Microtasking Jobs Summary
A microtask is a small task that a person performs over the internet for a minimal fee. It also goes by other names such as microjob, microwork or short task. These microtasking jobs are simple short tasks you could apply to without worries that your educational background is lacking or that your computer system might not be suitable.
There can be many possible scenarios why you might think to apply to these jobs. One possible situation is when you need to stay at home and you want to have something worthwhile to pass the time. Another possible scenario is when you want a part time job that you can do without spending so much energy and effort.
How Is Microtasking Done
In other virtual jobs like video editing, they call you the employee while the person or company that hires you is the employer. With microtasks, you might encounter terms like buyer and seller of services. The seller is the person who wants to do the microtask, while the buyer is the client that requires the services of an individual. There are many names used, but the essence is the same.
There are microtasks you can complete online from start to finish. Sometimes, you need to complete a task in the real world, with the buyer requiring you to provide proof that you have completed the task. Sometimes, a task may involve both online and real-world situations. For example, a company will ask you to visit a brick and mortar store to photograph the product display or the prices of products. Then, you will submit these photographs online through your cellphone or computer.
Microtasks are available on many microtasking websites. In some websites, the buyer and the seller connect through a forum that the microtask website has provided. In exchange for this platform, this website will have a cut of the payment. In some task sites, a crowdsourcing platform is used to contract the microjobs to interested individuals on behalf of the client or seller.
What Microtasking Involves
The basic concept of microtasking is getting a small payment for doing any small task. This means that there are many possible types of tasks involved. These include online jobs like data entry, shopping, answering survey questions, online research, checking of prices online and more. Real - world tasks may include store shopping, repairing, cleaning, singing, or greeting someone in person. There are also crowdsourcing projects available wherein a client divides a larger project into smaller tasks that it assigns to various individuals. These individuals are contractors who may need to log in to the company website and choose any of the tasks from a list.
There are a lot of microtask websites from which you could find small tasks to perform. These websites may have or offer different jobs so browse around to find websites and jobs that really suit you. Some websites will have more jobs than the others or will offer better compensation than the others. Some websites could offer tasks for a certain country only while others will welcome anyone from around the world to complete the tasks.
It is important that you research a particular website first. Read third party reviews from people who have previously joined that website. Check out important details about that website. Here is a list of websites for short tasks.
1. The video above mentions MTurk or Amazon Mechanical Turk. This is one of the systematized and well-known websites where short tasks are available. If you ever want to focus on just one platform for microtasking, MTurk is possibly one you will choose. It offers an opportunity for leveling up after a while. From this website, you will find more traditional short tasks such as data entry or copying manually written information into an online form or transcribing short clips. You will need an Amazon account because it is here where you will receive the payout.
2. Swagbucks is a website you may come across when searching for a microtask website. If you take microjobs here, remember that you will earn SwagBucks or SB points for the tasks you complete.
3. Clickworker is also another popular short task platform. Here, you could choose tasks such as research, translation, or data collection. You need to first accumulate a minimum amount of payment before you could request a payout. Figure 1 below shows the sign-up/login page of Clickworker.
From this login-in or sign up page of Clickworker, you could read that the website is always open for virtual workers all over the world. Here, they can do small and simple tasks like correcting texts, taking part in surveys, searching data or categorizing data.
4. InboxDollars is a website where you will find microjobs like taking surveys, playing games, clicking on links and reading email.
5. There is also CashCrate if you want a platform with games, surveys and videos.
7. ySense (formerly ClixSense) offers simple tasks like categorizing images and doing simple Google searches.
8. EasyShift will require you to download an app on your mobile device to complete location based or home based jobs referred to as “shifts”, which may include taking photos in a store. You will shop, eat, and explore your city and get paid for it.
9. Fiverr is also another popular microjob site where freelancers may offer services like digital marketing, translation, and video production to buyers.
10. There is also FieldAgent for people who want to perform short jobs in mystery shopping, business location verification, etc.
Just like other online jobs, you need a computer and internet connection to take on microtask jobs. You will find what tools you need to have in the FAQ section of a short task website. Each company might have requirements different from other companies offering short task services.
For example, Figure 2 shows the technical requirements for joining UserTesting, which is a website testing platform. Keep in mind that these requirements are only for this website and may not apply to other microtasking websites. You need to read each website or ask directly from its customer support to know the exact required tools.
To join, you need to have a personal computer or a Mac computer, a microphone, and an internet connection. For taking mobile tests, you need an Android phone or tablet, an iPhone or an iPad. This platform requires you to download screen recording software.
