If there’s one thing you can learn from Timothy Ferriss, it’s the value of outsourcing. You can gain all sorts of time freedom by getting someone else to do the work.
This makes perfect sense for projects that are reasonably substantial, but what about all those little tasks? How do you go about handling those? Microworkers could be the answer and it serves as the subject of today’s review. Can you get a lot done for just pennies at a time?
Small Jobs for Small Pay
When you go to Microworkers, you have to realize that you’re not going to find a freelance writer who will help you write a lengthy e-book. That’s not what this site is about. Instead, it’s about a series of micro jobs for micro pay.
You can check out the handy webcomic to get a basic idea of how Microworkers works. In short, employers post micro jobs — like getting people to post reviews and “like” their Facebook pages — and the workers sign up for these jobs.
The whole point is that these micro jobs only take a few minutes and they typically pay a dollar or less at a time. If you look at the available jobs, they range from voting on YouTube videos to following people on Twitter. They’re simple and fast.
From the Worker’s Perspective
If you’re looking to make a little extra money on the side, this micro job site might be worth a brief gander. It’s probably not enough for a full-time income, but it could be good for some cash on the side.
Each individual job posted on the site clearly outlines what is expected of you and how you can prove that you completed the task successfully. You fill out the brief “proof” form when you’re done, the employer approves it, and you get paid.
Looking at the FAQ, the minimum payment threshold is just nine dollars. You can receive payment via PayPal, Moneybookers or Alertpay.
From the Employer’s Perspective
This is where it can get a little more sinister and perhaps more applicable to the John Chow dot Com audience. Microworkers could be a very cheap way to outsource, but there’s another way you can use it.
Setting up the campaign is simple enough. You can geotarget your campaign, assign the category, and define the payment amount. A small premium is tacked on to cover the administration of your campaign through Microworkers and this varies based on volume and pay level.
Sure, you could pay people to like your Facebook page or Digg your blog post, but I found several “job” postings that involved filling out a sign-up form. These could very easy be lead generations as part of an affiliate program.
You could effectively “pay” a microworker 50 cents to fill out a form and you earn the $10 commission for generating the lead. Is this evil? A little. Is it against your affiliate program’s terms and conditions? It depends.
Working on a Micro Level
Is Microworkers an entirely novel idea? Not particularly. You may already know about a competitor where people offer to perform a variety of tasks for five bucks at a time. However, Microworkers has two very key differentiating factors.
First, most of the jobs are well under five bucks. You’ll find that most are actually under a dollar, but they only take a couple minutes to complete. Second, the jobs are posted by the employers rather than being offered by the workers. This way, as a worker, you don’t have to wait around for someone to hire you; you sign up for the tasks you want to do.
This certainly offers some interesting possibilities, both for workers and for employers. It’s just a matter of you figuring out how to put the service to its best use.