PayPal Coming to Kenya in 2012?

Rumor has it that you will soon be able to withdraw your PayPal funds in Kenya legally and easily.

This could not have come at a better time since we spent last year going from disappointment to disappointment with all the new services and “tricks” that we had to try out in order to withdraw our PayPal money in Kenya.

That will be no more. PayPal is currently working with two leading Kenyan banks in an effort to bring us this needed service very soon.

We’ll update this when we have more information.

How To Make Money Online In Kenya, 2010 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 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, 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

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.

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.

Why It’s Better to Make Money “Offline” than “Online”

There’s a lot of friends and fellow Kenyans who are looking to make money online. Is it possible? YES! But you need to get into it knowing full well what you’re going in for. Hence this article.

There are ton of great websites, blogs, and programs out in the Internet about how to “Make Money Online“. Many of them have great ideas, and I read some of the better ones on a regular basis. While there are many different variations on this, there are basically 3 different ways to make money online:

  1. Content Sites – Having good content and a lot of visitors and then selling advertising on the site. This is the reason for 90% of the blogs out there (my own guess)
  2. Affiliate Sites – Sites set up specifically to refer visitors to purchase products sold by other people/companies, in which the referrer gets a percentage of the sale.
  3. eCommerce Sites – Sells niche products and often through drop-shipping. This way, the operators don’t have to handle any inventory.

If it Looks Too Easy, It Probably Is
The problem with these methods isn’t that they are bad ideas. The early adopters for most of these methods made (and continue to make) a decent amount of money because they were there first. The problem is that they are TOO easy to implement and get started. In economic terms, the barriers to entry are extremely low, and there becomes a flood of “entrepreneurs” who are looking for a quick buck.

When looking at new ideas or tools, one of the first things I take notice of is how easy it is to implement. If anyone can do it in almost no time, then it’s not worth doing. For example, there are tools that allow you to create niche websites based on a list of keywords that you have. It can literally create thousands of sites/landing pages for you. The problem with a tool like this is that if you can easily use it and implement it, then so can thousands of other people – thereby eroding any possible value in the tool. (Not to mention the fact that this “spamming” will quickly be a “no-no” in the eyes of Google and if it’s not already detected and blacklisted, it soon will be).

Defensible Position
The problem with tools like I just described is that you have almost no “defensible position”. What I mean by defensible position is something that others cannot easily copy. If someone else can easily (and cheaply) buy the tool I described above, you have virtually no defensible position. Google or Amazon are examples of companies with extremely strong defensible positions. While they compete against the likes of Yahoo and respectively, it would be next to impossible for all but a few people in the world to create something to compete against them. And to do that would require an incredible amount of resources of time.

The Advantages of the “Offline” World
When I refer to the “Offline” world, I use the term pretty loosely. I’m really referring to any type of company that isn’t making money via the “Online” methods I listed above. Often times, these are more traditional companies with more traditional structures. For example, is totally web-based but I consider that an “offline” company and the same goes for small software companies that sell some sort of product or service on the web. Or you could just sell something old economy – like paper.

1. You Have a Defensible Position – Usually this is some sort of product or service that someone cannot create by spending 3 hours on a Saturday to set-up. This doesn’t mean that there are no competitors but it also means that hundreds of people can’t start up a web-site just to test the waters.
2. You Have Real Clients – With online marketing, you do have “clients” but they are very fluid. You can use methods to get them to your site quickly and easily but there is no strong relationship formed there. Real Clients are those who chose your product or service for a reason and you have established your “brand” with them. They may recommend you to other customers or hopefully are repeat customers.
3. You Aren’t at the Mercy of Others – Every business should have an exit plan. That exit plan might be to use the business as a cash generator for years or to sell it once it reaches a certain income level. If the business is at the mercy of suppliers, which is really the case of all the ways to Make Money “Online”, whether it’s supplier of the products you sell or the supplier of the traffic and ads for your content site, then any future is very uncertain. But if you have a regular business that cannot be easily disrupted, it is much more valuable and more likely to be viable in the future. It is a much more valuable business.
4. You Can Make More Money – This one can vary a bit based on what you’re trying to sell. I know a lot of Internet Marketers who make a ton of money selling products and services offline and probably more than if they sold it as an offline product. The reason I say this one is that an online world, the easy of entry invites more participants, and with more participants, it in essence becomes a commodity product, and with a commodity product, it just becomes a race to the bottom (look at web hosting since that is so easy to become a reseller).

Will I Still Continue to Make Money Online…. Of Course!
Our main business and main ‘strategy’ of making money online in Kenya is to use the internet to drive up sales…in the offline world. This article describes it somewhat. It is sort of an online-offline hybrid of a business and we are always continuing to make it more “online” because we believe that if you can build an online business with a real defensible position, you’ve hit the jackpot!

