My buddy Jesse turned me on to a creative new way to make money online. A new site called Solution Auctions is marketing itself as an online marketplace for problems and solutions. Here’s how it works:
Someone has a problem and goes to Solution Auctions to search through the existing solutions that have already been posted to the site. If they can’t find what they need they can post the question themselves and let bidders compete to find a solution for the lowest price.
Sounds similar to the Yahoo Answers program right? Well yes and no. The question and answer format is similar to Yahoo’s version but since this is a paid model it is targeting a different audience. Yahoo Answers is good for entertainment purposes but I wouldn’t put much stock in any of the replies I received there. There is a great deal of misinformation floating around on that site.
Solution Auctions is actually more like the old Google Answers program. Google’s version was also a paid model in which people would pay for the answers they received. Of course the paid answers were much more detailed and usually came complete with reference links showing where the answer came from.
Google Answers never really took off but most people who participated agree that it was a very effective system that just didn’t get enough attention from its owner. With all of the different projects Google had going on, the Answers program got pushed aside and was eventually terminated.
This is where Solution Auctions comes in. They are taking the promising idea that Google started out with and hoping to execute it more effectively. It’s a tough proposition but they think they can pull it off.
So how does this help you make extra money? Well, let me ask you a question. Is there something you would consider yourself an expert in? Or if not an expert, at least more knowledgeable than the average person? For me, it is my ability to build websites. Building sites really isn’t that difficult but I’d say the great majority of people have no idea how to do so. To them I’m an expert. But what are you an expert in?
C’mon think about it…there has to be something. Maybe you’re a mechanic who can tell what’s wrong with a car just by listening to the engine idle. Or perhaps you’ve had a lot of experience with children and you’ve got some never fail tips for getting them to sleep through the night.
Why not turn your knowledge into cash? You can begin selling solutions by browsing the various categories and searching for problems that you can answer (the site is still new so traffic is just starting to pick up). If you can’t find anything you can answer you can create the solution yourself and post it for sale. Then when someone comes to the site with a problem they’ll find your answer and you’ll get paid!
Time will tell if the market will bear Solution Auction’s business model, but I think it has some potential. And while you probably won’t get rich selling solutions, if you use a little creativity you should be able to at least earn a little side income.