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Make money from home with MTurk, Amazon’s Mechanical Turk

If you’re skeptical about those work from home ads that promise to make you rich, join the club. It seems those types of scams are just about everywhere online. But I recently tested out a work from home opportunity from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. It’s NOT a scam. It WON’T make you rich. But it’s a LEGITIMATE WAY to make extra money from anywhere!

WHAT IS MTURK?

Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is a website that lists hundreds of thousands of mini-jobs (387,664 as of this writing) for workers to complete for a set price. The assignments are called Human Intelligence Tasks or HITs. Workers are given a specific amount of time to complete the tasks for a price that’s prominently displayed on the site. Workers can transfer their earnings to their bank account through Amazon Payments, which is similar to PayPal.

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TYPES OF HITs (HUMAN INTELLIGENCE TASKS)

— Transcribing from video, audio and text sources
— Surveys from reputable colleges and universities
— Rating the quality of images

HOW MUCH DOES IT PAY?

The pay varies depending on the type of HIT you’re completing, but it’s very low across the board. Some HITs pay a few cents and some pay a few dollars. Michael Naab recently told BudgetsAreSexy.com that you can make between $6 and $12 per hour on MTurk. The pay starts out lower, but when you complete more HITs, you’ll qualify to complete more lucrative HITs. He says he has made $20,000 on MTurk!

I made about $80 during my first 15 days of using Mechanical Turk. I’ve completed at least one HIT every day, and I finished about 150 on my most active day. I’m not exactly sure how many hours I spent working on the platform because most of the time I was watching TV or listening to music while doing my HITs. However, I think it’s fair to say that I fell into the $6 to $12 an hour range.

mturkhitprocedure

MY STRATEGY

After trying out many different types of tasks, I stumbled upon a client called CrowdSurf, a company that provides transcriptions and closed captioning. As an MTurk worker, I’ve transcribed more than 300 hits for them. The pay is low, about 10 cents per 20 second transcription, but CrowdSurf offers weekly bonuses for workers who complete a high number of HITs. The highest bonus is $50 for 1,000 HITs.

Going forward, I want to see if it’s possible to get the bonus if I concentrate solely on tasks from CrowdSurf. I noticed this week that CrowdSurf ran out of work by the weekend, so you might want to jump on the work during the week. I also plan to keep a log of my hours to give you a better idea about the pay rate. Look for an update in a future post.

MTurk first days

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF MTURK?

Pros:
— Work from anywhere with an internet connection
— Work as little or as much as you’d like
— Work is generally easy
Cons:
— Work can be mundane
— Some listing companies seem “sketchy”
— Can’t cash out for first 10 days

BOTTOM LINE

Do I think MTurk is a full-time job? No, not for most people. However, it’s not a bad way to make a few extra dollars during idle time. I could also see myself completing the tasks during downtime while pet-sitting, one of my side hustles. For those who are unemployed or working part-time jobs, MTurk might get you through a rough patch.

The secret with MTurk is to identify the best tasks and work quickly to complete them. I’ve listed a few resources below that can help you get started with MTurk.

MTurk Reddit
MTurk Forum
The Internet’s hidden science factory (PBS profile)
“I make $1.45 a week and I love it” (Salon profile) 

Have YOU had success with MTurk? Post a comment below or let me know about it on Facebook and Twitter.

2 comments

  1. When was the article written and posted? I see no date/time stamp anywhere.

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