Could You Earn Real Money On Amazon Mechanical Turk?
The other day, I was introduced to a survey and task site known as Amazon Mechanical Turk. Amazon Mechanical Turk, or Mturk is a website where companies post simple jobs or tasks with a small payout after finishing that task. This money can eventually be either put straight into one's Amazon account or be direct deposited into their bank account. I decided that I would spend an hour on Mturk and see for myself if it is really worth one's time.
I first created an account in only a few minutes, but was told to wait up to 48 hours for my account to be authorized before I could start working on the small jobs called hits. Fortunately, only 2 hours later I received an e-mail stating that I had been authorized because I probably would already would have forgotten about Amazon Turk in 48 hours.
An Hour On Amazon Turk
0:00 -To begin, I just decided to go for the first hit that I was qualified for. This happened to be a transcribing task where I typed handritten numbers into a small text box for $0.02 cents each. It didn't take much thinking and I whipped out about 6 in 5 minutes. However these were quite easy, and $0.12 cents in 5 minutes or a $1.44 an hour didn't seem quite worth it.
0:06 -I then decided that maybe I would take a shot at the great abundance of survey hits that were available. My first survey asked to respond to a few News headlines for $1.00. This only took about 4 minutes. Much more worth my time.
0:10-I actually enjoyed the second survey very much. It was a decision making survey worth $0.75, however I clicked on the particular hit because it said that I had the ability to earn up to an extra dollar. In this survey I was given certain amounts of virtual money and had the choice of giving, investing, or taking money from other "participants". It felt sort of like a game. It took about 8 minutes and I earned an extra $0.44 bonus. Not great, but not bad either.
0:19 - I continued for the next 20 minutes working on surveys. I did a $0.50, $0.80, $0.50, and $1.00. A tip for the surveys: most of the surveys are very short and don't even get close to the 30 minute or 45 minute that is allowed to complete the task. For the short amount of time.
0:40 - While looking at what my next Mturk adventure would be I noticed that there were quite a few tasks that required a qualification or qualification test. I made a mental note to look deeper into these for further explanation, but didn't want to spend the time to take tests that were unpaid at the moment.
Update: Qualifications are certain requirements that you must have or attain to be able to do certain tasks. Most were as simple as taking a questionnaire. Unfortunately most tests would not allow to be taken more than once and if you fail, you will not be allowed to do those tasks at all. The benefit of achieving these qualifications are that you usually get to do higher paying tasks and tasks writers can contact you through amazon turk to continue doing those types of tasks.
0:42 - I chose to do a few more lower paid tasks just to see if any could be done faster. I chose a task where you search for a given word in the screen's search bar that brings up an array of youtube videos for $0.05 each. In the videos you just clip it to a scene where it was describing the original given word. After doing the first video, I was able to churn out another 8 of them in less than 5 minutes. $0.45 in that time frame is ok.
0:43 - Wasted one minute being frustrated that I lost one of my videos clipping submitions by not clicking on "submit" before clipping the video. This is tricky because your work may be accepted on the screen, however your tasks isn't officially completed until that button is clicked. Make sure to always click "submit" before doing any work!
0:45 - By sorting the hits by cost, I was able to avoid the smaller paying hits altogether. This saved quite a bit of searching time. I cruised now through slightly higher hits. (at this moment I just put the search at $0.50 or higher).
0:46 - Sorting was a godsend, because I found myself on a task where I look up a restaurant on a company's website and write a 50 word review for $1.50. Not only did this only take 5 minutes to complete, but the task allowed for double submission if you reviewed a completely different restaurant. $3.00 in 10 minutes? I would thumbs up that!
0:57-I started to slow down and looked at my overall success (if you want to call it that). To my surprise I already had $2.44 worth of approved hits and $1.32 paid into my account! (I will mention that you are not allowed to transfer any earnings until ten days after your first approved hit)
Altogether I found that I earned a total $8.49! This amount is however pending approval and payment from all the hits.
What I think
What do I think?
I found that you can make ACTUAL money on MTurk. Is it enough to live on? Probably not. I wouldn't go quitting a day job or any job for that matter to sit and fill out surveys all day. Although if you want to earn a few extra dollars here or there while watching TV, then go for it! Mturk looks like it could be a useful way of filling up small spaces of time, however I would recommend murk with a job that finds yourself with large spaces of time that could be filled with money-making opportunities.
I decided that I will be continuing the goal of either doing one hour or $5.00 worth of Mturk every day (whichever comes first) to learn the bells and whistles so I can write an update post of tips and results. I feel that I will better answer a lot of the qualification questions you all may have or how to benefit even more from Mturk! Stay tuned!