The gig economy probably seems like a huge chaotic free-for-all, and in at least some ways, it probably is. This article will help you understand the gig economy and gig economy jobs a little better and make you aware of some of the best gig apps for 2023.
Over the last ten years, the gig economy has exploded in popularity since about the time that Uber was founded. At that time, there were only a few online gigs people could earn money from, and most people had never even heard of the gig economy. No one knew what gig work was then, and the expression itself wasn’t even used widely as recently as ten years ago.
Today, however, everybody is pretty much aware of the gig economy and how it can help you earn significant supplemental income. Many people are earning extra income by performing gig work, and that’s why so many gig apps have recently sprung into existence. If you can find the right gig app for your talents, you should probably be able to earn some significant money on the side to help supplement your income.
There are currently gig apps available for almost every industry in the country. Given that several hundred of these apps exist today, you should be able to find one or more that match the skills you have, so you can start earning extra cash. From those several hundred gig apps, we’ll sort through them all and recommend those that might be best for you, regardless of your talents.
Using the gig economy to your advantage
As a self-employed freelancer, you’ll certainly want to get the most out of any gig job in order to justify the time spent on any work you do. You need to know that getting the most out of the gig economy apps involves much more than simply investing long hours of work to complete a task for a requestor.
One of the most important aspects of doing gig work is choosing the right app in the first place, and that’s where this article can be a big help to you.
Most people think of Uber and Lyft when thinking about gig work. That’s a natural association since those two companies were probably the first to specialize in gig work and to bring this type of economy to the forefront.
Approximately seven to ten years ago, Lyft and Uber were by far the best-recognized companies in the gig economy. That makes it only natural that people would think of them first when it comes to gig work because they were practically the originators of it.
Remember that gigs requiring higher skill levels will also pay more, so it’s to your advantage to increase your skill levels. You are well advised to find gigs that you have some interest in since that will increase your motivation to perform well.
The better you establish yourself and your reputation, the more work you’ll get on that particular gig platform, and the more you can get paid by the platform. You need to be aware that this will not happen overnight, so it’s necessary to be patient and persistent on any gig platform.
If you come across a gig platform that allows you to set your own prices, you’ll be able to earn more money from that platform, but you’ll also need a higher skill level.
These days, you can find gig platforms for web developers, babysitters, all kinds of contractors, dogsitters, writers, doctors, homeowners, software coders, and practically any other task you can think of.
To get the most out of any of these platforms, one must have some interest in that work and a talent for doing it. Here are some things to keep in mind for maximizing gig platform usage:
- Remember that the higher-paying gigs require a higher level of skill, so if you really want those high-paying gigs, you’ll need to upgrade your skills.
- To get the most out of any gig platform, you should have a ready-made interest in the kind of work that platform specializes in.
- The better your reputation gets overtime on any platform, the more work you’ll get and the more money you’ll earn. That makes it highly advantageous for you to strive toward achieving the best possible reputation on your chosen gig platform.
- Some platforms allow you to set your own prices so that you can earn more money. However, this also requires you to have a greater skill level, so you’ll need to increase your skill level before being successful on gig platforms like these.
The Best Gig Apps
Fiverr has been around for a long time. It got its name originally from the fact that writers would take on tasks to write articles for $5 apiece. Those tasks might be general interest articles, blogs, product descriptions, web content, or anything else, but all jobs were priced at $5.
Most of the original tasks called for 500-word articles to be prepared by writers, so the $5 fee was more or less the standard fee. The platform has evolved since then, and writers are paid more in line with their skills and the nature of the task itself.
Many freelancers now earn really good money from this platform, especially once they’ve worked for a while and established themselves as reputable, skillful, and reliable.
Taskrabbit is a gig platform that Ikea recently bought out because they had such a huge demand for workers to assemble Ikea furniture. However, there are many more tasks available on the gig platform than just furniture assembly, so there are many ways you can earn money here.
For instance, such diverse tasks are available on this platform: moving storage boxes, hanging pictures, waiting in line for people who can’t find the time to do it themselves, and running all kinds of errands that people need to do daily.
One of the great things about this platform is that it allows freelancers to set their own prices for projects and tasks. That means you have the chance to earn a lot more money, but it also means you’ll need to have sufficient skills to do great work on accomplishing any project you take on.
