WAH: UserTesting.com

usertesting review

This past summer when I was looking for some summer income and was contemplating leaving my teaching job, a friend told me about UserTesting.com. She said she knew someone who was easily making a hundred or two per month by reviewing websites. I thought about it for a bit, but then forgot about it for a while.

This past winter, I decided to go ahead and try the site. Any little bit of additional income is welcome during this transition. I had also just gotten a great set of headphones with microphone for Christmas, which is absolutely necessary when working on a site like this.

How UserTesting.com Works

Basically, the way that it works is you have to take a screener survey for most of the opportunities. There may be a couple for which you are automatically qualified when they show up in your queue. Once you qualify for a test, or if it is an automatic one, you will want to make sure your headset is properly plugged in. You do a quick test to make sure everything is properly functioning and then the test begins.

You are led through a series of tasks. As you go through these tasks, you want to read the instructions out loud and then answer all of the questions. Give your thoughts and opinions. The point is to keep on talking. Say whatever is on your mind, no matter what your opinion is. The point is you are trying to shape the consumer experience. In fact, they sometimes say if you think you are talking too much, it is probably just right. Another thing to remember is that most tests will want you to interact for a full ten minutes. Keep an eye on your timer in the upper right corner by the instructions. Don’t use a bunch of filler when speaking, but give a lot of good opinions as you maximize your time.

I do UserTesting.com tests on my Windows-based computer. Note that it does not currently work on a Chromebook. You can also do them on a Mac. You do have to download their software so that the screen recorder can capture your voice and how you are interacting with the site. No worries about their downloads or having problems with any of this.

You do have the option of doing UserTesting.com on a mobile device. I have seen tests for tablets and both Android and iPhone. Unfortunately, when I tried to get my phone hooked up for these tests, the software didn’t seem to be compatible, though it should have been. I am hoping that when I eventually get a new phone, this will no longer be an issue. I always seem to have more mobile testing options than computer-based options!

How much money can you earn by doing tests on UserTesting.com? Well, most of the website tests are worth $10. Most of these tests will only take about ten minutes of your time. You can’t beat that hourly rate for sitting at home in your pajamas! Longer tests will sometimes offer more money. You may also qualify for moderated sessions where you interact in an online meeting environment to discuss websites and products. I did one that took an hour and was paid $70 for it.

The amount of money you are going to make, though, is completely dependent on how many tests you receive. I definitely do not qualify for significantly more tests than I do qualify for. I started out getting a test every ten days to two weeks. As I qualified for more, though, I found that I was qualifying for at least one a week. In recent weeks, I have had even more opportunities available. I have heard that the more quality tests you perform, the more that will come your way. There are also little extra qualifying tests that pop up at the top of your dashboard. I do recommend filling those out. That was how I got into a moderated study.

Another thing I do is to keep the UserTesting.com tab open at all times on my computer. The dashboard will automatically update any time there is a new test available. It makes a little dinging sound to alert you and then you can see what is available.

My only complaint is that it takes such a long time to upload the tests. I have had to wait anywhere from 20 minutes to a couple of hours. That gets frustrating when you actually have a dashboard full of test options. They say it can be your internet, but I have high-speed internet and few issues on any other site. They also recommend using Ethernet, but does anyone really still have that? I don’t think any of my computers are even capable of connecting to an Ethernet wire.

UserTesting.com isn’t going to replace a full-time income, but it is a fun way to earn a little extra cash on the side. It is also fun to know that you are able to actually influence products and services that are out there. (Just remember you can’t talk specifics with anyone due to confidentiality reasons!)

Check it out and then let me know what your experience is like.

WAH: Rev.com Captioning

wah revHave you ever used the Closed Captioning (CC) function while watching videos? Some people actually  need to use this feature, because they cannot easily hear what people are saying. When you’re at a bar or other busy place, someone may turn on the captioning so that you can still “hear” what is going on in the midst of the noise. Others like to do it just for fun.

Obviously someone has to take the time to type out those captions. You can be that person, and make a few extra bucks while doing so.

Rev.com is a site dedicated to creating transcripts for people to read. While they have an option for transcriptionists, I work on the captioning side of the site. We get pre-recorded videos that we watch and caption for a variety of clients. Files may be as short as 30 seconds, or as long as a few hours. Nothing is live captioning. We are not allowed to discuss the details of our clients, so I cannot tell you anything more than that. You get to choose on which project you work, making it a worthwhile and entertaining way to earn some extra money.

When you apply, you fill out a profile and verify that you have the requirements. Basically, you need access to Chrome or Firefox, high-speed internet, and a good set of headphones. High-quality ear buds are also better than just using your computer’s speakers, but I definitely prefer my headset.

After watching several tutorials, do a practice video. If you show potential, they will let you know what you need to work on and then get even more training. Then, you try another video. If you pass, you become a Rookie. Rookies are limited in what they are able to caption and make a lower rate. Every video is graded by a team of hand-selected Quality Control experts, with a rating system and comments about what you did well and how to improve. Fulfill the minimum number of minutes within a given time frame and maintain high enough scores and you become a Reverr. This grants you access to more videos and a bump in your pay. Keep on doing well, churning out a high number of captioned minutes and maintain high metrics, and you can become a Reverr+. At this stage, you get access to videos before those on lower levels and can end up earning even more money.

Earnings are based on audio minutes. Let’s say you have a five-minute video at the rate of 60 cents a minute. You will earn $3 for doing that video. While this seems like a negligible amount, those short videos often go quickly and can add up. Larger projects will bring in more income. Some projects end up being worth much more per audio minute. The longer you work on the site, the faster your captioning skills will be, and the more money you can earn. Figure a minimum of three times the length of the video to get it properly captioned and then synced to the speakers’ voices.

The site provides style guides to which you must adhere. The forum is a great resource for information and if you are stuck on what someone is saying. Support is just an email away and usually reply in a timely fashion. They welcome your questions and feedback.

I applied to Rev at the end of October. Within two weeks, I had worked hard enough and maintained a high enough quality that I became a Reverr+. It is a significant part of my weekly income and some people use the site for their full-time job. Work is not always guaranteed to be available, but they strive to keep plenty of fresh clients coming in, to keep us all busy.

The work week runs from 12:00 AM GMT Sunday morning to 11:59 PM GMT Saturday. Anything you complete by this cutoff time will be paid to you on the following Monday. I am in the eastern time zone, so anything I get completed by 7 PM EST on Saturday, I get paid for two days later on Monday afternoon. Payments are done via PayPal, so you must have a PayPal account.

While it isn’t for everyone, I find it to be an entertaining way to pull in some income while sitting in the comfort of my own home. They also offer transcription and translation services. Check them out at https://www.rev.com/.