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How to Earn Money Online with Amazon's Mechanical Turk-mturk

Updated on May 13, 2012

If you've ever had the misfortune of doing an internet search for "making money from home", you know there are thousands and thousands of bogus programs and scams out there. I thought I'd take a few moments and share how I've been making extra income for my family in my spare time these last weeks. It's from a site called Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, for short. Amazon hosts the service where users can work on small jobs, or HITS (human intelligence tasks), for varying amounts of pay.

The Pros

  • You can work as little or as much as you like
  • There are thousands and thousands of tasks available
  • There are a huge variety of different tasks you can be paid for.
  • Most of these task are simple and short to complete.
  • The money you earn can be directly deposited in your bank account, or used on the Amazon website.

The cons

  • The pay is low. Usually very low.
  • Many of the tasks are boring.
  • There are scams to avoid, just like everywhere else on the web.

So Whats the Catch?

There isn't one that I've encountered so far. I have made over 100.00, in my spare time, in less than two weeks. You are required to be active on the site, completing at least one HIT a day, for 10 days before you can receive your first payment. I think this is primarily just a way Amazon can ensure you are not a bot. After my first 10 days I was able to make the first transfer to my bank account. It posted the very next business day. I used some of that 75.00 I'd earned for groceries and necessities for my family.

I wouldn't count on making a living from this site. It's a great time waster. I really enjoy watching the numbers tick upward, even if it is relatively slow. My favorite HITS to do so far have been surveys and small writing tasks.

For those looking to make more on Mturk, look into getting qualified for some of the higher paying gigs. If you are already a proficient writer, which great grammar, many of the article writing HITS might be up your alley. If you are quick with words you can make cash fast summarizing articles in 50-100 world snippets.Transcribing also appears to be pretty lucrative for those with fast typing skills. I personally haven't checked this out yet. I can type reasonably fast, but I doubt I can type fast enough to make these profitable. Most importantly I doubt very much I would find those type of HITS very fun. Of course that is the real plus to Mturk. There is a wide array of different HITS available to you. Choose what looks enjoyable, or at least uncomplicated, and get to work.

Things to Consider Before Getting Started

Before you get started there are a few things to keep in mind. For the first 10 days you can only complete 100 HITS a day. That may seem like a lot, but if you do 100 HITS that pay only pennies each you will walk away with only a few bucks for all your hard work.

These very low paying HITS do have one advantage though. They help you raise your Total Number of Approved HITS. Some requester on MTurk require a certain number of approved HITS before you can accept their tasks. Reaching 500, or even 1000, approved HITS, will come with time. Use some of the quick to do, but low paying HITS, to increase your approved HITS score faster.

If It's Too Good to be True, It Probably is Watch out for the scammers on MTurk. Unfortunately some of the very good paying HITS are scams. I've seen some claiming to pay as much as 90.00, but they want all your personal information. Never give out your identifying information. Chances are they will just steal your information and never pay.

The Turkopticon Toolbar is a great tool to help you avoid scammers. It's a free add on for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. Other MTurk workers, just like you, use this add on to review requesters. Users can rate requesters on important things like how fast they pay, how fairly they judge work done, and how soon they respond to questions. Once installed, the add on is very easy to use. I have nothing but positive things to say about the Turkopticon toolbar. If you plan on doing any work on MTurk I would advise on installing it first.

Approval Rating is very important on MTurk. If a requester rejects your work, for any reason, it is reflected in your approval rating. Some of the best HITS require a high approval rating. If your approval rating drops too low you might find it hard to find quality HITS to complete. Using common sense, and only working for requesters with a high Turkopticon rating go a long way in keeping your approval rating high. Most important, make sure you are doing quality work. Read all the instructions carefully. If you don't think you can adequatly complete the HIT it's probably better to return it and find something else.

For stay at home moms just wanting to add a few bucks here or there, I find Mturk perfect. I can work a few minutes here or there between housework and tending to my child. Some of the mindless data entry HITS can be completed while watching TV.

While Mturk is probably never going to make you rich, it's a great way to earn a little extra spending cash. I hope you can use this information your advantage.


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    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Thanks for the comment TToombso8! Glad you found it useful.

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Great information, ASchwartz! Thank you! I've been thinking about checking out MTuck and I think you just swayed me towards it. :)

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 5 years ago

      Okay, I'll probably blog about it on Serpie the Spider if I do it.

    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Let me know how it goes if you do.

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 5 years ago

      Not yet. I've heard you can make $9 to $13 an hour. Ugh. I might apply just out of curiosity though.

    • ASchwartz profile image

      ASchwartz 5 years ago from Kentucky

      I had someone warn me off from cha cha so I never really gave it a chance. Have you used it?

    • profile image

      Chris Hugh 5 years ago

      How do you think it compares to Cha Cha?