Gig jobs for teens, college students, writers and people with opinions
Looking for work? This week, SideHusl’s editors found a variety of new jobs for writers, reviewers, college students and teenagers.
The new jobs aren’t all great. Some expect a lot of work for very little pay. On the bright side, each of the bad jobs has competitors that offer roughly the same work with better terms.
Here are half a dozen newly reviewed job platforms, sorted — with their competitors — into categories.
Very few online job platforms appeal to young teens. Indeed, most prohibit users under the age of 18. Kumbaya is an exception.
Kumbaya is specifically aimed at industrious youths ages 13 to 18. And it has some unique features that make it attractive to both teens and their parents.
Specifically, if you’re a teen who wants to find work with this app, you’ve got to ask Mom or Dad. One of your parents has to sign up first. The parent then sends a link to the teen. At that point, the teen and parent collaborate to create a profile. The profile explains what the teen can do and how much he or she charges per hour. Some job options: tutor, walk dogs, baby-sit, mow lawns, provide tech support.
Parents retain access to all the messages sent to and from their own child. And they’re encouraged to share their teen’s profile with friends, to help the teen find work with people they know and trust.
College students have lots of ways to make money. But few jobs are as attractive as simply selling their class notes. After all, you’re already taking the class. If you want a decent grade, you’ve got to take lecture notes and, probably, create study guides from the important information in your book or class materials. Taking better notes is likely to get you better grades. If you can earn a few bucks in the process, it’s hard to find an argument for why you wouldn’t.
Stuvia is one of several websites that make the process of selling your notes to other students easier by providing marketing help and payment processing. Where most other note-selling platforms pay a set price for each set of notes that you upload or sell, Stuvia lets you decide how much to charge. The site takes a 30% cut of the sale price before remitting the balance to you.
Another nice feature: The site does not require exclusivity, so you can sell the same notes elsewhere if you want. The only bit of weirdness that we found with this site’s terms is that Stuvia demands all rights to any flashcards you might make and sell on its platform. Our advice: Forget the flashcards. If you want to sell flashcards, do it elsewhere or offline.
There are a number of companies that will pay you to provide reviews of products that you use daily or of websites and smartphone applications. Of the job sites we discovered this week, three are for reviewers.
The least attractive of these three is Voxpopme. It’s a consumer research company that pays people to express what they think of a wide array of consumer products. You do your review via a short video. Voxpopme pays $1 per video. Even if you’re fast, this won’t come close to paying minimum wage.
Competitor Product Tube pays at least five times as much — $5 to $35 per video. If you want to do video consumer product reviews, Product Tube is the better bet.
UserTesting primarily hires freelancers to review websites, paying $10 per 20-minute review. These reviews are done by using UserTesting’s software, which records your interaction with the site — both video and voice. You are asked to talk out loud so the site’s owners can understand what you found pleasant about the site and what you thought was tough to navigate.
While $10 per 20 minutes works out to a pretty good hourly rate, you’re unlikely to get the opportunity to do three reviews per hour. You may not even get three per week. So don’t look at this as more than lunch money.
Appen pays by the hour at rates ranging from $10 to $15. And it appears to offer more regular work. You could evaluate websites, phone apps or other products. However, all jobs at this site are about helping companies improve their artificial intelligence offerings.
For instance, websites often have “chat bots” that are supposed to bring up relevant information when a user asks a question on the site. For the bots to be effective, they need lots of information about the many words that people might use to describe the same things. Appen testers help the websites “teach” those bots how real people talk and what answers they’re seeking.
A site called Verblio maintains it is the “simplest, most flexible” way to grow your writing career. In reality, writers on this platform are incredibly poorly paid.
The site sells content to websites for a relative pittance and then passes along a portion of that payment to the writer who did the work. Worse, you have no real assurance that anything you write for this site will ever be purchased.
All stories are done on spec and posted in the writer’s portfolio. When one of Verblio’s corporate clients needs something on a topic you’ve written about, the client will review your story, as well as a number of others on the same topic. If yours is chosen, you get paid. If it isn’t, your work goes uncompensated.
When you do get paid, the site’s rates work out to 3 to 6 cents per word. In other words, about $10 for a 300-word article.
Better platforms for writers include Contently, Skyword and Cracked (if you’re funny). Reedsy is also a good choice for writers who are willing to ghostwrite or who want to edit and proofread others’ work.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.
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