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Photo: Alphabet Soup by cdw9

As a blogger, one of the easiest ways to lose credibility online is by using poor English.  It’s hard for people to trust you if you can’t put a proper sentence together.


I was not an English major, so needless to say, I’m often appalled when I look back over the simple grammatical/spelling errors I’ve made.  When I read over my own writing, I rarely catch all of my mistakes.  My friends and family have grown tired of proofreading my stuff.  Not to mention, their turn around time is way too slow.

That’s when I came up with the perfect solution:  “Crowdsource it!”

Using a service called Mechanical Turk, I was able to get 2 people to proofread a blog post in 1 HOUR for ONLY $0.50. Here is how I did it:

Step 1: I registered as a “Requester” with Mechanical Turk:

Home

Step 2: I chose to create an “Individual” Human Intelligence Task (HIT):

Create Individual HIT

Step 3: I created a HIT.  My description pointed out that I wanted someone to proofread the provided text (my rough blog post) for “errors in grammar, spelling, and sentence structure”. I pasted the text of my rough blog post draft into the “Detailed Instructions” section.  Here, I also gave more details about how I wanted them to copy and paste my text into a Microsoft Word document before editing, and then to upload it once completed.  I chose the “File Upload” Answer Format so that my proofreaders would have a place to upload my edited blog post.  The amount I would pay for each task was $0.25.

I set the job to expire in 4 hours and gave each person 1 hour to finish the task once they began.  Note:  this was at 7PM (PST) on a Friday night.

HIT Description

File Upload Answer Format

Step 4:  One hour later I had my results! Of the 3 results, one did not follow the instructions so I was able to reject them.  The other two, however, were clearly edited by strong English writers! My favorite proofreader actually suggested sentence structure changes and ways to phrase things.  If one proofreader missed an error, the other one caught it. Because I rejected one of the results, I only paid for two, which was whopping $0.50!

HIT result

The Result:  It took me only 15 minutes of first-time set up, and $0.50 to get a rough draft of a blog post proofread by native English speakers.  This was well worth my time AND money! If you haven’t tried Mechanical Turk yet for proofreading your content, I highly recommend it!

  • http://www.thebillionairegirl.com Espree Devora

    Sick resource. Thanks!

  • Austin

    Espree,

    I agree! M Turk has a lot of potential! Check out FeedbackArmy.com if you haven’t already. Their business is built on top of M Turk.

  • Tamara

    Thanks for posting! This is amazing… I love the web!

  • Austin

    Thanks for the comment Tamara! I love the web too:)

  • http://www.financialsamurai.com Financial Samurai

    Thanks for highlighting this service! There is so much content getting pumped out on my site now I can rarely catch everything.

    I just leave it up to old regulars to tell me what’s wrong.

  • http://www.atlantic.net Cloud Servers

    amazing post, I thought I was doing well with $4-$5 per page edit…it is only getting better with deflation!!!!

  • Austin

    Thanks for commenting :) Where did you go in the past for proofreading? I’m not sure it is just “deflation”, but a general trend toward “Crowdsourcing”. Things in general can be much cheaper when you use the power of a crowd.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1450964185 Pavel Binar

    I like Amazon Mechanical Turk :) This post is very useful. I will try it right now.

    Thank you.

  • TylorSkory

    Awesome idea! I have been looking for an affordable way to just have an extra pair of eyes read over my posts before publishing them. I’m going to try this with my next article!

  • Sigi Brent

    Yep. Found another great place for cheap and professional corrections, like the turk – eangel.me
    Really simple and immediate.