If you’re disabled there are lots of ways to make money on the side in easy and unexpected ways, even if you’re not very mobile.
Here’s a list of just some of the many ways people with disabilities can make extra money, without loads of hassle.
Many of them are not only handy for bringing in the cash, they’re also fun to do!
- How to make money if you’re not mobile
- How to make money if you’re semi mobile
- How to make money if you’re mobile with other disabilities
- Top 5 tips for disabled people looking to find work
If you’re stuck and home and unable to leave the house then you might be tempted to think there are no money-making opportunities for you – but you’d be wrong.
There are loads of ways you can make some money from home – from online surveys to setting up a blog.
Here are some great money makers specially for you:
Make money with online surveys
They don’t require a special commitment – you can fill them in during the ads of your favourite TV shows or whenever you have a spare half an hour.
Online surveys can make you an additional £50 a month.
At Moneymagpie we recommend the Nielsen online panel survey which is great as all you have to do is download their app onto your computer and you’re automatically entered into a prize draw to win up to £30,000!
We also recommend Digital Trends who pay you £10 for downloading their app and keeping it on your device for 30 days. Even better, they pay you £10 for every extra device you put it on and you’ll get £5 every three months as long as you’re active at least one day each month.
Other great sites include:
Some sites let you swap your earned points for cash or great vouchers such as Amazon gift cards.
Just remember, never pay to sign up to an online survey site.
Make easy money writing in to magazines
Very few people actually write in to magazines with their true life stories so there is plenty of opportunity to get in contact with the features teams of magazines and sell yours.
You can make up to £2,000 depending on how sensational or interesting the story is – in fact one Moneymagpie reader earned £2,200 for her life story.
Stories can vary and you can talk about anything – magazines look for stories of tragedy, hope, inspiration or humour.
The process is simple. Phone up or email a journalist (or contact the features team via email) and tell them briefly about the story you are interested in selling. You can get your money in as little as two weeks!
Take a Break magazine offers up to £1,000 for true stories and other magazines and newspapers offer between £200 and £2,000 depending on how good the story is.
You can make even more by including a relevant photo which help make your story more interesting!
If you have a life story you would like to sell, target the magazines that you know your story will be relevant to.
For example, a story of dramatic weight loss would be ideal for a women’s magazine such as Woman’s Weekly but may not fit quite so well in Total Film!
A friend of MoneyMagpie, journalist Mel Fallowfield, is always looking for true-life stories for various magazines and newspapers. She can often get a few thousand for you if yours is a really good story. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will let you know how much she could get for your tale.
Also, make sure to keep an eye out for magazine competitions so you can win big cash and prizes for doing very little.
Some magazines even reward cash for tips, recipes and star letters too – for example, Prima Baby magazine gives away lovely gifts for just writing a comment on their Facebook page!
Have a sharp eye for detail? Make money reading…
To be a proof reader you must have an excellent standard of English and strong attention to detail so you can spot al the errors in documents and manuscripts.
There is no set entry requirements for becoming a proof reader but relevant experience is a bonus (and if you’ve got a degree in English, that won’t hurt either!)
As a proof reader your job is to find any changes that must be made and perhaps come up with some questions to get the editor thinking.
Don’t fret. Those with less experience, but excellent proof reading skills can earn up to £10 per hour. Not bad for a flexible job.
Another great thing about freelance proof-reading is that you usually work from home (no heavy travel fees) and work flexible hours. So you can plan your working day around deadlines and how long the manuscripts will take.
Once you’ve finished your work, your done for the day. So if your a fast worker and work with care, you could be earning a decent wage with a desirable social life.
Become a name online and make extra cash – or freebies!
Have you got opinions the world needs to hear?
Then consider setting up a blog.
Blogs can be about absolutely anything. They can be personal or you could simply write about a subject that you find particularly interesting.
If you have something interesting to say, then write it. It is often very therapeutic and you can make good money on the side from blogging if your blog becomes successful.
Here are some useful tips on how you can make your blog more popular:
Firstly, write about something you are passionate about and try to be a little different – simply because, if your bored to tears writing your blog, no one will be interested and want to read it. You have to ooze enthusiasm.
Writing about a specific disability could be very popular.It will inform people about a disability they may have had no idea about and, additionally, it can have a positive effect on other people who have shared similar experiences.
Something so unique might also trigger conversation and everyone knows the key to success on social media is communication and a good following. The more fans you have and keep, the more likely you are to earn money from your blog.
Publish your blog on a popular site like Technorati. One of it’s main purposes is to promote your blog as people go on specifically looking to find interesting readable blogs.
