fiverr

How to Make Money on Fiverr Without Selling Your Soul

I joined fiverr a little over a year ago. Initially, I was just checking out the site to see what the fuss was all about.

When fiverr originally launched, it caught a ton of press and exposure because of their unique business model. Not only that, it was super interesting to see all of the crazy things people were willing to do for 5 bucks.

INTRO TO FIVERR

If you don’t know what fiverr is all about, you can signup on their website and list “gigs” that you are willing to do for $5. Once you sell enough gigs, you become eligible to offer higher priced gigs and can make more money.

Do you actually get $5 bucks for every gig you complete? No. Fiverr takes a 20% cut on every gig. Therefore, your $5 in your pocket payout is now $4. Take out PayPal processing fees and your cut is just under $4 on a 5 dollar gig.

THE FIVERR CHALLENGE

This is where the real challenge of making money on Fiverr comes in. What are you really going to do for a measly $4? What kind of service or product can you offer that provides value but doesn’t bust your hump in the process?

After spending a ton of time on Fiverr’s website looking at popular selling gigs and top rated users, it was clear that the best gigs are either totally unique or completely crazy. However, if you look hard enough, you’ll find some real legitimate gigs for cheap that sell like hot cakes.

You can find everything from logo designers, video editors, business consultants, SEO services, and tons more. Now whether or not you are getting the highest quality service for 5 bucks is a completely different story. I would recommend sticking with sellers that have high ratings and great testimonials.

CREATING YOUR VERY FIRST GIG

Now that you know what the site is all about, let’s talk about how you actually make money on Fivver. The first step is signing up on their website at www.fiverr.com. It’s totally free to sign up and doesn’t cost you any money. You can join using your Facebook account or with an email address. However, if you sign up with your Facebook account you can complete 100% of your user profile (more on that later).

Once you’re logged in, you need create a gig. Under the new and improved Fiverr (V2), you click the Sales link in the top navigation. From there, you can click on “My Gigs” from the right hand side of the page. Now you should see a big green button that says “ADD A NEW GIG”.

PROFIT VS PASSION

Here is where you are going to create your gig (aka the service or product you plan to sell for 5 bucks). Start by creating a gig title. Fiverr suggests you offer something that you are really good at. It’s important to remember that when you’re first getting started on Fiverr, you can only sell 5 dollar gigs. In other words, even though you’re good at underwater basket-weaving, if it takes you 10 hours to complete a basket it’s probably not worth your time.

Sell something you think is valuable to somebody else but won’t take you forever to complete. Sure, you may think there isn’t much you are willing to do for $5, but that’s not necessarily the point here. The point is you want to start selling enough gigs with good ratings that you can “level up” and start selling “extras”.

LEVELING UP

Extras are add-ons that you can tack on to your gig once you have acheived level 1 seller status. The way to acheive level 1 seller status is to be signed up for at least 30 days with Fiverr and completed 10 orders while maintaining excellent ratings.

You may think 10 orders and excellent ratings is difficult to accomplish. However, I find that if you are offering real value, it’s hard to piss someone off enough to leave you negative feedback. Remember, the key is hitting 10 sales while fulfilling your orders.

KEEPING YOUR PROMISES

Fulfilling orders means delivering your gig on time within the time frame you specified. What’s great is you can specify how long it will take you to complete your gig (up to 29 days) before the user buys it. I would suggest you try delivering your gigs in the shortest amount of time possible. Buyers don’t want to wait and tend to want everything yesterday.

If you set a shorter delivery time than your competition offering a similar gig but takes longer to deliver, you probably have a good shot at selling your gig based on faster turn around time. Besides, you can always change this later and lengthen your delivery time should you get a ton of orders all at once.

PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST GIG

In order to complete your gig listing, you need to pick a category and provide a description. In version 2 of Fiverr, you can format your description text and really make it pop using a simple WYSIWYG editor.

However, before anybody sees your gig description, they will be browsing the website and see your gig picture. Don’t overlook this opportunity because you will need to stand out of the crowd in order to get noticed. Try making your gig thumbnail pop by using bright colors and large, easy to read font that clearly describes your offer.

