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work from home as a website tester

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How I Make Extra Money Every Month

I make regular extra money every month by testing websites for their usability. The User Testing website, http://www.usertesting.com is my preferred company for doing this. I discovered the User Testing site from a Pinterest post which was reviewing various work from anywhere sources of extra money.There are numerous ‘side hustles’ out there. Many of them don’t live up to their promises of being simple and lucrative. If they were, we would all be getting rich in our spare time for very little effort.

Why Doing Surveys to Earn Extra Money Hasn’t Worked For Me

One of the often-suggested ways of making extra money is taking surveys online, whilst being on your phone: and watching Netflix. This hasn’t worked for me. It feels to me as if you are basically being data-mined and your contact details often shared with other sites. The result is loads of spam emails and random numbers appearing on your phone. You end up working your socks off to try and earn a small sum of money to get to the magic number you have to reach before you actually get a payout. I end up disillusioned, with sore thumbs,then give up so never actually get any money! And the survey companies have still got what they wanted, which was our responses and contact information.

 

So, What is User Testing?

User Testing offers its testers (ie you) the opportunity to review new websites and apps, on both desktops and mobile devices. Are you naturally chatty? Do you spend a fair amount of time at your desktop working, or browsing on your phone? Then this could work out quite well for you as a source of extra money. The designers of the websites are looking for people to test them out before they make the final versions live, and so are looking for lots of honest observation on your experience of using them.

How to Sign-Up and Get Paid to Test Websites

In order to be accepted, you will need to submit a test review of a website, to see if you come across clearly and succinctly and honestly. I should just mention here that the tests are both audio and video: you will be recorded on camera. In the test review it is important to speak out loud all of your thoughts and actions, both  positive and negative whilst following the instructions – no-one is looking for expertise, if you can’t do something, or find it counter intuitive then simply let that be known.

If you pass the test you will usually hear back in a day or so. Provided you are talkative and follow the instructions you should have no difficulty passing the test. Now you are ready to begin testing and getting paid for it.

You will have completed a demographic profile and this means that you will be offered tests that match as closely as possible to your age, gender etc. You can configure email alerts for every time a test comes in, but it works equally well to have the tab open on your desktop so you know immediately when a test is there. You do sometimes have respond at once because the test opportunities can go quickly – there are a limited number of testers needed for each opportunity.

work from home as a webste tester earn extra money

 

What sort of tests and tasks are on offer?

There are different kinds of tests: Peek Tests and Regular Tests.

Peek Tests are short five minute reviews of websites which pay $3 per test. Peek Tests were the first kind I was offered. The Regular Tests consist of a range of tasks to complete, last around 20 minutes and pay $10 per test.

The Regular Tests are the most common. These appear in your Available Tests dashboard, and show which kind of device the test is for: Mac or Windows computer, along with an Overview. The Overview details the requirements for taking the test. This is where you can find you are restricted: for example some tests specify experience in using particular software, or that you are a speaker of a particular language.

However, there are plenty of tests available that are open to anyone. I have reviewed travel booking websites, furniture websites, audio book websites etc etc. If there is a test specifically for a mobile phone it will show up here and direct you to your phone. It will also appear in the app on your phone if you have decided you would like to take tests on your mobile device. For this you will need to download the User Testing app of course.

A number of the tests also run qualifying screeners where you will be asked a few multiple choice questions to see if you are a fit for a test. There are also moderated studies which again require screening but are longer tests which pay more. I have no experience of these because I have not made it through the screening process, but they are worth applying for if you have more time.

desktop image, keyboard, eyeglasses, coffee

What actually happens in a test situation?

Once you are accepted for a test, you will be given around 15 minutes to make a start. You are guided through everything, including a microphone test and then are given a countdown to the start of the video recorder. Instructions appear in the top right of your screen and a link is given which takes you to the test website.

Follow all of the instructions, which can involve things like exploring a Home page and making searches or logging in to different areas. As you complete the various tasks you will provide verbal feedback on what you liked about the site, what worked well, where you had difficulties and what you think needs improving.

At the end of the test, recording stops and you will be asked a few more questions in written form. Then just wait a few minutes for the session to upload, and you are done, and are credited with $10 for your efforts.

 Performance Ratings

Depending on how you perform in your website ranking tasks, you will be reviewed and given a star rating: anything from 1 to 5 stars. Not everyone will review you, in my experience it is only the extremes of good or bad that get actually rated. Obviously the more stars you have the more tests you will be offered, at least this is how they say it works.

In my experience it is not difficult to get a good rating: you just need to remember to be as talkative and expressive as possible. Avoid silences when you are trying to figure something out on a website, instead be very obvious about the difficulties you are having. The designers of the websites are looking for honest experiences of how the site functions for the end-user, and they value knowing both the positives and the negatives.

 

What If Something goes wrong with the session?

As we are dealing with technology, things can sometimes go wrong, and you will need to end the test early before completing all the tasks. There is a procedure to report any problems you may have and it’s important to follow these to avoid being given a poor rating. I once missed out an entire step of instructions and was given a one star (I am a five star overall), quite rightly as I had failed to follow instructions.

baking and breakfastHowever, because of my otherwise good track record, User Testing decided not to publish the one star review and I kept my five stars ( I felt as if I was back at school ha ha). I did not get paid the $10 for the test though, so remember to carefully follow all the instructions and get to the end of the test otherwise the sessions worthless to the company and you will not be paid for it.

There are plenty of helpful tips on the User Testing website on how to be a good tester, what to do when a recording fails to load, or even if you get part way through a test and decide you aren’t comfortable with what you are being asked to do.

How Do I Receive Payment?

It is all really very straightforward, you will receive a regular payment of either $3 or $10 into your Paypal account exactly one week after you completed the test. The extra money, although not a huge amount, will definitely make a difference every month

I have been doing tests with User Testing for almost a year now, and here is a screenshot of my earnings with them over the past few months:

screenshot from user testing

If I were to tell you this will make you rich I would be lying. If you have the hours to put in you can make more money than I have. The point is that User Testing does what it says. Once you are signed up you will be assigned tests and you will be paid for doing them. I would ideally like to average about five tests per week  but it rarely happens. You could in theory do five tests per day over 5 days and earn yourself $250, which is obviously not a full-time wage but definitely is helpful money.

If you are currently at home a lot, have a few hours when you are sitting at your computer, and want to earn some extra money easily, then this is something I would recommend doing. The first few times of doing a test can feel a little nerve-wracking but truly there is nothing difficult about it. From the experience I have had with the company I have no hesitation in recommending giving them a go.

Sign up here to become a tester http://www.usertesting.com

Let me know what you think in the comments. Have you tried User Testing? Have you any recommendations for earning extra money on the side?

Thanks for reading. Suzy xx