Whenever I sit down to review a micro-working platform, I have a sense of trepidation. It was no different with this Microworkers review.
Micro-working sites, in general, have a mixed reputation. Even the big players like Clickworker and Amazon Mechanical Turk get plenty of negative feedback online. I’ve personally been very scathing about some of these platforms, with Hive Work and RapidWorkers receiving particularly bad reviews on this site. (You can see a summary of some of these sites here).
However, I don’t think anybody should dismiss micro working platforms completely. The ability to earn small amounts of cash for completing simple online tasks is something many people are grateful for. Micro working is a convenient option for all kinds of people: stay at home parents, students, people in countries where earning opportunities are thin on the ground, or simply those who want to top up their income or add something new to a portfolio career.
As such, I go into this Microworkers review with an open mind – as I do with all of my reviews 🙂
WHILE YOU’RE HERE:
What is Microworkers?
Microworkers is a website where you can complete small, quick online tasks for small (micro) payments. It’s also possible to use the site to hire workers to complete tasks for you.
The kind of tasks on Microwokers typically only take a few minutes. Jobs include commenting on forums, “liking” things on social media, signing up to offers, and writing reviews.
Is Microworkers Legit?
Microworkers is a legitimate online platform that’s been in operation since 2009. Plenty of people have posted their Microworkers payment proof online. However, it’s fair to say that the site’s reputation is mixed.
The issues that plague Microworkers are common to most micro-job sites: reports of payment problems, clients using the platform for scams, and task requests that are ethically questionable.
Where is Microworkers Available?
You can sign up to Microworkers from anywhere in the world. However, while I completed my Microworkers review, I noticed that many of the tasks are only available to people in certain countries. These are typically the US, Canada and the UK.
This isn’t great news for people elsewhere, but at least the platform does allow signups from all over the world, which many sites don’t.
Microworkers Review: Our Experiences
The Microworkers registration process is nice and simple, requiring your basic details, along with your mailing address and date of birth. Microworkers is very strict about only allowing one sign-up per person, and this is made abundantly clear.
Once you have your Microworkers login, you gain access to a large list of different available jobs in a series of categories, including things like surveys, signups, and Facebook and Twitter tasks. Before you can actually perform any tasks, however, you need to complete a very simple “Admission Test,” which only takes a few minutes. It confirms that you understand the basics of how the platform words, and have a reasonable command of English.
As you can see from the screenshot above, the tasks are varied. Some involve really simple things like logging onto a social network and liking or sharing something. Others are more involved, for example installing a mobile game, playing it, and leaving a review.
It’s mostly simple stuff, and you confirm you’ve completed each task by leaving the proof each client requests, usually in the form of a screenshot.
You then wait for each task to be “signed off” before the money gets added to your balance. Signed off tasks contribute to a “success rate,” which mustn’t drop below 75%. In turn, this feeds into a Microworkers “reputation” of one to five stars. Workers with a higher reputation score have access to a wider range of tasks.
The Microworkers interface isn’t the most attractive in the world, but it does what it needs to once you’ve learned your way around it. Given that as well as working, you can create tasks of your own (and pay people to do them), it’s actually quite a clever platform. However, there is a learning curve, with no shortage of acronyms – “TTV Campaigns,” “SG Jobs,” “PL Jobs” – eh?!
Plenty of people work regularly on the site, and theres a lively Microworkers Reddit thread. There isn’t currently a Microworkers app, so you’ll need a computer to use the platform, not just a tablet or phone.
As for the jobs themselves, what you have to do is generally laid out clearly for you, as per the example below:
What are the Jobs Like?
As discussed above, jobs on Microworkers vary, but they’re typically the kind of things anybody can do, without the need for particular skills and experience – things like liking pages on Facebook, signing up to websites and completing surveys.
On one hand, this is a good thing – it means there’s work here anybody can do. However, it doesn’t take much “reading between the lines” before you realize the darker side of what you’re doing.
The thing is, much of the time the tasks on Microworkers are all about “gaming the system” somehow. At one end of the scale this is low-level stuff, such as boosting a company’s number of followers or “likes.” At the other end, it can involve far more dishonest activities. Two examples are:
- Being paid to sign up to sites in order to earn your “client” a commission (obviously more than they’re paying you),
- Clicking adverts to earn the client revenue.
You can be sure that clients paying people to do these things is against the rules of the schemes and ad networks in question.
In fairness to Microworkers, they do lay out some pretty clear rules on what clients should and shouldn’t ask workers to do. Clicking on ads is one thing that’s supposed to be “off limits” but I still saw jobs asking people to do it. Picoworkers (reviewed here) seems to have a much bigger problem with jobs like this, but the issue exists on Microworkers too.
This means that you face a dilemma: There’s work here for the taking, but a lot of it is rather demoralising. I personally wouldn’t use my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to share a bunch of stuff I don’t believe in, or help people to fiddle companies out of advertising revenue. The stricter your moral code, the fewer Microworkers tasks you will feel comfortable completing.
