Making money online requires a toolbox, and that toolbox needs to have tools that can actually generate income. Amazon Mechanical Turk is just such a tool. It’s possible to generate funds with Mechanical Turk (Mturk), but there is a small learning curve involved. Here’s what it is, how it works, and how to use it to make money.
What is Mechanical Turk?
The Amazon Mechanical Turk, sometimes called Mturk, is an online portal that connects people and businesses (requesters) to a crowdsource (workers). When requesters need a task accomplished that isn’t possible through automation, they put the request on Mturk. Users then choose the tasks they are qualified for and complete them. When a user completes a task, they earn money. These tasks are HITS (Human Intelligence Tasks).
How to Sign Up for Amazon Mechanical Turk
Signing up for Mechanical Turk is a simple process. All it requires is to go to mturk.com, and sign up as a worker with a name, email address, and password. After the account approval, it is possible to get to work and earn money right away. You can sign up with your regular Amazon account to make it easy.
What are HITS?
The source of making money is through HITS. These tasks have a wide range and not everyone can do every task. Here are some examples of HITS:
- Categorize images for a penny per image
- Write a 400-word article about something for $4
- Write a short podcast transcript for $5
- Add tags to images for a penny per tag
There are a number of HITS available and they vary in length, price, and expertise needed. For those seeking to make money, it is certainly possible to use these HITS to generate casual, break time income, or full time money with some speed and dedication.
In order to choose a hit from the dashboard, it’s as simple as clicking “Accept HIT” to start, and “Submit HIT” when finished. HITS often come in groups, so it’s not as if someone will become stuck with just one HIT from one group. Since they come in batches a lot of the time, it’s possible to become good at doing one and then following through with many others in quick succession.
Not all HITS are open to everyone. Some HITS require that the person show some degree of expertise. To do this, they must go through a qualification HIT. The HIT itself will show if someone qualifies or not, and there is a link to request the qualification. For more general qualifications, it is possible to go to the “Qualifications” tab on the dashboard.
There is a long list of possible qualifications listed there, hundreds and hundreds of them. A worker only needs to peruse them to find which look interesting. Some require nothing more than a request. Some others may require a test, which is similar to a HIT. For workers that submit consistently high quality work, it is possible to join the rank of Mechanical Turk Masters who receive exclusive access to some really good HITS.
Making Money with Amazon Mechanical Turk
Because the HITS range in value, it is important that workers figure out how to leverage the system to make the most money out of it. There is no one way to do it since it all depends on the skills of the individual worker. In general, the faster someone can complete a task, the better. Some people are better at typing at high speeds; some are good at filling out surveys quickly.
Since Amazon Mechanical Turk offers so much variety, the only real way to find out the earning potential is to get in there and experiment with a few HITS. After getting the hang of the system and finding where their strengths lay, a worker can then begin to recognize which HITS will pay the most for their time, and which will take up too much of their time.
Making Money Example
For example, writing a 300-word article may take one person all day long, so it’s probably not a good idea for them to try to handle those HITS. However, for some others, writing a clean, readable, 300-word essay can take about ten minutes.
So if that HIT pays $3 and there is a large group of them, then that worker stands to make around $18 per hour. It’s important to look at HITS from that perspective for those that really want to make money. In addition, some requesters will also pay out bonuses at their discretion.
How Payments Work
Payments work through Amazon Payment. As HITS become approved, the payments go to the earnings section of the profile. From there, it is possible to transfer the earned amount to an Amazon Payments account. From there it is possible to transfer the funds to a bank account, or change them to an Amazon gift card.
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Amazon Mechanical Turk
For those seeking another way to earn money, then Mechanical Turk is definitely a good avenue to pursue. It’s important to remember that Mturk should represent another tool in the moneymaking toolbox. It’s difficult for some to make full time pay from the service.
That is to say, it is possible to make good money, but it’s not something that will happen immediately. Mturk will not make you rich quick. It requires dedication. With that said, keep in mind that Mechanical Turk does have everything going for it to help those that really want to leverage it. It can help you earn extra money on the side, but it probably won’t be life changing money unless you figure out a way to complete a large number of HITS each and every day.
- HITS can be completed anywhere and on any device
- Mturk is flexible in that there are no minimum requirements or payment thresholds
- Most HITS require little to no skill, but there’s room to develop a talent and grow
For those interested in making money from home, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a real option and definitely one worth considering. There’s nothing to it neither. The only requirement is signing up and getting started. Sign up for Mechanical Turk today and start making some money.