Don’t Waste Your Life Working for a Boss. Here is How you Can Make $$$ Working Online

You are just about to uncover a goldmine.

All those questions that you’ve been having about working and making money online in Kenya will be answered in this one monstrous post.

I will start with the most basic:

1.Can you make money working online in Kenya?

Hell yeah! I do it all the time.

I know of 1001 other guys who sit in their comfy houses the whole day, working online, making dollars with every tick of the clock. These guys never have to worry about beating traffic in the morning, getting to work late or answering insidious questions from their supervisors.

But please note, making money online, especially in Kenya, is not as simple as many people make it sound. If you do not have a tough skin, please continue dropping your C.V. in offices.

2. How much money can you make working online?

If you’ve not started working online, you probably think that working online is for those desperate college leavers who are waiting to get into mainstream jobs.

You could never be more wrong. Working online is the way to go if you want to start making big bank as soon as you graduate or even before you’ve graduated.

Many entry level jobs in Kenya will pay you between 20K-50K per month. Trust me, getting to this level of income when working online will take you less than 6 months, and from there, this sum quickly builds up.

If you are diligent and hardworking enough, you will be making 6-figure income after your first year. I am not saying that it is easy, but it can be done. And the best thing is that there is no cap on how much you can make working online!

3. What kind of jobs can you do online?

Almost any type of white-collar job that you can do in an office can be done online. The most common online jobs include:

  • freelance writing (academic writing, article writing, e-book etc)
  • website design
  • Graphic and logo design
  • Social media marketing
  • data entry jobs
  • transcription
  • among many others.

4. How do I get started?

This is the one-million-dollar question. Almost everyone seems to know that they can make money working online in Kenya, but they don’t know how to start. I am going to steal you into a few secrets about how you go about building an online career.

  1. Identify what you can do best: Hopefully, you’ve been through education and you’ve passion for crafts such as writing or web design. Passion is the keyword here. You can monetize whichever passion you have. You only need a certain level of tactfulness. For instance, if you love cooking, you could search for online jobs that involve writing recipe books (this is huge!). If you love weight lifting, find for clients who are looking for articles in the health and fitness niche. Writing is, however, not the only thing that you can do. Be tactful.
  2. Google is your best friend. Please, do everyone a big favor. Use Google. Read as much as you can on what you think you can do. There is so much information available on the internet.
  3. Get a trainer/mentor: It is important that you get a mentor to hold your hand even as you use Google to research the hassle. A trainer helps you narrow down on the information you get online. Yes, a lot of trainers will want that you pay them. Who has time to give away for free? If you expect someone will train you for free, you clearly don’t value their time nor yours.

5. Where do I get online jobs in Kenya?

Depending on the type of online work that you’ve settled on, there are different places to get jobs from.

  1. Upwork: Upwork is one of the most popular marketplaces for freelance talent. On Upwork, you can get almost any type of work ranging from freelance writing, data entry jobs, website design jobs, data entry jobs and many others. Creating an account on Upwork is free, and it takes less than 30 minutes to get started.
  2. Iwriter: iWriter is another great freelance marketplace, but one that only posts article writing jobs. Some people swear by the moon and the stars that it is one of the best places to launch your online career. Unlike in Upwork,you do not have to bid for jobs on iWriter. The process is simple: clients post jobs, you pick a writing task that appeals to you, complete it, and send it to the client for approval. The only slight is that some clients can be cheapskates. They will reject your articles for no reason, give you low ratings and cause your account to be banned. I have written a good post on how to make it on iWriter. Read it here.
  3. TranscribeMe, Speechpad, Rev & Scribie: All these accounts specialize in transcription jobs. Unfortunately, I do not have first hand experience with any of these accounts or transcription jobs. If you’d like to try your hand on transcription a Facebook Group, Awesome Transcribers Kenya, offers incredible tips and advice.

Taking it Past Working for Someone Else

If you critically scrutinize the information provided above, you’ll realize that the options I have given involve being employed by someone. You’ll still be answering to your clients, albeit online. Although these jobs are a good launchpad for your online career, you don’t want to be stuck working for other people forever.