Another appealing aspect of this platform is the variety of work you’ll find there. There’s something for almost everyone, so if you want to earn more money and have any skills, there may be tasks for you on this platform.
Suppose you can establish a good reputation on TaskRabbit and do reliable work. In that case, it’s very possible that you could earn steady cash that might even be sufficient to be your primary source of income.
Airbnb is the unquestioned king of gig apps because it has made more money for more people than any other app. There are three reasons why this gig platform has been so successful and continues to make money for all involved.
Airbnb is one platform that allows you to set your own prices, and it’s always much easier to make more money on a platform that does this. It’s also possible for people using the Airbnb platform to function as hosts without incurring additional expenses.
Any expenses associated with the task are small enough to be overlooked entirely.
The last reason this is such a big gig platform is that you don’t need to do it full-time. You’ll find that you have lots of time to work other gigs between hosting guests in your home.
After a guest checks into your establishment, they probably won’t take any more of your time, giving you plenty of free time to earn money on other gigs. As most people know, Airbnb is a home-sharing arrangement that allows guests to come right into your home for a certain amount of time at a price you have set for such a stay.
The only drawback to the home-sharing arrangement is that it is now coming under scrutiny by local governments, and it’s possible that new regulations and restrictions may be imposed.
If you have at least one spare bedroom in your household, Airbnb is a legal and worthwhile app for you to be involved with. If you have two or more spare bedrooms, they can be rented out separately, and you can have twice the income from short-term guests.
To find out how much you can make through Airbnb, log on to the platform and see what kind of money hosts earn for a one-night stay in your area.
4) Grubhub for Drivers
Grubhub is a popular food delivery app connecting hungry customers with drivers and restaurants. More than 3,000 cities in this country offer GrubHub services to clients.
Delivery drivers only have to drive around to street addresses and deliver food from restaurants where that food was ordered. The driver gets a base salary for mileage and time spent on the road while traveling to a customer’s location.
It’s also possible for the driver to earn tips from customers, which can increase any GrubHub driver’s earnings. GrubHub for drivers has established a rating of 4.2 in the App Store, and the Google Play Store gives it a rating of 4.6.
These are good numbers for any app of its kind, and it means that this is a solid app for freelancers to earn money on. If you have a reliable vehicle and you don’t mind driving all around the neighborhood, you’ll have an opportunity to earn some serious cash on GrubHub for drivers.
At one time, Upwork was a freelancing gig app that had to be considered a very low-end platform on the work scale. During the last two or three years, the platform has upgraded itself considerably, and it now features several customers with a high demand for freelancers with creative skills.
The most popular skills are writing, web design, web development, and mobile app developers. When Upwork first started out as a gig platform, it accepted workers with all kinds of skills without having to show any real talent for jobs desired by the freelancer.
The bad thing about this was it put people with no skills and those with tremendous skills on virtually the same footing, and both were only capable of earning the same low-end income.
That has all changed for the better in the past few years. Upwork has some stringent standards, so that talented freelancers can earn much more money and be paid what they’re worth.
If you have any of the skills mentioned above, this might be a good gig platform for finding work.
One of the negative aspects of this gig platform is that it charges you to bid on jobs. Any client that reaches out to you with a request for a task or project work will cause you to pay some fee to respond to that inquiry. You’ll have to pay the fee whether or not you actually get the job, and you can quickly run through some credits that way.
That means you’ll have to keep buying credits if you want to bid on jobs, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever land a job you’re bidding on. So the bottom line is that you can be paid a lot more on the platform these days, but it’s a little more difficult to land a paying gig.
Postmates is a good platform growing exponentially and is currently one of the most popular platforms offering delivery services.
However, they are much different than either Uber Eats or GrubHub because they don’t just offer simple food delivery. Postmates is a delivery service that brings phone chargers, office supplies, and groceries to your doorstep.
Essentially, the platform serves as a personal assistant since they provide a service where they pick up and deliver almost anything you need within an hour.
Some considerable perks come with being part of the Postmates group of freelancers. For one thing, you can keep all your earnings and tips, and you’ll be able to access your earnings at any time you want.
The platform will also supply most of the materials you need to simplify your job, for instance, delivery bags to put food or supplies in. You’ll also be able to establish your own schedule, so you can make yourself available only during those hours that are free time for you.
You’ll have to undergo a background check to be accepted as one of the Postmates delivery personnel, but as long as you pass that background check, you’ll be off and running. This is a great way for people who don’t mind driving to earn some solid extra income.