How Much can you Make from Microworkers?
Tasks on Microworkers pay anything from 10 cents, for something that will take less than a minute, to three or four Dollars for more involved jobs.
Obviously what’s more important is how this works out in reality. We’re definitely looking at pocket-money-level income here, and it’s not a full-time job. You may find you can earn $10 or so per hour, for a couple of hours, but there simply aren’t enough tasks on the platform to sustain this for any length of time.
That said, if you’re not too “ethically concerned” about which tasks you undertake, you can earn a reasonable amount of money from Microworkers if you log on regularly and put in a couple of hours of work each time.
How do I get Paid from Microworkers?
Microworkers offers several payment methods, including US bank transfers and PayPal payments. Unfortunately there are some complications, the most significant of which is that the company insists on sending you a mailed PIN before you can make your first withdrawal.
This is all to do with identity verification and making sure people only have one account, but it’s also a considerable cause of complaint about the platform. There are plenty of reports of delays receiving PINs, and although you are – in theory – able to bypass the PIN requirement for the Dwolla and Transpay payment options, these aren’t available everywhere, and people report other issues too.
I’m not for a moment suggesting that Microworkers routinely fail to pay their people. However, there is plenty of negative chatter online.
The minimum cashout amount on Microworkers in $9, but you also have to pay (quite substantial) fees, such as 7.5% for PayPal payment or 5% plus $3 for a bank transfer.
When you combine the fees with the overall difficulty in getting that first payment through, it does make you wonder how many people fall away before they actually get paid. You certainly need patience and tenacity for this platform, and I imagine quite a lot of people earn a few bucks and never get around to actually cashing out.
Conclusion: Is Microworkers a Good Site?
Microworkers isn’t a BAD site, but it’s not a GREAT site either.
It’s hardly an accolade, but I’m going to conclude my Microworkers review by saying that the site isn’t terrible. It doesn’t list jobs with downright exploitative rates, like those on Hive Micro, and it doesn’t have as much of a problem with morally-questionable tasks as Picoworkers does.
However, that doesn’t mean I’m giving it a recommendation. There are many things I’d suggest trying before Microworkers. If it’s microtasks you’re particularly interested in, I’d go for Mechanical Turk or Clickworker first, if they are available in your country.
All that said, you may still choose to give Micoworkers a go. I know that home working options are really thin on the ground in some countries, so the fact Microworkers accepts international signups is a plus. As previously mentioned, however, MANY clients only accept workers from certain countries. Furthermore, the payment rules are unnecessarily complex and withdrawal fees are high. A cynic might say they’re almost designed to make it hard to get your hands on your earnings.
So, in conclusion, if you decide to give Microworkers a go, I’d suggest making sure you’ve exhausted your other options first. If you do proceed, there are some tips below.
- Many tasks on Microworkers involve following and liking things on your social media accounts. Unless you want to clutter your own accounts and annoy your friends, you may want to use separate accounts dedicated to this kind of work.
- As payments on this platform are rather convoluted, it makes sense to cash out once you’ve reached the threshold, get your PIN, and make sure you’ve cashed out successfully before doing more work.
- Be very wary of potential scams. It would be unwise to complete any tasks that involve handing over personal details.
Alternatives to Microworkers
Microworkers vs. Mechanical Turk
Many of the tasks on Microworkers are similar to those you’ll find on Mechanical Turk. However, the key difference is that on MTurk you’ll find MANY more of them. If you live in a country where Mechanical Turk is available, and you manage to get accepted, it’s probably best to concentrate your energies on that.
Microworkers vs. Clickworker
Clickworker is a very different platform to Microworkers. Many of the tasks on Clickworker come from big companies, rather than individuals promoting their websites and small businesses. Clickworker also gives you a route into UHRS (read about that here), which can provide steady and reliable work.
On the other hand, Clickworker is only available in a relatively small selection of countries. If you’re not fortunate enough to live in one of them, it’s off-limits, and they are very proactive about preventing people fooling the system. As such, you may find Microworkers is a better option for you.
Microworkers vs. Hive Micro
Hive Micro and Microworkers are both available across the world. Both websites are far from perfect, but Microworkers has the edge, and would be our first choice for people without access to many micro-working platforms. This is because the rates on Hive Micro are insultingly low.
Microworkers Pros and Cons
- Available internationally.
- A wide range of tasks to choose from.
- Some tasks ethically questionable.
- Risk of scams.
- Payments unnecessarily complicated.
- Plenty of negative online feedback.
- If you’re keen to set up a sustainable business of your own, rather than working on micro-working sites, you can take out a free account on Wealthy Affiliate. There’s a review of it here.
- For information on various other side gigs, this article has ten great options.
- Get $3 free signup bonus if you sign up to Swagbucks by clicking here – a decent site for surveys, offers and microtasks.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.