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.

How To Turn Your Skills Into A Real Online Business

Open for businessA lot of the people reading Like Chapaa have a skill set. They are strong in web design, writing, marketing, Web development, or some other different skills.

People with such skills who want to be entrepreneurs often end up selling their skills as services. That usually entails trading money for their time, expertise and experience. It’s the path of least resistance (and risk) and a way to form a source of income. The problem is that while the business might be moderately successful, there is a limit to how successful the business can be. There are only so many hours in a day and only so much that you can charge for these services (no matter how good you are). Since freelancing is not a real business model and does not scale, you should focus these skills on building a system-based business.

Here are some ideas to create a new business based on the skills that you already have.

Scale Your Skills
Instead of doing the work yourself, have 1, 2, 5, 10, or even 50 people do the work for you. Once you have other people doing the work, there is no limit to how big you can grow the business. Start by creating a manual detailing everything that you do and make it a repeatable process that someone else can follow. You will still have to find some people with some ability as you don’t want someone with zero creativity to design high-end websites for your clients. But if you create an efficient process in getting new clients and delivering their service at a reasonable, known cost, you can start scaling the business.

In order to reduce your risk, I would start out with contractors. Pay them on a “per project” basis so you are only obligated to pay when you get paid. Your profits won’t be as high and it can be tough to find reliable contractors with good prices and quality products but once you do, it becomes very easy to scale up your business. Start out with determining your profit margin and you can estimate projects based off of the quote you receive.

Create a “Product”
If your skills are in web design, pick a market and create your best web design that you can sell over and over again. If you create a really great web site with a lot of cool features for restaurants (newsletters, birthday club, email-a-friend), sell it to restaurants operating in different markets. You might charge a lower price for each site but it will require less effort to set up. It’s even something that you could hire a contractor to set up on a per-site basis.

If you are a writer, you can also create a ‘product’ around your writing skills. You just have, for example, to look for something that would benefit by having a well written guide/manual. For instance, many writers make money by writing How-To ebooks for platforms such as Joomla and Drupal. I know others who have created a complete and re-usable business plan which they sell to anyone looking to write a business plan quickly.

If you are an Adsense expert, you could sell a program to similar businesses of keywords and ads that are pre-built and tested to be very effective. Just make sure you don’t sell it to competing clients.

Become a ‘Digital Landlord’
This is very similar to creating a product, the difference being that you do not sell it outright but rent it out and collect a subscription fee. Please have a look at this: Landlord 2.0

The basic idea is to utilise your expertise to create a service. If you are an accountant, you could create an accounting system which you charge a monthly fee for people to use it either online or offline. When most people think of this, they think that it has to be a large undertaking. That is not the case, you do not have to recreate Quickbooks, the secret is to niche – create a simple accounting system specifically for freelance web designers (incidentally, such a system is badly needed).

If you are a marketing guru, you could create a marketing system for very small businesses and freelancers (guys earning 10,000 to 500,000 a month) – a system whereby the businesses completely outsource marketing to you. Again, such a system is badly needed in today’s Kenya (most of these business owners are too busy to market properly and would appreciate some help, as long as it actually generates more business).

Web Site Flipping
basically, this is the selling of websites. It might require a little more investment but you could also bootstrap and start with a small portfolio that you constantly turn over and make more money off of them. But the idea is that you should buy websites, improve them, and then sell them. Maybe it’s a website that just needs a few tweaks to convert better, or a site that needs some basic search engine optimization, one that hasn’t utilized Pay-Per-Click yet, or one that could use all of these changes.

Create systems to effectively find, value, purchase, and improve sites. Most people who flip websites might do it on a “one off” basis. They don’t create systems to repeat the process over and over again. I liken it to real estate flipping companies who have scaled their business so they buy multiple properties, have a select group of vendors they use to improve the properties, and then sell it. They have great systems in place. From the very beginning, they have a set budget and they know what changes they can make and how much value it should add to the price.

Create Software
Ok, nothing too original here but I think this is a case which people think too big. They think the only software worth creating and selling is something that nobody else has created. There are a lot of niche markets for which you can build useful software. You don’t have to create Microsoft Windows, just something that is useful to your targeted niche market.

For example – you could create an online scheduling service for businesses that take appointments like doctors, salons or beauty parlors. There is a lot of scheduling software out there but if you create a product specific for an industry, you have created a successful product.

And the best part about software is that once it’s created, there is very little effort to maintain it. Unlike trading hours for dollars, you can create a mostly passive form of income.

What Do All the Ideas Have in Common?
It probably wasn’t apparently obvious with each of these ideas but they all involve targeting a niche market. You’re not going to be able to create something that works for everyone but if you create something that has utility for a niche market, your system based business can grow quite successfully.

Image courtesy of Pheezy.

Smart Ways To Make Money Online With Nil Investment

The fiber optic Internet is here with us, the Internet charges have dropped dramatically and the prices of computers too have plummeted to due to zero rating. With opportunities beckoning on our doors I don’t see why you should continue complaining that there are no jobs. With almost nil investment you can now make some money online. If you love freedom, that personal freedom to do what you love and enjoy, that comes with working without a fixed schedule or geographic location, then you are welcome to join the lucrative world of making money online with minimal investment. Even if you’re not looking to work full-time at home, the Internet offers a viable source of money which can help to supplement your regular income and improve your life style.

Today I will explore several ways in which you can make some money online. My ideas involve making real cash not points or credits or some funny rewards, they don’t require you to have your own Web domain or ask you money or have your own products or any hard-selling. Hapana. So let’s start.

