Did you know that you can make money online performing small tasks? Maybe you need to fill out a form or you need to click a button or describe something with a short piece of text. These are called micro jobs, and there are many businesses online that need a lot of such a small, low-level, and low-skilled work done on a massive scale. This is why they turn to micro job platforms.
How Much Do Micro Jobs Pay?
Since you are going to be doing only small tasks like clicking a link, describing a picture, or filling out a form with very basic information, don’t expect a lot of money. In fact, a lot of the bigger micro job platforms out there pay less than 50 cents per task.
The Secret to Making Money with Micro Work-Type Programs
Since you only get paid a few cents per action, you might be thinking that doing micro jobs online is just a waste of time. Please note that these tasks take very little time. We’re talking one to three minutes maximum. They don’t take all that much of your time.
While they do pay pennies per action, you can actually do a lot of these actions in a very short period of time. They don’t feel like work. You don’t have to do deep level analysis. You don’t have to have any high-level skills. In fact, a lot of these micro tasks don’t require much thinking at all. That’s why they pay so little.
But the good news is they take up so little time that you can actually do a lot of them. The key is to sign up for as many of these micro job platforms as possible. You can string them up so you can go through all the tasks on one platform and then go to the next platform and, before you know it, you would have performed a lot of tasks in very little time.
Maybe you can do it during your lunch hour. Perhaps you can do it during your spare time. If you stick to it on a regular basis and you make doing micro tasks part of your regular schedule or routine, those pennies that you earn can actually add up to a lot of money.
The Real Benefit of Micro Jobs
Let me cut straight to the chase. If you really want to figure out what is the main benefit of micro jobs, it’s this: you turn your leisure time into cash.
Think about what you normally do at work. Chances are if you’re like the typical American worker, your actual work time can probably be boiled down to a few hours. Maybe three hours or four hours tops. What are you doing with the rest of your time? You’re probably checking your email, fooling around with social media, talking with other coworkers at the water cooler, or otherwise killing time.
What if you can turn at least an hour of that downtime or unproductive time into cold hard cash? That’s where micro work comes in. The great thing about micro tasks is you can put yourself under intense time pressure so you can quickly go through these paid tasks in no time flat.
Instead of dwelling on the sides and clicking on page after page and basically wasting time, you just zip through all your tasks and get rid of them in a very short period of time. This also builds up discipline and focus. Before you know it, you become a more focused worker because you only give yourself a very small block of time to get a lot of tasks done.
If you do this right, you might actually become a better employee at your day job. How come? Your attention to detail as well as your speed and focus can translate to faster work, higher quality work, and greater responsibilities.
You know what happens next, right? When you assume greater and greater levels of responsibilities, your boss will probably start looking at you as a promotion candidate. That’s how it normally works out. People who refuse to take higher levels of responsibility and just focus on what’s assigned to them remain stuck. They don’t get paid all that much. At the end of the year, they get paid a cost of living allowance or adjustment and that’s pretty much it. They remain stuck at the bottom.
Believe it or not working micro tasks or micro work projects online can give you the work focus and attention to detail that you need to become a more efficient employee. It doesn’t really matter what your job tasks are. The skills and, most importantly, improved mindset and focus that you get using these platforms can pay off tremendously.
How Do You Qualify for Micro Task Projects?
Since these micro work projects don’t really require technical training or an extensive technical background, pretty much anybody with decent English skills can do them. The only “skill” that you need is the ability to follow English instructions. You may be thinking that this is so basic and so common that all these micro work platforms are flooded with people. You might think that they are saturated, but they’re not.
Believe it or not a lot of people who apply for online work fail initial screening. A lot of people can’t even follow basic English instructions. The shocking part is that these are not people from foreign countries. That would be understandable because English is not their first language. These are individuals in the United States.
For whatever reason, they can’t follow basic English instructions. They can’t follow a sequence. They can’t figure out a process. A lot can’t be counted on to deliver a report that has to be formatted a certain way.
If you are thinking that these jobs are all but taken, think again. As long as you can follow basic English instructions and you have the time to do these types of tasks, you can make money with them.
