Is Freelancing On Fiverr Worth It? Here’s The Honest Truth
14 months into my full-time marketing job, I decided it was time to start diversifying my revenue streams and experiment with different ways to make money. I had read in several different places that Fiverr was a solid option to consider for writers, so I decided to check it out. In October, I created a profile and became a live member of the Fiverr community.
The set-up was relatively simple, basically just providing a profile picture and some brief descriptions.
I noticed that Writing & Translation was a central category on the platform, which aligned with what I wanted to offer. My area of expertise is in the article/blog realm, and after a few days of browsing through other sellers pages to see whats works and what doesn’t, I created my first gig.
For those who don’t know, Fiverr is a marketplace that connects aspiring freelancers (sellers) with customers looking for specific services (buyers). There are a variety of different categories that your work can fall under from Financial Consulting to Logo Design. In order to make money, you have to create “gigs”, which are essentially a mini sales pitch that try to reel in potential buyers to purchase your services.
As with anything, there is no single recipe for success on Fiverr. I cannot give you a step by step guide to make 25k a year or build a funnel of reliable clients. What I can provide are my experiences and (hopefully) insights to help you decide whether or not Fiverr is a solid revenue stream for you to consider.
So, should you start freelancing on Fiverr? Let’s take an in depth look at the pros and cons.
You Will Work On A Variety Of Projects
In a few shorts months, I’ve done everything from writing blog posts for an upbeat coffee apparel company to website content for an exterminator.
It can be interesting to do research on such diverse industries that I honestly never cared about before.
If you enjoy working on a completely unique project every time, Fiverr might be the right fit.
The obvious pro is that you can make some pocket cash by doing something you enjoy.
Are you being paid fairly? Probably not in comparison to some other platforms and independent freelancers. However, at the end of the day, it is money that you would not have had otherwise. You also don’t have to spend time bidding on projects.
So far I haven’t made much, but transferring money over from Fiverr into my PayPal account is a good feeling regardless.
Website Is Easy To Navigate
Fiverrs platform is fairly straightforward, and you can become an expert in finding what you need after a few minutes. The Fiverr staff is open to communicate any issues that you come across and responds fairly quickly. Since so many people are on Fiverr, most of your needs can be resolved after a quick Google search.
Fiverr also has it’s own forum where you can post questions, and people tend to be very helpful and informative.
Fiverr Will Bring You Some Business
Everyone starts at zero on day one. If you put in ten minutes per gig, making sure you optimize your copy to appeal to a potential buyer and throw a nice picture with it, you should be able to snag a few beginner jobs. Check some Fiver Gig Reviews on FiverrReviews
I didn’t do any self-promotion or marketing, but received several opportunities within my first month.
The hardest hump to get past is that first sale. Mine was an individual requesting I craft a Yelp review for him. This was something that could have easily taken 15 minutes, but I spent nearly two hours on it (roughly $2 per hour). When your starting out, a positive review is one step in the right direction and a negative one is 100 steps the other way.
Luckily, he liked what I wrote.
New Opportunities To Challenge Yourself
You have to learn how to deal with a variety of different people, work within a deadline, and produce content that aligns with what your client has requested. Some sellers may be difficult or unclear, so Fiverr also presents a good opportunity to practice handling clients in an appropriate manner.
Fluctuating Price Points
In the beginning, you will have to undercut yourself.
I set my prices very low and still had interested buyers request custom orders for less.
Very few people will be fine with the price you set as a new seller, and leverage your lack of reviews to insensitive a customer order. This means you can send them an order where the two of you agree on the price, word count, etc.
Fiverr has the name Fiverr for a reason. Many gigs start at $5, and the platform takes 20% out of everything you sell. That means a $5 gig will only make you $4. Even if you sell 25 gigs, you aren’t really making that much.
The amount of time I spent researching competitors, new topics, and creating content, all for a mere $10 (technically $8), may not be worthwhile in the end. Fiverr basically encourages you to sell your services at low increments.
The trade off is that I may not be able to get any clients at all if I were an independent freelancer.
Difficult To Make Consistent Money
As I said above, Fiverr will send potential clients your way. However, before you have a steady stream of positive reviews, buyers may go elsewhere for an established seller. Since most of the price points are already so low, the difference between paying $5 for someone with no proof of work vs. paying $10 for a seller with 50 positive reviews will be worth it to most people.
Long And Somewhat Annoying Payment Process
Depending on your seller level, it usually takes 14 days to access your funds.
Fiverr Owns Your Clients
Building a list of repeat buyers doesn’t help you outside of Fiverr. You are basically at the mercy of the platform, as the policy on contacting people outside of Fiverr is incredibly strict. They will deactivate your account at any notice of exterior marketing.
This also means that at any time, Fiverr can make a change that will decimate your success. What if they decide to raise their commissions to 50%? Relying so heavily on someone or something else always comes with risks.
Quality Over Quantity
It sounds great, right? Work when you want, get paid to do what you love?
Once a buyer has placed an order, that becomes your immediate priority. Even with my full-time marketing job, I would work during my lunch break and stay a few minutes late to complete an order ahead of schedule. You have to understand that in the beginning, there will be pressure to maintain a very high standard of work to ensure you don’t receive any negative reviews. This could mean sacrificing extra gigs (and money) to focus on the one’s you have.
To be the best on Fiverr, you have to generate a lot of reviews. The most surefire way to do this? Buy fake one’s.
I have not done this personally, but read multiple articles with “tricks” or “secrets” to excel on Fiverr. Creating your own reviews was in every one.
Some people will ask to buy your account, or strike up a random conversation in the messenger that has nothing to do with your service.
Fiverr isn’t like Uber, where matches are random, and the driver has some level of income security. Nothing is guaranteed.
If you are willing to (initially) do a lot of work for little pay, and learn how to position yourself on the Fiverr platform, then you may end up doing very well.
Just be aware that your gigs may never take off.
Personally, Fiverr hasn’t worked out great. This is mostly because I simply don’t have the extra time right now to churn out more content and sit around waiting for/promoting orders. Between my full-time job, writing on Medium, building a portfolio, maintaining a relatively strict fitness routine, researching other side hustles, and learning as much as I can, the value on Fiverr hasn’t equaled the time spent.
Diversifying revenue streams is my main project in 2019. There are so many cool and interesting ways for us to make money that most people would never consider outside of their career. Fiverr could be the missing piece of your portfolio.
Do you have an opinion on Fiverr or any similar platforms? Let me know in the comments, I am interested to hear about other people’s experiences.