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August 23, 2021 BY CLOUDFLARE

Slow internet connection? The super-fast DNS service provided by Cloudflare might be a key to the solution.

Free, safe, and reliable, beats all competitors by a huge margin. You can either use their free app to set it all up or enter their IPv4 and IPv6 servers manually.

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August 20, 2021


Freelancers are hard to define, but an estimate of self-employed European freelancers can be reached thanks to a great research report Exploring self-employment in the European Union by Eurofund (published 2017, updated 2021).

There were 32 million self-employed workers, full-time or part-time, within the EU workforce (14% out of 221.7 million). These were divided into five clusters:

  1. Stable own-account workers (8.3M)
  2. Small traders and farmers (8M)
  3. Employers (7.4M)
  4. Vulnerable (5.4M)
  5. Concealed (2.6M)

Stable own-account workers (3.8% of the EU workforce) seem to be a good approximation for freelancers:

“Nearly all like being self-employed and do not find it hard to bear the responsibility. The bargaining power of the self-employed in this cluster is strong, as they are very likely to have more than one client (93%) and can easily find new ones. … Almost 90% are able to take time off at short notice for private matters.” (abridged)

However, most represented there are Shopkeepers (3.8%), Hairdressers (3.6%), Domestic cleaners and helpers (3.6%), and other professions who are not likely to identify as freelancers. Luckily, the report also states that 9% of the self-employed (1.2% of the EU workforce) identified as doing freelance work.

Conclusion: The number of self-employed freelancers (full-time and part-time) can be estimated roughly between 1.2% and 3.8% of EU workforce.

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August 19, 2021


“But even still today, 97 percent of freelancing is done offline,” said Micha Kaufman, the CEO of Fiverr, in 2018 and even before that in a 2016 interview:

“When you think about freelancing, in general, only 3% — and this is mind-blowing — 3% of freelancing is happening online… Holy crap! 3%, that’s it.”

Fiverr’s company presentation from August 2021 reiterates: “Freelancing is still an old-school business.”

Our take: It is unclear how Fiverr reached their estimate (referring to SIA, McKinsey, US Census of Bureau), but it is roughly in line with the estimate given by Gig Economy Data Hub (quoting BLS, IRS, JPMorgan). The vast majority of freelance work really happens offline.

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August 17, 2021


Most independent professionals are knowledge workers, so aiming for excellent mental health and performance makes great sense. Ōura ring wearable device is a great helper here for monitoring sleep, activity, and readiness.

Our take: At €314, Ōura is not cheap, but it is also highly praised by life-hackers who deep-test its technology and results. Check out Tom Baranek’s article Dreaming about Better Sleep for comparison.

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August 16, 2021


Freelance Corner podcast positions itself as “the only expert-led podcast for the UK’s freelance community,” and it is backed by IPSE — so, definitely worth giving a try.

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August 12, 2021


Freelancers Union’s article on How to make your freelance money go further skips the hype and actually provides some solid 1-2-3 financial advice to follow:

  1. Pay down (or refinance) your debt.
  2. Reduce your hidden debt, which is your future tax payments.
  3. Have an emergency fund to reduce your financial stress and reliance on costly debt.
  4. If you have still money left over, consider investing in the market. However, don’t be an active trader.

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August 12, 2021


The monthly Freelance Business Digest newsletter by Elina Jutelyte and her team emerges as one of the best in Europe. Browse the archive, and subscribe for free to get their regular dose of freelance inspiration.

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August 11, 2021


According to an investment case Fiverr Stock: Time To Buy at Seeking Alpha, Fiverr is ever more likely to win over Upwork (not to mention and other smaller competitors).

Our take: The freelance economy is vastly greater than all the freelance platforms combined, which is good news for investors because there’s huge space for growth. Platforms that interfere between freelancers and their clients will always have limited appeal for independent professionals. On the other hand, their market share has been growing, and Fiverr’s evolution from an appalling low-cost service to disrupting Upwork’s business is remarkable. Its projected growth is likely sustainable.

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August 9, 2021


WikiHow’s guide on How to Start Freelancing, co-written by 52 contributors, has gathered over 350,000 views so far — that’s impressive!

Our take: The guide is rather short and simplistic, though not over-simplified. Many important elements are indeed missing (e.g. side gigs as the most common way to start freelancing), and the references are outdated, but to get a general idea (for absolute beginners), it is pretty useful.

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August 6, 2021


A fringe 2019 MasterCard paper titled The Global Gig Economy projected the volume of the global gig economy in 2023 to $455 billion.

Not bad for a bunch of freelancers, right?!

But as always, the devil is in the details: According to the paper, “88% of gig economy gross volume is generated from transportation-based services or asset-sharing platforms” — i.e. companies and platforms like Uber or Airbnb. In other words, the “gig economy” here has little to do with independent professionals. The recent Fiverr report came up with wholly different numbers.

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