Skills and Attributes
Figure 2 also mentions that an important skill for the task is to speak loudly in English whatever thoughts you have about the website you are testing. The nature of the task usually determines what skills you need to possess, such as in Figure 2 where you really need to be talkative to tell something about every click you make and every web page you visit on a particular website.
Patience is an important attribute necessary when performing microjobs. These are short tasks you may complete with minimal time and effort. However, when you think about the payment, have abundant patience to complete more tasks until you can get a decent amount of earnings. Patience is also crucial when you need to look for other microjobs to perform.
Again, Figure 2 shows us an example of an age requirement in microjobs. For (possibly) all short task sites, the age requirement is legal working age, such as 18 years old in this example.
How To Apply/Join
Microtasking jobs are available on microtasking websites such as those you have read above. You need to sign up to these individual sites to do microtasks. Take care in choosing the sites you will join because there are also scam microtasking websites out there. To be safe, always sign up to websites that collect no payment from interested workers. Figure 1 shows that joining ClickWorker is free.
There are some similarities in the signing up process, such as a working email address and password. Keep in mind that companies require valid and working emails. Disposable emails will not get accepted in most websites.
Some websites apparently require more than just the email address and password. Let us look at Figure 3.
This is a screen capture from MTurk’s Workers Registration Form. You need to enter more details (not included in the screenshot) such as the country of residence, full name, complete address, and contact numbers. The figure shows questions you must answer such as how you heard about Amazon Mechanical Turk and what main reason you have for your interest in completing tasks at MTurk.
Some websites will let you work immediately, while others like MTurk, will require you to wait for an invitation first. When you click on “Create Account” you will receive a message saying that you may only proceed upon receiving an invitation in your email. While waiting, they encourage you to read its FAQs.
Availability of information or the FAQ page is probably another factor that will make you feel certain whether a website is trustworthy. As you browse through these microtasking websites, you'll definitely find that some have such features, while others don’t. When you cannot readily find the information you need, especially the payment details, it should make you think twice in signing up to that platform.
As already mentioned a few times, doing micro jobs will also pay you a small amount of money. You could get payment from 1 cent to about $50, depending on the task. To make more money, you need to work fast and take on as many short tasks as possible. Do not expect to even get a minimum wage from performing such tasks for a whole day. There are different ways and methods of sending payments like PayPal and bitcoins. Others offer gift cards, services, and rewards points.
Discover the payment rate, method, and plan from individual sites.
At the FAQ page of MTurk, you could read that when a requester approves your submitted work, you could see your earnings either on the dashboard page or the earnings page of your account. US workers could transfer their earnings to their US bank account or an Amazon gift card. There are payment details for non-US workers too.
Figure 4 shows the screenshot of the rewards store of Swagbucks.
Upon signing up, your account will get 7 SB. You accumulate points when you pick and complete tasks like 5 SB for taking a survey, 20 SB for setting your default search engine and up to 200 SB for answering a survey. However, you need to complete many tasks before you can redeem points for gift checks or cash via PayPal, as Figure 4 shows.
At Clickworker, you could read that you will receive payment once you have accumulated $10 (this is the minimum payout amount). Your Clickworker balance has no expiration, so it means that it stays in your account until you are eligible for a payout.
From Fiverr, you could read that your earning potentials will depend on how much work you could accomplish. There are people who work full-time on Fiverr, while others only take on tasks as part-time or occasional gigs. Gig packages have a price range of $5 to $995. Upon completion of an ordered task, you will immediately get your payment.
One of the best things when taking on microtasking jobs is flexibility in the work schedule. You can work anytime you want or anytime you feel like completing tasks. Figure 1 is from Clickworker, where you can read that your schedule is flexible. It is your decision how much work you want to complete and when you want to do so.
Benefits / Bonus/ Increase/ Training Provided
The benefits you can get from microtasking are not the same as the benefits for traditional employees. Look at Figure 5, for instance.
Traditional employees who are office-based and even some very lucky home-based virtual workers may enjoy benefits such as medical, health, retirement and food benefits. When working on micro jobs, your benefits are practical advantages of working online.
Figure 5 is a screenshot from Gigwalk. Benefits of working on short tasks from Gigwalk include flexible work schedules, simple reporting (no timesheet to fill up because the company’s app will record everything you do), ability to choose which gig to complete, and fast/easy payment.
For jobs that are very easy and short, the client might not offer training. There are microtasks, however, such as web search evaluation that requires training so the company that hires you could provide training.
I think microtasking jobs are ideal jobs anyone could pursue. Depending on one’s circumstances, these jobs are suitable for people who can multitask effectively or for people who have a lot of free time to invest or for those who do not immediately need money. If I will consider the potential income from doing these jobs, I feel that I could put my abilities and skills to something better and apply to online jobs that pay more.