Hey guys, this is a guest post from an inspirational woman in the Manage Your Money Like A Boss FB group. I’ve been following Alexis’ journey for a while now, and was super inspired by her side hustle. She graciously wrote up a post to help us learn how we can start to use this platform as a way to make some extra cash and reach our financial goals faster. Enjoy!
When I turned 26 I started getting serious with my money – real serious. I was newly engaged, with a wedding to finance, a house to buy and dreams of having a family and running my own business someday.
But my debt was holding me back.
I owed $30,000 in student loans, $8,000 left to go on my car payment, and close to $5,000 on my credit cards. Yikes!
While I had finally landed my dream job, but even with a strict monthly budget I was only able to make the minimum payments on my debts.
It was clear that I would never be debt free at that rate, but I had no intention of giving up my dream job to work somewhere that I wasn’t excited about for a little bit more money.
No worries – I knew exactly what to do.
In order to pay off my debt – and achieve my dreams – I had to increase my income. It was time to get a side hustle!
I tried a lot of side hustles before I settled on one that worked for me. I tried waitressing, working retail part-time, and even helping out at a horse stable! But I was so unhappy that I had to sacrifice quality time with my family and friends, and quiet time for myself. I struggled to get shifts that wouldn’t interfere with my regular job. I quickly felt burnt out.
I began to look for online jobs that I could do from home. Eventually, I found Wonder.
This month, I am on track to make over $1,200 from my part time Wonder work.
AskWonder.com is an online research site where clients submit a question and Wonder researchers craft a response based off of Internet research. Requests can be on literally any topic – from why the US is so obsessed with Zombies to the most popular candle scents. But mostly, the questions are about business analysis, market size, and market trends.
There are two basic jobs at Wonder – a sourcer and a writer. The sourcer’s job is to find all relevant information online that can be used to directly answer the client’s question. The writer’s job is to use the information from the sourcer and craft a direct, detailed, professional response to the client.
For both sourcing and writing you have 4 hours to complete the job, but most analysts can complete a job in 2 hours, and experienced analysts average about 1 hour.
While you are not able to choose the questions you work on (they are assigned randomly), you are able to release questions that you don’t understand or can’t find the answer to.
So, how does it pay?
For both writing and sourcing, analysts are paid a flat rate of $16 per job. In order to get paid, the analyst’s response must pass through review.
My first few weeks I was only able to complete a maximum of 1 job a day, and it would take me around 3 hours. Not very good at all. However, after 4 months of sticking with it I am now making an average of $1,000 extra per month, and sometimes even more due to contests and bonuses.
Hours and Flexibility
The BEST part about Wonder is that you can work from anywhere, at anytime. You get to choose how much or how little you work. On averages, writing or sourcing jobs take 1-3 hours; therefore, you must have at least a 3 hour block of open time to be able to complete a project. Projects must be completed within 4 hours.
However, there are times when access to jobs is limited because all the jobs simply have been done or there are lots of analysts on. Jobs get assigned based on your quality score (rating based on pass assignments) and what time you logged on.
Most of the time, I have no trouble finding something to work on. But, Sundays and early on Mondays can be slow, since most requests are submitted Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and therefore, by Sunday, they have been completed.
Since employees are hired at Wonder as independent contractors, there is not much training involved. However, Wonder does provide templates and style guides, and a host of other tools. Additionally, all analysts are invited to use Slack to collaborate and ask questions, and there are generally experienced analysts and reviewers there to answer your questions.
Advancing with the Company
Once you master writing or sourcing, analysts are encouraged to apply for other jobs in the company. For example, you can become an editor, interpreter (who takes client questions and formats them into Wonder requests), chatter (who talks with clients to help them submit requests), or even a reviewer!
What do you need to be good at it?
In order to succeed at Wonder, either as a sourcer or writer, you will need to be able to read and write college level English, including academic articles. While you do not need to have background knowledge in writing, research, or any specific area, it is helpful to have knowledge of business and/or scientific industries. The abilities to teach yourself, utilize feedback, and explain your thought process is necessary.
In order to apply, visit https://askwonder.com/researcher. The application process involves two steps:
1) completing the application and
2) completing a trial research assignment.
Once you apply, you will generally hear back in 1-2 weeks!
Meet The Author
Alexis Zimba-Kirby lives in mid-coast Maine where she manages a 400-acre vegetable farm and, in the winter months, supplements her family income with online research and writing jobs.
She has a Bachelors degree from New York University in French, with a minor concentration in Food Studies. She and her husband, a full-time lobster fisherman, have been actively working on their finances together since they met 5 years ago.
In that time have raised their credit scores from bad to excellent, taken care of tax, medical, credit card and student loan debt, purchased their first car, and, most recently, purchased their first house.