Crowdsourcing contests are ideal for people who are in-between jobs and those who are not yet ready to commit to a full-time career. Since there is no guarantee that you’ll win each contest you participate in, crowdsourced contests are not recommended as a source of income. Instead, these contests could be an exciting way to master your skills when you’re practicing to become a graphics designer, copywriter, video producer and more.
- Survey Junkie - The #1 survey site that doesn't suck. Short surveys, high payouts, simply the best.
- Inbox Dollars - Get paid to check your email. $5 bonus just for signing up!
- Product Report Card - Test out new products and get paid to answer questions about them! Work with companies like Apple, Nike, and Amazon!
- Nielsen - Download their app and get paid $50!
For those who have free time and would find it fun to get a chance to win cash prizes or gift cards for a few minutes of work, here are some of the websites to check out:
This category of contests involve sharing your name ideas, may it be for a company name, tagline, or even domain names. I talked about the three major crowdsourced contests of this kind – Naming Force, Squadhelp and CrowdSpring – in this guide.
Picky Domains caters specifically to domain-naming contests, so if you’re a regular visitor of GoDaddy and love finding out memorable domain names, don’t miss out on the fun.
Tongal lets participants pitch ideas for music videos, commercials, and other creative media. Prizes for these contests range from $1,000 to a whopping $10,000. In addition, winners also get to receive residual payments – often around 5% to 10% of the amount prize.
Logo and other graphics
This type of contest requires a bit more skill and effort than naming contests. For a pro graphic design artist, creating a logo could take just 5 minutes of his/her time, but can take an entire day for someone without experience in Photoshop and other graphic design tools.
Logo Force – Unlike other crowdsourced contest sites on this list, Logo Force lets clients invite participants to join their contests. Not everyone will be invited, so there’s less competition. Once chosen, not only will the participant receive a cash prize, he/she also receives contact info of the client, which means the business relationship has a chance to grow beyond the contest.
Logo My Way, Logo Contest, Logo Arena and LogoTournament also host logo-designing contests. Some sites like 99 Designs, DesignHill and Design On Click have web design, newsletter graphics, Facebook cover other design-related contests beyond logos and often have higher amounts of prizes. Create My Tattoo, as its name suggests, host tattoo-design contests.
Threadless is a popular t-shirt design platform that sells and prints designs of its creative members for a fee. The site also holds t-shirt design contests with cash prizes regularly. Submitted designs are voted by the crowd, and the winner receives $1,000.
If you have a knack for crafting beautifully-written ad copy, slogans and other texts, this type of contest is for you. One great example of this is BoostCTR (now Boost Media), which gets the help of copywriters around the world to write 30 to 40-word copy that will be used by clients for online ads. BoostCTR isn’t open for new writers anymore, but you could check out Copy Shoppy for similar copywriting contests.
Some contests are aimed at collecting feedback or reviews from people. For example, StartUpLift pays $5 to a user that can provide the best review for a particular website (or $10 for a certain app). BountyIT used to be an option similar to this, but it seems contests aren’t updated anymore.
Other Crowdsourced Contests
Zooppa caters to big brands that are looking for video content and graphic design. The cool thing about Zooppa contests is that the prizes are huge and sometimes include high-value products like newly-launched cameras.
Kaggle is a platform of crowdsourced contests involving data science. It’s highly competitive with experts ranging in the field of mathematics, statistics and real-world machine learning that team up to make educated predictions. Prizes start at $5,000 and can go as high as $1,500,000.
How Much Can You Earn?
Idea generation contests have an average prize amount of $10. Note that Tongal’s $1,000 contest prizes are a rare exception. Logo design contests usually range between $100 and $300, but higher prizes may be offered for other graphic design (such as website header or Facebook cover) contests.
Contests that require more amount of work but higher prize amounts, such as video production and data science analysis, can be a worthwhile hobby for professionals. Imagine earning thousands of dollars for a video you made during your day off from work.
The Bottom Line
The best thing about crowdsourced contest sites is that every posted contest includes a description of the project and amount of prize to be won. Based on this client-provided information, participants can determine if the contest is worthy of their time…or not.
If you’re passionate about a sub-niche, such as t-shirt or tattoo design, the fun in joining these contests will serve as a driving factor for you to join. But without a guarantee of payment, it would be frustrating for some people.
I recommend joining crowdsourced contests only if your skill set or line of work is somewhat related to the contest. If not, it would be better to skip these contests completely.