One Mom's Experience with Fiverr.com
Have you heard of Fiverr? The online marketplace allows anyone to buy or sell services for a low $5. There have been reports of moms making a decent part-time living this way, selling everything from graphic designs, to blog posts, to consulting services. Here is a real-life account from one mom who tried this site as a way to supplement her income.
I signed up for Fiverr after seeing site after site in the work-at-home niche recommend it. I didn't know much about it, but it had so many users and it had been around for awhile. I immediately created a free profile and started setting up my services for sale. I wanted to sell articles, ads on my blog, and perhaps a sponsored tweet or two. I created descriptions for each of these services, as well as provided samples of what the client would receive when they bought from me.
I was immediately disappointed to see that Fiverr only allowed me to sell my tasks at $5. I didn't understand why this was, as I had viewed hundreds of similar service offerings where they were charging $20 and upwards for the same services. As it turns out, you can offer "add-ons" to your base price of $5, to give yourself an actual living wage from the site. This is only available for service providers who have sold 10 listings, however, and have received good feedback from the clients. If you are new to the site, or are slow selling, this means that you can't price any of your services above $5. This was not a good sign.
Knowing that my time was valuable, and that $5 wasn't worth writing an article (I wanted to charge at least $20), I stripped down my offerings to just tweets and banner ads on my blog. I placed 2 separate listings:
- $5 for a tweet from my account with over 8,000 followers
- $5 for 5 days of displaying a 250 x 250 banner ad on my site (above the fold)
I figured, at these rates, I was following the $5 guidelines and was getting my time's worth.
After 1 day, I had my first sale. The client wanted to buy a tweet. I clarified that the tweets would be disclosed as "sponsored", per my service description. The tweet went out, and I was paid $4 within 48 hours. (Note: Fiverr is free to join, but it takes $1 for every 5 as a commission.)
Encouraged with my first sale, I was soon contacted by another potential buyer. They indicated interest in a banner ad, but had a question about a possible second offering:
I can, however, I have to charge more than $5, and Fiverr won't let me add extra services until I have 10 completed gigs. I can do a guest post written by me on my blog for $50 with one URL and 250 words, plus your choice of anchor text and link. If you are interested, you can order 10 banner ad gigs at $5 each, and leave me a note that you want the sponsored guest post option, along with the info I need for the URL, messaging, etc. (Once I get enough good feedback to charge more than $5, I'll have a sponsored guest post option for the flat $50.) We do require that all guest posts state "This post is possible via a partnership through XYZ company" Thanks!
I never heard back.
2 days later, I received another confirmed sale, for a banner ad. I was excited, because banners take just seconds to put up, and well worth $5. In place of the information I needed to place the banner (image, url, etc.),however, I hear nothing. Since Fiverr starts a clock as soon as the gig is purchased, I knew I needed to reach out right away, as late delivery would affect my ability to start adding extra charges to my sales. I wrote:
Hi, please send me the following information to get started: In order to start your post, we need the following: - HTML code of 150 x 150 banner ad OR - image file and URL destination for 150 x 150 ad Please also specify if you would like the banner ad on all pages, or just the home page. We will let you know which days are available for advertising. Choose one 5-day package or up to 6 packages for a total of 30 days.
I immediately hear back:
Hi, I would like to guest post if possible. Please show the url.
Right then, I knew this was going to be difficult. I replied:
(URL changed for privacy) is the URL, however, I am not accepting guest posts, just the advertised banner ad. To get your ad in the sidebar as specified, please submit: - HTML code of 150 x 150 banner ad OR - image file and URL destination for 150 x 150 ad Please also specify if you would like the banner ad on all pages, or just the home page. As soon as you submit, I will place it above the fold for 5 days starting the day after I receive your info. Thanks!
I heard back:
Hi, I have a great article, relevant to your niche. I can also buy an extra gig for the guest post. Thanks
GAAAA! I was not selling guest posts in place of banner ads, especially for $5. This guy bought a banner ad. Why couldn't he just give me the info for the ad?
I'm sorry. We are not doing guest posts at this time. You may submit the info for the banner ad, or we can cancel the order. Thanks.
I never heard back and cancelled the order. This was the first of several people trying to buy unadvertised "guest posts" on my blog. It irritated me that my time was being wasted.
Soon after, I removed my listings for sale on Fiverr. I wasted a little over 3 hours setting up my account, putting up gigs, interacting with weirdos who just wanted to buy links, and I never got paid. I still have $4 sitting in my Fiverr account. For a professional who just wants to do things the right way, Fiverr was a huge disappointment.
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