Fiverr and Canva have been around for some time and, since COVID struck in 2020, have each grown into online powerhouses, fuelling digital economies that are now worth billions. Fiverr’s freelance appeal has seen millions of bloggers, programmers, consultants, marketers, analysts, and even performers transform their talents into sustainable side hustles or permanent incomes. Canva has evolved from a free-to-use basic graphic design resource into a multidimensional visual asset creation tool, offering everyone, from rookie designers to expert creators, artists, and entire teams, state-of-the-art graphic design features and capabilities.
While these platforms are significantly different, both offer creators the opportunity to monetize their offerings to an ever-expanding market.
Fiverr: Freelancing Made Easy
Fiverr was created in 2010 as a digital marketplace for people to buy and sell freelance services for a $5 flat rate (hence the name). By 2014, the platform had removed this limit, allowing buyers – consisting of people or businesses looking to hire – to browse various service categories and connect with freelancers. On the other side of Fiverr, the sellers – freelancers who sell their services, called ‘gigs,’ on the platform – were waiting to connect to buyers in one-off collaborations, offering anything from writing and marketing freelance offers to video editing, programming, and business consulting.
What made Fiverr unique from other platforms, like Upwork and Freelancer.com, was its model. Instead of freelancers bidding against each other for jobs offered by buyers, they could now offer their services, fix their prices, and wait for the buyers to come to them instead. Fiver takes a 20% cut of the gig value and acts as a go-between, holding funds paid by the buyer until the seller has delivered the work.
The platform quickly became a hit among buyers looking for neatly packaged services without having to search the entire internet and sellers desperate for access to a market that needed them. Since then, Fiverr has evolved to offer a vast range of freelance options and features to buyers and sellers alike.
- Filter the job requirements to ensure they shortlist the right sellers for the job
- Browse extensive lists of freelancing options and services
- Request revisions
- Review their seller’s performance
- And even tip their sellers
- Determine their own lead times and rates
- Create any gig they want to, without having to request strict approvals first
- Also review buyers
- And set up discounted subscriptions, offer coupons or promotions to entice more buyers
Once Fiverr dropped the $5 cap, buyers and sellers could tap into the gig economy’s potential, exchanging money for services like never before. Fiverr now hosts almost 1 million sellers, serving more than 4 million buyers.
Canva: Monetizing Graphic Design
Canva was established in 2012 as a free basic graphic design tool for anyone looking to create beautiful visual content without having to download software or pay for premium tools like Adobe. The platform focused on allowing people to create, edit or design icons, logos, posters, brochures, artwork, and more without needing any design experience.
People were suddenly able to become graphic designers overnight, crafting stunning visual content – for free. Soon, Canva began offering users a paid subscription – Canva Pro – where they could access even more high-quality content and features in exchange for a monthly fee. Eventually, as more and more people signed up for Canva Pro, the platform turned to the creator economy for the content they needed to satisfy their users.
Canva finally kicked off its partner programs, allowing people to submit visual elements, designs, and templates, and get paid for them. They also launched their affiliate program, encouraging people to market the platform for a cut of paid subscription fees.
- Submit basic visual designs called ‘elements’ – anything, from illustrations and animations to single images, icons, logos, graphics, or GIFs
- Pro users can use these elements in their designs, with some available to free users too
- Anyone can sign up to become a Contributor
- Contributors earn a 35% commission every time someone uses one of their elements
- Create professionally designed templates for paid users
- Templates consist of curated elements, styles, colors, fonts, and other advanced pre-sets that users can customize
- Creators must apply to the Creator program and be accepted by Canva before they start to earn
- Approved Creators earn royalties distributed from a revenue pool based on the number of users who exported their templates
- Consists of design influencers, design educators, and content creators promoting Canva’s paid plans to their audiences
- Affiliates can promote Canva via their web pages, blogs, social media channels, or tutorials and videos
- Affiliates earn commissions when users use their links to purchase monthly or annual subscriptions
- You must be approved as an affiliate before starting to promote for Canva