The truth about Fiverr – What every Beginner needs to know about Freelancing

Fiverr is world’s top freelancing website. People can either outsource the work there, or offer their freelance services. With over 3 million gigs in more than 100 different categories across 196 countries, Fiverr is reasonably a great place to make money online, and get extremely frustrated doing so.

When I first heard about Fiverr I did little research and almost immediately signed up. I felt thrilled. New dawn, new opportunities, finally, I will get paid for my skills. Oh boy, so little did I know.

Let me walk you through my experience with Fiverr uncovering every drawback as well as good things that I have encountered.

Short Truth.

The truth about fiverr is an incredibly high competition. Fiverr’s been out there since 2010, so it had a significant amount of time to build its user base. The more people, the higher the competition and the harder it is to land a successful gig. 

Now, bear in mind, it’s not impossible. In fact, Plenty of people have done it and are now chilling in their sweet Fiverr revenue. But those are only fractions of Fiverr community. Most people create their gigs and track their views everyday hoping that soon they’d receive an order. Myself included. Throughout this article I am going to uncover the truth about Fiverr, that most people don’t tell you.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Fiverr sucks. It definitely doesn’t. It’s a great platform. The point of this article is not to discourage you from using Fiverr. It is to make you aware of all the downsides before you sign up and get so frustrated that you quit, just as I did.

How does it work?

Fiverr’s principle is pretty simple. Freelancers post service offers called gigs. Buyers browse through gigs in a certain category looking for one of their choice. Once they have selected a gig they choose a package that suits them. (Fiver allows you to create a package of services – kind of like BUY 5 AND GET ONE FREE or “standard” and “premium” version of the service). Then they place an order and the freelancer begins the work. Once everything is completed in a given amount of time, the work is delivered and the payment is issued.

Is Fiverr safe? What kind of scam can I find on Fiverr?

When it comes to the safety of Fiverr, the short answer is: Yes, Fiverr is safe. 

However, you can get scammed on Fiverr (not by Fiverr, mind the difference). There are numerous people trying to scam you on Fiverr. There are mainly two ways:

  • Scam gigs
  • Message scammers

Scam gigs.

You see, scam gigs are something that buyers should be looking out for. People post gigs that are simply scams.

For instance, solo ad scams. People claiming they have a huge email list of subscribers and willing to send out an advertisement provided by you to them. All you end up with is a couple of bot clicks and wasted money. 

How do I watch out for that? 

There is no straigh-forward way of telling: ‘This one’s a scam’. You need to consider all the factors with the use of common sense. Think about it, Would a person with 100.000 people email list want to shred their name by sending them sponsored ads for $5? Just read reviews and don’t scrooge.

Moreover, you should always check any writing you order on Fiverr as for plagiarism. Especially if it’s cheap. Just type some sentences in google, if it’s copied, it’ll show up. If not, you can use a plagiarism checking software.

Message scammers. 

Now, This is something that we – freelancers – should keep an eye out for. There are people on Fiverr that sign up with fake account details. They don’t post gigs. They just look for new users on Fiverr who might be unaware of the threat and simply vulnerable.

They send messages to those users saying that (e.g.) they live in some country that they live in they can’t make money on Fiverr for some reason, they are legit and good workers and so on. At the end they ask you for permission to remotely use your computer to work and make money, and offer some commision for that.


They literally ask you for permission to hack your computer, keep it open 24/7 and let them do whatever they want. “Oh but wait, 10% commision, I be a good freelancer!!” – Yeah, like that paid my electricity bill for this. I’m sure you can imagine what they could do by using your computer and IP.

I have encountered 4 of them in my first month on Fiverr. Unfortunately I was unable to provide you with screenshots of messages they sent me, since I took to long to take them (I didn’t think about if until I wrote the artcile) and those users got banned. This resulted in me being unable to view their messages as they got deleted by Fiverr.

As you see, Fiverr cares about its users and deals with scammers pretty well.

How much can you actually earn?

Now, that we’ve talked about the dark side of Fiverr, let’s cover the money. There is no good answer to how much you can earn. It all depends. Youtube gurus take the top sellers in a niche, multiply their price by the number of reviews and/or orders and title their videos: “HOW TO MAKE $1754 ON FIVERR”. That’s pure clickbait. How is that useful to you? They don’t even subtract the 20% fee Fiverr ads to every order. Clearly they had never worked on Fiverr. They just read about it and give you the ‘Golden Strategies’

So you see, this guy earned probably around $124.000+ for his gig (Assuming he sold 1000 and Fiverr took 20%) But he is a Top Seller. He had a huge success on Fiverr, and probably started a long time ago. We all would like to be there but that takes an extreme amount of work to get, and that is what YouTubers forget to add. Of course you can become a top seller. You just need to put in the amount of work necessary. 

‘Yeah, that’s cool and all, but how much can I actually earn?’

Look, I have been constantly checking my Fiverr dashboard for over a month. I posted 6 gigs and earned a stunning amount of $4 ($5 – 20% fee). I know that’s not encouraging, but the thing is, I gave up way to quickly. I posted the gigs and expected to have orders rolling in after a few days.

It doesn’t work like that.

Why would somebody choose me for $5 over they guy with 250 reviews for $10? Of course they wouldn’t. Think about it this way. You are now a buyer. You have to outsource some work, and you want to get it done right. Would you rather choose some random guy who just started and claims to be good, or they guy who’s been here for a long time and has his credibility proven by hundreds of reviews? Yeah, the choice is obvious.

You might feel discouraged already. Upset even. I know it is hard. I truly do. I’ve been there myself and that is why I chose to write this article. To save you the struggle. Although it’s hard to land a gig on Fiverr, it’s not impossible. There can always happen people who will choose you over that 5-star-guy (best rating on Fiverr is 5 stars). I’d like to show you some ways to increase your chances of landing your first gig.

