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Fiverr Writing Gigs: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Updated on April 26, 2012

Fiverr Writing Gigs: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

It's possible to make a lot of money with writing gigs on Fiverr, but you need to understand how the system works.

Too many people start posting writing gigs, thinking that all they have to do is write a great article or build a great Squidoo lens and as long as they keep an eye on the clock everything will be rainbows and lollipops. Nothing could be further from the truth!

As I explained on an earlier lens - What To Do When Fiverr Mania Strikes - if you're delivering a quality product, it doesn't take long for those orders to start stacking up.

In the beginning you think, "Wow! This is great! I'm making a boatload of money! And it's so easy, I don't know why I never tried this before!"

As you deliver more gigs the great feedback and comments start piling up and you're basking in the glow of all that Fiverr love. And as those amazing comments keep rolling in, your bookings start to increase.

You're on a roll, now! You've hit the Big Time! You're making $40 or $50 a day!

But then the vultures start circling. And by 'Vultures' I mean - those buyers who know you're delivering a quality product and want to take advantage of the situation.

Once this happens, things can get really, really, ugly.

Selling writing gigs on Fiverr is completely different than any other gig you see. And the Fiverr site isn't really set up to handle it so you need to take control. Otherwise, the vultures are going to pick you to pieces!

I've been selling writing gigs on Fiverr for 5 months now. I also belong to a LinkedIn group and we're all Fiverr sellers. Plus, I have frequent contact with a couple of other successful Fiverr sellers who also offer writing gigs.

Listen up and I'll tell you all about The Good, The Bad and the very, very ugly aspects of selling writing gigs on Fiverr.

Image source: Peter Kratochvil PublicDomainPictures.net

The Good

I'm just going to give you a quick bullet-point list here of the good points about selling your writing gigs on Fiverr. For more detailed information I'll include a list of all my other Fiverr articles and you can read them at your leisure.

  1. You get paid

    If you've done any kind of freelance writing at all then you've probably had at least one client disappear after you've delivered the work. With Fiverr, once you accept the gig, as long as you deliver a quality product you get paid, whether the buyer accepts it or not.

  2. You set the parameters

    With Fiverr, you decide what you're going to sell and you create the gig description. If the buyer doesn't like it, he just doesn't buy. Yes, he can contact you and ask for something different. But you avoid a lot of that 'bargaining' talk you have when you're doing freelance writing.

  3. You control your calendar

    In the freelance world this is a big plus and it's one reason so many writers prefer to sell on Fiverr. You can push your lead times out when you want some time off or you can work ahead when you need extra money.

  4. It's easy money

    If you're an experienced writer, Fiverr is easy money. You pull up a gig, crank out a 450-word article in about 10 minutes, deliver it and move on. Piece of cake!

  5. There's plenty of work

    The one aspect of freelance writing that people hate most is the down times when you don't have any money coming in. Once your gig starts building some momentum there's always plenty of work on Fiverr because new buyers enter the marketplace every day. Fiverr puts a lot of effort into promoting their site to attract those buyers, all you need to do is promote your gig. And you don't even have to do that once it takes off.

The Bad: The Fiverr Rating System

The biggest complaint among people selling writing gigs is the Fiverr rating system. Here's how it works...

When you first start selling on Fiverr, before you've delivered even a single gig, your Seller Rating is 100%. As long as you deliver on time and have no complaints from buyers that rating stays at 100%.

Once you deliver 10 gigs and you still have an excellent rating you're given a bump in levels. You become a Level 1 seller. After 50 orders and two months, if you still have an excellent rating you're bumped to Level 2 Seller Status.

With any other type of gig, this rating system really matters. It means your gigs are shown more when people are doing general searches and it means buyers respect you more, all of which leads to more and more orders.

With writing gigs, this system really sucks because it also means that buyers can order multiple gigs.

Once you hit Level 2 buyers can order up to 8 of each of your gigs. If you're selling Facebook Likes or Twitter Followers, it's great if someone orders 8 gigs at a time. All you have to do is send out 8 links. We're talking an additional 2 minutes, here. You want those multiple orders because it doesn't really take any additional time and you make a lot more money.

But when you're selling writing gigs, here's what happens...

Image source: Wikimedia

The Ugly: Why Multiple Writing Orders Hurt

  1. Every buyer thinks he's the only one ordering your gig - regardless of how many orders you have showing. All they look at is the lead time.
  2. Every buyer sees that great feedback and wants to get in on some of that awesome writing you're doing. And why not? It's cheap and you're a great writer!

    In the beginning, it's great seeing those multiple orders pop up. Sure, you can work in an extra 8 articles today. No problem, right? And it's just that much more money!

  3. Eventually, you're going to have 3 buyers hit your gig on the same day - and each of them will order 8 of your great, cheap articles. If you're lucky, they may even give you keywords.

    This means you have at least 24 articles - and they'll all be due on the same day.

    This also doesn't include the buyers who've just found your gig and are only ordering one article to see how you do. Now you're up to 30 articles or more, due in 2 days. Can you see where I'm going with this?

