Fiverr - Can you make thousands of dollars from Fiverr?
Fiverr allows anyone in the world to sell their unique services for $5 minimum, but with such low pricing structures, can you make thousands of dollars from Fiverr? Is Fiverr a good place to build a successful freelance career on? Or is Fiverr just a stepping stone between starting out and becoming a professional? The great thing about Fiverr is that it can be both. You're competiting with the world in a giant soup bowl of different skillsets, nationalities, professionalism and quality. Let's take a look at Fiverr to see if it's worth your time and effort for making money.
Fiverr first came on the scene in 2010 as a way for freelancers to offer their skillsets for a starting price of $5.00. This five-dollar price can be increased to thousands of dollars with extra add-ons that users can provide, such as quicker turnaround time, extra revisions, better quality research and a host of other extras that you can come up with. Really, the $5.00 price point is a way of attracting customers to the site and the real money is made when they pay for these services with the extras or buy more "premium packages" that increase the price.
Fiverr was looked upon as a very skepticle site and for a long time its reputation was usually met with this response "You get what you pay for". That is somewhat still true, but the quality of Fiverr has definitely risen over the last 9 or so years it has been opened and with the ability to set the base price higher than $5.00, the site is shifting from low-paid low-skilled, to a more professional platform.
We did an article on Quora's Partner Program, which allows you to make money by asking questions. In the same vein, Fiverr has a skepticleness about it whether it can be worth your time. $5 is not minimum wage for most countries and anyone who has signed up to the platform and tried to start making money has probably found it very hard to attract interest and given up. Unfortunately, Fiverr is run by user gigs that have thousands of reviews and anyone starting out as a new service provider is at a massive disadvantage.
So today we're going to take an overview look of how Fiverr works, how you can start earning your first dollars from the platform and whether or not you can actually use it to make a decent income.
How Fiverr Works - Gigs
As mentioned, anyone can sign up to Fiverr and sell their services. It's completely free as well. Fiverr makes its money through fees paid by the customer on service orders, as well as it's professional service Fiverr Pro.
Every service provided on Fiverr is done through it's "Gig" system. A Gig is a type of service that you can provide the customer. Fiverr offers a massive amount of different categories and services that you could offer, from programming, writing, video editing, graphic design to hiring video voiceovers, actors and more. If you can think of a service, Fiverr can usually offer it.
Of course, Fiverr can sometimes lean into the "Grey" area of what is legal and what isn't. In 2015, Amazon sued Fiverr Sellers for allowing them to sell Fiverr Gigs that provided services for fake Amazon reviews. You would pay $5 to someone and they would go review a product on Amazon for you without ever buying or using said product. Since then, Fiverr has clamped down hard on illegal services like this, but there are still plenty of other grey areas that are available. You can use Fiverr for SEO services, such as buying links to boost your rankings in Google, or have someone use an expensive tool to provide you with a service.
As you can see, Fiverr Gigs can offer pretty much anything you can think of.
As a member of Fiverr, you can create an unlimited amount of Gigs. Each Gig starts with a "Basic package" and then is able to offer two more packages that give more for a higher price. For example, take a look at this Writing Gig I created:
This services offers a customer one 500-Word article for a blog post for $5.00. Then there are two other packages, which offer two 500 word articles or three 600 word articles. You can customise this however you like, including how much you charge. That means you could even offer ten 500 word articles for $5 if you just wanted some money. There are no rules other than the Gig must have a minimum price of $5.00.
You can also see that there are options on each Gig you can offer. Here I'm allowing the customer to choose a faster delivery time but they get charged extra. You can offer lots of other extras to each Gig to get more money out of each customer.
The problem that most people on Fiverr will find is that you are competiting with people who find working for $5.00 very reasonable. For someone who lives in the UK/US and have minimum wage standard, $5.00 is going to seem not worth your time if it takes you an hour to write one 500-word article. But for people in India or other low-paid countries, $5.00 is a great wage and so they can afford to offer these services even cheaper than that. Hence, when you go to create your Gig, you won't be able to compete on price because so many people can offer lower-paid jobs.
Luckily, there are ways around this. First, having an account with a high amount of 5 star reviews will boost your visibility and confidence in buyers. Your average customer on Fiverr is very skepticle, especially on first-time orders so they use Fiverr's review system to check to make sure what they're ordering is going to be of decent quality. Whenever you view Fiverr Gig Categories, the frontpage is displayed with Gigs that have a high-number of reviews. New gigs are buried deep in the search results, meaning you'll have trouble getting visibility unless someone decides to search for someone new.