Remember to focus on promoting your blog in various ways. Word of mouth, telling your friends and family and use social media (facebook, twitter, Google plus and pinterest) to get your content out there and noticed!
Finally, you could use your blog to sell things or advertise your own services.
Make £15-£25 an hour as a Virtual Assistant
To be a virtual assistant you must have solid office administrative experience (preferably five years at least). Being computer literate is also important because, when working at home, you rely on yourself and will not have specialist IT support if you’re having technical difficulties.
There is demand for virtual assistants particularly by small businesses who can’t afford full time admin support. Some businesses also employ virtual assistants on a temp basis to work from home as they only require secretarial support every now and again.
As a virtual assistant you will be answering calls in a professional manner, replying to emails and letters ASAP and passing on messages. You will have to be proactive and work to meet deadlines and it’s likely that you will be tested to see if you are performing to a high standard.
You must be proficient in using Microsoft packages such as Word, Outlook, Excel and more and it’s a bonus if you’re familiar with content management software. It’s likely there will be some business planning and desktop publishing thrown in there too.
You can find work as a virtual assistant by signing up to a decent free agency and can earn up to £150 per day. We recommend VOT which will promote and offer your services to companies all over the world.
How exciting would it be to work with clients across the globe and liaise with different people from different countries?
The Society of Virtual Assistants is an excellent website for those looking for work and has useful top tips on becoming a VA and to keep good regular clients. Additionally if you join the approved membership part of the site you will be given access to the ‘jobs available’. You can have a search until you find something appealing and apply. Simple.
Freelance virtual assistants generally charge £15-£25 per hour for routine admin work done by phone or email.
One of the benefits of working as a virtual assistant is you do not have the stress of travelling into work everyday or the hefty travel fares. By working at home you save on petrol, lunches and clothes. It also fits nicely into family life.
However, bear in mind that virtual assistants are in a competitive market and you really have to stand out from other VA’s. You might have to update your skills by doing useful effective courses. Many VA’s were office managers or worked as senior administrators so it’s fierce competition. Also, the stronger and more unique your skills, the better. Book keeping, web management and copy-editing are all very desirable skills in the workplace.
Make sure you promote your specialist skills through a blog or even through old-fashioned but effective business cards. If you speak another language highlight this -it could be exactly what a particular employer is looking for.
Make money calling up companies
If you’re not mobile, there are loads of jobs over the phone for mystery shoppers. Your job will be to call a company and you will be given a list of questions to ask. All you have to do is report their response.
Mystery shoppers are also needed in the online world. Your role will be to contact and send specific enquiries to websites. You will monitor the speed and contact of the response. Again, you will probably provide your feedback through a straightforward and simple questionnaire.
You will only be paid when you have reported your findings. Once you have done your bit, you will usually be paid within 24 hours of your assignment.
Pay rates differ for different agencies and companies. You can expect to earn £5-£25 per task plus expenses. However, for phone calling mystery shopper jobs the pay is much lower – £1-£5 for phone work.
This obviously will not pay the bills, but it’s a fun way to earn a bit of extra cash. If you’re interested in taking part in mystery shopping, see our article for the best and safest mystery shopper agencies.
Never pay to join a mystery shopping agency. You are being paid for your service.
Make money chatting to people
There is loads of home based call centre work for individuals who aren’t mobile. All you need is a computer, the internet and a phone line and your job is to simply answer customer service calls and deliver excellent customer service.
Also, customer service is increasingly branching out. Customers are contacting companies and making their queries via email, social media and online channels, therefore there is more technical support work for those who are not very mobile.
Additionally, social media is all around us and dominating the internet. Many companies recruit individuals to be responsible for the social media of their company. It’s now crucial for promoting products or companies.
Keep an eye out for virtual social media roles on job sites as you can gain some excellent transferable skills.
If you’re ok getting around, but can only put so much strain on yourself there are a load of things out there you can do to earn some extra cash.
Make money sitting around
House sitters are desirable for individuals who leave their properties for long periods of time on business.
The responsibilities of house sitters can include looking after pets, keeping the house clean and tidy and other very basic duties.
Altogether, house sitters are not required to do very much at all and are paid good money for their services as they are mainly there as a deterrent for burglars and someone to keep the house ticking over while the owners are away.
There are also opportunities to make money for short-term work and a number of agencies can help you find work in short-term house sitting. This can be as short as a day’s work, in which a house sitter is required to stay at the client’s house all day awaiting a package or visit from the plumber.
You will be working and looking after someone’s home, therefore you will need to provide references to the agency and be interviewed.
