Matt Forney
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Escape from the Fiverr Hamster Wheel

Last week, I shut down all my Fiverr gigs indefinitely. You might have noticed that I removed the “Consultations and Services” page from my blog before that; that was an attempt to slow the amount of work I was getting. But I’m done with Fiverr for good. While my account is still open just in case, I’m not doing any more work for the site.

Why would a guy who wrote a book about how to make money on Fiverr quit Fiverr?

Answer: I got caught up on what I call the Fiverr Hamster Wheel. As I wrote in Writing for Peanuts, Fiverr is a good place to make some side scratch due to the low barriers to entry and ease of selling work on the site. The problem comes when you achieve a measure of success. At one point in January, I was getting upwinds of 8-10 orders a day, with gig multiples bringing my total earnings to around $400-500 per week.

On paper, it would seem like I had it made, right?

The problem is that I was doing so much Fiverr work that I was falling behind on my other projects. Fiverr’s primary problem is that there’s no room for advancement; even if you become successful, you’re still only earning $5 per gig. Because getting paid is a simple process with Fiverr, it’s very easy to become addicted to the process of doing grunt work and getting that $5 in your bank account, taking time away that you could be spending on projects that require more effort but have a bigger long-term payoff.

That is the Fiverr Hamster Wheel: a never-ending chase for little pellets while the big ones float right by you.

Additionally, I was also getting burned out from the type of work I was doing on Fiverr itself. Paraphrasing other peoples’ work for dime-a-dozen SEO articles is a lucrative but demoralizing enterprise. At the moment, I have a writing job that utilizes a similar skillset as my Fiverr work, but is both more rewarding and pays a hell of a lot more money. There was no reason to keep fishing for pennies when there were hundred-dollar bills in the tree branches above me.

I still believe Fiverr is a good way for freelancers and other folks to make some decent side money. But that’s ultimately all Fiverr is good for: side money. While achieving success on the site might seem like a good thing, it’s a poisoned chalice; you’ll be selling your soul for a relative pittance. Use Fiverr to make some dough on the side, but if it starts becoming too much work, eject and start working on other projects. Getting stuck on the hamster wheel isn’t worth it.

Read Next: The First Principle of Making Money on Fiverr