Most recently, Charles has found a venue for his freelance work on the website, Fiverr. Check out his Fiverr profile and available gigs at https://www.fiverr.com/silberma1976. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. His current offerings include SEO-optimized and well-researched web content, product reviews, data entry, and custom-written poems. Here's a video about his writing work.
1. What inspired you to set up a seller's account on Fiverr?
As a teacher, I am lucky I get to do something I love every day: help positively mold the lives of our youth. However, that does not come with the highest salary, so I am always looking for ways to help make some extra cash to pay student loans and save for retirement.
I came across Fiverr while reading an article on how to make extra income. The article described the site and what it took to get started. I decided to look into it, and I saw it was a legitimate option to earn extra cash for my skills.
In my professional work as a teacher, I have been able to use my writing to help advance my field. I have written articles that have been published in state and national publications and websites relevant to health and physical education. In addition, I have written curriculum, and I have presented at local and state conferences on my subject matter. I have always loved writing, and I was ecstatic to be doing education-related writing projects.
There came a point where I not only wanted to monetize my writing, but also use it to help others achieve their goals in advancing their passions along the way. I saw Fiverr as a way to do this.
2. How do you decide what gigs to offer, and what do you feel makes your work unique?
I decide what gigs to offer based on my strengths and things I have found success in. As I mentioned already, I love to write! I am good at it, too. So I decided that my first few gigs would be my writing gigs. I started with a poetry gig, and then added two SEO content gigs. One is for SEO website content. And one is for SEO article content. But I really will write most content or articles. These gigs are entry points, and I find people usually see you're good at a skill, and they will ask for you to use it to do other projects besides the one specific to the gig.
Another gig I have is for teaching people how to make money and earn rewards through online surveys. This is because I have been doing online surveys for a little over a year with booming success. I have earned $2400 in Amazon gift cards and about $800 in cash, and been able to test and keep many products such as cereal, blenders, shoes, and so much more. I know there are people out there who could use some extra cash and gift cards. I have seen it from helping friends start with online surveys to find their own success. That led me to turn it into a Fiverr gig. I just know there is a single parent out there or another teacher like me who could benefit from this service.
What makes my work unique is that every gig is based on a skill where I have found success. I am not trying to mislead anyone. I am an honest, hardworking person, who is taking his successes and using them to try to help others find similar success. You could say in a sea of people looking for a quick buck, I am genuine about my intentions, and my experience and work I produce shows as much.
3. Would you tell us a bit about your day job and how you balance it with your freelance work?
I am a physical education teacher at an elementary school. I have been doing this for 12 years, and I have routines and rituals that help keep me organized and productive at my day job. This allows me to leave my work at work. I also work a second job part-time to help pay down my student loans. So, I am busy to start with. I am able to maintain a balance through routines.
I dedicated a certain day and amount of time to each endeavor. I have set days I work my second job. I schedule in my Fiverr work along with any personal occasions. I use the weekends to catch up, and if I cannot take a gig, I will negotiate what I can handle or be honest and not take it.
In addition to scheduling, taking time for me helps with the balance. I make sure to set aside days and times to exercise and socialize. These times help me keep grounded and productive in other areas of my life.
4. How did you first become interested in writing poetry, and what makes for an interesting poem, in your opinion?
I have been writing poetry since I was 14. It started as an outlet for some teenage angst, and grew from there. I used to keep notebooks of poetry, and I would share it with my dad who always gave me positive feedback on it. So, it was more for personal reasons then anything else.
I put it away for a while as I grew. But I turned back to it time to time, especially during tough times. I have always had a natural ability to sit down and express myself in poetry in a way I cannot verbally. Over the years, I started to use my poetry for local community organizations, to give to colleagues as end of the year gifts, or to publish along with the nonfiction writing I did for the publications related to my profession.
I decided that it was worth sharing that gift with others through Fiverr. If I could write a poem for someone who wanted to communicate something special to someone special, it would be worth it.
5. As someone who has participated in the Fiverr community as both a buyer and a seller, what keeps you coming back to Fiverr--and what would you say to people who haven't yet given it a try?
I keep coming back to Fiverr because it works. It is something that is easy to get started on with little up-front investment time-wise or financially. The tools they provide help you grow and manage your gigs. You will find people on the site with exceptional talents you would not otherwise find. It is a one-of-a-kind place.
As a buyer, I can get a second set of eyes on written work for my profession. For example, I had written a book proposal that I wanted to send to publishers, and I found a Fiverr seller to help edit it. So far that has paid off, as the book is garnering some interest with a major Physical Education and Health publication. As a buyer, Fiverr give you access to people that can help further your goals in life.
As a seller, I stick with it because it is paying off. I have seen steady growth in my gig purchases since I started two months ago. I honestly wrote Fiverr off after a month of no gig purchases. Then one order came, then another, then another, and now I am a level one seller all of a sudden. It is extremely gratifying to not only get paid for something you love to do, but to get such positive feedback on your work is a thrill. To know people like what I do and that it is helping them is an amazing feeling.
The big reason I stick with Fiverr is because I feel a part of a worldwide community of like-minded people. I have worked with and communicated with people from all over the world. From London to Louisiana, I have met some very kind and endearing people doing wonderful things. I have learned new things about new places, and I have learned more about life on Fiverr because of the kindness of the community.
I would tell newcomers to reach out for help and stick with it. When I started, I had someone who was sort of mentoring me on how to be successful on Fiverr. He really helped me so much. And now he has given me work as I have given him work. Other Fiverr sellers have helped me with advice, too. Being patient was the biggest piece of advice I got. So, to someone new to this, I would say, reach out to experienced sellers for help, follow the advice that they and Fiverr give you because it works, and be patient as it takes time to see results.
Lastly, I would caution that you have to know that you are starting a small business when you start on Fiverr. Keep that in mind as you build your gigs over time. You will have to consider marketing and social networking.