In this article, we look at five sites like MTurk that you can join to earn extra money from the comfort of your own home.
Let’s face it, earning money from micro-working sites isn’t the most glamorous way to make an online income. But these sites can be a handy stop-gap, and a way to establish a “money tap” that you can turn on when you need to generate some extra income.
The most well-known micro-working site is Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, which we’ve reviewed in full here. Here we have some Mechanical Turk alternatives. There are several reasons why you might want to check them out and get yourself established on them:
- Levels of work can fluctuate on all micro work sites. Having other sites like MTurk to turn to gives you other options.
- Not everyone gets accepted to Mechanical Turk, and sometimes accounts get suspended. Having some MTurk alternatives on hand gives you another option.
- Mechanical Turk may not be available where you live.
We’ll get onto the sites themselves in a moment, but first let’s cover a couple of basic questions:
What IS Micro Work?
Micro work sites issue small tasks to home based workers. They typically take just seconds or minutes to complete, and pay a very small amount of money each.
Micro tasks can include things like:
- Classifying images.
- Providing voice clips to assist recognition software.
- “Liking” or sharing things on social media.
- Providing human verification of online search results.
- Writing product descriptions.
- Completing surveys.
- Basic data entry tasks.
Often, micro tasks involve repetitive actions that require a human eye and cannot be easily completed by computers.
Can you Earn Good Money from Sites Like MTurk?
Microworking sites like MTurk won’t make you rich. But sometimes you can find a task where there’s a lot of available work, get into the flow of doing it, and earn a respectable rate of $10-14 per hour.
There’s no certainty of this, however. At any time it will depend on the work available and the speed at which you’re able to do it accurately. It’s definitely best to see microworking as way to earn some extra side income, and not as anything resembling a full-time job.
That said, people can do OK from it. Check out this recent comment for an example:
As I’ve said Mechanical Turk itself is covered here. Let’s take a look at some MTurk alternatives.
7 MTurk Alternatives
Note that we have signed up to all of these platforms, tried them out, and created individual, detailed reviews – access them by clicking the titles.
Clickworker would definitely be my number one recommendation for anybody looking for sites like MTurk.
There are two ways to earn money from Clickworker: By completing tasks on Clickworker itself, and by earning on UHRS (the Universal Human Relevance System), a secondary platform that you can gain access to by signing up as a Clickworker member.
The level of available work on both Clickworker and UHRS can vary significantly. Sometimes there can be a bit of a “drought.” However, at the time of writing there’s been a solid quantity of work available for some time.
The main thing is that both of these platforms are completely legit.
Some people do complain about these sites, usually because they don’t fully understand how they work or have unrealistic expectations of earnings. But both sites are well-respected and completely above-board.
Clickworker is available in a wide range of countries, but not every country. Applications can open and close depending on demand, so it’s wise to get signed up when you can.
Microworkers has been around since 2009, and is another legitimate site. It’s also available worldwide, although lots of tasks are often restricted to workers in specific countries. It’s fair to say that the widest selection of work is for those in the US, UK and Canada – which, sadly for those elsewhere, is often the way of things.
Microworkers is a decent enough site, and you’ll generally find some tasks you can get stuck into. However, it does lag behind some other sites like MTurk, particularly Clickworker. A fair few of the tasks involve slightly sketchy online behaviour, such as boosting companies’ “likes” or ad clicks.
Microworkers is far from the worst site for stuff like this (as you’ll see very shortly), and the site does make some effort to keep tasks like this off the platform. But sometimes the clients using Microworkers do want workers to cross a bit of an ethical line.
It’s definitely worth a look, but think carefully about the implications of each task. If you have to sign up to things, I’d advise against using your main personal email addresses or social media accounts.
Swagbucks is primarily known as a survey site, but it actually offers a range of different ways to earn “SBs,” essentially points that you can exchange for vouchers or cash direct into PayPal.
Swagbucks is a big site with a lot of different things to do, from surveys to offers to microtasks. Swagbucks has a partnership with a micro-task company called Appen, where you can earn a decent amount from routine tasks IF there is work available in your location.
There’s not always a guarantee of that, but it’s worth persevering as plenty of people do manage to get established on the platform and use it as a source of income.
If nothing else, you can use the link below to get a free sign-up bonus if you’re new to Swagbucks – so you’re certain to earn something!
PrizeRebel definitely leans more towards being a survey website. However, I’d suggest giving it a go before resorting to the sites further down this list.
PrizeRebel offers surveys from a wide range of different partner companies, so there’s almost always something to do to earn some pocket money. It IS pocket money, so don’t expect big earnings. Your location will also play a part in what’s available to you, with far more surveys available for people in the US, UK and Canada than anywhere else.
Payments build up as points, but as well as a range of vouchers, you can also request PayPal cash payments.
Picoworkers is one site like Mturk that I struggle to recommend.
The main issue is the number of jobs that are morally questionable. For example, people paying others to click online adverts so that they can earn revenue and pocket the difference. As we’ve said, some of these tasks show up on other Mturk alternatives too, but there are a LOT of them on this platform.
While I’ve seen Picoworkers payment proofs out there, I’ve seen a lot of negative comments too. In fact, the comments section underneath my Picoworkers review takes a lot of moderation, with a mixture of people crying “scam” and others taking the opposite view, saying that complainants simply don’t follow the rules. One example is people trying to use the platform from locations where it shouldn’t be available.
There IS work on this platform, but I’d strongly recommend exhausting other possibilities first.
Rapidworkers is another platform we’re NOT fans of at HomeWorkingClub.
There are some sketchy tasks here too. My reviewer found a request to leave negative reviews for a business particularly distasteful.
Again, there ARE some payment proofs out there. This platform obviously proves at least slightly worthwhile for some users.
But it’s not for us.
Hive Work (aka HiveMicro) is a legit micro-working site, but when I reviewed it I couldn’t believe how low the rates were.
I found one task where it would have taken you almost three hours to earn 35 cents. Micro tasks don’t pay megabucks, but that’s seriously ridiculous.
Depressingly, people do plug away at these tasks for long enough to earn money. This site has a leaderboard, and I found users making over $30 per week completing thousands of tasks. However, I think these rates are exploitative and rely on people using the site when they have no other options.
Hive Micro is available in some countries where other platforms are inaccessible. But I would urge people in those countries to consider other alternatives such as offering freelance services.
3 Essential Tips for Sites Like MTurk
- Sign up to more than one site. When the well runs dry on one you will then have others to turn to.
- Be selective about the tasks you undertake. The key to earning reasonable money on these sites is to be discerning about what you do. If something you find is adding up to just cents per hour, quit and move on to something else.
- Don’t cheat the rules. These sites tend to have restrictions around where you can work and how tasks are performed. Don’t try to beat the system, or you risk having your account closed and losing any money you may be owed.
What kind of experience have you had with these Mechanical Turk alternatives? Let us know in the comments.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.