Unless you've been living in a hole the last five years, you've probably heard of Fiverr.
To the uninitiated, Fiverr is a platform where people will do stuff for you for $5.
Think of it as a freelancing platform where instead of selecting freelancers, you buy pre-made 'gigs' for $5.
The beauty of Fiverr is the low price and the huge variety of gigs. Whatever you can think of, there's probably a gig for it on Fiverr.
For bootstrappers like us, the low price, easy buying process and variety of gigs makes Fiverr a particularly attractive platform. Instead of testing different freelancers, you can just buy gigs and get your work done for cheap.
Of course, not all kinds of gigs are worth buying (even for $5). So in this post, we'll tell you how to select the right gig on Fiverr, and show you our list of recommended gigs.
What you will learn
What is Fiverr?
The idea behind Fiverr is simple: buy individual services from freelancers for $5 (or at least from $5).
Thus, instead of hiring a freelancer, you are buying a service the freelancer provides. This essentially turns freelancing from a service into a product.
For example, if you wanted to get an article written without Fiverr, you'd first go to a freelancing platform and put up an ad. Freelancers would submit their proposals and you'd choose the best among them.
On Fiverr, the process is reversed. Freelancers tell you what they're going to offer - an article for example- and you buy the service directly without sifting through proposals or putting up ads.
It's great if you don't want to go through the trouble of putting up ads, trying out different freelancers, and finding the right one. We can't recommend it enough for quick tasks that would normally take you hours through the DIY route.
There's one more thing you should know about Fiverr, and that's the upsell system and how they might get more than $5 out of you (Spoiler: I spent up to $200 on a single gig once).
The Fiverr Upsell System
When Fiverr was first introduced, it was a simple platform where people could sell their services for $5.
Over time, as Fiverr matured, freelancers and buyers started demanding more work and better pay.
To meet these demands while still maintaining the "$5 for anything" concept, Fiverr introduced an upsell system.
It works this way:
- Freelancers offer a simple service for $5 (example: logo design)
- Freelancers then offer additional services for higher prices. For example, a logo designer might offer faster delivery for an extra $5, or sell a bundle of social media covers + logos for another $20.
- Buyers can buy just the simple $5 gig, or they can buy the $5 gig + gig extras.
It's a great system for freelancers to make more money, and for buyers to get better work from trusted providers.
That's also one of the best examples of tripwire deployment out there. You can hire anyone for just $5 but there are immediate up sales that drastically increase the transaction value.
Alternatives to Fiverr
Back when Fiverr was first launched, a number of businesses copied the model and built similar platforms for different price points ('Tennerr' for $10 gigs, 'Fifteenerr' for $15 gigs, etc.). Most of these were unsuccessful and are now out of business.
However, a number of alternatives continue to thrive. Some of these are:
How to Recognize a Great Gig on Fiverr?
As with every freelancing platform, there are plenty of scammers, spammers and low quality providers on Fiverr.
The key to finding good gigs is to take advantage of the tools Fiverr offers and to trust your instincts.
Star Ratings and Reviews
Fiverr gives buyers a chance to review and rate sellers after delivery. Ratings are out of 5 and reviews are generally short, one-sentence long.
It's important to remember that this isn't Amazon. Standards on Fiverr aren't exactly high and people will often give 5-star ratings to low quality providers. After all, you can't be too demanding when you're just paying $5.
So take all ratings and reviews with a pinch of salt. If it's anything below 4.5, you probably want to stay away from it.
Also pay attention to the most critical reviews (sort by 'Negative Reviews') as these usually provide a more accurate picture of the worst-case scenario.
Sellers can attach samples of their work with their gig ads. This gives you an idea of the provider's skill-level and quality.
Once again, take these with a pinch of salt. Sellers will only include their best work in their samples, and it may not always be reflective of actual quality.
When you look at a sample, ask yourself: is this something that will look good on my site? Will it add value to my readers? Will it make my brand look better?
If the answer is 'No' (and it often is), you probably want to look elsewhere.
And as always, trust your guts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A seller offering top-quality work for $5 is probably exaggerating.
Keep these points in mind and you won't burn yourself with poor quality gigs.
What NOT to Buy on Fiverr?
