You can easily find companies offering remote data entry jobs, and one popular choice is The Smart Crowd (formerly known as Virtual Bee). Home-based data entry work is popular because it usually doesn’t require extensive qualifications and can be a source of extra income.
Now, let’s address the important question: Is The Smart Crowd a legitimate and worthwhile way to make money online? The answer is yes, The Smart Crowd is a legitimate platform that pays you for completing short tasks. However, whether it’s worth your time and effort depends on a deeper understanding of the platform.
This review of The Smart Crowd will give you a comprehensive overview of what the platform offers, helping you decide whether to join or not.
At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to The Smart Crowd that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.
Table of Contents
- What is Smart Crowd?
- How Does Smart Crowd Work?
- What Kinds of Jobs Does the Smart Crowd Offer?
- What Are The Requirements?
- How To Sign Up With Smart Crowd?
- How Much Can You Make with Smart Crowd?
- Praise for Smart Crowd
- Criticism of Smart Crowd
- The Smart Crowd FAQs
- Is The Smart Crowd a Scam?
- Is There A Better Way to Make Money Online?
What is Smart Crowd?
Smart Crowd, previously known as Virtual Bee and earlier as Key for Cash, has a long history in data entry. Key for Cash started offering data entry work in 2001.
The company behind Smart Crowd is Lionbridge Technologies, Inc., which specializes in translation services. In 2012, Lionbridge acquired Virtual Bee and ran both data entry platforms together for a few years. In 2015, they merged them into what we now call The Smart Crowd.
Currently, Smart Crowd has around 100,000 workers worldwide, many of whom are multilingual and work on data entry and translation tasks. Some interesting stats about their workforce include that over a third are over 55 years old, and more than 90% have degrees.
Smart Crowd’s Name Change
Since my earlier review, Smart Crowd has transformed significantly and is now known as the Telus International AI Community. While it still offers similar opportunities, there have been substantial changes.
To understand how you can earn through this platform, you can check out the specific opportunities on the Telus International AI Community job board.
How Does Smart Crowd Work?
Smart Crowd, previously known as Virtual Bee, hires online independent contractors based on their typing accuracy and speed. To get started, simply sign up as a member. Afterward, you’ll need to take typing tests to determine your eligibility for the job, focusing on your typing speed.
The evaluation process consists of three segments: Letters, Dollars, and Numeric. Typically, each test takes around 2-3 minutes to complete.
If your first attempt doesn’t yield a high score, don’t be discouraged. You can retake the test after waiting for 24 hours. It’s crucial to aim for a high score, ideally close to 100%, because competition is intense, and there’s often a lengthy waiting list for available positions.
What Kinds of Jobs Does the Smart Crowd Offer?
Once you gain access to Smart Crowd, you can start working on various job types based on your evaluations. Here’s an overview of the types of jobs you can find on Smart Crowd:
Ads Quality Rater
- Your role is to evaluate ads based on their intended audience, offering feedback based on demographic targeting.
- This is a popular task, involving inputting data from one source into another, like transcribing handwritten forms into a database.
- Similar to website usability testing, you’ll navigate websites and provide your honest opinions.
Map Quality Analysts
- You’ll assess the relevance of maps to specific addresses.
Search Engine Evaluator
- A highly sought-after job where you evaluate search results for relevance to search terms.
Social Media Evaluator
- Similar to a search engine evaluator, but you’ll rate ads and social media profiles for quality and relevance, often using your smartphone.
- Occasionally, you may test various products like survey forms or reports and provide feedback.
- In this task, you listen to audio files and transcribe what you hear, a common online transcription job.
- If you’re proficient in multiple languages, you may be asked to translate content from one language to another.
Voice Data Collection
- You’ll read something aloud to help companies gather voice data for their projects.
These diverse job options cater to different skills and preferences, allowing you to choose tasks that align with your strengths and interests.
What Are The Requirements?
Signing up with Smart Crowd is straightforward, with no need for special skills. However, there are a few essential requirements:
- Age: You must be at least 18 years old to join.
- Typing Speed: It’s important to have a good typing speed.
- Technical Setup: You’ll need a computer with a high-speed internet connection.
These basic requirements make it accessible for most people to get started with Smart Crowd.
How To Sign Up With Smart Crowd?
Getting started with Smart Crowd is easy and open to people worldwide, regardless of their location.
- Free Registration: Signing up is free, but it’s advisable to be at least 18 years old, even though the site doesn’t explicitly mention an age requirement.
- Sign-Up Form: To become a member, fill out their sign-up form, which typically includes providing your basic information and location.
- Confirmation Email: After submitting the form, check your email for a confirmation link. It usually arrives within an hour (sometimes even faster), so don’t worry if it takes a little time.
- Profile Questionnaire: Complete the registration process by filling out a profile questionnaire, as mentioned earlier in this review.
One important point to remember when joining Smart Crowd is that job opportunities are location-dependent. If your area has plenty of job openings, you’ll have more chances to work on the platform.
However, keep in mind that job availability can change over time. For instance, one month there might be job offers for UK and Canada residents, but none for US residents. The situation could reverse the next month. In essence, job offers can be inconsistent regardless of your location.
