Ever wondered how you can make some extra cash on the side without taking on another full-time job? The gig economy is here for you. Through various apps and websites, you can find short-term jobs, tasks, and projects that fit your skills and schedule. Whether you’ve got an hour here and there or want to dive into a longer side hustle, the options are many.
You’ve probably heard of some of the major players like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb that help you leverage your vehicle or home to generate income. But there are many other creative ways to put your talents and spare time to use. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best gig economy apps that can help you earn money on your own time. If you’ve been itching for a side hustle to generate some extra income, one of these apps is sure to match your needs. Take a look and start earning today.
What Is the Gig Economy?
The gig economy refers to a free market system in which temporary, flexible jobs are common and companies hire independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees. In a gig economy, jobs are often short-term or project-based, giving workers more freedom and flexibility.
The Pros of the Gig Economy
There are several benefits to the gig economy. For starters, gig economy jobs provide flexibility and freedom. As an independent contractor, you can choose when and how much you want to work. You’re also able to explore different fields and gain experience in multiple areas of interest.
The gig economy also provides opportunities to increase your income. By taking on side gigs in addition to your full-time job or combining multiple part-time gigs, you can generate extra money. Some of the highest-paying gig economy jobs include driving for Uber or Lyft, freelance writing, online tutoring, web development, and mobile app testing.
The Cons of the Gig Economy
While the gig economy has significant upsides, there are also some downsides to be aware of. Gig economy work is often unstable and unpredictable. Your hours and pay can fluctuate, and jobs may be temporary. This instability can make it difficult to earn a steady income or plan financially.
Gig economy workers also typically don’t receive benefits like health insurance, paid time off, or retirement plans. You’re responsible for your own benefits and business expenses. Taxes also tend to be more complicated for gig workers and freelancers.
The gig economy isn’t for everyone, but for those looking for flexibility, independence, and extra income, the rewards can be appealing. With hard work and persistence, the gig economy offers opportunities to build a successful freelance business or side hustle.
Top 5 Gig Economy Apps for Delivery Services
When it comes to making extra money on the side, delivery apps are some of the most popular options. Here are the top 5 gig economy apps for delivery services:
Uber Eats allows you to deliver food from local restaurants to hungry customers. Requirements are pretty straightforward – you’ll need a reliable car, valid driver’s license, and auto insurance. Uber Eats offers flexible hours, quick payouts, and the opportunity to earn tips.
Postmates delivers more than just food. They offer delivery from a wide range of merchants including pharmacies, grocery stores, and retail shops. Postmates has similar requirements to Uber Eats and provides extra incentives like bonuses for completing a certain number of deliveries.
DoorDash focuses specifically on food delivery. They work with many popular restaurants like Chipotle, Wendy’s, and Cheesecake Factory. DoorDash doesn’t have an approval process so you can start delivering right away. However, the pay may be slightly lower. But with the opportunity to earn tips, you can make up the difference.
Grubhub is one of the largest food delivery services, operating in over 4,000 US cities. They offer flexible scheduling and the chance to earn tips. Grubhub does have additional requirements like a one-year driving experience and a clean vehicle inspection. The approval process can take a week or longer. However, Grubhub offers some of the highest payouts for delivery drivers.
Instacart specializes in grocery delivery. Shoppers pick up and deliver groceries from local stores like Publix, Kroger, Wegmans, and Costco. Instacart offers great flexibility and the potential to earn good tips. However, the job does require lifting and loading heavy grocery orders, so you need to be physically able. If you don’t mind the extra effort, Instacart can be a rewarding side hustle.
Best 3 Gig Apps for Freelance & Remote Work
Some of the top gig economy apps for freelance and remote work are:
Upwork is one of the biggest freelance marketplaces, with over 12 million registered freelancers and 5 million registered clients. On Upwork, you can find freelance jobs in a wide range of categories like writing, programming, customer service, and more.
Signing up as a freelancer on Upwork is free. You create a profile highlighting your skills and experience, set your rates, and can then start bidding on jobs that match your expertise. Upwork does charge freelancers a flat 10 to 20% fee for any work they get through the site. However, Upwork is a great way to find steady remote work from reputable companies.
Fiverr is a popular freelance marketplace for freelance “gigs” starting at just $5. On Fiverr, freelancers offer short-term services, like graphic design, video editing, voice over work, and more. If you have a skill you can complete quickly, Fiverr is an easy way to make some money in your spare time.
