Shmoop: A Funny Name with Some Serious Opportunity
Learning, although necessary, is not always fun. Sitting in a classroom listening endlessly to lectures, taking pages of notes and cramming for dozens of tests is no kid’s idea of a good time. The same goes for preparing for standardized tests like the SAT, GRE and ACT. These tests are the only way to further your education if you want to go to college and graduate school. A fairly new website called Shmoop is hoping to change the attitude kids (and adults) have towards learning.
What is Shmoop?
The company was founded by David Siminoff, an investor and entrepreneur who holds an MBA from Stanford Business School. His goal was to make subjects like literature, history, science and math more accessible to students by making it fun and relating it to modern events, people and places. By injecting humor, wit and familiarity to things like algebra, United States history, biology and poetry, students will not feel overwhelmed by the material and will have a way of understanding these subjects better.
The study guides that Shmoop creates are interesting and fun. They create and prepare content for test preparation in a wide variety of subjects. Aside from students who find the website helpful, teachers and parents who homeschool their kids are also popular users of the website. (See my post, Online Tutoring and Education Jobs – Work From Home to check out more jobs just like this one.)
Shmoop Jobs That are Work at Home
Shmoop has many home-based jobs available that are listed on their site. However, Shmoop does not accept anyone who wants to work from home. You are required to have a degree. They also prefer people with educational backgrounds (i.e., teachers, professors), but that is not necessarily a must. But most of the people that contribute to Shmoop do have some sort of background in education. As their website clearly states, “Shmoop has a rigorous and highly selective process to select new contributors.”
If you think they are exaggerating on this fact, consider this:
• A majority of their writers are Ph.D.s and Ph.D. candidates from some of the top universities in the United States
• Eighty-five percent of their writers are graduates or students from the country’s top Ph.D. and Masters programs
• Two-thirds of their editorial team come from Ph.D. and Masters programs at Stanford, Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley
• Ninety-one percent of their writers have taught at the high school or college level
• Their writers are academic specialists in just about everything — from Shakespeare and Victorian literature to 1800s American politics and the history of hip-hop
What Types of Jobs are Available on Shmoop?
While there are some administrative and computer-related jobs listed on their site, these are not work-from-home opportunities. However, there is a long list of test guides and content writing jobs that need to be filled such as an AP Psychology Writer, Basic Math Content Writer, Humorous Content Writer, African-American Literature, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP World History, Biology and Chemistry Writers and many others.
Many of the jobs are project based so you will get paid per project. There are very specific requirements for each one so you want to make sure you have the background and/or experience and expertise they are looking for to fill that particular writing job. Some of the writing jobs are on a specified subject (as mentioned in the previous paragraph) and some are for writing test guides for students who need to take tests like the SAT to apply to college.
The good news is that just about all of their writing jobs can be done from home as long as you meet their eligibility requirements. When you go to their job listings, find one that interests you and click on it. You will then be shown a full description of what the job entails and whether or not it can be done from home. If not, it will say that the work must be performed in their Mountain View, California location. They almost always ask for a writing sample and what you would like to get paid for the job.
How Do You Get Paid?
Pay is given on a per project basis so there is no salary per se. There is also no mention of how much they pay or even a range of payment. They simply mention that you get paid for the particular project you are hired to do. There is a job listing from last year where Shmoop had the pay range between five hundred dollars and one-thousand dollars for a completed writing project, but that is from a year ago and is no guarantee that they are paying the same amount now. However, it does provide at least some idea that you can use when submitting your resume, writing samples and compensation request.
Because Shmoop has somewhat strict guidelines for writing content as well as for their test prep guides, you cannot expect to finish their projects in a short period of time. There needs to be real thought and effort that goes into doing work for them. Remember, your facts have to be exact, the writing has to be in the voice that Shmoop is looking for—engaging, witty and fun—and it has to be educational. So any writing assignment you do for them will take a number of hours to complete so take that into serious consideration when you are giving your pay request.
Other Services Provided by Shmoop
In May of this year, Shmoop launched “Shmoop Careers” on their site. This section is designed to help people choose a career path or understand what is involved in a specific career. Whether you want to be an actuary, an air traffic controller or an embalmer, Shmoop gives you everything you need to know about these jobs. They will explain what your typical day working in a specific career might be like, what the salary range is, what you would need in terms of qualifications and much more. It is a brief, but in-depth synopsis of a career and what you can expect to get out of it. They continue to update the list of Shmoop jobs — so always come back and see what they have open.
Is Working for Shmoop a Legitimate Work-from-Home Opportunity?
Shmoop is, by all means, a great opportunity to work from home. The only caveat is that it is not for anybody and everybody. There are very specific requirements that need to be met and even if you are a college graduate, that is no guarantee that you are going to get a job writing for them. You will have to undergo a rigorous hiring process and if you do not have the chops to back up your resume or experience, you will most likely not get hired. However, if you do prove yourself to be worthy enough to meet their high standards, you can earn a considerable amount of money writing for them. And if your work lives up to their expectations, you can probably expect to continue working for them indefinitely.
Check out all the latest open Shmoop jobs here.