This is part 2 of the series on how to generate some cash on the road. At the end of the introduction blog post I listed a bunch of places that people have had success collecting money for online work.
I am going to be talking briefly about our experiences working some of those jobs so you can know what to expect if you chose to earn a little extra money.
The first job I want to highlight is still a way we pull in extra bank to make ends meet. Right now I still don’t officially make enough to pay all the bills, and we use this job to help out.
The job is the loved and hated (at the same time) mTurk backed by none other than Amazon.com!
We have made over $150/week with it before, and we can regularly generate $75 to $125 depending how much time we put it. Tracy is much better at Turking than I am. I never managed to make much more than $5 a day, but Tracy put in some major time to figure out how to use it to generate cash flow.
When you work for mTurk you agree to become a volunteer crowd sourced machine who works for Amazon.com for a wage far below minimum wage. The tasks are usually boring and repetitious, but you can do the tasks at home in your underwear. You can work as little or as much as you like, and many of the tasks are so brainless you can watch Netflix.com while you do them.
My record is about $2 an hour, but Tracy has made $5-6 dollars an hour fairly regularly. A few rare times she has earned more than $10/hr, but it never has been sustainable.
I often see people on Facebook needing a little extra financial help. I think mTurk is a great way to earn a little extra money when you are in a pinch.
Starting out on mTurk is very frustrating. Turkers have a ranking system. There are levels at 100, 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, and 10,000 tasks completed. Each level opens up bigger and better jobs. Their is even an ultimate level called “Masters Level”. To get a Masters Level you have to be invited. Their appears no way to earn the Masters title, so I can’t help you achieve it.
Essentially, you are going to need to kick out some tasks for very little money until you get a good rating.
The best way to get some experience under your belt is to just do a task with many “hits” and work your way through the stack and the rankings. At the beginning they only let you do 100 hits a day, but later on you can do almost 4000 in a day.
Tasks vary greatly. You can answer questionnaires, listen to music and give your opinion, enter keywords onto pictures, do transcription, or be subjects of weird psychological testing. The tasks are truly infinite in scope.
In order to do well at mTurk, and make more than $2 an hour, you need some information to succeed.
The first thing you need to know is that mTurkers are a community. Amazon.com doesn’t look after it’s workers, and the people making the requests have ways of cheating you, so the mTurkers have formed their own communities.
Reddit has an active community, and a large community exits on other sites as well.
Why should you be part of a community?
Well for starters people in the community share Hits worth doing. That means you find a good thread and you all report together what requestors are paying well. This means you can spend more time working, and less time shifting through penny tasks.
The other reason you want to join a community is for the tools. The community commonly gets together makes tool to help each other find good jobs, rank requestors, and automate tedious jobs.
Working mTurk was pretty slow at the beginning, but after a week or so you should be able to pull in $10-$50 bucks a day.
mTurk was not a good fit for me. I am a creative and doing tedious office work didn’t work out. I also am terrible at testing, and since many of mTurk hits are just tests – that didn’t work so well.
Tracy is very clerical. She can really fly though the hits and make some bank when we need it.
Have you ever mTurked? If you know money is going to be tight when you are on the road you might as well sign up now! Get your base hits in so you can really make some money if you need it later on, and not have to work your way up the ratings.