How To Make Money Online In Kenya, 2010

Facebook.com is currently valued at $15 BILLION! That makes the young founder, mark Zuckerberg an extremely wealthy man at such a young age. What about you? How are your finances doing? You could seethe with envy at Mark, or you could try your own hand at making money online!


Last year, we wrote one of the most popular articles on this website: How to make money online in Kenya. The gist of that article was that advertising as a source of online income may not be the best way to go….that was way back in 2009, though. This is 2010! How does one make money online in Kenya?

This time, we’re going to do it a little different: since last year, we’ve come across countless numbers of Kenyan who are already making money online! So this article will talk about how those people are doing it in hopes of inspiring you to start making money online in Kenya!

1.How we make money online in Kenya

We run www.likechapaa.com and a number of other websites. Of course one of the main goals of running all these sites is for us to make money online. How do we do it?

  • Advertisements – Like Chapaa has these adverts on the side (you see them?). They make us peanuts. Honestly.
  • Consulting – as it happens, a lot of the people who read Like Chapaa tend to email us asking for help in setting up online. We make a tidy some from this. How can you do this? It is not a hard concept: just pick out a topic that you are interested in and know a lot about then start a website to talk about that topic and set yourself up as a “consultant”. It works, trust us.
  • E-commerce – this is unbelievable even to us. DESPITE not having an online shop yet, we do sell a few books from our site Jua More. The lesson here seems to be if you have a website talking about a certain product that people want, then you can probably sell this product to those people. Jua More is a book review site which is still very small yet it already makes some money. Can you replicate this with a site of your own and another product? I bet you can! Just pick out something you have passion talking about (and marketing). I’m thinking things like movies and music, clothing and other such stuff can do pretty well! We even built DukaPress for you so this is super easy to do with no technical skills whatsoever!
  • Web Design – Wambere, one of the founders of Like Chapaa, also runs Nickel Pro which is a web design and development company. Like Chapaa drives a whole lot of customers her way. How can you do this? This is all about marketing, if you offer a service and want to make money online from it, you need to find somewhere (online) where the people who would buy your service hang out and then talk to these people and subtly showcase your skills and experience. They’ll buy.
  • Referrals (Affiliate income) – incidentally, most of the things we recommend you use – akina Freelancer.com, AlertPay, etc – have affiliate programs. This means that if you sign up to those sites after reading about it on Like Chapaa, we get paid. How to do this: this is pretty easy, in my view. You shouldn’t start the process by looking for companies that offer affiliate programs. Instead, look for what interests you. If you love shoes and want to start a website about shoes, you will come to find there are tons of sites out there that will pay you good money to drive people to them. Affiliate programs exist for almost everything under the sun – just find something you love, start a blog/site around it, and voila!

Also see: How to make Money With A Blog.

2. How Other People make Money Online

We realise that we aren’t the only Kenyans making money online (hehe) and so this section is dedicated to everyone else that we have come across this past year.

A. Advertising
Like Chapaa sucks at making money from advertising but these sites do it amazingly well:

  1. Career Point Kenya – this is one of the most visited sites in Kenya and, rightly so, they make a lot of money from Google’s Adsense program. This means that whenever any of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit Career Point Kenya every day click on the Google Ads, the guys running that site get paid. Sweet! To replicate this you just need to build a website that gets huge, HUGE, numbers of visitors and you’ll get paid like you won’t believe. This is not as easy as it sounds, though, and I would caution against betting on advertising as your sole means of earning online.
  2. Bankelele – the ever popular Kenyan blog. I think this is one of the oldest blogs in Kenya. It has only survived this long because the guy who runs it is a master at what he does. Unlike Career Point Kenya, Bankele makes advertising money by selling his own ads at his own price (you get this luxury when you have a site as good as his). Here’s how to do this on your own site!

B. Selling Stuff
Jua More, mentioned above, is just a lucky occurrence. If you want to really make money by selling something tangible (or digital), then you need to look at, and learn from, the guys below:

  • Mama Mikes – Mama Mikes is one of the first e-commerce sites to serve Kenyans. It is a site that excels at selling Kenyan stuff to Kenyans who do not live in Kenya. For example, you can pay power bills for your family in Kenya while living in Spain – or buy them gifts and groceries. Brilliant idea, eh? I think so too. Mama Mikes found a niche market very early on in the game and took it over.
  • Fab Guru – a fascinating business run by a lady off her Nairobi apartment. This is the face of “make money from home”. Fab Guru sells ladies shoes, bags and other items. She particularly excels at marketing her wares on Facebook where she has a large following of “fans”. Fab Guru makes quite a lot and the ingredients seem to be: a)find something to sell (preferably something that you love) and b)find a group of people who love what you have to offer (in this case, Fab Guru didn’t find those people, she built a place for them to come to).
  • Career Point Kenya – these guys have written a book that resonates well with the people who visit their site. I’m not sure of the sales figures, but I’d bet they do very well.

