By Erin Huffstetler | 11/21/2014 | 16 Comments
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We need a chainsaw for our weekend homestead, and I’ve found a pretty cool way to earn the money for it: I’m testing websites, and sharing my experience with the site owners.
Here’s The Deal:
I signed up to be a tester for UserTesting.com. I was asked to fill out a quick application and to submit a sample site test. Once my test was approved, I was ready to get to work.
UserTesting uses screen capture software to record what I’m seeing and doing when I’m testing a website, and my computer microphone captures my thoughts.
Each test has a set of tasks that I’m asked to perform, and I work through those one at a time. If it’s a store, I may be asked to test out the checkout process or to find a certain product and let them know how easy or hard it was for me to find. I’m just performing basic user tasks and sharing my thoughts about the experience. If something functions differently than I expect it to, I say so. If something impresses me, I tell them that too.
Each site test takes about 15 minutes to complete, and wraps up with four quick written questions.
Once the test video is uploaded to UserTesting’s website, my dashboard updates to show my pending payment.
Each 15-minute test pays $10, and they sometimes have 5-minute “quick look” tests that pay $3.
Payments are made a week after you complete a test, and there’s no payment threshold. That means, if I do a test on Monday, I can expect a $10 payment in my PayPal account the following Monday. Pretty cool.
I’ve been doing tests for a couple weeks now, and I love everything about UserTesting. It’s fun to check out websites and to know that my feedback will help to make them better. And this is a gig that works well with my busy schedule. If I have time to do a test, I log in and look for one. If my day is already maxed out, I just skip it for a day. There’s no time commitment involved.
But let’s get to the most important point: the money. Can you really make money doing this? And do they pay as promptly as they say they will?
The answer to both is yes.
This is a screenshot of the PayPal payments that I’ve received so far. As you can see, I’ve received $43 in payments. I have another $33 in payments pending. An extra $76 in earnings over a 15-day period sounds pretty good to me – especially when you consider that I didn’t have to leave the house or commit to anything.
How I’m Maximizing My Earnings
Since this is a high-paying gig, it should come as no surprise that available tests get snapped up quickly. I log into my UserTesting account in the morning, and leave it open in a tab. When new tests get added, the tab updates to show how many tests are available, and a little chime goes off. This makes it easy for me to call first dibs.
I’ve found that a lot of tests get added late afternoon (starting around 2 p.m. Eastern), so I try to keep an eye on my tabs then. My personal goal is to do one user test a day (I’ll have my chainsaw in seven weeks if I do), and most days I’m able to make that happen.
Website owners are asked to rate your reviews, and you qualify for more tests when you have a good rating. So, far I have a 4.5 out of 5, and I’m trying to keep it there.
Signing up to do mobile tests (tests on your cellphone) is another way to earn more. Those tests pay $15. I haven’t taken the plunge yet, but I may have to give it a go.
Have you tried UserTesting? Are you thinking about trying it now? I’d love to hear about your experience.
Go here to sign up for UserTesting.