How I Made Money With Fiverr While Homeless

People use computers in a library.

Fiverr is an online gig service which I used when homeless to make extra money while at the library. I was homeless for a long time and used different methods of making money online to pull myself out of that situation. Fiverr accounted for a significant portion of my online income. So I’d like to share this method of making money with those of you who might have the skill set or ambition to take advantage of it when you need it. In this guide, I’d like to explain how to use Fiverr if you’re a beginner, and I’ll also outline some of the techniques that I feel will help you.

In a nutshell, Fiverr is a place where you can do digital jobs for other people and get paid for it. It connects people from all over the world so that website owners and others who need services performed for them can find freelance workers to do jobs for them. All you need for most jobs on Fiverr is access to a computer, and if you’re homeless you probably already know where a local library is that might just have computers.

Most people will not make a full time income from this and it’s intended to supplement any other income you might be receiving, but the potential is there and the sky is the limit if you’re skilled already or willing to learn and have the motivation.

While I was homeless, I used this site along with many other methods online to get back on my feet. Think of it as just one step that helped me climb the ladder to reach independence again and just one strategy I used to get off the streets while I spent most days at the public library.

So with that said, here’s a rundown on everything you’ll need to know about Fiverr to get started and I hope you can use this guide or any of my other guides to get back on your feet. While this method isn’t for everyone (and some people will find it overly difficult), these are just some tips on how to use the platform which worked for me when I needed extra cash.


Fiverr Explained

The way the website works is that you can offer any service you’d like online for $5 or more (typically jobs listed within the $5-$10 range have the best chance of finding customers). Your customers are people who need services done for them online, so the jobs and services you offer must be things that can be delivered to them digitally or jobs you can do for them online.

Examples of services you can offer includes writing original articles or rewriting other articles in your own words, translating documents or audio files for customers, designing logos or doing graphics work, proofreading, editing video or animation, or just about anything else that you think you’d be skilled at doing.

Me personally, I stick to writing articles and sometimes I do rewriting of articles because I don’t feel particularly skilled in anything else. But it’s entirely up to you and what you feel you’d like doing or can offer others. You basically just advertise which services you’re offering as listings or “gigs” to others and set the price for these services.

You will state in your listing how much time you need to deliver the service, and when somebody buys the service you’ll receive a notification by email and in your Fiverr interface. Once you have an order, you have as long as you specified in your listing to complete the order. Once you complete it, you’ll be paid 2 weeks later. But to understand how all this works further, you’ll need to know how to create a listing.


How to Create a Fiverr Listing

To create listings on Fiverr which will advertise your services, you can simply go to the “Selling” section at the top of the page after you’re logged in to the site (assuming you’ve registered for the site already). Next, under the Selling section, you’ll choose “Gigs” from the drop-down menu. On Fiverr, the services or jobs you offer are called “gigs” and you can create different gigs based on different services you offer.

For example, I might create a gig stating that I’ll write a 1,000 word article for $10. I might also create a gig stating that I’ll proofread somebody else’s article for $5. You can offer any types of gigs on Fiverr that you want or that you think you might be skilled at (assuming they’re legal).

Now once you find the gigs section, you’ll want to click on “Create a Gig” and from there it’s pretty much self-explanatory as to how to create a listing. You’ll enter the title or name of your gig, which will be the first thing people see when they’re looking for people to hire.

You’ll also want to enter search tags, which are essentially any keywords associated with your gig which may or may not be in the title. If you’re offering to write an article about cancer, then the title might read as “500 word Article on Cancer” and then the search tags might be “article, health, cancer”.

This is just an example, but what I did when I first got started was I simply looked at other people’s listings who were in the same niche or categories as me. I took notice of who was getting hired for the most gigs and how they presented themselves and how their listings looked.

It’s important to scope out your competition if you want to make money on Fiverr because there’s so many people using it that you either need to find a niche, topic, or service that hasn’t been oversaturated yet, or you need to stay competitive by keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing and either matching them or doing things better than them.

If you want more details or need further help on understanding on creating listings, you can simply go to the Help & Support page at the bottom of their homepage.


Payment & Fees

Getting paid on Fivver is quite simple, but there’s a few things you should know before you decide if their website is worth your time or not. After you finish a gig, the buyer has already made payment through Fiverr’s escrow service. Their money was already sitting in the escrow service while you were doing the job for them.

However, you as the seller do not actually get this money until 14 days after delivery of the service has been made to the buyer through a file upload to the buyer or through other means. The buyer has 14 days to dispute the service, and it’s extremely rare for a dispute to happen as long as you’re providing what you say you’ll provide. So this is not something I’d typically worry about if you plan on doing lots of business on Fiverr.

Now you have the option of being paid by Paypal, a Fiverr Revenue Card, or to have the money directly deposited into your bank account (this last option is for U.S. users only). But regardless of what payment option you choose, Fiverr always takes 20% of your revenue right off the bat. So if you do a job for $5, you’ll really only be getting paid $4 because Fiverr takes their cut of 20% ($1 out of $5).

