There’s something pretty exciting about sites that let you immediately earn extra money from the comfort of your own home. In this article, we look at 17 sites like MTurk where you can do just that.
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 Mechanical Turk, which we’ve reviewed in full here. However there are many alternatives around, too.
There are several reasons why you might want to check these sites out and get yourself established on them:
- Levels of work can fluctuate on all microwork 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.
As well as covering microworking sites in this article, we also suggest some other options such as survey sites, rewards sites and user testing sites.
- What IS Micro Work?
- Micro-working Sites
- Market Research and Survey Sites
- User Testing Sites
- Can you Earn Good Money from Sites Like MTurk?
- 3 Essential Tips for Sites Like MTurk
What IS Micro Work?
Microwork sites issue small tasks to home-based workers. The tasks typically take just seconds or minutes to complete, and pay a very small amount of money each.
These micro-tasks often involve repetitive actions that require a human eye and cannot be easily completed by computers.
They 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.
This list of 17 alternatives to Amazon MTurk includes micro-working sites, survey sites and user-testing platforms. We’ve also included some market research sites in our list.
These research and opinion tasks take more time to do, but also pay more money per task. We conclude our list with Study Pool, a relatively new tutoring site where you don’t need a degree to earn money teaching.
Note that we have signed up to many but not all of these platforms. When we’ve personally tried them out, we’ve created individual, detailed reviews – access them by clicking the titles.
Clickworker would definitely be our number one recommendation for anybody looking for sites like MTurk. For more details, check out our full review of Clickworker.
There are two ways to earn money from Clickworker: By completing simple 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 sketchy tasks 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.
Picoworkers is one site like Mturk that we 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 we’ve seen Picoworkers payment proofs out there, I’ve seen a lot of negative comments too. In fact, the comments section underneath our 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. Our 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 we reviewed it we couldn’t believe how low the rates were.
These aren’t short tasks either. We found one task where it would have taken you almost three hours to earn 35 cents. Micro jobs 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 we found users making over $30 per week completing thousands of tasks. However, we 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.
Market Research and Survey Sites
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 directly into PayPal.
Swagbucks is a popular site with many different things to do, from surveys to offers to microtasks.
Plenty of people do manage to get established on the platform and use it as a source of extra income. You can use the link below to get a free sign-up bonus if you’re new to Swagbucks – so you’re sure to earn something! Our full review is here.
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.
I-Say is an online survey rewards company with upwards of 3 million members. Completing surveys earns you points, which you can then convert into gift cards and e-vouchers.
The number of surveys varies, with the company saying you’re likely to receive one to four per month, depending on your profile information. They take pains to point out that you won’t earn a lot on their site, but points do mount up over time.
Inbox Dollars is part of the marketing company Prodege, which also owns Swagbucks and other similar survey and microworking sites. As well as completing surveys, the site pays its members a small amount of cash or gift cards to watch videos or online games and complete tasks afterwards.
KashKick is limited to people living in the United States and offers surveys, videos, quizzes and other micro tasks for people to do in their spare time. Rewards are paid via PayPal, and you can claim them once you reach the $10 threshold. But you can also keep the money in your PayPal account and allow it to accumulate over time until you need it.
As usual, you have to set up a profile and answer basic assessments when you join, which will influence which surveys you can complete. The good news is there’s no limit to the number you can enter in any one day.
Prolific – a big favourite among HomeWorkingClub readers – is a research site that helps university and company researchers discover how real people think and feel about a variety of questions. As their website states, “ On Prolific, you get paid cash for taking part in engaging research (no silly points or prize draws). No PhDs required!
Members come from most OECD countries, including the UK, USA, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Be aware that you may end up on a waiting list to join when you sign up, as the company has seen a large influx of applicants in recent months. Read our Prolific review here.
User Interviews is a US-based company that recruits participants for a range of focus groups and studies. You apply to join a particular study and complete a pre-screening survey. The researcher goes through your answers and decides if you fit the study’s criteria. If you’re invited in, you have to comply with all the study’s instructions to get paid.
The surveys include online user tests, interviews, surveys, diaries, and focus groups and payments range from a few dollars to $300+ depending on the amount of work and time you do.
Respondent.io is another research site that seems to accept participants from many countries. They are looking for professionals in fields like Software Development, Marketers, Executives, Sales and Support, and the sign-up process includes providing your work email to verify your employment.
Once signed up, Respondent will email you suitable studies, and you can also browse available projects. Of course, you’ll be asked a series of screening questions to determine your suitability. When invited to a study, you select a time that fits your schedule, and you’re paid via PayPal (less a 5% Respondent fee) when the research has been completed.
We’ve heard from HomeWorkingClub readers making really significant sums from this site.
User Testing Sites
Based in Switzerland, Testing Time has you test products at home, working through Skype or on-site with the customer.
To sign up, you answer some questions to help match you to suitable studies for your skills and demographic. When a study comes up, the site sends you another screening email, and if you fit the customer’s profile, they invite you to participate.
Of course, there’s no guarantee how often you’ll fit into the required profiles. You can earn the most by participating in studies in person, a little less through video calls and less than that for online surveys.
UserTesting Clients are companies that want to try out their new websites and mobile apps with real-life people. As a tester, you have to install the recording software onto your computer or mobile. That lets UserTesting record your screen while you work through the tasks.
To get started, you need:
- A computer or mobile device
- A reliable internet connection
- A microphone (built-in or external)
- To be at least 18 years old
- To speak English well enough to voice your thoughts clearly.
Userfeel testers conduct usability tests on websites. They’re given a scenario and then perform specific tasks (e.g. finding a product in an online store and going through the checkout process.) Their testing helps the companies find bugs in the system and also to improve the user experience.
Testers record their screen as they go through the scenario and comment on the experience, including things they like and don’t like about the website. There’s a helpful demo showing the process on the Userfeel FAQ page.
Studypool is an online education platform that offers students a range of study tools and services, including micro tutoring.
Tutors may or may not have formal qualifications but should be experts in their fields. They answer questions from students and provide additional tutoring as needed. Many tutors use the site to make extra income, but others make Study Pool their primary job.
Can you Earn Good Money from Sites Like MTurk?
Micro-working 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 micro-working as a way to earn some extra cash and not as anything resembling a full-time job.
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.
Have you tried any of these microwork sites? Or maybe you’ve had experience with Amazon MTurk? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Before You Go!
- Check out our enormous list of online jobs.
- Learn how to get established as a freelance home worker with our Freelance Kickstarter course.
- Find a huge list of firms that hire home workers.
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.