But will I base my livelihood around a single content site or some affiliate Adwords arbitrage site? Of course not. Not because I don’t think there is any potential value in there. But because I know there are thousands of people out there who can easily come up with a better mouse-trap with very little time and effort and erode any possible value there for me.

I would rather spend most of my time focusing on the things that will create the most value for me in the long run. Those are the things in which I can gain a strong “defensible position” and more often than not, they are “offline” and not “online”.

How about you? I love feedback!

7 Ways Of Claiming Your Success

Claim your successYou will agree with me that this is one of the hardest blocks to pass – just lifting your leg off the ground and getting it done. Most People spend much time mark-timing in the quagmire of excuses. “I will do it tomorrow” or “today I don’t feel like doing it,” becomes the order of the day and before you realize it, a day is gone…a week…month and then years!

One of my friends has been idle for months now after the completion of her Journalism course at the Kenya polytechnic and when I asked her why she’s sleeping on her talent, she was quick to reply, “But I don’t have a camera!” “Then why don’t you start off by giving these media houses news tip-offs or perhaps pitch news ideas to them?” I asked and all she could give was a blank stare though her lips twitched as though she was about to say something. Below are few tips that can help you take off the ground.

1.Discover yourself
Discover the love of your heart. What you enjoy doing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s writing, acting or whatever that could be. You will only go far by doing what you enjoy the most.

2. Become an Expert
Someone once said that to become an expert, You only have to know slightly above the average person. You don’t need to spend years of your life searching for all those degrees, they are not the ones that will make you an expert – after all you won’t face life with all those crowns on your head when your head is empty. There are so many ways of getting enough information about your interest. Say for example you’re interested in fashion, subscribe to all those newsletters, blogs and magazine that talk about fashion. Watch or listen to informative interviews on the same. Talk to people already in the industry, get to know how they come up with different designs and the like.

3. Find Your own way of doing it
Creating “blind competition” won’t land you any where far from disappointments. Rob once said, “there is enough wealth for each and every one in this world all you need to do is to find your own unique way of tapping into your share.” Forcing yourself in another person’s shoe and blaming him if it all fails won’t give you success. Simply because the Mama Sukuma in your hood commands a huge base of customers does not mean you too will do the same automatically if you plant your own kiosk. If sukumawiki is not your thing then don’t even dream of doing it. Similarly if your interest is dancing and every one is doing it, then don’t create that “blind competition” by doing it exactly the same way. Find your own way of doing it that will make you stand out.

4. Make a plan
Words such as “I will one day do this or that” only kill your subconscious. Sit down and get it done. Make your feature plans, where you want to be in five or so years then break it down to what you will be doing daily that will contribute to achievement of your long term goals and make sure you do exactly that. For instance, say you are a writer; using words like I will one day write a novel before I die is not the right track to go. Saying “I want to complete a 60,000-word novel in two months” is a good long term goal but it’s not enough. You have to break it down further in bits that will help you reach your main goal and that could be writing 1000-words a day that will give you 60,000-words in sixty days. Still this is not enough. Make sure you discipline yourself to be writing the 1000-words daily – Hope you’re getting the point.

5. Go against the current
If you are really convinced that your idea is good, don’t listen to people. Most of them are afraid of change. They want to maintain the statusquo and will shoot down anything they think might make you better than them. This is not to say that you should not seek for advice but learn to sample good ideas with the ill-intended ideas.

6. Drop all the Pretenders
I’m sure if you look around you will find yourself surrounded by a bunch of friends – and let me assure you not all are really your friends. Most of them are out to frustrate you from achieving your success and they are determined. They will try all means possible to show you how what you want to try is impossible and if you go a head and prove them wrong, they will still find excuses to prove you faked your way to success; If you did not buy your way to success, then you rolled your pants for the boss! you know such kind of things? These are not the right people to move around with, ditch them and move on. The won’t help you. Find the right people to work with. People who will give you honest opinion.

7. Be ahead of the game
As the time goes, technology grows and so are your clients. Sticking to your old ways of doing things will only leave you behind the game. You clients, however loyal they could be, will not stick to you with your old ways, they will move on; so learn to move along with them. If you are for example in the fashion industry, study the new designs and how you can use the ever growing technology to improve your business. It’s only by this that you will keep your customers hooked to you.

I hope the above tips will help you claim you success. They are not exhausted and would add some if I come across, So good luck.

Photo courtesy of laverrue.

