How to earn both a full-time and side income online in Singapore

Living in Singapore can be pretty expensive. Whether you want to freelance full-time or just earn a side income, here are the top 10 ways you can earn money online from the comforts of your home.
Nigel Seah
Nigel Seah

Nigel is a Technical SEO Specialist at a Digital Marketing Agency based in Singapore. He also dabbles in freelance SEO content writing and is an avid language learner.

Believe me when I say that people are quite tired of working corporate jobs. In fact, the recent exodus from the American workforce saw millions of people leave their ‘comfy office jobs’. 

Termed “The Great Resignation”, this massive movement is but an indicator of the growing nonchalance and dissatisfaction toward the idea you need to sacrifice a majority of your waking time to organizations, a paradigm shift in mindsets evoked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And back here on our sunny shores, almost 25% of Singaporeans said that they were going to quit their jobs in the first half of 2022.

While the corporate world is currently dealing with a hiring crisis, the freelance economy has, on the other hand, grown to a $1.5 trillion business. This is a huge indicator that people are turning to the internet to earn more money.

If there’s one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, it’s that there’s no such thing as a secure job. And in a first-world country like Singapore, living expenses can get pretty high. So having that extra cash can really boost your financial security.

Whether you are looking to start an entire freelance career or just looking for a side hustle in Singapore, the online space is definitely the first place to look for opportunities.

In this article, I will be sharing more about the channels you can use to earn money online from the comforts of your home in Singapore, as well as the best freelance jobs you can take up.

Where can you find gigs to make money online in Singapore?

1) Freelancing platforms

When many people were laid off or furloughed during the pandemic, freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork saw tremendous growth.

Fiverr, a freelance platform where you can earn money online in Singapore, grew by over 10 times.
Fiverr’s stock price grew by over 10 times since the pandemic hit.

Not only were more people signing up to be freelancers to earn more income, but businesses have also been turning to these channels to engage freelancers as fees charged by B2B service providers are a little too high for many companies dealing with a financial crisis.

You can register as a freelancer on these platforms and list the services you will be providing. Thereafter, you can start submitting proposals for job postings put out by those hiring freelancers.

2) Regular job portals and sites

While these platforms are typically known for posting full-time roles, they’ve actually started to include the filter for freelance jobs. Check out the MyCareersFuture portal.

Job portals are a great place to find opportunities to make money online in Singapore.
There’s an option to find freelance jobs now!

Give it a shot and see what you find there!

3) Social media

Need we really need to say more? 😎

In today’s digital age, social media is probably THE most powerful tool of connection.

If you’re starting a freelance career or business, it’s a great way to seek out opportunities to earn some income via online media

Just ask those who started home bakeries during the pandemic. Social media became a great way to get the word about their business and skillsets out there.

Here’s a great example of how a baker showcases her work on social media. Source: @fayesoven

Of course, you’ll need to use the right platforms for the right type of gigs. If you’re looking to become a freelance writer for hire, the more professional social network LinkedIn is a way better option.

LinkedIn is a great platform to help you find gigs to make money online in Singapore.
Use LinkedIn to look for more ‘corporate’ gigs.

4) Cold emailing

If all else fails, you can always fall back on the good’ol cold emailing.

Don’t be afraid of coming off as desperate to the recipient of your cold emails.

I’m a firm believer of the do-first-apologize-later mindset. You’ll never know if you’ll succeed unless you take your chances and shoot your shot.

Even if it doesn’t work out, move on to the next option. Life goes on 😊

Best ways to earn money online in Singapore

1) Offer language translation services

Being in a multilingual society has its perks.

While English remains the lingua franca, we’re always exposed to a large variety of languages here and there. Add our compulsory bilingual education policy to the mix and you get an entire country where most people speak two or more languages.

Providing translation services is a great way to earn money online from home.

Just look at how much you can charge for Thai translation services on Upwork 😱

With so many businesses aiming to cement their feet in foreign markets, I’m sure that there will be a lot of opportunities for those of us who are better with languages.

