Over the years, I have become somewhat of a specialist in finding creative ways to earn. From running around in bright orange sweats handing out free lip gloss to answering phones at swanky law firms…at this point, it’s probably on my resume. But the truth is, this is where an ever-greater percentage of the workforce is headed these days. We want more flexible work hours. And we want to earn more cash.

If this describes you, you just might discover your perfect fit in one of these micro jobs!

"Micro jobs” explained

What exactly is a "micro job," you might be wondering? In a nutshell, a micro job is any small but essential task that can be completed rather quickly and easily.

Micro jobs represent real paid employment today, but are done on a freelance or contract basis (i.e. you get paid via a 1099 and do not earn health or retirement benefits).

5 Cool micro jobs

These five micro job websites each offer a legitimate way to earn extra cash. They are all stable (some have been up and running for several years) and pay quickly and reliably.

1. Amazon Mechanical Turk

Today, many websites that offer micro jobs do what is called "crowdsourcing" (sharing information amongst a large group of people) to ensure all tasks are completed. Sometimes this can mean two or more websites work together to share tasks between both communities. This describes how Amazon Mechanical Turk interacts with a number of other micro job websites, which ensures that the tasks are always varied and plentiful.

What you need to know:

  • Website: https://www.mturk.com
  • Requirements: Internet connection. You can take and pass assessments to get qualified for additional task types.
  • How you find work: Sign in (provide your name, email address and a password) and wait for a review of your account (typically 48 hours). Then you can browse the tasks (called "HITS") and begin working.
  • Compensation: Pay is by task; each task will have the pay visible so you can decide whether to accept it or not.
  • Payment: PayPal

What users say:

  • The Simple Dollar positively reviews Mechanical Turk as a legitimate way to earn money. READ REVIEW
  • Reddit offers practical tips to up your income with Mechanical Turk right away. READ REPORT
  • Work from Home Watchdog reports that Mechanical Turk offers a very real way to earn part-time income. READ REVIEW

2. EasyShift

This app-based micro job puts the focus on using your smart device to track consumer products. Basically, you can make money by verifying prices and promotions going on with competing brands. You can earn between $2 and $20 per job (called a "shift"), and you don't have to purchase anything. It’s a great app to take with you if you are going to be out shopping anyway.

What you need to know:

  • Website: http://easyshiftapp.com
  • Requirements: Download the app and start working—no experience necessary!
  • How to find tasks: The app uses GPS to highlight local tasks that are available in your area.
  • Compensation: Earn anywhere from $2 to $20 per "shift" (task).
  • Payment: PayPal

What users say:

  • The Penny Hoarder (Oprah-endorsed) gives Easy Shift two thumbs up. READ REVIEW
  • EasyShift earns 4 out of 5 stars on the Apple store. VIEW APP PAGE
  • CNET says EasyShift is a win-win for retailers and consumers. READ REVIEW

3. ClixSense

ClixSense is a crowdsourced task micro job website. You can view ads, complete a daily checklist, and do other tasks for cash. The best part about ClixSense is that, every time you complete $50 worth of tasks, you get a $5 bonus.

What you need to know:

  • Website: http://www.clixsense.com/en/Tasks
  • Requirements: Your profile will determine which tasks you’re eligible for.
  • How you get assignments: Once you sign up (free), all you have to do is view ads for 30 seconds to get paid. You get paid $0.02 per ad view. You can get paid more ($0.08) when you refer others who begin using ClixSense to earn. You can also accept tasks, which pay $0.06-$0.13 per assignment.
  • Compensation: The rate is set by the task.
  • Payment: PayPal or check

What users say:

  • I've Tried That says ClixSense offers a legitimate way to earn extra income—it is not a lot, but can add up with daily use. READ REVIEW
  • Work From Home Watchdog says ClixSense offers a legitimate way to earn extra money. READ REVIEW
  • PTC Investigation says ClixSense is trustworthy and pays out promptly. READ REVIEW

4. MyLikes

MyLikes is social media-based, so you are paid to share content you like with your network. If you like to use Twitter and other social media sites, you will enjoy MyLikes.

What you need to know:

  • Website: http://mylikes.com
  • Requirements: Basic web skills to find and share content and grow a social network.
  • How you can earn: You select your interests when you create your free profile, and this is what drives how much you earn. Each click earns you a certain amount (which is clearly stated before you accept). You can also earn more as your social media following grows.
  • Compensation: Based on views to your gallery (price is set per click by content, so it varies).
  • Payment: PayPal, Amazon gift card, wire transfer

What users say:

  • The Workout Chronicles says MyLikes pays promptly and Joel, the site reviewer, says he earns enough to cover his monthly blog hosting fees. READ REVIEW
  • MyLikes gets 5 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. VIEW REPORT
  • Real Ways to Earn Money Online reports that MyLikes has ironed out their start-up issues and Anna, the reviewer, is now easily earning money online. READ REVIEW

5. Skyword

Skyword is a writing-based micro job site. I have written for Skyword myself—it can take a bit of time at first to find the right fit between your interests and writing skills and a team (or "program") with open assignments, but once you do find that right fit it’s a great way to earn extra writing income.

What you need to know:

  • Website: http://www.skyword.com
  • Requirements: Good writing skills, computer and Internet connection.
  • How to find assignments: Once you fill out your application and create your profile, you can apply for programs. You may also be invited to join a program based on your areas of writing expertise. Following Skyword on Twitter and checking in at the first of each month ensures you have access to better topics and better paying opportunities.
  • Compensation: You get paid by the article—anywhere from $10 to the triple digits depending on the client and your area of expertise.
  • Payment: PayPal

What users say:

  • Freedom With Writing (an online magazine dedicated to helping writers succeed) gives Skyword a very favorable review. READ REVIEW
  • Work At Home Tips (another freelance writing how-to and advice site) offers a positive review of Skyword. READ REVIEW
  • Skyword gets 3.4 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. VIEW REPORT


How to Make Extra Money by Picking Up Micro Jobs