Arash Lahijani Income Report


Revenue Models

Arash Lahijani Earns $62,400 Writing Grand Theft Auto Backstories on Fiverr While Studying Full-Time

Arash Lahijani discovered he could make money writing backstories for video game characters when a friend spent $70 on Fiverr for a Grand Theft Auto character. Intrigued, Lahijani started researching and saw a market.

A week later, in April 2021, he set up his own Fiverr profile. Since then, he’s earned $62,400 writing over 400 character backstories for an online version of Grand Theft Auto, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

In just his second full month on the platform, he made $9,700. “I never knew that writing could make me $10,000 in a month,” said Lahijani, now a 19-year-old sophomore at New York’s Baruch College.

A Niche Market: Writing for GTA Roleplay

Lahijani writes specifically for players of Grand Theft Auto 5 Roleplay, a multiplayer version where players must submit character backstories to join certain servers. Unlike professionals developing characters and plotlines for studios, he tailors his work directly to these players.

Lahijani’s clients range from “50-year-old dads to 15-year-old kids.” His income depends on how many hours he can dedicate; as a full-time student, he only manages three to four hours per day during the school year. For example, in September he made just $1,750.

The Art of Writing Video Game Backstories

Lahijani’s storytelling skills didn’t come from English classes or extracurricular activities but from public speaking experiences in high school. He was grade president and treasurer and worked with the Nassau County district attorney’s office on initiatives for school safety. These experiences taught him how to create compelling hooks in his speeches—a skill now crucial in crafting engaging character backstories.

Operating under the name Jimmycanwrite on Fiverr, Lahijani offers three package options ranging from $45 to $195 each. His most popular package includes a 10-page backstory priced at $195. For these premium stories, he gathers details such as the character’s birthplace and goals.

“It’s a virtual world—if I write about a liquor store owner—that’s how he’ll appear in GTA.”

A Lucrative Yet Secondary Income Stream

If fully committed year-round at his peak earnings of $10,000 per month, Lahijani could potentially earn double what full-time writers at video game studios make annually ($56,417). However, most of his earnings are practical—$12,000 went towards buying a used car and another $6,000 into a Roth IRA account.

Lahijani also enjoys spending on family treats; last Hanukkah he gifted his mother with an expensive diamond necklace worth over $1k.

“I never realized I could be so skillful doing this…”

The Future Beyond Video Game Writing

Post-graduation plans don’t include pursuing writing professionally; instead focusing more on finance & risk management while keeping writing strictly as secondary hustle but still applies skills broadly–recently tutoring students write college admission essays through Fiverr platform itself aiming give others confidence necessary unleash own potential similarly done himself already far extent imaginable before even begun journey altogether originally back high school days now looking ahead bright future onward upwards always keeping open mind towards possibilities limitless abound certainly await discovery next steps taken path…

How It Works

Starting a side hustle writing video game character backstories can be both lucrative and enjoyable. Follow these steps to get started:

Initial Setup

  • Research the Market: Understand the demand for video game character backstories, specifically in games like Grand Theft Auto 5 Roleplay.
  • Create an Account on Fiverr: Set up your profile on platforms like Fiverr where there’s a marketplace for such services.
  • Develop Packages: Offer different packages. For instance, provide varying lengths and complexities of backstories, priced between $45 and $195.

Gathering Information

  • Client Consultation: Ask clients about basic details like their character’s birthplace, age, job, strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
  • Create with Flexibility: If clients provide little context, use your creativity to build detailed stories from scratch.

The Writing Process

  • Create Hooks: Use captivating first and last sentences to draw readers in.
  • Add Depth with Life Events: Invent significant life events that shape your characters’ personalities and motivations.
  • Tie to Game World: Ensure the story fits within the game’s setting. For GTA 5 Roleplay, align your stories with Los Santos’ environment.

Earning Potential & Operations

  • Earnings Fluctuate: Your income depends on working hours.Some months may yield higher earnings than others.
  • Manage Time: Balance this side hustle with other commitments by dedicating specific hours daily or weekly.

Diversify Your Skills

  • Apply Skills Elsewhere: Consider using your storytelling skills for other writing tasks like children’s books or tutoring.

By following these steps,you can successfully start and manage a venture writing video game character backstories.