How Much Money Can I Really Make with Micro Task Websites?
Micro work programs have different rates. Some programs don’t even pay in cash. For example, Amazon Mechanical Turk or MTurk actually pay people in the form of mobile gift cards from Amazon or they add credits to your Amazon payment balance. They also pay you directly with certain jobs.
Keep this in mind. A lot of the programs also require a minimum payout amount. Since each task pays less than 10 cents or 25 cents, this can take a long time if you do these tasks on a very casual level.
How Do I Avoid Micro Work Scams?
Sadly, there are a lot of online micro work scams on the Internet. The good news is that they are very easy to spot. You can tell a program is a scam if you are supposed to “invest” or “pay for training.” If the program that is supposed to pay you asks you to pay first instead, turn around, close your window, and run away. Seriously. Close that browser window and head for the hills. You’re dealing with a scam program.
Any legit freelance program is supposed to pay you or train you or screen you. If the program is not doing any of those and is asking you instead to pay, that is not a legit micro work program. That is a scam.
Tips for Micro Task Worker Success
So, how do you become a successful micro worker? Here are five tips that have been proven to work for people who make pennies and dimes with small tasks online.
You may be thinking that this is just chump change. Think again. Sure, each micro task pays very little. However, if you can do a lot of these and you do these tasks across different platforms, those pennies and dimes can add up. This is especially true if you are a very efficient person.
Tip #1: Sign up for as many micro work programs as possible
As long as a micro work program is legit and they pay via PayPal or some other payment system that you can access, sign up for them. That’s the bottom line. As long as micro work program exists and they do pay out and they’re not scams, sign up for them. It’s that simple.
Tip #2: Brush up on your reading and comprehension skills before taking screening tests
As I have mentioned earlier, a lot of micro task websites turn away a lot of people. A lot of these applicants simply rush through the application process and cannot follow instructions. They think they know English so they make all sorts of assumptions, and they end up blowing it. Don’t be one of those people.
Pay close attention to all the instructions. Ask yourself if everything makes sense. Read through the instructions several times so you can pass screening. If you don’t pass screening, regardless of how good your English skills are or how educated you are in the United States, you’re not going to make any money. It’s that simple. You have to get through the screening, and the only way to do that is to follow instructions to the letter.
Tip #3: Open different windows during your downtime
Once you have picked out a block of time to do micro work, open a window for each of the micro task platform you signed up for. It can be 10. It can be 20. It can be 30. It doesn’t matter. Open as many of these windows as possible and do each task in each window.
Sometimes tasks will take quite a bit to validate or to reload. When you’re doing that, click the Control and the Tab keys to go to the next tab on your browser. Do the micro task there, and once that’s processing, go on to the next tab and then the next tab and so on and so forth.
By doing things this way, you process a lot of forms and tasks while waiting for earlier micro tasks to finish. You then go back to where you started and load up another task and repeat the process again. The key here is to do everything as quickly as possible while maintaining a high level of work output.
How Do You Maintain Quality?
Maintaining micro task quality is actually very simple: you just need to follow instructions. If the task is to pick out pictures that contain street signs, do that. If the instruction says to type in the world “yes,” do that.
Remember a lot of these tasks are very basic. They don’t take much thinking; however, you need to follow instructions. So, your ability to read very quickly and understand what’s required in a very short period of time is going to be tested. If you keep this up, you will be trained to speed through the process and produce quality work.
Tip #4: Constantly increase your task speed
The first time I was able to do micro tasks using the multi-tab technique I described above, I was extremely happy. I thought I was doing well. The problem was it still took me 15 minutes. I thought that was a very short period of time, but it turned out that there was still a lot of room for improvement. By getting used to the process, I was able to take that 15 minutes down to 10 and then to 5 minutes.
Why Speed Up?
The faster you are, the more profit you make. Remember with any kind of freelancing, you’re just trading in your time for money. That’s the bottom line. The secret is to take as little time as possible while earning as much money as possible.
This is not always doable because a lot of these micro work programs have very low fixed rates. You can’t negotiate with them or haggle for higher rates. Forget it. That’s not going to happen.