Making Money From Trends

Look and seeYou know how twitter has ‘trending topics’? Just visit twitter and you’ll see a list of topics that are being discussed the most. You get what I mean?

Google also has a ‘trends’ feature, but it is much bigger than Twitter’s trending section. Google Trends tracks what people are searching for and displays the most popular web searches over a certain amount of time. Visit their site and see for yourself: Google Insights For Search.

During the height of the Esther Arunga madness in Kenya, Esther Arunga became one of the most searched for terms on Google in Kenya. What does this mean? Well, you have here a unique opportunity to make money online! What if there existed a website that talked of nothing but Esther Arunga? This site would have gotten tens of thousands of visitors when Arunga was all over the news. The site would probably have made some money, too. Nice, eh?

What I am trying to say is that a quick, nice, and easy way to make money on the net is to build sites around popular topics, and make money off them. An example of this is quite common in the more developed countries: when a new movie or computer game is about to be released, tens of websites spring up that are about the new movie or game. These websites are all set up by opportunists trying to cash in on the buzz that will be generated by the new movie or game. Similarly, if someone set up a site just when Arunga’s madness hit, they’d probably be very happy with themselves right now.

Google insights for search is an excellent tool for tracking trends. However, if you rely on it you’d be too late! The trick is to find the trend before it starts or very early (before it runs out of steam), then quickly set up a website that is heavy on information regarding the trending event, topic or person. Then, slap Adsense on the site (or find another monetization strategy – perhaps you could sell T shirts, I do not know) and watch the money roll in.

The basic idea is that because a particular topic is popular, lots of people will be searching for information on it online. As in the Esther Arunga case, there was no one site that exclusively covered her story. If such a site existed, then the owners would have gotten a lot of the traffic generated by the Arunga buzz. You can apply these same principles to any other popular or trending topic.

Idea: The debate on the new constitution and the upcoming referendum are only just getting started. By the time we’re getting to vote, they will probably be the only news in town. Why not set up a simple website in anticipation of this? Think about it. Nickel Pro could help you if you need help or advice. 🙂

What else could be popular online? Can you capitalize on it?

Cheers, and good luck.

The Secret Is Out;THe Easiest Way To Make Money Online

Do you have trouble explaining exactly what you do?

Are you confused or overwhelmed when it comes to making money online ?

Do you hate your current situation?

Are you tired of wasting precious hours and money looking for the perfect job opportunity?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place!

Let’s face it…With almost 3 million jobless sprawling the streets of our country and another 700,000 young school leavers pouring into the job market every year life couldn’t be tougher. With the infighting within the government and the worsening of our economy it means our future becomes even dimmer. The truth is, life is a misery out there.

While I am not an Economist, today you could change your life by just reading this piece .Simply put, I want to spill the beans and show you how you can turn your life. Am sure you have read articles here or else where on making money online but you still don’t know where to start.

If you can read, type or touch a mouse then you can do it.

FREELANCING is where you will start. And the secret is PASSION for what you do – something that holds interest, something that you find enjoyable, something that can motivate you or anything that creates hunger.
PASSION = the key ingredient of success

  • Do you love reading? Then you can write.
  • Are you always fascinated by data, research or figures? Then you can try web research or data entry projects.

What do you need?

  1. A computer, and Internet connection – You don’t need to own one. I myself started from a cyber café.
  2. Your Skills – Combined with passion. You cant succeed online if you are skeptical.
  3. Time – You need to treat this as a job. You will need to allocate this opportunity some time.

Once you have put this together then you are good to go.

How to get your first project
Branding Yourself
One of the first things you will need to do as a freelancer is decide on a brand for yourself.. Whatever it is you will need a business identity to work under and for clients to know you as. Along with your new name you will naturally need a logo, business cards and a website. Remember that you are now a business and all your materials need to be polished and professional.

Building a Killer Portfolio
Tip: Go to Google, Browse and see how top freelancers have crafted theirs. You are not here to invent the wheel are you?

What To Include:

  • An introduction of some sort – usually just a statement is best
  • Your services, or else how will anyone know what you do?
  • Examples of your previous work.
  • Contact details.

Where do you find work?
This is where the challenge lies. Where do you find your first jobs and indeed your later jobs too? And what do you put in your portfolio?

What If you don’t Have The Experience
If you have nothing to show for yourself for whatever reason then you had either better be a great talker or find something to put as a sample. How to go about it:

  1. Create an imaginary job for yourself and execute it.
  2. Offer your services for free to people online
  3. Talk to your last employer into allowing you to show some of your old work for a specific period of time.

