Two quick questions before you start looking for online research jobs:
1. What was the first quarter of 2012 revenues for Sturm Ruger?
2. How much did the average U.S. wedding cost in 2019?
If you answered $112 million (surprisingly, NOT the wedding cost) and $33,900, then you may have a bright future as an online researcher.
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In this article, learn more about being an online researcher, what it involves, and where you can find online research jobs to apply for.
What Does an Online Researcher Do?
Many publications are moving from print to digital format, placing a significant amount of information online for users to sift through and try to make sense of.
However, despite the rise of powerful search engines such as Google, online information is not always readily accessible.
This is particularly true of technical and scientific data that are often restricted to subscription-based journals and esoteric publications that aren’t listed on page one of Google’s search results.
Likewise, finding correct and relevant information takes time, a luxury that many companies and businesses do not have.
For example, a law firm may wish to provide its readers with an article documenting traffic accident statistics per state but not have the time to research every state. Alternately, a debt consolidation company may wish to know about the most common sources of unsecured debt so that it can offer services tailored to those debts.
The solution to such dilemmas has been to hire online researchers who are adept at finding information on a wide variety of topics.
To qualify for online research jobs, you need to be highly skilled in using various search engines (that is, not just Google) to access peer-reviewed scientific research, industry-specific publications, and various other research materials to gather the information you need.
More than finding and accessing information, online researchers must also have advanced comprehension skills to be able to understand the information gathered, exceptional analytical skills to be able to interpret the information, and strong communication skills to be able to present the information to those who need it.
How Much Can You Make as an Online Researcher?
The pay in this field varies depending mainly on one’s research skills, but experience and specialized knowledge can be additional factors.
At the start, when you’re probably doing more generic online research, $10 an hour is the usual rate.
When you eventually get more experience and gain positive feedback from clients, your pay can increase up to $20 per hour.
If you have a master’s or doctoral degree, and advanced or even expert-level on specific, in-demand subjects such as those in the scientific, legal, or financial fields, you can potentially earn $50 to $80 per hour.
How do you get started as an Online Researcher?
You can perform generic Internet research for various third-party answer sites by simply going online and reading up on a requested topic, then submitting your results and getting paid by the client.
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Unfortunately, such work is often low-paid because it is considered unspecialized.
Also, the tasks often require a significant amount of time to complete because the subject matter may not be familiar to you and thus involves a steep learning curve. However, the benefit of such work is that it’s not hard to obtain clients.
10 Places to Find Online Research Jobs
Here are a few sites that offer online research jobs:
Wonder is a resource site for researchers in need of instant feedback for their studies and it’s easily the most prolific site on this list.
As part of the Wonder team, you’ll receive questions directly from customers and your job will be to find the best available information on the topic.
Jobs typically take around 3 hours to complete, making pay range around $15 to $25 per hour, depending on your speed and expertise.
Wonder prides itself on answering questions within 24 hours. Be prepared to work under tight deadlines.
Maven allows you to advertise your services as a so-called “microconsultant” in the fields of your choosing.
You will receive contracts to answer questions and provide insights from all over the world and from all walks of life: from college students doing homework to CEOs making high-impact decisions. Executives from some of the world’s most prestigious companies, like Boeing or Intel, have used this site.
JustAnswer offers subject matter expert positions in the fields of medicine, law, veterinary science, etc.
To become a subject matter expert, you must show proof of a relevant degree (e.g., M.D.) and/or professional experience.
Experts123 is constantly looking for article writers who will create content on their site about topics that users want to know more about.
This site operates on a revenue-share platform where page views amount to a specified amount of money; for example, you might earn $1.50 for each PPM (i.e., thousand page views).
Experts123 does offer upfront payments of $10-$20 per approved article for more seasoned researchers.
This company also serves as a platform for those in need of answers to questions in the field of medicine, business, technology, social media, law, and so on.
When invited to join, freelance experts are given a profile where their education, work experience, specialization, and rates are displayed. Clients could then contact experts directly (via phone, email, or online chat) for a job.
You are in control of your fees, so you may set it by the hour, per project, or so on.
Studypool invites students around the world to submit questions about every type of subject imaginable so that online researchers (or so-called microtutors) can see them, bid on them, and answer them.
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You’ll get paid when your answers are accepted.
Earn rewards by answering questions, which you can exchange for actual dollars.
You can make additional money by getting more users to like your answer best of all.
Cannabiz Media is currently hiring Data Researchers who collect, fact check, and analyze license information for the cannabis industry.
They prefer those who have strong legal or business research backgrounds, as well as those with experience in the cannabis, liquor, or tobacco industries.
10EQS prides itself on providing on-demand insights and expertise to leaders and decision-makers in different industries.
To qualify as an Industry Expert, you’ll need to have extensive experience with your particular subject. In other words, this opportunity isn’t for beginners.
10. Job Boards
Sites such as FlexJobs, Indeed, LinkedIn, and other job sites list plenty of online research jobs.
Use keywords such as “internet research jobs,” “online researcher,” “work at home research jobs,” “web researcher,” “remote research assistant” and other similar keywords to find online research jobs.
Make extra money while you research
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They pay you to use their search engine and the results are provided by Google. It’s a great way to pull in a little extra cash while researching without changing any of your online habits.
Start Your Own Online Research Business
What if you want to strike out on your own because you don’t want to give up a portion of your earnings to a third party site? Although it is more challenging, you can start your own Internet research business.
Todd Tresidder offers personal finance and investment coaching via his website FinancialMentor.
In both of these cases, Internet researchers who could have continued to sell their services through third-party sites decided to start their own businesses- and reap all the profits (and risks) as a result.
Getting new clients will probably be the trickiest part of starting your own Internet research business.
You will need to create a professional-looking website and business cards.
You will also need to network heavily.
Google Ads and Facebook ads may spark initial interest but in this line of work, a personal approach works best.
Consider joining your local chamber of commerce or civic association and marketing your services to local businesses.
Attend some professional happy hours in your chosen area(s) of expertise. Cold calling may also succeed if you’re comfortable speaking on the phone to business owners who could use your services.
You simply can’t be shy about tooting your own horn in this line of work- and putting an actual face on your business.
If you still find yourself stuck, The Association of Internet Researchers offers plenty of useful advice and networking opportunities for would-be Internet researchers. The AoIR also organizes several yearly conferences that enable you to hone your skills and make vital contacts.
For example, you could benefit by partnering with other AoIR members, gaining their client lists, and expanding your business offerings through them.
An Online Research Job is What You Make of It
You know that saying “you only get out what you put in”? This is certainly true of online research as a career and eventually as a business.
The more expertise and experience you accumulate, the more money you will make as an Internet researcher.
The more you market your services, the more clients you will gain.
If you are satisfied with just making a few bucks by answering Yahoo! Answers questions, then that’s exactly where your online research business will remain even after several years.
On the other hand, if you like helping people and are willing to learn, grow, and sometimes even take a few hits to your self-esteem, then this line of work could eventually become your calling.
You may also want to consider looking into getting paid to answer questions online. It’s a very similar field, but with more opportunities and higher pay rates. Although, you do need a little more specialized knowledge to get the big bucks.
On the other hand, if you have a legal background and like hands-on, up-close-and-personal research, being a court researcher may be more up your alley.
Ever considered being an online researcher? Have you ever applied for an online researcher job? Share your experiences with us in the comments!