For many of us, working a full time job with a chronic illness is not an option for us. For many of us, even working part time is not an option for us. Some of us are not able to commit to working at all and are on disability. If you know this struggle, this post is for you.
I had recently applied for disability, but I know that can takes months, to years to get approved. I’ve heard horror stories of people getting denied and then having to appeal or even get a lawyer. In the meantime, I was trying to think of easy ways for me to make money online. With my illness, I am mainly housebound and the type of work I used to do was pretty high functioning. Often, I don’t know how my week is going to look, so this makes it hard to plan. Some days I am feeling much better (for a few hours), and I am much more clear headed. There are other days where my body is in complete disarray, and there would be no chance of me getting anything productive done. It is really hard to make commitments to things, even if my mind wants to.
My goal with this post was to combine my inability to commit, with a limited ability and somethings I may enjoy. Considering the skills sets I use to use versus the ones I could conjure up during even my poorest days, here are some ideas for # easy ways to make money online when you have a chronic illness.
Sell Your Old Stuff Online
Have you used eBay before? eBay been around since 1995 and is an online marketing and auction place where anyone can sell anything. I’ve sold everything on here from clothes, books, to personal artwork. All you have to do is create an account, take some photos of the item you want to sell, and list it.
You get the choice of listing your item as an auction listing, where people have the opportunity to bids on the item. You can also just list the item with a set price and someone can either purchase it at that price or make you a better offer. When an item is purchased, you then ship the item to the buyer. Shipping will either be paid by the buyer, or by you, if you mark the item as “free shipping”.
The great thing is that this all can be done from home and the commitment level is low. You can list items when ever you feel up for it and then all you have to do is package it, print your shipping label at home, and pop it in the mail box. Voila, you just made a few extra bucks and cleared out your space.
Tips For Selling on eBay
3. Packing At Home. What You will need: Packing Tape, Scale, Printer – You never have to leave your house to do eBay. eBay allows you to chose what type of shipping you can offer from USPS, UPS, or FED EX. If you use USPS, you can enter the package measurements and weight and print the shipping label from home. All you have to do is put the package in the mailbox.
If you decide you love eBay and to do a lot of shipping, you could invest in a label printer. Be warned, they are not cheap and only worth it if you ship frequently and need to save time.
4. If you don’t have items you want to sell, you can offer to friends of family that you will manage eBay listings for them, and you will make a percentage of the sale.
Pros & Cons
Poshmark is similar to Ebay, but is strictly targeted toward fashion. If you have a lot of items that are brand names or fashion forward, Poshmark may be a great website for you to sell old clothes on. They only have a “buy now” offer, but you may have more people interested in your items.
Just like ebay, you can to package and ship your items from home. Poshmark provides you with pre-paid shipping labels, but you still need to provide the packaging. Just as easily, you can drop your package at USPS or have it picked up free from your home.
Tips for selling on Poshmark
2. Be honest about the condition of your item. Make sure you note all the imperfections of the item and include photos so that the buy knows what to expect when buying.
3. Do you research. Check out what similar items are also being sold on Poshmark and make your listing even better. Add better photos and a competitive price.
4. Packing At Home. What You will need: Packing Tap, Scale, Printer. While Poshmark pays for shipping, you still have to buy your own packaging equipment. Check out these large plastic envelopes. This is a cheap way and easy way to ship most pieces of clothing.
Pros & Cons
What can I list on Craigslist?
Literally anything. You can sell larger items like your car, home, furniture. You can also sell anything around your house or even a service you may provide.
Does it cost me anything to use Craigslist?
No, Craigslist is completely free. You can list any general item for free.
Tips for selling on Craigslist
1. Do your research before you list items on Craigslist. See what similar items are for sale and how much they are selling for. Choose competitive pricing.
2. When writing a good post, make sure to have a clear headline, good photos of the item, and a description of the item. Be sure to include photos and details about the items imperfections. You don’t want to waste yours or the other persons time by answering questions about the condition or having people get disappointed when they see a lower quality condition in person.
3. Unlike the above online markets, the item will not be automatically taken down when purchased. Don’t forget to remove your list when you have sold the item.
Pros & Cons
Sell Your Own Artwork or Crafts
If you don’t have any old things to sell and you like to create, one option to make money online is to sell your artwork or crafts. I find creating artwork to be pretty care free. You can take the time you need to create a piece that expresses yourself.
Imagine all the possibilities, you could slowly work on projects and sell them when you’re finished. Even if you are not a current artist, you could try picking up a new hobby. You could try painting, drawing, knitting, graphic design, make jewelry, photography, candle making, recycled art. The possibilities are endless!
How much does Etsy Make?
It is free to join Esty, but they do take fees for listing, transactions, and processing. Every time you an item sells, Etsy takes a total of 8% + $0.45.
Listing Fee: $0.20Transaction Fee: 5% item salePayment Processing: 3% + $0.25
What about packaging and shipping?
Packaging and shipping are at your discretion. You get to chose what shipping options are available and how you price them. If you plan on selling many items, try purchasing packing boxes or envelopes in bulk to save you money.
Tips for selling on Etsy
1. Take really good photos of your items. This item is unique to the world, so they can not search for item pictures anywhere else on the internet. Be sure to include photos of different angles and include ones that show detail.
2. Have a niche. A successful store is one that has an overall theme. It will be confusing for someone who goes to your online shop and sees that you sell a few knitted hats, oil paintings of flowers, and beaded friendship bracelets. Develop your brand by sticking with one theme.
3. Be unique and let your artwork speak for itself. Everyone on Etsy is selling something artwork related, so the best way to stand out is to have a different type of artwork/perspective than others. It is great to mimic other artists when you are learning, but what sells are unique pieces.
