How do You Make a Full-Time Living from Fiverr?

Fiverr is an online global marketplace for freelance services where people offer to do jobs for other people and businesses. The idea behind the platform is to streamline the process of hiring or getting hired as a freelancer by cutting out the middleman of hiring, firing, and HR departments. Many people want answers about Fiverr: Can you use it as your primary source of employment, and if you can, how do you make a full-time living from Fiverr?

Can you make a living from Fiverr?

Before you ask if you can make a full-time living from Fiverr, the first thing you need to ask yourself is, do you have any skill or talent that will allow you to sell your services to someone else on a freelance basis? If the answer to that question is yes, you can make a full-time income with Fiverr as your primary source of work.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is nothing more than an online platform that serves as an intermediary between freelancers and people or businesses who need stuff done. In many ways, it’s a lot like eBay or Amazon. The only difference is the commodities traded on Fiverr are services rather than physical goods.

While you can go on eBay or Amazon and buy a poster or a t-shirt, on Fiverr, you can get someone to create an original design from scratch that you can go on to publish or print in any way you want.

Graphic designs for logos, t-shirts, and posters are a popular service offered on Fiverr, but you will also find people who can create websites, develop mobile apps, and plenty more besides. People on the platform now offer services including digital marketing, video creating and editing, voiceovers, music production, computer coding, and more.

How does Fiverr work?

If you need some work done and you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, all you have to do is sign up to Fiverr and browse the appropriate category to find a freelancer who you like the look of. The platform has the name Fiverr because $5 is the minimum fee that freelancers can charge for a job on the site, but they can charge as much as they think they can get.

When you browse freelancers, you will see they have examples of their work, a profile explaining their services, and their prices. Like eBay and Amazon, freelancers on Fiverr get rated by previous customers for their work to give you an idea of how good they are.

Payment is handled entirely through the platform, and no money changes hands until both parties are satisfied. Once the client is happy with the job, payment is completed, and the freelancer releases the finished job.

I find the platform relatively simple and straightforward to use, and I’ve been pleased with the work I’ve had done so far.

If you’re already familiar with other platforms such as Upwork, you’ll find Fiverr is much more transparent from the point of view of those looking to hire someone. As a freelancer looking to get hired, Fiverr gives you more opportunities to promote yourself than the likes of Upwork.

How much can you earn on Fiverr?

The only limits to how much money you can earn from Fiverr depend on you as the freelancer more than on the platform itself. If you have relatively basic and limited skills, you will not be able to charge as much as someone better and more experienced, and you are unlikely to attract as many clients.

Working on Fiverr is like any freelance business in that respect. The better you are and the more experience you have, the more you will be able to charge, and the more clients will want to hire you.

Even if your skills are relatively basic right now, there’s nothing to stop you from growing and improving so you can get more work and charge higher rates later on. If you have plenty of people wanting to hire you, how much you earn will then come down to how quickly you can produce the work and how many hours you are prepared to put in.

It’s entirely possible to earn tens of thousands of dollars per month working on Fiverr, but that won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen without you doing a lot of hard work. It’s not too difficult to make a full-time living from Fiverr, but how soon or how easily you can get there depends on how much you need to live.

Volume seller vs. premium seller

There are two main types of freelancers working on Fiverr: volume sellers and premium sellers. Volume sellers look to do lots of low-priced work and turn it around quickly, while premium sellers charge more by targeting higher-quality jobs and clients.

Premium sellers often strip a job down to its bare bones to offer a headline-grabbing low rate for the most fundamental aspect of the job. However, they offer more premium versions of the same job for additional fees. The average price of a gig on Fiverr is between $35 and $65, not the headline rate of $5.  

Whether you choose to become a volume or a premium seller is up to you. But if you only have minimal skills, you may not have any choice other than to at least start as a volume seller in the hope of graduating to a premium seller sometime in the future as your skills and experience grow.

Beware of the fees

One thing you probably won’t like about Fiverr if you are going to work there as a Freelancer is the proportion of your earnings the platform takes in fees. Fiverr takes 20% of everything you earn on the platform, which is a lot.

However, you should perhaps look at it that 80% of something is much better than 100% of nothing. You could decide that you’re not prepared to pay Fiverr such a high percentage of your earnings and look for freelance work elsewhere. I will guarantee you that getting freelance work outside of platforms like Fiverr and Upwork is a lot harder than using these platforms, especially as a beginner.

You might get to keep what you earn outside Fiverr, but the amount of time you spend looking for work will probably cost you considerably more than the 20% Fiverr would have taken from jobs you could have been doing instead of looking for work.

How do you make a full-time living from Fiverr?

There are some things you should look to do on Fiverr that are unique to working on this particular platform, but plenty of tips for success can apply to a lot of different freelance work.

Here are ten tips to help you earn a full-time living from Fiverr

  1. Be authentic
  2. Make the most of the first 30 days
  3. Listen rather than try to anticipate
  4. Have a plan
  5. Grow your skills
  6. Nurture clients
  7. Don’t over-promise
  8. Know what you’re worth
  9. Don’t get disheartened
  10. Keep up-to-date records

1. Be authentic – Always present the best possible impression of yourself and your work right from the start, but don’t do anything fake. Record a quick, clearly stated video of what you provide for every gig you promote with good lighting and professional background.

