Many gig workers appreciate the autonomy and flexibility that come with being an independent contractor. Instead of being tied down to a single employer, they can choose when, where, and how they work.
This flexibility is a significant draw for those who prefer a non-traditional work environment or who need to supplement their existing income. Gig apps have streamlined the process of connecting with potential clients, allowing freelancers to focus more on their craft and less on the logistics of finding work.
With the gig economy growing, those interested in gig work need to identify the best apps that align with their skills and financial goals. Some platforms are tailored to specific services such as driving and delivery, while others are more general, offering a multitude of tasks ranging from professional services to simple errands.
By selecting the right gig app, workers can maximize their earning potential while enjoying the freedoms associated with being an independent contractor.
Uber and Lyft (Ride-Sharing)
Uber and Lyft are two of the leading ride-sharing platforms, offering flexible earning opportunities to individuals with a driver’s license and access to a vehicle. Both platforms operate through user-friendly mobile apps that facilitate the connection between drivers and passengers requiring a ride.
Earning Potential: Earnings vary based on multiple factors, including location, time of day, and demand. Drivers retain a significant portion of each fare, with the rest going to the platform.
Flexibility: One primary advantage is the flexibility in choosing when and where to drive. Drivers can log in to the app and accept rides when it suits their schedule, offering a high degree of personal autonomy.
Operational Locations: Uber and Lyft operate in numerous cities across the globe. A driver in a busy city might find more frequent ride requests than one in a less populated area, influencing earning potential.
Driver Rating System: Both platforms employ a rating system to ensure quality and safety. Consistently high ratings can lead to more ride requests and the potential for bonus incentives.
TaskRabbit is a popular gig application that connects individuals with freelance labor in their vicinity. Freelancers, termed “Taskers,” can offer their services in various categories, such as furniture assembly, moving help, or general handyman services. Clients post tasks they need help with, and Taskers can then bid on those tasks.
Taskers enjoy flexible scheduling, choosing when and where they work. This can be particularly advantageous for those seeking to fit work around other commitments. TaskRabbit operates in select cities, so availability may vary based on location.
To begin as a Tasker, one must complete a profile, undergo a background check, and list their skills. Once approved, they gain access to the marketplace to start accepting tasks. Maintaining a solid reputation is important, as clients review Taskers after each task, influencing their chances of future hires.
- Choose from a variety of task categories.
- Set your rates.
- Competition with other Taskers might be challenging.
- Service fee reduces overall take-home pay.
Fiverr is a prominent online marketplace for freelance services. It offers a diverse range of categories including graphic design, digital marketing, writing, translation, and video editing. Service providers on Fiverr are known as “sellers,” and they offer “gigs” which are specific services they can provide.
The platform operates on a tier system, ranking sellers as New, Level One, Level Two, or Top-Rated based on delivery time, customer satisfaction, and service quality. This incentivizes high-quality work and reliability.
- Ease of Use: Fiverr’s interface is user-friendly, making it simple for freelancers to create and list their gigs.
- Variety of Services: There are thousands of gigs available across various fields and specialties.
- Secure Payment: Payments are held in escrow until the service is delivered, protecting both buyer and seller.
- Sign up for a free account on Fiverr.
- Create a seller profile, detailing skills and experience.
- Post your first gig, including a description, pricing, and turnaround time.
- Promote your gig to attract buyers.
Freelancers should maintain a high standard of work to garner positive reviews, which can lead to more gigs and the ability to charge higher rates. Fiverr also takes a commission from each transaction, which is something sellers should factor into their pricing strategy.
Upwork is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. It caters to a wide range of industries, including writing, graphic design, web development, and customer service. Freelancers can create profiles, display their portfolios, and bid on projects that match their skill set.
- Writing: Articles, blog posts, copywriting
- Design: Logo, website, UI/UX
- Development: Software, mobile apps, websites
- Marketing: SEO, social media campaigns
Fees on Upwork are structured as a sliding scale, with the platform charging a percentage of the freelancer’s earnings. The more a freelancer earns from a client, the lower the fee becomes.
- 20% for the first $500 billed with a client
- 10% for total billings with a client between $500.01 and $10,000
- 5% for billings over $10,000
- Wide Range of Jobs: Access to a diverse market
- Protection: Payment protection for work completed
- Flexibility: Options for short-term tasks or long-term contracts
Creating a Profile:
- Fill out personal details
- Add professional skills
- Showcase portfolio work
- Set an hourly rate or project price
Upwork’s platform also provides a feedback and rating system, helping freelancers build their reputations and assisting clients in making informed hiring decisions. Communication tools and job-tracking features are integrated into the site, making project management and collaboration streamlined.