The best thing you can do is to minimize as much of your input as possible while doing a good job. You may think that’s a tall order, you’d be surprised as to how smart you really are if you put enough pressure on yourself.
Tip #5: Track your time
It’s one thing to say to yourself that you’re going to speed up. Anybody can do that, but you need to look at an actual tracking journal or record to see if you are actually making progress. Keep some sort of diary. It can be something as basic as a Notepad text file on your computer.
Look it up and check out the dates and see if your time is going down. This is how you ensure profitability because for every minute you save from having to do micro work tasks, you can devote that minute to another activity online that will pay you.
Maybe you can blog on the side or perhaps you can buy and sell stuff on eBay. Whatever it is you do, that activity takes time. What if you can shave a large block of time from doing micro tasks and devote it to those other activities? You end up with a same block of time for side income or side hustles, and you make money from that time. Isn’t that awesome?
11 Micro Work Websites that You can Start with
Make no mistake there are many legitimate micro job platforms on the Internet. Don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that there are only a handful of them. There are actually several dozens focusing on different niches or different countries. Regardless of where you come from, it’s always a good idea to keep searching Google for the latest and greatest micro job platform.
With that said, here are 10 platforms that are industry mainstays. This means that they’ve been around for a while, and they are tried-and-proven platforms. They’re not fly-by-night operations. They don’t shut down and reopen again. They don’t play any tricks when it comes to payments. They’re legit.
Start with these ten and then scale up as you try out other programs. There are many legit programs out there. You just need to find them.
This is a data training platform. They ask people to do simple tasks that help the clients of Spare5 train software. Usually, they require workers to annotate, write short reviews, rate operations, hag information, and categorize or classify information.
When can You Get Paid?
If you have built a balance of $1 or above, you can cash out via PayPal.
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Remotasks farms out micro tasks that are related to self-driving car projects. Uber and other companies have self-driving vehicles, the same with Google. They farm out a lot of the heavy work involving image recognition, tagging, map annotation, and content analysis to Remotasks.
How Much Does Remotasks Pay?
Remotasks is awesome because you get paid whatever you earned Tuesday of the week. They don’t play the usual $1 minimum payout or $10 minimum payout. They don’t have a minimum payout amount. As long as you did some work during a one-week period ending in Tuesday, you get paid via PayPal.
Picoworkers is a micro work farming platform. What this means is when a client joins Picoworkers, they can plug in tasks. On the other end of Picoworkers are workers like you who are then farmed out or assigned the tasks. They then do what the client requires and Picoworkers then processes your output and sends it to the client. If the client is happy with your work because you followed instructions, they click a button or send a notification to Picoworkers, and your payment is credited to your balance.
How Long Does Picoworkers Take to Pay Freelancers?
The downside to Picoworkers is that it usually takes two waiting periods. First, you have to wait until your credit balance gets up to $5. This is okay if there’s a lot of work in the platform. This is not okay if there are very few clients and it takes weeks, if not months, for you to reach $5.
On top of that, once your account reaches the right amount, you have to request payment and usually it takes them 10 days for payment processing.
The good news is just by signing up, you get $2 credited to your account.
Figure8 has a wide geographical distribution. Unlike other micro work platforms that restrict themselves to English-speaking countries or first-world countries, Figure8 is truly a global platform. Just how global? This website allows people from 208 countries to sign up. In fact, they have 5 million workers registered in their system.
The way work is assigned in this platform is not much different from Picoworkers. When people sign up, they get instructions to do a task and then they are given the option to take on the task.
What makes Figure8 different is that if you want to get more micro work, you have to prove your skills. It’s like a video game where you have to unlock each level, and the way to unlock is to take tests that validate your skills.
Generally, the kind of work that you get involves sentiment analysis, categorizing data, collecting and enhancing data as well as moderating content. Again, don’t let the descriptions fool you. This is not heavy-duty work. They’ve stripped it down to the most bare minimum and basic work.
What is the Minimum to Withdraw from Figure8?
You need to build up $5 in credit for you to withdraw payment. Also, you have to join the “elite” program to get paid via PayPal.
