Freelance Writing on Airtasker: Nice Work If You Can Get It

Airtasker is an Australian online odd jobs service that enables the shamelessly avaricious and the borderline penniless to hire the overly optimistic to perform one-off tasks, such as satisfying late-night cravings for Jack Daniels, leaving bogus positive reviews on social media, or ghostwriting university essays for semi-literate dolts preparing to take the Aussie workforce by storm.

Not all the assignments are of a dubious or alcoholic nature. Some are rather mundane and don’t require you to leave your conscience lying bound and gagged in an undisclosed location until you complete them. These range from gussying up CVs to helping somebody move house. There’s even sporadic calls for people to write or rewrite online articles.

Now brace yourself for a terrible shock.

People posting assignments on Airtasker expect professional results for a fraction of the cost. Even if you’re an award-winning journalist with your own monthly column in Rolling Stone and thirty trillion followers on Twitter, you’ll often have to undercut your standard rate by a breathcatching amount to win an assignment.

The not-so-bad news is that writing gigs posted on Airtasker usually pay more than those posted on content mills. But not a lot more. Once Airtasker has snatched fifteen percent of your pay, you may be left thinking that this greener pasture needs a fresh coat of greener.

That’s if you get the gig.

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Like pimping, landing an assignment on Airtasker ain’t easy. There are a whole series of minor miracles that have to take place before your profile pic appears below “Assignee”.

First, you practically have to move at lightspeed to catch a newly posted writing task. If you’re the tenth person to make an offer on the assignment, you’ll probably be overlooked by the person who posted it. The heartless bastard!

Second, you have to monitor the new tasks column like casino security staff spying on a card counter at a blackjack table. This can take eons with absolutely no guarantee of reward. Be aware that the best writing assignments are almost always posted when you’re fixing a coffee or taking a tinkle. (So stop drinking coffee and learn to hold your bladder.)

And third, even if you’re quick to spot a fresh writing gig and just as quick to make an offer on it, your chances of being the successful bidder are still pretty damn slim. This is because the criteria the assigners use to choose assignees can be as mysterious and mystifying at times as Google’s search algorithms.

There are a couple of things you can do, however, to boost dramatically your chances of getting an assignment. One, post lots of charming, colorful images in your Airtasker profile. Two, mention that you have a PhD.

Sure, number one makes plenty of sense, but number two?

Number two is important probably because when, for example, singers are auditioning for a part in a musical, the casting director is much more interested in their standard of education than their ability to carry a tune.

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How much money can you make freelancing through Airtasker?

Maybe fifty to two-hundred bucks per week, depending on the length of time you’re prepared to spend on the website and the number of five-star reviews you’ve accumulated.

It’s not as lucrative as petty theft or unemployment benefits. What freelancing gig is? But it’s still lucrative, just in a not-really kind of way.

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