When Maxwell Ndambuki graduated with a P1 education certificate in 2012, he hoped to secure gainful employment to enable him earn a living and support his elderly parents back in Kitui.
Unfortunately, the only job available was teaching in a private school at a salary of Sh5,000, a far cry from the payslip he had dreamed of. He taught for just two terms and resigned to join a friend in Nairobi who worked as a freelance online writer and was doing well financially.
Being a fast learner, Ndambuki soon mastered the skill of online writing. His friend assisted him to open an online writing account and within a few months, he was earning top dollar and his financial dreams had come true.
Today, he is among the thousands of Kenyans who are earning a decent livelihood working online.
To be a successful online worker, you’ll need to possess a marketable skill such as writing, translation, marketing or graphic design which you will offer to clients online.
You, of course, need a computer with a reliable Internet connection. If don’t have one, you can do the work at a cybercafé.
Here are a few ways you can make money online.
1. Writing and editing
This is the most popular way of making money online. If you have good writing skills, you can venture into article writing, blog posts writing, product descriptions and search engine optimisation content writing, among others. Academic writing is popular in Kenya but has ethical considerations attached as it can be looked at as assisting students to cheat in their assignments.
A blog is a website whose content is regularly updated and in most cases is informal and conversational. Bloggers tend to identify a niche area such as motherhood, farming, gossip, sports or business and then create content that will naturally drive people to the blog.
They make money through Google Adsense, sponsored content or affiliate marketing where in a blog post they post links that direct traffic to another site.
The job entails converting audio files to written texts. You will receive audio or video files from the marketplace, listen to them and type out the content. This gig will require you to invest in high-quality headphones for clear sound. You can sell your transcription services to businesses, legal or medical firms.
4. Data entry
This is one of the easiest gigs to do online, which basically involves inputting data into online forms that your client will provide. Many times you will be typing figures and words into the spaces provided by a client. Other times the work will be as easy as copy pasting information from a website to an email. By its nature, it does not require specialist skills thus it attracts tens of hopeful freelancers.
If you are competent in several languages, you can make money translating documents. In Kenya, many people are competent in English and Kiswahili. If one is also good in another language such as Chinese, French or Spanish they can scour the web for translation jobs.