Want to profit from the gig economy so you can make money? You might have heard the phrase “gig economy” get thrown around in recent times — but what exactly is it?
Even though there isn’t a fixed definition, the gig economy can be briefly summarized as “an economy in which temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace, and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.”
Even if you aren’t directly familiar with the term, you might have come across the gig economy in other ways — think freelancers, independent contractors, or that one friend of yours who is traveling the world and sustaining themselves by juggling various odd jobs.
The Gig Economy’s Impact
Based on the idea of temporary jobs, as opposed to long-term positions, the gig economy has gained much traction over the years. In fact, more than one in ten employees have already joined it, according to a new survey by ReportLinker. Think about it: would you prefer working at your own time, from a location of your choice, or working for a corporation from a tiny office cubicle? Not surprisingly, most people find the first option more appealing.
There’s no denying that the gig economy has heavily influenced the way traditional workplaces function. For one, due to the growing number of people appreciating the idea of “gigs”, traditional businesses seem to be losing consumers to these efficient and relatively cheaper service providers. Take Airbnb or Uber (well-known models within the gig economy) for example. Airbnb is a success story that completely defies traditional notions of the workplace.
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Even individuals can learn valuable lessons from Airbnb’s business model, and incorporate the values of personalized service and intimate focus into their own freelancing models to be more successful.
Furthermore, businesses that distance themselves from technology such as the internet tend to be left behind by the benefits of the gig economy. Experts at Rutgers University advise businesses to accept and embrace the trend and its benefits, as the freelance market is predicted to rise to 40 million workers by 2019.
For these and other reasons, an increasing number of businesses have started to adapt their business models to better suit the needs of employees, allowing for remote working, flex time and more — reminiscent of the gig economy, but still centrally controlled. In fact, allowing for flexibility was named one of the top three workplace trends in 2016.
Is The Gig Economy For You?
But is the gig economy for everyone? More often than not, freelancers themselves are their own worst enemy. When working independently, it’s easy to forget to take breaks, work irregular hours, and leave tasks until the last minute.
Freelancers are often guilty of saying yes to every gig that comes their way, resulting in an overwhelming amount of work that doesn’t get completed efficiently and thoroughly. It’s important for freelancers to make sure they are not susceptible to these issues, so that they can maintain a relatively stable inflow of gigs (and, therefore, income). Freelancing comes with its own share of problems, such as overscheduling, not getting bills out on time, and filing freelancer taxes.
Some critics believe that only people with certain types of personalities are poised to succeed within this sort of working environment. In an article on Forbes, Mark Murphy claims that the three traits that are integral to success within the gig economy are enjoying risk and adventure over security, being goal driven and outcome-oriented, and being motivated by achievement — rather than power or affiliation. It’s important to know oneself well enough and think about whether you would succeed as a freelancer before quitting your day job to take up various gigs.
While some people are forced into the gig economy due to loss of job or unfortunate circumstances, a large number of people choose to freelance out of their own volition.
A study by Freelancers Union and Upwork found that 60 percent of freelancers said they started freelancing by choice. And half of all freelancers say they wouldn’t stop freelancing for any amount of money. So if you think you might be cut out for it, consider taking a chance with the new and uniquely growing gig economy — you might be pleased with what you find!
Gig Economy Apps
If you wanted more ways to search for gig economy opportunities, here are some highly rated gig economy apps:
1. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie is a favorite gig economy app for many people and has over 3 million users. Sign-up for free, it takes a few minutes, then begins earning money. The survey options to choose from is extensive, with short or long surveys. You can review just about every retail product, and even music.
Longer surveys pay more. Each survey is worth a number of points. You get paid $10.00 for every 1,000 points awarded in cash via PayPal. When you qualify for a survey, it tells you how long the survey will take (approx.) and the number of points awarded. Then you can calculate what each survey is worth and maximize your time.
Sounds like fun? Sign-up for Survey Junkie, take the surveys and earn money with this gig economy app.
Swagbucks probably the best-known gig economy app and is actually offering a $5.00 sign up bonus right now. Swagbucks rewards for more than just surveys, you can also get paid to download apps, play games, do web searches, watch videos and a lot more. The site has awarded over $195 million to its users. Once you have signed-up, there will be a list of surveys you qualify for. Finding a survey worth taking is easy. But you should look for surveys that have a point-to-minute ratio of 20.
The number of SBs (Swagbucks’ version of points) divided by the time for the survey equals the ratio. Once $1 is earned you can redeem it for a gift card of your favorite retailer. When $20.00 of SBs are earned, you can take it as cash through PayPal.
You can easily sign up with Swagbucks and take paid surveys and more.
3. Vindale Research
At 12 years Vindale is one of the oldest gig economy sites. It is one of the only online gig economy sites that is listed with the Better Business Bureau. It also offers an easy sign-up and once on the site, you will be shown an extensive list of surveys to choose from. Each survey will tell how much you will make once completed, so you can decide if it is worth taking.
If you are wondering if you should take the plunge and sign-up with Vindale Research just remember that surveys are not going to make you rich, but you can make some money and have fun doing it.
Your best bet is to only surveys that are worth taking, with a high-point-to-minute ratio.
Complete a survey every free moment you have. Sign-up to more than one survey site and have fun and make some extra money with Vindale Research.
I had to include this one on the list as it’s been making me a lot of money lately, especially during the holidays. Do you shop online? Well, start getting refunds for late deliveries or price drops.
If you are an Amazon shopper, did you know you can get $10.00 in Amazon credit for late deliveries?
