Review: MechanicalTurk.com Allows Small Businesses to Get Mundane Tasks Done On-Demand

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In our second review of our 3 part series of how small business owners can accomplish start-up development tasks affordably, we take a look at mechanicalturk.com.

Does mechanical turk work for small business?

Hire on the fly!

Now owned by Amazon.com, mturk allows you to assign a task (collecting information and putting it into a database, scanning a list of leads and cherry-picking, writing content, etc.) by outsourcing to a worldwide audience of folks who are willing to work – and get paid – by task.

How to use mechanical turk

Popular uses of mTurk by small businesses

Mturk defines tasks in bite-sized chunks called HITs (Human Intelligence tasks) and it can work like this –

Ex 1) Let’s say you need to create a lot of unique content about widgets so that your site can climb the ranks of the search engines. It’s a mundane task that requires some level of intelligence and competent writing skills. But hiring a full-time writer is out of the question, and soliciting writers on Craigslist (and managing them) can be quite a time-suck and headache.

Mturk allows you to hire writers, assign specific tasks and details of those tasks, and then pay them per article or per 100 words.

Ex 2 ) You’ve noticed people from other countries coming to your website, or have been told by a friend that your business would have a great niche in a certain country. Since that country likely uses a different search engine language (getting ranked for Google English is different than getting ranked for Google Spanish) you decide to hire someone to translate your website into another language. You can choose to pay them per hour or per page, or even per word translated. You decide by defining how you want to create a HIT.

Ex 3) Your small business has decided to start a lead generation call campaign – but who to call? There are thousands of leads you can purchase on websites like hoovers.com or jigsaw.com – but whose going to go through them and cherry pick the best ones to purchase? Again, a mundane task but requires some level of human intelligence. Mturk to the rescue! You can arrange to pay someone a few pennies per each lead they collect for purchase, and save yourself countless hours.

how does mechanical turk work?

How the mTurk ecosystem works

Try it – it can save you time, money and most importantly – get your next great idea to grow your small business off the ground and into the World.


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  • Jason

    Thanks for the tips on hiring out content to Amazon turks, I wasn’t really sure if it was worthwhile or not as I’ve hired companies from India before for content creation and they turned out such poor quality of work that it was unusable. I’ll have to give Amazon turks a try. Thanks again!