When Fiverr went public in June 2019, it started a massive marketing blitz. The freelance marketplace grew to over 3.4 million customers in 2020, and there are reports of some sellers making six-figure annual salaries working Fiverr gigs.
However, my personal experience working on Fiverr was much different. I never earned six figures, and the level of free backend work necessary to grind out the platform wasn’t worth it.
Although Fiverr is a popular platform, there are nearly as many sellers as customers. With about 2.5 million sellers serving those 3.4 million customers, the pickings are slim for anyone hoping to make an impact. It’s not an easy way to make money, and I personally moved away from marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork to make my living as a writer.
This is what I learned working the past decade as a full-time professional freelance writer working on marketplaces like Fiverr versus Scripted.
Grinding to Raise Your Rating
If you build a Fiverr profile, nobody will come. Although the website receives a lot of traffic, this is largely from existing customers and gig workers with built-in relationships. Building your profile simply puts you in the giant stack of over 2 million others just like you.
This means it’s not a full solution to your freelance business. Although you’re paying Fiverr a portion of the fees you receive for completing a gig, they aren’t doing anything for your customer acquisition. They’re not helping you market to find clients or cutting out any of the free backend operational work you need to do to sustain your business.
Instead, you build a profile, and it’s your responsibility to market yourself and find clients. That defeats the entire point of working with an agency, as any other agency I've ever worked with does that legwork for you.
I've had my Fiverr profile sit mostly unused for the better part of the past decade. The reason why simply boils down to it not being effective in helping drive customers to my business. I regularly use writer marketplaces, and Fiverr is easily the most expensive with the least value to my freelance business.
To this day, I have a Fiverr account. I completed a few jobs through it, but it’s still largely collecting dust. I stopped paying attention to it years ago, because the few messages I received with job offers were painfully below the rock bottom pricing I could possibly accept while still affording to pay bills and live a real life.
That leads us to my next point—Fiverr is filled with awful gigs paying next to nothing.
Fiverr Is Filled with Terrible Gigs
The hardest part of being a freelance writer is that everybody wants your work, but nobody wants to pay for it. As a newbie to the platform, Fiverr starts you out with a low rating until you prove your worth. Regardless of the work you're capable of doing, that low rating is only going to attract the worst of the worst clients.
My first two months on Fiverr, I was quick to respond to messages. It ended up being a waste of time, as more often than not I was speaking to someone who wanted to pay less than $0.01 per word. The idea of breaking my brain and body to write a detailed 1000-word article for $10.00 is simply nauseating.
Writing a well-researched 1000-word article can take hours to days. If you ever read something that was thrown together in an hour, you can easily tell the person’s heart and mind are not in it. It reads like something a D student turns into their schoolteacher. But at a price of $10.00, there’s no possible way I could afford to put more than an hour into an article.
In fact, I had to speed write and complete these articles in 30 minutes or less to truly earn a living. And doing that creates both low-quality work and a poor quality of life. Instead of learning something new every day and being intellectually fulfilled, you end up as a brain-dead robot.
It’s impossible for any writer to make a living at $0.01 per word, but you’ll need to grind away at these gigs for at least a year (almost certainly more) if you want to build up your profile.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t great companies with great gigs on Fiverr. It just means you’ll never get them unless you’re willing to put in several years of grinding away at $5.00 gigs before you’ll ever get a shot at those fulfilling, enriching $500.00 gigs. They do exist on Fiverr—but they’re already taken by people who've had their accounts for a decade longer than you.
And that’s easily the biggest issue that made me abandon my Fiverr account. To survive as a full-time writer, you need to make as close to $0.10 per word as you possibly can. Otherwise, you’re going to starve.
Finding Better Paying Customers
There are plenty of other places to find work that pay better than Fiverr. I prefer to work for agencies, as they perform the backend operational work that Fiverr doesn’t. With agency work, they have an entire team dedicated to finding customers and managing workloads.
Fiverr and Upwork are among the most high-profile gig marketplaces, but they’re far from the only games on the block. In fact, there are over 10,000 marketing agencies in the U.S. alone, and each of them needs a steady roster of talented writers.
By working with an agency, you can control the type of work you perform while ensuring you’re properly paid. You’re not dealing directly with the customer for these things, so you have a firm separation between the creative and the business ends. This is important because it’s hard to maintain a workflow as a professional writer.
If you’re waking up every day with only one or two assignments to work on, you need to spend some of your day pitching for gigs. This is time you’re working without pay, and it’s difficult to schedule time for performing day-to-day activities.
Without a steady stream of well-paying work, your entire daily routine is at risk. Your quality of life decreases, and you lose all the perks you gain leaving corporate America to go freelance. And that’s why I write for Scripted.
Why I Write for Scripted
Scripted does several things to make my life easier as a freelance writer. The company sets minimum payment levels that ensure I’m only working with people who respect and seek my professional level of information and research. The team also ensures I get paid for working on a project, even if the client doesn’t accept it.
These crucial payment elements ensure I’m always working with high-quality clients who seek high-quality content for their businesses.
Since starting with Scripted over a year ago, I haven’t looked back on Fiverr, Upwork, or any other low-paying writer marketplaces. I have steady work that takes advantage of my unique skillset to create wins for me, the client, and the platform. And I don’t have to worry about constantly seeking work while following up on payments.
By resolving these pain points, Scripted helps me outperform and out-earn what I could on Fiverr. I came close to a six-figure salary in my first year writing with Scripted. That’s all it took to keep me loyal to this platform over Fiverr.
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