  4. For a while, you can keep up by working ahead. But within a week or two at the most every buyer is going to be ordering the maximum number of articles that Fiverr allows. Because your articles are great and they're cheap. These buyers recognize a good deal when they see it!
  5. You now have two options: You can work faster and deliver lesser quality articles, which means buyers will start complaining. Or you'll end up falling behind in your deliveries. Fall too far behind and the Fiverr system automatically starts cancelling your late gigs. Either way, your Seller Rating is at risk!

Your Seller Rating Is Only Valuable To Fiverr

The secret key to this dilemma is to understand this...

Once you've reached a certain level of exposure, your Seller Rating is only valuable to Fiverr.

That Level 1 and Level 2 and Featured Seller stuff is just a carrot that Fiverr is dangling in front of your nose in order to get you to deliver great quality work at a faster pace. Period.

In the beginning, yes, it's important to keep chasing that carrot because it gets you more exposure for your gig. But it also increases income for Fiverr. So they don't care what you have to do to maintain that rating.

When working on Fiverr, you need to define your own comfort zone. After you reach your own predetermined level of business, then you can stop worrying about that Seller Rating. It's just not that important anymore.

How Do You Dig Yourself Out Of This Mess?

Trust me... You're probably thinking that if you just stay on top of things you'll never find yourself in this mess. And that's true - with everything but writing gigs.

Good writers are hard to come by, and reliable good writers are even rarer. When a buyer finds a good, reliable writer anywhere - whether they find you on Fiverr or trip over you on Squidoo or your blog - they will bombard you with orders. It's the nature of the beast in the writing business.

And that's why good, reliable writers are so hard to find. There are a lot of buyers who take advantage of the situation, overload you with work, give you very little in the way of keywords or details, and then blackmail you to get you to deliver. You end up losing all your good clients because you can't get out from under the bad.

You can spend 24 hours a day trying to stay on top of things but eventually it's all going to blow up in your face. I've seen it dozens of times in my own business and I've seen dozens of other writers, all with the same complaint.

So how do you get yourself out of this Fiverr mess?

Stop worrying about that stupid Seller Rating! If you're in this pickle you obviously have more business than you can handle so there's really nothing to worry about. You don't need that Seller Rating anymore!

You can try to protect it to a certain degree by using the Mutual Cancellation Request button to take care of the gigs you're late on. Explain to your buyers that you're overwhelmed and you can't keep up. Mutual Cancellations don't have as much effect on your rating as it does when Fiverr automatically cancels your gigs for late delivery.

You can also put a statement in your gig description asking your buyers to limit themselves to one order per day. They don't have to abide by this - they can still order up to 8 at a time. However, if you have that statement in your gig description then you can put through a Mutual Cancellation request and the Fiverr support staff will back you up.

I just went through this exact scenario with my own Fiverr writing gigs and Fiverr took away my Levels. I'm back at the beginning as far as status goes but I haven't lost any business at all. Orders are still coming in, only now they're much more manageable.

And I'm not the only writer experiencing this. I know of several who've forfeited that silly Seller Rating in order to maintain their business.

As someone who gets paid to write, you understand the importance of delivering quality writing, no matter how much you're being paid. You just can't deliver a poor quality article. Do it once and your business is shot. So quit worrying about protecting that silly Seller Rating - and start worrying about protecting your business!

Image source: Peter Griffin PublicDomainPictures.net

Why Even Bother With Fiverr?

This is a huge question. There are a lot of good reasons to do business on Fiverr, even if your business is writing.

However, like anything else you do to make money online, you have to understand the system if you want it to work for you.

I will say this... The contacts you make through Fiverr can open a lot of other doors for you. You'll pick up new clients who are willing to pay more to get more. You'll meet other writers who have more experience, people you can learn from. I make a fair amount of money with Fiverr each month but it isn't my only source of online income, and a lot of that is because of the valuable contacts I've made at Fiverr.

The following lenses provide a lot of information about everything I've learned while building a reliable, sustainable business on Fiverr. But if you still have questions, please ask. I'd love to help! You can reach me using the SheWritesaLot Contact Button on my Squidoo Profile!

Follow Me While I Make A Fiverr
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How To Make Money With Squidoo And Fiverr
What would you do if, every morning, someone knocked on your door and handed you a five dollar bill? And all you had to do for it was something you already d...

What To Do When Fiverr Mania Strikes
It might take a day or two for you to get your first order on Fiverr. But if you're doing it right - if you're providing a quality product or service and you...

10 Fiverr Gig Ideas For Writers And How To Make Them Work
Sometimes when you're treading in unfamiliar territory you just need someone to give you a gentle nudge to help you stay on the right path. And the terrain a...

Top 10 Tips To Help You Make Money With Fiverr
What started out as a lark on November 26, 2011 has now turned into something much, much bigger. I know, it sounds crazy. I've read all those blogs, too. Bu...

Understanding The Fiverr Payment System
If you're going to make Fiverr part of your business plan then you're going to need to understand how their payment system works. After all, you're in this f...

Image source: Talia Felix PublicDomainPictures.com

If you have questions about Fiverr, please...ask away!