Fiverr shows that gigs with videos sell 220% more than the competition, so you’ll be missing out of you don’t do this. Publish as much as you are allowed to of what you can do or what you’ve done for clients previously, but don’t get tempted to use something you haven’t created yourself.

2. Make the most of the first 30 days – When you first sign up to Fiverr, you will only be able to charge a small amount if you want to get clients and build up your profile. You may think you are worth more, but how would a client know if they can’t see anything in your profile to suggest you are worth paying more than someone cheaper?

Approach your first month on Fiverr as an extended, paid job interview. Treat each gig you get as an opportunity to showcase your skills and build your profile. If you complete your first gig successfully and the client gives you a five-star review, your profile will show you are a five-star freelancer. Okay, other clients will see that you’ve only done a few jobs, but a five-star rating is a five-star rating.

3. Listen rather than try to anticipate – People on Fiverr looking to hire freelancers know what they want better than you, so remember this. Don’t just assume you know what buyers want and offer that. Read, listen, and learn as much as you can about the platform and try to provide what people are looking for.

4. Have a plan Deciding, “this time next year, I’m going to be a millionaire from Fiverr” could be considered some sort of plan, but it’s not going to help you get there. Understand how the platform works, set yourself goals of when you would expect to upgrade to another seller level, and decide in advance how much you will increase your rates when you get to the next level.

Understand how your skills and experience have grown, and implement a strategy to upsell your new skills to earn more than you did, to begin with. You could offer a minimal section of a job for the headline-grabbing $5 fee, but if they like what you produce for $5, it will then cost them $XX for the whole job.

5. Grow your skills – If you are the greatest and most accomplished writer, programmer, or videographer in the world, you probably won’t be trying to earn a full-time living from Fiverr. If you are looking to make a full-time living on Fiverr, you’ve probably got considerable room to improve, and you absolutely should.

Always look to learn new skills and improve your current skillset. Take particular note of anything a client asks you to do that you cannot manage, and promise yourself to learn how to do that as soon as possible. The more you can offer, the more you can charge, and that’s what working as a freelancer is all about at the end of the day.

7. Don’t over-promise – Saying you can do something you can’t manage is professional suicide on a site like Fiverr. If a job is beyond your current skill set, then tell the client you can’t do that at the moment. They’ll appreciate your honesty, and that could serve you well with them at a later date.

Deadlines are particularly tricky in this area. If a client asks you to complete a gig quicker than you know you can manage, be honest and tell them. It’s better to pass on a job than to accept it and not get it completed on time. And if a client asks you to do something beyond your current skills, make sure you go away and learn how to do it for next time.

8. Know what you’re worth – If you try to charge too much for your work, you’ll struggle to get gigs on Fiverr or anywhere else, for that matter. However, don’t sell yourself short, either. If you know what you are charging is a fair rate for a job, don’t allow a client to drive your rate down unless there’s something else in it for you.

I’ve always offered better rates for multiple jobs than one-off jobs, especially if there’s a promise of consistent, ongoing work. However, I will add one critical piece of advice I have to give you here, which is to be highly wary of clients’ promises. If you haven’t built up a relationship with a client and they come to you promising lots of ongoing work as long as you charge a low rate for the first job, don’t get suckered in. If a new client wants multiple jobs done for a discount rate, make sure the jobs (milestones) are in batches.

I’ve had severe run-ins with people promising ongoing work who disappeared as soon as I’ve submitted the first article or the “trial” piece they’ve requested. Be warned!

9. Don’t get disheartened – There will be times when there will be little or no work coming in, and it’s easy to get down about it and throw the towel in. I could use all sorts of cliches and platitudes here to address this problem, but please stick at it as long as you believe in yourself.

If you are confident you can do the work and you really want to work from home as a freelancer on Fiverr, keep trying, keep improving, keep learning, and stay the course. Trust me, things will get easier with experience, and one day you’ll look back and laugh at how you felt like giving up so easily.

10. Keep up-to-date records – It’s good to keep good records of what you have done for several reasons. First of all, you need detailed records of jobs you’ve completed and what you’ve earned for tax reasons. Secondly, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and keep charging the same rates for too long.

I once snagged a client who provided relatively consistent ongoing work for several years, but I didn’t keep records, so I’m not sure how long I kept working for the same rate. All I do know is that it was for a period of some years, and it was only when they stopped hiring freelancers that I realized how much more I could get paid elsewhere after all that time.

Should you sign up for Fiverr?

I hope I’ve given you some insight into how you can make a full-time income from Fiverr with this article? I’m not going to say that it’s easy because it often isn’t. I started working on similar, more rudimentary platforms than Fiverr, but I began while a company already employed me, and I did it in my spare time.

It wasn’t too long until I realized that my job prevented me from working as a freelancer full-time. Once I became confident that I could earn almost as much working online as a freelancer from home as I did in my job, I decided to take the plunge and quit my job to work for myself.

I’ve certainly had my ups and downs over the last decade as a freelancer, but I can tell you without fear of contradiction that I will never work for anyone else ever again.

Fiverr is a great way to dip your toe into the freelance world to see if you like the temperature. Give it a try, at least. What have you got to lose? Sign up for Fiverr here today.