Best Tips For How To Get Started On Fiverr and Upwork

by Andrew Shih
How to get started on Fiverr and Upwork

Last Updated on December 20, 2022 by Andrew Shih

Freelancing is a great way to start a side hustle in the comfort of your own home and work based on your schedule.  Fiverr and Upwork are two of the largest freelancing platforms. In this article, you will learn how to get started as a new freelancer, tips to be successful, and the pros & cons of both platforms.

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Fiverr is a freelancing website where buyers demand services within any category of their choice, and sellers offer services based on their expertise. On Fiverr, a seller can provide almost all kinds of services in exchange for compensation. But before you can get a job on Fiverr, you have to create a Gig on the service you intend to offer on the platform.

Creating a Gig

After opening a Fiverr account, you will be asked to fill in your personal information, after which you can start to create a gig. A gig is a service you offer on the platform.

The secret of creating an Excellent gig

As a Fiverr seller, your gig needs to be well written as the number of Jobs you will be getting from buyers depends on it.

Use keywords in search tags

Fiverr allows you to put five keywords that will enable your gig to show up in case someone is looking for your kind of service.

For example, let’s say you are offering a writing service that has to do with editing and proofreading. You will have to use search tags such as article, proofread, essay, blog post, and edit so that whatever the buyer searches for about writing, he can see your gig.

Fiverr Search Tags with Keywords
Editing Fiverr Search Tags with Keywords

Allow multiple packages when creating a Gig

For each gig, you can define 3 offering packages – Basic, Standard, and Premium. 

The Basic package represents the minimum amount of work you will do and the lowest price you will accept.  It’s no surprise that the lowest price on Fiverr is $5.  The standard package involves more work, but you can also charge a higher price.  The premium package requires the most amount of work, but you can also charge the highest price.

A new seller can only create up to 7 gigs.  To maximize your earning potential and cater your service to more buyers with different requirements, always enable the 3-package option.

Fiverr Basic, Standard, Premium package options
Editing Fiverr Basic, Standard, Premium package options

Write a good description for your gig

The description of your gig should be well detailed as it enables potential Fiverr buyers to know how capable you are in handling their job. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes.  In the description space, write about your years of experience, the work you can do, and how reliable and excellent you deliver your service. It is an opportunity to express yourself and how best you can deliver a task.

Fiverr gig description
Editing Fiverr Gig Description

Putting a photo/video related to your gig

With your gig photo, a buyer should be able to tell the kind of service you are rendering as a Fiver seller. A good gig photo can make a person click your gig to check out the description of your service. It is also advisable to add a video describing the service you offer as some buyers would prefer to watch the video than read your description.

What to do to succeed as a new Fiverr seller

Always make sure you are online

It is essential that your Fiverr status is online. When your account is online, Fiverr would rank your gig high and show it to interested buyers that want the kind of service you offer. To make sure you are online, you must have the Fiverr phone app, and your internet connection must always be on. It will help you maintain a higher response time.  

Fiverr good response rate screenshot
Fiverr good response rate screenshot

Start with a $5 price tag

Lower price attracts Fiverr buyers. No doubt that the amount is small. It is the sacrifice you have to make as a new seller. With time you can change the price to a more substantial amount as you must have more customers then.

Bid on buyer’s request

Use the BUYER REQUESTS option to bid for a job. In BUYER REQUESTS, Fiverr shows you jobs that are related to your gig, and you are allowed to bid for up to 10 Fiverr jobs daily at no cost.

The screenshot below is what a buyers request for a website gig looks like:

Fiverr buyer requests screenshot
Fiverr sellers can search buyer requests.

Avoid late delivery

Make sure you meet up with the time you are supposed to submit a job as Fiverr uses it to rank your gig.

Avoid Bad Reviews

Nobody wants to buy from a Fiverr seller with bad reviews. It doesn’t tell well on the seller. Once your review is below 90%, you will not be allowed to bid for a job through the buyer’s request.

Tip for getting a successful bid on Fiverr

A buyer on Fiverr can typically get over a dozen seller offers for a request.  How do you stand out from the crowd, especially if you are a new seller facing competition globally?  Here are a few tips to help you improve your success rate.

DO – Read the buy’s request thoroughly

Always read the buyer’s request thoroughly and determine if you are a good fit for the job.  If the job description is not clear, ask for clarification.  If you do not meet all the requirements, acknowledge it upfront, and tell why you are very interested in this job. Don’t just say you read the job description – show it.

DO – Address all the buyer’s questions

Answer all buyer’s questions on the request and acknowledge your qualifications.  It shows you read the request carefully and shows respect to the buyer.  It also shows you are an excellent communicator and willing to address buyer’s concerns.

DO – Offer value upfront

Want to stand out from all the competition?  Why not spend a few minutes up front on providing value, tips, or offer suggestions?  This strategy is especially helpful for new sellers coming to the market.  It will help you build trust and possibly get higher pay.

DO – Follow up and be an excellent communicator

Communication is key to any business.  Do follow up casually and find out if the buyer still requires assistance.  Be polite and don’t be too pushy because a buyer can be busy.

