Fiverr Forum

Fiverr Stunts Freelance Growth - The Problem & The Solution


Call it heresy but Fiverr is inherently flawed. What is more, it is this year (2017) which has finally made me realize why and it is all to do with workflow.

To paint a picture of why Fiverr is flawed, it goes like this:

As of January 2018, I will have been freelancing for 5 years. Actually, it’s all a bit crazy now that I think about it. In fact, it’s even crazier when I realize that during this 5-years I have only supplemented my freelance income with 11 full months of… Er… Waiting tables and making a fool of myself as a wannabe chef.

What I forgot until this year, however, is that I actually built the foundation of my freelance career off-Fiverr.

When I started freelancing I went all out on a number of platforms, with no less than two very badly designed websites to boot. Then, however, I discovered Fiverr in December 2014, and slowly, Fiverr started to demand (and eat) all of my attention.

It made sense at the time. Fiverr offered me $500 just coming in the door without much effort. On other platforms at the same time meanwhile, I had to keep on bidding for work. Then, as Fiverr orders offered me, even more, money, I stopped using other platforms almost altogether. I would have to keep on bidding for work there, after all, whereas here it was a literal work wet t-shirt fight.

But then, alas, the algorithm change happened,

In the space of a month, my usual work mode went from sitting actually working to sitting relisting myself everywhere. This and me bidding for work again and actively funneling one-off off-Fiverr clients into repeat clients.

All that said, thanks to a wee bit luck and a wee bit ingenuity, the above strategy has seen me end 2017 pretty comfortably. There is just one problem…

Over the past few months, Fiverr has really started picking up speed for me again and I just can’t handle it. I extended my delivery times astronomically prior to Christmas and work still kept coming.

Of course, work is good. The thing is, with my secondary freelance platform, their system gives me much more flexibility. I.E. When I am available, I can list gigs, and when I am not, I can still communicate with clients via email and when it comes to new orders, discuss project details via email before arranging payment through that platform.

This alone has been phenomenal for me over 2017.

Today I have negotiated turning a book into an ebook and managing a basic book launch for the same client, all via email, and guess what? I’m not going to risk asking them to pay by PayPal, instead, they will (hopefully) soon be accepting my offer to process payment via my off-Fiverr freelance platform and that is basically how I do business there now. (All within their site TOS).

Now, this is starting to nag me as on Fiverr I can’t pause gigs but still communicate with and process payments from regular buyers. Moreover, really I would like to do that…

Right now, I could make more money, deliver every order on time, and provide better quality work to my clients on Fiverr, if I could freeze my Fiverr profile but still have free communication with regular clients, as well as the ability to communicate off Fiverr with said clients if I need to.

  • Today I had a person message me whom I would love to work with (and could if they had found be via my other platform). Here, though, I can’t. In reality, it’s an at least $200 job which would require full two way communication to do properly.

Of course, I know a lot of people won’t understand this and to be honest, I didn’t really understand my own need for this kind of flexibility with the standing Fiverr TOS before this year.

The thing is, my vision for professional development as a freelancer in future sees me having a 90% off platform client list whom I process orders from via places like Fiverr. This and a 10% ‘we just found you on this amazing place called Fiverr as you seem to be available’ group of people.

Now, of course, the how do I mek sellers would ruin the idea of Fiverr allowing off-Fiverr contact immediately and things won’t ever change because of that.

How about, though, Fiverr relaxed those rules for TRS sellers? I’m not a TRS and at the moment, I don’t care to even try and be one. If, however, the kind of thing which I have just detailed was part of the TRS package, I would be looking to reach that status in 2018. - As it is, I’m just starting the year thinking… “Mmmhh, there’s a bit of time management shit fight and a lot of missed opportunities here.”


I don’t see why not if you have a tip gig. Just because your gigs are paused doesn’t mean you can’t use the messaging system.

You can still get custom orders as I recall on paused gigs.


Sorry, but it’s not the same. I can’t make several tip gigs all tailored to the needs of different clients.

I have one regular who orders $40 sometimes and others who order $200 depending on different factors. Plus my point is that my best professional development this year came from off-Fiverr clients whom it was essential I had open communication with.

It is a pretty big deal as one client just launched their site prior to Christmas and none of the work I did would have been possible without constant 2-way communication. The work simply wouldn’t have been possible on Fiverr. It’s that simple and I want more clients like that.


The roads in Boston were originally cow paths. Then humans came along, paved over them, but found the transit system didn’t really work very well because it was originally created for a different purpose.

That reminds me of Fiverr.

It was set up, in many respects, to be a freelance mill. Work your ass off, make a little money, and give Fiverr a cut. Quantity was everything.

But then over the years it got really big, and many seriously talented sellers joined, offering very expensive services. Many old sellers also honed their craft and became experts.

Now Fiverr is trying to accommodate these people and grow as a site. But the smell of the mill still hasn’t left. You can see the system wasn’t designed for what it’s currently trying to do.

Fiverr has made some awesome changes over the years, but I still don’t feel the current set up is condusive to quality work.


You wouldn’t have to. You could also have one VA gig with a very general description to allow for maximum flexibility on custom offers. I used nothing but a VA gig for all different types of orders when I had to be inflexible during my Dad’s 2 month hospital stay. My regular buyers just messaged me and I sent them custom quotes tailored to their needs with the gig as the “base.” I’m not saying you should do Fiverr alone if your other plan is going to work well, but I think you could continue doing custom-only on Fiverr if you wanted to.

For the most part you could avoid random orders by limiting orders to 0 or 1 and setting the price/delivery time of your base gig too high for someone to just order at random. In my case I did limit 0 and didn’t even show up in search but I could still message, quote and work in a way that was carefully planned by me and a few regulars. I had delivery time on the gig to 30 days although I could change it to anything in the custom quotes. In two months not one person ordered it by accident.

On this -

I don’t know for sure if they relax a little for TRS although it seems so from things I’ve seen some TRS/Ambassadors do. I know they relax it some for Pros since those people were mostly brought in from outside. I don’t think the Pro thing has been all that successful but it’s an indicator that Fiverr had an interest in special arrangements with certain sellers. I suppose the future will tell more. Good luck with your plans either way!


I really appreciate the response and yes, I understand that there are ways around the Fiverr order/management issue.

I’m basically being selfish and saying, 'Hey, I Want to use Fiverr as a Payment Portal Only with everything else allowed on the side."

My point is that at this stage in my career, this is what I need rather than want.

In the end it comes down to loyalty. Fiverr is (probably) still going to be my platform of choice through 2018.

But… Fiverr simply can’t be my platform of choice long-term. Basically because my end goal is to be a Fiverr member who brings business to Fiverr. - Not a member of a site which demands my exclusivity.


If you only need a payment platform and everything else is done off site there are much cheaper solutions than paying fiverr 20%, unless fiverr was the one responsible for finding the client for you.

I find the messaging system here a true live chat system.


I didn’t say that.

Probably you will for your needs.


Do you need to use skype or what else would there be for your needs?
Screensharing? I think fiverr lets you do that.