As a freelancer, you create a “gig” listing the service you’re offering for $5. You get to keep $4 of that, with Fiverr taking a $1 commission. You can also upsell additional services and packages at higher price points. Many freelancers are able to turn Fiverr gigs into steady side work. However, the pay may be lower than other freelance sites.
Freelancer is one of the largest freelance marketplaces, with over 50 million registered users. On Freelancer, you can find freelance work in almost any category, including writing, programming, design, admin support, and more.
Freelancer allows you to create a profile for free, set your rates, and bid on jobs that match your skills. Freelancer does charge freelancers a 10% fee on all work earned through the site. However, Freelancer is a reputable site used by many large companies, and can be a great source of steady remote work if you’re able to land jobs consistently.
Leading Rideshare & Transportation Gig Apps
The gig economy has made it easier than ever to earn extra money on your own schedule. If you have a car, consider signing up with one of the top rideshare and transportation apps. They allow you to leverage an asset you already own to generate cash quickly.
Uber is likely the most well-known rideshare service. As an Uber driver, you can ferry passengers to their destinations in your own vehicle. Uber takes a percentage of the fares, but many drivers report earning $10 to $15 an hour after accounting for gas and other expenses. Requirements are relatively low – you’ll need a clean vehicle, valid license and insurance, and will have to pass a background check.
Lyft is Uber’s main competitor in the rideshare space. The requirements and pay are similar to Uber. Some drivers work for both companies to maximize their earning potential. Lyft aims to provide a friendlier experience for both drivers and passengers.
If you prefer delivering food and packages over driving passengers, consider DoorDash. As a DoorDash driver or “Dasher”, you pick up orders from local restaurants and stores and deliver them to customers. DoorDash says Dashers can make up to $25/hour, though actual pay will vary based on factors like location, peak delivery times, and current promotions. You’ll need a reliable vehicle, valid license and insurance, and will go through a background check.
Postmates is another delivery service that lets you deliver pretty much anything within your local area. In addition to food delivery, Postmates offers package delivery and alcohol delivery in some markets. Pay varies but can be around $10 to $20 an hour. Requirements are similar to DoorDash. Some couriers work for multiple services to stay busy.
Driving and delivery gigs provide a lot of flexibility. You can sign on whenever you have some spare time and make money on your own schedule. While the pay isn’t always huge, these apps are an easy way to generate extra income from an asset you probably already have – your car. Give one a try and you’ll be earning in no time!
Other Notable Gig Economy Apps to Try
There are several other gig economy apps worth checking out for earning some extra cash. Here are a few of the top contenders:
Take surveys in your spare time and earn points you can redeem for gift cards. Surveys typically take 10-15 minutes and new ones are added daily. You’ll get matched with surveys based on your profile.
Love dogs? Become a dog walker, sitter, or boarder and set your own rates and schedule. You can make up to $1,000 a month. Rover handles all the booking and payments—you just focus on providing quality care and service.
Mystery shopping companies hire independent contractors to evaluate customer service at stores, restaurants, hotels, and more. You get paid to shop and dine anonymously, then fill out reports on your experience. Pay varies but can be $5 to $20 per shop. Some companies to check out are A Closer Look, About Face, and Secret Shopper Review.
Rent your car out to others when you’re not using it. Set your own rental rates and availability on Turo, the largest peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace. You keep 60-75% of the trip price, depending on the vehicle protection plan selected. All you have to do is meet the renter for a quick vehicle overview and you’re done.
User Testing pays you to provide feedback on websites and mobile apps. Studies typically take 15 to 20 minutes and pay $10 via PayPal. New studies are available daily, so you can test as often as you’d like. All you need is a computer, smartphone, and internet connection. Studies are done remotely on your own schedule.
Whether you’re looking for a side gig to earn extra spending money or wanting to launch a full-fledged freelance business, the gig economy has lots of opportunities. With so many apps and marketplaces now available, you can easily find work that matches your skills, interests, and schedule. The possibilities to earn are nearly endless if you have the motivation to hustle.
You now have an arsenal of tools at your disposal to start earning some extra cash on the side. Whether you want to drive for a ridesharing service, rent out your spare room, walk some dogs or do freelance work, the gig economy has opened a world of opportunities. The hard part is over – you’ve found the best apps to get you started. Now get out there and start hustling! Turn your downtime into dollars and your side gig into your main gig. The future is flexible and these apps are your ticket to freedom. What are you waiting for? Your side hustle awaits!