Check Out My Gigs: A Freelancer Reviews Fiverr

fiverr logoOn Fiverr.com that is. Fiverr is a website where freelancers (sellers) can open completely free accounts and offer their mini-services or small products (called “gigs”) for just $5.

Not a bad deal, is it?

If you are considering joining Fiverr as a freelancer however, you should know there are a few drawbacks to the site (potential buyers, should also take note!):

1. Fiverr take a $1 cut from everything, so you are really only earning $4.

2. When you request your pay (which can take up to 2 weeks to be released into your account) via Paypal, Paypal takes another cut, in this case $.08.

3. If you buy gigs yourself, know that they won’t allow you to withdraw your funds. If you have a major problem with a seller, they will ensure you get a refund, but your money stays in your Fiverr account, only usable for other gigs. So make sure you don’t deposit $50 unless you really do plan on using it!

Fiverr love nest4. Fiverr is picky. They have very particular specifications when it comes to image size, cover photos, descriptions, and key words. It is rather annoying, and I wish they would change that, but then again it’s a free place to market my services, and I’m willing to bend a little. Besides, once a gig is up, it’s up and easy to edit if need be.

5. Literally anybody can be a “freelancer” on Fiverr and sell just about anything, which is both good and bad. Fiverr has an international audience, too, which ramps up competition a bit. I have run into mostly professional people on Fiverr, but I have hired one or two that were con-artists. Fiverr admin took care of those issues quickly and easily.

6. Sometimes it’s hard to get started, so don’t get discouraged or give up if it has been months and no one has bought your gig. Selling anything online takes patience and perseverance (and marketing!).

So what started out sounding like an easy way to hundreds of dollars from $5 gigs, turns out to be a little more complicated like most other things in life. Still, Fiverr is a fun website to browse with lots of funny videos of colorful and talented people. And occasionally, you can turn out a nice $3.92 as well.

Wanna see my gigs? Check them out here: http://www.fiverr.com/developingfocus

Cinnamon and Silver Supports The Global Soap Project

ImageI was teaching my young son about the importance of hand-washing recently, when I came across an article that highlighted a charity called The Global Soap Project.

The article began by interviewing a woman from Sudan who works as a cleaning lady at an American Hilton Hotel. She held up a gently used bar of soap and described just how valuable a thing it was in her country. In some parts of the world, a bar of soap costs more than a days’ wages!

I became so enthusiastic reading about this charity which partners with hotels to retrieve their gently used soap (which would otherwise be thrown away). Basically, the bars are sent to a processing plant in Atlanta, GA where they are stripped, checked for bacteria, and when they receive a clean bill of health, the bars are cut up and sent to certain nations in Africa, South America, and The Caribbean.

An emphasis of the program is targeting children and caregivers, as well as hygiene education. I love that this organization works to reduce waste, while at the same time saving lives with such a simple, little thing as soap. Currently, they only partner with hotels for soap, but they will accept financial contributions and volunteers. With that in mind, I am excited to announce that Cinnamon & Silver will now donate a portion of our proceeds to The Global Soap Fund.

Read more about it here: Global Soap Project

Do you know of a hotel that could sign up for this project?

Old Versus New: Print-on-Demand Technology (or Why I Love Zazzle)

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A “hot” journal or notebook

*Note: The photos and designs featured in this article were all created by Developing Focus and can be purchased at our Zazzle store: www.Zazzle.com/DevelopingFocus

When I went to college for training in photojournalism, we were trained “the old way”. We learned the ropes of photography on fully manual cameras, used slide film, dark rooms, and had an entire class on the art of searching online via “Boolean”.

Just a few years later, the world of photography switched to digital, and everybody went online. I missed out on learning new technologies from school, but dreams I have had since Jr. High (that’s right, I went to a “Jr. Highschool”, not Middle School) about my photography are now much more attainable.

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Jigsaw puzzle

Twelve years ago, in order to get your photos featured on greeting cards, calendars, magnets, etc. you needed to cold call and then mail printed photos to stock agencies and card companies and wait for a month or more to hear back that they were no longer accepting unsolicited art. If you wanted to feature your work as fine art, you had to have it professionally printed, mounted, and framed (VERY expensive), and then cold call various galleries, restaurants, etc. Some places even required the artist (some still do) to pay a fee to display their work to the public eye.

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We have a whole collection of “Famous” products

With the advent of print-on-demand companies like Red Bubble, Zazzle, and Cafe Press, artists can create their own galleries and shops for free, design to their heart’s content, and in some cases like Zazzle, set their own royalties. The downside of course, is that you still have to market your online shop and competition is fierce, but I absolutely LOVE seeing my photos and designs come to life on products that people will use and enjoy daily.

I also love the idea of print-on-demand technology, which simply means that the printing company (i.e. Zazzle, Red Bubble, etc.) makes a product only when it is ordered by a paying customer. This equates to far less overhead for artists, freeing them from the high costs of personally paying for printing, framing, etc. as well as the costs stemming from maintaining and storing an inventory. This method of print-on-demand enables the artist to experiment more, honing their craft while not straining their pocketbooks or the environment with waste, not to mention the savings to customers from all that decreased overhead.

A customizable greeting card

You most likely won’t make a ton of money with these companies, and like any business off or online, you have to build them slowly over time. Still, it is a labor of love for me when I create my “practical, printable products.”

So what do you think? Are you an artist who has succeeded using one method or another, or maybe both? Are you a customer who prefers to shop online or offline for fine art, calendars, and cards? Leave a comment below.

Upcycled and Natural Handmade Jewelry for Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day with Cinnamon and Silver!

The tiny store of handmade jewelry from Dayton, Ohio, presents a brief video showcasing their upcycled and natural budget and eco-friendly jewelry items.