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Freelance writing lessons learned in the Fiverr trenches


One of the great things about the Modern Era is that you can work as a writer in English from anywhere in the world. 

The downside is working for a range of clients, all over the world, some of whom – you’d swear – are the laziest human beings that could exist on the planet.

If Hashem made them any lazier, they’d simply stop breathing.  Don’t believe me?  Don’t worry; I came prepared with examples.

In case you haven’t made its acquaintance yet, Fiverr is a site that connects freelancers and clients around the world.  The premise is simple:  what would you do for five bucks?  In my case, I’ll write 300 words for 5 bucks.

Heck, I can write 300 words before I actually start to think about what I’m going to say.  I’ve written 300 words already in this blog post – and I’m just getting started.  (Okay, that’s only 156, but hey, I’m halfway there already.)

But on Fiverr, that $5 is just the BOTTOM LINE.  From there, you can charge extra for research, longer pieces, rush orders, those kinds of things.  Sure, there are some people who only want to spend the $5.  But most end up spending more.

However, like I said, this kind of global marketplace brings you in contact every single day with some of the must frustratingly underdeveloped creatures Hashem has seen fit to put here on this earth.

Here are some of the lowlights – the most annoying things people have told me as they're trying to underpay me to do their work for them:

i would for sure give you alot of business TRUST ME LOL. I have papers needed to be done on the daily!

This is probably the most common line, in one form or another. 

Potential customers say this to try to win a lowball price.  Which makes me think, "why the heck would I do this for cheap week after week after week?" 

As far as I’m concerned, this is actually a DIS-incentive if there ever was one.  Regular business doesn't help me unless I’m actually making money off it.

the job is going to be easy. there is no research.

Well, if that's the case - if it really is totally easy... then why not do it yourself?  Oh, yeah, you're too busy and important.  Do me a favour; take a deep breath.  Just in case you forgot.

at the end u can say you learned a lot and had fun and i can say we broke the ice and are partners

Yup, he really did say this.  There is so much I wanted to respond with when I got this person’s crazy lowball offer, which was essentially $10 for a 2000-word essay.

Sure, I could learn a lot, sweating over this guy's work for not enough money.  And I'm sure it would be tons of fun (ha ha ha).  And then we'd be "partners."  Ugh, the kind of “partners” where one wildly takes advantage of the other.  With the promise of LOTS of repeat business, of course.

its just all about write your it wont take much time..

You're darn right, it won't take much time.  Because you're paying me for the time I put into this.  If it was going to take longer, I'd be charging you more money. 

But pleeeeeeease don't try to tell me how much of my time it actually will take.  Remember, I know your secret:  if you REALLY thought it was easy and/or fun, you'd be doing it yourself.

(And yes, it’s true – none of these clients has the slightest idea of what punctuation and capitalization are or how to use them.)

I will tip you 10$ , I wish i could tip you today but I am super low on funds right now :( , I promise to tip you 10$ extra next month.

Along with future work (see above), many people believe offering you a tip on completion will make you extra-eager to do their work.  Nope. 

A tip is exactly that, above and beyond the agreed-upon payment.  Don't promise me a tip so I'll accept a lower-than-normal rate.  Just pay what I'm asking... like I've said, it's not that much to begin with.

Here’s what most people don’t know about Fiverr:

Out of that $5, Fiverr only gives its freelancers $4.  And since they started charging a service fee on top of their regular $5 rate, even less of what buyers pay actually goes into the pocket of me, the Fiverr freelancer, down in the trenches.

Does this mean I’m going to quit working on Fiverr? 

Not yet.  In fact, the pace is picking up and I anticipate a lot more work from there this year, maybe getting to the point where I can pick and choose more carefully the type of things I work on (partly, by raising my rates).  I’m also reaching the point where I can actually do this type of writing very quickly and do an excellent job along the way. 

Plus, the truth is (shhh, don’t tell these clients), I really do love the learning part of it.  Writing in so many different areas really does broaden my knowledge.  So it’s not entirely soul-less, even if the irony behind my writing an ethics essay about right and wrong for somebody else is utterly and completely lost on these clients.

Speaking of ethics… remember that guy who said he would tip $10?  He loved the work I did for him, and gave me a five star rating, saying he'd tip $10 next month - "my word is my bond." 

Naturally, I never heard from him again.

By the way, if you’re looking to have something written, I’d love to hear more about your project.  These are the lowlights; most of my clients are lovely and communicative, and YOU could be one of them if you want to be. 

Contact me in person… or, if it’s something quick, easy and fun, through my Fiverr gigs.

Tzivia / צִיבְיָה


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