So has anyone made enough money with yahoo answers that the time it takes to answer the questions is worth it?
I have made quite a bit of money with YA. I've had individual products that I promote through YA that have made over $1000/month.
Here's what I do.
#1. Search for open answers only.
#2. Answer the question that someone is asking. I list this because 9/10 when I see people using YA to make money they are not directly answering the question, just spamming with their links. Actually focus on a good answer, and always think "Will this help this person". If your answer will help someone it will likely never be considered spam.
If you open a new account you'll need to answer a bunch of questions in order to get enough points to be able to actually create clickable links.
One way around this is to go over to a place like fivver and simply pay someone with a level 2-5 account to post for you. You can always find someone to do all of this for you while you work on other aspects of your business.
The other mistake I see a lot on YA is people just toss up a BITLY link or a standard affiliate link. Many times this will get you labeled as spam and get your link and post taken down. The best way around this is to simply grab a domain and redirect your affiliate link in the domain. Just make your your registrar can do forwarding, some make you pay for it. Godaddy or angry chihuahua domains has this feature for free.
I know it will cost you a little bit up front $10 (don't buy a .info for this - use a .com .or or .net). This technique will get you far more clickthroughs and sales though.
Optionally, you can direct people to an article of yours that promotes a product instead. This takes a person to content, which means less likely to be considered spam, more likely to get clicks ad less complaints over all.
Just pay someone at fivver to do everything for you and simply give them the domain you want to promote.