DO – Proofread your response to the buyer

If you are bidding for a project and have never worked with the buyer, you need to make a good first impression.  Make sure you proofread your response and are free from any errors and wordiness.  You can use a free Grammarly plugin to check your spelling.

DO – Make a reasonable offer

Do your market research and make sure your fee is reasonable.  As a starter, you may need to charge a lower fee and try to earn as many good reviews possible to lift your level and build up your credibility.

DO – Provide references

As a new seller, you may not have a reference.  If you do have relevant work to show, you can include links to previous work you had completed.  However, be sure to get consent from the previous buyers that it is ok to do so.

DON’T – Respond in a one-liner sentence

Do not respond to the buyer merely saying you can do the job and ask the buyer to contact you.  It only shows you give no thought to the seller’s request and sure way to get your bids to be among the first ones to be removed by the buyer.

DON’T – Oversell yourself and all about me

In your response to the buyer, it’s about the seller and not about you.  It is ok to say you have a lot of experience in this area, but do not brag you are the best person for the job or how great you are, especially if you are just starting as a new seller.

Levels in Fiverr

No Level

The seller can create up to 7 gigs.

Level 1

Level 1 seller can create up to 10 gigs.  This level is achieved after a Fiverr seller has been active for at least 30 days, with positive reviews, and has completed ten orders with a minimum amount of $400 sales.

Level 2

Level 2 seller can create up to 20 gigs. For you to be a level 2 seller, you have to complete 50 orders and must have made $2000.

Top-Rated Seller

The top seller can have up to 30 gigs.  To be a top-rated Fiverr seller, you have to be manually selected by Fiverr staff bases on seniority, sales, community leadership, and feedback.

Pros and Cons of Fiverr


  • You have an opportunity to earn income
  • Fiverr encourages tips to Fiverr seller
  • It’s not a must to bid before you get a client


  • Low income, most notably when your gig is $5
  • Fiverr charges 20% commission, including tips
  • Fiverr has a strict policy of no contact outside the Fiverr platform
  • It’s difficult for new Fiverr sellers


Upwork is an online marketplace that connects businesses to freelancers. It is a platform where sellers submit proposals to potential clients for Jobs. Unlike Fiverr, Upwork does not have different levels of grades as a form of grading, but it rates freelancers by Job success score, which reflects the reputation of the seller based on the feedback of a client. The scores of top freelancers are 90% and above, which indicates that the freelancer has an overall track record of meeting and exceeding the client’s work expectations.

How to become a successful freelancer on Upwork

Set up your account and profile

Setting up your account and profile is the first thing you need to do as a seller on the Upwork platform to get approved. Not everybody is accepted on Upwork as they already have thousands of freelancers on the platform.

The secret of setting up a good profile

  • Make sure everything is filled in full.
  • The title on your account must be skill-based
  • You need to highlight the different services you offer, and the best way to do so is to plug in the service on your headline.
  • To be ranked high in search, use specific keywords for the skills you offer.
Upwork edit profile screenshot
Upwork edit profile screenshot
Upwork edit skills screenshot
Upwork edit skills screenshot

Be good at the job you offer

Most of the clients on Upwork are professionals and representatives of companies, so you have to be very good at the service you render there. If the client sense that you are not good enough, they will move to another freelancer.

Targeted job search filter

In the Upwork platform, jobs are searched for through the “find work” tab. To use it effectively, you have to set filters so that you can see jobs that are related to what you offer. A valuable secret of job search in Upwork is that you can find jobs with people who have spent money on Upwork before so that you can easily get a longer-term contract.

Upwork find jobs screenshot
Upwork find jobs screenshot

Write Custom proposal

You are not the only person sending a proposal for a particular job, so you have to do what will improve your likelihood of getting the job. Your best bet is to write a custom proposal.

Don’t just submit a general proposal that you send to other persons.  Make sure the proposal is written so the prospective client knows you have gone through what he wants and can do it.  You can add one or two of the words to his job post so that he knows you took your time to go through the post. You can also tell him how best you would approach his work if given to you.

Phone Interview

Some clients will call you when they give the job to you. It is an opportunity to sell yourself. You should speak like an expert to reaffirm the client that he didn’t make the wrong choice of choosing you.

Delivery your service on time

Make sure you always meet up with the time duration you ought to do the job. It will help gain the client’s trust and will be encouraged to come again. They will also give you a good review, which will go a long in attracting more clients to you.

Pros and Cons of Upwork.


  • The clients on Upwork pay good money for service.
  • There are a lot of clients on the platform.
  • You can do business with clients outside of the Upwork platform.
  • The client can give a bonus to the freelancer for a job well done.


  • Commission fee of 20% for the first $500. 10% for $500.01 to $10,000, and 5% for above $10,000 from the same buyer.
  • Upwork rejects the new profile most of the time.
  • There is a lot of competition on the platform.

In Conclusion

Both Fiverr and Upwork are both great platforms to make extra money, and whichever you choose is a good choice. Registering on one platform does not stop you from being a member of the other platform. By working on both platforms, you will have exposure to more clients and increase your earning potential.  Good luck!

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