You're probably itching to start buying gigs on Fiverr and save tons of time.
But before you can do that, there's something you need to know: not all kinds of gigs are worth buying on Fiverr.
Generally speaking, anything that represents your business' primary value is not worth outsourcing to Fiverr. This includes your site's main content and marketing.
We recommend staying away from the following gigs on Fiverr:
It's an open secret in the marketing community that Fiverr's marketing services aren't just worthless, but can even harm your site.
Here's what you should stay away from (and why):
- Backlinks: Buying backlinks breaks Google TOS - not a very good idea. Plus, for $5, you'll get backlinks from low quality PBNs which are worthless. Not good for your site's long-term health.
- Guest Posts: These will be just low-quality articles put up on slightly better PBNs.
- Press Releases: For $5, your press releases are just going to end up on spammy news blogs. Plus, as Matt Cutts says, links from press release sites don't exactly help your SEO.
- Social Signals: Buying fake followers/fans doesn't help your SEO. Twitter and Facebook are also getting more serious about combating spam and will likely remove your followers within weeks.In the case of Facebook actually, fake fans will hurt your reach because of the way edge rank works. If your fans don't react to your updates (which fake fans don't), Facebook will stop distributing your updates and your reach will be inferior.
- Traffic: You aren't going to get any decent traffic for $5. It'll either be bot traffic, or very low quality, untargeted visitors that aren't going to convert at all.
Content, Design & Programming
If the content is going to go up on your main site, Fiverr is not the best place to source it. For $5, you aren't going to get content that will blow readers away. It will be low quality, short, and have poor grammar and formatting.
As for design, while it's okay to get logos or social media covers, you should stay away from anything complex or time-intensive (such as a custom blog design).
The same goes for coding gigs. If you want to fix your CSS, Fiverr is a great platform. But if you want a custom web app, $5 isn't going to get you much.
In the end, be smart and pick gigs where $5 actually represents a meaningful return for the provider. No writer worth his time is going to invest 2 hours into writing a $5 article, nor will a good designer or coder spend a whole day just to make $5.
You get what you pay for.
What to Buy on Fiverr
If you skip the online marketing section, you'll find that there's tons of value on offer on Fiverr, especially for creative work such as logos, illustrations, etc. You won't be blown away by the quality, but for $5, you can get good enough work to get started.
Here's our own list of things you should be buying on Fiverr:
#1 - Logo Design
Every business needs a logo. It won't make or break your business, but it can definitely give it an air of professionalism if like me, your better alternative is Microsoft Paint.
Seriously, would you trust a business that had a logo like this?
Hiring a good designer, however, is expensive. Good logos can run into 4, even 5 figures (or if you're Pepsi, even $1M).
Obviously, you don't have that kind of budget. Since you're bootstrapping, you need something that is cheap but gets the job done. Once your business grows, you can always redesign the logo later.
Fiverr is perfect for this. Here's a sample of what you can expect:
Those were the alternative brands to Authority Hacker by the way, let's just say I'm quite happy we went with the one we went with ;).
They're not the most innovative of logos, but at $5 you can't complain.
Our recommended Fiverr logo gigs:
You can obviously hit up any of the freelancing platforms (Freelancer, Upwork, etc.) to find a designer, but if you're looking for a dedicated logo design service, here's what we recommend:
99Designs is the original and the best known design contest website. It does way more than just logos - you can get everything from entire websites to pamphlets and posters. The quality of designers is usually top notch and some very well known businesses have patronized its services.
There's just one downside - at a base price of $299, it's expensive for small businesses. Choose it only for big projects or if you already have proof of concept. Otherwise, $300 are better spent elsewhere.
48HoursLogo.com is the poor man's 99 Designs. It is a platform where you can host a "design contest" specifically for logos. You upload a brief and freelance designers will pitch logo concepts as per your requirements. You can sometimes get 10 - 15 concepts per contest.
Once you like a concept, you simply select it and it's yours - all for $29.
If you want to attract more concept you can bid more than $29. I found bidding $31 attracted a lot more for just $2 more !
#2 - Illustrations & Graphics
As a marketer, you'll need a lot of graphics for eBook covers, blog post headers, illustrations, social media, etc. As we've said before, these visuals can have a big impact on your traffic and engagement.
