There are many ways to make money on the internet, but some are more rewarding than others. Microwork is just one such way to earn an income, and people all over the world are using it to earn money. But what is microwork and is it worth your time and effort?
What is microwork?
Microwork, as the name suggests, is when a company posts small jobs for freelancers. Usually these small pieces of work are small pieces of a much larger project. As such, everyone involved in microwork is helping to build a much larger project.
Microwork is usually done online. There are centers where companies post small jobs they need, and interested workers can come forward and start working. The company establishes a budget for the work, usually based on a flat rate measured by the total work done.
Microwork is ideal for companies that want to hire people to perform data entry or data analysis tasks, but without going through the lengthy hiring process and offering people benefits. Companies post jobs, and workers do so for an agreed fee.
Microworking is often quite easy to do. It doesn’t ask much of you in terms of education and the tasks are simple enough for you to complete. This makes it an attractive way for people to make money online, especially if they have no previous experience working remotely.
There are many microwork platforms, but the biggest and most famous is Mechanical Turkish from Amazon. It’s a huge market for employers and workers who help get the job done. It’s different from Amazon Work-From-Home, which hosts full-time and part-time job postings instead of individual jobs.
What kind of tasks do Microwork employers ask for?
There are many things a microjob poster can ask people to do, but the jobs you’ll find on a microjob website usually fall into one of two categories. Either they require personal opinion, or they are tasks that a computer cannot perform in batches.
For the first category of work, a company may want to assess whether its product or service is relevant to people. They do this by posting surveys that ask for personal information, as well as the respondent’s opinion on specific issues. The employer can then use the information provided by the workers to shape its product and pay the interviewers as a reward.
Regarding the latter, there are tedious tasks that a computer cannot perform accurately. Do you know those captchas that ask you to click on all cars or other objects? These prevent spambots because computers cannot recognize concepts and shapes as well as we can.
Unfortunately, when companies want to produce a lot of concept-based data to improve their business, this flaw is a real problem. That’s why they have to pay human beings to go through the data and sort it properly.
Tasks can include capturing images of specific things, sorting things out of place, or clicking things on a website. It’s not a hard job by any means, but it’s just hard enough that the company can’t use a PC to do the job for them.
Benefits of microworking
Microwork fills a specific niche in the business world, and there are certain advantages to working with a microwork website.
1. Microwork websites have low entry requirements
Since microwork usually doesn’t demand much from the worker, it’s pretty easy to get started with a rig and get the job done. There may be a few checks to make sure you can perform basic tasks, but after that you’ll be free to start working and building your reputation.
2. Micro Job Missions Are Pretty Simple
Due to low entry requirements, micro jobs are generally not very demanding. This means that you can make money without having to do anything too intensive.
This makes microwork websites a great way to earn extra cash when you have nothing better to do. Just complete a few tasks during your downtime to earn some extra cash for the next planned purchase.
Disadvantages of microworking
Unfortunately, microwork gigs aren’t perfect. There are a lot of downsides you need to consider before jumping into the world of microworking.
1. Salary is not good to start with (if applicable)
When entering a micro-job site, it’s worth evaluating how much you’ll get per task before committing your time to it. You will often find that the jobs you start with will only pay you between a few cents and a dollar or two. As such, it is a poor get-rich-quick scheme.
Some websites will have a reputation system for their employees. If someone does a good job in their missions, they can have access to bigger, better and better paying jobs. However, the pay still won’t be amazing, and you might find it a better side job than a main job.
2. You might not get paid for a while
Micro jobs aren’t great for a quick turnaround. Some websites have set payout dates where you’ll get what you’ve earned, and others will have a minimum payout amount you must meet to trigger a payout. And even then, the payment process may require you to wait a few days for the money to arrive.
3. The job can get pretty sketchy
What do you think of people paying you to click a “thumbs up” button on YouTube or to post a fake positive product review? How about submitting your personal information to a survey or posting product links on a forum? If this makes you uncomfortable, you may find it difficult to work on some microwork websites.
Microwork websites are perfect havens for this darker avenue of work. If a business wants to increase reviews for their product or need help getting their product links beyond a spam countermeasure, they can post a job and ask people to do for her. And because microwork websites operate internationally, the business can get people around the world to boost their products online and give a false air of legitimacy.
4. Microwork websites attract scammers
Often, microwork websites put employers above workers. This means that employers have the power to rip users off their already quite low salary.
For example, someone may write a small article for a company, which then rejects it on the grounds that it is “not good enough”. However, the company can then use the part anyway without having to pay for the work. And if the writer doesn’t keep tabs on how companies are using their work, they may never notice.
5. Performing micro-tasks can feel exhausting
Even though the job is easy and you will get paid for it, don’t get me wrong; for the majority of employers on the website, you are nothing more than a cog in a much bigger machine. There are rarely personal greetings, meetings with managers or any kind of relations; you take the job, move on, and get paid if it’s good enough.
As such, doing micro-work can feel cold and isolating. You may feel like your job doesn’t have a huge impact on the world or that no one appreciates the work you can do.
Is Microwork the best choice for you?
While microworking has its pitfalls, it can be a great way to earn extra income as a side gig. Whenever you need to save up for a new game, or just want some extra money for beer, microworking can be an easy and simple way to earn some cash.
As for a serious career path, it’s not for everyone. People have said they can make a decent living on the platform, but you should consider these people the exception rather than the norm. They are usually very dedicated and spend a lot of time building their reputation with the website.
At the very least, doing micro jobs can be a good way to build a portfolio if you don’t have any work experience under your belt.
Microwork: another way to make money online
Microwork platforms are not for everyone. However, if you’re willing to put in the time or want to make some money on the side, you can find value on these websites. Just keep the downsides in mind before getting too involved, and keep an eye out for remote jobs that pay better than micro-work jobs.