Websites for Short Tasks

Short tasks site is a way to earn money from home, but like anything, there are pros and cons to these crowdsourced earning opportunities. Find out what you need to know about short tasks before you start, then dive in and sign-up to give some of the top short task sites a try.

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What You Need to Know About Short Tasks

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What Are Short Task Sites?
A short task site is a website where crowdsourced workers take on small tasks (sometimes called micro jobs). The set-up of these task sites and the type of work offered may vary significantly. The common factor is that a buyer of services (a person or entity) and a seller (a person) of services come to an agreement on the performance of and pay for a discrete task. It can be the buyer or the seller who initially advertises the task.

How Do They Work?
The tasks may be done entirely online, requiring no in-person interaction. Or, the task site may essentially be an online marketplace specializing in real-world odd jobs. Some task websites simply provide a forum to connect these buyers and seller, taking a cut of the payment that is exchanged. Other task sites operate using a crowdsourcing platform in which the task site contracts these micro jobs out to individuals on behalf of its client.

What Kind of Work Do They Offer?
The types of short tasks performed on these sites include in-person odd jobs (shopping, cleaning, repairs), professional services (writing, editing, translation, transcription, data entry), completely online tasks (website usability testing, social media tasks, surveys, online research) and combination online and real-world tasks (photographing businesses, performing price checks)

How Do Short Task Sites Pay?
 When programs do pay in cash, it is often through PayPal, and they sometimes have thresholds for payout, e.g., you have to earn $50 before it is transferred to your account. However, tasks sites could also be structured as rewards programs, which pay in points, gift cards or prizes, rather than cash. Some even pay in bitcoins.

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Top Sites

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Amazon's MTurk - Grandfather of the short task sites, Amazon’s MTurk, launched in 2005, lists what it calls HITs (human intelligence tasks). These are online tasks that workers choose and complete for a set, albeit small. Pays in US dollars, Indian rupees or Amazon gift certificates, depending on location.

Clickworker - Company uses crowdsourcing platform to find work in writing, data entry, and research for its clients

EasyShift- In this shopping related short task app, users download the app on their cell phone and earn points by successfully complete “shifts,” which are usually real-world tasks such as photos of products in stores with price checks. Payments for shifts range from $2 to $20.

Field Agent- Jobs, which have to be completed within 2 hours of acceptance, might include price checks with photo and/or barcode scan, mystery shopping, surveys, product reviews, polls, business locations verification, photos, and brochure placement. Jobs typically pay $3-12 each

Fiverr - Sellers of services advertise tasks they will complete for $5. Categories of work include writing and translation, video, music and audio production, social marketing and graphics.

TaskRabbit - Buyers of services, usually, to be performed in person, advertise for "TaskRabbits" to complete odd jobs. The majority of its gigs are in-person activities such as making deliveries and odd jobs Currently TaskRabbit is active in 19 cities. While there are virtual tasks in the marketplace, only applicants from these cities will be reviewed. Pays in USD via check or PayPal; minimum to withdraw is $25.

VirtualBee - In this crowdsourced data entry operation, home-based operators log on and choose data entry tasks. They see an image of the data and then must enter it with accuracy.

Uber - While driving for Uber takes more commitment and capital (namely a car) than these other short task sites, it essentially works the same. Using a crowdsourcing app, you connect with a marketplace willing to pay for your services.

User Testing - Company contracts with remote usability testers to review its clients' websites.