Friday, March 6, 2009, AM | 1 Comment
As the recession continues to deepen, a small but growing number of people are taking their skills online, doling out expertise or performing specified tasks for a fee. Work at home sites are gaining popularity as people increasingly turn to the Web in search of work. Internet job-search sites saw a 51% rise in traffic from January 2008 to January 2009, according to comScore Media Metrix, to 26.7 million unique visitors.
LivePerson seeks out experts on a variety of topics, including mental health, financial services, shopping and fashion, as well as psychics and spiritual advisers.
LivePerson went public in 2001, and the current version of the site was launched in late 2007. Today, the site has 30,000 registered experts, attracting an average of 100,000 people a year who pay for the offered services, says Chief Executive Officer Robert LoCascio. Roughly 3,500 people have made contributing to the site their full-time job, he says.
LivePerson says it checks out contributors’ qualifications – such as medical licenses or financial certification – to its satisfaction through a third party. It says it relies heavily on its community reviews. Some 200 people a day apply to be LivePerson experts, up from 120 a year ago, says Mr. LoCascio. Once cleared, advisers work with clients on a cost-per-minute basis set by the adviser. The site takes a commission of between 30% and 35%.
People looking to make money online as fee-for-service experts should read the fine print. LivePerson has one of the more-formal payment systems, requiring users to sign up for an account before talking with an expert.
Consumers who use these sites also need to exercise caution. Relying on legal or medical advice from an unknown online source has obvious drawbacks, and some similar websites acknowledge that some users have registered complaints about the advice offered on the sites. LivePerson“>LivePerson warns consumers to offer up their financial and personal details with care.
In a Nutshell
In these hard times, any income is always welcome in the households. If you are unemployed, it can be a good source of extra income on a part-time basis. If you keep working on it, you could become popular with more and more help seekers, making you more money.
Some of the topics covered are described here. But you can always registered with your own specific expertise.
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