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My Fiverr Journey to Level 1 Seller

My Journey To Fiverr Seller Level One

Earlier this year, I decided I would make good on a plan that I have had for a while, and become a writer on Fiverr.

The decision to go back and make have a proper crack at becoming a writer on Fiverr was threefold. I had a passion project, a blog, that I wanted to get up and running and I was prepared to take a shortcut and hire a writer to get me the first few articles. That fell through and, despite being a lovely person, the writer had to keep delaying and eventually canceled my requests due to being too busy. That blog was this blog! And that cancellation led me to decide to write all of the articles myself. Everything on this site is an authentic observation from tests I have done to learn to generate money from side hustles, some of them passive, others not so much.

And the second reason for becoming a writer on Fiverr is because I wanted to earn more money out of my spare time.

The third and final reason was simply that I’ve always fancied myself something of a writer, but I was never very good at finding the self-discipline to write for myself, but I was comfortable working to deadlines for other people. That sounds perfect for a freelance writing gig on the Fiverr platform.

So as I mentioned above, some 2 years ago I launched a writing gig where I promised to write about any topic. I got asked to write about the UK banning single-use plastic straws in 2020. That turned out great and the buyer left me a 5-star review. She had paid $5 for the privilege, of which I received $4, which in UK terms was about £2.50. The article had taken a little over an hour and I’d decided that this was not sufficient payment for my time, so I upped my bottom fee to $10.

And that was the end of that gig. No one ever so much as messaged me, a “New Seller” with a single 5-star review who expected to get more than most of the other newest writers.

When I came back to the site in April of 2021, I restarted my plan. I wrote my pitch and set my price at $5 per 500 words. After a short wait, I genuinely got lucky. A young vegan woman reached out to me and asked me to write her some lists of vegan-friendly restaurants in a few towns. She placed four separate orders with me, and after each one she left a 5-star review. I don’t know why she was willing to outsource that work, but not simply hire me to write the itself, which I believe she must have decided to do herself, but that was fine. I started to look at the targets for reaching the next threshold of selling on Fiverr, the Level 1 seller. Would I be able to do it? How long would it take me?

Fiverr level 1 targets
Fiverr Level 1 Targets

I didn’t take a screenshot of the targets until I reached all the Level 1Targets. Oops, spoiler alert! Yes, right now I’m a level 1 seller.

I’ve given a full breakdown of the Fiver Levels elsewhere. But let’s go over each of these targets and what pitfalls I came across in the time it took me to reach Level 1.

Target: Inbox Response Time

The first target is Inbox response time. The target tells you that you must respond to 90% of customers over the past 60 days. What you have to search to find is that there is a limit of 24 hours. Anything over this and it’s marked as failing to reply. I ran foul of this when I receive a couple of utterly nonsense requests that I planned to ignore till later and then politely reply to when I had the time. That was a mistake and my reply rate dropped dangerously close to the 90% line. Since then, I hit reply the moment I get a message and I either answer their query there and then, or if I’m out and about, or I’ve just pulled myself out of bed, I’ll say Hi and that I’ll get back to them late that day. That preserves my reply time and I have a 1 hour average response time, at the time of writing this article.

Target: Order Completion

It will seem obvious, but you are expected to deliver all your orders, with a 90% completion target. I do not have the 100% target because on occasion a seemingly normal order has come in and then the brief has followed and there’s a problem with it. To this date, I have canceled 2 orders. One was from a potential client who referred to herself as a countess, and her brief for a 500 work article was 2000 words long, with some very stringent demands, and was, quite frankly, bat shit crazy.

The second-order I canceled was after a gentleman asked if I could write him 7000 words based on his research paper. I was happy to do so and accepted the order, only to discover that his paper was unreadable. I fibbed and said something had come up and had to cancel. It’s not ideal, but I didn’t want to tell him his writing was poor, I’m far too thin-skinned for an argument. I took a small hit to my order completion rate, but that is slowly recovering and never dropped below 97%.

Target: On-Time Delivery

This target is a straight 100%. At times I have struggled, but I have yet to fail to deliver an order on time. At one point I received 9 orders at once and was worried I would receive more as I would not have the time, so I made use of Fiverr’s ‘Limit Order’ Function, which allows you to set a max (per gig) order level. I turned that on, completed my orders, and then turned it off again, as I have several gigs on the go (more on that later) and I’m happy to take 3 on each, or 9 total, but I can’t set a 9 max for the account, sadly.

