Thursday, November 20, 2014

MTurk Alternatives

Well, I had one $40+ day, but haven't been able to repeat that success. I topped out on a great HIT doing English Speech, And the ones tracking your own eye movements with the mouse dried up. I've done some more surveys, but they are still not my favorite. I prefer quick little hits unless the longer ones pay really well.

I don't mean to say I've given up on Mturk. If nothing else, it gives me fodder for this blog. ;)

But, I'm still looking for some alternative ways of making some supplemental income until my business (PHP Web Developer) starts making enough to support me. I've put in for some simple part-time work near my house, but if I can make decent money from home, then I'm that much more available to my web clients.

So, My wife found a list of "Legitimate Work-From-Home Jobs". Surprisingly, SwagBucks was mentioned but Mturk was not.

The most promising was Demand Studios. They require a resume` and a writing sample, but apparently the pay is decent.

Since I'm into SEO, I was surprised that I had never heard of this before. It seems Google, and possibly other search engines, hire human reviewers to confirm their algorithmic results. One company through which they hire these reviewers is LeapForce. I wanted a little more detail on LeapForce, so of course I Googled it. I came up with this blog post answering "Is LeapForce a Scam?" The short answer: No, but:

  • There's unpaid training and rigorous testing.
  • It's piecework, so you might get less per hour than advertised.
  • It's contractor work, so you pay your own taxes.
  • Work may not always be available.
  • It's too easy to get fired.
So, depending on your experience with MTurk, you may or may not appreciate some of these MTurk alternatives.

I used it above, but I didn't mention it. It's not exactly an alternative but maybe a supplement. Adfly will let you shorten URLs like this one. When a visitor clicks the link, they will be see an Adfly ad before being taken to your actual destination. For this, you receive usually around half a cent. It adds up though, so if you have an active blog or other website, it pays off. Also, the Hits Worth Turking For reddit page allows you to link to good hits using adfly. With very little effort, I earned about $0.36 in the first month. Not much, but a decent proof of concept. Add to that, a low payout threshold and it is more attractive than some internet money making schemes.

Friday, November 14, 2014


Here are some sites and links that might help you in your MTurk career.

Mturk (Main Website)
HitsWorthTurkingFor (The Sub Reddit I mentioned in another post)
Fifty Cent HITs thay YOU can do

I'll probably add more later.

Opinion fading

Well, after a $42 day, I was really looking forward to some decent side income, but since then I seem to spend more time looking for good HITs than actually doing them.

I think that's a bit of a trap to fall into. I'm considering two possible stratagies:

1. Work mediocre HITs while waiting for the good ones

2. Work on something outside of MTurk, but check one of the forums occasionally and see if I can catch a good batch here and there.

Neither is probably the best.

I should note that I have not installed any MTurk related extensions on my browser and I haven't tried any other kind of script. There are many available, but I'm not qualified to tell you what they are, what they do, or if they are any good.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Slight frustration

I just capped out on one of my favorite HITs. It's the English speaking one I mentioned in an earlier post. At the moment, they only allow up to 3 hours of audio from any one person. Guess I've done a lot!

Plus, the $1 or $2 HITs I did a day or two ago are now posted at $.60 and $.75. Still not horrible for MTurk, but I hate the idea of doing the same work for less pay. I kind of hope the turk community holds off and shows them that we need the better compensation for our time.

I'm looking for another batch HIT group I can work on before I go to sleep tonight. If I find anything worth mentioning, I'll probably update this post.

OH! And there's a HIT listed on HITsWorthTurkingFor that requires 5000 approved HITs. That's almost unbelievable to me, at the moment. I've barely done 500, and 130 of those aren't approved yet.

Looking forward to my 1K milestone.

Well, I did more 25 second transcriptions. I'm not really fast enough at them to make them pay well, but It's probably good practice. Maybe it'll at least get my accept rate up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


I don't know how it's determined, but my HITs per day limit has either been removed or raised. I have done over 130 HITs today, and Amazon hasn't stopped me yet.

Of those HITs, 129 are still sitting in PENDING status.

I'm encouraged by the fact that I'll reach another milestone of 500 accepted HITs. That will open up some otherwise restricted HITs.

Next stop: 1000

Most of my HITs today were $0.16 each, reading lines of English text into my computer's microphone. There is the occasional technical glitch, but when it's flowing smoothly, it's about $9.00 or more per hour.

A new favorite!

I have a new favorite requester: Visual Information Processing Lab at NUS

These are the Follow the Bouncing Mouse HITs I mentioned earlier.

I was fortunate enough to pick up a $2 version and I timed myself on it. It took me 8 minutes, so I figure that's about $15.00/ hr.

If only there were a steady stream of those!

If you're looking for good HITs, definately look for these.

Search for the word "mouse" and HITs that pay at least $1.00

I've seen some chit-chat on the Reddit Board I mentioned that some people have had trouble with server speed and that there have been problems with the submit button. All the chat suggests that they take care of it quickly if you contact them.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Follow the bouncing mouse

I picked up a few HITs today where I had to look at a series of blurry pictures and move my mouse around to see the clear version of the images. I'm not sure what they were actually doing with this survey, but it paid pretty well for MTurk. I'll look for more of those another time.

The bird pictures I worked on the other day are gone. I wish I'd have stayed up later doing more of those.

I did a bunch of Eight penny HITs earlier where I had to do a search for a key phrase on various search engines and give a one sentence comment about the most relevant page. Not the greatest money, but a lot better than getting the same money for transcribing 25 seconds of audio.

None of today's HIT's are approved yet. I hope I chose good requesters.