Is Amazon Mechanical Turk Worth It?

Time consuming tasks for low pay, is Amazon Mechanical Turk worth it?

There are 500,000 MTurk workers around the U.S. seem that seem to think MTurk is worth it (figure according to Forbes).  It is a great site for little bits of productivity during breaks and downtime, but steady work can also add up to a $10 an hour job if you know your way around the site.

MTurk can be daunting at first, though.  It is a little intimidating to see so many task options at start up, you’re unsure about which of them will be a huge waste of your time.

And I’m sure that most of you were just as surprised as I was to log onto the site for the first time and see .01 and .03 cent tasks.  I didn’t stay long for that visit, that’s for sure.

Related:  List of Amazon Mechanical Turk alternatives, including UK and Canada equivalents.

But there are many different reasons why a person would purposely choose to work for such low, unappealing rates.  The experienced MTurk worker knows that those low rates can add up fast.  It’s all about learning from your mistakes and figuring out which tasks will bring in the most money.


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How does Amazon Mechanical Turk work?

 

Is MTurk worth the pennies it pays out?

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTurk is a crowdsourcing site.  Crowdsourcing is a way for an employer to get help from the masses of willing people to do his work or complete tasks for a per-task payment.  A few examples of these task would be:

  • Select the correct spelling for these search terms
  • Is this website suitable for a general audience?
  • Find the item number for the product in this image
  • Rate the search results for these keywords
  • Are these two products the same?
  • Choose the appropriate category for products
  • Categorize the tone of this article
  • Translate a paragraph from English to French
The majority of the tasks, or HITS, available on MTurk are incredibly simple and can be done very quickly.  Others are harder and not worth the small payment offered.
You, as a worker, are offered small tasks to do, and shown the exact payment you will receive after you’ve successfully completed it.
See the Slideshow presentation at the bottom of the page for step-by-step instructions on how to get started with making money on Amazon Mechanical Turk.

 

When/How do you get your Amazon MTurk payments?

Within 48 hours, you’re credited in your Amazon Payments account that you’ve set up for free.  If you choose to link your bank account to your Amazon Payments account, you can transfer that cash directly to your bank.  The transfer is simple, and only takes a few days to arrive after you’ve initiated the transfer.  Otherwise, you can still spend your hard-earned cash freely on Amazon anytime you want.


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So, is Amazon Mechanical Turk worth it?

After you get through the newbie stage, yes, absolutely.  It takes a little bit of time in the beginning to become qualified for some of the better HITS.  In a sense, you have to prove yourself as a serious worker who is actually trying to do a good job.  After a short time, you’ll be given better-paying opportunities.

After a while, everyone gets the hang of it.  You’ll quickly learn which HITS will be easy and worth your time.

You will start to learn how long certain hits will take you, and automatically start each HIT by calculating its worth by hourly wage.

How to Make the Most on Amazon Mechanical Turk..

  • Take your qualification tests.

If you’re offered a qualification test, take it.  Certain individual requesters have more strict requirements.  This usually means that it’s a better paying job, and qualifying for it will open up more opportunities for you to make better money now and down the line.  So even though it might take a little more time, you should always try to qualify for the good HITS.

  • Start out doing as many quick, low-paying hits as you can.

A lot of people quit MTurk because they’re not being offered any good HITS that are worth the payment

being offered.  But the opportunities get much better the more successful completions you get under your belt.  The point is to just get your number of (successful) completed tasks up above 100, and this can be done in only a few days.  You’ll be qualified for more jobs, the more money you can make, and you’ll have fewer competitors for qualified HITS.  So, stick it out.

  • Keep track ofthe time it takes you to perform different types of tasks, so you can calculate hourly wage for future similar HITS.

If the hit’s pay divided by the actual time it takes you to do the job, gets you about 10 cents, then you’ll be making a little less than minimum wage.  If you aim for 15 to 20 cents per minute, you’ll average closer to $9 and $12 an hour.  Of course, at first this is a little harder to calculate because you don’t really know how long each task might take you.  But after a few hundred completed hits, you’ll know which types of HITS take too long and just aren’t worth your valuable time.


If you think MTurk is worth it, give FusionCash a try. It's worth your valuable time.Does MTurk always pay?

