Disability sucks. I know I’m not saying anything deep or meaningful with that statement, but if you’ve never been disabled, it can be difficult to appreciate just how accurate that statement is. This is especially true if you’re physically disabled like I am, and you’re often stuck relying on others for things you used to be able to do without a second thought.
But perhaps the worst thing about being disabled, is that you often have to rely on others for income. Whether you’re on insurance, or government disability, your ability to eat, pay rent, and even survive are at the whims of a faceless insurance company employee – or worse – a government bureaucrat.
And I’ve experienced firsthand the fun of having my disability cut off, because they didn’t think I was ‘disabled enough’. And while I was eventually able to get back on disability, it was a terrible experience where bills weren’t being paid, the cupboards went bare, and creditors hounded me day and night.
I swore I would never go through that again.
But it left with me with a quandary – how does someone who’s physically disabled most of the time earn money from home?
After a lot of trial and error, I was able to start earning a solid income, and my earnings have only continued to grow in recent years. So, in response to a few people asking how I earn money online, I’ve gone through exactly how I’m making my money from home while being disabled.
If you want to learn more about earning money online, you should also check out How to Start Earning Money with a Disability.
Websites/Blogs – 53% of Income
The advent of the internet has been an amazing boon for both physically and mentally disabled people, as it allows them to work within the boundaries of their disability. And while my income from websites has been steadily shrinking over the past few years, it still brings in a considerable amount of money.
Most of the income earned on my websites is now through affiliate marketing – a stark change from ads only a few years earlier. For those of you who don’t know what affiliate marketing is, think of it as being a salesman for someone else’s product.
They provide a link to put on your website, and if someone clicks it and buys their product, you get a commission for the sale. It’s a great way to earn money, since you can partner with huge reliable companies like Amazon – places that people trust and are willing to spend a lot of money at.
The other way I earn money through my websites is by placing ads on them. While this method is definitely in decline, ads on websites still provide decent earnings. Though with the rise of ad blockers, it’s probably best to avoid this strategy going forward, and to focus strictly on affiliate marketing, which isn’t affected as much by ad blockers.
It’s important to note that the majority of the websites I’ve set up contain ‘evergreen content’ – content that will be as relevant five years from now as it is today. Because of this, my websites only rarely need to be updated and maintained. That way, it doesn’t matter if I’m too sick to work on them for weeks at a time, because when I come back, it’s like I never left. And they’ve continued to earn money day after day while I was gone.
E-books are almost like a license to print money – assuming you know what you’re doing. I wish I had discovered them earlier, as I’m a relative late comer to the scene. But the market is absolutely huge for them and it’s continually expanding.
But I will say the learning curve to get into the market is brutal, and you’re probably going to need to do a lot of work before you get your first successful e-book. But don’t give up, because once you have a fan base, and a working knowledge of how online publishing works, it can be very lucrative.
To succeed in this, you’ll need to master cover design, writing, editing, and marketing. But like websites, once the initial work is done, you don’t have to dedicate too much time to your e-books. You can be sick for weeks, and it won’t matter one iota to your sales if you’ve automated your marketing.
Much of my time is dedicated to writing these days, and I could easily see this income source surpass my website income in the near future.
Products/Online Sales 10%
I briefly considered adding this under my website income, but I finally decided it was different enough to include it in its own section. I’ve recently started selling products on a few of my websites, and the money has been pretty impressive so far.
Most of my products are physical items right now, but I’m actually working on a few digital products too on the side (when my Meniere’s disease co-operates). I think they’re a natural progression for anyone who owns a website, and are probably a lot more reliable than affiliate sales or advertising.
Plus, since they’re your own product, you get to keep all of the profits for yourself. While it won’t overtake my top earners any time soon, I see myself dedicating more of my time to this along with e-books in the near future.
Like e-books, I’m a relative new comer to YouTube, and I’m not quite convinced yet it’s for me. Unlike the other ways I earn money, it’s not very passive. Yes, once a video is up on YouTube, I don’t have to do any more work, but I’ve noticed a massive drop off when I don’t add content regularly – and my illness doesn’t really make that feasible.
But I do have to say that the money is really quite good, and if I can find a way to do it more regularly, I think it could quickly become one of my best earners. However, I’m still not getting my hopes up, since my illness has been particularly bothersome lately.
While I’m not earning the five figures a month I’m hoping to reach someday, I am earning a solid income from all of these methods, and nearly anyone can replicate what I’m doing at home.
When I first started, I didn’t know anything about writing, web design, or marketing, and I was still able to rapidly grow my income. And if I can do it – a guy who’s sick the majority time – I guarantee that anyone else can do it too.