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The Gig Economy: How to Make Money Freelancing

Times have changed and change is inevitable. Have you heard about the gig economy? A few years back, the norm was going to school, getting an education, and eventually getting hired as a full-time employee. This was the definition of success because “education is the key.” Don’t get me wrong, education is still key but the phrase was misused. 

For the longest time, people who didn’t have a university education were considered second-class citizens. However, thanks to the internet, the tables have turned and now everyone can participate in the gig economy and earn extra income from home. In this blog post, we will delve into the gig economy and how you can have a slice of the pie. Keep reading to learn more. 

Skale Money Key Takeaways

  • The gig economy refers to freelance, contract, or short-term work instead of permanent, full-time employment, and it is growing rapidly thanks to technologies like the internet and social media.
  • Websites and apps like LinkedIn, Upwork, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter have enabled people to find gig work and market their services globally in the decentralized gig economy.
  • Different generations are contributing to the gig economy, with millennials forming a large portion currently, but Gen Z and future generations will likely participate more as digital natives.
  • Common gig economy jobs include copywriting, video editing, driving for rideshare apps, content editing, SEO, software development, graphic design, virtual assistance, pet services, and social media management.
  • While the gig economy offers flexibility, scalability, and independence, potential downsides include a lack of benefits, complex taxes, loneliness, stress over finding the next gig, and intense competition.


What is the Gig Economy

In simple terms, the gig economy is work that’s not for a permanent job. This can be short contracts, freelance work, and side hustles. A while back, these jobs were looked down upon but today, more than 60 million Americans are in the gig economy, and by 2027, this number will be more than 85 million.

What types of technologies have helped the Gig Economy grow

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and technology has evolved since the dawn of time. The main driving force for the growth of the gig economy is decentralization. Everything has been decentralized from traditional media, banking sector, education and energy. 

This decentralization has made people access various avenues held by gatekeepers in different industries. So, what are some of the technologies that have helped the gig economy grow? 

The Internet of Things (IoT)

The internet is no longer a new thing unless you have been living under a rock. As of this writing, there are over 5.3 billion internet users globally. More than 5.3 billion people can connect with each other! 

As a result, the internet has made it easy for people to seek opportunities beyond their country’s borders. For instance, in Kenya, under the directive of the Kenyan President Dr. William Samoei Ruto, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection launched a program dubbed “Finya Computer itoe dollar.” 

It means pressing the computer to give out a dollar. Hilarious right? Funny as it may sound, thousands of Kenyans work online for clients in the US, Asia, Europe, and Australia. According to the ministry, the program will establish ICT hubs in each constituent to train unemployed youths and equip them with digital and online work skills.


Social Media

One of the main factors of economic growth is entrepreneurship. As new startups grow and businesses scale, so does their marketing budget. Traditional media is no longer the only way to advertise. The creation of social media platforms has made businesses diversify how they market and enabled them to reach more customers. 

According to Datareportal, 62.3% of the world’s population uses social media and 92% of internet users use mobile phones. This has led to the creation of social media gigs, such as influencers, who have now become the go-to people for marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing is expected to grow to USD 84.89 billion by 2028. The main social media platforms for influencer marketing are: 

  • Tiktok: It has over one billion monthly users
  • X: 528.3 million monetizable monthly active users
  • YouTube: Over 2.5 billion monthly active users.

Artificial intelligence

AI is the new kid on the block and it has come with mixed feelings based on who you ask. There’s this fear of the unknown. Will AI replace you? Well, it depends. The question you should be asking is if AI will replace the industry you are in, and the answer is a resounding NO! Will AI replace writing? Will AI replace software development? Will AI replace SEO?

AI will improve all industries, such as medicine, traveling, writing, content creation, and cybersecurity. AI has already created new gigs, such as AI prompt experts, AI writers, and AI engineers. AI has also improved the quality of work and increased productivity in different industries. 

The best Gig Economy websites and apps


As you have seen, the Internet has led to the decentralization of many industries. This includes how we apply for jobs. Before, applying for a job was an uphill task. You had to write a letter and send it via the post office and pray you get a response, and good luck applying overseas. 

