WHAT IS IT
Today´s featured side hustle is writing textbook answers! I can only speak about what I know (or in this case, what Michael knows), and he´s been writing for Slader for about a year now. Of course he only does math (sorry Tonya), but other options include science, history, economics and geography.
Business Insider describes Slader: “Slader is the Wikipedia of homework. [The site] currently catalogs 450 math and science textbooks (more are added all the time) and lets students browse by chapter to a specific problem. Yes, the answer is there just like it would be at the back of a high school math book, but the answers are user-generated and quality controlled. Users write out all their work and explain specifically what they’re doing and why.”
For the readers: For copyright purposes, they don´t post the question on the website. You browse by the title of your textbook, the chapter, the page number. Then you see the answers you want.
For the writers: No one corrects your work before you submit it, but viewers can vote your solution up or down or post other (better) solutions. You get “gold” (points) for every solution you submit, and every time your solution is viewed if it´s the #1 solution for that problem. Then you can cash out your gold for real money they deposit into your PayPal account.
HOW I GOT INTO IT
You know how math textbooks usually only have the solutions to the odd-numbered problems in the back of the textbooks? Well, one day, Michael was happily doing his math, and realized he wanted to check his answer for an even-numbered problem. He googled it and came across Slader. The solution they had was terrible, so he submitted his own, and there he was, on his way to making Slader gold!
HOW MUCH DOES IT PAY
Every time your solution is viewed, and it´s the #1 rated solution for that problem, you get 1 gold. When you cash out, for every 1000 gold, you get $1. Michael hasn´t really gone crazy with it. He´s mostly just submitted the answers to problems he´s had to do for his own homework anyway. In one year (two semesters) he´s submitted 55 solutions, and gotten about 180,000 gold. That´s $180. Again, not a lot in a year, but he really hasn´t put ANY extra effort into it at all.
He cashes out every $50, and it goes straight into our PayPal account, then we deposit it into our checking account. He mainly uses the money to buy us things we´ve been postponing, because they weren´t urgent. It´s a nice little boost to our fun/spending money.
This summer, since he won´t be in school, he´s going to buckle down and try to submit as many answers as possible. He´s especially going to focus on lower level math, because as you can imagine, those are the ones most viewed. The kind of upper level stuff he´s been doing doesn´t have a huge audience. This should be quick and easy for him.
HOW TO PREP
Now listen, before you run away (if you haven´t already gone), let me assure you, you DO NOT have to be a rocket scientist to do this (but if you are, great! Hi Kirsten!). If you have kids in algebra, even pre-algebra, geometry, world history, biology, chemistry, whatever, you can do this!
WHY YOU’RE BETTER THAN THE COMPETITION
As you can imagine, some people just put in whatever answers because they´re trying to fill in things really fast, and their submissions are terrible. If you submit something well thought out, you´re probably going to be voted the #1 solution. This thing is kind of new, so there´s not really a lot of competition yet.
WHAT ELSE IS IN IT FOR YOU
You get to refresh your memory of high school, maybe junior high, or even college leveled stuff. I personally think knowledge is the prize unto itself, but this can be great prep if you´re thinking of taking on some tutoring on the side. It can also help you help your kids or friends working on the same kind of material.
MY WACKY STORY
No real wacky story here, but Michael does have one answer that´s kind of “gone viral” within Slader. It has been viewed something like 60,000 times, which is nuts. It still continues to get views all the time. His next 5 top viewed answers or so each have about 10,000 views, and the rest are about 2,000 and less.
Would you ever consider writing a few textbook solutions for a couple of extra bucks?