Do you see a trend here? If you want to make money online by selling things, then you need to first find a good product (or products) – something you love working with and which is likely to have a market large enough to support you. Then you need to find, or build, a place where people who would be willing to buy your product(s) can be found. If you manage to do that, you’ll be home free!

C. Freelancing
Of all the ways people make money online, this is the one way used by most of the people we have come across. Quite simply, this is nothing but being a hired hand. That is, being paid to do something for someone because of your expertise, experience or both. Here are examples of Kenyans who are already doing this: Wuogard, Linda Cherotich, Maria Maina and our very own Crystal.

How do you do this? Well, first off you need to be able to do something better than most people can do it. It can be anything, from writing to art, to web design.

Next, you need to build out your portfolio and then try your hand at finding jobs/gigs at some of the more popular freelancer sites such as Freelancer.com.

To put it in a way that it is more easy to relate to, I’ll give the example of Kenyan Freelancer. She’s a brilliant writer. She set up to do business online the smart way: she set up Smurt Notes which is her ‘business profile’ used to ‘seal the deal’ – but that’s not all – she also has a somewhat less formal site, Kenyan Freelancer, which I would say does more of the ‘marketing’. A nice little one-two punch to get her clients.

Seems very do-able, eh? Good luck!

See also: Interviews with Maria Maina, Kenyan Freelancer, and Crystal.

Conclusion
In my personal experience, and as seen and proven above, you can make money online in Kenya by:

  1. Selling adverts on your site
  2. Consulting
  3. Selling other people’s stuff (affiliate marketing)
  4. E-commerce (selling your own things)
  5. Freelancing

I am sure there are more ways through which people are actually making money in Kenya, but the above are what I have actually seen proven. What about you? Are you making money online? No? Need help?

Good luck, and God bless you!

Photo by timbrauhn.

Additional Resources

Comments

  1. Do you have a question? Please ask it here! :)

  2. Very insightful article, especially since its focus was on Kenya

  3. Very informative article. I sure am going to try out a few of those methods. Thanks for sharing!

  4. interested in selling my products

  5. Thanks for the article. I started freelance writing (seriously) in April and it has literally changed my life. Maybe I’ll share my story sometime with you guys. :-)

  6. This topic has some useful information to me ! Thanks so much for providing some great information.

  7. nice article!!!from a diaspora perspective, http://www.babawatoto.com is the most valuable kenyan site to us out here we can do practically anything in Kenya without leaving my computer !

  8. Well , Mr. Like Chapaa , If you would be so kind as to highlight on a very big note the implication and impending doom to making money online via advertising that is coming from local ISP’s hijacking our honest to God traffic and injecting it with their own advertisements in order to make a quick buck.

    I don’t know how someone is supposed to make any money online if these are the kinds of practices we are to expect from the people who provide us with the internet services.

    I think it’s both a violation of privacy (since they have to peek into your data in order to inject the ads) and also a revenue downer (no difference from taking you money) when they replace your ad with theirs.

    I believe it’s going to be something worth researching and writing about , since it started more than a year ago but now it’s become a plague to the humble internet consumer and it’s ripping off anyone the chance to break even in the advertising arena where I think we can both agree is the biggest source of revenue for webmasters anywhere in the world.

    Thank you , and please …let’s help each other in order to have a brighter tomorrow ….

  9. Hi Kelvin,

    Its really great to see how Kenyans have woken up to the idea of making money online. Am happy Likechapaa is around to help us get it right. Keep up the good work Kelvin.

  10. Nani arikuaabia ati bankelele ana-make dough kutoka blog yake? HEbu hangalia hapa hifi hata yeye mwenyewe anasema hakuna dough ye hupata kutoka ads. It is peanuts!:

    http://afrinnovator.com/interviews/interview-with-kenyas-top-blogger-bankelele

    Ghenyan proggers stop spreading misinformation. Sasa watu wangapi wamekisoma hiki ki-prog kako alafu wameenda ku-copy mabo ya bankelele? Je, unakubari mashitaka?

    • LOL! Nakubali mashtaka. I had not known this – but in the post Bankelele anasema kuwa he was kicked off Google Adsense. Perhaps hiyo ndio sababu yake ya kukosa ku-earn?

  11. Hi Kelvin,thanks for what you guys do…….put out info.for us to read.I’m interested in proofreading,is it doable,workable in kenya?

  12. Thanks Kelvin,i’m a stay-at-home mom looking to make extra money.God bless you & keep the info coming,you are of great help.

  13. Thank you, to the owner of this site for the article. It’s very insightful. I like the fact that you guys aren’t selfish with information. I have a website that display ads & i agree with you, it’s nothing more than peanuts.- I just like the way this article was written.The e-commerce idea was particularly interesting to me. Thanks again.

  14. I love the article on this site. Thanks for sharing, The author thanks and success in the blog!

  15. A lot of interesting things found on your blogs, like the topic! The author thanks and success in the blog!

  16. “Impressed” does not even begin to describe what I have felt after reading your article.
    I am wowed! I cant wait to work with you on my venture …..
    May God bless you with lots n lots of pesa.

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