Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Amazon Mechanical Turk - A Work From Home Freelance Job

Earn Some Cash Working From Home on MTurk and Have More Time To Explore!!

If you ask a few people what they think of Amazon's mechanical turk, you will likely get several different responses.  I'll admit, when I first stumbled across 'mturk' as it is known, I was quite intrigued.  Then I signed up and realized how things work over there. You do a task (they are called 'hits') and you submit it.  The requester then has to approve it, then payment is made.  However, there are some things you should know about mturk if you wish to make a go of it and make some real cash.  Do not be fooled into thinking that just because some of the tasks literally pay pennies that you can't make money on mturk.com.  To date, I have made over $400 on mturk and I only really used it for two months off and on.

Getting Paid on MTurk.com

Once you have over $1 in your mturk account you can use it to purchase amazon gift cards.  If you wait until you have over $10 in your mturk account you can transfer it to an attached bank account.  In my experience, the money is in your bank account the very next day, something you RARELY if ever find in a work from home job.  You don't have to worry about Paypal and the fees that they take out of payments you receive.  Even if you only make $10 every night on mturk, the next evening it will be there for you to spend.  What could be better than that?  As you can see, mturk is a great way to earn some pocket money while having fun at the same time.

Having Fun on MTurk And Making Money on Mturk

Mturk is filled with tons of different types of tasks, from audio/video transcription and article writing to surveys and user experience testing.  I have completed a $20 task before and I have also completed a $.01 task.  Some tasks take 1 minute and others take several hours.  The best way to look at it is the hourly rate.

For example, if you do a task for 50 cents that takes you 2 minutes to complete, that is a $15.00 per hour rate.  On the other hand, if you do a task for $2.00 that takes you twenty minutes to complete, that is an hourly rate of $6.00 per hour.

So be wise when selecting your hits and think of the bottom line rather than each individual payment.

Or if you just wish to use mturk for fun, there are a ton of surveys you can take and games you can play.  I love taking surveys and actually getting paid for them.  They are anonymous and interesting and some even allow you the chance to learn more about yourself while you make money.  Best of all, you get to know that you are participating in valuable research.  Right now there are a lot of political surveys up, so if you're into politics this is a great time to get on Mturk and start taking paid surveys about politics.

Avoiding Scammers on MTurk.com

One big problem with mturk is that scammers are free to submit what are called 'mass rejections' without any repercussion, regardless of if the rejections were warranted or not.  This then drives down the rating of the account that received the ratings.  Unfortunately even when mturk is made aware of a scamming requester they do nothing to restore the worker's feedback, so it is imperative that you avoid scammers at all costs to maintain a great approval rating.  There is a handy widget you can use called TurkOpticon which allows you to see reviews of every requester before you accept a hit.  If I had only known about TurkOpticon before the below story occurred, my mturk approval rating would still be 99.8% instead of barely 80%.

My Experience With An Mturk Scammer

One main reason I do not use mturk much anymore is that I did over 200 hits for a requester called 'Lighting Buff' who then went through and rejected about 95% of them for basically no reason.  The specific task showed a photo of a light fixture and asked which room in a house it should go in.  As this is really a subjective question (everyone has a different eye for design) there really couldn't be any wrong answers.  Every rejection had the same feedback, 'wrong room.'  Apparently chandeliers only go in dining rooms.  Crazy, considering I've never seen one in a dining room outside of a restaurant - all of the fancy houses I've ever been in with a chandelier had it in the entry way or 'grand hall' area.  But I digress.  This isn't about me, it is about you.  As long as you use TurkOpticon you will never fall victim to the same scam I did.  To check it out, click here.

The Bottom Line About Mturk

Mturk is an excellent way to make a bit of cash in your spare time.  Don't expect to become a millionaire or even a thousand-aire overnight with mturk.com, but you definitely can make cash on there.  To visit mturk, click here.

One last note before I call it a night: just so you know I'm not kidding about actually making money on mturk, check out this screenshot of my earnings statement direct from the 'Your Account' tab.

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