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Get Paid to Test Websites

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.

UserTesting Payments

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.

UserTesting Rating

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.

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Comments

  1. This is really legitimate, Erin? It sounds like a great idea, and I’m thinking I’ll dive in. I’ll report back experience, if you like. Do they cap you on the number of tests you’re permitted to do in a day, a week, etc? Thanks so much for the heads-up on this; I haven’t been able to work for some time now and we could definitely use the cash. I’ll let you know how it goes….

  2. Hi, Denise. Yep, it’s fully legit. I’ve now earned $86 towards my chain saw. I’m not aware of any limit on the number of tests that you can do, but tests do go fast, so you have to be quick on the draw. Just follow the tips that I mentioned in the post, and you should be able to get several a week. I’d love to hear how it goes for you.

    -Erin

  3. Hi, Erin, Do they require you to buy something from the sites that you test? Do I need to have my own paypal account? Right now hubby and I share an account.
    Thanks,
    Mrs. V

  4. Nope. You don’t have to buy anything from the sites that you test. Your current PayPal account should work just fine. They’ll just ask for the e-mail address that’s attached to that PayPal account, so they can send you payments.

  5. Just signed up for this and went through the sample test. I just put my telemarketer/customer service hat back on after a few years out of the field, and it went like a charm! People who sign up for this should know that tests offered to you are based on demographics. In other words, there isn’t a pool of open jobs you can just pick from. My understanding is that they’ll offer a selection to me based on my income, age (Oh, God!) and level of expertise. Erin, you’ll know more about that end of the deal than I do right now but–so far, so good!

    • Yay! Glad to hear you’re giving it a try. Like Denise mentioned, there are some demographics involved in qualifying for tests. They may want someone who’s currently shopping for a certain item, someone who works in a certain industry, etc. That being said, I find I usually qualify for at least one test a day. So, it’s definitely worth the time.

    • Hi Janice,

      Since you’re acting as an independent contractor when you do the reviews, I would imagine you’d get a 1099, if you made more than $600 in a year. I didn’t start doing them until late last year, so I made under that amount, and just reported it myself.

  6. I stumbled upon your site due to a friend sharing the article how to make a trap for carpenter bees, but I have applied to try this method to make extra money, frankly I could use an extra $100 a month, being disabled that little extra would help me live more comfortably, I am now in the hurry up and wait to be approved, I do hope this works well.

    • Hope that approval hits your inbox soon. It’s been a fun sideline for me. I’ve earned enough since I started to buy a much-needed chainsaw.

  7. How does this work with taxes? Is it legit that way? Would I need to keep out a certain amount to pay taxes on it? I would love to do this, but I just get nervous about things like that because I worked for a private family that didn’t take out my taxes and it massively screwed me over.

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