Katie Roman Books




Posted on November 22, 2019 at 6:40 AM

I had to deactivate my fiverr account and at first it was like a dagger in my heart. I liked fiverr, or more specifically, I liked all the writing I got done. I have felt creatively blocked for so long. I have so many half finished projects it constantly feels like I'm a backed up drain. Too many ideas, not enough time, so nothing gets done. Nothing was getting done before fiverr and hopefully now I'll just pick something and finish it. Then onward to the next and finish that. Now that I'm in the habit of writing hours every night.


But on to why I deactivated fiverr despite liking it. There are some major flaws with fiverr, like, I haven't slept in months flaws.


1) I have to work for peanuts to deliver something that should cost double, at least, for the time I put into it. I was working way, waaaay, under minimum wage. But the fiverr model is built around the $5 gig. And sellers are rated by how much they sell, ranging from No Level to Level Two. As a no level seller, who is going to pay a lot without the reviews to back up the work? No one. That's who. I worked with some really cool people. Don't get me wrong, I had a few repeat customers I looked forward to working with, but like, I'm only human. In order to be visible I needed to be cheap and get reviews. The only way to do that was be constantly booked. And I do mean constantly. Since I joined I've gone maybe one or two days without an order in my queue. Which, great, but also. I have a fulltime job (and now school). In order to complete everything by the deadline I routinely got up at 4 or 3:30am to work. Then go to my normal job by 7am. Get home around 4:30pm to exercise and eat. Work from 6-9pm. Sleep. Repeat. That left no time for hobbies. Weekends were spent catching up on shit. I'm. So. Tired.


2) Fiverr's rating system is kind of BS. Fiverr has a breakdown on how to gain levels as sellers. You need to maintain a 90% on communication, delivery, no cancellations, user rating, and while that's not a terrible system to have in place, you cannot miss a message. I wasn't able to respond to someone for over 24 hours and my rating dropped from 100% to 88%, so below their required average. There is an out of office feature, but it didn't seem to make a difference to my score, beyond I got dinged slightly less when it was active for not answering for a day or two. I get that fiverr is trying to protect buyers from potential scam artist sellers. However, fiverr doesn't seem to do much to protect sellers from potential monster buyers. No, I take that back, they only allow buyers 10 days to leave a review after the close of a sale. So if a buyer ghosts the seller and comes back four weeks later to complain, they can't leave a bad review. This happened to me due to a miscommunication and I'm glad that buyer can't ruin my rating for deciding to ghost me for a month and then say I didn't do what they asked.

But I cancelled two projects due to burnout near the end and lost my level one rating after working so hard and busting my ass to get it in the first place. There is very little leeway on fiverr, it expects you to dedicate your life to it. I say nay. My full-time job doesn't even make that demand of me. 


3) Fiverr takes 20% of all revenue. Ok, I mean, I didn't expect them not to take a cut, they are also running a business. However, 20% on their famous $5 gig is $1. And then, and THEN, they take 20% on tips. I received some very generous tips that fiverr took 20% of, which come on. You couldn't make that like 5%? I still have to pay taxes on this shit at the end of the year. But then, when you withdraw your funds, there's a processing fee on top of that. So that $5 is really more like $3.50 in the end. I busted my ass for $3.50.


So, to stay visible and competitive, I had to take two-three jobs at once. Most were $5 gigs (bless all the wonderful people who overpaid because they understand the broken model and didn't take advantage). It takes me about 40 minutes to write 1,000-1,200 words, depends on if I need to do extra research as I go. I can type faster if I know exactly what is being said, but there are whole minutes in those allotted 40 where I'm just like "words are hard." But 40 minutes per 1,000 words is about 200 minutes per 5,000 word story (3.3 hours). Which at $5 is about $1.67 an hour. I'm just doing this math now and oh boy this is depressing. I worked for $1.67 an hour on my basic gig.


I was aware of the downsides to all this. Math aside, but I knew $5 was way under what I should be making. Way under even the worst writer should be making, but I did it anyway. And I did enjoy the work, but it is not feasible to continue at this pace with school. I have barely worked at all this week. I have been too burnt out. In order to catch up on fiverr and homework I have to work about ten hours on my day off. Nah. It's not worth it.


Will I go back to fiverr? Maybe? Probably not. I can't make a living there. Not without some super high rating in place, even then, I don't know. It's not really worth the ball busting need to be competitive. I am keeping my writing services page open with revised payment information because there are some repeat customers I am going to continue to work with, but it will be a million times less stressful. Moral of the story? Follow your dreams, but don't turn them into a living nightmare.

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