Pros & Cons
5. Your Own Website
What are the costs?
The costs are dependent on where you ecommerce website is hosted. If you are new to making websites, here are some easy hosting services. They are customizationable, drag and drop, and are built for ecommerce.
Square Space :
$18/month for Business with Ecommerce
Includes 3% Transaction fee
$26/ Month – Basic E commerce – 0% transaction fee
$29/month – Basic Ecommerce
All options include service fees, which decrease when you upgrade packages.
Online credit card rates – 2.9% + $0.30
In-person credit card rates – 2.7%
Additional fees using any other payment provider – 2%
$23/ Month – Business Basic
You pay processing fees – depending on option of online payment
Tips for selling on your own website
1. If you did Etsy at first and are looking to extend your brand, having a website is a great way to control your business. Just know that you will have to put more effort into manage a website, but exciting part is that it is all your own and you can direct your customers to your OWN website.
2. Make sure you have a niche. Again, you don’t want to sell all kinds of random things that you create. Get good at a medium or service and offer that.
3. You don’t have to just offer a physical product. You can offer a service. Below I talk about using two freelancer websites. These sites take a cut of your pay, so by creating your own website, you can control 100% of your income and decide what projects you would like to take.
Pros & Cons
Freelance work is great, because it is commissioned work that two people agree on. You can commit to as much work as you feel you can handle, such as short term projects, or projects that may just take you an hour.
With these two freelance websites below, you can chose what skill sets you would like to advertise. If you worked prior to being ill, you can transform those skill sets that work in the form of freelancing. If you would like to do something different, or work towards developing a skillset you can charge for, like, graphic design, you can offer services at your current skill set and work your way up.
Freelancing is another way for you do to some work that you may find easy and enjoyable at the same time.
Upwork is a freelance site that allows you to create a profile targeted towards the service you are offering. Kind of like a linkedin profile, you can add a description about you and the services you offer, your rates, a portfolio, relevant work history, education, skills, and certifications.
From there, people can contact you about your services or you can start applying to jobs that are listed on the job board.
Upwork is great, because you can do work as you please. Once you find a job you would like apply for, you submit a proposal (which also takes a few bid points) and wait for the employer to interview you. If they like your work, you commit to a contract and complete the work. Some projects can be as short as a few hours, while others can be short term, or even short term – part time. What you can handle is up to you.
I tried Upwork for photo editing. I offer portrait editing and product editing services. This is great, because I can do this from my laptop and I only apply for jobs that are short terms. Most of the projects I come across are looking for someone to do short projects, like edit a batch of photos.
If you have a similar skill sets, you can find types of short term work like that this you probably will have fun doing.
How much money can I make?
How much you make is up to you. You get to choose your rates and negotiate your contracts.
How much does Upwork take?
Upwork does take 20% of your earning. They also give you 20 points when you create an account, which allow you to bid on jobs. The more intensive the job, the higher the bid number. Once you run out of bids, you will have to purchase more to be able to apply for more jobs. 10 points costs $1.50. At the end of the day, this may be affordable if you are working on higher paying jobs.
Is using Upwork worth it?
This really depends on what services you provide and at what rate you can earn money. If you are not winning jobs and continually have to purchase more points, then Upwork my not be lucrative for you.
Tips for selling on Upwork
1. When you first create your account, you will not have any work history or feedback on your account. The upwork algorithm rewards accounts that get jobs and gets great feedback. When your account is doing well, they will boost your account and show your profile to more people looking for your work. Make your profile most desirable by filling out all areas of your profile and including a great portfolio of your work.
2. Getting a job is also dependent on your proposal. Here are a few tips on how to nail your upwork proposal.
3. Make sure you ask great questions and are a clear communicator. Great communication, on top of great work will help you get a good review when you finish the job.
Pros & Cons
Fiverr is kind of known as the discount freelancer site. Upwork tends to have a more professional vibe, while Fivver is a little more relaxed and offers a bunch of services that you may have not ever considered you wanted to buy.
Essentially the premise of Fiverr is that services start at $5 and increase in increments of $5 ($10, $15, $20 etc.) You can offer any literally anything from highly marketing services like, creating instagram pictures, to bizarre gigs like, audio voice recordings with a Morgan Freeman impression.
Fiverr is a little more fun and relaxed, but once someone purchases your gig, you have an allotted amount of time to complete the gig before getting a poor review.
What does it cost to use fiverr?
You can create a fiverr account at zero cost. You are allowed to add 7 gigs to your new account. Once you graduate to seller Level on and seller Level two, you will be rewarded by being able to offer more gigs. Unlike Upwork, you do not have to bid on jobs. The jobs just come to you.
How much does fiverr make?
For every $5 dollars that you earn, fiverr takes $1, so 20% of earnings. Nothing more, nothing less.
Tips for selling on Fiverr
1. Fiverr has a very saturated market for most skill sets. When starting out with a new account, try to offer a very specific and unique gig. You will get less people searching for what you offer, but it will be highly targeted. Instead of offering general marketing services, offer something like “I will design a 1 month marketing plan for you instagram within 24 hours”.
2. Be sure to be very clear about what your service is offering. After a person purchases your service, be sure to clarify what your services is and how you will individually fulfill your service. This makes communication clear and more likely that you will deliver what that buyer is expecting, which equals a better rating.
3. Work on getting your profile ratings up. The best way to do this when starting is by over delivering. Offer more for a cheaper prices just at the start so that you can get rave reviews. Feel free to change your pricing once you get a few reviews under your belt. Having more reviews tells the Fiverr algorithm to boost your profile, and your gig will move higher in the search rankings.