Formerly called ODesk and Elance, Upwork is the 800-pound gorilla of the online freelancing world. If you’re a freelancer, it’s always a good idea to sign for Upwork. Just because you signed up, it doesn’t mean that you will get freelance work. That’s how competitive Upwork is.
The good news is Upwork is such a major brand that a lot of companies looking for micro tasks or small-scale data work prefer Upwork.
It’s a good idea to look for micro tasks on Upwork. Basically, you’re looking for data entry and data collection-type jobs. They are out there. You just need to pay attention to the description.
Does the description seem like it requires a tremendous amount of experience or work? What kind of output does the client really need? You need to pay close attention to the job description, and you may be able to find micro or moderately sized data work.
Of course, Upwork is primarily for freelance work. These are larger projects, but they do have micro work from time to time.
The downside with Upwork is that your withdrawal can depend on certain parameters. That’s pretty much the only drawback to Upwork.
The great thing about this platform is that it accommodates so many different payment methods. They can pay you by wire transfer. They can pay you via PayPal and other methods.
Fiverr is one of the most popular freelance posting platforms on the Internet. You just post up the kind of work that you do and if a client is looking for that kind of work, they will hire you for at least $5.
The downside to Fiverr is that it is very saturated. If you’re doing really basic work like data entry, expect a lot of competition. If the kind of work that you do is easily performed by people with very low-level English skills, don’t expect much work from this platform.
Still, I am including this in our list of tried-and-proven micro work platforms because it is a great place to get clients if you know how to position your gig properly. I suggest that if you’re looking for micro work, position your gig as a virtual assistant service.
How Does Fiverr Pay?
Fiverr only primarily pays via PayPal.
The downside is that you don’t get the whole $5 that you advertise your service for. Fiverr takes out a service fee. This is its commission.
Also, Fiverr takes 14 days to free up the value of an ordered gig. What this means is when somebody orders your gig and you perform the work and the client signs off, it takes Fiverr 14 days to free up that money so you can withdraw it.
Additionally, if you live in a foreign country, please note that PayPal has foreign exchange rates that may be disadvantageous to you. You end up paying PayPal twice. You pay the PayPal fees because you’re receiving payment, and you pay a lower foreign exchange conversion. This is one of the biggest complaints people have with platforms that use PayPal as a payment process.
Microworkers is one of the most trusted micro work platforms on the Internet. Seriously. Nobody comes close. In fact, it is so trusted that it has slightly less than a million members. That’s how many people go to Microworkers for small-scale work.
What Kind of Tasks should You Expect from Microworkers?
You can choose from a wide range of tasks that take very little time. You can download an app for your android device. You can like a page on Facebook. You can sign up for a program. You can search for terms and click a certain result. There are so many things you could do on Microworkers.
It is a great place to start for micro tasks because a lot of companies that are looking for low-level work usually prefer Microworkers first because they have a very easy interface that farms out work very quickly, and it tracks completion and payment very efficiently.
How Does Microworkers Pay?
You have to have a minimum of $9 in your balance for you to withdraw money, but don’t get excited. When you take out your $9, a fee is taken off from the top.
Another great thing about Microworkers is that it accommodates so many payment methods. If you don’t have PayPal or would prefer to get paid through a bank transfer, they would do that. They can also pay you via Skrill.
They’re very flexible, and they know the micro task market like the back of their hands.
If you’re looking for a rip-off of Microworkers or something that’s very close to Microworkers, RapidWorkers is it. They use the same work-farming system as Microworkers. They also are fast-rising so a lot of clients are signing hope and getting work done.
Usually, the kinds of work that people are asked to do are not much different from other micro task sites that I have described above.
When Can You Withdraw from RapidWorkers?
You can withdraw your funds from this platform if you have built up a balance of $8. Please note that if you’re going to withdraw that money, it comes with a 6 percent fee. Also, you have to wait less than a week for your withdrawal to come through.
It really depends on how busy the system is. If there are not much withdrawal requests, it’s been reported that you can pull out money in as little as 24 hours.
