When I tell my people that I make $2,000 to $3,000 a month on Fiverr, they are always both amazed and intrigued. People often think it’s a scam, that it’s impossible to make a place for yourself, let alone make a career out of it. Not true, because I did it.
It’s not easy and no, it doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s not a scam and it is realistic! Since 2017, I have been making money on Fiverr and since the summer of 2021, I have been working there full time. You can also make money part-time.
Originally, Fiverr was a site where you offered gigs for $5, hence the name. Over time, the site has diversified and there are now thousands of gigs for different prices. This site, originally designed more to make some pocket change, is now a place where you can earn a living. If this is something you are interested in, it won’t be a piece of cake, but with a little work, good ideas, and patience, it is possible to make it!
Making money on Fiverr: The beginner’s guide
So, you’ve decided to get started making money on Fiverr. Where to start? First of all, it is important to understand how the platform works.
Unlike Upwork, another platform for online freelancers, it is not the clients who post their needs, but rather the workers who post their gigs. On Fiverr, we call this a “gig”. A Fiverr seller can post a number of gigs that don’t have to be related to each other. It depends on the seller’s level, which we explore later.
To make money on Fiverr, you have to create an account on Fiverr
The first thing that you need to do is create an account on Fiverr. After you have properly created your account, the first step will be to create your first gig. At first glance, creating your first gig may seem very simple, but it’s important to think carefully and optimize it.
Often the hardest part of Fiverr is getting your first order. If your gig falls at the bottom of the algorithm and no one sees it, you will never get that order. Don’t worry if you’ve already created your gig without much thought, it can always be changed.
How to create a gig on Fiverr that attracts customers and pleases the algorithm?
First, you need to know what gig you are able to offer. Initially, think about your education, what you do for a living. Is this a gig you can offer? For example, if you studied graphic design or computer science, you can certainly offer gigs related to your field. If not, think about the skills you have, your hobbies, etc.
You may have impostor syndrome at first, but don’t hesitate to offer what you think you can do. To use myself as an example, I started Fiverr with voiceovers. I had a good microphone at home, I did a lot of theatre, but I had never done voiceovers. I just went for it and it worked quickly.
Once you’ve decided what your gig will be, you’ll need to fill in the information about it. What type of things? The important information like title, price, description, image, and delivery time among others.
Making money on Fiverr means that it’s time to stand out
My biggest advice is to find a way to be different from other gigs offered. Look for gigs that are similar to what you offer on Fiverr. Do many people offer this type of gig on the site? If not, you’re in luck!
On the other hand, if this gig is widespread, try to find out what is not offered and how your gig can be different. There are hundreds of possibilities, but here are the ones that worked for me: offering a 24-hour delivery time and offering a specialized Quebec/French Canadian gig. At the time of the listing, and even today, this market was very underserved.
Don’t forget the value of your time and work
The reflex of many will be to offer a lower price. This is not a bad idea in itself, especially at the beginning, but I don’t think it’s the best one either, especially if you are in a hyper-competitive market. For example, if you work in graphic design, you are competing with people living in countries where the cost of living is much lower. So it will be very easy for some to offer extremely low prices and still get paid well.
For people in North America, it’s impossible to match it. I don’t think that working hours for little pay is interesting. Instead, try to differentiate yourself by offering a unique gig that others do not.
Beware of lowballing your work. You can offer a lower price than your ideal fee when you start but still stay within an acceptable price range. If your prices are too low, some people may avoid your gig thinking you are not qualified.
Also, keep in mind that Fiverr keeps 20% of your revenue! Once you set your price, you will then need to create a gig that looks very professional. Part of that means clearly displaying in the title the element that sets you apart.
Diversify your offers on Fiverr
When you open your Fiverr account, you can create up to seven gigs. Diversify your offer and create as many gigs as possible! You don’t know which one will attract the customer.
Get some reviews. When your account has reviews, your other gigs will attract more people. The reason is that the reviews appear not only on a job but also on your profile.
I initially started with a voiceover gig and an opera gig. There aren’t many operas offered on Fiverr, so that’s where I got my first orders. When I started doing translation, which is a bit more competitive, I got orders faster because my account was already trusted. So, a gig you like less can still bring you to work indirectly on the one you like!