Over the past few years, Uber has established quite a reputation for being somewhat contentious in its relationship with drivers. However, it’s still one of the best ways for gig economy workers to earn extra cash.
More than two million drivers are affiliated with Uber, and it’s probably still the company that comes to mind first when people think about the gig economy.
One of the real benefits of working with Uber is that you need an insured car, a clean driving record, and a valid driver’s license in your state.
That’s all you need to get going on the platform, and you’ll have an opportunity to earn some serious money if you want to put the time and effort into it.
Many people enjoy driving for this company simply because they can set their own schedule and only commit to the number of hours they’re comfortable with.
That being said, certain hours of the day are far more profitable than others, so it might be more advantageous for you to work during those hours.
It’s easy enough to get started driving with Uber, but this is indeed a gig economy job that pays a majority of drivers who work with the platform less than $10 per hour after driving expenses are subtracted out.
Of course, there’s always a chance you could become one of the higher-paid drivers working in your area. However, if you’re comfortable with making around $10 an hour and committing several hours each day to drive for Uber, you’ll have a business that can be a good supplemental income.
The fact that there’s a soft ceiling on earnings means that this may not be the absolute best gig app out there, but if you need a few extra dollars, this is one of the best ways to earn that extra income. The flexible schedule is something that also appeals to many freelancers.
Instacart is a grocery delivery app, and it’s similar to many of the others out there today. Instacart works with grocery stores so that customers who need groceries and supplies can have them delivered right to their locations.
If you work for Instacart, whenever you receive an order, you’ll have to go to the appropriate supermarket and do whatever necessary shopping. Then, you’ll have to deliver it to the customer’s location afterward.
The Instacart platform will pay between $5 and $9 per order, and you will also be entitled to any tips the customer gives you. It might be difficult to earn a lot of money on this platform unless you take a great number of orders or if you receive a lot of tip money as compensation.
It will generally take a half hour and an hour for an Instacart freelancer to get to a store, do the shopping, and then deliver it to a customer’s location.
That means you can only do a single job in an hour, so all you can earn for the task is $9 at the most, plus any tips you are given. In some cases, you can double up on Instacart jobs and carry out shopping for two different customers at the same time.
However, for the most part, you can expect to earn less than minimum wage for your efforts in shopping and delivering groceries, which is generally less than most other gig economy apps.
When you get an order from Instacart, the platform will tell you how much the job pays, and you’ll have an opportunity to decide whether or not to accept the gig.
If you’re not looking to earn a ton of money but want to supplement your income and be your own boss, this can still be a good gig platform. And if you enjoy shopping, that will be a positive as well, although you’ll have to couple that with driving and delivery.
Roadie is another delivery service that involves the delivery of goods and supplies of all different types. You can have things like groceries, prescription drugs, or even furniture delivered to customers who need
it. Roadie will also handle long-distance moves, so if you have a large truck or a van, that will be another possibility for you to earn money. If you take on one of these long-distance gigs, you can be paid for the mileage on the job and a fee for your delivery service.
When you apply and are accepted at Roadie, you’ll be able to work for the platform in any state in the country.
You’ll most likely spend most of your time making local deliveries simply because it’s more convenient. But if you have the equipment to take on long-distance jobs, that is a distinct possibility on this gig platform.
That makes it possible for you to earn more money than on some other gig platforms, especially if you’re willing to invest the time and effort into long-distance deliveries.
A couple of features associated with this gig platform make it a desirable company to work for. For one thing, you’ll be able to set your own prices for tasks and projects, and there is a tremendous variety of tasks for which you can earn extra cash.
One of the big differences about Thumbtack is that you’ll be treated a bit more like an independent contractor, and you’ll have a professional status with them that comes in handy.
Many freelancers affiliated with Thumbtack are licensed tradesmen, such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and others who perform handyman jobs.
One of the drawbacks to working on Thumbtack is that, just like Upwork, the platform charges workers when they respond to inquiries. When you start working at Thumbtack, you’ll be obliged to purchase credits which you can use to respond to inquiries, and each time you respond to one, several credits will be subtracted.
When you make any reply to a job inquiry, it will cost you a certain number of credits, and it’s entirely possible that you still won’t end up getting the job. That means you can pay a high price for responses that don’t even translate into work.