LEVERAGING THE POWER OF VIDEO

Another thing to note is Fiverr will allow you to upload a video into your gig gallery. Fiverr claims that gigs with videos are viewed almost 3X more often than gigs without video. In addition, one of preset search filters on the website are searching gigs with videos.

Once you have uploaded either a picture or video to your gig gallery, you can tag your gig with up to 5 keywords and provide any special instructions to the buyer (if necessary). Also, if you’re actually selling a physical good rather than a virtual service, you need to specify shipping charges.

Other than that, you’re pretty much done with your first Fiverr gig listing. After you publish your gig, it may need review before going live on the website. My very first gig was automatically reviewed but approved within 24 hours.

PROMOTING YOUR GIG

After your gig has been approved and is listed as active in your Fiverr dashboard, you should start promoting it to your friends, family, and anybody else you think might be interested in buying your product or service. For instance, if you’re on Twitter, tweet it. Tons of friends on Facebook? Post it!

You may be asking yourself, what if you don’t have any friends or family or use social media? Can you still sell gigs on Fiverr? Can you still make money?

Although I firmly believe that you will have more success and sell more gigs if you promote your gig outside of Fiverr, you don’t necessarily need to. I sold my very first gig without doing any promotion at all. I simply threw up a gig and it sold within a few days.

FIRST FIVERR MISTAKE

The success didn’t last long though. I delivered my first gig and received positive feedback from the buyer. At this point, I thought I could leave this thing on cruise control and the orders would continue to roll in.

Wrong. I didn’t receive any orders for months after my first gig sold. It also didn’t help that my gig was suspended because I was inactive on Fiverr’s site for so long. NOTE: Fiverr wants to make sure their community remains active and if you go missing in action, it’s a bad look for Fiverr when buyers place orders that don’t get fulfilled.

So now that I was 4 dollars richer, I knew it was “possible” to make money on Fiverr. How much was yet to be determined. I reactivated my gig and without any other promotion orders continue to roll in. I just completed a gig earlier this evening.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN PROFIT

By no means am I going to become a millionaire selling Fiverr gigs. However, I have learned quite a bit and earned just over $100 in the past month or so. More importantly, Fiverr has helped me gain more confidence in my own ability to sell.

FUTURE ON FIVERR

Moving forward, I will continue selling on Fiverr because I have only scratched the service. My goal is to achieve Level 2 seller status and make more money. 5 dollar gigs are nice but $5, $10, $20, and $40 gig extras are even nicer.

Also, I want to test using video in my gigs as a way to sell. Trust on a site like Fiverr goes a long way. I believe that you can build trust quicker through video if done correctly. This is an experiment I will be testing soon.

Meanwhile, I want to offer more gigs. I started out with only 1 gig but added another similar gig a short time later. The second gig is just now getting some traction and I continue to get great feedback from both.

FAST FIVE DOLLARS

If you are interested in making money on Fiverr, give it a shot and you may surprise yourself. Do your homework though and really think about something you can sell that provides value and doesn’t suck the soul out of you. You may only be a few minutes away from being 5 dollars richer!

Drop a comment below or ask me anything about my Fiverr experience so far. If you want to check out my profile, visit www.fiverr.com/seldomstatic.

Best of luck making your first five bucks!

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Wubble Bubble Ball Review: More Poppable Than Unstoppable

The “amazing” Wubble bubble ball is a giant inflatable ball that inflates up to 3 feet. It is designed to look and act like a giant, unpoppable bubble.

Most Wubble bubble balls are sold with a pump and retail for $20. Based on high demand, however, some retailers on amazon are selling them for nearly $60!

My wife picked up a Wubble bubble ball for our kids at Target without the pump. The manufacturer suggests you use their pump but note that almost any battery operated pump should suffice. You can also use a air compressor as a last resort.

The box included the Wubble bubble ball, a nozzle adapter for pumping it up, and an inflation guide (like a tape measure to prevent over inflating).

