The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the economy, resulting in job losses that forced families and individuals to find new, creative ways to generate income. Fortunately, the thriving gig economy and freelance community offered them the support they were looking for.
Moving forward, many may want to use these opportunities to shift away from their 9-to-5 or supplement their part-time or full-time income. But what types of gigs are out there for you to take advantage of when you need extra money?
We’ve seen some pretty weird ways to make money that could work for you, but here’s our tried-and-true list of gig economy jobs that can fatten your wallet.
The Best Gig Economy Apps
Gig economy apps allow you to break into your favorite opportunities with ease. Here are a few excellent recommendations to help you find your favorite gig economy jobs.
Using Your Car
If you have a vehicle and all the legal paperwork you need as a good driver should, you’re all set to join services like Uber, Amazon, and more and get a side gig driving around town.
Do you have extra time and a car? Rideshare gig apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to capitalize on your free time by driving app users to their destinations.
This is probably one of the most popular gig economy jobs out there if you want to supplement your income. You get paid to drive and is there any easier side gig than that?
Right now, so many people have the skills and experience to drive people around and make some easy money.
The future of ridesharing is a little bit hazy due to ongoing legal developments. So far, companies are encountering issues with health insurance, employee classification, and so on.
But if you are only looking to make some income on the side and have done your research into the platforms that interest you most, you should have no problem with getting started!
Interested in handling deliveries for companies and individuals instead? You can join the delivery service business and find jobs easily on a few apps.
Gig economy platforms like Roadie and Amazon Flex give you the opportunity to drive packages and other products to their destination.
These types of gig economy apps can be quite lucrative for drivers and offer a simple way to make some money with your vehicle. In fact, Amazon Flex states that the estimated hourly wage for their drivers ranges from $18 to $25 per hour.
Food Delivery Apps
These have become the biggest side hustles for people in 2020 and the perfect job to supplement your income. Food delivery apps became a staple for many during the pandemic, and they’re unlikely to decline in popularity anytime soon.
Whether you prefer to deliver fast food or essentials like groceries for your gig job, there are plenty of platforms out there that you can join.
A few major food delivery service platforms that offer gig economy jobs include:
Car Rental Apps
If you have a vehicle sitting around that you don’t use, making the decision to rent it out will give you access to passive income without having to work a gig job. Fortunately, there are a few platforms out there that can make the process more seamless for you.
If you have a car in great condition that you don’t mind others driving around in, you can use apps like Turo and Getaround to find interested renters. Then, you can work multiple gigs while earning passively with this model to earn even more!
You can even rent your RV or any other vehicle you have taking up room- everything could be used to make extra money!
Paul at SimpleRate.ca explains, “During the pandemic, many people have been able to find new income streams that didn’t exist before. The sharing economy is a huge opportunity for people that are open to it. All it takes is a phone with an internet connection and you’re in business.”
Plenty of individuals have marketable, high demand skills that can be leveraged to make money as an independent contractor outside of traditional employment. Here are a few gig economy jobs that may appeal to your interests and previous experience.
Most people are surprised that you can make money writing content on the web or social media, but in today’s digital world, the opportunities are endless, making it one of the most accessible side hustle ideas out there.
If you’re looking to become a freelance writer, you’ll likely want to start with content mills such as Textbroker, iWriter, and Hirewriters. Content mills don’t offer much for beginner freelancers, but they do provide you with compensation and insight into the writing process.
The key for freelance writers is experience, and there are many writing opportunities online for great side gigs.
As you gain experience, it’s important that you develop a portfolio of live pieces by volunteering for organizations in return for a byline, pitching content ideas to paid and non-paid publications, or even starting your own blog or using platforms like Medium to publish work.
Once you have an established portfolio and experience in your niche, you can then create a profile and pitch clients on platforms like Upwork, ProBlogger, and Scripted, just to name a few.
As long as you have a passion for the written word, a desire to grow and learn as a freelance writer, and niches that you have a deep interest in, you can absolutely make a side hustle or career out of freelance writing.
Freelance Graphic Design Work
Graphic design is a technical skill that many companies need to develop professional designs for their website and beyond. As such, having this skill allows you to access opportunities that can pay quite well, whether they’re only one-time gigs or ongoing clients.
But where do you get started as a freelancer? A few platforms that are perfect for freelance graphic designers include:
Becoming a Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants tackle administrative tasks for busy clients who need help managing their business and personal activities (booking flights, posting to social media, etc.). Becoming a virtual assistant is quite easy with the support of the right platform.