Of course, none of us workers on there like it, but this is how they stay in business and probably why they’ve grown to be so big. So needless to say, it comes with the territory and we just have to accept it unless you diversify more by selling gigs on other websites and forums as well.


How to Write Articles on Fiverr

Of all the ways to make money on Fiverr, the vast majority of people tend to write articles on there. If you choose to go this route, just keep in mind that you’re going to have much more competition for this particular service than any other service you might be able to offer.

So before you jump in and start offering to write articles on Fiverr for your customers, you should first know the in’s and out’s of how it all works and how to deliver the best products and retain your customer base so they keep coming back for more. What follows below is a rough guide on writing articles on Fiverr based on my own experience.


1. Know Your Customers

In order to offer to write articles, you should think about what types of people you’ll be writing for and what types of articles they’ll specifically need. The majority of people who need articles written for them are website owners who need original content and lots of it for their websites.

Search engines such as Google often rank websites based on articles and keywords that are on a particular site, and so these website owners will want content that helps them outrank their competitor’s websites so they can bring in more visitors.

The content has to be original and not copied from anywhere and I’ll explain why later in this guide. Many of these website owners have a website that sells a certain product or service, but they need more pages and content on their site because thin pages with just a product page do not normally rank well on their own in search engines.

As an example, let’s say somebody is a lawyer who specializes in medical insurance claims. They can advertise their services on their website, but without lots of articles or content, people searching the internet for lawyers may not find their site at all. So this particular lawyer might want to hire you to write articles about medical insurance claims for them.


2. Word Count

When you create your Fiverr listing, you decide how many words you’re willing to write in each article and for how much money you’ll need in order to write each article. The going rate seems to be about 500 words per article for $5, but many people charge more for this and involve other services or specialties along with this, such as “research included”, “SEO included”, or any of the other extra things you’re willing to do as part of the service.

I’ll explain these extra services in just a moment, but just keep in mind that hardly no one writes articles for less than 500 words per $5 unless they’re really confident in their work and feel they are worth more. Many people charge as much as $15 or more for a 500 word article with extra services included with it, but a 1,000 word article at $20-$30 is normal and the average going rate.

Some people charge $10 for a 1,000 word article as well. But you’ll be hard-pressed to find anybody charging $5 or anywhere near that for a 1,000 word article. So it’s all up to you when it comes to word count and you may even want to start out with cheaper services than others to undercut your competition. Then, once you build up enough customer feedback, you can start increasing your prices and charging more for the same services.


3. Research Included

When writing articles for pay, many people are not completely familiar with the subject matter that they’re writing about. They may only have a basic understanding of the topic and so the article they write may be slightly vague and not delve too much into specific details about the topic.

Most customers will not want this, which is why many are willing to pay a little extra for their writers to spend some time researching the topic before writing about it. When you see an ad on Fiverr that says “research included”, it usually means that the writer will search the internet for the topic they’re writing about to learn more about it and make sure they understand the topic fully so everything is accurate.

If two people are offering to write a 500-word article for $10, but one person is willing to research it beforehand and the other is not, which one do you think you would choose to write your article? The one who researches first will normally have an advantage over the writer that doesn’t. This is why you may want to offer a service where you advertise “research included” so you can either charge more for your articles, or at least have a slight edge over your competitors who may be advertising similar services without the research.


4. SEO and Keywords

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is something you may want to mention or offer in your writing services if you’re willing to take time to learn about it, assuming you aren’t already familiar with it. Many writers on Fiverr offer SEO and a certain amount of keywords as part of their services to attract more customers.

What SEO means is that an article is written specifically in a way so that it will rank higher in search engine results by using a few tricks and methods when writing. For example, certain keywords can help an article rank better in search engines if they are used in an article.

Let’s say a writer offers SEO service with 3 keywords. What this means is that the customer will provide 3 keywords that they want placed within the article. Your job as the writer, if you’re offering this service, is to write the article around those keywords or to at least make sure you include them in at least a few sentences within the article.

SEO can also mean that you’ve researched a topic to see what keywords are associated with it or what phrases people search for when they are looking to find an article on a particular topic. You would then make sure to include these keywords and phrases somewhere within the article so more people find it when searching the internet.

While it’s easy to simply place a few keywords into an article when a customer provides them to you, SEO itself often takes a long time to learn and to become skilled at so you may just want to offer keyword service at first and leave the SEO for the experts.


5. Plagiarism and Copyscape

It’s important to write original articles that are not using most of the same phrases and words from articles already printed on the internet. You can’t simply copy an article from one website and sell it to someone else and claim you wrote it. This is called plagiarism and you can literally be sued for it and possibly even face criminal charges.

But in addition to this, most people who pay others to write their articles often will search the internet once they receive an article to make sure it’s not posted somewhere else. There are many services that allow them to search the internet for content, such as Copyscape, which will tell them if the article or any part of it has been published already on another website.

Any website owner with any common sense will always check for this when hiring others to write for them because if they post an article that has already been posted elsewhere, their entire website might be affected by that. Search engines like Google have what’s called duplicate content penalties which can result in a penalty on any website that has stolen content published on it.