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    • profile image

      Dave 21 months ago

      I've just found this article and it is excellent in terms of explaining how to manage a Fiverr account. I was a Fiverr seller and was able to develop a good stream of income each month through writing gigs. I shared a step by step guide on how I did it here.

      http://businessgrowthdigitalmarketing.com/how-to-m...

      The other points that you raised are exactly on point when it comes to managing prospective buyers and managing ongoing writing projects. Fiverr can be a small gold mine, but sellers need to be careful, jus as you mentioned above.

    • profile image

      james 2 years ago

      Avoid this company on linkedin and around the internet, there company name is (Ensurity Group Inc) on Linkedin

      they're very dishonest people, they hired me on fiverr to advertise for them and get them a lot of information and products and then after i had over delivered on their order on fiverr and i worked so hard for them they then made up a flimsy excuse saying “its not the order they expected” in order to get there $45 back and receive free products

      if you're a seller on fiverr or any other gig site and a buyer named "ensuritygroup" tries to order from you then I highly recommend that you avoid this person and this company, i feel the strong need to WARN others so they can avoid getting scammed at least by these people

      ..it's disgraceful behaviour by this company, so only imaging what would happen if you actually bought any kind of insurance policy from them.. i wouldn't risk it

      Please share this around so others can be warned and help them avoid being scammed like i was?

    • mohinipuranik profile image

      mohinipuranik 4 years ago

      Very comprehensive and helpful article. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am going to read other lenses too by you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fiverr is pretty good but Gigworks.net is better and here is why:

      Gig extras available immediately

      Higher selling between $5-$50 bucks per gig!

      Its newer and less flooded

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I will read your Life and give a Life Reading Report for $5

      fiverr.com/asanga19/read-your-life-and-give-a-life-prediction-report

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fiverr is not good for article writer, it sucks! Try SEOClerks.com, its much better than fiverr. I had an excellent experience with this site. Happily earned :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      as per the fiverr rule i got excellent rating and finish 10 order in timeframe but still my level is not upgraded.!

      Please can any one help me on this !

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Fiverr is ok, but I've considered it's competitions site more and so have a ton of other people www.5spot.ca because you can make more money post gigs from 5$ to 450$ and if a someone cancels a gig and your rating goes below 90% you won't get kicked of, they also have amazing customer support unlike fiverr you can slow with 5spot and tell them literally face to face your problem if you have one. This by far I think is the best micro job website out there

    • profile image

      oraisoopoopo 4 years ago

      Love this fiverr lens :D

    • Srena44 profile image

      Srena44 4 years ago

      great lens

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @BestSocialMediaManager: My name is "Choochypuss" on there. Trust me I offer really high quality articles and you can see all my reviews :) I'm an English speaker as well and I own a small web design company :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @sasta10 lm: Thats true. It increased my writing gig by about 7 pages in the ranking system!

    • sasta10 lm profile image

      sasta10 lm 4 years ago

      I am level 2 seller on fiverr. One thing I noticed is that if you have video on your gigs showing examples of your work, it increases sales.

    • profile image

      LoveAndBeyond 4 years ago

      Oh i found this so helpful!! Thank You !!

    • Superwriter711 profile image

      Superwriter711 4 years ago

      I've gone through all your Fiverr lenses on here and I can't thank you enough. I just started on Fiverr myself, and I can only hope to get to the point where I'm overwhelmed!

    • profile image

      sunnizer 4 years ago

      awesome post ... i usully visit fiverr

    • profile image

      clarkshirag 4 years ago

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am new to fiverr as well as to attempting to make money writing. I do not know how to deliver the written product once I have completed it. I registered out of curiosity but I would like to have a go at it. My question is, once I've received an order and completed the assignment how do I deliver it?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I advertised myself as a writer on Fiverr, and ended up deleting all my gigs because they were giving me too much stress! As you said, us writers aim to deliver a qualitiy product. However, when a lot of research is involved, and the orders start piling up, and time is running out - plus there's LIFE to be led, kids to take care of, husbands to spend time with, cat litter to change and dishes to wash - you start to wonder why you are tearing your hair out for an order that takes you 6 hours to complete, and pays you a measly five bucks! If you have found a way to work the system to your advantage (and it seems as though you have) more power to you! As for myself, I think I'm going to try the "wholesale product" route!

    • profile image

      pattywatty8 5 years ago

      Thank you very much, I just started on Fiverr and your tips are great to know before the crap hits the fan. :) Thanks.

    • cynthiannleighton profile image

      cynthiannleighton 5 years ago

      Nice! I like your explanations. Practical. No fluff. Useful. THanks!

    • profile image

      GregCunningham 5 years ago

      Good information to have. Thanks

    • profile image

      eazy20 5 years ago

      I like this lens a lot. Its very informative. I'll tweet it.

    • WebMarketingPro profile image

      WebMarketingPro 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this. I had no idea you could get in such hot water if you're a popular Fiverr writer.

    • PamKeesey profile image

      PamKeesey 5 years ago

      I'd never heard of Fiverr before. Thanks for the useful and informative introduction!

    • profile image

      BestSocialMediaManager 5 years ago

      good article, i haven't tried fiverr for content writers because I thought I would be getting low quality content. i will have to find you on fiverr because this is a very well written article.