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Monday, July 20, 2020

We are both sick

so I am not sure at this time when we will return to regular blog posts sharing our income and experiences with online work. 

Jamey is now a "presumptive Covid-19" case after our doctor evaluated him over the phone and I have some symptoms myself. 

 We do not have a car so we have no way of going to get tested and are just taking it day by day at home at this point. Normally our medical transportation is the local wheelchair van but even if they were not currently shut down because of Covid-19, they would not take us anywhere now that our doctor thinks Jamey has Covid-19. 

 Thank you to those who have come to visit us. 

We will return to blogging when we are both doing better as right now Jamey is just sleeping an average of 20 hours a day, waking up for an hour or so at at time, during which he just reads quietly or watches videos, and goes back to sleep so doing all of the household chores and earning our online work income is on my shoulders now and I am not feeling well either. 

So I just don't have the energy to give a detailed blog update. 

 I am sorry about that. Please be well all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Our Review of https://www.prolific.co/

We only post data on online work jobs that we know from personal experience actually pay.  We are both doing work for https://www.prolific.co/ now and Jamey has been paid already and I have earned enough that I can cash out too.   Prolific only requires £5.00 in order to cash out and it can easily be done with PayPal.

The application process for Prolific is quite interesting as the people behind the site have a definite sense of humor and it shows up in the type of qualification questions they ask.   I have been an online gig worker for several years now and never encountered some of the rather creative questions that Prolific posed. 

Once you complete the application process, you then need to go in and very thoroughly fill in the About You section.  This is critical as the surveys that you are invited to participate in on Prolific will be based on the data that you provide in this section and if what you say in a survey does not match your information in the About You section, you can be disqualified from the survey.

Most of the surveys I have done on Prolific have been fairly quick ones, usually 3 - 10 minutes in duration, and often paid better than similar ones on Mturk.

As with Mturk, Prolific is very competitive and you have to stay on top of it if you want to get work.  You will occasionally get email invites but you mainly need to go out to the site yourself and see what they have available for you. 

I also suggest joining the Prolific subreddit to get heads up on on what others are dealing with (both pros and cons) on Prolific.  As with all online work platforms, there will be wonderful requesters and others that are less pleasant to work with so it is helpful to see what other workers are experiencing.  Thankfully, so far all of my experiences on Prolific so far have been very positive.

***
July 10, 2020 update: I just read a post on the Prolific subreddit that is an excellent example of why it is beneficial to follow it.  As soon as I read it, I sent Jamey a heads up email to avoid this particular task on Prolific as people are reporting getting kicked out after putting 30 - 45 minutes in on this 60 minute task.  Please note this is not typical on Prolific which is why people were alerting others to this task.
***

Prolific is mainly, if not exclusively, University based studies which are often more interesting than commercial ones but at the end of each survey, there is a check to see if you had any problem with the survey which is a nice feature. Additionally, at the beginning of each survey you are told up front how long it is expected to take, how much you will be paid, given a reasonable idea of what it is about and may even be told if a bonus might be possible for it.

The bonuses can be quite nice as they can more than double the pay.  For example, I did one earlier today that had a pay rate of £2.00 pounds and earned a bonus of £3.50 for it.


Prolific is based in the U.K. so all of the payments are in pounds and pence but it is easy to do a fast Google search to convert the figures if you are in another country and want to know the equivalent amount in your own currency.

We are in the United States and Jamey had no problem having PayPal do the conversion from British currency to United States currency and he was not charged anything by PayPal for doing so.

Jamey and I have been working on Prolific for less than a month (since June 19, 2020) and so far we are both getting regular surveys.  I did read in the Prolific subreddit though that they give preference to those who are new and after you have worked for them for a while, you begin to get fewer regular survey offers.  The post I saw said that Prolific was not trying to be like Mturk, a place where some people can make a full time income, but their goal instead is to make available as diverse a body of respondents as possible to the requesters.

If that is true, and at this time, I cannot verify from our own experience if it is, I would still recommend Prolific as a reliable source of extra income.   Since my own focus is mainly on earning income from Appen, Qmee and Mturk, I have not been checking Prolific daily for work but even checking it occasionally, I have earned £13.62 from it so far myself .   I am waiting for approval on two other Prolific surveys at which point I plan to do my first cash in on Prolific.

Jamey cashed in £10.69 via PayPal on June 30.  He received his payment in pounds on July 3rd and PayPal then converted that to $12.90 on July 5th.  Since cashing in, Jamey has earned an additional £7.20 from Prolific.

Please note, Paypal does not do the conversion automatically, and may be using a slightly less advantageous conversion rate than Google shows.  Check Paypal for the conversion rate they show.




Survey Police has additional useful information for those who are contemplating applying for Prolific. I would note though that while they say

 "Prolific promises that you won't get kicked out of surveys." 