There are a few disadvantages of working online using the model illustrated above:

  1. You are not your own boss. You are still relying on clients to give you jobs
  2. If you don’t spend time banging on your keyboard, you do not earn.
  3. If you stop working, you go broke, and might be forced to go back to the dreaded pursuit of employment

The Better Approach to Working Online

There is a better model of working online that does not involve working for clients.

Disclaimer: The models I am about to illustrate require more commitment from you!

I strongly advise about starting your own online business. Having your online business puts you on the drivers seat. It gives you freedom and allows you to make money even when you are not actively engaged in working!

Although you will need to put up some time (and possibly capital) to get your online business going, the reward are well worth it.

What online businesses can I start?

1. Start your own freelancing agency:

Seriously. Instead of working on all the jobs that you get, consider outsourcing some of the work to other freelancers. If you have a good account that gets frequent jobs, you can even hire an account manager to manage your account and freelancers. This frees you to concentrate on other income-generating activities.

2. Create an Online Training Course

Everyone has something that they can teach. Just the other day, I created a website for a friend who is teaching Kenyans how to speak French! I also have a training, the Kindle Bestsellers Program, which is the best online course on how to make money online in Kenya.

Creating an online training course is easier than you might think, but this will be a post for another day. For now, I’d recommend that you read this article on how to create info products that sell!

3. Start a PayPal-Mpesa Transfer Business

As long as online jobs exist, and this is fast becoming the norm rather than the exception, there will always be need for online workers to transfer their earnings from PayPal to Mpesa in a fast, efficient and reliable manner.

If you build a name for yourself as a reliable and honest dealer, you will make a very lucrative business for yourself. PayPal -Mpesa transfer agents charge a commission on every transfer that they make. Sometimes the commissions are as high as 10%, which means if you transfer $1000 in a day, $100 (or 8K) will be yours to keep!

4. Become a self-published author

Do you know that you can write a book in less than 7 days and have it published within the same time? What’s more, your book can become a bestselling book, and you’d receive money from the sale of your book for as long as that book remains in publication, which is… forever!

Becoming a self-published author is one of the best ways to make money online. It is actually what I have been doing since 2014. I still earn from the sale of books that I published back then. Last month, my earnings from the sale of my books neared 200K.

To become a self-published author, you only need to open an account on Kindle Direct Publishing, write a book, and post it there!

5. Start a niche blog/website

A niche website is a website that is dedicated to publishing content on one specific topic only. With such a website, you make money through affiliate marketing or by showing ads on your blog.

Conclusion

I could go on and on and on about how you can make money online in Kenya, but I won’t. At least not until you’ve implemented the above.

If you’ve any questions, I’d like to hear from you. Drop a comment below, and let’s continue this discussion there.

Meet the Crop of Young Graduates Who Are Turning Their Backs on Corporate Employment

They are young, full of life, and egotistical. But what really sets them apart from the youth of yesteryears is their indifference to corporate employment. While their parents went to school so that they could later find a good job that would pay them an average salary till they retired at 65 or 70, the Y Generation seems to have a totally different perspective on education and its co-relationship with careers.

“I cannot stomach the thought of working for someone from 9-5,” says a newly graduated 22-years old Mercy Njoki.

Mercy’s words are an incredible contrast to every young person (or parent) who cannot stop howling about the government’s failure to create employment opportunities for the youth. It is a story that is in direct contradiction with the more popular Hakuna Kazi version. Hers is the other side of the story that is rarely told; a story of young graduates who, for the love of their lives, cannot imagine spending the remaining quota of their productive lives locked in an office cubicle or chasing story leads in the field.

Mercy’s story is not an isolated one. Droves of young graduates, many with outstanding academic qualifications, are turning their backs on corporate employment. Some cite the low salaries paid by employers while others are concerned about losing the freedom of how they spend their time.

According to Mary Muchemi, a leading recruiter and headhunter in Nairobi, more and more young people are shying away from the perpetual pursuit of corporate employment, opting for the less traveled paths of self-employment and freelancing.

