How to Make Money as a Chat or Forum Moderator

By Linsey Knerl on 21 April 2015 1 comment

Many of the websites, games, social apps, and online stores we frequent feature user communities. These often use a message board or chat function to enable user communication and contact customer service. If you've wondered how these discussions seem to stay relatively civil (even in the day of the "troll"), the answer is simple — moderators.

What is a Chat or Forum Moderator?

These are the people who stay behind-the-scenes of online communities, giving users a safe way to resolve issues, as well as policing the most offensive communications. They can delete content, ban users, or simply be on-hand to answer questions as needed.

How Much Does This Job Pay?

Pay can range from minimum wage to $15-$17 an hour. It is similar in pay structure to work-from-home customer service phone rep gigs. Some jobs pay for the entire time you are monitoring the forums, while others may only pay you when you respond to issues that come up in a work queue (meaning that you can be away from the community until you are called in).

How Can You Get a Job as a Moderator?

Getting a job as a moderator may be as simple as applying for a posting on a jobs website, or it may require being part of an active online community until you've earned a respected place in it and can request pay. Often, you can do some research into the communities you're a part of and see if they have any openings on their "Careers" tab.

Sites that seem to hire moderator or chat reps frequently include MetaVerse Mod Squad, Lithium, ICUC, and eModeration.

What Skills or Equipment Are Required?

A good chat or forum moderator will have excellent people skills, possess the ability to spell well and communicate via the written word, be efficient with a computer, and can sit for long periods of time, often staring at threads of messages until their help is needed. Most job listings will describe tech requirements, but the majority require you to have your own desktop or laptop computer with a high-speed DSL or cable internet connection.

What's a day in the life of a moderator look like? It can vary, but according to Chelles of FitNPoor, there are definitely pros and cons.

Cons of Working as a Moderator

It can be difficult to keep your emotions under control when dealing with difficult people. "You have to put your personal opinions aside. There are so many times where my politics or my view points are trumped by the job need to moderate and keep discussion peaceful," Chelles says.

Your privacy is also not guaranteed. Chelles states that your personal information could be found, especially by passionate chatters who dislike you or your policies.

Pros of Working as a Moderator

One of the biggest advantages of this job is that you can work from home, and often, the hours are very flexible. This makes it an ideal option for students or stay-at-home parents, especially since the work environment doesn't have to be quiet.

If you love having power, this is the job for you. Chelles says that it certainly attracts a positive person that can keep a level head, but it does reward you in the sense that you are in control. Some people thrive on that kind of control.

There is also often a strong sense of community in most online forums, and this camaraderie can grow with time and involvement — especially as a moderator. Regular chatters on bigger sites recognize you and know your story; if you're the kind of person that makes friends easily online, this could be a very rewarding job for you!

Will you be exploring a job as a moderator? Why or why not?

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Guest's picture
Helena

I wish I could find a job in moderation. I even took an online course in content moderation and thus far no luck. I have applied to the places you mention. Never heard back. I hear about these jobs but never actually find many on Indeed or other job boards. Many want community *managers* different than a moderator. Some ask for college degrees or 2-3 years experience. It's pretty dishearting as it would be perfect for me.