How to increase your chances of landing a gig?

So here you are, fresh and eager to start working. Now it’s time to set up your gig. Let’s slow down here for a bit, shall we? Please, DO set up your gig properly. The way it should be done.

‘But hey, how do I do it?’.  

Firstly, analyze the competition in your niche. Filter the search results by best selling and open each and every one of those on the front page in a new tab. Then go, and thoroughly analyze it. Take notes if you have to. Here is a checklist of things you should be on the lookout for:

  • Prices. Take notes of their pricing. See how their packages are set up. Calculate the price per one item (logo, slideshow, whatever it is they do) and see if they offer some discounts if you order many (the “BUY 5 GET ONE FREE” thing I mentioned). Steal all the information that you can. All their marketing tricks.
  • Thumbnails. Did you already notice that top sellers have great thumbnails on their gigs? That’s for a reason. It’s eye-catching. Even if someone’s browsing through and barely reading any headings, a good-looking thumbnail always stops their eyeball for a second.
  • Gig descriptions. Look how they’re writing their description. What value does that give to buyers? What could make them choose this gig? Picture yourself as a guy holding 20 bucks and looking to get the job done. If you’ve managed to attract that guy with your thumbnail and a catchy title, then you’re halfway through. Now, you just need to make him buy your gig. Make the description so good, That he won’t be able to stop reading, convince him, and eventually HE WILL BUY.
  • Gig extras. Notice what else it is that they offer. Let’s say your description got them so involved that they are looking for this “buy” button. Then they see that you’ve got no extras to your gig. Maybe the guy they read just a second ago offered a 24h turnaround for an extra $5? Maybe he offered a few extra revisions for $5? You don’t want to lose a potential client because someone had better extras. They don’t need to buy them. It’s nice if they do, but they do need that option. It makes them feel that you care.

1 – Make sure you have a lot of pictures of your service. Pictures and Thumbnails are the first thing people look at when viewing a gig. If your graphics are bad, They might not even bother to read the description. Make it legit, appealing and rich in terms of content.

2 – Set up your packages like a pro. Make it so that they want to buy the most expensive one. A good rule of thumb to follow is this. Basic package is just the service, some revisions (fixes) not many options, but enough so that it can satisfy a customer. Basic is the cheapest one. Standard package should be a little bit more expensive, and offer more things. Like revisions, more available logo formats, longer article etc. Premium package is the most expensive one, but it’s the best. It’s the one huge companies would buy if they were to obtain a service. It needs to be expensive, but worth the price. If someone picks a premium package they have to get satisfied no matter what. That’s why it’s good to offer unlimited revisions with such.

3 – Nice and neat description. Don’t tell your life story. Description can’t be too long, or nobody will read it. Make sre it contains all the neccessary information as well as encourages people to buy from you. The one above is a good example. Short, Simple, Social proof. All the technical details are listed below and I didn’t involve them in the screen shot.

Please, remember to learn from top sellers when you analyze competition. Even if you think something might not work, it works. Thay make sales, so it has to be working. Else, how would they do that?

Keep in mind, that the higher the competition, the greater the search volume. Maybe you can find a niche with 2 people in it, but so what if only 10 people monthly search for this? It certainly does work (worked for me), but takes time.

Once you’ve analyzed the market, begin to create your gig. Set yourself some goals. Boundaries. Swear to yourself that you’ll deliver any work on time. People are made to follow rules, and so are you. work out a set of rules for your freelance business and stick to them no matter what.

Now we come to the tough part. You can’t make the big money right away. You already have a well-written gig, nice-looking thumbnail, but still, no reviews. No rating. That is what will make most of people to click on other gigs. You have to have something that tempts them to buy your service, not the 5-star-guy’s. Sad truth is, Price. You’ll have to offer your services at ridiculously low prices. Maybe even for free. The point is, You need to get some reviews and rating before orders start rolling in. 

Now, don’t assume that one review will boost your economy. That’s what I thought. Wrongly. You see, when a guy finally bought my gig, It was a language learning, an online lesson, 45 minutes for $5. I felt thrilled. I will get a review! People will know they can trust me! I shall start seeing more orders rolling in! It was disappointing when I realised that it wasn’t true. It has been 2 months since that time and no one has placed any order, It all just went in vain. 

Now, keep in mind this was only one review. It wasn’t much. I think that once you get 5 or so, things start to get more spicy. As in life, You’d have to be lucky to succeed right away. For most people it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what works best for them.

Again, I’m not trying to discourage you. I just don’t want you to feel the way that I felt when it all failed. In fact, it didn’t. I had too high expectations and therefore perceive this experience as failure. Every failure is a lesson, and I hope you gained something from mine.


Fiverr is great. Extremely competitive, but great. Once you punch through that mass, it’s a gold mine. 

You should keep an eye out for scammers, especially when you buy something on Fiverr.

Please, don’t think it’s easy to make money on Fiverr. It’s not at all. There are no get rich quick schemes. It all takes work to achieve success. No matter what success.

Don’t feel discouraged. Feel aware of the downsides and difficulties. Consider if you’re willing to take to challenge.


  • Safe and legit.
  • Free to use, no sign-up fees, you just pay 20% of gig’s value.
  • Great place to outsource your work and get paid for services. 
  • User friendly interface.
  • Pays well after you’ve succeeded and actually started getting the orders.


  • Extremely high competition.
  • Definitely not beginner friendly. You need to know what you’re doing, and how to do it.
  • I guess 20% fee might be a downside, but some sites charge more.
  • You can find scammers there. It all depends what you consider a lot.
  • Definitely is frustrating when you just start since it’s easy to expect too much.

I hope you found this article helpful.

All that’s left for you is to take action. As they say, Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Good luck.