Some VA platforms that advertise freelance work include:
- VaVa Virtual
- Virtual Staff Finder
Offering Services on Fiverr
Fiverr is an extremely popular gig platform where professionals like writers, designers, video makers, and voice artists can all make extra income doing independent work with the right Fiverr marketing strategy.
Fiverr did initially introduce $5 gig jobs, but the platform has since grown, allowing you to establish your own service packages to earn more money, create an authoritative profile that attracts businesses, and grow your business on one platform.
You can learn more about Fiverr and the new Fiverr Business platform and how to become one of the successful freelance workers there by visiting their website.
Leveraging Your Past Experience on Upscale Gig Marketplaces
If you have an impressive resume and past experience with major companies, you may want to instead leverage your experience to land higher-paying clients that require an independent worker of your caliber.
Although you can always find larger freelance clients in some of the platforms listed above, a few upscale gig marketplaces worth looking into if you have many talents and an excellent track record include Catalant and MarketerHire. The income potential is often better on these sites.
If you’re looking into any of these professional services, it’s important to keep finances in the back of your mind as you’ll be responsible for handling your taxes and beyond. On my blog, Digital Honey, I talk about smart financial strategies for these types of things.
Using Your House
Renting Your Home Out to Others
If you’re someone with extra space in your home or even a full property that’s going unused, you have a source of income at your disposal that you may not even be aware of!
Consider renting out your space with platforms like Airbnb and VRBO to bring in passive income for full accommodations or individual rooms and spaces. If you’re only looking to rent out space for events, you can use a platform like Peerspace instead!
Renting Out Space in Your Home
Not everyone may be looking to rent out living space. The good news? You can rent out space for storage instead.
Whether you have an extra room or a garage that isn’t used for parking, you can turn to platforms like Neighbor or Store At My House to find interested parties.
Many times, people develop a passion for their side gigs. The income starts small, but it can grow over time.
John at HowtoFire.com explained, “Our favorite side hustle (freelancing) has turned into a full-time gig for my wife.
She’s now making well over six figures per year from her freelance business and loves what she does. She’s passionate about teaching others about taking their side hustle and turning it into a flourishing freelance business.”
Old-Fashioned Gigs That Still Work Great
As more and more people are vaccinated and the world prepares to reopen, old-fashioned gig economy jobs that were previously inaccessible are beginning to open up as well. If you’re not looking for jobs on social media or online, these may be better for you.
If you’re more interested in this type of work, here are a few old-fashioned gig work ideas that may appeal to you once they’re hiring again.
Four Options From My Experience
There are four side gigs that I did in my pre-professional career and absolutely loved them. I don’t see people talking about these often.
I got a job as an event DJ. My boss sent me out to weddings, company parties, and birthday parties. Overall, it was a ton of fun!
You need a little showmanship and marketing ability to get these types of gigs. We were charging $450-900 per 3-5 hour event. I got paid $150 to do the event, usually on a Friday or Saturday night.
If I had my own equipment, I could have kept all the profits and made $500+ per night. And it was a ton of fun!
Flipping Furniture on Craigslist
When I was a struggling pizza delivery driver, I used to make money reselling used furniture.
People give away free furniture on Craigslist all the time. It tends to go fast, though. If you’re the first one to respond and show up, you can usually get it.
Then, you clean it, get rid of any smells, and later list it for a charge. The free stuff usually went for $50-$200.
People with a knack for this kind of thing have figured out ways to make a legitimate business by buying low and selling high. But picking up free furniture is an easy way to get started!
Mowing Lawns for Money
Of all the side hustles that I did, this is one that I wished I had stuck with for longer. People tend to dismiss lawn mowing and lawn care as a 12-year-old kid type of business. But the truth is that any adult can do well here!
To advertise you can knock doors, pass out fliers, and put up free Facebook and Craigslist ads. I mowed lawns for about $50-60 per month and got up to about 15 clients. I figured that I made about $30 per hour doing the actual work – not bad!
Getting Signatures for Political Petitions
This is the weirdest one that I did, but was also the most profitable. It’s a top pick from my own experience for increasing my income!
My first week of signature gathering netted me $1,000, and I averaged about $1,500 per week. People that worked 12 hour days were able to pull $2,000+ weeks regularly.
In California, Washington, and a few other states, initiatives require a certain amount of signatures from registered voters to appear on election ballots. Issues like legalizing marijuana and minimum wage increases often end up here.
Hundreds of thousands of signatures are required to get those issues on the ballot. Thousands of workers are needed since volunteers usually can’t get nearly enough signatures.
They typically pay workers by the signature. Signatures typically pay about $1 per signature and range from anywhere between $0.50 to $3.
