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Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer and other freelance marketplaces are great places to make money online.
If you’re just starting out, it can seem like an uphill battle to get started. Thousands of people are working on their freelance gigs. Some people make money, and others do not.
I’m going to share how to make money on Fiverr writing, but before I begin, it’s crucial to understand that Fiverr isn’t just another freelancer site.
In the freelance writer’s circle, Fiverr and Upwork are the two primary job sites.
Upwork is great, and I’ve used it a lot in the past, but it’s different from Fiverr. When you use some of the other freelance sites, you bid for jobs, and clients must accept based on your pitch.
Yes, these clients can view your profile and hire you, but it’s far less common.
Fiverr works for me for a few reasons:
Fiverr continues to grow and helps freelancers make a lot of money. In 2017, the site had $28.26 million in revenue and grew to over $100 million in 2020.
It’s estimated that 4 million people use the site to purchase gigs, and I’m betting that this figure is likely higher going into 2023.
Since getting started on Fiverr, I have generated:
While my account is older, I abandoned it for years and only went back to it when I lost a major client (not from Fiverr) and saw over 60% of my income vanish overnight.
However, it was a blessing in disguise because, within just two months, I was earning more than I lost and doing less work with Fiverr.
It was a win-win for me and remained a great source of income.
Note: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Use other sites and avenues to diversify your income with multiple clients.
With that said, I’m going to share my first-hand tips on how I’ve completed 1,926 orders and still continue to make money on the site.
Before you do anything, you need to register an account on the site and create a gig. I’ve been a member since 2012, so I am sure joining has changed quite a bit, but I have adjusted my gig a lot over the years.
My recommendations are:
When writing your gig:
Be sure to clarify:
I don’t offer website content or sales copy in my gig, and it narrows down the work I don’t want to offer.
Your first order is the hardest to get. You can wait to get the first gig, or do one of the following:
Join Facebook Groups, forums, Reddit and anywhere else where people may be asking for help in the industry that you’re in and share your gig when possible.
Tip. Some clients do not provide enough information, so ask questions. Don’t just “wing” a gig and hope for the best.
Finally, it’s time to start making money and maximizing it as much as you can.
There are more than 4 million active buyers on Fiverr and hundreds of thousands of sellers. Depending on your industry, you may find it hard to stand out in a sea of other sellers.
Promoting your gig is one way to get it seen by the right buyers, but specializing can also help attract buyers if you’re just getting started.
For example, let’s say that you’re a freelance writer like me and you have extensive knowledge of the SaaS industry. Specializing in SaaS writing can help you attract the right clients and may even allow you to charge a higher rate because of your expertise.
Looking at the screenshot above, you can see that there are more than 190,000 results for “writer,” while there are only 113 for “SaaS writer.”
Rather than being a jack-of-all-trades, find a niche and run with it. If you specialize, you’ll likely have less competition, which will make it easier to get your first few orders.
Just make sure that you choose a niche you are knowledgeable in and have an interest in.
If you want to make money on Fiverr, you need to make sure that you’re pricing your gig well.
It may be tempting to offer the lowest price, but you may struggle to run a sustainable freelance business if you take this approach.
Start by doing some competitor research.
Rather than offering a lower price, find ways to offer more value and charge what you are worth.
Remember that Fiverr takes a percentage of your sales, so it’s important to take this into account when setting a price.
If you think that lower prices will attract more potential buyers, then consider using the pricing tier option when creating your gig.
Having an introductory offer, or low-level tier, may help you attract buyers who may choose to order a higher-priced package in the future.
Late deliveries are bad – really bad. And for more reasons than one. First, as you reach a Top Rated seller level, you receive payment faster when you deliver on time, which is really nice. However, you also don’t want to let your clients down with late deliveries.
Clients have deadlines, and you need to respect them.
What I like to do is:
I can’t tell you how many clients liked the fact that I was blunt and honest with them about deadlines. And while I may have lost a few clients by being honest, the majority said, “You’re extremely honest. We can extend the deadline.”
However, you need to be nice with this approach.
I explain to my clients that the deadline is too close or that I’m too booked up to put the time and energy into their order that it truly deserves. This approach:
You’ll also need to respond to messages quickly because people will move on to the next freelancer if you do not.
If you want to make money on Fiverr and eventually become a Top Rated seller, you need to respond to messages as quickly as possible and make sure that you respond to all inquiries.
In order to be a Top Rated seller, you need to maintain a response rate of 90% over 60 days, and you need to maintain this rate to keep your status.
Being a Top Rated seller – or graduating to any higher seller status level – will help you attract more buyers and build trust with prospects.
But there are many other reasons to respond to messages quickly:
Do you have to respond to messages immediately? No. But make it a point to keep your response rate to just a few hours if you can.
As a freelancer, you want to do everything in your power to make buyers happy. The last thing you want to do is cancel an order, right? Not necessarily.
I’ve had many occasions where the best course of action was to cancel an order and part ways. Here are just a few examples:
In all of these instances, I canceled their orders. Yes, I lost money on the gig, but I would have lost more money by spending additional unpaid time on these little extras that weren’t really part of my gig.
The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to cancel orders when it seems like the best course of action to take. Just keep in mind that canceling will affect your completion rate, so do your best to avoid this as much as possible when you’re just getting started.
Some clients are a good fit, and others are not. You don’t need to work with everyone. I don’t make it a habit of blocking clients, but I have in a few cases when the:
You can’t make everyone happy, so block problem clients who take up too much time and resources. At the end of the day, you need to make a profit, and you can’t give clients double or triple the time the normal client demands.
Who doesn’t like a discount? You can agree to work with a client using “create an offer” and give them a discount on your first order. However, I don’t recommend this when you have a steady flow of clients.
You can also offer subscriptions, and this is guaranteed money.
For larger subscriptions, you may even want to sweeten the deal and offer a discount, such as 10% off for an 8-week subscription.
Offering Extras is a great way to generate more income from your sales. Fiverr makes it easy to offer a wide variety of extra services, and you have control over:
You can add custom Extras that are relevant to your gig, but the platform will also make some suggestions on what your buyers may want. For example, Fiverr has added “SEO keywords,” “SEO keyword research” and “data chart” to my list of Extras because they assume my buyers will need them (and they do!).
You can also offer stock media as an Extra, and you’ll earn $2 for each licensed image. If this Extra is relevant to your gig, then it makes sense to offer it.
Buyers may need images for a variety of purposes, so this is a quick way to add a little extra income to your pocket.
One thing I may recommend is offering Extra Fast Delivery with caution. Make sure that you have the capacity to realistically deliver in the amount of time you’re offering.
What happens if you get five rush orders overnight? Will you be able to handle that?
If you can’t deliver on time or the quality suffers, offering rushed delivery will do more harm than good.
Fiverr is a great platform for freelancers if you know how to use it properly. It has a user-friendly interface, and it’s easy to create a gig.
You need to make sure you’re pricing your gig well and following the tips above to maximize your earnings.