Second is offering something that no one else is. For common services like Writing, Programming and SEO you're going to have a tough time being unique. However, there are other services where quality can be the real key to attracting customers, such as Graphic Design, Art work, Video presentation and other services offered on Fiverr. You just need to decide what kind of service you want to offer and research into your competitors.
Tips for Getting Your First Fiverr Orders
I would say that starting out on Fiverr is the hardest part of the entire service. Users with no reviews, default-looking profiles and simple first-time Gigs attract very little interest. I created some Gigs to test out the platform and I can see I got very few pageviews, despite offering cheap services and labour. I'm used to charging $60/hour for programming work, on Fiverr I was doing it for $5. Still no bites in the time I spent on there.
It comes back to the problem of visibility. When you visit Fiverr for the first time, you can explore services through it's category system at the top of the page. Clicking on a category such as Writing will show you a list of highly-rated gigs for writing services offered. You will find exactly 0 new gigs on this page. Writing is super competitive on Fiverr and you have people who can write many 500-word articles an hour so they can drop their prices incredibly low.
Fiverr has recognised this problem, fortunately. They now have a new "Filter System" for searching through categories that gives more visibility to users.
You can now search through Gigs based on a number of factors and this is how you're going to be able to attract your first customers.
Start low then raise prices
When you offer your first gig, you need to be the cheapest offer on the site. Using the filter above, you can search by how expensive each Gig is, and if you search for the cheapest ones, you're more likely to be at the top of that list. Of course, you're selling yourself short but hear me out.
Once you get your first orders, you can then start building up reviews. A profile with more reviews is going to look more attractive to more buyers and thus hopefully increase the amount of orders you can possibly get.
You can also use this as a meter for raising your prices. If you start to build up a strong amount of orders every day, to the point where it's more than you can handle, you can then slowly raise your prices. You will start getting less orders, but hopefully you higher price will mean you won't be losing money and you will be doing less work. If you're someone with all the time in the world to make Fiverr work, then anytime you're not working on a Gig order is time wasted. You might be thinking: "Well it's not worth my time to work for so little", but is earning zero worth your time too? Remember, you're just starting out in a massive competitive market where anyone can offer the same services as you. You've got to be attractive to customers and as a newbie the only thing you can offer is cheap labour.
Repeat Orders Can Help Make You A Regular Profit
Repeating orders will be a key element to making decent money from Fiverr. If you're selling a service like writing blog articles, more often than not, if you provide a great service on the first order, you'll likely get more repeat orders. Many customers don't want to wade through the thousands and thousands of gigs available- they want someone they can rely on who is cheap. So once they find your Gig, if you do a great job on their order, you'll likely get them coming back for me.
And this is where you start building up a "client list" of regular orders. You first month might be bleak- you might only get one or two orders. That's not enough to pay the bills. But what if in month two, you get another two new customers, and then the two customers from the first month come back for more orders. You've now doubled your "client list" and order quantity. As time goes on, you'll be building up regular orders to the point where it will be paying you a decent income. Then you can consider other options like offering higher-paid services, out-sourcing the work to other workers and more.
At the end of the day, if you want to make serious money from Fiverr, you need to treat it as a business and be savy with it. When an unknown restaurant opens without any marketing hype behind it, it's going to take a while before it has established regular customers. We are creatures of habit and providing good service will allow you to build up orders over time.
Be Active On Fiverr
Another tip is to be active on the Fiverr site. They have an option for viewing Gigs where the user is currently online and available, so that if the customer has any questions they can get answers immediately. This is something that you can use to your advantage whilst waiting for orders; making sure you're always online is going to put you higher up on the visibility scale.
Fiverr offers it's own live-messaging service so any customer questions can be answered quite quickly. Understanding who your customers are and what they are looking for is a great way to shape your Gig to their expectations. If a customer asks you "Do you provide images with articles" could be something you can then start providing to customers to secure more orders. It's vital information that will be key to standing out.
Fiverr and Writing a Good Gig Pitch
When a customer views a category of available Gigs, they see something like this:
The first thing you should notice about this image is you have very little text to sell yourself. You've got at most 80 characters to sell your gig to customers looking for something cheap. That's even less than a Tweet!
What you can also see is that each Gig has a nice little graphic which attempts to capture your attention. This is something you can work on and make sure you get right. If you don't have access to a graphics program such as Photoshop, then perhaps you can even use Fiverr to order someone to make you a Gig image. There are many services that offer this for you and it might be a good idea to see how Fiverr works from the customer's perspective.
You'll also see the Review counts in the corner of each Gig, including a star color. Fiver's frontpage for Gigs is hard to work out how they show certain services and they don't give you many clues either as they don't want people gaming the system. You'll get a mixture of high-quality services, low-quality services and high-reviewed gigs presented to you. You can then use the Filter to show different types of Gigs.