Overall, a checklist will be written quoting all your specific house sitting duties and you can always contact the agency if you need help or are unsure about anything.
Home sitting is perfect for anyone looking to make some extra money on the side. The rates for long term house sitting are around £10 per day, with a £7 food allowance. However, if you are taking on extra responsibilities such as looking after pets, you can charge a bit more for these to.
You can earn more working through agencies. Some agency paid short-term house sitters earn between £8-£10 an hour. Not bad for not doing much and making yourself nice and comfortable in someone’s house!
Housesitters say there’s a lot of short-term work available over the summer holidays, so that would be a good time to apply.
Make money tasting food and watching adverts
Register with companies such as Take Part in Research and you can earn up to £250 for sharing your opinion.
Focus Groups vary from filling out paid surveys for a couple of weeks to going in and reviewing and assessing various products and even TV ads before their release!
It’s an exciting opportunity to make some good cash and even meet people from all different walks of life. and great for individuals who love testing products and meeting new people. You will also share your views on services you use.
Sometimes you will even hit the jackpot and get paid to test. To find out more about how you can become a grub tester, read our article on getting paid to test food…yes, even chocolate.
If you aren’t able to get to a focus group then you can take part in online focus groups or even do an interview over the phone.
Make money with flour, eggs and sugar
You can decide whether you want to earn some extra cash every once in a while or have a go at starting up your own professional baking business.
If the latter, it’s important to take a course in food hygiene. You can do this over the internet for £15 and do it your own time when it suits you. Don’t be daunted, the food hygiene course is pretty common sense stuff and reasonably easy to complete.
If you only want to bake and make some money on the side every so often, you don’t have to worry about paying for the food hygiene course.
Things to think of when selling your produce:
- Find out the fee for the car boot sale or farmers market you wish to sell your goodies at (it’s not too much, there might not even be one)
- Can you afford all the ingredients?
- Cost of food packaging – no need to be extravagant. Save money and use cling film, it does the job perfectly
- Cost of food hygiene course if you’re planning on selling cakes regularly
- Extra cost of gas/electricity for your oven
If this all sounds good, it would be a good idea to have some trial sessions and bake for your friends and family. Find out the most popular choices and focus on baking these.
Also, creating some business cards will make you look professional so why not!
Make money with a punchy pun
Why not write messages for greeting cards for a bit of extra cash?
Although this is a very competitive market, a lot of money can be made from writing a witty comment and it’s an exciting industry to work in. A punchy pun could earn you up to £150!
The most popular cards are funny, likeable and witty puns. Who doesn’t like a clever joke that puts a smile on our faces?
However, other greeting card messages that are needed and are also popular are sentimental messages and traditional cards that use rhyming poetry.
- The first step to getting your message published is research galore. Decide which type of message you would like to write in greeting cards and find out the publishers that publish these types of messages.
- It’s worth visiting a high street card shop such as Clintons. Spend time viewing the cards and note the relevant publishers that you want to contact (the publisher can be found at the back of the greeting card)
- Make a note of smaller publishers – there will be less competition and this is a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door. They might pay you less, but it’s the ideal opportunity for you to get experience and contacts.
- Thorough research of greeting card publishers is essential to finding work
- Keep an eye out for niche shops that sell greeting cards. Eg- book stores, garden centres, craft shops and restaurant gift shops
- Investigating niche shops will reveal to you smaller publishing names
- Also, keep an eye out for greeting card trade fairs where you can gain publisher contacts and liaise with publishers – you could even pitch to them and give them your business cards or show them your example greeting card messages
- NEVER submit your work without reading the submission guidelines. These can be found on the publisher’s website
- If you submit work and haven’t followed these guidelines, your work will not be even read
- If you can’t find their guidelines, write to the publisher requesting them
- When you receive a response regarding your greeting card message, make contacts and keep track of this contact
It may take a while but many people make good careers from greeting card writing and it’s a very creative, interesting industry to work for. Check out The Greeting Cards Association site for freelance work.
Make money selling your old stuff
Why not make some extra money by selling them on?
As they say, tidy house, tidy mind and you’ll be a good bit richer.
Make money as a piano tuner
It’s a popular career choice for blind people or individuals with poorer eyesight as their sense of hearing is often heightened and more acute.
Piano tuning is a very creative role and the job is best suited to individuals with a passion for music, pianos and the arts.
Piano tuners are desirable in upmarket areas and are required by wealthy clients who want their pianos to be tuned regularly. If you enjoy developing positive relationships with clients and going into people’s homes this could be the right job for you.
Also, recording studios and theatre shows (particularly in the West End) also require professional piano tuners.
