Many of my readers like the Serenity For Spoonies series of gorgeous peaceful scenery that I post from time to time. I like finding and posting them, too.
Fortunately, I can schedule these picture posts to appear even when I’m not able to do anything else. Like during the past few weeks when I crashed harder than usual.
Like many of us with ME or other fatiguing illnesses such as MS or heart failure, I’m accustomed to spending a day or even two recovering my energy stores after an exhausting day. But this most recent relapse (I prefer relapse to the official name of post-exertional malaise) kept me in bed or lounging in the recliner longer than I experienced in quite a long time.
Fortunately, there are safety nets for people like us. For example, Medicaid can pay for prescriptions and in some states, there are waiver programs that will provide extra support for bathing, dressing, grocery shopping, etc. Meals on Wheels is another program that will give us at least one meal a day at a reduced rate.
My years in public relations taught me to look for good things even when something appears not so good, so the silver lining to this most recent relapse was that I had a chance to step back and think about this blog.
Although I’m still not settled on a specific way forward, I do want to incorporate some of the things I’m learning about making extra money.
We all know or can imagine how difficult it can be when we have no source of income from a working spouse, parents or something else. Many of us live close to the edge with Social Security Disability as our only income.
However, even though I’m enrolled in a Medicaid community waiver program, I still get tired of counting pennies, shuffling the due dates of bills so I had funds in the bank when they came due, and basically running out of money before my next Social Security check came in.
Obviously, if the government declares you disabled you cannot work a 40-hour week any longer. For many of us, even part-time work is too strenuous. This leaves working from home as about the only option open to someone who is disabled with a chronic illness.
So I started looking for ways people are making money by working at home. Some are too strenuous and/or impractical for people like me who suffer from brain fog, for example answering customer service calls. Others take too much time for little return, like responding to surveys.
I kept finding sites that promised thousands of dollars each month–even millions each year–making money online. Many of these programs are basically multi-level marketing in which you set up a website or websites that entice others to sign up for the expensive program in which you enrolled.
So I fell for the marketing and signed up with a young man whose main promotion was to get his followers excited about fancy expensive cars and a digital nomad lifestyle. He frequently posted videos showing him and his young child in various spectacular places around the world. The promise was that you, too, could be doing this.
His way was a hard-driving, hard-selling method of getting you to sign up and then getting others to do the same thing. You made money from the initial signup and then every month your people remained in the program. He offered free training on how to make videos that would go viral and how to write sales copy that would get people to buy things you recommend.
This was just not for me nor was it appropriate for someone who often has to step back for several days and not do any online work. He offered a money back guarantee, so I wrote to say the program was just not for me and I wanted a refund.
However, I did not qualify for a refund in his eyes because I didn’t stay in the program and do everything as he laid it out. I finally had to threaten to go public and say John Smith (not his real name) was stiffing a grandmother before he grudgingly refunded my money.
My next foray into online marketing was through a young woman who promised income and location freedom with blogging. That sounded great since I already had a blog.
Sue Smith (not her real name) had a largish following of women and at the time I was involved she had just moved overseas using her blog as her sole source of income.
There were examples galore on her website of how to develop what is called a personal brand. In other words, this woman used photos and stories of herself in different locales as the subject of blogs about the place she was in, where she ate and the clothes she wore.
Sue (not her name) was involved every day with members of her group and offered tons of positive reinforcement and support. Almost a polar opposite to the first guy.
She succeeded by getting sponsors for these blogs, like a clothing company, a restaurant or a tourism department. Of course, she also promoted getting others to sign up using a referral code that was unique to you.
I learned quite a bit about making pretty websites and posts, but this still was too much work. I also didn’t like the constant self-promotion. Her focus on the personal brand just didn’t fit with my lifestyle.
After all, who wants to see pictures of me lying in bed, on the couch, in the recliner…you get the idea. Who in their right mind wants to follow someone who can’t leave the house more than a couple hours a week and spends the remainder of the time resting?
My next foray got me into the world of selling on Amazon. That is a whole different story that I will tackle in the next post.
What do you think of my experiences?
Have you tried any work at home schemes? (I’m using schemes like the British do and not with any connotations of something risky or underhanded as we Americans often think of a scheme.)