Mary says that a number of factors are responsible for this new crop of graduates.

“Most of them witness the struggle which their elder peers go through as their try to land jobs. Psychologically, they have already given up on the notion of landing corporate jobs even before they’ve graduated,” says Mary.

“Others want to feel that they have total control over their lives and how they spend their time. They do not want to answer to anyone but themselves, something which makes them an automatic mismatch for jobs in the corporate sector,” she adds.

Finding Joy Working Online in Kenya

So, where does this breed of corporate-employment-shunning fresh graduates go, and what do they want to do with their time?

Most of the young graduates who have shunned corporate employment are finding solace in online freelancing. It is the new way to find work and get employed, and, according to Mercy Njoki, if you you have not tried online freelancing, you are seriously missing out.

“I seriously get perplexed by guys that constantly cry ‘hakuna kazi’. There is so much work online. There is so much that you can do. You don’t need anyone to employ you, make you report to the office at 8, underpay you, and treat you like you are under their mercy,” Mercy rants.

Mercy, who works as a freelance writer with an online marketplace she identifies as Upwork, says that there are jobs for everyone online, and the best thing of them all is that the employers in these places do not concern themselves with your qualifications. You might be a form four dropout but as long as you can get the job done, you will get hired.

In Kenya, the idea of working online started a few years ago, but the information remained a reserve of a select few.

However, over the past two years, thanks to the wide penetration of low-cost internet and online social communities that are generous with information, the notion has gradually caught momentum and it looks as if there is no stopping it. Young undergraduates are being recruited into the movement years before they graduate. Apparently, there is a large market for their services in overseas countries where startups cannot afford to employ full-time staff. The startups turn to countries like India and Kenya for ‘cheap labor’.

However, what is cheap in overseas countries is a jackpot in Kenya where the cost of living is relatively low. Working online, Mercy pockets between Ksh. 90,000-150,000 per month. The lowest she has ever earned was 30K, and that was when she was young in the industry and still learning the hoops and crannies of the industry. On a good day, she makes about 5000/=, working for only 6 hours.

However, while the romanticism of working online is definitely attractive, HR professionals are afraid that the trend could shove the country into a labor crisis. Mary says that the country faces a possible worker-shortage problem.

“With the prospects that young people are finding online, it will soon be difficult to find qualified employees who are willing to work at the current salary rates in Kenya. Employers will either have to up their game or also resort to hiring online,” Mary explains.

The online jobs market also poses a nightmare for the revenue authorities in Kenya. While every individual is supposed to accurately file tax returns annually, many freelancers do not bother themselves doing so, and are, in fact, proud of flaunting the mantra ‘tax-free income’ to anyone who cares to listen. The government could be losing a substantial amount of revenue in terms of undeclared income.

7 Reasons Why I Will Continue Working Online in 2016

The year was 2014, during the cold month of July, and a decision was finally made that the corporate lifestyle was not designed for me.

Being tied in the office for hours on end, playing Candy Crush and Tweefing using the company’s free WiFi was not what I went to campus for. It was killing me inside out. I’d leave the office feeling guilty that I had not accomplished much.

I had to do something or I’d end up an automaton like some other colleagues that I used to see reporting into the office just because they were supposed to do so. It is as if their lives had lost meaning. They didn’t have purpose or direction. The little that they did by way of work was meant to keep their supervisor’s from their necks.

At the end of August in 2014, I handed in my resignation letter, to the surprise of my supervisor. Why was I leaving the job? She asked. Wasn’t the salary enough?

While it is true the salary was not enough, and even though I was promised a raise if stayed, my mind was already made up. I didn’t want to be locked up in the office browsing Facebook for the better part of the day.

I didn’t know whether I had what it takes to work online in Kenya and never look back to the dreaded pursuit of corporate employment and the constraining office cubicle. It was a leap of faith.

It is now one year and 4 months since I quit my job, and you know what? I cannot regret that I chose to work online over being employed. True there are times when the going is tough. Jobs go missing or my self-discipline lapses and I find myself losing important contracts, but I made up my mind to never go back to the dreaded pursuit of employment. I made a commitment to myself that I either had to make it through online jobs or die trying.

