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Making Money With Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk

Updated on December 1, 2011

I have been using Amazon.com's Mechanical Turk service on and off for a little while now. For those that don't know, it is a place where you can log in as a worker and do simple data entry type work for requesters and get paid a few cents a task to do it. In my experience with the site, I haven't made a lot of money at once. I do enjoy it as a time killer at home when the baby is asleep or the wife is watching X-Factor, and the fact is it has helped me buy some DVDs and games from amazon.com I normally wouldn't have been able to get had I not done it.

I decided to do a simple experiment one day. I would take an hour and try to see how much money I could make in that time frame.

I logged on and the first thing I did was search for surveys. In my experience, these pay the best for the amount of time you put in them. I avoid the ones that pay a nickel and say they will take a half hour. Not worth my time when I can find several that'll pay .50 for a few moments of my time. I find one that pays 2.00 and I am all over it. Turns out it is not a survey, but a data entry job. The only requirement is that you have to stay on the survey site for at least ten minutes. Five minutes in, I've input all the data required and I just open another window and read an article while my time runs out.

I submit and move on to another survey that'll pay a dollar. Not too shabby. I spent another ten minutes on it. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember a small detail from a paragraph eight pages back after a few pages of unrelated questions and it disqualified me for my payment. Ten minutes down the drain without so much a penny to show for it. Sigh.

Moving on, here was a sentence rewriting task. The goal is to take the proffered sentence and rewrite it to read differently but essentially say the same thing. Easy as pie. I knock out about six of these in a ten minute period for a whopping three cents each. A grand total of eighteen cents. In my experience in the turk world, that's not too bad. Like I said, you don't get rich at this kind of thing.

For my last task, I find an article writing assignment. Write a 600 word article on the subject presented and make sure it's not a copy and paste job. I've taken a few of these over my time and they are usually easy money. Make sure you can string a sentence together and be coherent on your subject and you're usually fine. I spent the rest of my time typing this bad boy out for an eye popping three bucks!

After an hour of doing tasks and given time between to search for tasks, I made a grand total of five smackaroos and some change, pending acceptance. Not exactly minimum wage, but I've done worse on the vast wastelands of mturk before. If I can manage five bucks a day over a weeks time, that'll equal out to a nice used Wii game. I can deal with that.

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      DustyF 5 years ago from Texas

      I've never really been cheated, even though there have been a couple of times requesters didn't pony up because of some stupid reason or another.

      It is a lot of work for hardly any pay, but as I said, it's a good way to kill a little time and make a few bucks here and there. I can definitely see how people could get frustrated with it.

    • tryonlinework profile image

      tryonlinework 5 years ago from USA

      Mturk does have some decent task on there website. I never had a trouble with Mturk but some of the tasks are small amount for alot of work.

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 5 years ago from USA

      I have not done anything with MT for some time. I found that I spent more time looking for tasks than anything. Then I got cheated several times, so I stopped. A lot of spam jobs were appearing to which was ridiculous, where you had to sign up on client site to do a task. No way. But if too tired to rack your brain, can pick up some bucks while watching T.V.