How To Build Your Portfolio
Offer your services for free and ask if its possible to get a testimonial. Alternatively you can use the work(sample) for your portfolio. You can try this by looking at

What it if you find it hard to find work
In any case it’s difficult for a client to hire you on the strength of your word alone then try free pitching, where the potential client will ask you to do some of the work prior to payment.

Once you have worked a fair amount of jobs, you should find that you steadily get an increase in repeat work and referral work and that you depend less and less on new jobs. If this is not the case

  • you are either too expensive,
  • getting the wrong types of clients or
  • not good enough at your work (which in turn means you’re too expensive)

There you have it. Go out and make some money today and change your life. Remember whatever you decide to do, just remember that nothing happens until you take action.

Or, in the words of the great Abe Lincoln…

“Good things come to those who wait, but only the things left over by those who hustle.”

Are you waiting, or are you hustling? It’s up to you…

Here’s to Your Future Success,


Actually Getting An Online Job

Getting an online job is hard. Very hard. This is because the competition is stiff. This post is an extract of an email in which I explain how to best prepare yourself so that you can actually get an online job.

First off, please do everyone a favour and only apply for jobs that you are actually qualified to do. Do not bid for a web design project when all you know is how to use Microsoft’s Frontpage. Keep in mind that you are competing with experts in their fields. You must also be an expert, or at the very least very good at what you want to do. Whoever is going to pay you is interested in your expertise and experience.

Even if you know your stuff backwards and forwards, getting the first few gigs online will be extremely hard. This may be due to many reasons but I think it helps if you understand what potential employers are looking for:

  1. They need to hire someone who is skilled at what he does
  2. They need assurance that you are trustworthy and reliable
  3. They need the best price

The first two are the hardest to achieve. In our experience, people looking for online jobs really need to create a portfolio-like document where they will attempt to address issues #1 and #2 above. A portfolio is a job-hunting tool that you develop which gives employers a complete picture of who you are – your experience, your education, your accomplishments, your skill sets – and what you have the potential to become – much more than just a cover letter and CV/resume can provide. You can use your portfolio to showcase a point, to illustrate the depth of your skills and experience, and to show off previous work and accomplishments.

In you portfolio, you need to talk about yourself as regards the job that you are applying for and market yourself as having the skills and experience to do the job to a high standard of quality. Specifically, you need to include:

  • A list of similar jobs that you have done in the past. This is important in that the potential employer can see that you can actually do the work and that you have the experience and wisdom of having done it before.

    What do you do when you do not have a list of past jobs done? You may be asking this if you are absolutely new to the whole idea of freelancing. Hmm, well, no one said you have to give a list of jobs that you did for other people, did they? If you are a writer, why not write a few articles in your spare time and put them in your portfolio as “samples of work done”? Same thing goes for web designers, artists, etc.

  • A list of testimonials. This is a list of people who you have worked with in the past and who can vouch for you and say that you rock! How do you get testimonials? Well, always try to ask for them after every single gig. Not many people will refuse to give you. 🙂

    How can you get testimonials if you are new to freelancing? This is tough. Your best bet is to do some jobs for free for people on condition that they give you testimonials. Do not make the mistake of writing fake testimonials.

Cover Letter
You have your nice portfolio, which is like your CV/resume and you are all set, eh? Well, not quite. Never forget to send out a suitable and meaningful cover letter with each job application.

When applying for an online job, most people just write a one or two line application that generally reads, “see my attached portfolio”. This is wrong! A cover letter should always accompany the portfolio. It should be used to introduce yourself and why you are emailing. It is also a unique opportunity to showcase your unique personality or traits that could not be put in the portfolio. Always write a good cover letter.

That’s all you need, really. Put up a good portfolio and tailor it to suit each and every job that you apply for. And write a nice cover letter for each gig you apply for. Sooner or later you will get a job. Once you get the first one, you’ll find it easier to get more. Before you know it, you’ll be rich like her.

The Importance of A Website
You do not need a website to get an online job.

However, most of your competition does not have websites. Why not stand out? It will certainly make things easier on you. I always take people more seriously if they have a site. Why not put up your portfolio on the site? It can open many more doors for you…

Incidentally, Nickel Pro does offer a simple website package perfect for this use.

The thing about online job sites
Most online job sites have a “rating” feature where all the freelancers are rated according to how the job providers like them/their work. When you are starting out, you will find that some of your competition have hundreds of 10/10 ratings. Such people will easily win bids instead of you because you are not rated, being new. This makes life for newcomers very hard indeed. How do you overcome this? I do not know. Sheer diligence should work. Just keep trying, as long as you do everything right then you must succeed, at some point. Everything that you sow, you must reap!

Good luck.

PS. If you wish, you may hire us to help out in this. We’re experts!