Thursday, June 9, 2011

Using Amazon MTurk to make money online with online surveys

One way that I make money online with Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is by completing some of the online surveys that you get on there.  There are pros and cons to doing Amazon MTurk surveys.  In some ways, you are better off signing up to a company that specializes in online surveys, rather than MTurk, if you want to make money online with online surveys, as they often pay much better.  Inbox Dollars is probably better than MTurk for online surveys too, in many ways, as they tend to pay more also.  But hey, this is primarily an MTurk blog and I do them on MTurk, so here are my thoughts on using Amazon MTurk to make money online with online surveys.

How do you find surveys on Amazon MTurk?

I normally just type "surveys" in the search box for hits and check the "for which you are qualified" box (my hit rejection rate fell below 95% again recently!).

Who pays you to do the online surveys on Amazon MTurk?

Anyone can pay people to do an online survey on Amazon MTurk.  But usually the online surveys are provided by a mixture of consumer research groups working on behalf of companies, plus individuals who are studying something at a college or university - either academic staff such as professors, or students working for a degree.

Pay rates and time

The online surveys that you see on Amazon MTurk have pay rates that are completely variable and erratic in my experience.  Sometimes you will get paid maybe $2 a time to do easy surveys that take only 5 minutes.  Other times you will be given 25 cents for doing a very difficult online survey that takes you over half an hour to complete.  There is no rhyme nor reason to it and it is not always possible to discover from the instructions how difficult, or how long the survey will take you before you start out.

Things to watch out for in Amazon MTurk Online Surveys

Some surveys have initial questions that you have to answer correctly before you can undertake the survey proper.  These are annoying if you’re trying to make money online, because if you get anything on the initial section wrong, it’s often a waste of time as you don’t get to do the main survey and therefore don’t get paid.

Often there is a trick question put in the survey somewhere to check if you are actually reading the questions properly and paying attention.  Try not to rush through them too much, or you will miss it.

Always make sure that you take your time and pay lots of attention at the end.  Usually you get given some sort of code to prove that you have completed the online survey and if you miss that, you won’t get paid!

Amazon MTurk surveys are generally reliable for paying up, but often late

Generally speaking, I have had a good record of getting paid with Amazon MTurk online surveys, that’s to say, not getting unfairly rejected.  They often aren’t the quickest payers though.  Sometimes they pay quickly, but I have also known them to take weeks.  On the whole, I would say they were relatively slow payers.

Get your browser right

Some surveys like you to have specific browsers and software installed on your computer in order to do the online survey.  I tend to use Mozilla Firefox generally, but I would always make sure that whatever browser you use, you have others installed too, certainly the big three: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer, then you have extra options if you run into technical difficulties, or the requester demands that you use a certain browser.  I would also make sure that you have your Flash player up to date, as some online surveys play you videos and audio to watch and listen to.

PS If you use Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome, then you can also use the fabulous Turkopticon toolbar, which is one of the greatest tools for mechnical turkers ever invented!

Bizarre experiences with Amazon MTurk Online Surveys

I think one of the oddest surveys that I’ve done when trying to make money online, was one where they kept playing me the same piece of classical music over and over again and asking me what I thought of it.  I like classical music, but this survey went on and on in a repetitive fashion for a long, long time, and it almost drove me around the twist!


  1. Thanks Will check it out bro,

    Amazon is a nice place to work online. I would also suggest Language translation tasks where you have to translate 10 words. Pays good in my opinion .15$. takes 2 mins.