The ball itself is rather difficult to pump up. You have to jab the nozzle adapter fairly deep into the ball and then shove the pump down into the adapter. In other words, it takes some patience just to get the ball inflated.

Once the ball was pumped up, however, the kids had a ton of fun kicking, catching, throwing, and whacking the ball. Mind you, all if these activities are recommended use on the box.

That said, the fun was short lived. After 10-15 minutes of indoor use, the Wubble bubble ball had a sprung a leak. A small hole the size of a pencil eraser had appeared while the smiles on my kid’s faces quickly disappeared.

Strange thing is that although there was only one hole, you could tell there were many other sections of the ball that had worn thin. I can only imagine what another 15 minutes of play would haves resulted in.

The Wubble bubble ball doesn’t include any repair patches but the manufacturer does offer a lifetime replacement warranty. In fact, they include a bright yellow envelope in the box specifically for returning damaged balls.

This actually makes me think that there is a high rate of returns on Wubble bubble balls and that they are not as durable as the manufacturer would like you to think. That, plus they charge you $6.99 for process and handling.

At this point, not sure that I’ll send the Wubble bubble ball back. Since we bought the ball without the pump, the cost of processing the warranty is almost as much as a buying a new ball. Also, considering how fast the ball popped, it doesn’t make sense to buy another one.

The biggest issue I have with the Wubble bubble ball is that they are sold with the idea that they are almost indestructible when in fact they are relatively easy to pop/damage. Otherwise, a really cool concept that just fails to deliver.

Do you own a Wubble bubble ball? What was your experience and would you recommend buying one to others? If you haven’t purchased a Wubble bubble ball yet but are thinking about it, check out the official commercial and let me know what you think. Should it last longer than 15 minutes?

500 Words and Writin’

It’s a new year, a new dawn, a new day. Time to get writing.

Writing is something that I have always wanted to do more of. I enjoy it tremendously but find excuses not to do it. After scouring my twitter feed this morning I found many great articles and posts about making 2014 “the year”.

I find that many posts are all talk with no accountability. The kind of things we all think are great ideas but rarely actually get done. I want to get some shit done this year.

One post that jumped out at me was a writing challenge thrown down by Jeff Goins. The challenge is to write 500 words a day for the next 31 days. Seems simple enough but I find it challenging just to jot down these very words.

As I stare at the word count grow in my WordPress dashboard and realize how far away from 500 words I actually am, it reminds me of my first crossfit class I took a few days ago.

If you’re not familiar with crossfit, think of it as a high intensity cross training fitness program. The class starts out basic enough with fundamental stretches and moves including jump roping, push ups, sit ups, squats, etc. It progresses from there and the class ends with the workout of the day or “WOD”.

Here is how the WOD relates to writing this post. The WOD consists of multiple reps of various exercises such as 30 push ups, 20 sit ups, 10 pull ups, and so on. The idea is to get through the entire workout, completing all of the reps, regardless of how long it takes to complete.

During my WOD, I struggled to get through the entire workout. It was my first crossfit class, let alone the only fitness activity I have done in years. I was exhausted, ready to give up, and call it quits.

While hunched over and ready to pass out, I kept staring at the little whiteboard that has the workout routine written out in order of sequence. 30 push ups, 20 sit ups, 10 pull ups…

Right at that moment my trainer calls me out. “How many more?”, he said. “Let’s go, let’s get it done.”

Somehow I managed to complete the workout. My time sucked but I felt great about accomplishing the task at hand. I also realized that it helps when you have someone pushing you, holding you accountable to finish.

So here I am in the homestretch of writing this post and completing my first 500 word writing challenge. I’m trying to focus on finishing this post as opposed to the next 30 days that will follow.

Baby steps. One foot in front of the other until we get there. The tree that was once a seed. All of these mental reminders keep my fingers moving forward, typing one word after the next.

As with crossfit, I can only hope writing gets easier. But just like crossfit, I’m excited to go back and try it again because the sense of accomplishment far exceeds the temporary pain.

Happy New Year!

