What is Crowdsourcing?
It’s basically when a company has lots of little jobs that need to be completed, and they hire a large number of people to collectively get it all done.
First off, if you want to make money online, crowdsourcing sites are not the way to get rich quickly — however, you can make money crowdsourcing as a consistent way to build up extra income.
Think of it like slow and steady winning the race.
Individually, they don’t produce much of an income.
Like we’re talking pennies per item. That’s why they’re also considered “Micro Tasks”.
However, if you can build a momentum to generate multiple tasks back to back, this can prove to be profitable.
Also, the more tasks you complete, the better your reputation becomes as a Tasker.
This increases your task qualification, which in turn makes more crowdsourcing opportunities available to you.
So you more or less start out with the low-paying, no experience tasks, and work your way up to the higher paying tasks where you need more experience but have less competition.
And that’s where you can actually make the best money on crowdsourcing sites.
The key to tasking is to be extremely focused and maintain a keen attention to detail.
Benefits of working short tasks:
- Create your own working hours
- Work as little or as often as you’d like
- Pick and choose which tasks you’d like to complete
- Work from the comfort of your home
- Pay per task
- Get paid for as many tasks you complete successfully
Related post: Legit Survey Sites that Actually Pay you Money
This page includes affiliate links — which means I may receive some sort of compensation (at no cost to you) if you sign up or make a purchase through these links.
Make Money Crowdsourcing – How it Works
Each website acts as an “internet marketplace” where companies (or requesters) post tasks requiring human intervention. Workers then sign up to complete each individual task for a small payment.
Human Intelligence Tasks, also called HITs, are individual micro-jobs or questions that workers can answer for a small reward. The more questions you answer, the more the rewards add up. Depending on the website, these can also be called tasks or gigs.
The questions are usually short and repetitive, and require human interaction.
That’s why these tasking marketplaces exist — there are jobs that need to be done, that a computer or robot cannot easily handle. It’s more effective to have a human handle these micro tasks.
Examples of micro jobs or short tasks that you can sign up for:
- Transcribe audio content into written word
- Identify objects in a photo or video
- Document items and dollar amounts listed on a restaurant or store receipt
- Copy text from scanned images
- Summarize a written paragraph
- Fix mistakes in a transcription
- Record short videos with everyday objects
Basic Steps to Make Money Crowdsourcing
- Sort available tasks on homepage by your preferences — date posted, amount paid, qualifications, etc.
- Select a task and preview/read the requirements to make sure it’s something you would like to do
- Accept the micro task and follow instructions to completion
- Submit completed task
- Get paid
Helpful Hints to Make Money Crowdsourcing
- Read ALL instructions before accepting a micro task — make sure you fully understand the expectations, to ensure you will receive full credit
- If you accept a micro task and then realize you’re unable to complete it, make sure you return it to the queue so that someone else can take it over
Tools to be Successful so you can Make Money Online Crowdsourcing:
If you’re doing any kind of transcription micro tasks, you’ll need to make sure you have a clear understanding of the conversation. Owning a high quality headset will allow you to hear all of the words being spoken so you can document every statement accurately. Sometimes there are multiple people talking, or maybe they’re speaking quickly, or with an accent. Having the right tools to perform the task is key to being a successful transcriber.
And if you get a headset with a microphone, it can be used for other types of work as well. For example, website user testing also requires this type of headset. You need to be able to hear the instructions, and record your responses into the microphone as you’re navigating each website.
You can read more about Website User Testing here.
Speaking of transcription work, I figured it would be worthwhile to mention a tool that is more specific to that particular task. It’s called a transcription pedal, and many people absolutely swear by them.
Picture this — you’re working on a transcription micro task, and are struggling with a certain section. You just cannot for the life of you figure out what the speaker is saying. You continually have to rewind the audio file, trying to make out the words one by one.
Instead of pausing/rewinding/pausing through the computer application, you can use a transcription foot pedal. So you’d be able to easily control the back and forth of the audio file with your foot motions.
A webcam is always a useful tool whenever you’re looking to make money online from home, no matter what type of work you are starting. When you’re micro-tasking, there can be jobs that require you submit a short video testimony. It could be that you’re asked to read a few paragraphs and then give a short summary. Or maybe you’re asked to provide an opinion on a picture displayed online.
