This College Student Made Over $100,000 on the Internet By Taking Photos of Herself
At first glance, Allie Madison may seem like a typical 21-year-old college senior. However, for the last two years, she has made over $100,000 on Fiverr, a website where people offer tasks and services for as little as $5.
The services offered on Fiverr range from professional SEO and video editing to more outrageous gigs like making a girlfriend jealous.
In Madison’s case, however, the bulk of her money has come from making videos for businesses. These videos are typically a minute long and feature Madison promoting and/or explaining the business. She also has other services where she posts a cute photo of her on people’s Facebook pages. She explains:
“I have gig in general. I will post a picture to your Facebook. It doesn’t specifically say to make your girlfriend jealous. Usually for that gig I’ll get businesses who want me to post a picture of their business name to Facebook, kind of as a promotion.
“Every once in a while I’ll get a guy who wants me to write his name with a heart and post it on his wall. That’s it. So I’ll do that because it’s funny. It’s not usually to make a girl jealous. It just piques the interest of other girls usually. Lots of single guys want girls posting on their wall to make the girl that they like more interested.”
Currently, Madison has a five-star rating on Fiverr with over 6,600 reviews and counting. She believes that she is one of the top sellers on Fiverr.
Madison has become so successful that she has opened a new office and is financially independent from her parents. She’s currently studying communications at a university but will not disclose her location to maintain her anonymity.
Madison isn’t an overnight success. Back in high school, she used to make beauty and fashion tutorial videos to post on Youtube. She received the then coveted Youtube partnership which allowed her to make money off her videos. She was only able to make a mere $100 before quitting to protect her privacy shortly after her high school classmates discovered her channel.
Madison recounts how she first discovered Fiverr:
“Right before graduating high school, I was working this horrible lifeguarding job, making minimum wage just sitting bored out of my mind. I’ve always loved the internet and finding ways to make money online. I came across Fiverr from an article. I added it to my bookmarks, not to work on there, but just to check it out. It’s really cool that you can buy a bunch of things for $5. I thought I would buy something. This was in 2012, and at the time Fiverr was all these crazy gigs.
Right now it’s definitely more business-oriented than it used to be. Back in the day you could hire someone to make a video dressed as a clown, you could hire this crazy guy to make a soccer video, all kinds of funny videos. I thought, that’s really cool — I would love to make funny prank videos. I came back to Fiverr a couple months later and saw that someone was looking for someone to make a video of what interests them. All I had to do was sit in front of a camera and talk about myself and what I was interested in, and I can make $5.”
Madison accepted the gig and spent the entire day making the video. From there, she says that orders just started flowing in unexpectedly.
“My whole life I’ve never enjoyed following rules and working for other people. I guess that might come from my dad. He has his own business going on, and he hasn’t worked for a boss. I thought it was really cool that he doesn’t have anyone to answer to. That’s probably where I got the bug. I like having control, and I don’t want to have a boss that controls my life. I like having plenty of free time. I also think life is too short to do something you hate. I found a job that I absolutely love.”
Madison started Fiverr when she was 18 and made $100,000 by the time she was 20. She says that she likes Fiverr a lot because the startup costs are very low and you only need a computer and internet to start. Although she gets good orders consistently, she admits that she’s gotten some weird requests.
“I get so many weird requests. There’s a lot of feet requests. There’s a big feet fetish going on. They just want videos of me stomping on the camera, which I don’t accept.
“In 2013, I got a lot of requests to pour slime on me, because there was something going on on Youtube to bring slime back like that Nickelodeon show. With requests like that, I will say a number like $600. Make it some outrageous number that I know they won’t accept. This one time I said this outrageous number and they were like, ‘OK.’ It was to dump powdered sugar mixed with green food dye and water. I first did a security check. I didn’t want it to be for anything weird, to make sure that it was for a legitimate Youtube channel.”
“Someone today contacted me and they wanted me to make a video saying, ‘I’m gonna tickle you.’ Of course I’m not going to do that — it’s so weird. I’ll get requests like, ‘I’ll give you two gigs if you send me naked pictures.’ Seriously, two gigs? Secondly, no.
Madison says her services aren’t just cheap labor:
“People look at what I do, and they see that I’m on Fiverr and I accept jobs for $5. Some people will look down on that and think giving you $10 is so much money. My average gig sells for $15, so this isn’t cheap. If you want a 40 or less word video, yeah I can do that for $5. I’m working with a lot of businesses. They want quality video but they don’t want to hire a professional studio, but what I offer is high-quality videos that are great for the internet.”
Madison has made the most out of her success and has been doing a lot of traveling and finding other ways to invest her money.
“It feels good to not have to worry about getting a job after college because you can’t rely on anybody in the world right now to hire you. You kind of have to make your own opportunities. It feels good to have this job that I really really enjoy, and I feel lucky to have found it at the right time. I’m able to live a comfortable life. I can travel — Dubai, San Diego, Italy. I travel around the country a lot. I’ve started investing in the stock market, and I know the younger you start the better. It’s fun investing and seeing your money grow.”
“My mom says that her friends all complain about how much money they have to give their kids who are in college for spending and stuff. They’re all jealous that I never ask my parents for money. That’s one of the reasons I got into Fiverr, because I’ve always been very independent and self sufficient, and I don’t like relying on people for anything. I was very motivated when I started with Fiverr to make it work and to be able to support myself.”
Currently, Madison is slowly expanding her services and will be launching an online course on Udemy to teach people how to be a spokesperson and succeed on Fiverr like she has. She advises:
“Don’t rely on anybody to get you where you want in life. Go out and make it happen for yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to go out and contact people and create your own opportunities.”