If you’ve read The Online Writer’s Companion, you know that you can make a full time living through quality clients on Upwork. And if you haven’t read it yet, go do that now.
But while author and FWU writer PJ Aitken is busy honing his craft on Upwork, I’m building quite a reputation as a Fiverr “doer.” Upwork is a great platform for writers; you can find a nice variety of gigs including fiction, resume writing, and technical writing, as well as many others.
Fiverr is different. I first wondered how to make money on Fiverr when it was launched back in 2010. It was a bizarre type of site – people were willing to do all sorts of things for $5. They’d fold you enough origami cranes to fit inside a cargo ship, or create a Valentine message for your sweetheart while standing atop the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro.
But I wouldn’t know origami from a tomato plant, and so I only recently began to make money on Fiverr. I’ve got a few tips I’ll share with you, but will first give you a very broad overview of the site and how it’s changed.
Fiverr: An Overview
Alright, so as I mentioned, Fiverr is a great place to get people to do weird things. There’s a guy who will scream loudly for 20 seconds for $5, and another who will create a message for you out of alphabet soup.
But you’re a writer, and although on some days you may feel like screaming for much longer than 20 seconds, you don’t necessarily want to sell the service. Fiverr picked up on this and now allows “doers” to write blog posts and resumes, create websites, and a huge variety of other writing gigs.
When you begin on Fiverr, you’ll be able to offer 7 different gigs to clients, and they’ll find you based on a combination of your feedback and keywords. Choose these gigs and these keywords wisely, as it’s only through selling your gigs that you’ll progress through the seller levels.
Level 1 sellers have the opportunity to sell up to 15 gigs, and Level 2 sellers are permitted 20. I’m currently a Level 2 seller, but I choose to only offer 5 gigs. Limiting the number of gigs I sell allows me to focus on earning 5 star reviews and moving up the search rankings. You may choose to operate differently.
Get Started on Fiverr
To get started on Fiverr, you’ll have to build a basic profile. Your profile is much less involved than that of Upwork. It will only require that you include a picture and a bio. Your picture should be one of yourself, not of a laptop keyboard or other inanimate object. Clients like to know that they’re working with a real person, and Fiverr may choose to reject your image.
Once you’ve written your bio, you’ll also need a headline. Choose a concise, relevant headline. You’re only allowed a few words, so make them count. Include keywords, too! “Native English speaker offering SEO friendly web content” might work for you, or “quality blog posts with quick turnaround” could be a hit. Keep it simple, as you can go into more detail on your gigs.
Speaking of gigs, it’s time to set them up. As I mentioned, you’ll have the option of setting up a maximum of seven when you’re first beginning on the site. I recommend that each of the gigs you choose cover different keywords. For example, you can offer “blog posts” and “web content” in two separate offers.
Be descriptive! It’s absolutely critical that when you set up your gig, you’re as specific as possible about what, exactly, you’ll be providing to your clients. “700 word blog post” will absolutely not cut it. Tell your clients that you’re going to offer them an “About page” for their website, and that you offer discounts for repeat customers. And edit, edit, edit. Don’t post a gig that has obvious spelling and grammar issues. No one wants to hire that.
Making Money on Fiverr: When Do You See Income?
Fiverr works similarly to Upwork in that they deduct 20% of each of your gigs. So it would stand to reason that you’re not going to make much of an income off $5 blog posts. There are three things that will work in your favor.
First of all, as with Upwork, you can expect to start small. Take a few five dollar offers just for the 5 star reviews. Once you get more reviews, more customers will find you, and so on. Those reviews make your heart happy, as well. There’s nothing like being called an elegant writer or a wordsmith to boost your motivation.
Once you get a few reviews, you can both develop long term relationships with clients. You can also start to charge more for the same gig. Where you may have been offering a resume editing service for the lowest rate, you can now play with supply and demand. I’ve found that my basic 1,000 word blog post sells best at a $50 price point.
Secondly, Fiverr allows you the option to offer gig extras, for which you charge more. These can be as simple as additional words or images, or can include revisions or a faster delivery time. Upselling your clients is a way to make additional income.
Finally, don’t expect to see an income from Fiverr unless you’re offering something scalable. Do you know how that guy makes money selling video of himself screaming? He sells the same video over and over. My suggestion to you is to create something – an ebook, a template or an easily repeatable gig, and sell it to multiple clients. I had great success with a few ebooks that I created. I offered the ebook for a flat rate, and then upsold the client by offering a Skype discussion and other extras. You obviously can’t do this with blog posts, but there’s nothing wrong with selling a product instead of a service.
I’ll be sharing much more about Fiverr in the coming weeks. It’s honestly one of my favorite platforms, and I’ve earned quite a bit of money from it. But for now, I’ll leave you with these basics. Go set up your Fiverr account, and check back soon!