You still can get rejected after doing a survey if the requester believes that you did not provide accurate information or were not paying sufficient attention, i.e., you failed an attention check or did not respond properly to an essay question, which not all surveys have.   This is the case for all reputable sites of this type though including Mturk.

As of this writing, there are 60 reviews for Prolific on Survey Police.  78.3% of the people who responded gave Prolific a 5 star review and an additional 6.7% gave it a 4 star review so 85% of the reviews are 4 star or higher.

I have looked at other review sites for Prolific and they give similar amounts of 4 and 5 star reviews (or the equivalent).  I would encourage you to do your own research and then if you like what you see, give Prolific a try yourself.   If you would like additional information before signing up for Prolific, you may also wish to take a look at the Prolific blog.

If you find that you do like, or that you don't like, Prolific, we would love to hear about your experience in our comment section below.





Sunday, July 5, 2020

Our Online Gig Earnings as of July 4, 2020

Once a week we post a round up of what we have made on most of the things we do to earn income online.

There are a few other things that we do, but these are the ones that at least one of us has cashed out from in the past so we can verify from personal experience that each of these actually does pay out as promised.  

We are providing this data to assist those who are considering starting one or more of these programs to supplement their own income.


Accelerant We have received the $50 for last month's work and been approved for an additional month.  This is something we both work on but Jamey does the lion's share of the work for it.

Appen  I am an independent contractor for Appen and submit an invoice for the previous month at the beginning of the next month.  My invoice for June has $95.29, which will pay in mid July, of completed work.    So far I have $35.55 on my invoice for July as I have started an additional Appen project so I am estimating that I will make around $300 or so from Appen in July which will help out a lot as I need to have some oral surgery done.

CashKarma (Doreen) is up to 3,063 points.   I am 7,937 points away from our next $10.00 gift certificate.

CashKarma (Jamey)  is up to 2,151 points.   He is 8,849 points away from a $10.00 gift certificate.

DailyBreak  Why I No Longer Recommend This One

E-Poll Express Yourself is still at 2450 points now, as I only receive occasional invites for surveys.  We need an additional 4,800 points for our next $10.00 gift card.

Fetch   4179 points because we have not been going to brick and mortar stores to get receipts.  We connected this to our Amazon account as e-receipts are supposed to count but so far I am not seeing any sign of that.  (This is included here though as we have cashed out from Fetch (gift cards) in the past.)

Google Play (Doreen) I am at $8.33 but this tends to vary as I do use this money for various things on Google Play.

Google Play (Jamey) Jamey is at $13.56.  He uses this from time to time for small things.

Ibotta is up to $22.53.   Connecting it to our Walmart account for grocery pickup and delivery is working.

InboxDollars is up to $15.43, need another $24.57 to cash out again.   (You can cash out at $30 but they charge you $3 to do that, so we prefer to wait until $40 so that we can keep everything we make.)

Kelloggs Family Rewards is back up to 1010 points.   I just noticed that they are now allowing receipts from online orders too.  We meant to give that a try and report back in last week's round up how it worked, but this past week has been rough and the next week or so will also be challenging for us.

Mturk (Doreen)  My Mturk is $9.17 at the moment.   This is after cashing out $11.81 on June 26th and $22.20 on June 12th.  Mturk does an automatic biweekly cash out for me.  So far I have earned $202.05 from Mturk this year and $1,388.42 since I started it in 2018.

Mturk (Jamey)  Jamey's Mturk is at $2.75 as he has did a cash out of $14.87 on June 24th.  His prior cash out was $42.67 on May 25th (he has his deposit once a month.)

Nielsen - is at 2763 points. We only get points from them once a month.  It takes 1,500 points to get a $10 Amazon gift card and 3,750 points for a $25 Amazon gift card.  We usually get gift cards from Amazon but once we chose to get a headset instead.

Pawpoints  is at 695 points as we received a 10 point bonus for Night's birthday.   When we reach 775 points, we can get another coupon for a free 25 pound box of cat litter.

PineCone is back up to $3.50 and should soon be at $6.50 as I did another survey last week that I have not been credited for yet (likely because of the July 4th holiday).  My last cash out was $25 in the form of a Walmart gift certificate on June 14th.

Prolific  (Doreen) - This is something we just started in the past week or so.  We plan to do a blog post on it next week since Jamey has now cashed out from it.  They are based in Britain and pay in pounds but you can use PayPal to cash out.   So far, I have earned £9.16 ($11.44) which is enough to cash out (you can cash out when you reach £5.00 )

Prolific (Jamey) cashed out £10.69 ($13.35) from Prolific a few days ago and will report on the process in the blog post this coming week.   Since cashing out, he has earned an additional £4.07 ($5.08) from Prolific.

Qmee (Doreen) is back up to $12.28 after I cashed out $30 on June 14th.  Since I started, I have cashed out $177.06 on Qmee.

Qmee (Jamey ) is up to $22.59.  Since he began, he's cashed out $89.12.

