Fiverr Writing Gigs: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly
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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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?
- 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!
- 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!
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