SAHM Guide to Making Money on Amazon Mechanical Turk

I am always looking for new, easy ways to make a few bucks. Some extra cash can really help fund my cloth diaper stash, pay for an occasional massage, or add a little extra to pay down my student loans. On top of my Ibotta, Check out 51, freelance manuscript editing, and On the Go Surveys, I have started using Amazon MTurk. 

I looked at it about two years ago, made an account, opened up a HIT, and then bailed. I don’t remember what I looked at, but it was confusing and not my cup of tea. This time, I did a bit more research and had a better idea what to expect. I started off doing batches (MTurk slang for low paying, easy, mindless jobs). These paid me $0.01 to $0.05 each for transcribing what I assume are handwritten lines of medical records. The Requester (my employer for the HiT) gives me 10-15 lines of handwritten words and I do my best to suss out the name, address, phone number, or medical complaint. The ones that looked harder, I just skipped. Some were very easy, where I could even copy and paste the same word over and over. Most took me 1-3 minutes. Even at 5 cents each, I was making $1.50 an hour. Wow! Awesome! No, not really. Pretty awful! I think I made about a dollar fifty my first day. 

Over the next few days, I did some academic surveys which paid far better ($0.25 to $1.00) for maybe ten minutes or less of my time. I also came upon some Amazon HiTs where they wanted me to pretty up product descriptions into their format. Easy copy and paste work. Just $0.05 each, but at only 30 seconds each. So I did about 40 of those while my son napped or bathed. 

Now I have made it to the mandatory ten days after starting for payout and have made $25. Some days I did less than others, and there were some days I did nothing. My earnings per day have increased as I learned what I was doing and got more comfortable picking out tasks I could do quickly and easily. I could make a bit more doing blog summaries or article reviews, and that’s next on my list of things to try out. It does fit into my wheelhouse, as it were. I just haven’t done it yet, because I’m waiting on a laptop. I’ve been doing all this work on my phone or tablet. I can write a blog on my phone and not even think about it, but no one is paying me to make it look good. 🙂 

Edit: Day twelve, did some of the blog summaries for $0.25. Definitely worth doing, even without the laptop. The articles were short and some were even interesting. 75 words is a small paragraph , which takes me maybe 3 minutes to write and check. After all, I used to write ten page college term papers in three hours that earned me a solid B.  Sure, I could have spent four hours and gotten an A, but I only started them three hours before they were due.. I work well under pressure! Had my first $4 day, which included a batch for P9r that seemed easier and quicker than usual. (Transcription). 

Some tips: Check the box to exclude hits you don’t qualify for, this will narrow down the results and save you a headache. Accept it if it looks interesting, you can return it if it doesn’t pan out, your return rate does not really matter. If it doesn’t pay you 10 cents per hour then it is a waste of your time. You aren’t helping yourself by doing these. Even to get your numbers up, those penny payers probably aren’t worth your time. Yes, getting to 100 accepted hits is important, then 500, then 1000, then 5k, then 10k. A bit of advice, get to 100 hits by whatever means you can stomach, then start to be choosy. Don’t sell yourself short. If those long p9r transcriptions are taking you two minutes or more to do each, then you might make $0.30 in an hour. Surely there’s another way to make more than that. Walk through the parking lot and pick up loose change. Take some cans to recycle. Beg on the corner. 

Edit: Day 20, finally got the laptop a few days ago. Downloaded Tampermonkey for chrome and added some scripts. Wow. Major difference! I use Hitscraper to get some nice surveys and batches I wouldn’t have seen. Turkopticon helps me pick and choose reputable requesters, and the database keeps a running total of my pending money and let’s me set daily and weekly goals to keep me motivated. I made $13 yesterday (or I will have once they all get accepted!). I am up to $61 in accepted and paid monies and have about $12 pending. 

Some of my favorite requester are the names you will recognize: Amazon, Pinterest, 411Richmond (checkout 51), and the whole host of universities running psych studies. I have done a good bit of p9r work, but I am very choosy. I like the date and number ones. I’ll even do the first name ones if it looks quick. 

 I don’t expect to pay the mortgage ‘turking’, but it helps fill the hours when I don’t have any editing, dirty diapers, laundry, shopping, or cooking to do. The tasks are quick and I am getting paid a little, which is more than I would make spending the same time on Facebook, WordPress, or Game of War. May as well make my $3 or $5/day. That’s $90-$150 a month. As I get better and accumulate more accepted hits and more quals, maybe it will increase to $5 a day! There are people turking for eight hours a day and paying the rent with it. If I had eight hours a day, I wouldn’t be a SAHM, now would I? Anyone have great success or abysmal failure turking? Let me know in the comments! 

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