One of my main sources for side income is Amazon mTurk. There is almost always some type of work available, and while it’s not going to make me rich, it has helped me out of a few holes in the past. There are two main types of tasks, or what are known in the mTurk world as HITs, that I look for if there’s no writing work available on Crowdsource: surveys and data entry.
Everyone knows that you can earn extra money with surveys, but oftentimes, you end up taking screener surveys that get you nowhere (and no money!). And while those types of surveys do exist on Amazon’s mTurk, there are some decent ones…if you know where to look. That’s where the Subreddit HITs Worth Turking For comes into play. This is a user-generated list of HITs that pay at least $0.10 a minute, which is the measure of a good HIT on Subreddit. There are mTurk forums you can use to find the same information, but I prefer using the Subreddit over the forums because it updates frequently, and I don’t have to wade through pages upon pages of forum posts to find HITs.
Because the vast majority of the HITs Worth Turking For are university studies, they will not disqualify you, and they will leave your in-box alone. Even better, they pay you in cash! While you won’t get rich doing this, you will make some decent pocket cash. And, considering how empty my pockets can get, I’m all about pocket cash.
One thing you need to know about mTurk is that the more HITs you do, the better-paying ones become available to you. One big hurdle is getting 500 approved HITs, and I found the best way to do this is to do data entry tasks. The ones I like doing are for store receipts for companies like Checkout 51. They don’t pay well ($0.03 to $0.07 per hit, with bonuses for lengthy receipts), but they pay better than the $0.01 HITs that are all over the place. And, they pay fast. If you are a speedy typist, you will probably do better than I do. You can find these by entering “receipts” into the search box.
There are two big “companies” that do this, Jon Brelig and 411Richmond. If I’m lucky, I’ll find the HITs for entering only the store, date, total, and location from the receipts, because those go super fast. If those aren’t available, I’ll almost always go for Jon Brelig’s receipts, because his HITs show a preview of the receipt before you accept it. If it’s too small, has a bazillion items, too blurry, etc., I’ll just skip the HIT until I find one I can do. If Jon Brelig doesn’t have any, I’ll do 411Richmond’s receipts. While I can’t see a preview of the exact receipt, their interface is better than Jon Brelig’s, at least in terms of viewing receipts. You can magnify the receipt right on the same page in 411’s HITs. In Jon Brelig’s, magnifying takes place in another browser tab.
In any case, after a week of “Turking,” I can generate about $25 in a week. You may be able to generate more, because I bet there are lots of people who can type faster (and better!) than I can. 🙂 That money is available in your Amazon Payments account, which you can use to purchase items on Amazon.com, or you can have it transferred to your bank account that’s linked to your Amazon Payments account.
Again, while this is not going to earn you a living, using Amazon mTurk is a good way to earn extra cash, fast!