How Much Can You Make with Smart Crowd?
Your earnings with Smart Crowd depend on the specific task you’re doing. Typically, they calculate your pay based on the number of keystrokes (characters) you enter. So, you can make anywhere from around $0.20 to $0.80 for every 1000 keystrokes. Many workers mention earning about 30 cents for every 1000 keystrokes.
It’s essential to keep in mind that you can’t count on this for a steady monthly income. The amount of work available can vary a lot. One month, you might only have a few hours of work, while the next month, it could be as much as 30 hours. This unpredictability means you might need to wait several months before getting any work offers.
Regarding payouts, Smart Crowd (formerly Virtual Bee) sends payments once you’ve reached a minimum of $30 in your account. They pay weekly by check.
Praise for Smart Crowd
1. Free to Join
Joining The Smart Crowd is completely free. There are no registration fees or upfront costs, making it an accessible option for anyone interested in flexible online work. Whether you’re seeking part-time income or exploring additional earning opportunities, the fact that you can become a member without any financial commitment is a significant advantage.
2. Flexible Working Hours
The Smart Crowd offers flexibility in terms of work hours. There are no fixed schedules or mandatory working hours. You have the freedom to choose when you want to work, making it ideal for people with other responsibilities like full-time jobs, family obligations, or studies.
Criticism of Smart Crowd
1. Not Well Paid
The pay for tasks on The Smart Crowd is generally low, often based on the number of keystrokes or characters. This means that the compensation may not match the time and effort required for certain tasks, making it less appealing for those seeking higher earnings.
2. You Won’t Always Have Work
Job availability on The Smart Crowd can be inconsistent. Some months, you might have plenty of tasks to complete, while other months, opportunities may be scarce or non-existent. This lack of a steady stream of work can make it difficult to rely on the platform for consistent income.
3. Evaluation Doesn’t Guarantee Work
Passing the initial evaluation is a necessary step, but it doesn’t guarantee a continuous flow of work. Job availability is subject to demand and location, so even if you qualify, you may still experience waiting periods without assignments.
4. Need to Meet Minimum Targets
To maintain your status on the platform, you must meet minimum productivity targets. Falling short of these targets could result in requalification, limiting your access to tasks. This requirement can create pressure to consistently perform at a certain level, which may not align with the flexible nature of the work for some individuals.
5. No Guaranteed Hours
The Smart Crowd does not offer guaranteed working hours. Since task assignments are based on availability, you have to adapt to the sporadic nature of job offers. This lack of predictable hours can be a challenge for those seeking stable income.
6. Saturated Job Market
The online data entry and micro-task market can become saturated, leading to job scarcity. With many workers competing for tasks, it can be difficult to secure assignments consistently. This competition may result in extended periods without job offers, making it challenging to rely on The Smart Crowd as a primary income source.
The Smart Crowd FAQs
Can you use it on mobile?
Smart Crowd doesn’t offer a mobile app, and because of the nature of the tasks, it’s not recommended to use a mobile device. The platform works best on laptops or desktop computers.
You won’t need to log in to the site frequently since you’ll mainly receive job notifications through email. Checking your email is usually sufficient.
The only time a mobile device might be handy is if a job involves testing a mobile app. Otherwise, most tasks require a computer. However, it’s worth noting that their website is mobile-friendly, making it easy to read content without needing to zoom in. This can be useful if you want to take placement evaluations when you’re not near a computer.
Can you get support from the Smart Crowd?
Regarding member support, Smart Crowd provides decent assistance. They have an FAQ page covering basic topics, but more clarity, especially regarding payment methods, would be beneficial.
If you need help, you can reach out to their support team. To do so, click on the contact link at the bottom of their website, under the Workers section (not Businesses). The contact option might not be immediately visible, but now you know where to find it.
Is The Smart Crowd a Scam?
No, The Smart Crowd is not a scam. It can be a good part-time opportunity if you’re accepted. Don’t expect to make a lot of money, maybe just a few hundred dollars at most. However, if you want a flexible part-time online job, it’s worth considering.
If you’re comfortable with tasks like data entry, transcription, and assessment work, and you’re motivated to work from home, signing up and taking the evaluations is a good idea. Just be prepared for a potential wait, which could be several months, to hear back from them. Generally, scoring above 90% on the assessments increases your chances of getting work within a few months, especially if they need your specific skills. Take your time on the assessment tests to aim for a perfect score.
But if you’re looking for websites where you can consistently earn a substantial income, it’s better to explore other online money-making opportunities.
Is There A Better Way to Make Money Online?
If you want to make a full-time income from home, I would suggest you start an affiliate marketing business online instead.
Affiliate marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business.
In fact, of all the online business models I’ve tried, affiliate marketing is the easiest and most rewarding so far.
In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.
And if you really want to learn affiliate marketing and build a business from scratch, I’d recommend you to get started with the most reputable platform for affiliate marketing: Wealthy Affiliate.
Wealthy Affiliate offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.
But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?
A 21-year old student from Wealthy Affiliate was able to earn $7,395 in just 1 week, which means he made more than $1k a day…all while using free traffic methods.
For more information, you can check out our full review of Wealthy Affiliate.