This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and buy something, I get a percentage of the sale. Find out more by reading my affiliate policy and disclosure.
In this post I will discuss how to earn money on Fiverr – you’ve heard of Fiverr right? It’s a marketplace where you can find people selling design, writing and coding services. The name reflects the fact that most things sell for $5. People use it to commission logos, book covers, business card design and so on.
I made $1,180 on Fiverr as a seller, mostly from creating ebook covers during a two month period. In this post, I will explain how I earned that money and give you tips to earn money on Fiverr as a seller.
At the time I was unemployed (by choice). My husband lived in the USA, and for various long and complicated reasons I resigned my job to go and visit him. When I got back to the UK I had no income, and therefore needed to earn some money quickly.
Why try and earn money on Fiverr?
In my case, I needed a source of income that I could get up and running quickly. Fiverr is probably not going to make you rich, but it is a great way to make some quick cash. You might use it to tide you over a rough patch, like I did. Or you might decide to use it as a ‘side-hustle’ – a source of extra income that you can use to pay off debt, build up your emergency fund, or use for a holiday, wedding or other upcoming expense.
Earn money on Fiverr: Gigs
Before I could earn anything, I needed to come up with some gigs. There’s a couple of key things you should keep in mind when decided what Gigs to offer if you want to earn real money from Fiverr.
The first thing to remember is this: nobody gets rich by exchanging their time for four bucks.
There are three ways around this issue.
The first is to sell something that takes no time. This is usually a report or ebook that you’ve already written, that you send to everyone who spends $5 for it. Effectively, you are selling a good rather than a service.
The second is to sell something that you can automate. There are a few things you can do using software to automate keyword research or similar that would take just a few minutes to run.
The third way (which is what I chose) is to pick gigs that you can easily up-sell.
I have some design and writing skills (which is why I write a blog now!). So I went for the following gigs:
- Custom website banners
- Custom Etsy banners
- Ebook covers
- 500 words of SEO content for any keyword/keyphrase
Each one started at $5, but I then created ‘Gig Extras’ for all of them.
Tips for creating Gigs on Fiver
When creating your gigs, there are a few things to remember:
- Pick something you can do both quickly and well. You don’t earn enough to spend time ‘learning on the job’. But you also don’t want to do a low-quality rush job.
- Figure out the minimum viable product. For example, I could offer an entire website design for $5. But that would be a lot of work for little money. Instead, I offered to design a single banner.
- Look for niche audiences. My website banner design gig was not popular. But my Etsy banner design went over extremely well. They were essentially the same thing, but Etsy was more niche, and so I stood out more.
Earn money on Fiverr: use ‘Gig Extras’
Your base Gig will cost $5, and you will earn $4 from it. That price is non-negotiable. However, your ‘Gig-Extras’ can be priced in any multiple of $5. So, let’s take my ‘Ebook covers’ Gig as an example.
The base gig was an Ebook cover for $5. Making ebook covers takes time. At $5 a Gig, I’d be earning a pittance.
However, for an extra $10 I’d create a modified version of your cover as a Facebook banner, social media image etc.
For an extra $20 I’d provide a high-res version of the cover for print, with a spine and back cover. This cover could be printed via a ‘Print on Demand’ service.
And, for an extra $40, I’d use high quality stock images for the cover.
If someone took every extra that one book cover was now charged at $75. Suddenly, that was a much nicer hourly rate.
Earn money on Fiverr: pick Gig-Extras that people actually want
Authors who buy ebook covers on Fiverr are, for the most part, self-published. Self-published authors will nearly always want to use a print-on-demand service at some point.
If they’ve already bought a cover from you, and they like it, the chances are extremely high that they will then return to buy the print cover as well. And, I already had a high-resolution cover. All I did was add a spine and some back text.
Same with social media images. I charged $10 to re-arrange elements into a different shape. But all self-published authors want to promote their work on social media, and so it was an extremely popular extra.
One of the best things you can do to help you earn money on fiverr is to spend some time figuring out what your audience wants.
For my Etsy banner, my Gig Extras included:
- The PSD file for the banner ($5)
- A matching avatar to use on Etsy ($5)
- Matching banners for social media like facebook and twitter ($5)
Earn money on Fiverr: don’t neglect the $5 Gig
It’s tempting to rush a job when you’re only earning four bucks. But here’s the truth: almost all of my customers bought a single $5 gig first. That $5 gig was a taster of what I could do. Was I responsive? Quick? Was the work high-quality? Did I listen to them?
I went above and beyond for those $5 gigs. I was polite, I was helpful, and I always delivered early.
Pretty much every customer came back again, and spent more money. That initial $5 gig was just a ‘who are you and what are you like’ job. It was in my best interest to treat the $5 gig more seriously, not less seriously, than the higher paying gigs.
And even when the customer didn’t return, they would still generally leave a positive review.
When you’re just starting out as a seller on Fiverr, you need every positive review you can get. Positive reviews are how people judge whether or not you can actually do what you say you can.
Earn money on Fiverr: Treat it as a lead magnet
I got a lot of repeat customers. For example, I had an author who asked me to do the covers for her entire series of romance novels. She had written about 12, and she was keen to have all the covers feel like part of a series.
I did the first three via Fiverr, and then we moved off that platform and worked directly with each other. Fiverr no longer took their cut, and so I earned more money for each cover.
I did covers for another self-published author. She then got in touch to say she’d landed a publisher, and to ask if I would be interested in illustrating a children’s book. I agreed, and earned €425 (which is not reflected in the screenshot of my Fiverr earnings above!)
Lessons from selling on Fiverr can be applied everywhere
Earning over $1,000 on Fiverr was a nice bonus. But the really valuable thing that I took away was what I learned in the process.
I learned that it is important to understand what your target customer needs. I could offer half-a-dozen things that I thought people could use, but if they didn’t actually want them? They didn’t sell.
In fact, one of my Gigs was an offer to install WordPress. Literally nobody took me up on that Gig. For good reason! Most webhosts now offer one-click installs of Wordress as part of a hosting package, so who needs to pay a stranger $5 to do it?
I also learned that, if you are trying to sell something, your reputation is the most important thing you have. My positive reviews were earned by working hard. I was polite to people even if they wanted unreasonable things. As a result, I maintained an unbroken five-star review streak.
One negative review could have destroyed me in the early days of selling on Fiverr. With thousands of people offering services, and no competition on price, your reputation is everything.
Want to start earning extra money on the side? Sign up for Fiverr today*.