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How Much Could You Earn as a Freelancer?

Thanks to a wide range of new platforms, there are more freelancing opportunities available than ever. But which one pays the most and fits your skills the best?

Freelancing is becoming a way of life for many people in Singapore, especially as the cost of living has increased. Luckily, there are many freelancing opportunities in Singapore and just a little commitment of your spare time and existing assets will allow you to earn extra money to supplement your regular income. Also, thanks to the internet, earning extra income has become much easier and less bound by geographical distance. If you are keen to explore freelancing in your free time, here are some opportunities that will get you started.

Shop for Others While You Travel

Love to travel? You can make extra cash even when you are enjoying your vacation. All you need to do is to extend a helping hand to shop for others. Depending on your destination and how much spare luggage space you have, Airfrov, a peer-to-peer online marketplace enables travellers to access a network of shoppers to offer shopping services from all over the world.

The online application enables users to list their next holiday destination and accept requests for purchasing products from that city. Both traveller and shopper will come to an agreed price on the app before the commencement of the deal. Upon return, the traveller will arrange for delivery based on previously agreed terms. Note that Airfrov takes 7% of the agreed value, plus another S$2 for the service fee, which is important to take into account before agreeing to any deals. Additionally, we recommend being strategic about your credit card usage. For example, you can earn points or cashback by using the right shopping card, which can in turn decrease the cost of your trip.

Possible Gains

You can make anywhere from one dollar to hundreds per deal, depending on your purchases. Here is an example to show you what you can expect:

  • Incoming request for a pair of Pokémon Adidas Stan Smith Advancourt that costs S$111 in Japan
  • Traveller quotes S$140 for the purchase of the item on Airfrov
  • Based on 8% tax refund in Japan, the traveller will pay S$102 for item
  • Total earning: S$140 - S$11.80 (platform fees 7% + S$2) - S$111 = S$17.20

What You Need to Get Started

If you are all set for the trip, here is a list of what you will need before you can start bringing in the money through Airfrov:

  • Mobile device that you will access in Singapore and when you are abroad
  • Download the app and set up an account
  • Create a post for your upcoming trip

Leverage Your Skills

Many people have extensive skills and talents that can easily earn a quick buck, if marketed correctly. The internet has made it so easy to access a large pool of clients, both locally and internationally. By browsing platforms such as Upwork, Freelancer or Guru, it is possible to locate projects that best suit your time and profile.

Possible Gains:

Whether you choose to get paid hourly or based on a fixed rate, your experience and portfolio will often determine the fee you can command. Let’s take freelance writing as an example, the cost of a freelance writer can range from 8 for 500 words to $250 for 500 words depending on their research or SEO experience. Knowing the level of your writing experience and interest will help you determine a reasonable fee.

What You Need to Get Started

At the baseline, you must be proficient in the language you are writing in. You must also be able to research and create content that are relevant to the topics you are assigned. A passion for writing will definitely be a bonus. Access to a laptop (or computer) and Wifi are also must-haves for freelance writers. There will always be lots of online research work and hours spent drafting articles.

Become a Private Hire Driver

This is likely to be the first gig that comes to mind if you have access to a car. Being a private hire driver has been a popular freelancing option for students, full-time workers and even business owners. Many choose to ferry passengers during their spare time, when commuting to and fro work (peak hours are great for getting higher rates!) and even weekends, just to make enough to cover for their petrol and part of their car loans.

There are no restrictions on how long you have to drive or how many trips you need to make a day. However, if you want to earn a bigger package from the private hire companies such as Grab or Gojek, you may have to clock more hours a week to make as much as $12,980 in a month. On average, drivers can earn up to $30/hour during peak hours and $25/hour during non-peak hours.

What You Need to Get Started

There are more requirements for becoming a private hire driver in Singapore, these are the criteria that you will need to fulfill:

  • Possess a Private Hire Car Driver's Vocational Licence (PDVL) or Taxi Driver's Vocational Licence (TDVL)
  • (PDVL Course: S$155.15; TDVL Course: S$294.25)
  • At least 21 years of age
  • Own a 4-door car (rented car applies too)
  • Minimum of 2 years driving experience
  • Car Insurance

Incentives from each private hire company vary from month to month, however, drivers who can commit to long hours of driving are entitled to bonuses on top of their regular driving fee.

Publish an Advertisement on Your Car

One of the easiest ways to make money on the side is to let companies advertise on your vehicle. In some cases, this will net as much as S$700 per month. If you are iffy about the type of ads that will go on your vehicle or where the decal will be placed, you can simply opt-in or opt-out of the options provided to you before the agency commences with the contract.

Potential Gains

Allowing advertisements on different parts of the vehicle can yield different rates. Based on a sedan car, these are the possible advertising fee that you can make:

  • Drive or Passenger Door: S$60 per month
  • Rear and Bumper: S$50 per month
  • Entire Car: S$110 per month

There are different pricing models for different vehicle types but what is obvious is that the bigger the surface area of your vehicle, the higher the fee you can demand.

Develop Your Own Online Course

If you are an expert in a particular subject, you can create and sell online courses on the topic on online teaching sites like Udemy. Do not be surprised if you quickly garner a growing fanbase. According to a study, the total market value for the e-learning business will reach US$325 billion in 2025, so why not jump on the bandwagon now to make the most of this opportunity.

Potential Gains

There are options for marketing your online course via platforms like Udemy. Udemy offers free marketing through their database if you opt-in for their promotional campaigns. Do note that there will always be a 50% revenue share between the platform and course owner. Below is an example of the potential returns you can receive in a year if you choose to promote your course through Udemy's marketing campaigns:

  • A two-hour marketing course is priced at S$80.00
  • Udemy offers the course for a discount of 75% to its users
  • Assuming 5 subscribers sign up for the course each month at $20.00
  • Total gains for 12-month period: $20 * 5 subscribers * 50% revenue share * 12 months = S$600.00

This is a lucrative return considering once the course is developed, you can continue to reap the harvest for as long as the content is relevant. While it may take days if not months to develop a simple course, it is well worth it since it can yield long term returns.

What You Need To Get Started

If you are creating your course video content from home, you will need a computer with video recording and editing capabilities. You should also be well-versed with the topic that you want to teach. Based on your expertise, you have to submit the following to the online platform before your course will be launched:

  • Learning objectives
  • Profile of target students
  • Course lectures of at least 30 minutes in video format
  • Course worksheets

Learn About Relevant Regulations Before You Begin

According to a government survey, the number of freelancers in Singapore has been on the rise. People are increasingly seeking new and innovative ways to make money. However, you should bear in mind that there are licensing and tax rules you'll need to follow depending on the industry and your level of involvement. With the growing supply and demand of freelancing jobs and side gigs, now is a great time start monetizing a niche that resonates with you.

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