Unfortunately, most designers on freelance platforms charge an arm and a leg for such graphics.
This makes Fiverr a very good alternative, provided you find the right gigs. You won't get anything world-class, but the quality will be good enough for a bootstrapped business.
Here's are a couple of examples of what you can expect:
For $5, I'd say that's not bad at all!
Our recommended Fiverr graphics gigs
While Fiverr gigs are perfectly good for a business starting out, you might want to eventually branch out and work with better designers.
In that case, you can check out Upwork:
Upwork is the massive new freelancing platform built after the merger of Elance and oDesk. It has a huge number of designers of all skill levels. The trouble is that it's not always easy to find the ones who are good and won't cost you hundreds of dollars.
Besides Upwork, you can also go to 99Designs.com to get your graphics done. It's not cheap - an eBook cover will cost you $299 - but the quality is great and the brief format helps you get your idea across easily. Worth the money if you have a mature business.
#3 - Voice Overs
Have you ever recorded a video and cringed when you heard your own voice or accent? Now imagine the effect this would have on your audience.
This is why it's always a good idea to get a voice over from a professional, especially if you have an accent or a weak voice. You'll find that it adds a layer of finesse missing from your self-recorded videos. We use this for some of our own videos since we've found that the French accent can be turn-off to colder audiences.
The good part is that voice over artists on Fiverr are not only cheap, but also comparable in quality to professionals that charge hundreds of dollars. Prices usually start at $5 for 50-100 words.
This is probably one of the services category where it will be complicated for you to tell the difference between a premium service and Fiverr.
You can listen to a sample from some of our voice over work here:
Our recommended Fiverr voice over gigs
Fiverr is great for a bootstrapping business that needs cheap voice overs quickly. However, if you're launching a major product and need top-tier voice over artists, you have a couple of other options as well:
VoiceBunny is an open marketplace for voice acting talent. You can either choose a specific voice actor, or hold an audition with up to 3 applicants. You can select different languages and accents, and can even choose the age and gender of the actor.
Prices start at $45 for 15 seconds of voice over work.
Voices.com is one of the largest marketplaces for vocal talent. Artists from Voices.com are frequently used by some of the top brands in the world for TV and radio commercials. It isn't cheap - prices start at $100/minute for non-broadcast recordings - but if you need top-notch work, this is where you should come.
#4 - Persona Videos
We like to use persona videos to help align our site with our target audiences. This helps us reach demographics that are not us.
Say, you're running a site for young mothers. A persona video with advice, ideas, or thoughts from someone in the same demographic (i.e. women in 20s and early 30s) would have a much bigger impact than one recorded by a 40 year old man.
There are tons of persona video gig offers on Fiverr and you can usually find someone who fits your audience demographic perfectly, are comfortable on camera and can help pass your message through in a more convincing way.
Tons of companies use that tactic hiring actors as their CEO's and it works extremely well for them.
Our recommended persona video gigs on Fiverr
#5 - Transcriptions
As great as video and audio content is for your site, it doesn't really produce any SEO benefits. After all, Google can't really tell what your video is all about.
The way around this is to create transcripts of your video/audio content. This has two benefits:
- It improves SEO. By indexing the transcript, Google can know exactly what the video contains. You can also use the transcript to improve SEO on YouTube.
- It improves user experience. Some users might not want to watch video (slow connection, public place, etc.), but are still interested in what you have to say. Transcripts come in really handy for this audience.
There are countless transcription gigs on Fiverr with prices starting as low as $5 for 10 minutes of video content.
Be careful though, as you will see in our sample, these still need some formatting and fixing sometimes so don't expect them to just be copy / paste and done.
Here's a transcript we had made of one of our videos:
Our recommended transcription gigs on Fiverr
The transcription industry is already well established with a number of mature players. These services are patronized by big corporations, which means they have to adhere to high standards of accuracy and turnaround time at relatively low costs.
These alternatives might be slightly more expensive than Fiverr, but they'll also be more reliable.
Speechpad is one of the leading players in the transcription industry. It boasts high profile customers like Netflix, Microsoft and Amazon. The platform is easy to use, dependable and relatively affordable with prices starting at $1/min for 1 week turnaround.