Thesis 2.0 Growing Pains

I’ve been using Thesis from DIYthemes on and off for the past few years. It is ugly out of the box but fast and easy to deploy. It has just the right combination of WYSIWYG and DIY under the hood options to keep WordPress newbies and full blown vets busy.

After running Thesis 1.8x for what seems like an eternity while patiently waiting for the next big release, Chris Pearson and the DIYthemes team finally delivered what they had been promising for months. With my developer license in hand, I immediately downloaded Thesis 2.0 and eagerly uploaded it, anticipating nothing but awesomeness.

Instead, I found myself confused, frustrated, and utterly exhausted. My shiny new WordPress theme was broken.

I turned to the DIYthemes support forum for help and quickly realized I was not alone. Although it was comforting to know that many other users were experiencing the same blank screen of death problem, I was disappointed that nobody had been able to fix it. Even more disappointing was learning that Thesis 2.0 didn’t ship with any official documentation. Who does that?

Sure, there were plenty of suggestions running rampant in the forums ranging from “oh, you just need to select a skin” to “have your web hosting company install XYZ on your server” or “re-compile your CSS” and you should be good to go. However, when all was said and tested, I was left with nothing but a blank theme staring back at my depleted soul.

Today all of that changed. The Thesis team released 2.01 and blank page be gone! Installation went off without a hitch and I can finally play with my shiny new toy. It’s just unfortunate and frustrating that Chris Pearson and the DIYthemes team failed to ever officially acknowledge there was a major problem affecting a large number of customers all the while tooting/tweeting their horn about how awesome Thesis is.

Blank pages behind me, I’m ready to move on can only hope that I find the awesome sauce that has been hyped for so long. Now if only I can get this sour taste of shitty product support out my mouth. :/

WordPress Audio Player Plugin HTML5 Hack

If you’re podcasting or posting mp3 links on your blog, this audio player plugin is super simple and customizable. Problem is, it’s a flash player that doesn’t play nice with Apple mobile devices such as the iphone, ipad, and ipod.

Mobile traffic is huge these days and usage is surging. If you want to ensure that your visitors don’t get left out in the cold, here is a simple hack that makes the audio player plugin HTML5 friendly and therefore rendering the player usable on all non-flash compatible mobile devices.

Tap Into Customer Fear to Drive More Sales

Yesterday I picked up a new Logitech ClearChat Pro USB headset from Best Buy. After doing some homework online and reading all of the reviews, the consensus was that although the sound quality was good, the overall durability was to be questioned.

Many reviewers suggested that the headset was cheaply made and prone to breaking. Specifically, they cited audio dropout problems in either ear piece and microphone breakage.

Undeterred by the negative reviews (and the fact that I wanted to pick up a headset immediately rather than order it online), I checked the price online at Best Buy and discovered it was on sale. Cool. I headed out of the house with my wife and youngest daughter to pick up the headset.

Although I initially had a tough time locating any of the USB headsets at Best Buy, I found the Logitech headset a few minutes later and was ready to checkout. By this time, my 2 year old was already anxious to leave and fussing.

This is when I encountered Mr. Checkout guy on aisle #5. Here is how the conversation went down:

Checkout Guy (CG): Did you find everything okay?
Me: Yes, thanks.
CG: Oh, Logitech huh?
Me: Yeah, I figured I would give it a shot.
CG: Did you know it’s on sale?
Me: Cool.
CG: The sale ends tomorrow and it goes back to it’s regular price.
Me: Uh huh…
CG: I suggest you get our replacement guarantee, good for 2 years, full replacement, blah blah blah…
Me: How much is it?
CG: Only $9.99, and it covers full replacement in case anything breaks such as the ear piece or microphone. Just bring it back in and we’ll replace it at no cost.
Me: Alright. Sounds good.

Now mind you, I rarely ever go for the extended warranties on any of my electronics. However, having read all of the negative reviews online prior to stepping into the store, I still had the same concerns while checking out.