In addition to this, there’s a legal maneuver that’s known as a DMCA takedown notice where the person who originally created the article can basically force a website to take down their content or face penalties and consequences. So if you’re new at writing articles, one of the biggest mistakes you could make is to try to sell a copied article that someone else wrote unless you specifically purchased that article from them and it isn’t already posted somewhere else.


6. Feedback

Each time you write an article for someone or do any job on Fiverr, the person who hired you for the job has the option of leaving feedback about your work afterwards. They can give you anywhere between 1-5 stars and can leave a comment. The most common reason that I see for people receiving negative feedback and lower star ratings is due to failure to deliver.

It’s important that you always finish the job in the time frame that you specified you would to keep your customers happy and to keep your feedback rating high. I’ve been both a worker and a customer on the Fiverr platform and as a customer or requester, I always look at star ratings and feedback before deciding on who I want to hire for a specific task.

When it comes to writing articles, feedback is extremely important because many people’s entire businesses rely on the articles you write and one poorly written article could affect an entire website’s rankings in search engines and lead to less traffic to their website. So do whatever you have to do to keep each customer happy. You should always be aware of how that one particular customer’s feedback can affect the amount of work you’re hired to do by others later down the line.


Smart Method 1: Find a Niche

Because I was homeless myself, I once went on Fiverr to not only see if there was possibly a market for articles that are focused on social issues, but also to see if anybody else was advertising a similar service. This would be a niche, but the topic of homelessness does not pay very well compared to topics associated with products or services that people want to buy.

There aren’t really many people out there looking for articles about homelessness because there isn’t really an ecommerce industry for it. However, there’s plenty of people looking for articles about medical, financial, and health related topics. With that said, there’s also many writers who know this and are already advertising their services specifically towards those industries.

This is why it may be smart to think of a niche that is in high demand, but also that has low competition (meaning very few people on Fiverr that are writing about that topic or advertising their services for it).

Once you find your niche and start advertising it based on that, you can dominate in that industry on Fiverr and all customers looking for that topic will find your ads. For example, when Bitcoin started to become very popular in recent years, many websites out there needed articles about, and some writers on Fiverr that realized that almost immediately.

The first few people on Fiverr who realized that were probably selling Bitcoin articles to website owners like hotcakes and were in a great position to charge more for their articles since there wasn’t much competition at the time. If you have the foresight to see what emerging trends are taking place on the internet and you’re able to capitalize on that with your articles, you can really stay ahead of the pack and create your own lane on Fiverr.


Smart Method 2: Outsource the Work

If you really want to make things easier on yourself and basically get paid to be a middleman of sorts, you can always outsource any jobs or orders you receive on Fiverr to other workers on there or even to workers on other sites. In other words, let’s say somebody hires you to write a 500-word article on Fiverr for them for $10 and you’ve specified that you’ll deliver it within 3 days to them.

During these 3 days, you can then find another worker on Fiverr who is advertising a similar service at a cheaper rate and basically pay them $5 for what you’re being paid $10 to do and pocket the rest. This would give you a profit of $5 for simply finding someone else to do a job, and the beauty of it is that you won’t even have to write or type a single word of the article. Let them do all the work for you in exchange for a piece of the pie you’re receiving. This isn’t dishonest or unfair as it’s how most business works in this world.

You’re being paid to do something and you’re basically hiring someone else to do it for you. For all you know, the person who is hiring you at $10 an article may be getting paid $20 an article by somebody else. So this can be a really great way to make $5 quickly, but it’s also important to make sure you’re delivering quality work to the person who hired you for the job.

It would be quite embarrassing for you to be hired for a job and then deliver a low quality service to them and have to take credit for that. So my advice is to find a few dependable workers who have skills at they do, either on Fiverr or on other freelancing websites. Once you start working with a number of them and you start getting more orders in from customers, you can literally build a business out of this and keep the momentum going to keep making more and more money.


The Key to Earnings – Create Multiple Ads

If you want consistent earnings and regular gigs, you’ll need to create multiple listings or advertisements for your services in the beginning. This means modifying your gigs significantly but in a way that makes it easy for you to just duplicate your listings and only change a few significant details.

For example, if you want to write articles for people, you should try posting listings that specifically attract people from different niches or people looking for specific content. As an example, instead of just stating in one listing “I’ll write a 500 word article for $10”, you should try multiple listings where the first listing states you’ll write a 500 word medical article, and the second states you’ll write a 500 word finance article.

Try to switch up your listings and target people who are looking specifically for a certain type of content. You’re competing with many other people on Fiverr for gigs and when you’re just starting out you won’t have the same positive feedback numbers from past customers that many of your competitors will have.

When I was doing Fiverr while homeless, I’ll admit that there was less competition on the site at the time. Since then, the site has become very popular, with millions of members. However, I still employ this specific method nowadays in order to get sales. The more effort you put in to creating different listings and making them appealing, the more responses you will get from buyers.