What is Fiverr?
Fiverr was once known as the five-dollar website where underpaid creatives could continue to be underpaid for their work, or where micro-services were offered and could very slowly be built into a successful side hustle. However, nowadays, Fiverr is worth so much more than five dollars a gig for those willing to put in the time, effort, and research to be the best at what they do – for those with truly valuable or well-honed skills, clients are willing to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a well-polished deliverable.
Fiverr turns a decade old this year, but there is still plenty of earning potential to be had on the platform. There are millions of gigs splashed across 120 categories of skillsets and verticals; whether you’re a web developer, a writer, a musician, or a designer of any and all things electronic, there is a gig for you.
The base system Fiverr functions on is quite simple:
- Freelancers, called sellers, list their offered services and preferred prices for buyers to sift through and hire from.
- Clients, called buyers, hire sellers to complete required tasks based off of sellers’ listings. Buyers can also post their own version of a want ad for sellers to apply to, and can be individuals, businesses, or major corporations.
- Freedom in scheduling, clients, and hours put in per project.
- Guaranteed payment: buyers are required to pay Fiverr upfront, so sellers are 100% guaranteed to receive payment upon delivery of work.
- Beginner-friendly: due to the quick, easy nature of many low-paying jobs, beginners shouldn’t have any trouble snapping up several jobs in their first few weeks. Even if the pay isn’t as desirable, this is a good way to build a reputation quickly while honing your skills in a new market.
- Variety: Fiverr allows you to complete a variety of jobs with a variety of clients, ensuring that you get to experience new methods of work and types of clients. This can help you build your network in the long-run, as well as help you discover the kinds of projects and types of clients you don’t want to work with when you can afford more discretion.
- Tips: Fiverr allows buyers to leave tips for those freelancers they are especially impressed with.
- Fiverr charges a high commission of 20% per gig, including on tips left for sellers.
- Fiver also charges a commission to the buyers: $2 per gig under $40; and 5% on any gig over $40.
- High competition: Fiverr is known for offering millions of gigs at low prices. For those buyers willing to compromise quality for price, there are sellers willing to compromise their standards for the sake of time. To build a successful side hustle on Fiverr, you’ll have to prove yourself among the rabble (or rubble).
Let’s Get Started!
Getting started on Fiverr isn’t difficult, but to ensure the highest pay for the littlest overall effort, it’s important to pour extra time and attention into your initial setup so you don’t have to comb back through your profile looking for fixes later.
Register an Account
Enter the requested details, confirm your account through the provided email link, and get ready to build your profile from the ground-up. Pro tip: choose an appropriate username. This can be your name or include information about the main service(s) you offer; whatever you choose, make sure it’s friendly, descriptive, and eye-catching.
Build Your Profile
Pimp your profile out to the fullest extent you can. While it may feel a little ridiculous to uptalk yourself so much (and so damn positively), letting the world know why they should hire you is a critical first step for new sellers with no buyer base. Be honest but flattering; don’t suggest you can offer services out of your purview, but let buyers know you’re willing to go the extra mile for their business. Create a catchy tagline that will draw in interest and a chuckle or two. Extensively review your experiences, skills, and history in the description boxes – really sell yourself. As your profile is any buyer’s first impression of who you are, you’d better make it a good one.
One thing you can do to make your profile more appealing is to upload a personal video. This can be a short explainer of your products or a quick introduction to you. Fiverr studies have reported that profiles with a video increase their orders by 200% or more – for a new buyer, this can make or break your success.
After your profile has been built to represent you, it’s time to create a gig to represent your abilities. Don’t be afraid to spend extra time expounding upon your gig; this is essentially your job description and is where buyers will look first to see if you’re a good fit for their particular needs.
Step 1: Overview
- Write a title that is short, clear, and to the point
- Select the appropriate category and subcategory, if applicable
o Some categories will have a drop-down Service Type menu; this ensures you’ll appear in the search results related to the selected category
o Some categories will have a gig metadata entry area: this is where you select relevant criteria for each topic
- In the Tags field, add a minimum of three words or phrases to best describe your gig
Step 2: The Gig Itself
- Write a brief title for the service itself
- Detail your offer however is appropriate
- Select the number of days required to complete the gig
- Select the number of revisions you offer at the set price
- Select your price from the drop-down menu – from $5 to $995
Step 3: Description and FAQ
- Describe your gig in 1200 characters or less; be detailed but concise
- Answer any FAQs you’ve received, or predict to receive, for potential buyers – trust me, this can be a major time-saver down the road
Step 4: Requirements
- Inform the buyers what is required of them for you to start working; this can be done through:
o Some categories will have a drop-down Service Type menu; this ensures you’ll appear in the search results related to the selected category
o Multiple choice questions
o File uploads
Step 5: Gallery
- Gig Photos: add up to three relevant images. For those in the design fields, this can include samples of work.
- Gig Video: add an optional video, 60 seconds or less, about yourself or the specific service on offer.
- Gig PDFs: you may add up to two PDF files; only the first three pages per PDF will be displayed.
Step 6: Publish, Proliferate, Procure!
- Click Publish Gig
- Promote your Gig on various social networks by clicking the available icons and filling out details
- Click Done and make money!
Step 7: Optional and Recommended
While it’s possible to let the buyers come to you, new freelancers to the site won’t drum up much business that way. If you’re really looking for your earnings to take off on the site, it’s important to be proactive and put yourself out there. Find the offers you’re interested in and send your proposed offer – and cross your fingers.
