A Way To Make Money Online
That you may not have already considered
There are multiple ways to make money online. You can write ebooks, share your knowledge with people on a blog, sell products, or become an affiliate. One thing for sure – there is a lot of money being trafficked around every day on the web. A few months ago I was looking for a tool for my company, and found a way to make some extra money in my spare time. It will never be a full-time revenue source since I don’t put much time into it, but it can add up to quite a bit of extra fun money. All you need to do the job is a willingness to share your opinions, a computer, an internet connection, and a PayPal account. Easy Right?
Have you even considered what makes a great website great? How one site selling gadget X can sell the gadget five times more than a competing site? Even more, have you ever tried to perform actions on a site, and left frustrated because you couldn’t navigate the site properly? That’s where usability testing comes in.
Usability testing is the process in which someone unfamiliar (or sometimes familiar) with your site tries to use it to accomplish key tasks that you expect your users to be able to perform. It can also be a simple test to have a person read a promotion and tell you what it means. Basically it’s a way to find out what people are doing on your site and why.
You said make money – get to it!
There are many services out there that help facilitate usability testing for companies. They vary in the way that they approach their user base, where they gather their testers, and how much they pay. I am going to give you a quick synopsis of the three sites that I participate in as a tester and my impressions on their approach.
With this site, you go through a simple signup and a demographics survey. When tests are requested and you meet the demographics requirements a test will appear on your desktop. Most tests will have a screener test which consists of no more than 5 quick questions to narrow down the testers available. It’s hit or miss on whether you will qualify for a test, some tests require that you have specific degrees, work in specific fields, live in a specific location, etc. If you qualify for a test, then you go through a process with a screen capture program that will record your actions and voice as you perform a set of tasks. You are encouraged to talk all the way through the test – and will even not get paid if you perform poorly on the test. Each test lasts approximately 15 minutes. A test performed on a computer pays $10.00, and a test on a mobile device pays $15.00. You are paid through PayPal, and the funds are distributed seven days after you perform a test. I like this approach because there is the possibility of having a constant (yet small) amount of money flowing into my account.
This service is very similar to usertesting.com. Users will sign up to join the panel, and then when tests are available they will be notified via email. Once accepted for the test a screen capture program will record the user’s actions and thoughts. The company is based out of the UK, and so I personally am disqualified from many of the offered tests, but there are still a good number of tests that are offered and you can finish one in 15-20 minutes. Users are normally paid $8.00 per test taken, though there are some tests that pay much more depending on what the requirements and time estimates are for the test. The funds are again distributed through PayPal, but they are only distributed once a month – normally around the 25th of the month. I like this site, because the process of applying to join the user panel is simple, but as I mentioned I do not get notified of many tests because I am in the US.
Again, this is a site that will use a screen recorder to record your actions during a test. This site pulls users from all over the world with varying demographics in order to provide a large range of testers for their clients. You do not need to be technically savvy to do the user tests – in fact, unless they are asking you to analyze a technical solution, its better if you are an average web user looking for a product or service. The service pays $10.00 for each test through PayPal and funds are distributed within 2 weeks of your test being approved by the requesting company. This is often risky to me, if I provide my feedback and the company doesnt like what I have had to say then they dont have to pay for the response. Fortunately I haven’t experienced this, probably because I make sure and provide thorough commentary on my experience with the site, and try to go above and beyond to provide the information they would need.
Sum it all up
These are just three of the websites out there that provide user testing feedback. There are many more, all using various forms of technology to provide their services. You are never going to get rich providing this kind of work. If all the stars aligned and you were able to continuously perform tests, you could make around $40.00 per hour. More realistically you might make $50 – $100 per week if you are watching your dashboards and picking up tests as they become available. Aside from the money you make, you might pick up a few things one what (and what NOT) to do when making websites. At the very least, you can take your kids out for some ice cream.