However, if you connect with even a few customers, that should make it worthwhile to cover the cost of your inquiry response and still leave you enough earnings to make it all worthwhile.
Freelancer is a gig platform that operates like Upwork, specializing in computer-related tasks and projects and several other creative jobs. You might enjoy being associated with this gig platform if you have a creative streak.
There’s a huge demand on Freelancers for computer work that tends to involve some level of creativity, which appeals to many freelancers who sign on to this platform.
Some of the more typical projects you might run into on this platform are tasks involving audio editing, media management, web design, and video editing. If any of these appeal to you, and you have skills in these areas, you might find this platform right up your alley.
You should also have the opportunity to make some significant cash from some of these jobs since the tasks tend to be higher-paying gigs than you might find on some other platforms.
12) Amazon Flex
Amazon Flex is a gig platform that retrieves packages from Amazon and delivers them to local addresses nearby. Unlike normal Amazon deliveries, you don’t have to be a professional driver to make these kinds of deliveries.
You’ll also be able to use your vehicle and establish your hours and work schedule. You may want to work 40 hours one week and just five hours the next week.
Of course, all this will result in some wear and tear on your vehicle, and you’ll also have to pay for gas. The offsetting factor to this is that it can be a very convenient task app or rover app for you, and it doesn’t involve much effort on your part.
All you have to do is jump in your own car, open up the Amazon Flex app, and start making deliveries. There aren’t any obligations to fulfill, which will leave you free to work as little or as much as you want.
So, if you don’t mind driving around your neighborhood and you have lots of time, you might be able to make some significant money making deliveries for Amazon.
Swagbucks is a somewhat unusual gig platform that frequently involves freelancers taking paid surveys. These surveys sometimes require you to watch videos or browse the Internet, but in all cases, you must assess what you’ve seen and share your opinion.
All tasks are performed within the Swagbucks gig app so that you can do everything necessary from your computer. When you achieve a level where you have earned 300 Swagbucks, you’ll be able to redeem those Swagbucks for cash or a gift card.
If you have a PayPal account, you can have the money sent directly to your Paypal account to keep things simple. The earnings potential on Swagbucks is not particularly high, so you won’t get rich taking on tasks for this gig platform, but if you’re only looking to make a few extra bucks, it can be ideal.
It also does not require much skill or talent, just a willingness to view videos or do some Internet browsing and then offer your opinion on what you’ve seen.
Unlike some gig platforms, you don’t need special abilities to earn money here. However, you do have to be willing to commit some time to any of the tasks because almost everything will involve some time for viewing and browsing.
The more time you are willing to commit to this kind of work, the better your return will be. If you can commit an unlimited amount of time, you’ll have the opportunity to earn some major income on this site.
14) Doordash Driver
Doordash may be the best gig economy app for food delivery. In actuality, it only has a 56% market share of delivery services, which leaves lots of room for other apps to get their share.
However, Doordash is the preferred delivery service for many restaurants and individuals involved with picking up restaurant orders for delivery to customers. Doordash drivers are sometimes referred to as Dashers, and all that’s necessary is for you to pick up orders from local restaurants and have them dropped off at nearby addresses for customers.
If you stick with the app long enough and become a Top Dasher, you’ll be entitled to several special rewards from the platform and opening the door to additional earning opportunities.
That makes this one of the best gig economy apps, and it has a stellar reputation, starting with its 4.7 rating on the App Store. It also ranks in the top five among all business-related apps, and this is quite an accomplishment.
This platform has the best reputation among all the food delivery apps and seems to have the best relationship with its drivers. If you don’t mind driving around town a great deal, you can make some significant extra cash by making restaurant deliveries to local customers.
And if you put in enough time to become one of the preferred drivers for the platform, you can start earning a lot more, and you may even be entitled to many rewards from the platform. There’s also the possibility of earning customer tips over and above what the app pays its drivers.
Turo is a somewhat unusual gig platform that allows you to rent your car out to others, and it’s something like Airbnb for cars. It’s the biggest car-sharing platform today, and it involves allowing someone else to drive your car for a certain amount of time.
One of the great things about being involved with the Turo platform is that you can set your own prices for this car rental service and be as flexible as you need to be.
You also don’t have to worry about whether a client becomes involved in an accident, because Turo hosts get significant discounts on insurance that will cover any accident costs.
