How Fiverr killed the market for freelance writers
This just in this morning from Patrick Lambert, a freelance writer in Montreal:
I joined (Fiverr) in early 2011, and was active on the site for over a year, until late summer 2012, when my sales went down to basically nothing. [...] (Because) as more people from overseas came on-board, they quickly competed in ways I couldn’t.
Here are some examples…
I will write 25 unique articles in any niche you give me for $5
I will create 10 unique articles on any keyword or topic
I will professionally write unique top quality 20 page ebook
Since it takes a certain amount of time at a minimum to write a 500 word article, Patrick points out these people can’t be making more than 60 cents an hour. You can’t live on that in the U.S. or Canada.
As it turns out, these giggers aren’t writing original or unique articles. They scrape content from the web and spin it or add “stop word” encoding so the article will pass Copyscape. So they may actually be doing about 20 minutes of work for $4 net, which isn’t bad at all if you’re in India or Thailand.
It’s an unfortunate state of affairs that has eliminated English-speaking freelance writers from the Fiverr market. Because why would anyone buy your gig for one original article when they think they can get 10 or 20 instead?
Practically all the writers we profiled in Fiverr’s early days have moved on to other venues. This is a situation Fiverr could remedy, if they put their minds to it. You’d think they would. The “unique article” con is tarnishing the Fiverr brand.
As a freelancer you may not be able to make headway on Fiverr but there are still plenty of markets for your writing, such as Freelancing for Newspapers: Writing for an Overlooked Market .