This initial phase is at the level of apprentice, which is an unpaid training period. Some guides advance to the next level, which is pro, in as little as 30 minutes or as much as a few days, depending on their comfort level with technology and their ability to accurately respond to the search queries they're given.
Guides won't take on real queries or begin to make any money until they've mastered the basic training. So there's no guarantee of income until you've passed the training phase.
Pros make $5 per search hour. The next level is master, which is also paid at $5 per search hour, plus the added ability to earn commissions for referring friends, if they become guides.
The top level is elite, which earns $10 per search hour.
There are two ways to get paid: One is by debit card where guides are paid on demand, which means as frequently as desired. There's a $2 fee each time payment by this method is selected.
ChaCha sends guides a debit card, and the money is instantly credited to the account so that guides can go out and spend it.
The other method of payment is by direct deposit, where payment is once a month and there are no fees.
Some people aren't comfortable providing their banking information, or they don't have an account, which is why ChaCha says it offers both payment methods.
There is no cost to getting started, and there are no fees, but there is also no payment while guides train.
Of course guides must maintain their own computer and Internet access.
Keep in mind that ChaCha is in an experimental stage right now. There are still kinks to work out, as the system grows from 7,000 guides to an expected 50,000 by year's end.
If you don't mind being part of the growing pains, and you thrive on the challenge of getting involved in a new system and learning the new technology, you can start today.
If, however, you prefer to start when it's a less bumpy road, consider waiting a month or so.
As with any opportunity to make money, only you can decide whether it's right for you.
Tory Johnson is the workplace contributor on "Good Morning America" and the CEO of Women for Hire. Connect with her directly at www.womenforhire.com.