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How Can You Actually Earn Money from Amazon Mechanical Turk

How Can You Actually Earn Money from Amazon Mechanical Turk

If you’ve always wanted to make money online, there’s a new sheriff in town: Amazon Mechanical Turk. Mechanical Turk is a great place to begin your search for online income for several reasons. First, Amazon is a reputable company, and in a sea of spammy sites promising get rich quick schemes, you can rely on them to pay you for your work. I’ve already gone through the process myself and made $6.00, so I can attest to the fact that you will receive your money as long as you follow the guidelines. However, as with any online venture, you should definitely weigh the pros and cons before deciding to open an account.

Pros:

1. Easy Set Up

If you want to set up an Amazon Mechanical Turn account, simply go to their website, find the section where it says “Make Money on HITS (Human Intelligent Tasks)” and sign up. It takes 48 hours for approval, but once you get it, you can immediately start making money. You can search for jobs in a variety of ways. I just look at the ones that are right on the homepage to start out just to get an idea of what is offered.

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2. You Can Work From Anywhere

Whether you are waiting on the bus, sitting in a doctor’s office, or hanging out in front of the TV, you can be making money with Amazon Mechanical Turk, as long as you have a computer (or tablet) with a wifi connection. You can access your account from any computer anywhere, which makes it really simple to quickly and easily rack up money.

3. It Has Flexibility

Mechanical Turk doesn’t require you to meet a specific earning threshold to keep your account open. You can also create your account and close it whenever you want to, so there are no strings attached. Complete tasks at any time of day or night. Your schedule is completely up to you.

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4. There’s No Limit

So far, there’s not an earning limit on Mechanical Turk. You can learn earn as much money as you want, as long as you are willing to put the time in.

5. There’s Not A Lot of Skill Required

While some companies that provide work on Mechanical Turk prefer people with certain backgrounds and skills, most don’t. So, you don’t have to complete a degree to be eligible to work. In fact, as long as you are over 18 and meet basic requirements, you should be able to set up an account relatively easily and earn money the same day.

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So, now that we’ve gone through all of the pros, it’s only fair that we weigh the cons.

Cons:

1. The Pay Is Not High

If you get paid over $1.00 for a competed Mechanical Turk task, that’s good. Of course, the tasks shouldn’t take you very long. Most of them range from a few cents to $0.25. So, you won’t get rich off of it, but you can definitely put in a few hours worth of work and save up to help pay for something you want, like a video game or a new book.

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2. You Can’t Quit Your Day Job

A lot of people work online jobs in hopes that, one day, they can quit their day job. While I’m sure it’s not impossible, it’s also not likely that you will be able to work solely on Mechanical Turk. Really, it’s just something that you can do in your spare time to supplement your income and help you purchase a few items that you want.

3. Not A Lot of Room For Advancement

With many online work opportunities, there is room for advancement with different perks opening up for different levels. With Amazon Mechanical Turk, you can complete various tests to be certified in certain areas, but as of right now, there are no specific rewards for completing a lot of tasks and doing them well.

4. Some Questionable Opportunities

One type of job I saw offered on Mechanical Turk was that people can get paid to click on ads on various websites. If this is for personal gain as opposed to business research for the people advertising this job, it is actually against Google’s terms of service. I’m not saying every person who advertises this type of job is doing something unsavory, but please do your research before completing certain tasks.

Ultimately, how much or how little you can make from Mechanical Turk is completely up to you. While it may not be beneficial to seasoned freelancers who are used to a higher hourly rate, it can definitely be great for college students or those who are currently unemployed to try to make a few extra dollars. With a focused effort and a strategy to pick only high paying opportunities, you can definitely make minimum wage with Mechanical Turk. In a down economy when jobs are hard to come by, I think it’s a great option to pad your monthly income and enable you to purchase a few things for yourself.

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Catherine Alford

Catherine is the go to personal finance expert for educated, aspirational moms who want to recapture their life passions.

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time

Most people want a few more dollars in their wallets. But between an employer and family, the time most of us can devote to a second job is severely limited. Running a small side business can provide a few more options: you don’t have to show up at a set time and you can use skills you already have. Not all will be perfect for everyone, of course, and I’m sure that you’ll have a few ideas of your own after reading this list. If you’d like to share any other business ideas, please add them in the comments.

