If you’re going to be flipping through Facebook, perusing Pinterest, or just wasting time on the web, why not get paid for it? There are several sites that offer payment for relatively mindless computer work. Whether you’re looking for a serious chunk of change, or just some extra spending money, these online employment opportunities may work well for you. The best part is that you can get started right after you read this article.
Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk for short, is a crowdsourcing marketplace. It’s a way for programmers to get real people to do simple tasks that computers can’t do yet. “I’m a big fan of Mechanical Turk,” says Robert Farrington of TheCollegeInvestor.com. “Especially for students looking for some quick, easy money.” At his peak, Robert says he was able to earn an average of about $40 per month, “but as a college student doing it in class and when bored, I thought that this was great.” The tasks are so simple that workers only get paid a few cents for completing them. Available jobs may include transcribing podcasts, commenting on blogs, or writing product descriptions.
If you’ve spent time liking companies on Facebook, rating YouTube videos, or sending tweets, those are all things you could be getting paid for through Microworkers. Here’s a sample of available jobs, the pay rate, and the estimated time it would take to complete the job:
- Vote for YouTube Video: $.10 (one minute)
- Post on a Facebook: $.24 (two minutes)
- Follow someone on Twitter: $.12 (one minute)
- Fill out an insurance sign-up form: $1.50 (five minutes)
The slogan at Minuteworkers is “where time really is money.” Minuteworkers is similar to MTurk and Microworkers. The tasks are simple and the pay is low, but the jobs take just minutes to complete. The pay here starts at a minimum of $.10 per task, workers have unlimited payment potential, and the payout minimum is just $2. This means you can withdraw your money through PayPal, allowing you to get paid quickly.
The Best Candidate for the Job
If you’ve got a full-time day job, you probably shouldn’t forego it for the dream of completing these tasks while sitting on the couch in your pajamas all day. Farrington says the ideal candidate for a job like this is someone looking for some extra income or a student with free time. “I don’t think you could live off doing Mechanical Turk full-time,” he says, “but it is a great way to supplement your income.”
Don’t Expect Riches
As you can see, the tasks on these sites are simple but the pay is low. At only $.10 a minute, even if you completed an hour’s worth of tasks you’d still only walk away with $6. According to the US Department of Labor, minimum wage is $7.25. Then again, you probably aren’t currently making any money checking out Facebook or commenting on blogs. So, if you enjoy those types of tasks and you’ve got time to spare, sites like Mechanical Turk, Microworkers and Minuteworkers might be a great resource.