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Sell on Fiverr, UpWork, People Per Hour or somewhere else? Getting your services listed is the easy part. After 10 minutes, everyone online *could* come across your posting, and take you up on the offer. When you're one of hundreds offering the same “I will proofread 2,000 words for $5” ad, standing out from the crowd – even more so when you lack feedback.

These websites use algorithms to list the most suitable job offers. If your account has been inactive for some time, they won't list yours ahead of someone that churns three gigs out a day. They also prioritise those with the strongest feedback – for good reason – as they want all Fiverr buyers to return as much as you do. For this reason, “promotion” simply means being seen more.

What many forget to do is to think outside the site. Sure, you could pay to promote your gigs, but it's not a method I recommend. Expanding on the proofreading example, here are seven easy ways to promote your gigs online:

1. Do a couple of free gigs

You need reviews. Social proof is essential, if you want anyone else to pay attend to your gigs. If know someone in need of your services – like a company with a poorly written blog – offer to amend a post for free, in return for feedback. Pay them the $5 upfront to buy your gig. Once it's complete, you have one positive review and potentially a new client. Repeat three times maximum, until work starts to roll in naturally.

2. Buy a review or two

When Fiverr launched, there were hundreds of replica sites. Some of them are still around, and smart people on there offer to give you positive reviews on the more well-known sites. Find the cheapest and take advantage.

3. Build an online presence

Become Professor Proof. Make the Twitter, publicly correct high profile users for bad grammar. Answer questions about how to phrase things better, all with the gig link in your bio.

4. Diversify your listings

Make specialist offshoots of the same type of listing to get coverage on more search terms. You want to be seen by those looking for proofreading for websites, ebooks, academic papers, business proposals and much more, so make yourself visible to people looking for that by making new listings for them.

5. Post your ads on Gumtree and Craigslist

Not everyone knows about these newer freelancing websites, but most online users have a strong understanding of what to expect on Gumtree and Craigslist. Bypass fees by listing straight on there, but for long-term gain, it makes sense to direct people to your listings on the other sites so you can build up more feedback.

6. Post on forums

Every niche has a need for a fundamental skill – like copywriting and proofreading. Get yourself in front of the right eyes with a slick post, answering a question or offering your services outright.

7. Take it offline

Make sure people know your skill set. Leave printout leaflets advertising your skills in places where potential clients might stray. (I did it in a WeWork once and it paid off).


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- Chiino

I don't do comments around here, so let's keep the conversation going on Twitter. If Twitter's not your thing, give us an email.