  1. Selling collectibles — From antique books to teddy bears, there are plenty of opportunities to buy and sell collectibles. It’s important to familiarize yourself with the collectible of your choice but if you choose something that you’ve been collecting for a while, you’ve got a head start.
  2. Locating apartments — It can take time to sort through apartment listings, but you can make some money by finding the perfect apartment for a renter.
  3. Baby proofing — New parents often prefer to bring in an expert to make sure their home is safe for a new baby.
  4. Calligraphic writing — If you’ve got elegant handwriting, you can pick up gigs writing or addressing wedding invitations, holiday cards and more.
  5. Selling coupons — Search on eBay for coupons right now and you’ll see thousands of listings for coupons. It’s just a matter of clipping and listing what you find in your Sunday newspaper.
  6. Pet training — A surprising number of people don’t know where to start in training a pet. Even teaching Rover simple commands like ‘Sit’ and ‘Stay’ can bring in a few dollars.
  7. Running errands — A wide variety of people want to outsource their errands, from those folks who aren’t able to leave their homes easily to those who have a busy schedule.
  8. Researching family trees — Amateur genealogists often call in experts, especially to handle research that has to be done in person in a far off place. If you’re willing to go to a local church and copy a few records, you can handle many family tree research requests.
  9. Supplying firewood — The prerequisite for selling firewood is having a source of wood; if you’ve got some land where you can cut down a few trees, you’ve got a head start.
  10. Hauling — As more people trade in their SUVs for compact cars, hauling is becoming more important: people have to rent a truck or hire a hauler for even small loads.
  11. Image consulting — Image consultants provide a wide variety of services, ranging from offering advice on appearance to teaching etiquette.
  12. Menu planning — For many people, the trip up in eating home-cooked or healthy meals is knowing what to prepare. Meal planners set a schedule to solve certain dietary problems.
  13. Microfarming — Cultivating food and flowers on small plots of land allows you to sell produce easily.
  14. Offering notary public services — Notary publics can witness and authenticate documents: a service needed for all sorts of official documents.
  15. Teaching music — If you’re skilled with a musical instrument, you can earn money by offering lessons.
  16. Mystery shopping — Mystery shoppers check the conditions and service at a store and report back to the store’s higher-ups.
  17. Offering research services — Just by reading up on a topic and compiling a report on it can earn you money.
  18. Personal shopping — Personal shoppers typically select gifts, apparel and other products for clients, helping them save time.
  19. Pet breeding — Purebred pets can be quite value, especially if you can verify their pedigree.
  20. Removing snow — During the winter months, shoveling walks can still be a reliable way to earn money. You might be asked to take care of the driveway too.
  21. Utility auditing — As people become environmentally-concious, they want to know just how efficient their homes are. With some simple testing, you can tell them.
  22. Offering web hosting services — Providing server space can be lucrative, particularly if you can provide tech support to your clients.
  23. Cutting lawns — An old standby, cutting lawns and other landscaping services can provide a second income in the summer.
  24. Auctioning items on eBay — Want to get rid of all your old stuff? Stick it up on eBay and auction it off.
  25. Babysitting — Child care of all kinds, from babysitting to nannying, can offer constant opportunities.
  26. Freelance writing — If you’ve got the skills to write clearly, you can sell your pen for everything from blogs to advertising copy.
  27. Selling blog and website themes — Do a little designing on the side? Customers that don’t want to pay full price for a website will often pay for a template or theme.
  28. Offering computer help — Particularly with people new to computers, you can earn money by providing in-home computer help.
  29. Designing websites — It may require a little skilled effort, but designing websites remains a reliable source of income.
  30. Selling stock photography — For shutterbugs, an easy way to put a photography collection to work is to post it to a stock photography site.
  31. Freelance designing — Check with local businesses: you can provide brochures, business cards and other design work and get paid a good fee.
  32. Tutoring — Math and languages reamin the easiest subjects to find tutoring gigs for, but there is demand for other fields as well.
  33. Housesitting / petsitting — Stopping in to check on a house or pet can earn you some money, and maybe even a place to stay.
  34. Building niche websites — If you can put together a site on a very specific topic, you can put targeted ads on it and make money quickly.
  35. Translating — The variety of translating work available is huge: written word, on the spot and more is easy to find even on a part-time basis.
  36. Creating custom crafts — No matter what kind of crafts you make, there’s likely a market for it. Etsy remains one of the easiest places to sell crafts.
  37. Setting up a wi-fi hotspot — With a little bit of equipment, you can set up a wi-fi hotspot and charge your neighbors for the access they’ve been ‘borrowing.’
  38. Selling an e-book — You can write an e-book about almost anything and put it up for sale online.
  39. Affiliate marketing — If you’re willing to market other companies’ products, you can earn a cut of the sales.
  40. Renting out your spare room — From looking for a long-term roommate to listing your guest room on couch surfing sites, that spare room can make you money.
  41. Offering handy man services — Handling small household tasks can provide you with plenty of work, although you’ll probably be expected to have your own tools.
  42. Teaching an online class — Share your expertise through a website, an online seminar or variety of other methods.
  43. Building furniture — For those with the skill to create handmade furniture, selling their creations is often just a matter of advertising.
  44. Providing personal chef services — Personal chefs prepare meals ahead of time for customers, leaving their customers with a full freezer and no mess.
  45. Event planning — From planning corporate events to bar mitzvahs, an event planning business can require plenty of work and offer plenty of pay.
  46. Installing home safety products — Particularly as Baby Boomers age, people able to install handrails and other home safety products are in demand.
  47. Altering / tailoring — If your sewing skills are up to par, altering garments is coming back as people try to stretch more wear out of their clothing.
  48. Offering in-home beauty services — Hair cuts, makeup and other beauty services that can be performed at home have a growing demand.
  49. Business coaching — Helping others to establish and develop their businesses can provide many opportunities to earn money.
  50. Writing resumes — Writing resumes can provide a reliable income, especially if you can put a polish on a client’s credentials.

There are plenty of offers that claim to provide you with the opportunity to make thousands of dollars a week. Unfortunately, none of these businesses will provide that sort of income, but they aren’t scams either. They were chosen because they all require a minimum investment to get started — some require nothing more than a flyer advertising your business. Even better, if you do enjoy any of these businesses, there is a potential with most of them to continue to expand — perhaps even to the point of going full time.

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Featured photo credit: Omar Prestwich via unsplash.com

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