Amazon pays, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
However, what you should keep in mind is that Amazon is only transferring those payments from the requester’s account to you–it is not Amazon paying you for completing these tasks.  You’re working for actual people out in the world.
After you complete a task, it is up to the requester of that HIT to approve or reject your work.  If you’re rejected, then you will not get paid, and your approval rate takes a hit.
Most requesters are good, meaning they will do right by you as long as you correctly complete the tasks to the best of your ability.  But, just like in the real world, people want to get everything for nothing.  These are the requesters you need to learn to avoid.  It’ll be up to you to figure out which requesters aren’t paying fair value of the work they’re asking you to do.  I will tell you about a good fix for this problem in the next section.

To filter through the HITS, MTurk scripts are essential..

MTurk scripts are sort of like plugins for your browser.  Some of them are extremely useful for saving valuable time when working on HITS.

In order to be able to install scripts, you must first download the plugin.

greasemonkey

GreaseMonkey Extension for Firefox users

 

 

tampermonkey

TamperMonkey Extension for Chrome users

 

 

After you’ve installed one of these addons, you can install your scripts.  Here are a few must-haves:

  • TurkOpticon gives you reviews on each requester.  There are some requesters who refuse payments too often, which can in turn hurt your qualification rate.  Turker reviews will tell you if you should avoid working for any requesters in particular.  This is an absolute must-have for any MTurk worker.
  • Discover Fake Availabilities categorizes the hits for you in a productive way.  Too often, after clicking on a hit that sounds good, you’ll get a message saying “There are no more hits available in this group”.  Discover Fake Availabilities script highlights all your hit choices in different colors, including highlighting those empty groups purple.  This will save you from wasting time clicking on dead HITS.
  • Context Menu Search allows you to highlight text.  Some HITS will require you to do a Google search for certain terms, but the MTurk pages do not let you copy and paste any text.  You have to actually open a new browser and type out your text into the search engine.  This may not sound like much now, but after a few of these, I actually paused my work to go and search for a script like this.

Check out more valuable MTurk scripts here, including instructions for installing.  They’re all absolutely free!


Another excellent MTurk Resource:

MTurkList is a great site that shows you recommended hits.  They also calculate how long it will actually take you to complete each one, and the hourly-wage figure.  You will always find good hits in here, but they go quick.  So you’ll need to refresh every few times you go back to the page, or you might end going to a bunch of dead hits.

The only downside to this site is that you’re forced to see a five second ad each time you click through to a hit.  But for new workers who don’t yet know the good from the bad, this is incredibly helpful.

 


Some things you should know..

If you haven’t signed up yet, they have a two day “waiting for approval” period, and in my case, they took the full two days before they let me in.

 

Is Amazon Mechanical Turk worth it.. don't forget to click the HIT button or you'll lose all your work.

 

  • Don’t forget to ACCEPT THE HIT first!  I cannot stress this enough.  More than a few times I have forgotten to click that “accept” button at the top.  When you realize it, all the work you’ve done is deleted and you’ve wasted that time.

Click through these slides for guided instructions on getting started and completing your first HITs on MTurk..

Is there a Canadian’s Amazon Mechanical Turk?  Or an MTurk UK?

Unfortunately, no. Amazon stopped accepting workers outside of the U.S.  Apparently there was a lot of scamming going on from outside of the country, and Amazon couldn’t verify the identity of overseas account holders. Amazon would close an account for abuse or fraud, and that person would just open another account in another name.  So, because Amazon can easily verify the identity of US residents, and ban them from the site if necessary, they only allow U.S. residents as workers.  They do, however, accept MTurk Requesters from multiple countries.  You can find an extensive list of MTurk alternatives for non-US residents here.

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 MTurk is not the only site online for making extra cash online. Check out this list of great online jobs and alternative crowdsourcing sites.

You can also earn a good part-time income taking surveys in your spare time.  Here’s my list of top-paying survey sites that pay cash.




Make Money From Home (Without Spending Money)

Quit searching and find out how to make money from home without spending money..

How can I make money from home, without a job?  I asked myself this question every time I had to leave my son at the dreaded daycare so that I could go to work.  I hated the fact that I had to hand him over to strangers everyday just so I could work and pay my bills.