In California, it’s legal to stand outside of big-box retail stores like Walmart and Target to collect signatures. It can add up quickly! The downside is that this type of work is only available for a few months during election years.
Other Old-Fashioned Gigs that Pay Well
Bartending or Waiting Tables
Bartending and waiting have always been great gigs to pursue, largely because of the tips that are associated with this type of work. Even self-made billionaire Mark Cuban has said that he would return to this if he somehow lost his fortune, stating in an interview:
“I would get a job as a bartender at night and a sales job during the day, and I would start working.”
Set aside some time to look online for work at local bars or restaurants if you need working gigs that can offer you some extra cash.
The babysitting industry was one of the industries hit the hardest during the pandemic. This is because some families may not have been comfortable with potentially exposing their children or themselves to the virus while others may not have been able to afford childcare.
As the economy recovers and families can once again afford childcare, they’re going to be looking out for these services. If you’re on the hunt for stay at home mom jobs, babysitting is at the top of the list.
If you love children and have the necessary qualifications (phone, car, past experience, first-aid training, etc.), you can use an online platform like Care.com to advertise your services and connect with interested parties. Who knows? You may even find similar gigs you love as well!
Housekeeping often gets a bad wrap for being a job that no one wants to do, but you don’t have to have a passion for cleaning to see the potential in this type of work.
Housekeeping is something that everyone has some skills and experience in, but as a side gig you can earn extra money easily or even make it a new full-time source of income.
Plus who doesn’t enjoy setting their own hours and being their own boss?
Take, for example, Anthony and Jhanilka Hartzog, a couple who pursued several side hustles and managed to grow their housekeeping business to the point that it brings in $20,000 to $25,000 in revenue per month.
Of course, you don’t have to start your own business, but it goes to show just how profitable housekeeping can be with the right focus and marketing strategy. Take a look around at how others have achieved success and try emulating these strategies yourself if it interests you.
Rent Out Bounce Houses
The more creative gig ideas often offer the most revenue, and can be a fun source of income that you don’t expect!
One such creative example is a bounce house business.
Did you know that bounce houses often rent out for anywhere from $30 to $50 per hour? Although you have to pay for the bounce house itself as well as the transportation and setup, you can easily scale your bounce house business over time by acquiring more.
If this doesn’t appeal to you, look at other items you may be able to rent out with ease to make some extra money on the side. From high-end clothing to musical interests, there are always interested individuals who will want to rent what you have instead of buying it outright.
Job Websites for Flexible Work
The type of gig jobs that you choose will depend on how much time you have, what the location requirements are, and what you’re looking to do.
The in-person ideas above are great for people who have extra time to invest in their side-hustle, but not so great for individuals with more demanding schedules or difficulty getting from place to place. Is there an alternative? Of course! You can look for remote work instead.
If you’re solely looking for how to earn money online, some platforms that can help you find remote work opportunities include FlexJobs, Remote.co, and WeWorkRemotely. No matter what your ideal gig or schedule looks like, you’re sure to find something that works for your situation.
Gig Economy Statistics
With developments like AB5 in California and rumors about Biden’s PRO Act interrupting the state of freelancing, many potential gig economy workers are concerned about the future of gig economy jobs. However, they shouldn’t be. The gig economy statistics speak for themselves!
- 80 percent of gig workers say they’re satisfied with their current job and only 33 percent of gig economy workers would prefer to find a traditional job.
- Freelance job postings increased by 41 percent during the second half of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The number of freelancers grew by 2 million between 2019 and 2020, reflecting an 8 percent increase in contingent workers.
Put simply, gig jobs and freelancing are valued due to their flexibility, the abundance of work available, and the ability for individuals to work these gig economy jobs alongside their full-time job or part-time job. Gig labor statistics support this.
If you are currently considering finding gig economy jobs of your own, the statistics above are an encouraging reflection of the growing interest in this digital economy and all the work that can be found by gig employees because of this strong demand.
If you’re looking to make extra money to replace lost income or save towards something important, you don’t have to pick up another job to do it. In today’s world, there are so many gigs and freelance opportunities at your disposal to increase your earning potential. Just take a look at these recent gig economy statistics if you don’t believe us.
That being said, the biggest challenge for job seekers is finding these opportunities. If joining the gig economy has been a thought you’ve been entertaining, turn to the 19 best gig economy jobs in 2021 listed above to help you start your gig worker journey!
This article was written by Garit Boothe is a self-employed digital entrepreneur. He blogs about personal finance and enjoys spending time with his wife and children. Right now he is obsessed with the Better Call Saul TV series.