Making money on Amazon MTURK
What is MTURK?
Just a brief overview here, and then I will move on to my personal experience and honest review of my own experience and tips to help you move along as an MTURKER.
Amazon MTURK is a way for people to make money on the internet. I will explain it to you how my 15 year old son explained it to me. "You do small tasks for people and they pay you"
Here is the help page with more detailed info https://www.mturk.com/mturk/help?helpPage=overview
It is just that simple, this grabbed my attention first to make sure my son was not getting involved with something that would get him in trouble or rip him off. Once I went to the site and seen the Amazon name and logo I felt comfortable knowing this was completely legitimate. I mean come on, Amazon is a HUGE company and is trusted! My first thought was wow, this seems legit but what is the catch here? My son tried to explain it to me but I wanted to see for myself, I was interested in making a few dollars myself and it gave me a great conversation piece and something to share with my son.
So I set up an account at https://www.mturk.com There is a waiting period to get approved. I was approved within 24 hours. I am not sure what criteria they use to approve.
I will warn you, this is NOT a get rich quick deal, however if you want to make some money for small bills, utilities, power etc.. or just some free cash flow to have fun this is GREAT! I love it myself, for me it is just a few dollars here and there to have a nice steak dinner and some spending cash on hand for fun.
Starting out on MTURK
So just so you know, there are websites that have a lot of info and make turking a tad bit easier, here are a few
https://greasyfork.org/en/scripts/by-site/mturk.com - get all the scripts you can here, most are simple one click installs and pain free!!
This is NOT a step by step guide, there are some on the net, to me mturk is so simple a guide is really not needed. But there are things about mturk that a lot of folks don't know that can save you time and the dreaded rejects. I am going to speak on my experience on mturk so far. Again I only use it for fun money :)
You can make as much as you want if you have time, patience and fortitude and discipline!
Your first goal is to get to 1000 hits! 1000 approved hits, rejected and unapproved hits do not count towards your approved hits, you need a solid 1000 approved hits to reach master turk level. Think of it as playing a game where you level up, only in the mturk game you not only level but make money doing it, what other game does that? NONE!
Getting to 1000 approved hits is mind numbing to say the least and it is a pain! I have a full time job, kids and somewhat of a life so time is not on my side as far as grinding out to 1000. It took me a few weeks, at first you are limited to 100 hits a day for 10 days, some achieve their 1k hits in that time but I am sure there are not a lot of folks that make it. After 10 days you can do as many hits as you want. I took the patient approach, again, I was not in need of money and took it as more of a challenge than anything. If you try to grind it out fast you face rejections and rejections can hurt you badly in the long run.
The hits you have to do to get to 1k are going to have you making a dollar or two an hour if you are lucky, one thing about mturk you need to understand is there are people on mturk that have NOTHING and a penny makes the difference between eating something or starving!! People in other countries where a penny means a lot are making it very hard to make real money doing this.
Getting to 1000 approved hits.
Getting to 1k is not hard but I will give you some really good advice, treat every single hit as if it paid very well and have integrity about your work, it will speak volumes about you later as a turker. I mostly did penny hits to get to 1k, it was a serious pain and it took forever. I limited myself to an hour a day most of the time, too much time will cause one to be careless and make mistakes and get rejects. When I got to 1k I had 6 rejects. It WILL happen, you WILL get rejects and most of the time it will be because you did not complete a step or did not pay attention.
I will tell you that having distractions around, TV, Music, people talking etc.. will cause you to make these mistakes. Really try your best to avoid these distractions.
I have read forums where people say once you reach 1k hits you are in the money, NO YOU ARE NOT! It just means you spend less time making money and have access to better hits. Once you get to 1k hits the flood gates open, well kind of, you can start doing exclusive hits like surveys and studies. Yeah yeah, you have probably heard of making money doing surveys a million times online by now, I have too and I have tried almost all of them and they are bad. mturk surveys are real and pay ok money.
1000 approved hits!
I remember the moment when I thought I hot the 1k mark, my son was on his laptop and me on mine and I yelled I "I MADE IT!!!!" We both clapped and enjoyed the moment. I quickly typed survey to see f the flood gates have opened for me... nothing... nothing was different.. I thought for sure I had the green light. I closed my laptop and was disappointed.
The next day I got back on mturk to check out how much money I had made, I noticed that I had over 1k hits but only 958 were approved.. "ahhhh" I get it, I got to get to 1k approved and FAST, so I started doing penny hits like crazy, up to this point I only had 2 rejects, well because of my haste that was about to change.
I was getting rejects everyday trying to get to that golden 1k. It was a huge concern as I was frantically doing hits to make it, I stopped paying attention to detail and got careless. And paid the price. I was not upset because I really put my heart in to it getting to this point and had a great rating and after-all, it was more of a game than anything to me.
So a little over a month after starting mturk I finally got to 1k hits and made $165.14 along the way. I did not keep track of hours spent to make that money or to get to 1k hits, I was just excited I met my goal and THAT made it worth it to me.
So, now I am at 1k approved hits... I typed survey and BOOM the flood gates are open for me!! I now see all the cool hits that pay pretty good that I can do. I was excited and started doing my first hits, I prefer surveys and studies as they pay good verses the penny hits. But now the risks have gone up with the pay.
Surveys and Studies
So now I can do the money hits, it is not all fame and fortune. The thing you need to know about this is, these surveys and studies are for the most part performed by Universities and are academic in nature, they have a very low budget and every job means a lot so of course they want to make the most of their money and get the best results and they deserve that! I will stop now and say if you can not do their hits with integrity don't accept the hit! Point blank!
The students that are paying you need the information to be accurate and unbiased. I personally take surveys and studies seriously. Maybe I can help and can tribute or maybe not. And f you take them seriously there may be a bonus to you, I have received a bonus often.
Another thing to look for are the penny surveys as they tend to lead to BIG money payoffs and a nice bonus. Always look for these.
I wish you the best on your mturker career, if you do well I am sure this will be something you can always turn to when you need a few dollars when you want!
I may come back often and update this. I hope this helps you in your journey to make a few dollars.
here are some tips that will make you a better mturker.
- Always be honest doing hhits
- Look out for tricks that will prevent you from getting paid and being honest, questions that ask you to say something, click the forward button or select a specific option, almost all surveys and studies have attention checks!
- Watch the time allotted for hits, there are some folks that want free work and set the timer very low, by the time you finish the hit and return to enter the code the hit is expired. Try to make a habit of looking to make sure the timer is sufficient.
- Read reviews if the requester has no rating, there are scammers that want free work, there will be times when you complete a study and the code will not be there.
- Penny hits for surveys can lead to very nice pay if you do well and participate.
- Requester's LOVE feedback, especially when they ask for feedback on a particular subject, not the end comment section but sometimes they want to know other forms of feedback like for what you saw during the survey. I have received some really nice bonus's for given meaningful feedback, even if it was a penny hit or a hit that paid low.
- Give good requesters good ratings on https://turkopticon.ucsd.edu/, you may not get a bonus but you will be helping the next guy by letting them know the requester is good or bad.