change but far from getting rich! At the end of the day, you already know my philosophy every cent counts and it all adds up to dollars. If you don't see the value of this, you'll be struggling to make it in this industry.
Cha Cha makes direct deposit payments once a month if there is $150 in your account. Yeah you read that correctly! That seems to be pretty high considering you're only earning a few cents per question and text answered. Hopefully there is enough volume so you can meet this.
The other option is to use their debit card system. With a click of a button, they just transfer the money into your debit account and you can use that debit card to make purchases at any time. Paypal has a debit card feature as well that I use all the time. So I like this option. Although I don't think I should have to pay for the debit card. From what I read a whole lot of their guides use the debit card option which doesn't surprise me.
Click here to sign up to become a ChaCha Guide.
I tried to address as many of the questions you may have as I could. But I'm sure you'll have more. Thats why there is an FAQ page you can check out by clicking here.
You're not an employee.
Like most work at home opportunities out there you are an Independent Contractor not an employee. So all the legal and Uncle Sam tax stuff is up to you. This sounds a lot scarier than it really is. But any competent accountant can ease the pain for you in this regards. But it's usually a con for most people. Although you may quickly learn from a CPA it's actually a pro because of the write offs you can take that you couldn't take as an employee.
High Payment Threshold
As I stated above, considering you're only getting paid a few cents per text and answered questions, it may be really hard to meet that $150 minimum per month to get paid. There has been some talk they may actually raise it which seems to be going in the wrong direction if you ask me. It should definitely be lower! So that's definitely a con in my mind and most that consider this opportunity.
Failing The Test
There is no way to know what mistakes you made that caused you to fail their test or if they just don't need people at your level at the moment. You just get some generic message about being notified at a later date if something were to open up based on your test scores. But from what I understand that rarely happens for most people. It just seems like a messed up policy and I don't really know the reason behind it.
There are definitely going to be some people that read about earning $3-$4 an hour for typing answers and balk at it. Some will argue how the hell am I suppose to live off that? My response is you don't. Like many of the non-traditional opportunities I discuss this should be one of many multiple streams of income you add to your bottom line. You can still look for a traditional job that pays you more. But in this day and age limiting yourself to one source of income is a recipe for disaster in my humble opinion. The millions of people who have been laid off can probably attest to my logic now. This isn't meant to live off. It's just an added source of income to any others you have or obtain as you work this. ChaCha makes this very clear. But nonetheless I know the pay is still something that people will bitch and moan about as a con so I felt compelled to mention it.
Apparently there has been some complaints from ChaCha guides about the number of silly and highly questionable content of, ‘How do you..?' questions that come from tweens. Remember when you were a kid at a sleep over and how there was always some joker who had the idea to make crank calls? Well those same kids will use something like ChaCha to ask goofy questions. As a guide, you have to answer them, and the concern is that it takes up a lot of your time and is just plain annoying. The other things these tweens will do is ask questions of totally explicit and inappropriate nature. Fill in the blanks of a ‘How do you…?' with anything a hormonal tween or teen might be wondering and you get my drift….
Cha Cha is supposed to have rules to prevent this kind of thing. The rules are you must be 12 to use this service, but this may come as a surprise to you, but kids have been known to lie about their age. Really, I know it is shocking…. There are also rules about these inappropriate topics. They should just get deleted and the person asking should be immediately deleted from the system. Either the complainers did not report these questions, the definition of inappropriate is too vague, or the system's filters do not always work like they should, It is hard to tell just by chitter chatter online. I just think that it is something you should be aware of.
At least pay close attention in your training materials on how to handle these things if and when it comes up. On the one hand, you will get paid for your answers so who cares if the tweens are yankin' your chains, that is what they do best! On the other you should not be put in an uncomfortable situation.
ChaCha comes across as totally legit to me. It pays the members, it is totally up front about the amount of money you can make and that is something I appreciate a lot. It doesn't seem like there are hidden costs beyond Internet and a computer that most people have already. The concept is simple which makes it easier for everyone involved. No complicated rules and procedures. Find the answers to questions as fast as you can and get paid after you earn $150, that's pretty much it.
I can't help myself sometimes but I have to say what is running through my little old mind. The first thing that comes to mind is how sustainable is this business? Think about it, Don't most of us have smart phones such as an iphone or tablets like the iPad that have Internet access? Well maybe I'm assuming everyone is like me who is gadget freak. But honestly a lot more people are ‘always connected' via their phones. So why does one need to Cha Cha? A Google Search from the mobile device would take less time…..
But what do I know? The company has been around since 2006. So maybe it will be around for a while. I'll tell you a secret. I was a ChaCha guide when the company initially started and they were constantly updating the interface ChaCha guides were using. That showed me they always seem to be evolving which may keep them in business for a while.
In any event, let me know what you think of this opportunity. By the way you may also be interested in KGBKGB which is a similar opportunity that we've reviewed if ChaCha is appealing to you.