Target: Rating

Maintain a rating above 4.7 for the last 60 days. Part of why I canceled the first of those two orders was that I could tell a mile away that the client was going to be incredibly demanding and impossible to please. Most likely that was going to result in a 4-star rating (or worse). So far I’ve got lucky and every customer has been pleased with my work, so I maintain a 100% 5-star rating, but eventually, someone will randomly decide that good work only deserved a 4-star. I can assure you now, on that day, I’m going to be very grumpy.

By canceling the order, it removed the option for the client to give me any form of public feedback, so this is a good way to resolve problems. It hasn’t happened to me yet, but if I get a customer who is just impossible to satisfy and they are kicking off, I will probably opt to cancel the order and lose the money than risk a low review.

This is also why I’ve declined a couple of requests (I ask all potential clients to message me first, but not all do). I had one contact tell me upfront that if I did not meet their exacting standards, they would refuse to pay – I checked their buyer feedback instantly. They had been on the site for 5 years and did not have a single review. Clearly, they NEVER pay for their gigs. This is something so many people worry about when joining Fiverr, but it hasn’t happened to me yet, but I check my clients before agreeing to work with them, as best as I can.

Target: Selling Seniority

Be a seller for at least 60 days. I mentioned early that I had received one order back in 2019. I’m not sure if the posting of that gig is counted as the start of my active seller time, or from the time I received the order, but either way, I had this one in the back before I even returned to the website.

Target: Orders

Receive and complete at least 10 orders (all time). So at the point that I was first reviewing these targets, I had 5 out of 10. Thankfully orders quickly started coming in after that and I soon had this target in the bag too.

Target: Earnings

Earn at least $400 from completed orders. This. Was. The. Worst. Target. Ever. I had all the other targets in the bag within a couple of weeks of returning to Fiverr, but earning $400 took almost exactly 60 days. But I got there in the end. It was a grind, for sure, but I got there eventually. It just seemed to fill up so slowly, and the bar only fills up by the money you receive, not what the client pays. Fiverr takes 20% of the payment, plus a processing fee from the client, you get the remaining 80%.

Target: Days without Warning

If you break any of the rules of Fiverr (obvious things like asking specifically for 5-star reviews, trying to cut Fiverr out financially, palming off copyright material as your own, etc) will get you a warning. That never happened to me, because I want a long and reliable relationship with the platform.

Achievement unlocked: Fiverr Level 1 Seller

Finally, on around the 18th of June, 2 months after I’d started the grind, I hit every since one of those targets. I thought I’d wake up to a nice shiny congratulations message. I waited a few days and finally, I googled it. It turns out that Fiverr does all its level reviews on the 15th of the month. I’d just missed the cut-off and had to wait nearly a full month before I’d get to that sweet sweet Level 1goodness.

Oh well. I just kept working and planning my next step. Finally, the 15th of July came around and I received the notification. I had finally made it to level 1 Seller, and now the push to Level 2 begins.

FAQ:

Is it worth selling on Fiverr?

Whether or not selling on Fiverr is worth it to you will depend on your mindset. For me, this is a grind to get myself up to the level 2 seller rank, possibly even into the Top Rated category eventually. New sellers and Level 1sellers charge very similar amounts of money. The competition is huge and I suspect the burnout rate is pretty high two. But many Level 2 sellers are charging close to £200 for articles that I’m writing the equivalent of for just £15. Reaching Level 2 is my target and only once I’ve been doing that for 6 months will I know if it is worth the wait.

I have one gig doing well, but no interest in my others, what should I do/

I had this as well. Because in my gigs I ask people to contact me with their topic first, I decided to make a couple of relevant extra gigs and then simply quoted a custom rate to them. When you do this, you can select which gig you are using and then just fill in the prices and times scales, so it doesn’t matter to the client that they reached out to you on one gig and got put into another, as long as you produce the work. I genuinely believe having multiple well-performing gigs is better than one that is shooting for the moon, as it widens the opportunity of being noticed.

Will I get paid by Fiverr clients?

Everyone I’ve ever spoken to about writing on Fiverr says that they are worried that they would not get paid. All I can say is that I do believe that can happen, my own experience as an honest seller is that I have now written more than 80 articles and I have been paid for every single one of them. I had my feelings about a couple of clients and I dumped them, without any evidence, just to protect myself. How you go about that is up to you.

How can I protect my five-star rating?

Provide excellent customer service. Deliver all your orders on time and be polite but friendly at all times. When you deliver work, very nicely ask if they would be so kind as to leave you a review (do NOT say a 5-star review). Most likely if they are happy with your work, you’ll get a 5-star, as if they do not feel that the work is right, they will ask for a revision. My advice is that unless they are being unreasonable, just work through a few revisions until they are satisfied, (I’ve never yet had to do more than one revision per client, but the theory is good.)

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