In an article last month, we looked with some much-needed scepticism at the proliferation of ‘business opportunities’ out there online, some of which see recession-bitten expats as great targets for the idea of buying in to some product or scheme that will allow the making of millions ‘from the comfort of your own home’. As a good rule of thumb, anything requiring you to send money first or suggests you can make large amounts of cash without trying or having any specific training or expertise, is going to be a load of rip-off rubbish. I wish it were different, but that’s the truth.

So what if you are prepared to try, and really want to make some money online, how do you start? If you just need to make some fast cash, one option to investigate is Fiverr.com. This is a gem of a site, where people buy and sell gigs, for the princely sum of $5. Yes, around €3… I did warn you that making a ton of money online overnight is just not an option from a standing start, you need to start small…

The beauty of Fiverr is the speed and simplicity. You don’t need a website or an online store to offer your services, you can list a gig in minutes, and your audience is potentially worldwide. It’s an authority site that gets good traffic (though you can help get traffic to your own gigs specifically), and the business model is simple – they take a cut of $1 off your fiverr. The money is completely reliable because the client pays up first, and the funds are automatically escrowed by the site and paid over to you on positive feedback or 3 days after completion, whichever is first.

So, what can you sell? Take a look around the site, and get some inspiration. You can sell products, such as information products, if you have written an ebook or report. With an electronic product like this there is no on-cost for you to deliver it, over and over again.

You can sell services – yes these take time, but if you are smart about it and generate enough volume, it can be worthwhile. The key is splitting down your offering into something that makes sense for $5 (and you always offer additional bonuses for a bit more, once you have some established feedback on the site). You need to find a skill you have got and can offer without too much time or effort, that someone will pay for… such as offering to translate a brief article into Spanish, or English. You can get an idea of going rates and how to differentiate yourself by looking around the site – for example, a lot of Spanish translation currently offered on Fiverr is South American Spanish, so you might find a gap where people need something into proper ‘Spanish Spanish’, or perhaps you have medical or business vocabulary skills to add an edge to your offer?

Technical skills are good to offer as well, again its about doing what others need that is easy for you but out of their reach – offering to convert media files from one format to another might be something people need, just doing simply and cheaply and fast and reliably. Think about software you have already got, that you find easy and quick to use. How about formatting a CV beautifully in Word and providing it as a PDF as well? The thing is, if this would take you hours to do a good job on, then it’s not worth it, you won’t even pay for your internet connection that way… but if you can do it fast and well and maybe do loads of them, then it could be worthwhile. Only you know that.

How about creative skills? I have purchased logo designs on Fiverr, with mixed results but the fact is my risk was very low, and by giving the work to several different designers simultaneously I ended up with a logo I liked for a project, for an extremely low cost. Other people offer gigs like drawing a cartoon from a photo, if you have a skill like this why not put it to work, you probably do it for free for your mates so how about getting a ‘fiverr’ for it instead?

Like many online platforms connecting value exchanges of this nature Fiverr relies to an extent on peer feedback and ranking. Do a good job, grow your reputation, and people will be back.

Next week we’ll have a look at some specific gigs you can get started with, and how to maximise your impact on the platform and start earning some Fiverrs!

 

Published in Costa Blanca News, 7th October 2012

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