Today, applying for a job anywhere on the globe is easy peasy. Here are some top websites that have decentralized the job seeking process: 


This website has over 58 million registered companies and 900 million users. It’s a professional website to network and build your brand. Depending on your specialty, you can connect directly with the hiring manager and share your resume. In my experience as a writer and video editor, 80% of my work comes from my LinkedIn.  


This is the world’s largest freelance platform, with over 10,000 jobs posted daily. Here, you can apply for jobs that match your needs, and the platform also suggests opportunities that match your profile. 

However, you need to be ready for the stiff competition on the site, as millions of freelancers are bidding for the same jobs. I get about 5% of my freelance work from my upwork. 

Social media apps: 

Studies show that 55% of people would quit their 9-5 jobs and opt to freelance. The rise of influencers paints a picture that freelancing is easy but this is not true. Behind the scenes, there is hard work in building the brands and getting followers. 

However, hard work pays, as there is no limit to how much you can earn. For instance, Mr. Beast made a whopping USD 82 million last year. The top social media apps are YouTube, TikTok, X, and Instagram.

Which generations are contributing the most to the Gig Economy

Generations come and go. Currently, Millennials and Gen Z form the huge majority of the workforce. Millennials will contribute to 75% of the world workforce by 2025. Still, most of them were born when the internet was not a thing between 1980 and 1994. 

On the other hand,  the Gen Z  generation started in the mid-90s from 1995 to 2010 and is more familiar with the internet, especially social media. Even so, the internet was not as advanced as it is today.

By now, you get the gist. The newer the generation, the more they will adapt to the gig economy as the internet and technology advance. Soon, Gen Alpha, born in 2010 will enter the workforce, and something interesting will happen with Gen Beta starting in 2025. This will be the first generation born in the fast internet era. Indeed interesting times ahead. 

How to Participate in the Gig Economy

Working in the gig economy has never been easier. You don’t need a university or college degree to secure a job in the gig economy. To start, identify an industry you like and niche down. Some of the most common jobs in the gig economy include: 

  • Copywriting
  • Video editing
  • Driving applications such as Uber and Bolt
  • Content editing
  • SEO
  • Software development
  • Graphic design
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Pet services
  • Social media management

The best part is you can learn these skills online for free on platforms like YouTube or pay for a course on Udemy.  According to intelligent, 45% of companies will eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2024.

Gig Economy pros and cons

Nothing is 100% perfect! This applies to the gig economy, before deciding whether to venture into the gig economy, knowing the pros and cons is good. 

Ability to scale and get more work and earn moreUsually has no benefits for gig workers
Flexible as you work on your own timeComplex taxation since you will be paying taxes on your own
Independence as you have no boss to micromanage you.Loneliness since work is mainly remote work
There are a variety of jobsCan be stressful because of the pressure to get the next client
Ability to work from anywhereStiff competition from other gig workers worldwide

What is Gig Economy Insurance

Since gig workers don’t get benefits like health, liability, and disability insurance, you must ensure that you get an insurance plan to cover yourself. Personal insurance is very vital to ensure financial stability and prevent you from experiencing unforeseen challenges. Here are some insurance covers you need to have:

  • Health insurance: Health Insurance Marketplaces. This marketplace has a variety of health covers for people based in the US. Have a look to see the qualifications. You can also have a look at Association Health Plans.
  • Disability Insurance: This insurance cover offers you stability in the event of an accident or disability. You will continue receiving part of your income in the event of an illness. Ensure you have a disability cover
  • Liability Insurance: This insurance covers your business from damage caused by external factors such as lawsuits.

Working as a gig doesn’t mean you should not be protected. There are many insurance companies offering insurance policies to gig workers. 

Final thoughts

The gig economy will continue to grow as technology advances and businesses continue to cut costs. Learning a new skill is now easier and working multiple jobs is not a hassle anymore. If you are currently seeking a job or want to change jobs, it’s time to look at the gig economy. Have you worked as a gig worker before?