Fiverr – The Classic Example of Time Wasting
You might see a seller on Fiverr, doing freelance work for $5 a gig and think to yourself, that’s the easiest way to make $5. The truth is, few people on there make any money, let alone are even hired for a gig. Of the small percentage that are, let’s take a look at their returns. For example, let’s say you hire someone for a relatively easy task. They will record for you a one minute video, reviewing your product – a fairly common and largely “successful” gig.
How long does the gig take them to complete? Let’s say they look over your product or service, giving them the benefit of the doubt, it only takes them 30 minutes to complete a thorough understanding of it, and another 30 minutes to complete the rest of the gig. This includes a few takes, recording their one minute response, formatting it, uploading it and sending it to the buyer. Roughly one hour of work has grossed them $5, but only netted them about $3.80 per gig. Where else can you work for more than $3.80? Pretty much any minimum wage job.
My argument is, that if you are going to spend the hour doing a gig, you might as well spend it working a regular on the clock job. Yes, I will admit there are those who are making better money on Fiverr and are doing it in much less than 1 hour of their time. However, their services, mostly to do with SEO are only popular as long as that practice is in vogue and can be largely hit-and-miss. The minimum wage job is consistent and reliable. If you are going to be let go, you are usually allowed to finish the schedule, approximately one or two more weeks of work.
You may argue, that the reason for doing the gigs and other freelance activities is due to the tax nature of it. With tax season coming to an end, many believe they have escaped the wrath of the government and will owe nothing. Although true that a large amount of the minimum wage is deducted from the base, the net is still above the $5 an hour the Fiverr gig would yield.
Writing Articles – Stepping up but Still Making Squat
Let’s try and use another example, outside of Fiverr, like those that do freelance work, writing articles. This is another one in which social media guru’s, experts, and other self-made idiots have preached: you can make a living writing articles on websites. Not true. And if you are, it’s because you are either already a professional author or live in a country where getting paid USD$ is worth way more to you. If you have connections with personalities within companies, publishers and the community of writing, you are definitely a professional.
What does the average article yield in wages? Many of them I see are for $15, $20 or $30 seems to be the high end for your average article that is commissioned for a better content farming site. Websites owned by Demand Media and the like pay much less. How long does it take to write the article? If you’re a great writer it might only take about 15-20 minutes to write and another 5-10 to edit.
One problem I ignored for the Fiverr example, is the assumption that there will always be work. Many of us jump head first in assuming there will be an unlimited number of articles to write, that there is a library of buyers out there waiting for your piece. Most of the time, there are few willing buyers, at the price you’re willing to receive. Many commission a particular topic at a time and would rather work on these pieces one-at-a-time.
Maybe some of you will prove me wrong, and I hope you do. It saddens me to see so many people online, especially on Fiverr, willing to sell their services for $5. What many people aren’t talking about is the effect that this is having on those professionals, who actually know what they are doing who want to price their services to make a living.
The Problem for Professionals and you a Like
A great example would be a video director or photographer. Someone who practices, received an education and is looking forward to a long prosperous career in a field in which many of my generation and younger are under the impression that these services should cost around $5, maybe a little bit more little extras.
Who else is affected? Writers are especially at risk. Even those who do make a living freelance writing (not always online and veteran writers) through magazines, newspapers and online are now bogged down by those who offer services at $5. Granted, there will be a difference in quality but, how many people will make that discrepancy? I hope more people do.