So those of you who read this blog may have picked up on the fact that I've been doing some work on the side proofreading for people on a little website called Fiverr. I started back in May, and I thought I would share how it's been going, and more importantly, why it's been going that way.
So far, as of today, I've earned $280 since I started just after the first week of May. My revenues have been going up and up every month - as of today, I've officially made more money in the first 10 days of this month than I did in the whole of last month.
Why is this?
1. Quality product.
I do my absolute best to provide a quality result for my buyers. When I work on proofreading, I focus on that. If I'm too tired or distracted for any reason, I give it a break and do something else for a while. But I don't take a break indefinitely. I set a timer and then go back to proofreading when the time's up. That way, I get my break and give myself time to get my crap together, either by relaxing or just doing another task that takes less focus (i.e. checking email, blogging (sometimes the thing distracting me lately has often been an idea for a blog post, reading blogs or articles, watching TV, or researching something for grad school or horse stuff - just for some examples). Then as soon as time's up, I force myself to suck it up and edit. Usually by that point I'm fine and can get work done properly.
I try to answer messages and gig orders as soon as possible after I receive them, even if it's something as simple as acknowledging that I've received the order and assuring the buyer that I will start on their document ASAP. If there are orders ahead of theirs, I usually let them know that and give them an estimate of how soon I plan to start working on their order, and based on how long the document is, an estimate of when I think I might have it finished. Regardless of all that, I have the order done in 5 days max. Another thing I sometimes have to do, though rarely, is turn orders down. Usually if it's something controversial or a task outside of what my gig advertises, the buyer will message me before placing the order. When that happens, I try to quickly get back to them to let them know if I'm comfortable taking on the job or not - especially if I'm not going to do it, that way they can get on with finding another buyer who will.
Obviously this is a big one. My gig is advertised as a fast gig to begin with. There aren't very many out there that I've found that offer to do anything like 10,000 words in just 5 days for $5. In fact, most of the gigs I've seen are for less than 10,000 words, and more than what they advertise usually requires more money and more time. My gig takes on a large volume of work that I promise to do quickly. The only time I've gone over my 5 day limit was right after my big fall a couple weeks ago when I started getting a ton of orders right at the same time when I was concussed and on prescription painkillers - at which point I refused to work on anything because I wasn't really with it and didn't want to give anything other than my best. A couple messages sent out to the buyers it was going to affect received a positive reaction and many wishes for me to get well and take my time with their orders. They were also extremely happy when the orders were only actually a day or two late.
This is probably the biggest factor. As mentioned above, my gig takes on a large volume of work for only $5. My gig extras, which allow a faster delivery time or a larger document, cost extra but still not a lot. Just tonight, I adjusted what gig extras I offer, and some of those adjustments included raising some of my prices slightly. I feel that this is understandable, as I'm now a Level 2 seller (this is good - the only other way I can move up is to become a Top Seller, which is picked by the people who run Fiverr). I've also proven myself to a lot of people and have a lot of return customers who plan to use my service on a normal basis. Most of them only use the basic $5 service, not a lot of extras, so the price changes won't affect them very much, but with all of the good reviews I have, I'm hoping the price change won't affect my sales much. They weren't huge changes, but with the volume of work I've been taking on the past couple weeks since I've been at home with this injury, it's enough to hopefully make a difference in my earnings. It's something I'll be keeping an eye on and adjusting based on feedback from the buyers.
So there. Those are my big things that I try to focus on when I do work on Fiverr. So far they seem to be working well. :) The only other thing I feel I need to focus on is promotion, and that's something I'm going to pick up more on with Twitter and Google+ this month and see if it makes any difference in my sales.