Yakko’s guide on making money on epinions.

Jan 21, 2006 (Updated May 22, 2011)

The Bottom Line Don’t expect to make much but there are ways to increase your income share.

Epinions does not share with us how the income share system works. They only provide subtle hints here and there. Which means members are forced to speculate. I therefore am writing down tips that I feel help increase income share.

Author’s note: I do not know the formula that epinions uses to determine how much money you make. What is written here is merely speculation based on what I have seen on my own account and conversations I have had with other members. I may or may not be correct so read at your own risk.

How much money can I make writing on epinions.com
How much do I make on epinions
Update.  An added comment.
The big question everyone want to know is how much money does one make?  It entirely depends.  My guess a couple of people make over 1k.  I know for a fact that a few people make money in the high 3 figure range.  I make money in the low to mid 3 figure range per month.  The month after December is the best.  So yes you should join epinions if you want a legitimate way to make money online.  But keep in mind that it takes work.  It has taken years to get up to this monthly income and it requires me to keep my TR hat active.  That's why I buy things in the OD category just to review.  It is not an hourly job.  It will never replace my teacher's salary or benefits, but it is a cool hobby.  So is the money worth it the first month you join?  Absolutely not.  Is it worth it 5 years down the line and do you still make money off the stuff you wrote 5 years ago?  Absolutely.  I don't have to write another thing again and I will still make money.  But I enjoy writing and I like this hobby.  Just keep in mind that I have some reviews that have earned me 10 cents in 5 years and I have some reviews that have earned me hundreds of dollars in the same time period.  So diversify and write on popular items.  And write lots of high quality reviews.  Don't write poorly written reviews.  Make sure each one is rated very helpful.

My opinion of what influences income share.
These are ranked from greatest influence to least influence, and based on my opinion of course.
-TR hat.
-People clicking on links while reading your review and/or buying products via your page.
-Number of people that have written for that product.
-Number of products a particular company has listed on epinions as well as number of reviews members have posted for that particular company.
-Hits to the review (this is an indirect influence).
-Your WOT.

Terms and abbreviations you need to know for this article.
IS-Income Share
TR- Top Reviewer.
WOT- Web of trust
H&G- Home and garden

Write a review for a product that has no other reviews.
Keep in mind that IS is shared with all of the other individuals that wrote a review for that given product. If you are the only one then you will get 100% of the IS in that category/product. If 100 people wrote a review then you will be splitting the IS with 100 other people, so you get less of the pie.
At the very least write a review that does not have a top reviewer (in any category) as an author. Even if the TR does not have a hat in that area they will still receive a bigger portion of the IS and a hatless person will make considerably less.

Review name brands.
Brand names do very well even if you give them a low rating. Popular brand names are searched more by visitors and shoppers are more likely to buy a major brand name instead of a lesser know brand (both on epinions.com and the search engines.) My Coleman reviews have done pretty well, whereas some of the lesser-known brands (REI, MSR, etc) do not do as well even though they are better products and I rated them higher.

Think about the seasons
As summer approaches I have found that a lot of my camping products do very well. For instance my tent stake collection receive 50-100 hits a month during the summer where as they average 5 hits a month in the winter.
As winter approaches a lot of winter related products do very well. Openroad’s winter bike trainer thingie always places high in the winter months but doesn’t seem to do as well in summer.

Write reviews that are in the news or heavily advertised.
The more news a product gets then the more hits you will receive because people want to be informed and/or buy it. For example, when grand theft auto was in the news it got a lot of hits and a higher IS. After that storm passed it fell off the charts. This is just another example of more hits translates to more opportunities for people to hit the links. You do not get income for the hits themselves.

Get a TR hat.
This makes the biggest difference of all. I estimate that a TR hat increases your income by 2-4 times from what it was when you were hatless. It also does not matter what the hat is in so pick a category you know a lot about and can do a good job writing in. The hat influence will affect your other reviews even if they are in another category.
I also did not notice any cumulative effective for having 2 TR hats as opposed to only having one.

Get an advisor hat?
An advisor hat has no real influence in IS but you do get a monthly income. From my conversations with others it seems like this is based on how much money the category made overall, not on how much you read and rate. You will also make more money if the category overall makes money. The monthly bonus is also shared relatively evenly (from what I can tell) between all the advisors. So categories with less advisors share get greater percentages of the pot.

Are there differences in categories?
Different categories and sub-categories do extremely well. H&G, Electronics, and Computer Hardware seem to do the best in IS. Digital cameras and Ipod’s are hot items right now. In outdoors bikes do very well.

Expensive items also do very well.
There is a positive correlation between the price of the object and the IS you get. My best IS from reviews come from equipment that cost $100 or more. I have seen this a lot with my H&G reviews.
For products like Cars this does not hold true in my experience.
If you have a choice of reviewing an expensive electronic product or an equally expensive book, you will always choose the electronic product if IS is your primary concern. This is because books, travel, and similar categories do not make much income.

Brands that do not have many products on epinions also do well.
When there was only 3 Dyson products, the individuals with Dyson reviews made pretty good IS. One TR made over $30 in one month’s time. I have seen that review reduced greatly because of the number of hated people that own Dyson’s as well as many more Dyson products have been posted on epinions.com.

Use key phrases for search engines
This is the best way to increase your IS. In general, the more hits you get the more IS you will get. This is not because you get money for hits but you get more chances that a visitor will chick on a link, or even better buy a product from a partner site.
MobiProf talked about this with his lollipop effect analysis.

Increase your WOT
I think the WOT does influence IS. Epinions has stated this and I believe I have seen some influence of it over my stay here. If nothing else, the WOT will help with your review ranking, but only a little.

Do not write guides.
Guides make very little income. For me they are fun to write and I get quite a bit of e-mail from them, but not income. My reward is in sharing my knowledge and opinions with others.

Do not write in travel
For me this is a fun category to write in, so I enjoy it. But if IS is your concern then do not write in it. I average 2-3 cents a month for my Disney reviews so you can tell I’m not doing them for the money.

Do not write in gifts.
For that matter, don’t write in a category that epinions is having trouble cataloging. Gifts have been having some problems and several of my gift reviews stopped making money last April til last fall. Not worth it if IS is your primary concern.

Ok, but how do I get the best income
If you are determined to make a lot of money then there is only one way that I know of. First get a hat. Pick a category you feel you are an expert in and start writing. If you write well and provide a lot of information then you will get noticed. The best way to do this is to write detailed reviews and throw a few guides in along the way. And it never hurts to get on the good side of the lead.
After that you then need to find some way to get a hold of a lot of digital cameras, computer hardware, mp3 players, laptops, expensive household equipment, expensive outdoor equipment, etc. I know of one user that buys and sells all of his electronic equipment on e-bay. He buys it on e-bay, uses it, reviews it, then sells it to another individual. If you are able to do that then you will do very well here in terms of IS.
And finally you need to study how search engines work and put in key phrases in your reviews that you think people might type into a search engine.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of making it rich here then you need to think again. You will not get rich as a member. But if you enjoy writing and sharing information with others then I would encourage you to write here. The true income is not in the money. It is in the exchange of ideas and the occasional friendship that develops.

Other guides you may be interested in.
My advice to new members.

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About the Author

Epinions.com ID:
Member: Alan Lake
Location: Riverside, California
Reviews written: 703
Trusted by: 264 members
About Me: "If we all_reacted the same_way we'd be_predictable, and there's_always more_than one way to_view a_situation."