If $20.00 to $200.00 in refunds look appealing then sign-up for Paribus.
Here’s how it works:
- Sign up for Paribus (It’s 100% free)
- Shop online as normal.
- Paribus tracks the receipts and delivery updates.
Through its advanced algorithms, Paribus checks to see if you have a refund coming.
If you do, a claim will be sent to the company, and you do nothing.
Paribus could very quickly be your new best friend.
If you are looking a gig economy app to make real wealth then you should know about Fundrise. Fundrise offers short-term real-estate deals with annual returns of 8.7% to 12.4%. Fundrise is an investment platform that allows investors to invest between $500.00 and $1,000.00 in short-term (1-3 years) investments.
You pick your investment objectives, and Fundrise helps you allocate your funds.
Investors must get back their investment with returns before the company can claim a profit. Fundrise is a good way for you to set aside $500.00 to $1,000.00 from 1 to 3 years and get as good as a 12.4% return.
You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in real estate anymore. You can now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $500 with Fundrise.
7. Inbox Dollars
Inbox Dollars is a convenient, easy way to make money on the internet. Like the other gig economy apps on this list, you take surveys, watch videos, play games, and much more. This online rewards club has over 1 million Facebook fans and has paid out $50 million in 2017.
If you sign up before December they will give you a $5.00 instant bonus. Inbox Dollars is highly respected is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. For some spending cash and having fun earning it sigh up for Inbox Dollars.
9. Nielsen Mobile
Nielsen has been around 90 years and is trusted as a research leader and great gig economy app. Register your devices and earn rewards with the Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel. By participating in Nielsen research, you can improve products and services you use online today. Nielsen Computer and Mobile Panel combines your unique internet usage with people like you to build a picture of internet behavior. By using the internet as you do every day, Nielsen invites you to make a difference – and you can win prizes! Nielsen gives away $10,000 each month.
By installing the app, you receive up to $50.00 a year. There are dozens of rewards that can choose from their website.
Information Nielsen app collects:
- Names and types of apps or games.
- Addresses of websites you visit with content.
- The date and how long you were on the site.
- Date, time, and how long you were on phone calls.
- Date, time, or numbers/codes for texts.
- Much more information can be obtained from a cell phone.
To qualify you must live in the U. S. be between 18 and 45 years of age. It’s a really passive gig economy app. Click here to sign up for Nielsen.
What’s your opinion? Surfers who sign up to take surveys at LifePoints can earn rewards. It has been on the web since 2001 and is one of the most trusted survey sites.
For taking surveys, you can be compensated with cash, Amazon gift cards, and PayPal payouts. MySurvey uses the points to the cash-out method (1,000 points = $10.00). The surveys pay from $0.50 to $1.25 and vary in length from 5 minutes to 45 minutes and points vary from 30 to 300.
MySurvey is ranked high among its users and is in the top 5 paid survey sites on the web. For extra cash, LifePoints is still a good go.
11. Fetch Rewards App
Get paid for shopping by scanning the receipt and uploading it to Fetch. Fetch does not pay cash; instead, you get rewarded with gift cards. You earn $.10 for every dollar spent and can redeem 3,000 points for a $3.00 gift card.
The great thing about Fetch is it pays for everyday activities like shopping. Fetch is new it will take time to determine if it is a good payer or a scam. This is one app that you should at least try out and decide for yourself.
12. Dosh App
The Dosh app offers cash back on purchases that you make. After downloading the app and linking your credit or debit card to Dosh, there is a $5.00 cash sign-up bonus. This app is good with restaurants, travel services, merchants that are participating with Dosh to give you cash back on in-store purchases.
After you have earned $25.00 (minimum) to your Dosh Wallet, the balance can then be transferred via PayPal to your bank. There no receipts to scan because the app is linked to a debit or credit card.
When you use your card at a participating business the cash back is automatically credited to your Dosh Wallet. If you travel (which most digital nomads do), Dosh is the app that you should be using.
13. Swag IQ
Swag IQ will pay you 1000s to answer trivia questions. This app is an online trivia game played on your smartphone.
First, you must be a member of Swagbucks (#2 on this gig app list), then go here and download the SwagIQ app and use your membership info to sign-up. Live games will randomly pop up on your phone, there is a host who asks trivia questions. You have ten seconds to respond and answer the question. There ten questions per game, to win the grand prize you must answer all ten correctly. Depending on how many players and how many answered all ten questions correctly, the grand prize will be split with the winning players.
Grand prizes are usually $1,000.00 or more but, pay in SBs. SwagIQ is an excellent way to have some fun answering trivia questions and earning some money as well.
14. Long Game Savings App
Long Game is a San Francisco based startup is encouraging users to save money by turning savings into a game. Your money is held by the partner bank, Blue Ridge Bank is entirely safe and FDIC insured.
After downloading the app, you are asked to create a Long Game account. You link a bank account to fund the Long Game account and to have a place to withdraw funds. At first, you might want to use a recurring deposit to give you free coins to play games. You could win one million dollars by playing the game.
Turning savings into a game that encourages you to save and win at the same time is rather appealing. If Long Game looks interesting you can click here to download it for free.
There are many online gig economy apps and other passive income opportunities to make money online.
You should be aware that you are not going to get rich from most of these gig economy apps. However, they serve as a chance to have some fun online and get some extra cash for your efforts. Two apps that are really appealing are Dosh and Fetch as they offer you cash back for doing everyday shopping (which everyone does).
Whatever your taste there seems to be plenty of ways to rake in extra cash online and enjoy the process.