There are many, many thousands of people who want to do great on Fiverr. It's a platform that, despite its name, can actually make people millions of dollars over time. I will reach the million dollar target eventually. But becoming successful on Fiverr isn't without its hazards and pitfalls, and I'd like to do one Healthy Gig blog on that subject.
"Yeah right...I should have your problems."
Now if you're still scrambling up the rocky slope on Fiverr, you may view this article with a jaded eye, but try to keep it in mind for the future. If you do start to get popular on Fiverr, you may find your life, and even your lifestyle, changing in ways you weren't expecting. Some of the changes can be viewed as good:
Significant new income
Self esteem boost
But at the same time, you may also discover a few negatives you will probably encounter:
Higher pressure and resultant stress
Higher stakes orders
Never feeling you're free (orders coming day/night/weekends)
Difficulty getting away, taking vacations, having a break
It's the latter four things I'd like to address here.
Don't get the wrong idea...
First, let me say I'm not mentioning these things to discourage you from succeeding on Fiverr. They're just to prepare you a little.
What prompted me to write this article was a feeling I had this past weekend, when I had a special desire to relax and take a break. I had gotten fairly caught up on everything before the weekend, and needed a little peace and quiet. Then, just before the weekend, I got a $1400 audiobook order, and during the weekend there rolled in a bunch of other work, including a rush order. The latter was just a two line voiceover, and paid $100, so I wouldn't exactly call it a hardship, but it came in last night while I was trying to kick back and relax for awhile.
Facing the facts...
The fact is, that Fiverr's very nature means you're getting orders at all hours from every time zone on earth...on weekdays, weekends, and holidays. What's Christmas or Easter to a Buyer in India? What's Sunday to a Buyer in Jerusalem? Once your Fiverr balloon climbs high enough, you'll start seeing orders with increasing frequency, and without regard to your own personal convenience.
Things you can do...
In order to maintain your equilibrium, consider doing the following:
Consider your own capacity is for workload and time consumption. If you're like me, self-employed and very much an at-home kind of guy, a steady, heavy stream of orders isn't a great burden, and indeed, my current work load is less than a half day, because of how I have things structured. I'll talk about that below. But if you are easily stressed out, have a growing family, a full time job you're just supplementing with Fiverr, or have other obligations that can't be ignored, you'll need to find ways to keep Fiverr from becoming too "life-engulfing."
Limit the orders you take. Certain combustion engines have something on them called a "governor" that prevents them from revving too fast and exploding. You can actually put a governor that limits how many orders your gig can take to a specified maximum. I have not had to do that yet, and am not inclined to, because turning away work is too personally "galling" to me. But it's an option.
Increase your delivery time. This option has its perils as a long term solution, I think, but it can be a stopgap measure at least. Unless your goal is to discourage people from ordering from you, increasing delivery time only postpones the inevitable work you have to get done...and pushing it further down the road doesn't decrease stress level that much. It's like having debt. You've got it hanging over your head. But it does provide a buffer that helps to even things out. On Fiverr, it can be "chicken one day, and feathers the next," and a longer delivery time helps to even things out.
Vacation Mode. Y0u can set your gig to "away" for awhile, but this can be dangerous. There have been people who have noticed dramatic reductions in orders after setting their gigs in vacation mode, and some of them never recovered from it. The next suggestion is safer.
Short term extended delivery time. This has worked well for me, and I can recommend it. If you need to take a break for a few days, set all your gigs to a longer delivery time. Notify your most active buyers in advance of what you're doing...and put a little note at the top of your gig description, indicating, "I'm taking a little vacation! Delivery time temporarily is set to seven days (or whatever)." This works well and I can recommend it. I've never seen damage to my inertia on Fiverr by doing so.
Adjust your rates. If you're being peppered with little orders and are getting overwhelmed, consider raising your rates. You don't need to go off the deep end and quadruple them. Just ratchet them up a wee bit. It is almost sure to reduce the number of orders, and simultaneously, you'll notice the caliber of people you are working with increases. The rate increase approach is a big part of what keeps things manageable for me. Higher rates mean more income per order, and fewer orders. As I mentioned, my current daily work load is about a half day, maybe four hours a day. I actually have room for more orders, which is a nice situation to be in.
Having said all that, it's a fact that working in Fiverr represents a lifestyle change for most people, and you have to expect that. It's like getting a dog. You have regular responsibilities every day that you need to take care of, and are unavoidable. Leaving home for any length of time can be harder. Like a dog, you have the option of finding a way to take care them while you're away, or taking them with you.. Indeed, whether you do any of the above or not, the "always with you" nature of Fiverr may wear on your nerves after a while. You've got that app in your pocket, and inquiries and requests for custom quotes coming in, even if you extend your delivery time. So anticipate a lifestyle change if you get popular on Fiverr.
Is it worth it? In my own opinion, yes. Fiverr is my primary source of income, and I am having fun with it. Will it be worth it to you? Your own psyche, obligations, family connections, travel requirements, and lifestyle will drive your answer. But being prepared to face the realities of success on Fiverr ahead of time can mean less stress when you get there, and preventing it from becoming too much of a lifestyle changer.