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The era of the gig economy is here, and there is no going back. The gig economy brings a lot of benefits for both freelancers and clients. As freelancers are paid per project completed, clients can save money by paying for results, not hours. Similarly, freelancers are free to finish the job anywhere and anytime they want. Moreover, the gig economy has enabled people from various backgrounds, such as stay-at-home mothers and digital nomads, to be productive.
There are various services offered by freelancers, ranging from photography and design to complex computer programming. Freelancers usually use an online platform, such as Fiverr or Upwork, to sell their services to potential clients, while the platform charges a commission fee for each transaction. That’s why building your own marketplace of services can be a sound business model.
In this short guide, we’ll show you how to create a micro-jobs marketplace like Fiverr or Upwork with WordPress and monetize it in several ways. Building a gig marketplace is no small task, but we’ll walk you through the whole process step-by-step and explain how to get your website up and running without any coding knowledge.
For the sake of this tutorial, we’ll use TaskHive, a lightweight yet functional micro-jobs WordPress theme that allows you to build a marketplace of services or digital downloads. We’ll also use HivePress, a free multipurpose plugin for building a directory or listing website of any type.
Let’s start with the theme installation.
You can easily install TaskHive directly from your WordPress dashboard. Simply navigate to the Appearance > Themes > Add New section, then click on the Upload Theme button, select the theme ZIP file to upload, and proceed by installing it.
Once it’s installed, you’ll receive a suggestion to install the recommended plugins, including HivePress, the plugin that powers its marketplace features, and WooCommerce, the most popular e-commerce plugin that enables billing and payment features. Simply follow the link in order to install and activate the plugins.
After you activate WooCommerce, it will automatically launch the setup wizard that will guide you through the marketplace configuration. Аdd your marketplace details, enable payment methods and install optional WooCommerce extensions to complete the installation.
Importing Demo Content
This step is optional, but we highly recommend importing the TaskHive demo content to start with existing layouts and get a better understanding of how everything works.
To do this, navigate to the Plugins > Add New page to install the demo import plugin. Simply type “one click demo import” in the search field to find the plugin, then install and activate it. Once you activate the plugin, go to the Appearance > Import Demo Data page and click on the Import button. Once you click on the Import button, you’ll see a recommendation to install third-party plugins. Simply skip this suggestion and proceed with importing the TaskHive demo content.
That’s it! Now you have the same layout as on the demo site. If you have any trouble with importing the demo content, you can follow the step-by-step screencast below.
Even if you don’t import the demo content, we’ll show the whole process of setting up a micro-jobs website below in case you are a more advanced user and want to build your marketplace from scratch.
Adding Service Categories
The next step is to split your marketplace into service categories to make it easier for users to navigate your website. In order to add a new category, go to the Listings > Categories section. Then enter the category title, e.g., “Digital Marketing,” and fill in the description if necessary.
Keep in mind that there are several more options in this section. For example, you can easily create a hierarchy of categories by setting a parent category. Also, you can upload a category image and put categories in a particular order.
Once you finish, click on the Add Category button. Similarly, you can add as many categories as required for your freelance marketplace website. Now let’s move on and try adding a service listing attribute.
Adding Service Attributes
After you finish adding categories to your service marketplace, it’s time to add some custom fields specific to service listings. For example, let’s add the “Delivery Time” attribute so freelancers will be able to set the date when the order is completed. To do this, navigate to the Listings > Attributes section and click on the Add New button. Once you name your attribute, you can edit it in 3 different sections. Let’s briefly examine each of them to get a better idea of how to set them up.
- Editing – in this section, you can choose the attribute field type, allow its front-end editing and enable moderation if necessary. Let’s select the “Select” field type for the “Delivery Time” attribute and allow its front-end editing so freelancers will be able to set the required time for completing a task when they are listing a service.
- Search – within this section, you can define whether your attribute can be used for searching, filtering and sorting service listings. We recommend marking your attribute as filterable and setting the “Radio Buttons” search field type to allow users to filter listings by the delivery time.
- Display – in the last section, you can adjust how the attribute will be displayed on the front-end by setting its display format and assigning it to a certain template area.
When you finish, click on the Publish button. Then you need to add some options to your attribute, so freelancers will be able to choose the delivery time while listing a service. Click on the Edit Options button and add as many options as you need. For example, let’s add “Up to 24 hours”, “Up to 3 days”, and “Up to 7 days” options, the same options as on Fiverr.
Customizing the Front Page
Once you have installed TaskHive, HivePress, and the required extensions, you can start setting things up. Let’s start with setting up the front page. Since TaskHive is integrated with the Gutenberg block editor, you can add and customize new layouts without a hitch.