2) Become a transcriber in Singapore

Many businesses are actually looking for people to transcribe audio or video content so that they can repurpose them.

An example would be this interview article I did about how Horangi grew.

My former CEO interviewed the Co-founder of local cybersecurity firm Horangi and I was tasked to transcribe it and convert the transcription into a blog post. There is definitely demand from businesses that are looking to expand their content distribution methods.

Apart from the typical platforms mentioned above, there are dedicated sites for people to provide transcription services. Some of these include TranscribeMe and Rev.

3)  Become a freelance content writer in Singapore

Content is king 👑

Good blog content is needed to help a business build and grow its online presence and organic traffic. 

In fact, good content writing plays a huge role in SEO. And with so many businesses undergoing digital transformation in recent years, you can be sure that there will be a demand for freelance blog post writers.

The best places to look for gigs are freelance platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. Alternatively, you can consider specialized sites that connect freelance writers to businesses. Contently is an example of such a platform.

4) Sell stock photos

If you’re a fan of photography, you’re in luck!

There are many stock photo sites out there that actually buys photos from photographers. For instance, SGXP is a site that showcases Singapore stock photos and purchases photos from local photographers.

If you’re looking to sell your photos to international platforms, you can look at Pexel, Unsplashed, and iStock. 

Selling stock photos is a great way to make money online in Singapore.
Film photography account @framesbynames is a great Instagram profile to learn from.

A great way to start picking up the skill is to look to experienced photographers for inspiration. And what better place to look for ideas than Instagram.

5) Sign up for focus groups

Group interviews are basically carried out by an organisation to find out more about a specific demographic.

For example, a business may conduct focus group interviews to identify features consumers desire for product marketing purposes.

A lot of these sessions happen online and you can make between $50 and $100 in exchange for 30 minutes to two hours of your time.

Some places where you can find opportunities to sign up include the Focus Group Singapore Facebook group and Surveys & Focus Groups Telegram channel.

6) Sign up for research studies

The difference between signing up for focus groups and this, are the objectives.

Research studies generally contribute to more meaningful objectives that will benefit society at large. 

Government institutions may commission studies to study the attitudes of the youth toward certain policies. Universities may invite their students to take part in studies to help improve our understanding of human psychology for example.

A great place to look for opportunities to sign up for research studies is the SG Research Lobang Telegram channel.

7) Take on remote work

If there’s one good thing the COVID-19 pandemic has done for us, it’s that more businesses have become open to hiring remotely for a variety of roles.

Remote jobs allow you to make money online from the comforts of your home.
Take a look at LinkedIn and other job portals and you’ll see that there are a lot more companies hiring for remote roles. In the above screenshot, you’ll see that even more senior roles like Head of Paid Search are now remote.

Doing remote work allows you to make money online from the comforts of your home 😊

8) Become an online tutor

According to the Singapore Department of Statistics, Singaporeans spent a whopping $1.4 billion on tuition in 2021.

Given how big an emphasis our society places on a good education, this is hardly a surprise.

With the technology we have available right now, scheduling class appointments and putting together slides for an online class is super easy.

To find job opportunities in this area, look at platforms such as Tutor City. 

9) Become a beta tester for apps and websites

Before a company launches their app or site, it is quite common for them to look for beta testers via platforms such as Beta Testing, tester.io and Tester Work.

Depending on the company, the types of processes and the user journey they want you to test, you can earn around $20 to $50.

10) Become a freelance copywriter

“Wait, didn’t you just say freelance writing at beginning of the article?”, you may ask.

While the two terms have overlapping meanings, they are used quite differently in the business world.

Content writing generally refers to writing blog posts while copywriting refers to writing things like ad copies, social media captions, and emails.

Becoming a freelance ad copywriter and email copywriter are great ways for you to earn some spare cash online.

Ready to start making money online in Singapore?

And there you go!

I hope this list has been helpful in providing you with some ideas on where you can start making money online.

Life in Singapore can get pretty expensive. So even if you’re not part of the great resignation here, it is always a good idea to have multiple streams of income.

Happy earning! 💰💰💰