You’ll also get a major discount on auto maintenance, so even though your car will take on a great deal more mileage, it will be offset because you have relatively cheap maintenance. Of course, if you’re greatly attached to your vehicle and don’t want anyone else driving it, this would not be a good gig platform for you to be involved with.
However, if you have a second car in your household, it might be an ideal way to earn extra cash without giving up using your own vehicle. Granted, the occasional customer might take advantage of or abuse your vehicle during the rental period.
Still, most customers know that the car belongs to an individual and that they need to be conscientious about caring for it.
The fact that you can set your own prices allows you to make some really good money on this platform, and the good thing is it doesn’t involve any effort whatsoever on your part. Simply by allowing a customer to drive your vehicle to a certain destination and back, you can earn significant money that will more than offset the cost of wear and tear on your vehicle.
Declutter is another gig platform that is considerably different from many other gig platforms in existence. The specialty service on this platform is purchasing second-hand electronic devices.
It doesn’t call for you to perform any real work, and you don’t need any particular talent to provide a service for this platform. Since Decluttr specializes in purchasing used electronic devices, it can be a convenient way to rid yourself of old computers, video games, and cell phones.
You must download the app, scan any castoff item you want to get rid of with your smartphone camera, and then sell the items to Decluttr. The platform will dictate a price for each item, and you will receive a box free of charge that you can use to mail in your used devices.
While you can earn a significant amount of money on this platform, you can’t expect to get rich using Decluttr only because very few people have a huge inventory of used electronic devices.
Unless you’ve been stockpiling them for years, chances are you only have a few old cell phones or computers that you’re willing to sell. The upside of this gig economy app is that it requires no skills or effort on your part, and all that’s necessary is downloading the app and scanning your used electronic items.
This is more of a one-time earnings potential, and then you probably won’t have any need for it for several years until your current computer equipment or phone wears out and you decide to sell it as well.
Wrapping it up on Gig Apps
Above, we’ve identified some of the most popular gig apps today. You may already have the skills to apply and start working on one of these platforms; if you don’t, you may still be able to acquire those skills.
If you want to make some extra money, you should be able to develop the skills you need for a platform that interests you. Make sure to choose a platform that offers projects you are interested in, or you may not be motivated to do your best work.
One of the most important points to remember about starting out with gig work is that you won’t be successful immediately – it will take time to establish a good reputation.
Once you’ve completed several tasks on the platform, you may notice that more work is coming, and you’re starting to get more jobs than when you first joined. If you can establish yourself as a reliable gig worker, you should have a steady stream of work – and income – for the foreseeable future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are gig workers employed, employers, or self-employed?
A: Most gig workers are considered self-employed since they act on their own behalf, with no company representing them. They might only be considered employers if they take on a huge project and sub-let out pieces of that project to other workers. However, most gig work is not this expansive in nature and only calls for a single person to complete the task.
Q: What industries have gig platforms available for tasks and projects?
A: Since the sudden rise of the gig economy, it hasn’t taken long for gig platforms to pop up everywhere and to represent practically all industries. These days, you can probably find a gig platform for almost any industry in the country, meaning a few talents are needed to accomplish all the listed tasks. Of course, there are certain areas where the gig economy has a natural prominence, e.g., writing blogs and web content. Still, as time goes by, gig platforms are coming into existence for virtually all kinds of industries.
Q: How new is the gig economy?
A: In one sense, it is extremely new, given that the so-called gig economy has soared into popularity within the last decade. However, if you look at the big picture and take a longer time frame, it becomes apparent that the gig economy has existed for more than a century. Before the Industrial Revolution, most work done in this country was of the gig variety, although it was not called that.
As recently as the 1940s, 11% of the US workforce was comprised of freelancers who performed work on a task or project basis and were considered self-employed. In modern times, less than 6% of the workforce would be self-employed. However, this does not consider that many gig workers only do freelance work as a side job, and they have other full-time jobs.
Q: What is powering this new gig economy?
A: One of the big drivers behind the surging gig economy is the prevalent use of smartphones and the Internet. Together, these two critical factors have combined to provide new ways of managing projects and tasks and of allocating them to freelancers.
This technological advancement has already transformed some occupations in this country, and undoubtedly there will be more in the future that are similarly transformed. It’s entirely possible that this change could impact the entire country and all work in the future.
Of course, it cannot replace any job that requires a hands-on, physical presence on the job, but almost everything else is fair game for some replacement.