I created my Fiverr account at the end of April 2020. My friend from university had told me about the site, and that it could be a good way to make some money.
Most of our conversations at that time centered around the idea of making money in one way or another, and we had lots of failed business ideas that never made it past conception. I decided to put a little more effort into this one, and I am definitely glad I did.
The important thing to note before continuing this is that I did NOT rely on the income I received from Fiverr, which allowed me to approach freelancing in a more relaxed and open-minded way that a lot of people do not have the chance to due to other financial pressures.
From the beginning, I marketed myself as a freelance WordPress developer. I didn’t know what gigs to offer at first, but I knew that I was always good at HTML & CSS in university, and I even found myself Web designer and E-commerce developer for people I knew as well.
So, I created a few different gigs, with titles like “I will create your website” and “I will do anything you want”. I also offered a logo designing gig, which hasn’t seen much traction until recently, among other minor gigs that never made a single penny.
I was going in fairly blind and with no real experience of the freelancing world, so I had no idea what to expect.
Within just a few days of creating my account, however, I received my first order; Create a woo-commerce website for the grand total of: $30 .
This amounts to much less in my pocket once Fiverr takes its 20% and exchange rates play their part, eventually yielding me around 24 for 4 days of creating website.
This may sound terrible, and that’s because it is. But I had just been paid for creating woo-commerce website, and that was enough to motivate me to keep going.
I used the first month or so to test out different strategies and refine my gigs in various ways, but I ultimately kept the website content gig and changed the pricing as time went on to better reflect my skills and experience.
I had expected that first order to lead to more work right away and I thought that the buyer would ask for more work. Although he did request another website which at the time earned me around 25$, I never heard from him again. Crucially, he never left a review.
Unfortunately, I didn’t receive another order for nearly 2 weeks, but when I did I was rewarded with my first 5-star review, and things picked up, fast.
You learn what does and does not work on Fiverr very quickly, and you pick up a lot of useful information through trial and error. The first thing I learned was that reviews matter .
As soon as I got that initial review, I started receiving more messages and more orders. I realised that I had to put a focus on providing work that would gain a positive review, rather than simply pumping out low-cost, relatively average-quality orders for people that were never planning to leave a review anyway.
You are told as soon as you create your account about the levelling system on Fiverr (more on that soon) and that you must maintain at least a 4.7-star rating for the last 60 days in order to remain at your current level and meet one of the qualifications to progress to the next one. This sounds daunting, but there is no minimum number of reviews required for this, the key thing is that they stay at close to a 5-star level.
Most people either won’t leave a review or they will leave a good one (provided you give them what they ask for and do it well, as it’s easier for them to leave it as 5-stars for everything than to fiddle around with specifics), and the more reviews you receive the more likely it is that you will show up on the first page of results when someone searches for gigs that are similar to your own.
If you have reviews, you have credibility, and just how much this affects your search ranking on the site I am still unsure, but it definitely makes more people click on your gigs.
So, I put a focus on reviews, and also made use of another feature on the site — the buyer requests section. This is where you can bid on other people’s projects without them having to come to you directly. This does mean that they will have lots of other people bidding on them as well, but it’s still a good place to find more potential clients. I used the buyer requests feature quite early on to find more people to work with and gain more exposure, and of course more 5-star reviews.
Over the next few weeks my work began to pick up even more, until it peaked in may and Jun when I had my best stretch of orders to this day.
This was a critical time for me, as it presented me with the very real option of quitting my part-time job and putting my focus on freelancing. I also began to do some work for clients that were not on the platform, and that, alongside the income I was receiving from Fiverr, was beginning to surpass my part-time income.
I have also learned what kind of orders lead to reviews, and what kind of buyers will try to get more from you than they are willing to pay for.
I will write a separate article with more specific tips for beginners on my website “programmingsy”, but an important thing to reinforce is that I was only able to learn a lot of the things that have allowed me to be successful on Fiverr through experience .
The right ways to do things are dictated by a myriad of variables, from geographical region to the price that you charge to the number of individual gig packages that you offer. What I have learned, however, is that you won’t find out what the best practices are without trying things out for yourself.