OneSpace’s claim to fame is that they have a more diverse set of micro tasks. You can transcribe bits and pieces of information. You can do small-scale editing. You can write small product descriptions.
If any of these tasks seem like they take a lot of time, don’t worry. This platform has gone out of its way to simplify things. So, as much as possible, you write very little and you transcribe very little. A lot of the tasks actually have more to do with categorizing and tagging information and images.
What is the Downside to CrowdSource or OneSpace?
The big downside to this platform is that you can only do low-level work when you begin. If you want higher-paying work or higher-level work, you would have to take test after test. So, basically you’re unlocking higher levels, and you have to go through a test each time.
When Can You Withdraw from OneSpace?
One of the brightest spots of this program is that you can take out your cash through PayPal any time you want. Even if you have only just a dollar in your account, you can do it. If your balance is $10, you can do that as well.
This website has a wide geographic coverage. It covers pretty much over 136 countries. It’s completely free to join, and you get a nice diverse range of tasks. You can translate. You can collect data. You can research. You can write snippets. There are just so many things you can do.
Also, there’s so much work that you can pretty much do the tasks in batches. You don’t have to sign up for a lot of tasks. You can rest assured that after you take care of a couple of tasks in the morning, when you get back, there will be new tasks that you can choose to take.
Moreover, participants can also take surveys. This is one of the things that I personally like about this because surveys are very easy. They just ask you your age range, the categories of stuff you like to buy, and that’s pretty much it. If you’re looking for a micro work program that has a lot of surveys, definitely check out Clickworker.
When Can You Take Out Money from Clickworker?
You can take our money through PayPal, if you have a balance of $5 or more. Please understand that Clickworker has a very short time frame for processing withdrawals. You basically have to request a withdrawal between Wednesday and Friday for you to get paid within those days. If you requested on Saturday¸ you have to wait until the next Wednesday to get your money.
11. MTurk or Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon’s Mechanical Turk program is the granddaddy of micro tasks online. Amazon originally set up this program to help its engineers as well as its production department with a lot of volume tasks that would have been expensive to automate or just simply took too much time.
Throughout the years, Amazon has reshaped its program and opened it to a wide range of clients so now the program doesn’t focus on Amazon’s needs as much as accommodating a wide range of clients needing micro tasks done from all over the world.
The system is split up into two. They are the requesters and the workers.
The requesters are people like you and me who need small jobs done. This can involve tagging images, choosing the best image among a number of options, categorizing questions, or answering questions with short answers.
The great thing about Amazon, as far as clients are concerned, is that they get to review the output. Just because you did a task it doesn’t automatically mean you will get paid. The requester of your task has a chance to review your work. Once they sign off, you get credits and you can then cash out later on.
The workers’ side of the MTurk platform is fairly easy to understand. This is you. This is where people show up to look at the different jobs available, and they do them. They usually post proof of work, or they just do the task and it’s recorded by the system.
Why is MTurk the Most Popular Micro Job Platform?
It all boils down to abundance of work. As big as Microworkers and the other programs that I’ve described above may be, they can’t even come close to the power and the reach of Amazon. Since a lot to of clients are very brand conscious, Amazon is a no-brainer to them. So, when it comes to sheer work volume, you can’t go wrong with MTurk.
The downside with MTurk is that most of the jobs pay very, very little. Keep that in mind. We’re talking about maybe a penny or two. Depending on the country you’re from, that can translate to possibly half a rupee or half a peso.
How Do You Get Paid through MTurk?
The good news is there is no minimum withdrawal with this program. Even if you just have a dollar credit, you can withdraw it.
The downside is that you can get direct deposit but if you’re just getting paid a dollar, that’s going to be a problem.
Generally, people who participate in this program want to get paid through credit on their Amazon payment balance or in they prefer an Amazon gift card.
The Final Word on Micro Work Platforms
Micro work can work especially if you live in a country where the foreign exchange rate with the dollar is very favorable. If you’re an American, on the other hand, and your rent is north of $5000 a month, you probably would do better with another way of making money online. Still, if you have the time and you are very efficient and have an attention for detail, this might be a great way to turn your spare time into spare cash.