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The Definitive Guide to Microtasking

Marta Luik
Marta Luik
a year ago
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The world is constantly moving at a breakneck speed. With that in mind, deadlines and other time-sensitive things are always being pushed to earlier notice. Due to this, microtasking, as both an earning option and a work completion option, has become incredibly popular in recent times. Knowing the number of options available, this definitive guide to microtasking will help you navigate the world of small tasks easily.

What Is Microtasking?

What is microtasking, though? From the users’ perspective, it is a way to make money by doing simple tasks (microtasks) that usually do not require any previous knowledge or specialized skills — simply investing a few minutes of your time for a bit of money. That is the key takeaway for the users of microtasking platforms.
From a business perspective, microtasking means taking a large task that needs to be done and spreading it out to smaller tasks (it has it in the name – micro+task). The advantage in this regard is that large tasks usually require a team of people for completion, a freelance worker who specializes in some sphere, and so on. By spreading the task itself and letting people worldwide, thanks to the internet, complete its parts, the job is done quicker and more cost-efficient.
Microtasking is a part of the gig economy market, as well as crowdsourcing. In this case, both terms can be used interchangeably since microtasks provided to users stimulate the gig economy.
It attracts large numbers of people who collectively complete a task – this is what crowdsourcing resources mean. Simply put, a crowd of people competes and completes a large task.

Is Microtasking Valuable?

Since microtasking is a business in its own right, the value of it can be measured by two similar scopes. The first one is the microtasking market itself. In  2020, the microtasking market is valued at almost $1.6 million, with a tendency to grow further.
The other measuring scope could be considered a big part of microtasking itself – the gig economy. Overall, this type of economy generates a whopping $204 million in gross volume, and since it is a growing trend, it is expected that by 2027 over 50% of the United States workforce will participate in the gig economy itself.
What does this mean for the casual user who participates in this gig economy and crowdsourcing via microtasking? The answer is pretty clear. As the market is constantly expanding and expecting to grow even further, more companies are using the gig economy and gig workers. This implies more solutions to microtasking and more ways to earn doing it.
Is microtasking valuable? Yes. Simply yes. It grows in value yearly, and more and more workers are doing it. It can only mean further requests and tasks for everyone, alongside different services and various choices.

The Pros and Cons of Microtasking

Even though the microtasking, gig economy, and crowdsourcing markets are growing very fast and constantly, there are no perfect things in the world. The same is true for microtasking, as it has both pros and cons.
The most obvious advantage of microtasking is the fact that pretty much anyone can participate in it. As noted previously, in most cases, microtasks that are ordered by businesses do not require any knowledge or specific skills. They are catered to be done quickly, easily, and by as many people as possible.
Another big plus of performing microtasks is that you set your schedule. Since microtasks are in constant demand, choosing the time when to do them is completely in your own hands. It would not make sense to make you do microtasks on demand with a certain schedule, as that would make it a regular job rather than a microtasking job. The same goes for your own comfort at home. If you had to arrive somewhere to do your tasks, it would eliminate the whole idea of accessibility for microtasks.
The variety of available tasks is also an advantage since you have a choice of which tasks to do and which to avoid. With numerous websites and services available, you have plenty of choices. Since there is a great variety of them, it makes the variety of tasks available larger, too.
As for the cons, the most obvious one would be the payments for doing microtasks. As the tasks are small, the earnings per microtask are small.
This could be a dealbreaker for some people; however, it should be noted that, as previously mentioned, you choose your own schedule, your own pace, and your own websites/services. This means that the earnings per task, despite being small, can amount to larger earnings if you do a lot of online tasks daily and use multiple websites/services for it.
Speaking of earnings, certain websites tend to offer high-paying microtasks that you could complete. However, as the number of microtaskers is incredibly large, those tasks disappear quickly. This means that hunting for high-paying microtasks could be both time-consuming as well as straight-up disappointing. Finding a great task just to get it taken by someone else could lead to frustration.
Finally, some task providers do not provide clear or concise instructions on how to complete those tasks, what are the exact requirements to get rewarded, and so on. This is not a common issue, but one that could lead to wasted time and effort. That is why instructions are as clear as they can be on JumpTask.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? It is up to you to decide. As you can see, some of the cons can be turned into pros. However, for others, that is simply not possible.

Common Task Types/Categories

Microtasks come in different shapes and sizes. However, as noted numerous times before, the one thing they all have in common is that they are always easy enough for anyone to complete. They are also based mostly on human intelligence. Despite this element, the tasks vary from one another.
An incredibly common task type is surveys – you answer a few simple questions regarding, for example, your opinion on a certain shopping item, TV show, and so on. Surveys used to be something people would do for free as a way to provide feedback and hope to make some service better. Nowadays, your opinion is something that can give you extra money, and since corporations need to collect a lot of information and feedback, they are willing to pay for your opinion.
Another popular task type is related to data entry. This could mean a lot of things. For example, you may need to look at a scanned document or something similar and type out what’s written on it – turning a physical copy into a written one. It could also mean transcribing – listening to an audio file and typing out what is being said. This would be a more advanced task that could pay you more, by the way. These definitely fall under the human intelligence tasks umbrella.
Website/app/game testing is also common. This usually involved downloading a certain application and completing some steps, such as registering, logging in, and so on. With games, it could mean reaching a certain level, trying to do a certain action, and so on. This helps businesses understand the issues in programming or simple design.
These are the most common task types that you may encounter while doing microtasks; however, needless to say, this is not a complete list. There are more microtasks that you may find besides these.

Things to Look Out For

With a wide selection of websites and services for microtasking, one of the key questions to raise is what you should look for in order to get the best out of this side hustle.
First and foremost, it is worth noting that, just as with pretty much anything on the internet, there are fraudulent websites that provide microtasks and do not reward or otherwise scam the gig worker. The key tip on how to avoid such websites is simply to do research. It does not mean going through twenty pages of Google search results, but rather searching and reading reviews for those websites, checking out their Trustpilot page (if available), and looking out for what other people say about them on their social media and similar places. Some reviews can be fake, but it is nearly impossible to fake hundreds.
Another thing to look for is geographical and other restrictions. Websites that offer microtasks are available only in certain countries, such as Canada or the United States. Usually, this information is stated on the website/service itself; however, in some cases, this is not mentioned anywhere, and you would emptily register there just to get no microtasks. To avoid this, you should fully explore the website before registering, reading its Terms of Use, and, once again, reading reviews written by other people.
You should check the potential earnings for the tasks offered by exploring the websites/services themselves or by reading other people’s reviews. A lot of websites and services that offer microtasks do not let you see the tasks offered and earnings for them until you register. That is why, again, reviews written by people come in handy.
Finally, even though microtasks, in most cases, are catered to everyone, some websites offer tasks that do require some sort of experience or knowledge. You should check out if it is worth joining them. In case you do not have the required skill set, it would mean empty registration and a waste of time. On the other hand, if you do find yourself capable of doing those micro jobs, you should go for it right away since microtasks that require some knowledge tend to pay way more than the basic microtasks that you encounter most often.

What About the Earnings?

To put it bluntly, considering the lack of restrictions, how much you can earn microtasking depends solely on you. To be more precise, the more time you spend doing microtasks and the more websites/services you use, the bigger your earnings will be.
Microtasking is not a substitute for your day-to-day job and will not make you incredibly rich. Still, it is more than enough to make money for small to medium purchases or other expenses, for example, mobile fees or subscriptions to streaming services.
Just as in the previous part of this guide, earnings per task differ from site to site; thus, you should calculate which websites are the most valuable. You could consider the time spent versus earnings and categorize websites this way. It would help you determine which ones are worth using and which are not. If some websites paid you, on average, $5 per hour and another one $0.10, it would mean that there is no need to bother with the cheaper one.
Also, it should be worth checking the number of tasks that the websites of your choice provide. This directly influences your earnings; for example, a website offering you 10 tasks per day is inferior to one offering 100. You could do all the tasks available on one website in half an hour and stop earning from it quickly, whereas websites with loads of offers would ensure an almost never-ending stream of income.
This is also worth calculating, similar to how you would calculate your hourly earnings from microtasking. The number of microtasks available, the time it takes to complete them, and the payment you get for them are all directly correlated. Amazon Mechanical Turk, a popular website, is a great example of why you should do these calculations. Despite being incredibly famous and offering many jobs, it only pays around $2 an hour.
Simply put, it is hard to give a definite answer on the exact earnings you may get, considering the various factors that influence this number.
In conclusion, with the growing count of websites and services available for microtasking, as well as the expanding market of the gig economy, microtasking can be considered the future of work as a whole. It is a great option to earn some extra without leaving your home or being tied to schedules. However, as noted, making a living is not a viable option. Though, it seems like this may be the way soon.
JumpTask, of course, is one of the platforms where you get paid to complete tasks. Getting paid in crypto for these small tasks means trying it out without any investments and possible losses, and the payments are rather large compared to other microtasking websites.

Marta Luik
Marta Luik
Freelance Copywriter
An explorer of the future of work, she has a secret love for urban gardening, cultivating ideas like a city garden in full bloom. In her posts, she offers a fresh perspective on the blossoming world of online earning and the gig economy.
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