MicroHelp Wanted: Make Extra Cash with Microjobs
Are you looking to make some side cash to fund your next vacation or shopping excursion? Are you trying to make a little extra money around your regular work and/or school hours? If so, then a microjob may be the answer for you.
Microjobs typically involve a short-term and one-time employment of a person for a single defined task. The time involved can be as little as 20 minutes while some microjobs may run as long as 2 weeks. Example microjobs include the following:
- Help move a business from Point A to Point B for one hour. Payment: $30
- Pet-sit a dog/cat over the weekend. Payment: $40
- Create a company logo on CorelDRAW and email to the client. Payment: $20
Some microjobs require specialized skills; for example, someone may want you to design a website or organize an Excel chart. Other jobs require simple research; you might be asked to look up 10 bands that can play Weird Al Yankovic songs at an August wedding in Pittsburgh. Many microjobs simply require that you be in the right place at the right time; you might be asked to do laundry and fold it, deliver a cake to given location, or wrap and ship books. Some microjob sites offer you a discrete amount of money to complete a certain task while other sites ask that you bid on the offered job.
Here are 10 microjob sites that can help you earn some much-needed side cash:
This site is designed specifically for college students looking to earn some money around their class schedule. The service is currently available in New York and New Jersey only. However, if you are a college student living in those states, the “missions” you are offered can border on the hilarious, from standing in line at a burger joint to being someone’s blind date.
If you can do website/software design, content writing, phone/online customer service, transcription, graphic design, telemarketing, etc., then these are the sites for you. In 2011, eLance offered over 650,000 jobs and $156 million in earnings for work performed by its contractors. oDesk and vWorker operate much like eLance but are younger, with oDesk also being faster growing. The fee structures of the three sites differ, with oDesk having the simplest one of all: The site keeps 10% of a freelance worker’s revenues and charges no membership fee.
Posting blog content and testing various websites seem to the main tasks offered here. I earned a quick $0.45 by Tweeting a post. Other easy money tasks I found included clicking on marketing ads and posting product reviews on Amazon.
Available in major cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle and even London, TaskRabbit offers its “runners” a plethora of tasks, from assembling IKEA furniture to doing a beer run. The site works within a reverse auction type bidding system: a site user, called a sender, posts a task and the maximum amount of money s/he is willing to spend. Runners respond and post the minimum amount of money for which they will complete that task. The lowest bidder usually wins.
Both of these sites allow you to list whatever services you can (legally) think of and do for $4 or $5, respectively. What’s the difference between Fourerr and Fiverr besides their price? Fiverr is bigger and has been around longer while Fourerr is just getting started. Ironically, Fiverr only pays you $4 out of the $5 you earn for your task, with $1 being kept by the site for its commission. Fourerr, meanwhile, highly suggests that you pay $5 to have your service listing posted in a more prominent location on the site; you can also post for free, but your posting will probably get tucked away in a corner of the site that receives few visitors.
Don’t like selling your services for only $4 or $5? Try Jobs4Ten, a site that allows you to list your specific task for $10 (although many site users list tasks for $5 too). The tasks can vary from content writing to posting Facebook likes to providing backlinks. Like Fiverr, this site also takes a 20% cut of your earnings.
Although this is technically not a microjob site, plenty of microjobs are listed here. You will need to search thoroughly before you find such a job but the rewards are worthwhile; Craiglist clients usually pay cash-in-hand, meaning that you avoid the middleman and keep more of your earnings. Recently, my partner helped a guy fix his motorcycle and was paid $100 for his efforts.
Is it possible to make a living with microjobs?
Let’s say you have a dog-walking service and would like to gain new/more clients. Posting your services on a microjob site instantly advertises you and helps you expand your business. In time, you can remove your microjob listing and offer a set rate for those acquired clients. Alternately, let’s say you want to hone your programming skills and find out what customers are looking for in a programmer. You can fulfill a few programming microjobs, gain some experience and start listing your services professionally. Even if you only want to perform odd jobs for folks, you could make $100 or more per day if you schedule your jobs in advance and nearby each other.
Inevitably, what you do with your microjob ambition is up to you. You can treat your microjobs as fast cash earners for a specific savings goal like a new bicycle. Likewise, you can look at them on a more global scale and as a means towards a long-term, full-time job.
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