How to Be Successful on Fiverr
Start with Yourself
Your profile is an extension of yourself and your services, so it’s important that it appears attractive and professional. Start with real photos and/or videos of yourself and your services. Offer clear, concise descriptions. Oh, and Fiverr research suggests that profiles depicting attractive women get more gigs – sorry fellas, and girls tired of being objectified, but it’s true.
Description, Depiction, Definition
Fiverr has over a million gigs listed daily, so standing above the crowd is critical to your success. A solid, detailed description of your gigs can help. Highlight a few pointers and clearly specify speed and delivery time – or emphasize your extreme quality if you prefer to work slow. Specifying bonus services is a good way for slow-rolling profiles to build a base faster.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
SEO is everywhere online, and freelancing is no exception to the rule. Fiverr uses its own guidelines in determining internal SEO requirements and success. For a good ranking, use your target keywords 3-4 times per description, and at least once in the title of your gigs if possible.
Expand Your Portfolio Wisely
While expanding your profile broadens your business horizons, it can also stretch you thin. There is no need to jerk into a new gear suddenly; experienced Fiverr freelancers suggest sticking to variants of what you know, especially to start. For instance, I write: if I were to sign up as a content writer for Fiverr, I could expand my options into blogging, editing, and copywriting as well. By contrast, if I were to suddenly switch into selling graphic design services (trust me, you don’t want me designing anything), my profile would take a hit when I was unable to deliver on my new, hollow promises.
Deliver Your Deliverables
Keep your customers happy. Do the work you promise and deliver on time (bonus points for early deliveries! I personal quote an extra day out to give myself leeway, but also to impress when I deliver early). Satisfied customers mean repeat work, good reviews, and recommendations to other buyers.
Be sure to maintain your quality over time. Communication with customers based on their needs (some like more, some like less, some just want the final product and for you to politely shut up otherwise) can also boost or slash your rating. If you’re in a business where you can reasonable add incentives, doing so can hike your reputation further. Getting five stars should always be your goal – remember: on freelance sites, reviews are the real currency.
Upsell the S*** Outta Your S***
Even if you’re sticking with the minimum $5 fee per gig, you can offer add-ons and upsell various related services to allow buyers to customize their orders – and you to stick a few extra bucks in your pocket. For example, designers can offer multiple colors or variations of logos, or tack on a business card; a writer can add a synopsis to a ghostwritten novel; or website coders can tack on an offer of revision in one month after the success of the site in drawing in traffic is determined.
Level Up (Cue Mario Theme Song…)
Within Fiverr, freelancers can “level up.” Each level comes with benefits that will aid and increase your performance on the site. When you first sign up, your label is automatically “New Seller.” The final ranking to strive for is “Top Rated Seller.” Those who fight their way to the top will earn a special badge, VIP support, and opportunities to be listed in Fiverr promotions. The key to leveling up quickly is to complete as many jobs as possible as quickly as possible without compromising quality or taking on too many projects to successfully deliver upon.
Let the world know about your services, as difficult and awkward as marketing yourself can be. Share your gigs on social media platforms such as Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also network on professional sites such as LinkedIn.
Use the Fiverr App
Here, as everywhere else, customer service is important to good ratings and a repeat client base. The Fiverr app allows buyers and sellers to post/apply for gigs and respond to messages quickly and hassle-freely.
What Sells on Fiverr?
There are over 120 categories under which sellers can post their gigs. This allows for a wide variety of services to be offered in dozens of niches. Some of the most popular include:
Copywriting and article rewrites: For those wordsmiths who can research quick and type even quicker, copywriting or rewriting can prove very profitable. For instance, 400 words in 12 minutes at $5 per gig rakes in $25 per hour for dedicated freelancers – not bad for someone new to the field.
Reviews: People are always in need of someone to rate their products, and buyers on Fiverr are no exception. A 500-word review in 15 minutes can bring in $20 per hour.
Repeated materials: One underrated way to make money quickly on Fiverr is to resell your own work to multiple buyers. The trick here is to spell out that you’re retaining copyright and resale rights. These can be books, short stories, reports, or other deliverables.
Unique materials: For those who are willing to put in the time and effort – or those like me who simply suck at brevity – there is a market for ghostwriting books and other long-form content on Fiverr. Just be sure to vet your buyers to ensure you’re not stuck in a contract you can’t – or don’t want to – complete.
Many buyers are willing to spend $5 for you to use your influencer leverage on social media to drive traffic to their websites. For ongoing promotions and agreements, you may be able to sell weekly or monthly shout-outs in return for higher compensation.
For those who are savvy on the marketing edge of social media, there is a lot of money to be made in sharing your knowledge with desperate and/or curious buyers. This may mean campaign creation, SEO optimization, or strategy and audience research optimization. Sometimes, buyers may even be willing to pay someone to manage their accounts for them.
There is a great demand for artists in all niches. If you know how to use Photoshop, technology-based drawing tools, or other digital manipulators, you can sell cartoons, logos, business cards, or a myriad of any other colorful creations.
If you are organized and good at managing multiple schedules, there can be quite a profit to be made selling your time organizing other people’s lives. Tasks on Fiverr include data entry, appointment setting, and cold calling.
Website design is one of the higher-paid jobs on Fiverr and is highly in demand. You’ll make the most money if you are competent in each website concept, design, and coding, but you can also find offers parceled out amongst the three. E-commerce website design is particularly in high demand on websites such as WordPress, Squarespace, and Shopify.
Video marketing is also highly paid on Fiverr. Options include directing, shooting, or starring in training videos, short animations, advertisements, and video testimonials.
If you are multilingual, there is a lot of money to be made translating documents and articles. If you have a lot of patience and are a good teacher, there is also cash to be made teaching others how to speak a new language.