  • Financial Benefits: Generating an additional income stream through freelancing can significantly boost personal finances. Writing character backstories on platforms like Fiverr has the potential to yield substantial earnings, as evidenced by consistent incomes reaching up to $10,000 per month.
  • Lifestyle Advantages: Freelance writing offers flexibility in work hours, making it feasible to balance with other commitments such as full-time studies or a primary job. This flexibility empowers individuals to manage their time efficiently while still earning.
  • Scalability: The business model allows for scalable income based on the amount of time invested. Part-timers can earn modest sums, while those who commit more hours can significantly increase their earnings.
  • Creative Freedom: Creating character backstories involves imaginative and creative processes. Writers have the liberty to craft diverse narratives without being constrained by strict guidelines or excessive client input, enhancing job satisfaction.
  • Diverse Clientele and Opportunities: Catering to a wide range of clients from different age groups and backgrounds can lead to various writing opportunities beyond the initial scope. This could include custom projects like tailored children’s books or tutoring services in writing skills.


  • Inconsistent Earnings:
    Lahijani’s income varies significantly depending on the time available to work. Balancing school and writing limits his potential monthly earnings.
  • Reliance on Creativity:
    The demand for creative backstories can lead to writer’s block. The need to consistently generate original content may be challenging.
  • Time-Intensive:
    Creating detailed character backstories, especially premium packages, requires substantial time and effort, which can be draining.
  • Market Dependent:
    Earnings are linked to the popularity of video games like Grand Theft Auto Roleplay. A decline in game popularity could impact demand for his services.
  • No Career Stability:
    This side hustle doesn’t offer long-term job security or benefits like traditional employment, making it a less stable option for future career planning.

Platforms Used for Income Generation


  • Direct Use: Arash Lahijani set up an account on Fiverr in April 2021. He writes character backstories for users who play Grand Theft Auto 5 Roleplay.
  • Lahijani offers three types of packages, with the most expensive option being the most popular. His earnings from writing these backstories have reached $62,400 since he started.

Making Money Through Writing Video Game Backstories

Monetizing creative writing can be a lucrative side hustle. The key elements include:

Revenue Model

  • Service-Based: Offer writing services on freelance platforms like Fiverr.
  • Package Pricing: Provide different service tiers, from basic to premium.


The focus is within the gaming industry, specifically catering to players involved in role-playing games (RPGs).

Key Activities

  • Create Backstories: Develop detailed character backstories for players.
  • Engage Clients: Gather initial information about the character from clients.
  • Your Unique Touch: Use imagination and creativity to enhance the story.

Estimated Initial Investment

The investment required for starting this venture is relatively minimal, primarily consisting of time and basic tools. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Laptop/PC: $500-$1000 for a decent computer capable of handling writing tasks.
  • Internet Connection: Essential for communication and research; around $50/month.
  • Description on Freelance Platforms (like Fiverr):: Free or very low cost.

Total initial investment would be roughly <$1100. Most of this cost goes toward essential equipment and connectivity. The rest involves dedicating time to build your profile, market your services, and refine your writing skills.


This estimate assumes that you already possess basic writing skills and creativity. If not, you might need additional resources like online courses or guides on storytelling techniques.
Nevertheless, with minimal capital outlay and some dedication, it’ s possible to start earning through creative pursuits in the gaming sphere.

Essential Tools and Services for a Money-Making Venture in Writing Video Game Character Backstories


  • Fiverr: A freelance service platform to offer writing services.

Software and Hardware

  • Computer: Reliable hardware for writing and researching.
  • Word Processing Software: Essential for drafting and editing backstories (e.g., Microsoft Word, Google Docs).

Skills and Knowledge

  • Creative Writing Skills: Ability to craft engaging backstories.
  • Research Skills: To understand character backgrounds and game settings.

Communication Tools

  • Email or Fiverr Messaging System: For client communication and feedback.

Add-On Services (Optional)

  • Tutoring on Writing Skills:. Assisting others with college admission essays or other writing tasks.

The tools listed above are essential components that enable one to successfully start and maintain a venture in writing video game character backstories. Whether it’s through utilizing platforms like Fiverr, maintaining proper hardware/software setups, or honing crucial communication skills, each element plays a pivotal role in this money-making opportunity.

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Revenue Type




Full Time

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