Looking to leave the 9 to 5 life? Already have, but need to supplement your freelancing income? Try these great micro jobs websites!
The move away from more “traditional” 9 to 5 jobs has been a long time coming, but it's the younger generations that are really pushing toward finding freelance work as a priority.
There are many reasons for this move. Job security is a dying animal, in-house employment has sky-rocketing stress levels, the income growth opportunities are minuscule (unless you're really smart about it), office jobs are killing family relationships and friendships, and – increasingly important for youth especially – they don't allow you to do what you love.
In fact, Foundr Magazine has published a lot of resources on helping companies (new and existing) hire and manage remote workers, both full-time and as part-time employees, on a freelance basis.
But what about the other side of the coin – those of us looking to find freelance work?
Micro jobs are an increasingly popular way to ease into leaving the 9 to 5 life behind for good. And we're going to help you find excellent opportunities with this guide.
Micro Jobs Websites
First things first – you need to know where to find micro jobs.
We've scoured the vast digital expanses of the internet to find the best micro jobs websites for you. These sites – sometimes also referred to as “online staffing platforms” – have been helping businesses find remote workers for once-off and recurring tasks, as well as helping you, the freelancer, apply for those tasks.
Some of them even allow for individual members of the public to hire what TaskRabbit calls “taskers” for once-off micro jobs.
Whatever type of micro jobs you're looking for, these are without a doubt the best websites for the search. We recommend using a few of them simultaneously to help capitalize on as many opportunities as possible.
Leah Busque founded TaskRabbit in 2008 (and served as CEO until 2016) with the intention of creating a platform for helping people get their odd jobs done by “taskers.” While TaskRabbit was acquired by IKEA in 2017, it has remained one of the best platforms for finding micro jobs.
The most common micro jobs you'll find on TaskRabbit are handyman, cleaning, and delivery services, as well as assisting clients with moving, furniture assembly, and (potentially recurring) personal assistant tasks.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
Amazon Mechanical Turk (also known as MTurk) is the major retailer's crowd-sourcing marketplace for micro jobs. While TaskRabbit is a source for primarily on-location micro jobs, MTurk is entirely virtual.
It's not the easiest platform to join, but if accepted, you'll find image and video processing, data verification and editing, information gathering, and data entry (including transcription) tasks on MTurk.
Available for international freelancers looking for micro jobs, Clickworker allows you to complete small tasks with no hidden fees whatsoever.
In a sense, the platform is similar to paid online surveys sites such as Swagbucks. While you're unlikely to find paid surveys on Clickworker, you can expect to discover micro jobs such as writing, editing, data entry, and user testing opportunities. For the most part, you'll be expected to choose one type of micro job and “specialize” in that area, which can help you find better opportunities in future.
Appen can help you level-up from completing solely micro jobs to finding flexible, part-time work that can become a full-time freelance endeavor.
Those more part-time positions focus on rating services, transcriptions, translations, and data entry. These are the same opportunities available for micro workers, with the difference being the client needs (once-off as opposed to potentially recurring).
While primarily a paid surveys platform, ClixSense also has opportunities to earn money by completing “offers” (downloading recommended apps, trying new products and services, etc. in exchange for rewards), their referral program, and – most relevant to this guide – micro jobs.
These micro jobs are completed via Figure Eight, a platform we'll be covering in its own right as well. You'll need a minimum of $10 to request payment via Check, Tango card, or Skrill, or $20 for Payoneer. Bear in mind that there are also transaction fees for most of these methods.
EasyShift is an app-based platform that puts a bit of a twist in the usual micro jobs format.
Most of the tasks available on EasyShift are similar to mystery shopping. You'll be asked to go to a grocery store in your neighborhood and complete one of the three most common micro jobs: take and upload a picture of a particular display, do price checks, or count how much inventory there is of a specific item on the shelves.
Field Agent is exactly what it sounds like – an app-based platform that gives you the opportunity to perform micro jobs as a once-off field agent for businesses. Most of the time, you'll be completing tasks similar to those on EasyShift (above).
You can complete Figure Eight tasks via other sites (such as ClixSense, above), or you can join directly and become a contributor to receive micro jobs. Figure Eight tracks your accuracy levels, so the better you perform, the more higher-paying tasks become available to you.
Most micro jobs on Figure Eight are social media categorizations, content moderation, audio transcription, and (easiest of all) drawing boxes on images.
One of the most prominent micro jobs sites, Fiverr allows you to sell “gigs” and have clients approach you online.
All you need to do is sign up, create a profile, and publish a gig advertising your services. Gigs can be priced anywhere from $5 to $99, or you can create 3-tier pricing options for a particular gig to allow clients to choose between (for example) basic, pro, and premium service levels.