To add a new page, go to the Pages > Add New section. First of all, enter the page title and then proceed with adding new blocks. For example, let’s add a gig search form to allow users to search services directly via the home page. Similarly, you can add a block that displays service categories. When you finish setting up the front page, click on the Publish button.
In order to use this page as a homepage of your marketplace of services, go to the Settings > Reading section, select it from the drop-down menu and save changes.
We also recommend going through all the HivePress settings in the HivePress > Settings section to ensure your site works in the way you want.
Finally, if you want to give your site a unique look and feel, navigate to the Appearance > Customize section and go through the appearance settings, such as primary and secondary colors, heading and body fonts, logo and background images, etc.
Posting a Request
Now let’s walk through the whole process of posting a request as a customer and making an offer as a freelancer. Go to your website and click on the Post a Request button. Now enter the title, set a budget and describe your request. As a site owner, you can also customize the request form to add any custom fields required for your marketplace. Once you set all the request details, click on the Submit Request button.
That’s it! You’ve just posted a request, and now freelancers can find it and make offers. Now let’s try to make an offer on the newly-created request. To do this, you need to log out, register a freelancer account on your website and sign in again as a freelancer.
Once you sign in, go to the Requests page and find the request you made. Then click on the Make an Offer button, fill in the details along with the bid amount, and submit your offer.
That’s how it works! As soon as a freelancer makes an offer, the customer will receive a notification and will be able to accept the offer. Once the offer is accepted, there will be a redirect to the checkout page where the customer can provide the billing details and make a payment.
Listing a Service
Let’s also check the whole workflow of listing a service as a freelancer. Navigate to your website and click on the List a Service button. Then select a category, upload an image for your listing and fill in all the necessary fields along with the “Delivery Time” one (a custom attribute we added previously). Once you fill in the submission form, click on the Submit Listing button.
Bear in mind that you can customize the listing submission form by adding or removing any fields in the Listings > Attributes section. Okay, let’s move to the next step to extend the functionality of your micro-jobs marketplace.
Your next step is to extend the functionality of your website. There is a bunch of TaskHive add-ons that you can install directly from your WordPress dashboard in the HivePress > Extensions section. Let’s take a look at some of them.
For example, you can allow users to sign in via third-party services like Facebook and Google. It’s a handy feature that drastically improves your website UX since users can sign in or register with just 1 click. You can enable it in a snap using the Authentication extension.
Another useful feature is to provide freelancers with stats so they can check the monthly, weekly and daily number of unique visits and views of their service listings. It’s an essential feature if you charge users for adding or featuring listings since they can measure changes in the listing traffic. You can easily enable it by installing the Statistics extension.
You may also want to add the ability to search services by location, which will make your marketplace much easier to use for visitors who need to find a freelancer in a specific area. It’s crazy easy to add location-based search to your website with the Geolocation extension. We highly recommend checking our step-by-step tutorial on how to integrate Google Maps with your website in a breeze.
As you may notice, TaskHive is not limited to its core features, and there are many different options to extend your website functionality. You can browse over the full list of extensions and install those that you find useful for your marketplace of services.
If you want to create a website like Fiverr or Upwork, you are probably interested in making money with it as well. With TaskHive, you can monetize your service marketplace in two completely different ways. The monetization model you choose heavily depends on your niche and the type of freelancers and clients you are dealing with.
The most common monetization model is charging a commission fee on each transaction. If you choose this model, freelancers will be able to list their services for free, but they will have to pay a commission fee as soon as they get paid.
If your marketplace is unique enough, you can consider charging freelancers for listing services. In this case, freelancers will pay a flat fee for listing their services, but they will not have to share their revenue with the marketplace.
Both ways of monetization are available as HivePress extensions and included with TaskHive, so you can quickly implement the monetization model of your choice or even both of them at the same time.
Additionally, once you start getting some traffic to your website, you can consider monetizing it by hosting ads. For example, you can allow banners, text, and video ads to be placed at specific positions on your website. You may also integrate your marketplace with Google Adsense, which will be able to identify the most relevant high-quality ads for your website and automatically place them there.
That’s all! Building and running a freelancing platform like Fiverr or Upwork is not an easy deal, but it’s worth its salt since you can turn it into a profitable business and monetize it in several different ways. Take advantage of this unique niche to create an additional income stream or launch your first online business.
So if you want to create a marketplace of services like Fiverr or Upwork with WordPress, you may want to consider the TaskHive theme along with the HivePress plugin. They are both lightweight, easy to use and packed with tons of useful features that are regularly updated and improved.
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