Shopkicks is back up to 420 but is rising very slowly as since we are not going to brick and mortar stores, we are only earning shopkicks from watching videos.  It is going to take quite a while to get back up to 1250 for another $5 gift card.   (We used to accumulate points much faster when we were actually going to the store instead of ordering online only.)

SurveyJunkie is only back up to $2.16 as I don't do it often because the prices for surveys are not very good and I get kicked out of most of them.    I stick with it though as each point is worth one cent and over the time I have been on it, I have earned 7,027 points, i.e., $70.27 worth.  (I have cashed out on this one several times, so as with everything else on this page, I know they actually do pay.)

Swagbucks.  We is down to 956  swagbucks, because I just cashed out for another $25 gift card on July 1st.  (That brought us up to $175 in egift cards to use on our next Walmart order.)

UsabilityHub (Doreen).  My UsabilityHub is up to $5.40.  I need to get it back up to at least $10 before I can cash it out again.   So far I have cashed out from Usability Hub six times, $88.70 total.

UsabilityHub (Jamey) is  at $9.30.  Total cashed out for him is $26.30.  Sometimes lots of these come in for us, other times we go through a dry spell.

Another ongoing minor source of income for us are our Teespring and Redbubble shops.    


Each week we feature one product from one of our shops in our weekly income round up post.  If you choose to purchase something from one of our shops, we will receive a percentage of the sale and be very thankful for it. For this week's product, Jamey has chosen


Hot Coffee And Chilling Cats Mug White


which features our own cats.   Teespring donates 10% of the products for it to Foster Mama Kittys cat welfare group.


Our Online Gig Earnings As Of July 4, 2020






Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Some of the Problems With Surveys

Surveys can be one of the most frustrating ways to earn income online.


We do earn some money from surveys every day but they can be frustrating.  This is not only because of the problem of qualifying for them, especially if you are like us and don't participate in many of the activities that are seen as standard or normal such as watching television, going to movies, drinking alcohol, etc.

It increases the challenge when you do find a survey that you qualify for and there turns out to be a problem with the survey.  Some of these you can get past, others will stop you cold forcing you to return a survey that you have spent a chunk of time on and normally getting no compensation at all.

Sometimes you even finish a survey and end up getting nothing.  


For example, I recently grabbed a Qmee survey that was supposed to take 12 minutes.  Once I opened it though, it said it would take 25 minutes.  I decided to do it anyway, completed it and then I was told

The survey provider has enough respondents for this survey but don't worry, there'll be others for you very soon.


I wish I could say that this is the only time this has happened, but it is not.

Examples of Problems Earning Income from Online Surveys

I truly try to always answer survey questions honestly but


another all too common problem is that sometimes surveys lock you into a position where you cannot give an honest answer.  I will give several examples of this that I have encountered recently on different survey sites:

1) The survey gave me a list of medications and asked me which ones I take for my stress incontinence.  I said that I don't take any medications for it.  The next question asked me which problems I had prior to starting medication for my bladder problems.

2) The survey asked "have you ever been pregnant?"   I said "no."  The next question asked "when was your most recent pregnancy."   It would not let me continue on in the survey without answering so I had to return it.

3) After telling another survey that I don't fly, I was asked for "the best description of the average length of trips you typically take (flight time only)."  That was another one that I had to return.

4) One last example is stating that I don't own a car and then being required to pick out the car I own from a list.  I have run into this one a number of times and, of course, I have to return those also.


Then there are the surveys that simply leave me stunned.


For example, I recently ran into a survey that kept giving me the instructions for the survey coders instead of the questions for the survey takers.   I did screen shot part of this survey because it was so odd.  I will give just one example of what I was presented with instead of a question:

A device detection script that would be able to record what type of device the respondent is taking the survey on (i.e., a tablet, a laptop, cellphone, desktop computer, etc.)  This would punch into a single selection question.

I won't reproduce anymore of it here but I received that behind the scenes type of data for about half a dozen questions after which the survey simply self-destructed.  Before it did though, I learned such interesting things from the coding as that we are considered "financially fragile."


The Bottom Line


Of course, the issue here is that no matter what type of problem the survey has, the end result is usually the same - you put time into it that you could have been using to earn money in another way and you get nothing for it beyond perhaps some interesting information if you happen to run into a survey that has coding instructions instead of questions.

This means that some days, we might put three hours into surveys and get $5 and other days we are lucky if that same three hours nets us a total of $0.25.    That is why we both rely mainly on things like Mturk and Rev and Appen for the majority of our online work income and just supplement with surveys.

While I can plan to some degree how much I will receive from Appen, Mturk and Rev can be very good or very slow.  This makes it difficult to budget when we never know even from day to day let alone week to week or month to month how much we will earn from our side hustles.

At some point in the future, I will do a blog post on the topic of budgeting for online gig workers.




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