How to Start a Micro-Business on Fiverr
By Amanda Laughtland
On Fiverr, sellers offer goods and services for five dollars, and buyers use PayPal to purchase those goods and services. The website functions as an international marketplace and an intermediary, processing payments, handling disputes, and taking a commission of 20 percent from every sale.
On the one hand, you might well be thinking, "What am I going to sell for just four dollars?". On the other hand, Fiverr is more complicated (and offers more earning potential) than its name would suggest.
Outside of the active community of sellers on Fiverr, a lot of people don't know that Fiverr has a small but significant series of levels, and as you advance beyond the basic level for new members, you have opportunities for sales beyond the five-dollar mark.
The key to making more than pocket change with Fiverr is to become a Level One seller, at which point you can add extras onto your five-dollar gigs. There's also a Level Two, and then there are Fiverr-selected Top Sellers, but simply breaking into Level One marks a solid step toward more income through the site.
For example, if you want to offer article writing services, you might offer a 250-word article for five dollars, with the option of a 500-word article for ten dollars, and maybe another option for a set of three related articles for 20 dollars. We're still talking micro-business, but it can become a nice part-time job, especially for someone who wants to work from home and needs flexible hours.
All sellers must start out with five-dollar gigs with no extras. You need to be on the site for 30 days and have completed at least ten orders to earn the Level One status; you also need to maintain high ratings from buyers.
And so we return to the question: What are you willing to do to make four dollars? Some sellers create gigs that are worth far more than the price tag, biding their time to reach higher levels where they can restructure their gigs and add extras. But why not give serious thought to that four-dollar question?
There might be smallish jobs you'd gladly do for just a little cash. What skills do you have? What jobs are easy for you to finish quickly? Do you have (or could you put together) an e-book that teaches valuable tips that aren't readily available elsewhere? Maybe you have something you're already putting time into (like a website, Twitter account, or Facebook page) that you could leverage into a Fiverr gig.
My best advice is to find something you like to do. When I signed up on Fiverr, I knew I wanted to do writing-related work, but I didn't want to be on the computer for hours to earn less than a penny per word. So I started by coming up with some gigs that utilize my skills in writing and blogging but also involve buyers in sharing the writing tasks.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to browse the different categories and listings on the site to see what other sellers have to offer, and definitely take time to visit the Fiverr Forum (linked at the bottom of the main Fiverr page) and talk to other sellers for some friendly chat and good advice.
Amanda Laughtland is a writer, editor, and publisher who teaches English at the college level. She offers a range of gigs related to writing, publishing, and the arts on her Fiverr page, located at http://fiverr.com/teenytinypress.