So, it’s storytime. Ever since I had to give up my career because of the impact of Fibromyalgia in my life, I had a plan. I wanted to become Self Employed. I knew it would be difficult because my health is so precarious. But it was, and is, important to me. I have spent time thinking about this, debating how I could do it, procrastinating it and fighting imposter syndrome every time I came close to it. But recently several things have changed and I am finally ready to do something about it and become Self Employed.
My initial idea was to make a living from blogging / social media alone. Some people do this very successfully and finance their lives from affiliate links and sponsored blog posts alone. I respect those people a great deal because it is a serious accomplishment, but it is far from easy. This can happen in at least two different ways:
One of the ways is to have content go viral. For some bloggers this happens after a lot of hard work and others simply have a lucky break, creating the perfect content to meet the needs of something that is in the public conscience. In general this is a case of simple maths, x amount of people are likely to buy a product with an affiliate link and the more people who see the post the more potential shoppers you are targeting. Equally the more people who follow you after seeing your viral post, the more companies who want to sponsor your content. A viral post creates a snowballing effect.
A Wide Audience
Certain blogging content appeals to a very broad range of people. For example kids, it is no accident that Mum Blogs have become a thing. Although I am not one of them I am very aware how full the online world is with Mums (and of course Dads). Let’s face it images of cute children appeals to all of us, parents or not. On top of this, there is a market place full of busy working mothers looking for solutions to many aspects of parenting. It seems an easy niche to become Self Employed in.
Who I Write For
The simple fact is that I mainly write for spoonies like you and those who support us. I am passionate about doing this and one of my big life goals is to help spread awareness of the reality of living with Fibromyalgia and to enlighten the world about the difference of living with a chronic illness as opposed to a disability and the unpredictability this brings to our lives. I touched in this in the post, The Unpredictability of Fibromyalgia.
Financial Budgets of Chronic Illness
One of the realities we all have to face is that earning money with a chronic illness is hard! I was very fortunate that during the first 18 months after my Fibromyalgia began I managed to keep my job (with reduced hours). In turn, though I had already had to give up everything else I did outside of the house. So many of us are in the same situation and it just wouldn’t be right of me to be spending my time expecting you to purchase everything I recommend. I will continue to share relatively cheap items that I believe may help you and suggest Christmas gift ideas for spoonies. Someone else is responsible for the finance then!
I can’t be Self Employed from Blogging
It has taken me a couple of years to come to the conclusion that blogging alone is unlikely to bring me any real income. The occasional affiliate money is nice (let me be completely honest and realistic here, I am talking about £20 over four years!) I am always grateful when I receive products from brands to review as well.
As I’m sure you know by now I also have my second blog, Creative Fibro Digital Guru where I talk about all things tech-related. This blog is newer and this isn’t as much content there, but again, I am doing this for pleasure (although if you chose to subscribe to any of the apps I recommend I sometimes get a free month in return. Little benefits that add up.
So how am I going to be Self Employed?
It all comes down to one of my biggest passions, creativity and in particular cardmaking. I am not unrealistic, I don’t expect to make a living wage from it but it is time to hopefully have my crafting pay for itself. I have several years worth of crafty stash I have collected, not to mention the design software at my finger tips so why am I sitting on top of it rather than sharing it with others.
So why now?
A couple of months ago I talked to you about Headspace and the fact I am now meditation every day. This alone is a big part of why I have made this decision now. It has literally given me the headspace to evaluate all the brick walls I have been building.
Are my cards good enough to sell? Fact: I have sold many cards for up to £3.50 each and on one occasion when I made a commissioned wedding card for someone she wouldn’t accept any change from £5. Will people buy my cards: Last Christmas I took a selection to Church for a few Sundays in December and sold at least half of them over two weekends. Not to mention the fact that I now live in a village where everyone enters into the Christmas spirit as I do.
Where am I selling my cards?
I have set up a new online shop on my new third website Creative Fibro! I originally created this website to be a central home of to liaise between the primary blogs but it seemed the perfect place to put a shop. This also links to a Facebook shop as many people in the village use Facebook. I only have 12 Christmas cards listed at the moment but I have more occasions made and so many more Christmas cards to make. I have not shared it publically in the village Facebook group yet but hope to do so by the end of the month.
Unfortunately at this point I only sell in the UK and if I am honest I expect most of my business to be done locally as collections rather than postage. Sorry if the shop isn’t showing for you – wish me luck as I become Self Employed!