I was right where you are–scouring the Internet for money-making opportunities, looking for that easy path to success.  I needed to learn how to start making money from home, without spending money in the process.

I’ve spent years reading articles, reviews, taking suggestions and testing out theories, and have finally found some success at earning an online income.  

The methods I used were not get-rich-quick schemes.  I had to put in a lot of consistent work before I finally got that steady inflow coming in, and I made a lot of mistakes throughout the process. I hope to help you avoid making those same rookie mistakes I did.

I’m including a lot of valuable information here.  I know you will find some good opportunities here so you can stop that search and finally get on the path to success that you’re looking for.

How to make money from home without spending any money..

Get Paid: Take Surveys Online


You can get paid to take surveys and take part in free offers. Surveys are the easiest way to make a little cash online, and they can be fun and interesting.  While it seems like there must be enough out there to make a significant amount of money doing just surveys, they are very time consuming, which makes it harder for you to really rake in too much money from surveys alone.

When I first started, I devoted most of my free time over a couple of weeks doing surveys alone and I came out with about $60.  I still do them somewhat often because they’re very addictive.  Sometimes, while I am in the middle of one, I will get bored and wish it were over.  But as soon as it is, and I see that reward being posted to my account, even if it’s just 50 cents, I am incredibly eager to start the next one.

I have tried so many survey sites, and I am very familiar with who pays, who offers other rewards, and who will simply waste your time.  Here is an always-updated list of survey sites that are worth your precious time, and believe me, these sites pay out.

Top Affiliate Marketing Programs


Promoting other businesses can turn into a full-time job with a full-time paycheck.  There are plenty of successful businesses out there who will pay you to talk about them.  And this is sooo much easier than you ever could have imagined.  You can actually do this job without having to move from your home-desk!

You know those “Refer a Friend” links you see on most websites? I used to look at those in a completely different way. Now that I understand their purpose, I see a lot of potential earnings in them and I look for them everywhere. Most sites you visit have refer friend programs that pay you cash or credit for making referrals, or basically advertising for them.

There are literally thousands of companies out there offering affiliate programs.  Here are a few of the best affiliate marketing programs beginners need to know about.

Multi-Level Marketing Companies (MLM)


This is where the big-money potential is!  Unless you have an actual product or service that you plan to market yourself, there are a few online companies out there who pay commission strictly for promoting their business. MLM, or multi-level marketing companies make money from marketing themselves and having their customers market for them as well.

Actively taking part in an MLM system is similar to taking on affiliates and clicking on those “Refer Friend” programs we discussed, yet there is likely more money to be made with one of these sites. But just like anything else, there will be some that work, some that are not worth your time, and some that are just trying to scam you.

You should always research your options before signing up for one of these services.  The absolute most important key here is to only join with a company that you like and are actually a part of.  If you truly believe in the company you’re promoting, then others will notice and believe in it too.

I have personally signed up and tested some of these more popular ones out there.  Here are the two top MLM companies that I have chosen to stick with because they are actually making me money.

Sell on Ebay, Amazon and Craigslist


After I learned about Ebay, it took me a few years to get it right.  But after learning many, many things “the hard way”, I really began to make significant profits.  Whether or not you have a product or service to sell, it is not difficult to make some extra cash on Ebay, Amazon, and Craigslist.  Here is a guide to finding stuff and reselling it online for a profit.

Online “Work-From-Home” Jobs


Working from home doesn’t have to be a big, scary “experiment” with get-rich-quick schemes. There are plenty of top companies looking for people to work from home. Finding these companies used to be quite difficult. You’d literally have to scour the internet searching out online job applications.

If you have a good resume, and you want that steady, dependable paycheck that comes with an actual employment position, there are plenty of Internet jobs available from reputable companies out there.  You just need to know where to find online jobs..  Here are some great sites for getting straight to those work-from-home jobs that are not scams.

You could also make a career out of becoming a Virtual Assistant.  This consists of doing office-related tasks for other people and businesses strictly from home.  Learning how to do this right can bring in a five-figure salary, and give you that freedom you’re looking for.


The Internet is a HUGE place with an abundance of money-making opportunities.  Let’s help each other profit.  Add a comment if you have new ideas for the rest of us to try out.