Past weekend I was considering to reactivate my Fiverr gigs. If you are now scratching your head and thinking “What’s a Fiverr”, here’s a short TL;DR:
Fiverr is a “job market” where you can sell and buy ‘gigs’. The selling point slash marketing gimmick is that “each gig is sold for a “fiver” or five dollars. It’s a little more complex than that. In reality you can offer add-ons and “stack” gigs, but unless you have a stellar reputation you will be offering your services for a “fiver”. Otherwise, someone in Asia will be doing it for you and you get nothing.
I made less that minimum wage
So why didn’t I reactivate my gigs, where I offered writing services? Because there’s no money to be made. For the gigs I sold, I was paid $5 for what was about half an hour of work per gig.
For two gigs, that would mean I’d be paid $10. But wait! Out of every $5 gig, a dollar goes to the platform owners. So you end up with $4 for half an hour of work. Converting that to an hour, I ended up being paid $4.
And that’s where things become very uninteresting, real fast. $8 an hour is less than you make in a minimum wage job. Waitresses make 8.25 an hour and get tips on top of that. I, on the other hand, also had to make additional costs to even make that $4 (which is also true for waitresses, to a degree).
In order to make decent money, let’s say $2000 a month, I would have to do 500 gigs. That’s about 250 hours a month or nearly 150% of the hours I work right now.
Even if I could manage to “stack” gigs so I would be paid $20 an hour of work instead, that would mean I would have to work a hundred hours a month. Which would still be a crazy amount of time for a side gig.
It lead to the inevitable conclusion that platforms like Fiverr just aren’t viable for your average person offering services. You can’t compete on price. You don’t want to compete on price because there is simply no money to be made.
There isn’t really a point to this rant. My “math” just reconfirmed that I will be staying away from Fiverr while I try some other ways to market my writing ‘skills’. You’ll be seeing some of those experiments in action soon!