Freelancerr On Fiverr
(This is NOT a paid advertisment/endorsement for Fiverr. The following is simply my experience on the site thus far.)
I just completed my first job on Fiverr. For those who may not know, Fiverr is a website for more or less anything you can think of that one may need in the creative sphere. Logo creation, small items knitted, customer testimonial video (but that one seems sort of shady to me), musical jingles, 3D models, and freelance writing jobs. Sorry - "gigs". Not jobs. Gigs. As a former DJ I'm not sure how I feel about that one but okay.
I've been a professional copywriter since 1997 and used to have more customers than I could handle. When the tech boom really started rolling I was averaging three home/welcome page writes per week. (And since it was all totally new territory I was able to charge an astronomical fee.) In college I was sustained by editing Masters thesis papers, web copy and wedding toasts/vows. But much of that dried up around 2008. I don't know what happened exactly. It wasn't like there was some sort of shortage of need. If anything the need was still growing along with the Web. That said, the rise in popularity of social media and the decline in depth of content were pretty even at that point.
I've wriiten on more topics than I can remember and unfortunately didn't have the foresight to keep every one. I do now, but I wonder what is out there in the world with my style but missing my name. I try my hardest to fulfill my client's needs while still not neglecting the style I've cultivated over the years. This has served me well and continues to serve me well today. I average two good writing and/or editing jobs per month but really wanted more. I have always intended for writing to be my full time job and only aiming for "The Novelist" just isn't getting me to my dream as quickly as most writers hope. So in order to whet the whistle of those on the fence about hiring me I decided to give the website Fiverr a shot and offer a steep discount for a limited time. It seems to have worked.
Having only been active on the service for a few days now (less than 72 hours) and have already scored a few jobs. Granted the base price has to be $5 but add-ons can quickly jack that price up. For example I offer 300 words on any topic for that five dollar fee. This is less than I would normally charge but in order to stay competitive on the site I had to adjust. For a limited time I am offering a discount on jobs up to 1,000 words but will most likely adjust those prices and word counts as well as time goes on.
To expand on the issue of competitiveness on the site, well, I can see this being a double edged sword. From past business dealings in the karaoke and DJ scenes I know that lowballing is a common practice, especially when first starting out. This does - not may, but DOES - force the hands of well established folks to drop their prices. Before anyone knows what happened the good, the bad and the new (usually in a negative way) are all even or close to even on price. This puts the totally untrue notion that one service is as good as any other given the prices are all the same. Obviously if you stop to think about it there is a reason the cliche "you get what you pay for" is so worn: it's usually true.
I don't think I'll be sticking around on the site for a long-term stay unless I find a more agreeable pricing schedule. Being lumped into a generic pool with other people who can or cannot write is sort of the point of Fiverr, for better or worse. Thus far I've lost about 30% of what I would normally charge if someone found me through my site. I've been assured that, over time, this will even out and I'll make it up in volume (?) - a "fact" I'm really not sold on as of yet.
I'll keep you all updated as I complete some more gigs and my inital thoughts become fact or hype.