Most job marketplaces revolve around bidding on projects. With competition running high, this approach requires your constant vigilance, and it drives prices down to the point where your work hardly pays off. But, what if you could turn around the system and have clients come clamoring for you?
The Fiverr marketplace does just that. Instead of bidding on projects, you define what kind of work you’re willing to do, for what price, and how fast. For example, “I will write a 250-word article for $25 within 5 days.” (Keep reading below on how to earn FAR more!) This basic work unit is called a “gig.” Offering gigs makes you a seller on Fiverr.
Buyers come to Fiverr shopping for gigs. They search for the type of work they need done, go over the offered gigs from you and other sellers, choose a seller, and order the gig. You then have until the agreed-upon deadline to submit the deliverables. It’s that simple.
Secure Payments—For a Price
Fiverr makes payment guaranteed. Clients cannot start a gig without depositing the sum total in Fiverr’s escrow service. Once you deliver, and your client accepts the delivery, the money is released into your hands – except for Fiverr’s cut, which is 20%.
Yes, that’s a large cut. Is it worth it? Thousands of eager Fiverr sellers indicate it is. For the ease of use, exposure, stability, guaranteed payment, and other features that Fiverr offers, it might be considered a fair price.
A Winning Business Strategy
In order to establish a solid writing business on Fiverr, you’ll need to stand out for quality and speedy delivery. That requires you to collect a lot of flattering testimonials from happy clients. But, how to get those clients, when you start out without any word of praise?
Start by offering a lot of writing value for only $5. Working for almost-free is not fun but it will provide you with a solid base of testimonials for the next stage. Take the time to write a compelling gig description, and don’t forget that the quality of the gig description is a powerful reflection of your writing skills. Write in a clear, crisp voice, harness vivid metaphors, and generally use every tool in your writing arsenal to land those first few gigs.
Once you land a gig, give it everything you’ve got. You want to win a 5-star review (and perhaps even a tip!). And here’s the thing about Fiverr: the review is displayed below your gig even if you change the price. Once you have a nice collection of reviews, start raising your fee. Since there’s no mention of the gig’s price in the review, it will look as if those glowing recommendations came from clients who paid the higher fee.
Gradually, you can work your way up to a decent wage. Some Fiverr writers take as much as $0.50 per word for copy-writing, and they have hundreds if not thousands of completed gigs. Article writing and fiction writing will usually net you less but, if you establish yourself as an ace writer, you could make good money in these areas as well.
Two Approaches to Pricing Your Gigs
Clients can buy a gig in quantities, too. For example, if you offer an article-writing gig, and each gig is limited to 250 words, a client needing 1,000 words may order your gig times 4. This leaves you with two options to set up your pricier gigs:
1. Create a gig with a low word count and a low price.
2. Create a gig with a decent word count and a higher price.
The first approach seems more popular, and has quite a few success stories but it leaves you open to small orders. For example, among my gigs I offer fiction writing. I sometimes get hired to write a 500-word story, which does not quite pay off for me. The second approach allows you to set a minimum word count per order, but it might be a psychological turnoff for buyers. Experiment with these approaches until you find out which works for best for you and your type of writing.
Final Tips and Pointers
- Take the time to write a compelling bio that explains why you’re the perfect writer for the job.
- When someone initiates contact with you, reply swiftly. Your first response in a thread determines your “Avg. Response Time,” and people prefer sellers who answer fast.
- Always over-deliver. You’ll often be tipped for your efforts and you’ll get glowing reviews.
- Did you get tipped? Leave a review for the seller thanking them for the generous tip (no matter how large or small the tip was). Potential buyers who read your testimonials will also see your replies, and suggesting that you get tipped a lot is a great recommendation, and encouragement for future clients to do the same.
- Always be polite, professional, and punctual. Don’t miss deadlines or you’ll risk scoring a low review, or even losing the gig altogether.
Best of luck in this new venue!
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Tal Valante is a freelance writer (among other things) whose true passion is fiction. She’s the founder and manager of the Re:Fiction website, a fast-growing resource for fiction writers of all kinds. Drop by to say hello!