Making some extra money online with micro jobs

Fiverr.com. (SCREENSHOT)

Fiverr.com. (SCREENSHOT)

Syd Bolton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

It seems that everyone can use some extra money online this time of year. Whether you are buying gifts for loved ones, spending more time eating out with friends or even just travelling, the costs can add up pretty quickly. Wouldn't it be nice to make a few extra dollars with your built-in talents?

Some people with "built-in" talents make extra money by getting gigs. Sometimes these gigs are spontaneous ones - I'm sure you have seen musicians playing on the street and getting donations from people that pass by. Others get "gigs" by setting up entire businesses and getting orders that way, but that takes a lot of effort.

Maybe you think you aren't talented enough to get a gig - whatever that might mean. You would be surprised. What's your hidden talent? Are you double-jointed and can turn your knuckles inside out? Or something else nobody else has heard of, but might be interested in.

The website fiverr.com allows ordinary everyday people like you and I to sell services for five bucks to others. The type of service (as long as it is not crude or illegal) varies greatly and can be quite useful. For example, would you like to get a custom and personalized rap song made for any occasion? With a video too? It all starts at only five bucks.

Are you starting a new business and need a business card designed? How about five bucks for that. Need some human translation between Chinese and English? Get 300 English words done for five dollars. Want someone to create a news story for you that looks like an actual television broadcast? Surprisingly, that's only five dollars too.

Fiverr.com and websites like it offer what are commonly being referred to as micro jobs. It could be something practical like writing or translation services or something silly. I've seen people offer to write someone's name on their cheek and take a photo and send it back. How about getting a personalized caricature created or yourself, a friend, or even your pets? It's hard to beat that at five bucks.

Buying the services is as simple as making the request, providing the necessary files if applicable (such as photos) and providing a credit card number. Once you receive the completed job, you agree that it is to your satisfaction that it is and the worker gets paid. If you are the worker, for each five-dollar job you do, you get paid four dollars (the other dollar goes to the website to cover credit card fees and website overhead) and you only get paid when the buyer agrees that the work was finished to his or her satisfaction.

The range of services offered is incredible and your mileage may vary when it comes to value but one thing is for sure - five bucks isn't too much to gamble on something interesting and unique and if you are looking to make some extra cash, this could be the way to go.

Of course, fiverr.com isn't the only game in town. In fact, Phillturner.com shares the top 20 sites that are like fiverr (starting, believe it or not, with fourerr.com). Their tag line is "What are you willing to do for $4?". It's an interesting question. So readers, what are you willing to do for $4?

Obviously, today's technology has opened up an entirely new mechanism for this type of work and was something that just was not plausible before. With access to the entire Internet, the volume could work out for certain tasks and I'm thinking about trying out some of my hidden talents to make some extra money. I'm going to offer a picture of myself with my lips turned inside out and any name you want written on my forehead. I'll provide a picture for five dollars. Okay, maybe I won't but I have the feeling we are going to be discovering a whole lot of talents that perhaps should be kept under wraps. Some of these micro jobs might not seem practical, but they sure are entertaining.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC / Methapharm. You can reach him via e-mail at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or by snail mail care of The Brantford Expositor.

 


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