Instacart (Grocery Delivery)
Instacart offers a flexible way to earn money by shopping for and delivering groceries. Workers can choose to be either a full-service shopper, who shops and delivers orders, or an in-store shopper, who just shops for orders within the store.
Users typically earn money per batch of orders, plus tips. Earnings can vary based on factors such as order size, distance, and the number of items.
- Base pay per order: Varies
- Tips: 100% to shopper
- Boosts: For high-demand times
Instacart provides a high degree of schedule flexibility. Shoppers indicate their availability and select batches accordingly.
- Choose own hours
- No minimum time commitment
- Highly flexible schedule
- No cap on earnings
- Immediate withdrawal of earnings available
- Earnings can be inconsistent
- Must handle own taxes as an independent contractor
To become an Instacart shopper, candidates must:
- Download the Instacart app
- Create an account
- Pass a background check
Instacart offers support through in-app chat and an extensive FAQ section for shoppers, aiding with any issues or questions that arise during shopping or delivery.
DoorDash (Food Delivery)
DoorDash stands as a leading service in the food delivery market. Users appreciate its user-friendly interface and the extensive network of restaurant partnerships. One can usually expect quick delivery times and a wide variety of food options. Dashers, as DoorDash deliverers are known, can often benefit from a flexible schedule and a straightforward payment structure.
- User Experience: Seamless and intuitive
- Delivery Network: Broad
- Earnings: Competitive with tips
- Flexibility: High; choose your hours
Postmates is a popular platform for individuals looking to earn money through gig work, particularly in the delivery sector. Operating across many cities in the United States, it allows people to deliver food, groceries, and other goods to customers using their transportation methods.
Potential Earnings: Earnings vary based on the city, the number of deliveries, and the time of day. Delivery payouts are determined by the pickup, drop-off, and per-minute wait time at the pickup location, along with the distance covered.
- Flexibility: Choose when to work with no preset schedule.
- Variety of Deliverables: From restaurant orders to groceries and alcohol.
- Instant Pay Options: Access earnings immediately for a nominal fee.
Postmates offers a way for individuals to make money on their terms. The platform is user-friendly and provides a structured yet flexible work option for those seeking to participate in the gig economy.
Freelancer.com is a prominent marketplace that connects freelancers with clients needing services in various areas such as writing, graphic design, web development, and marketing.
- Fixed Price: Set amount for the entire project.
- Hourly Rate: Payment based on the hours worked.
To succeed on Freelancer.com, one must be proactive in bidding, deliver quality work on time, and maintain effective communication with clients.
Gigwalk is a mobile app that connects users with quick, local gig opportunities. Users, commonly referred to as Gigwalkers, can earn money by completing various tasks, which can range from price checks to in-store display audits, or even mystery shopping.
How It Works:
- Download the app and register.
- Find gigs using the app’s GPS feature.
- Apply for gigs and complete the assigned tasks.
- Submit proof of completion through the app.
- Payment is processed via PayPal.
- Flexibility: Choose gigs that fit personal schedules.
- Simplicity: Gigs typically involve straightforward tasks.
- Variety: A wide range of gig types is available.
Gigwalk is ideal for individuals looking to supplement their income on their own schedule. It is important to carefully read gig descriptions before applying to ensure an understanding of task requirements and to avoid any potential issues. Gigwalkers are encouraged to maintain a high-quality standard of work to improve their chances of getting selected for higher-paying gigs.
Rev is a well-established platform offering freelancing opportunities for those skilled in transcription, captioning, subtitling, and translation. Freelancers, commonly referred to as Revvers, can work from anywhere as long as they have a reliable internet connection and a computer.
Transcription Services: Revvers convert audio or video to text. Applicants must pass an English language and transcription test before starting.
Captioning Services: Revvers also create video captions, enhancing accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. This requires a good grasp of English and syncing captions with audio.
For Translation Services: Experienced bilingual individuals may translate documents or provide subtitle translations. Proficiency in the source and target language is a must.
Rev also offers a flexible schedule, allowing Revvers to choose their projects and work hours. As with most gig economy platforms, the more time and effort one invests, the higher their potential earnings. However, the income is not guaranteed and depends on the availability of jobs and the freelancer’s performance.