Piano tuners charge up to £55 per tuning, regardless of how long the tuning takes, so it can be a good return for your money!
If mobility isn’t a problem but you have other health issues which may hinder your ability to find employment, here are some great money makers that you can take advantage of.
Earn £60 an hour dog walking
Dog walking is an enjoyable, lively job that pays surprisingly well. You can make up to £60 an hour if you’re brave enough to walk four dogs at the same time. Some people can take even more so you can imagine how much they’re making!
If you want a slightly easier dog walking experience, you can earn up to £15 an hour walking one furry friend at a time. This is great money and the perfect job for animal lovers.
Of course the advantage of working with an agency is that they do the hard work of getting the jobs in. The disadvantage is that they take a cut of the money.
Instead you can register with Petpals as a dog walking company and apply for jobs on there. You can also simply put an ad out in your local area – on noticeboards, through people’s doors, on local websites – advertising your services. Quite often you can also find new clients while you’re out walking the dogs. Make sure you take a business card or two while you’re out.
The owners paying you will have to trust you with their dog, so it would be a good idea to have trial sessions. Perhaps walk your friends’ dogs and ask them to spread the word about you and your excellent dog walking skills.
Also, putting an advert in a pet shop, vet surgery or on the popular free site Gumtree.com will help you to stand out and hopefully get work as a dog walker.
Why not directly approach dog walkers in the park and tell them of your services – rather than wait for them to ask? Hand them your business card. If you show that you are passionate about animals, they may contact you when they need someone to look after their furry friend!
Make money busking
There’s a popular blind gentleman I spot very regularly at the London Underground busking, taking in some good cash. His underground performance is whistling beautiful tunes on a daily basis. He’s very successful!
If you feel you have the confidence, and the talent, why not try busking and entertain the crowds?
Loads of people busk to make some extra money on the side, and remember that with busking you’re not limited to just singing, playing instruments and dancing.
You can express yourself and entertain others in any way. As long as people find it entertaining you could make some good money.
Comedy acts and other unique performances are desirable, simply because they are different. You could be a magician, a clown or even a living statue!
Make sure that the place you choose to busk at is allowed. To be on the safe side check with your local council. There can be strict, unhappy fines if you busk in the wrong places!
One bagpiper has said he takes in £250 weekly from busking part-time at Cornmarket Street, a central and popular tourist area in Oxford.
Try to busk in tourist areas and at good times. It wouldn’t be wise to busk at 9am on a Monday morning or during rush hour when everyone’s rushing to get home! Weekends have been recommended as great times for buskers as everyone’s in a good mood and out having fun.
Finally, the London Underground is a brilliant opportunity for buskers as these buskers are performing to 3.5 million passengers every day. You have to pay a fee of £20 for a permanent year’s licence. If you are serious about busking and want to make some good money from it, it is well worth doing.
The London Underground Scheme is also great as it sends out a regular newsletter to their buskers, including job ads and notices of job opportunities. This could be anything like a company requiring a performer for an event or exhibition.
Go ahead and get busking! See our detailed article for all you need to know about busking.
Make money shopping and eating out
Mystery shopping is an exciting and fun way to make some more money. You can get paid to shop, eat out in nice restaurants and can pick up lots of free goodies for your services.
As a mystery shopper your job is to assess and review particular services, such as the customer service you receive in a shop or restaurant.
Mystery shopping has been around for 60 years and all industry sectors employ mystery shoppers. It is extremely varied work. As a mystery shopper you might be asked to complain to a call centre and note the service you received. Was it good? Was it extremely poor and useless? Or you could be asked to go to a particular supermarket and report the customer service you received there.
Often you provide your feedback through an online questionnaire.
You do not need any formal qualifications to become a mystery shopper. The key skills you do need is a good memory and strong observational skills.
- Look for the Positive About Disabled People symbol. This can be found on job descriptions and job roles on job sites. It indicates that the employer is committed to employing disabled people.
- If you meet the basic requirements of the job role that has a Positive about Disabled People symbol, you are guaranteed an interview.
- If you’re a young disabled person looking for work after school there is an apprenticeship scheme encouraging employers to give young disabled people the opportunity to work for their company as an apprentice. They can gain recognised qualifications by doing this. Look at the Disability Rights UK website for more info.
- Go to your local job centre and find your Disability employment advisor. They will assist you in your job search and tell you about relevant courses you can do to improve your experience and skills. They can also teach you interview skills.
- Work choice is another fantastic government funded scheme that helps disabled people find work and stay in work through free courses.
Are you disabled and looking for work? Tell us about yourself in the comments below. Let’s see if we can help you in your quest to make money!