Yelp can be a major advantage, and disadvantage, for businesses. The site offers a way for customers to share their experiences and opinions, which can create buzz and attract customers.
But, did you know you can also get paid to write reviews on Yelp? For some people, this even ends up being a significant source of income. So, how do you go about it? And, for that matter, is the process worth it?
Writing Reviews For Money
Yelp is meant to provide an honest indication of which businesses perform well and which ones don’t. As such, you’re not meant to be able to make money from it. But, many people do. A similar pattern is true for other sites as well, such as writing Amazon reviews.
The general idea is that companies will pay for reviews to help boost their reputation. In most cases, they’re paying for positive reviews that also sound realistic. This means that you don’t need to have a meal at a restaurant or even visit the business in question.
However, you can’t just write a completely random review either. Instead, you need to be creating something that is realistic and believable. With a little effort and research, this is an achievable goal but first, you must get the work.
In most cases, companies won’t directly hire reviewers. Doing so would be inefficient and most wouldn’t know where to hire them anyway.
Instead, businesses will turn to middlemen. These are typically online companies that offer review services and then outsource the work to freelancers. So, to make money, you have to get involved with these companies.
How do you do so? Well, most of them won’t advertise directly online. That’s too risky. Instead, you need to find their recruiting ads.
For example, you’ll often see such ads on Craigslist and on similar sites. Many of them may make vague claims, like suggesting that you can get paid to go to restaurants, that type of thing. You would then be given further details when you inquired.
Freelancing sites are another place to turn. Many companies use these to recruit in a similar manner. Here, you can look for jobs that mention reviews. Some may even specifically talk about Yelp reviews, although most will probably be less specific.
Finally, you can turn to word of mouth. If you can find someone who does fake reviews, they may be able to get you in touch with who they’re working for. This isn’t easy, as most people aren’t going to admit it. Still, you can sometimes find threads on Reddit or on forums that give you information about writers in the field.
The Ethics Of Reviews For Money
Writing reviews for money is questionable at best. In most cases, you’re not actually breaking the law, especially if your fake reviews are positive.
However, you are breaking the rules of Yelp and may get your account closed as a result.
More than that, you’re misleading people. For example, fake reviews will often make businesses look much better than they actually are. Some people will end up going there and could be extremely disappointed.
Whether this matters or not depends on who you are. You might be completely fine with the idea. But, if you’re not, there are other ways to make money with reviews – such as music reviews or game reviews. With those, you’re getting paid for your actual opinion and there is more income potential as well.
Writing Negative Reviews For Money
There is also a market for writing negative reviews. In this case, companies would be wanting negative reviews of their competitors, in an attempt to decrease their popularity. Fewer websites offer this type of service, although some will.
From a financial perspective, this idea is roughly the same as a positive review. So, you’d be getting paid relatively little per review but you don’t actually have to go to the companies and your reviews can be entirely fake.
That being said, negative reviews are more ethically debatable. Basically, these have the potential to destroy businesses, making it much more difficult for them to ever be successful. That’s not something I would personally be comfortable with.
There might even be legal ramifications of doing so, as an unjustified negative review is essentially slander. Some people have even been subject to lawsuits because of negative reviews, although these typically find in favor of the reviewer.
Even so, it’s better to just stick with positive or neutral reviews. They’re simply safer overall.
Actually Writing The Reviews
In theory, you could actually go to the companies in question and then write your reviews. But, if you did that, you’d end up spending much more than you make. Plus, many companies that pay for reviews probably won’t be high-quality. After all, if they were any good, they wouldn’t need to bypass the system.
Writing fake reviews doesn’t have to be difficult. For example, one person talks about how she uses information from other reviews to guide what she writes, along with some creative writing.
Still, you do have to take the time to make sure your writing looks and sounds authentic. If it doesn’t, the company may not pay you or your entire account may get locked by Yelp. Either outcome isn’t good for your income.
In fact, Yelp watches out for fake reviews and will place alerts on companies that pay for reviews. So, you have to be good to even stay in the game.
Time Versus Money
The biggest issue with this field is that you’re not earning much money. Companies don’t pay all that much for reviews anyway and you’re only getting a fraction of that.
For people who are efficient at writing and research, the process may still be worth it. After all, it doesn’t take all that long to make up a review about a place, especially if you are good at doing research. And, there will normally be other reviews for you to go off.
Still, everyone will have different speeds and you do have to make your review look authentic. If you cannot do that quickly and efficiently, then this is probably the wrong direction to consider.
But, even if you are efficient, you’re just looking at a little bit of pocket money here and there – not a significant source of income. If that feels worth it to you, then it is a direction you can consider. If not, there are many other ways to make money from your writing.
Being An Elite Yelp Reviewer
A more authentic approach is to be an Elite review. This is a classification that Yelp offers and you need to be one of their top-tier reviewers to achieve it. This includes having a large number of positive and negative reviews on your profile, along with using your own name and image.
The site Wiki How offers some specific steps that can work – but the general idea is that you need to get attention to yourself as a reviewer and a person. This includes having a unique voice and posting plenty of pictures.
Members need to be re-approved as Elite reviewers each year and Yelp states that there is no specific set of criteria involved. But, the chosen reviewers are considered the ‘best of the best’ – so standing out is a must.
Elite reviewers don’t get paid for reviews, not directly. However, they will often get invited to free events, where restaurants and bars show off new products and promote themselves. The idea is that Elite reviewers have considerable sway, so companies will go out of their way to convince them.
There are other perks as well. For example, there are often events specifically for reviewers, which helps to create a strong sense of community. For many, being a member is simply fun and the freebies are a nice touch.
People with Elite status may also receive offers to get paid directly for reviews. This goes against Yelp’s terms and conditions, of course – so if you got caught, you could lose your status instantly. But, it’s easy to see why businesses would target this set of people.
For companies, a single review from an Elite member could dramatically impact their status. So, if they do offer to pay, you could potentially get $50 or more for a review. Even so, be careful. The reviews that Elites make are likely to be monitored much more carefully than regular Yelp reviewers.
Despite these advantages, the Elite program has some serious limitations.
For one thing, the workload is high. Elites are pressured to regularly attend events and post frequent reviews, in order to maintain their status. This can be stressful, especially if you have other obligations in your life.
Plus, Elite reviewers don’t actually get paid. There are many free perks and you might possibly get approached by companies that offer compensation for reviews. But, for the most part, you’re not going to be making money.
As a writer, you have an in-demand talent that can be used to earn you TONS of money online. Information is the currency of the internet! Learn how to create your own blog-style website and make money through advertising.
You can choose to promote affiliate products or just use general advertising that pays per click. Write daily on a topic you think is interesting, and you can make a bunch of money online doing what you love!
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