As a bonus, you can potentially level-up your use of Fiverr to turn it into a full-time freelancing endeavor.
Gigwalk, similar to Fiverr, can be used for finding micro jobs in your spare time or establishing a full-time career as a micro worker for hire. They even call their micro jobs “gigs” as well.
The platform is more similar to TaskRabbit though, in that you'll download the app, create a profile, and respond to micro jobs posted by clients.
Some of the gigs will take as little as 5 minutes, but others can guarantee work for a few hours at a time. Similarly, pay ranges from $3 to $100+.
Quicktate and iDictate
Quicktate helps you find micro jobs as a transcriber. Clients send short (less than 5 minutes) audio files to the platform and you'll get paid to transcribe those files for them.
If you work diligently and accurately, Quicktate will upgrade you to iDictate, where you can find longer audio files for better pay.
If you're looking for other opportunities to complete micro jobs as a transcriber, then Scribie may be the platform for you. Like Quicktate and iDictate (above), you'll be working with audio files, though Scribie also does longer audio files.
Skyword is a content creation marketing platform. You'll be able to find regular micro work as a writer, photographer, videographer, or graphic designer, though you'll need to choose one of the four disciplines to specialize in. Most clients are Fortune 1000 enterprise brands.
The Smart Crowd
Originally their own company (VirtualBee), The Smart Crowd has since been acquired by Lionbridge. Don't worry: you'll still be able to make money doing micro jobs on the platform. All tasks involve providing data entry services.
TryMyUI helps clients test the usability of their websites and apps. Most tests last around 20 minutes, and pay $10 each. You'll be required to download their software so your screen and vocal feedback (in addition to a short wrap-up survey) can be recorded.
If you're interested in pursuing micro job endeavors doing usability testing, it's a good idea to sign up on more than one platform, as workload isn't always guaranteed (you can sometimes go a few days between tasks). So while we definitely recommend joining TryMyUI, we strongly suggest simultaneously registering with UserTesting.com.
The tasks are identical to TryMyUI and also require downloading the platform's software for screen and audio recording. You'll be paid $10 per test, which usually lasts up to 20 minutes (including a short wrap-up survey, though not for every test).
How Much Do Micro Jobs Pay?
Micro jobs are a different type of creature to the more established freelancer jobs, such as proofreading or data entry. It's incredibly difficult to accurately predict how much money you can make off of micro jobs, which is why it's usually recommended to start off on a part-time basis while preparing to leave your 9 to 5 job, or as a stay-at-home parent.
Depending on what type of micro jobs you're doing – as well as which platform(s) you're using, your pay could work out to anywhere from $4 to $8 an hour. Granted, those are ballpark figures, but it's good to keep them in mind.
We strongly recommend working micro jobs into your routine, rather than making them your routine. While some websites (Fiverr in particular) can easily become a source for full-time income, most of the time you'll be using micro jobs for supplementary income, rather than primary income.
Do Micro Jobs Have Requirements?
Each platform offering micro job opportunities will have different requirements, but there are a few universal ones worth noting.
The most obvious requirement is going to be time. Micro jobs are exactly that – micro – and therefore usually won't require a lot of time to complete on an individual basis. But in order to make any decent amount of supplementary income as a micro worker, you'll need to spend a decent amount of time completing those jobs.
A stable internet connection is also a must. How are you going to find and respond to micro job opportunities otherwise? As you've also seen, many micro jobs are online-based.
Self-discipline is an important requirement for any freelance and remote work, as you won't have a manager holding you accountable most of the time. You need to be able to dedicate yourself to finding and completing micro jobs.
What Skills Do You Need?
The type of skills you'll need to do micro jobs will also vary depending on the platform(s) you're using and the type of micro jobs you're accepting.
As a general rule, you're going to need some fairly good marketing skills. We don't mean the ability to create ads to let prospective employers find you (though this will also be important depending on the platforms you're on), but more specifically the way you market yourself when responding to available micro jobs.
It's a good idea to learn how to do cold pitching. While you won't necessarily have to do any actual cold pitching in general, it will most certainly help you to respond to micro job ads successfully.
Writing, data entry, transcription, and editing skills are going to go a long way in helping you land micro jobs that can potentially become full-time freelance careers that pay well. Learning these types of skills will certainly help you in the long-run.
With so many options, you may be wondering why you haven't tried micro jobs before!
The resources we've provided in this guide will help you supplement your current income while you pursue more established freelance and/or work-from-home opportunities – or even supplement the money you earn through those opportunities already.
Some of them, such as Fiverr, offer a chance to move from being a micro worker to a full-time freelancer without having to leave the platform.
The opportunities are out there – it's up to you to take advantage of them.