For this, you want to make sure you have a quality webcam. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy — as long as it records a clear image and captures your thoughts. (Also why it’s good to have a webcam that includes a microphone/speaker component.) The above is the exact webcam that I use, and am extremely happy with.
Eyestrain can not only affect your sight, but also cause headaches, dizziness and fatigue. That’s why you want to make sure you’re set up ergonomically with a quality HD monitor.
Your monitor should project a sharp, clear image, that shouldn’t appear blurry or produce any flickers. It should also have the capability to tilt or pivot at a number of angles, to adjust to your specific needs.
Another important component of your online work area is your computer speakers. When performing multiple tasks through crowdsourcing sites, you need to make sure you can clearly hear and ultimately understand the directions that are given to you. Just like selecting a quality headset, the audio quality of your speakers are equally as important.
You want to make sure the range of volume is there, so you can adjust to meet your needs. You don’t want poor quality speakers that might emit crackling or feedback. And while you can opt to only use a headset, or have speakers combined in your webcam, you may also want a set of computer speakers available for times when you require the volume to exceed those other capabilities.
A digital voice recorder can be extremely helpful when you are gathering thoughts on a detailed micro task. Some tasks even require you record an audio response and upload to their website. (Some also require a video response, as noted above). A reliable voice recorder can help keep your work organized, and keep you on track with a large list of micro tasks that you are working on.
To track the time spent on your crowdsourcing tasks, you may want to invest in an Amazon Echo or Echo Plus. Since you are going to be so detail-focused, you won’t want to lose your place on the screen just to see what time it is.
With the Amazon Echo, you can easily stay focused on the task you are working on, and ask “Alexa, what time is it?“. That way you won’t lose track of when you need to pick your kids up from school, or when you need to get dinner started.
Not sure what the difference is between Amazon Echo and Echo Plus? Take a look at the article below, which provides a quick and easy-to-follow summary:
Best Paying Crowdsourcing or Micro Job Sites:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk) is probably the most well known short tasking site
- Each short task can range in payment from $0.01 to $1.00 per item
- You can earn bonuses by completing high quality requests in a shorter amount of time
Format: Web only
Payment: Earnings are sent to your Amazon Payments account or to an Amazon.com gift card. Additionally, funds in your Amazon Payments account can then be transferred to your bank account.
Link to more helpful info on Mechanical Turk, as seen on The Penny Hoarder.
- Figure Eight was previously known as CrowdFlower, and went through company rebranding in 2018
- The main concept around Figure Eight is applying the human experience to help in the growth and knowledge of artificial intelligence.
- Tasks require humans-in-the-loop (the people doing the tasks) to help the AI or machine platform learn and improve.
- The main goal is to help the machines advance by continuously providing data. By doing this, they will eventually learn and improve their algorithms, and be able to make better decisions. The more human data that’s absorbed, the more dependable the machines will be in the human world.
- Examples of human-in-the-loop (HITL) tasks available on Figure Eight: audio transcription, object identification, content moderation (age appropriate, explicit language), social media categorization (identify emotion or intent)
Format: Web only
Microworkers is an international site where you can earn money for the following types of tasks:
data mining, data categorization, data tagging, data labeling, data matching, sentiment analysis, event sequencing, transcription, content comparison, content evaluation, surveys, research studies, application testing and so much more.
Link to more helpful info on Microworkers, via Toughnickel.com
Format: Web only
Format: Web and App
Payment: Paypal, Payoneer, wire transfer
Link to more helpful info on fiverr, via wisebread.com
Another micro tasking site, similar to Microworkers. I must honestly say I have not yet worked with this site, but I have looked around it a bit. It’s not the fanciest of the sites out there, and I’ve found their pages riddles with typos/grammatical errors. That’s not to say the site isn’t useful or profitable. But these are just things that I notice. If anyone has an opinion on this site, please leave a comment — I’d love to know. And I will also return to make an update when I’ve had the opportunity to engage on the RapidWorkers website.
Do you have any experiences or recommendations on how to make money online crowdsourcing?
Which companies would you personally recommend?
Feel free to hit me up with some comments —
Robin : )
Robin is a full-time business professional who has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. She is also a personal finance blogger who shares her first hand experience with the struggles of money and debt. On Mastering the Side Jam, she focuses on ways to maximize efficiencies to make & save money, pay off debt, and live your best life.
She has been been featured on The Money Mix, Rockstar Finance, The Financial Diet and Women’s Money Talk, and has been quoted in various online publications.