How to Make Money in the Gig Economy

Updated: August 12, 2021

The Philippine Statistics Authority estimates that in 2017, there were approximately 11.2 million freelancers in the country. That’s around 10% of the population, who are self-employed and making a living from the gig economy.

But what is the gig economy?

The term “gig” used to often refer to a music band getting a paid opportunity to play in a club. But the word has definitely taken a new meaning, especially with the rise of business process outsourcing online.

Today, a gig refers to a project or task that an individual, particularly a freelancer, is assigned to handle. It can be a task or a simple, one-time thing, such as writing an article or setting up a website.

Or it can be a project or a series of tasks that are done over longer periods for a client, such as handling their social media accounts or managing their email correspondences.

Sideline jobs are not a new thing for Filipinos. But offline gigs such as doing part-time work at a store have shifted more towards online gigs where it is easier and faster to make a good income from your skills.

One of the reasons for this is the prevalence of marketplace websites and online apps that connect those who are looking for work to clients who are hoping to outsource.

Available gigs vary. They can be mechanical tasks such as data entry jobs or highly technical, such as artificial intelligence programming. Whatever your skills are, there’s probably an online job that you can do and make money from.

Below are some of the most popular gig work that earns a good income.


From blog articles to product descriptions, from newsletters to ebooks – writing is one of the most profitable online gigs that one can do. A local freelancer marketplace, claims that 80% of their top earners are article writers.

Graphic Design

Visual content is a necessity for marketing, both offline but especially online. Graphic designers are paid to create brochures and event posters, website banners and social media content, and even book covers and business logos.


Web developers, app creators, and software programmers are often called on to build a company’s new website or bring an idea for an app to life. The pay for such technical skills is high, and with opportunities for long-term employment.


Whether you’re a hobby or a professional photographer, there are online gigs that you can do to profit from your camera work.

Particularly, offering stock photos in marketplaces can give a constant stream of income. While selling photographs to businesses for their visual collaterals can rake in big, one-time profits.

Affiliate Marketing

This is the Internet equivalent of a buy-and-sell business. You earn commissions from selling other people’s products and/or services.

Much of the work focuses on marketing activities, and the income is often scalable because most of the business involves selling digital products that don’t need inventory management, such as ebooks and online courses.

Virtual Assistance

A virtual assistant is often thought of as an online secretary for a remote boss. However, VA work can also involve I.T. skills and even knowledge of digital marketing.

The scope of work really varies, but this is often a long-term gig that can provide regular income for you.

Social Media Management

With more people spending time on social media, businesses cannot afford to miss out on the opportunity to reach their customers through this channel. Thus, brands have opened up to outsourcing the management of their social media accounts.

Small companies often work with freelancers, while big ones tend to hire more established marketing agencies, who in turn, frequently employ individual contractors or freelancers to execute a daily marketing plan.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of opportunities to make money in the gig economy.

It is an income opportunity well-suited for people who want time flexibility and more autonomy when working. An individual who is self-directed and resourceful will succeed in this line of work.

Lastly, when researching different options that fit your skillset, it’s helpful to focus on a specific niche or industry so you can later on deep dive into learning and becoming a valuable asset in that field.

And in doing so, consequently making yourself qualified for better and higher-earning gigs.

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One comment

  1. I am not at all surprised by the statistics in this article. One of the main reasons for this is the high level of education in the Philippines along with the general proficiency with the English language. Education presents you with oppertunity and English is a world standard of language for business. Why do call center operations like to set up shop here? You guess it, a motivated, educated workforce with a solid knowledge of the English language.

    The same exact thing happened in the country of Ireland years ago when they put in place an initiative to offer the training needed for outsourcing work. Soon companies began to set up shop and there was a flood of new opportunities in their country.

    My beautiful bride has leveraged her three college degrees for two decades as an academic writer earning above average money and doing so from the comfort of home. She loves it and she says “it is like getting paid to stay in school and learn new things as I research for my writing projects.” Academic writing is not just a “gig” for her, it became a career.

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