Rev.com offers transcription, translation and subtitling services to businesses. It's prices are low and it boasts a 99% accuracy rate. The platform is easy to use and even includes integrations with Dropbox, YouTube, etc. to automatically transcribe new uploads.
They also have a handy smartphone app that allows you to just record yourself and upload in their service for a quick transcription.
#6 - Proofreading and Editing
Proofreading is something every blogger promises to do, but never actually comes around to doing.
I am the first one to be guilty of that. I am not a native speaker and well... I make mistakes when I write. But if you ask me to spend more time on a blog post to fix its mistake, you probably won't like the look on my face.
Besides, it's often difficult to spot spelling and grammar errors when you're also the writer of piece.
The solution? Cheap proofreaders and editors on Fiverr.
These guys will go through your document and prune off all grammar and spelling errors. And they'll do it for as cheap as $5/1500 words.
The only problem is that this will push your publication date by a few days, so you'll have to plan your content calendar in advance.
Our recommended proofreading gigs on Fiverr
There are dozens of proofreading and editing services online, varying in quality, response time and target audience (college students, authors, bloggers, etc.). You can either use them, or hire a proofreader from UpWork/Freelancer if you have a lot of volume.
For our money, these are the two alternatives we recommend:
Grammarly is a powerful grammar and spellcheck tool that claims to spot 10x as many mistakes as Word's spellcheck. It certainly lives up to that promise in real life, often spotting errors even skilled writers miss.
It's also free to use and you can check as many documents as you want. Highly recommended if you don't want a dedicated proofreader.
#7 - Video/Audio Intros
If you're serious about video and audio content (and you should be), you will need an intro/outro. Not only do they look nice, but they can also go a long way in establishing you as a professional, serious brand.
One way is to create these intros yourself with iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, but unless you have a background in animation, your results will be just cheesy and unprofessional.
The other way is to use professionals, but they can cost a small fortune even for simple projects.
This is where Fiverr comes into the picture. There are number of audio/video FX artists on Fiverr who'll be more than happy to create an intro for you. You can choose from a number of templates, which they'll then customize with your logo or message. It won't be as good as a made-from-scratch intro, but for a bootstrapping business, it's still good enough to get started.
Here's the AH intro, as you might have seen in our videos:
And here's the audio show closer used in our podcasts:
Recommended audio/video intro gigs on Fiverr
There are no real alternatives to Fiverr where you can get a quick intro at low costs. You can try hiring people off freelancing sites or get a pre-made template from VideoHive.net or Pond5.com, but that's about it.
The other option is to take the DIY route. For this, you'll have to buy (expensive) video editing software. I recommend either Sony Vegas Pro or Final Cut Pro if you're going to take this route. Buy a video template from one of the sites mentioned above, then edit it in this software to get a intro quickly.
#8 - Video and Audio Editing
If you've ever made a video, you know how exhausting editing can be. Even if you have the technical know-how, it can take hours to put a video together. You also end up watching the video 2-3 times or more, which isn't exactly exciting.
It's even harder for a newbie since you have to first learn complicated software, then master editing tricks before you can publish your video or audio file.
An easy way out is to just outsource all editing work to Fiverr. There are a number of people on the platform who'll be happy to edit your short videos for just $5. It won't be Hollywood quality, but for small businesses, it's good enough.
Our recommended video/audio editing gigs on Fiverr
The only real alternative to Fiverr is to hire people off freelancing sites. UpWork is great for this, especially if you have more complicated projects.
If you want to take the DIY route, you can use Final Cut Pro or Sony Vegas for serious, professional videos. For simpler videos, iMovie will do.
That just about concludes our list of recommended Fiverr gigs.
It's important to realize what Fiverr exactly is, and what it's not. It's wonderful for getting secondary tasks done - illustrations, logos, editing - things that aren't central to your site or product.
For higher end tasks, however, you'll be much better off hiring professionals from UpWork or other freelancing platforms.
If you keep this golden rule in mind, you'll have no trouble with low quality Fiverr gigs. And you'll save a bunch of time.
And lastly, don't forget to have fun with the platform - it is $5 after all :)
To finish, I am quite curious, how do you guys use Fiverr and outsourcing to automate website management tasks and grow your properties?
Let me know in the comments!