Amazon MTurk is a unique marketplace for budding self-employed professionals. This crowdsourcing platform enables individuals or businesses to find remote workers who can complete small tasks.
These tasks, known as HITs or Human Intelligence Tasks, have changed how some people seek an additional source of income. Today, we shall explore why MTurk dominates the market and how you can make it a successful side hustle.
How Does MTurk Work?
To understand how MTurk works, let’s clear up a few questions.
- What is a HIT (Human Intelligence Task)?
A Human Intelligence Task is a microtask created by a requestor on the MTurk platform that needs completion. Think of it as a question that requires an answer. A HIT is a singular, self-contained virtual task that a worker (Turker) can complete and submit to collect rewards as payment.
- What type of tasks are available?
HITs in Mechanical Turk include recognizing objects in videos or photos, writing product descriptions, performing data research, and completing surveys. These tasks require human workers as AI can have trouble with certain tasks and can’t produce reliable output.
- How does one perform a task?
Turks can find the tasks posted by requesters on the HITs page. Depending on the eligibility criteria, they can take up jobs and work on them. Then, they submit their results to be approved by the requester. After that, they get paid within a month for their work.
- How does one qualify for a HIT?
The most common eligibility criteria are language, location, and HITs performed in the past.
Why Is MTurk Prospering in the HIT Market?
MTurk is one of the leading crowdsourcing platforms. Once you read the points below, you’ll understand why.
- Operated by Amazon
Operating under Amazon’s brand name makes MTurk a prominent player in the market. It is a legitimate service that Amazon owns and has hundreds of thousands of users.
- Meticulous verification process
The platform’s detailed verification process increases its trustworthiness. To check if a person is genuine, Amazon can even demand a Social Security Number (SSN), among other identifying personal details.
- A reliable second source of income:
On average, a Mechanical Turk can earn $1 – $6 per hour. As far as high-paying jobs are concerned, the amount can reach up to $11.58 per hour. Given the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, this platform can be a viable source of income.
- Non-demanding tasks
The non-demanding nature of the HITs makes them very straightforward to complete. For example, identifying objects in visual media, surveying, data de-duplication, and transcribing audio recordings don’t take long to complete. As a result, they can be a fun way to earn money in your spare time.
- Mobile-friendly website
MTurk’s worker website is mobile-friendly. As a result, Turkers can now browse, search, accept and submit work entirely from their smartphones.
- The ability to work as an independent contractor
Remember the SSN in the verification process? It can up your game as an independent contractor. If and when you exceed a declared threshold by a particular requester, MTurk will send over a 1099, and your earnings can be taxed accordingly.
How to Succeed at Amazon MTurk
Are you sincerely considering this as a side gig? Following these pointers can maximize your earnings.
- Seek out high-paying HITs
There’s no need to sugar-coat the fact that a majority of HITs are low paying. You must be selective about accepting tasks. This way, you can avoid penny tasks to reach a higher HIT number and earn more in the process.
- Use proxies
Living like a digital nomad outside the States will drastically reduce your chances of getting high-paying jobs. In this case, despite having an address inside the USA, the worker’s IP address originates from another country which causes them to miss US-only HITs.
To mitigate this problem, embrace an Amazon MTurk proxy that will make you eligible to work on a lot more US-exclusive HITs as the platform will treat you as a US resident.
- Maintain high approval ratings
To achieve high levels of performance, you need high approval rates. Having a higher HIT number under your belt can help while filtering requesters. It can save you from low-rated employers. These techniques not only help you increase your qualifications for future HITs but also increase your credibility and performance as a whole.
As it appears, a focused, disciplined, and consistent worker can earn $50 – $100 daily on the platform. If you approach it as a potential side hustle, it undoubtedly is worth a try. However, the question is whether or not “Turking for Living” is worthwhile. Well, the decision is for you to make!