When you click on a Gig, this is where you can really sell yourself. Your Gig page allows you to do a write-up selling your service and what you can offer. Here is where you want to be as cute as possible, marketing yourself to make sure the customer knows exactly what they're getting and why they should choose your service over other people. If you've ever applied for a job before, think of it as a cover letter as to why you should be the one to take the order.
This page will also show any recent reviews you've had, how big your order queue is and of course your Gig order options. Tweaking this will be a lot of trial and error. When I first made a Gig I created some horrible graphics, had a bad introduction and my Gig prices were way too high for someone with zero reviews. I also wasn't offering a ton of extra services that customers were interested in, such as turnaround times, extra word count and more.
Customers and Reviews
I have a ton of experiencing dealing with bad customers. I sell my own products on a marketplace called Envato and every now and then I will get a demanding customer who will want me to respond within hours of an order, deman I make changes to their order or they will leave me a bad review and all sorts of other black-mailing tactics to get what they want. Well I have bad news for you; Fiverr is much worse. Fiverr's customer base is targetted at people who want something for nothing. You're going to get a lot of people expecting high-quality work and be very disappointed when they don't get what they want.
The only thing you can do is be as professional as possible. There are thousands of good customers for every bad customer, and when you do get your first bad experience you should try not to let it get the better of you. A bad review can affect your sales and orders, especially if you don't have many good reviews to start off with. If someone is too difficult to work with, you can always offer them a refund and be done with them for good.
What you don't want to do is argue with the customer. You're very likely not going to win and just piss them off even more to a point where they will write an even worse review as revenge. You need to adopt the customer-service professionalism act whenever you come across these types of clients because you can remove your personal feelings from the situation. And don't forget- others are watching. If a potential client sees you reply to a review with a snarky, unprofessional response, they're likely going to go elsewhere.
Can you make thousands of dollars from Fiverr or even a decent income?
The truth of the matter is that it is definitely possible but it's hard work. It's not some easy fairytale system where all you have to do is put your service out there and the orders will come flooding in. No, you're likely going to struggle at the beginning unless you're in a niche that is new and popular.
In terms of making thousands of dollars: again, it is definitely possible. All you have to do is go to the frontpage of these Gig categories and you can see that they get lots of orders. I'm looking at one Gig right now and it has 20 orders in the queue, with the basic package costing $30.00 and the most expensive being $400.00. If those 20 orders are all the basic package, that's still a healthy $600.00 ordered already. And who knows how many orders they have completed for that month so far.
Services that can quantify work the best on Fiverr. Writing X amount of blog posts are great types of Gigs because it gives a good indication of what the customer will get. A Gig which costs $5 and states "I will fix PHP bugs for you" is so very general it's hard to scale up and is very confusing for what the customer could potentially get.
You need to go into Fiverr with an open mind- but a skepticle one too. If you're desperate for money, Fiverr is likely not going to work if you don't have patience. It's also not the most reliable income source- one month you could have 10 orders and the next have 0. It can be a great place for an extra income stream and if you utilize it properly with other services, it can help make up your monthly wage. Amongst freelancing and blog writing, I also create my own products on Envato. All of these revenue streams help me make thousands of dollars every month.
Popular Fiverr Gigs To Offer
To get you started on Fiverr, here are some of the most popular and easy Gigs you could offer someone. If you explore their site, you can find a lot more smaller niche services you could offer.
|Writing||Competitive||Write anything from Essays to Blog articles. There are thousands of different Gigs offering writing services, some more niche than others. A good starting point is $5 per 500 words. If you're a fast typer and have good research skills, this type of Gig could work for you.|
|Translation||Mildly Competitive||Offering translation services is a bit tricky. The problem is that we now have Google Translate, and you'll get a lot of scallywags offering translation services that provide the same type of quality as Google Translate. A coincidence? I think not.|
|Programming||Mildly Competitve||Programming offers its own problems. The most common one is that every programming job is usually unique. Everyone's got a different issue/problem, so the gigs offered here are very general and unreliable.|
|SEO||Competitive||SEO has always been competitive and you can get some very cheap services for some very questionable quality. You can buy 50 links for $5, but are they going to do anything for you? Probably not. The issue is trying to stand out from the crowd. If you can only offer 5 quality links for $5, you're probably going to struggle to get customers.|
|Graphics||Mildly Competitive||Graphic design includes areas such as web design, logos, banners and other things you might need. The good news is that the quality can be judged by your portfolio.|
Experience with Fiverr
Have you had any experience with Fiverr? Have you ever offered a Gig or service to others and found it made you some decent income? Or are there any hidden challenges that not many people understand about Fiverr? Post away in the comments and we can update this article!