Fiverr and the Pro option
If you have a degree associated with what you offer on the site, ask about the Pro label. This lets customers know that you are a professional, that you are a trusted worker, and often allows the seller to promote their gigs at higher prices. Moreover, this label is well appreciated by the algorithm, so it will help you get your first orders.
Ingredients for success on Fiverr
Now that you’ve created your gigs, you have to wait. As mentioned earlier, the first orders are hard to get. It must be said that there is an element of luck, but it is possible to make your luck happen faster. Fiverr’s algorithm is a mystery, but in my experience, here are a few things that seem to put us in its good graces.
Visit the Fiverr site often
The more active time you spend on the site, the more Fiverr seems to improve your place in the algorithm, as if it understands that you are available to work. Turn it into a game. Even better, set it in your schedule.
Respond quickly to customers
Fiverr is very clear about this. The platform generates statistics about sellers that are used to evaluate them and among these is the response rate. It’s important to respond to customers within 24 hours, otherwise this response rate will drop, but I would advise you to respond as quickly as possible. If you don’t have time to analyze the customer’s request, still take the time to write to them that you will follow up later.
Treat your customers like kings, especially on your first orders
It is very important that as many customers as possible leave positive reviews and the better you treat them, the more likely you will get a good review. Talk to them to understand their needs, deliver in advance if possible and don’t hesitate to rectify your designs if they don’t like them. As you get more clients, this may be more difficult to do, but it is especially important at the beginning.
Keeping good statistics on Fiverr to move up
On Fiverr, there are several levels of sellers, including New Provider, Level 1, Level 2 and Top Provider. These levels are calculated based on your responsiveness, positive feedback, revenue and cancelled-order statistics. You benefit from having good statistics, as the algorithm is often more generous with higher levels. Levels are also a mark of trust for customers.
Use the vacation option as little as possible
This option, although necessary and very useful, negatively impacts your place in the algorithm. If you have to go on vacation, I advise you to extend your delivery times and to consult Fiverr once a day to answer customers, even if it is to refuse. If it’s impossible for you to respond, ask a friend to respond to customers while you’re away.
You are an entrepreneur now. This will keep your work from being nipped-in-the-bud when it’s just getting started. When you are more established, like me, you can use the option, but be aware that it will take at least a month to get back to your pre-departure level of visits.
What income can I expect from Fiverr?
Again, patience is key. As for me, I started on Fiverr in March 2017. I have to say that I was lucky compared to many of my colleagues and my start got off to a pretty good start. However, it took quite a while before my income was high enough to make it my full-time job.
I started out with months of less than $100 US, but quickly my income increased to almost $600 US. Being a student at the time, I started raising my prices because I couldn’t keep up with the demand.
The next year I made a total of $7,682 US in one year, which was a very good part-time salary. I was extremely busy and couldn’t keep my response rate statistics high enough, so I had several fluctuations in my income. Also, I wasn’t taking all the orders because I just didn’t have the time.
I could have done it differently. If I had worked full time at it and raised my prices instead of refusing orders, I could have had a higher income. I was rather passive with Fiverr and did not change my gigs often.
Let’s jump to now. I have just finished school. Being an opera singer, I had to stop working a few times this year for singing contracts where I just didn’t have the time to work on my gigs. The months I worked full time were March, September and October. In June and August, I worked half the month.
With my profile, number of reviews and all the time spent on this site, you will understand that while working full time I can realistically make more or less $2,300 US per month. That translates to almost $2,800 CAD. I very rarely make less than $2,000 per month.
I have been able to increase my income by working more, but also by adjusting my prices to the demand: when I can’t make all the orders I want, I raise my prices. You also have to be careful not to do this too often, because you can lose long-time customers. You have to use your judgment to find what will offer you the most value.
The salary you could make could be much higher, depending on your field. For me, I do most of my money in translation but it’s hard to raise the price above a certain threshold, because it’s easy for the client to choose someone else. For creative environments, where people fall in love with a specific style or skill, some clients will be willing to pay more to have you specifically. While these markets are harder to break into, there are greater revenue opportunities.
By investing yourself and taking the time to follow these tips, I believe it is entirely possible to make a living or extra money with Fiverr. My journey with Fiverr has been far from perfect, I’ve made many mistakes along the way, but I’ve still found success. That’s why I believe it’s accessible to anyone who gives it a good try.