Fiverr Forum

Why grammar is super important for us sellers


#1

I’m both a seller and a buyer here on Fiverr. As amazing as this platform may be, one thing has been bothering me, especially when it comes to buying services on Fiverr: poor grammar.

I realize that many sellers don’t speak English as their first language. I, myself, am Norwegian. This means that English isn’t my first language, and even though I try hard, sometimes my English skills will fail me. But I am trying!

And this brings me to the real problem; when I contact a seller who claims to be fluent in English, who want to sell me proofreading services, but can barely understand my basic request, much less provide me with a proper answer.

It goes something like this:


Me:

HI there. I need someone to proofread my document. It’s a little bit technical, so I need to know that you have some basic understanding of X before I order.

Seller:

hi how r u thx for kontakting mee abaut dis. i havve redd ur instruktions and chure i will read it


Ok… It’s not always that bad. But often it is.

This might be even more important when you’re trying to sell writing, translation or proofreading gigs (you should never offer to sell this type of service for a second language unless you’re fluent anyway), but it applies just as much to anyone trying to sell on Fiverr.

With just a little bit of effort and a simple tool like Grammarly, anyone with some basic English skills can come across as more professional.

It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least give it a try. Use Grammarly. Work on your English. Learn some basic rules of the language.

And if you fail here and there, it’s no big deal. As a non-native speaker of English myself, I don’t expect anyone to be fluent.


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#2

I totally agree with your post. It’s easy to tell if someone simply isn’t good with English but is trying their best or if they’re simply being lazy and unprofessional in their responses. When it comes to sellers, especially the ones in the writing and translation category, we should try to come across as professional as possible and always be grammatically correct as what we write in messages reflects our work. I find it interesting that you contacted someone who supposedly specializes in proofreading yet they spell a majority of the words completely wrong. I agree, Grammarly is a great way to help your English!


#3

One of my pet peeves is what you mentioned. I see sellers who have writing gigs and proofreading gigs who can barely put a sentence together.

I know it’s hard to learn a second language, but when they are selling a service that requires they are experts in the English language it makes me cringe when they can’t write English correctly.


#4

Indeed. And it doesn’t take much to improve your English skills. Learning the basic rules and grammar, and using tools like Grammarly to help out is easy and effective. And even when you’re not selling a writing or translation gig, it’s still super important to come across as professional and serious.

This also applies to gig descriptions. First impressions matter.


#5

I second everything you just wrote.

Alas, it all boils down to the fact that a huge amount of sellers just want to sell something. Not because they are good at it or have any skills, but because they want to make a lot of money next week, or even better yesterday. They all fail and they all tear down the reputation of this market place. I guess, the new level system (even though there are some flaws in it) will regulate this and let them end up in the ‘garbage can’ very quickly.

The sad thing is that it is actually quite easy to have a good start on this platform:

  1. Think about something you actually CAN do.
  2. Build a gig around it.
  3. Don’t steal your profile pic on the Internet. It damages your reputation from the get go.
  4. Don’t present other peoples work as your own. Again, it fires back at you.
  5. Be patient.
  6. Don’t post pathetic “How to mek-sell” topics on the forum.
  7. Earn something.
  8. Don’t rely on only one source of income.
  9. Repeat!

That’s it.


#6

Exactly! If someone already starts with “I’m new in Fiverr” instead of “I’m new on Fiverr”, I’m gone. This makes my skin crawl and I would never do business with them in any way. If they would know how many buyers they lose within the first seconds, they would read your tips here and apply what you said.
Anyway, the ones who should read this topic don’t even do this. They are busy opening a topic like “Why don’t anybody buys my gig?”


#7

No amount of Grammarly or “learning some basic rules of English” will help make someone a proofreader, much less so if the text is a little bit technical. I can’t help but feel the pricing you are aiming for must be the problem but obviously I am guessing there.

In terms of giving these people advice to not offer services they are unable to do, you are wasting your breath - they likely don’t know how bad they are; think using MS Word’s spelling and grammar tool is what proofreading is; think using Grammarly (usually the free version) is proofreading; don’t care.

I am sure there will be a couple of comments from those - watch out for those “thank you for your verbosity command” type comments.


#8

Hit the nail on the head.

A lot of it has to do with those crappy “Make $500 a week on Fiverr” books.

You can see their influence all over the forum: Sellers stealing models’ pics to gain attention; sellers selling services they aren’t qualified to sell; sellers opting for gigs in markets that are oversaturated; sellers lying about their location.

These books say you just need to open a Fiverr account, implement a few tricks, and the dough will come rolling in. You can see the confusion on certain sellers’ faces when reality bites.


#9

you are right but mostly unprofessional individuals on fiverr got very bad communication skills


#10

Alas, your comment is a clear example of poor grammar. :wink:


#11

10 posts were split to a new topic: Tangent Gone South- Moved


#20

It’s only someone who is trying to waste his time and money will order this seller gig


#21

I am out of hearts! : ( So here is a :cat:)


#22

That is exactly what I needed much more, thank you!


#23

I agree, especially about Grammarly. It does not catch all errors and even suggests incorrect options! So here is an Irish :beer: :four_leaf_clover:


#24

@eoinfinnegan It isn’t about the pricing of the gigs. I’m purchasing from the upper range of sellers, and I don’t waste my time thinking that a 5 dollar gig from a non-native speaker will provide me with the level of quality I need.

You’re right - no amount of Grammarly or basic English skills will help make someone a proofreader. As I pointed out in the original post:

…you should never offer to sell this type of service for a second language unless you’re fluent anyway

I used this as an example to illustrate the fact that grammar is essential when you’re trying to sell something. It doesn’t matter what it is - grammar is important, and this is what I’m trying to convey.

If my advice isn’t heard by anyone, so be it, I’m merely trying to let people who otherwise might not think about the grammar when working on Fiverr with a little heads up in the matter.


#26

Sorry to be that person, but you put a colon here, not a semicolon. A colon is for introducing something this way. A semicolon is for separating independent clauses.

But yeah, I totally agree with you. A lot of sellers are reallly unprofessional and lazy. One excuse I hear is that “I was busy” or “I typed this on my phone.” People can tell the difference between a simple mistake and someone who clearly doesn’t understand the English language or care about communicating properly.


#27

Agreed. What kind of professional proofreads deliverable documents on their cellphone? :roll_eyes:


#28

Criticize! I don’t think so. @jonbaas is only being good by telling you your mistakes.

The seller who wrote this as a proofreader appears to me to be a maniac. How on earth will a proofreader do this.
Create gigs on what you can do best and not what you can do less
Do they think that are on Facebook?

How does typing on phone affect your delivered document? This is just so funny to hear as an excuse.
As for me, I type most of my documents on the phone as I am not always at home with my laptop.


#29

It’s OK! Unlike some other people, I’m happy to be corrected when it comes to my English. That way I can improve it! Thanks for pointing that out.

@samperfect That is precisely my point. How on earth will a proofreader do this? Or anyone else for that matter. I get it if you’re jogging along, texting with your best friend, but not in any professional context.

And the phone excuse. Always funny. Whenever I type on my phone, I always double check the content before sending it. It’s not that hard.