Checkout Guy simply understood the benefits of the replacement warranty as it directly related to my immediate concerns regarding the durability and quality of the product. It was as simple as that.

Sold!

UPDATE: Two days after purchasing the Logitech headset, it broke. Go figure.

godaddy-danica

Backordering an Expired Domain Name using GoDaddy

As usual, I was tooling around on domize.com and stumbled across a niche domain name that had recently expired. I immediately checked the whois at GoDaddy and verified the domain expired 67 days ago and was currently in a redemption period.

I setup an alert in my phone a few minutes later to remind me to check up on the status of the expiring domain name on a daily basis. A few minutes after that I realized how bad I wanted this particular domain and decided this “hunt and peck” strategy just wasn’t going to cut it.

A quick Google search led me to this 4 year old post that discusses the journey of one man’s frugal attempt to secure a domain name using GoDaddy’s backordering service. Long story short and nearly $400 later, he got the domain name but not through GoDaddy. Although he later sold the site to Microsoft (cha-ching), the initial failed backorder wasn’t very encouraging.

Nevertheless, I perused the 700 or so comments from his original post and read several other reviews of the GoDaddy service elsewhere on the web. The consensus suggest that if the domain name you are trying to snag is currently registered through GoDaddy, using their own backordering service gives you a “one up” on all of the other drop catch services out there. Besides that, it’s also one of the cheapest.

Considering the official domain name drop is just around the corner, I decided to pony up the $19 and give the GoDaddy backordering service a shot. I’ll soon find out whether or not that was a Derek Fisher game 4 shot or rather no shot in hell ;).

Stay tuned… I’ll keep you posted.

UPDATE #1: I received an email yesterday (7/24) from GoDaddy indicating the status of the domain I’m chasing changed from redemption period to pending delete. According to most sources on the web, the 5 day countdown to the domain drop is on! Fingers crossed.

UPDATE #2: Today (7/30) was the drop. GoDaddy failed. Lesson learned. Backorder domain names using multiple services instead. SnapNames, NameJet, and Pool.com just to name a few.

iPhone Voice Memos to WordPress via Posterous

With the ability to capture voice memos using the new 3.0 iPhone software, I figured there should be an easy way to publish them direct to WordPress considering there is a built-in share feature on the app that allows you to email the memo. As it turns out, it was a little more complicated than I thought for several reasons.

The “post by email” WordPress option does not support email attachments. I somehow missed this disclaimer after having already configured my own “super secret” POP3 email address and wondering why the attachments were not showing up. Secondly, the iPhone voice memos are only available in .m4a format on not the more common and user-friendly MP3 format.

After all was said and done, I ended up with the following “dirty” solution because although the process is still straightforward (record memo, email, and post on the fly), the presentation and execution leaves something to be desired.

Step 1: Head on over to Posterous.com and create a new account if you don’t already have one. Posterous allows us to get around the whole WordPress “post by email” attachment problem. Please note that you will need to cough up your WordPress credentials in order to configure Posterous to work with WordPress.

Step 2: Download and activate the Anarchy Media Player plugin. This media player “automagically” replaces inline .m4a links with a playable widget.

Step 3: Record a voice memo on your iPhone and share it by sending an email to post@posterous.com. Be sure to send it from the same email account you used when you signed up for Posterous.

Step 4: That’s it. The voice memo should now show up on your blog with an inline audio player for instant playback.

Although this isn’t the most elegant solution, it works. I would have preferred more control over the post formatting and I still haven’t figured out how to make the .m4a files podcast friendly even after adding the requested directives to my .htaccess file. However, what you get in return is up to 1GB free hosting from Posterous and ease of use.

If you’re interested in checking out the end result, click here.

The Microeconomics of Google

Selling ads doesn’t generate only profits; it also generates torrents of data about users’ tastes and habits, data that Google then sifts and processes in order to predict future consumer behavior, find ways to improve its products, and sell more ads. This is the heart and soul of Googlenomics. It’s a system of constant self-analysis: a data-fueled feedback loop that defines not only Google’s future but the future of anyone who does business online.

SOURCE: Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability