My Experience of Earning Online With Microworkers
Having reviewed Amazon MTurk and given my Top 10 Amazon Mechanical Turk Tips and Tricks, I thought it would be interesting to review another site which was recommended to me as a way of making money online.
Microworkers is another crowdsource site, where you undertake basic tasks (known as “jobs” in this case) such as liking someone’s youtube video, writing a short article, or clicking on webpages, and in return you receive payment. It's a relatively easy way of making money online.
The basic principle is the same as with Amazon Mechanical Turk, although instead of getting your reward in the form of Amazon giftcards, or having cash paid directly into your bank account, your Microworkers earnings are paid into your paypal account.
Below is my list of the pros and cons of earning online with Microworkers.
- The Microworkers site has a professional and attractive layout and it’s easy to navigate. It definitely made a positive impression on me when I first visited and I found it easy to browse through the Microworkers jobs.
- They pay a dollar into your Microworker’s account just for joining. Everybody likes a freebie, including me, and making money, even if it's only a buck for no work is always a plus! The only slight drawback is that you can’t actually access your dollar yet (see con no.5).
- Some of the Microworkers jobs on the Microworkers site pay better than on other sites. For instance, favoriting someone’s youtube video will often pay 30 or 40 cents on Microworkers, in my experience, whereas you may get as little as 2 cents on Amazon Mechanical Turk. Making money with Microworkers jobs is certainly easier in some areas (though not in others).
- When you look at the list of Microworkers jobs available on the Microworkers site, they tell you what proportion of workers who’ve done a job previously have been successful. This is a really useful tool if you want to make money, as it can help you to decide if you want to take that job, or not. (Why they don’t do this on MTurk, I really don’t know!). There are other ways to maximize your Microworkers income which I highlight in my Microworkers tips.
- Microworkers payments go into your Paypal account, where you can either spend your money directly at paypal friendly websites, such as ebay, or link it to your bank account and get it transferred there. This is convenient and useful and if you haven’t already got a paypal account, you can open one for free (there are many sites for making money online who use paypal, so I would seriously consider it!). Be aware that it can take time for the bank transfer to be set up, however - at least it did in my case - see con no. 6!
- There aren’t that many Microworkers jobs available on Microworkers site in my experience. Typically, there are just a few hundred available at any one time. Compare that with MTurk where there can be over a 100,000 hits on offer. That means that making money online on Microworkers is usually not a fast way to make money and can be much slower than with MTurk, in my experience. Also, because of the scarcity of jobs on the Microworkers site, you quite often see the same old requests hanging around for days on end, when browsing through the list of available jobs.
- Unfortunately, the problem with scams aimed at workers appears possibly even worse at Microworkers than that at MTurk. I would be certainly wary of giving out your personal details to anyone advertising jobs on any of these websites, including the Microworkers site. You run the risk of getting scammed or suffering identity theft. The fact that that these sort of jobs are advertised gives the site a slightly seedy quality, methinks, though I have no doubts about the honesty of the site owners.
- On top of all the scams aimed at workers, there seem to far too many “dodgy” Microworker jobs on offer that are aimed at the general public, it seems to me. At best these sort of jobs effectively involve spamming other websites and forums with hyperlinks and adverts etc. on behalf of the job requester. At worst, some of these Microworker jobs may well just be scams and nobody wants to run the risk of perpetrating some sort of scam on an innocent member of the public!
- There aren’t a lot of medium paid Microworker jobs ($1 or $2) where you just have to fill out a survey, or write a short article on the Microworkers site, in my experience. If you read my Amazon Mechanical Turk article, you’ll know that these are the sort of jobs that I like best!
- You can’t access any of your earnings until you reach the minimum withdrawal rate, which is $10. This didn’t seem to me to be too bad at first, especially when you consider that some other casual earning sites like, say, Inbox Dollars, have minimum payouts of $30. However, given the scarcity of Microworkers jobs on offer, making money can be relatively slow on the Microworkers site, in my experience, which can make the $10 minimum seem like a mountain to climb.
- Getting your money transferred to your Paypal account can take weeks. This is not a major problem, if you are aware of it, but can be very frustrating if you are in need of the money and not expecting it. I talk about it more in my article: Microworkers scam: are accusations about payment problems justified?
Have you ever tried making money on Microworkers?
I found myself using Microworkers less and less and stopped using it altogether in 2013, although I do still have an account with them. There were a number of issues that frustrated me and ultimately led me to the conclusion that the negatives outnumbered the positives, regarding working for them.
- The nature of the jobs. I never felt comfortable with making up fake reviews, or providing a Facebook follower for an artist that I didn't like.
- I had some payment issues with Microworkers which irritated me. It was during a period where money couldn't be sent to my paypal account. I emailed them about my problems but received no replies. They later re-introduced Paypal but the damage had been done, as far as I was concerned.
- The communication between Microworkers staff and workers is generally very poor. Out of the five or so emails that I sent them with queries (the help section was less than helpful) I only received one response and the others were ignored.
- I never made much money with Microworkers. There are a limited number of jobs, especially if you want to hold onto your moral integrity, and what there is tends to be very badly paid.
- Although Amazon Mechanical Turk certainly has its problems, it still seems more reliable and professionally run compared to Microworkers, in my experience.
Questions & Answers
I have done work with Microworkers for the first time, but my account is still $0. Why is this so?
The requester first has to verify that your tasks were completed successfully, that can take several days, or even longer. The money should show shortly after that. You can't directly access the money until after you've converted it to a gift card, or transferred it to your bank account.
© 2011 Paul Goodman