It is now 2016, and I still love working online. Here are my top 10 reasons why I still love working online in Kenya:

1. I am an Introvert

I’ll admit it now. I don’t know how to deal with people on a one-on-one basis. My brain processes instructions so slowly that one-on-one conversations become a nightmare to me. The internet and working online save me from this.

If a client sends me an email or message in Upwork, I’ll have my 5 minutes to think over the response I should give, and make sure that it is well-worded to avoid sounding awkward.

2. I am my own boss

Being your own boss is probably the greatest advantage of working online. But, please, beware. This is a double-edged sword. If you lack self-drive, motivation and discipline, this will bring your online career tumbling down before it’s even started.

Working online means that you’ve to set your own schedules. You have to push yourself to complete projects within their stipulated deadlines, and it is your sole responsibility to ensure the satisfaction of your clients.

In essence, you are the chief whip of your empire, and the Big Boss never sleeps. The biggest mistake that many online job seekers in Kenya make is thinking that working online affords them the opportunity to be lax. Woe unto you if you start working online with such a mentality.

3. I Decide How Much I want to Earn

I will steal you into a little secret. There is no other job in the world that will let you decide how much you want to earn, and how frequently you should get a pay rise… But working online does!

Normally, when you go for an interview, you’ll be asked what your salary expectations are. The wise employee will have already done background research on how much the company pays, and will simply echo their findings (whether or not it is what they are comfortable being paid). This predetermined salary is unlikely to change, regardless of how hard you work your a$$.

This rapidly changes when you start working online. You can change your monthly earnings in so many levels:

  • You can decide that you do not want to work for clients who pay below a certain wage range or

  • You can decide to increase the number of projects that you work on in a month, which translates into more monthly income

Putting more hours into your online biz means that you earn more. If you work your a$$ hard enough, and you are diligent in your dealings with clients, you’ll soon be earning top bucks for your services.

4. My Dress, My Choice a.k.a Work in My Boxers

One of the agonies that casual-loving employees have to go through is being forced to adopt a formal dress code. I was lucky that my former job had less stringent rules on dressing.

But come to think of it, it must have been awkward going to the office in t-shirt, jeans and sneakers (and there I was, always wondering why my salary was a big joke and no promotion was forthcoming!)

With online jobs, I can negotiate a $1000 project with the CEO or president of a small banana nation in my boxers, and I wouldn’t feel awkward.

I don’t have to dress to impress when I am working online. I can survive with my outdated wardrobe for close to two years, and I’d never feel as if I was falling behind on anything. Take a look at the guys who work in offices in Nairobi. Most of them have expensive designer suits that you can tell is above their means.

5. No office politics

Have you ever worked in an office? I know a few people who do, and when they complain about their jobs, they rarely cite the meager salary or complexity of the job as the main source of their agony; most of them point their fingers at office politics.

Your work at the office can be what you’ve always wanted to do, the salary could be on the same range with what Bob Collymore earns, but if the people around have a repulsive energy, trust me, you won’t love waking up to that job.

I am a poor politician, and I thank God that I don’t have to deal with office politics. I’d die, if I had to!

6. No traffic jams to beat

I hate traffic jams with a passion. If I was in a personal car, and I got caught up in the mad Nairobi traffic jam, I’d simply abandon my car for the Kanjo to tow. That’s how impatient I am, and it is the other reason why I will continue working online in 2016.

P.S. I usually give the excuse of traffic jams as the reason why I prefer to live in the diaspora (Nakuru!)

7. Working Online=Working Anywhere in the World

Although we often refer to our online hustle as working from home, the truth is that you can work from anywhere in the world. There are so many advantages of this including the ability to choose in which town you’d like to live in. Working online has given me the freedom to choose where I work from. I can go on a two-week vacation in Watamu or Mombasa, but with my laptop, I’d still be making dollars on a daily basis.

There goes my 7 reasons why I will continue working online in 2016. Now, up to you. Why would you love to work online in 2016? Leave your comment below.