Be an Online Freelancer
The easiest way to make some real bucks comes through online freelancing or contracted work. Take advantage of your skills and expertise .What do you love? Are you good in web design? Are you a good writer? Whatever your skill is put it to good use as an online freelancer. Perhaps the best place to start is getafreelancer or Elance or Guru or demand studios. No money is needed to subscribe and the registration is fairly simple. Take your time in each website and read the processes involved and make some bucks while you can. You gotta start somewhere.

Be an Affiliate
If this is the first time you are hearing this word then you have been sleeping. Affiliate marketing is one of the most lucrative ways to make passive income while you sleep and do the things you love .Young people all over the world have become millionaires and rich overnight without products of their own or any investment. Talk of Joel Comm., Russell Branson, Michael Sweeney, the king of the online marketing Rich Schfren and the John Reese-famed for making a million bucks online in 24 hours!

Anyway, affiliate marketing works like this: You sign up as an affiliate with a merchant and then promote a specific product or service and whenever a referred user makes a purchase based on your recommendations you earn some commission. If you’ve got an interest in weight loss as an example, you can make money promoting weight loss products. In terms of fashion wear, you can earn commissions by recommending friends to clothing websites with affiliate programs. Sounds fun?

The amount of money you make depends on what you are selling. Done correctly, affiliate marketing is one of the most powerful ways to make money from the web.

The best place to start is Clickbank which has over 200,000 affiliates and over 2 million affiliates’ products. Clickbank is one of the most popular affiliate networks 1)because it deals with digital or downloadable products and 2)because of its platform which makes it easier to select. Commisionjunction or cj as its commonly known is the largest network but deals with physical inventory.

Other popular affiliate networks include Amazon, similar to click bank and owned by PayPal, moreniche of which I am member (it’s so cool) and There are thousands of affiliate networks and probably the best place to find the best affiliate programs is at Did I mention that (based in Kenya) has an affiliate program worth checking out?

Sell Your Stuff Online
Do you have pictures or do you have old stuff that you no longer need, do you love artworks or have some crafts? The Internet provides the best platform to sell your stuff. We all know eBay which provides an avenue to sell your used (new) products to people all over the world. In fact you don’t need to own any product to make money on eBay. (See drop shopping, below).

Those pictures you have may be worth some bucks. Check out citizen journalism websites like and which will pay for your images. You can also try using, the most established and lucrative micro-stock photography website.

Are you good in web design, content writing or graphics? , If you are, then you can sell your work at places like or even Clickbank, warriorforum, or

For craftworks, the best place to sell your works is

Be a Dropper Shopper
This almost like affiliate marketing although it involves arbitrage (here you act as a broker).

It’s a method whereby you deal with offline retailers or exporters in other countries, or buy from one seller and sell to another.

Simply put let’s take the case of eBay. Using eBay’s pulse (sort of market research platform) you find that the most popular fashion item is skinny jeans. Next we research who are the sellers of skinny jeans – we assume our seller (the cheapest) is located in china. You contact the seller who gives you a deal of a certain % of sales (you can also get an affiliate code).Then you head straight back to eBay and find who is selling skinny jeans (in this case he is the buyer).

Armed with your information, you propose the deal to him that you can supply cheap quality skinny jeans and that you can handle shipping charges as a way to sweeten the deal. Deal done. Your supplier in china dropships (ships it directly to the eBay seller that you found) the product and remits your cut in good faith.

Otherwise with affiliate code you can simply open an eBay store and start selling skinny jeans. The seller (our guy in china) handles the shipping (drop ships-takes the product to the buyer’s doorsteps) and handles customer care issues.

Hope you get the idea .It is rather simple. Perhaps I should send you to salehoo, the world’s biggest drop shipping platform where there are thousands of cheap wholesalers located everywhere. Some of the prices offered by the drop shoppers seem outrageous but the commissions are quite handsome. Plus I find this idea of dropshipping so much applicable right here in Kenya. What do you think? Is this not what brokers do at wakulima market?

Some more hot money making ideas coming up in the next post. Keep reading.

To your success,
Kihato Mwangi

About me
I am simple young man who earns and spend most of my time online making some bucks and hunting for opportunities. I am also an entrepreneur (my firm handles life coaching, Internet marketing and how to be financially independent) and a small business consultant who is always eager to help Kenyans to be financially independent by making smart choices.

How To Start An Online Shop

One of the most common questions we get goes like, “Hey, how do i set up an online shop?” Because we’re all about seeing the Internet come through for people in Kenya, especially financially, I decided to write an article on how to start your own online shop, easy. Enjoy 🙂

Trust me, it is a very daunting task and it involves a hell of a lot. Are you up for all that? I do not know. I do know one thing though, the opportunity to make lots and lots of money is still very much there. In all markets most online stores are, for lack of better words, a complete waste of time.

No joke – there are so many badly designed and structured online shops out there that you’d be surprised. You could choose any market place and still have a very good shot at making a killing. If only you use correct procedure. And guess what? The wealth of tools available for your use is just unbelievable – challenging the Top Dogs in any market is something very do-able.

Where do you start?
As I said earlier, starting an online shop is no easy task. Should you start your own, you are bound to make lots and lots of mistakes. However, I beg you to always work with this in mind: “Customers first, money second“. Got it? Good, you’ll never go wrong. Many, many businesses mess up this simple task.

Before anything else, you need to ask yourself the same questions you’d ask yourself if you were going into business in the offline world. Do you have something to market? Will people buy what you want to sell? Will they pay enough money for you to make a profit?

Next you’ll need to choose a name for your site/shop. Since this will be your identity, it is VERY important. Take time to choose a good and easy-to-remember name. Read more about this, if need be.

Building your website
Unfortunately, if you want the best results there are only two courses of action:

  1. Hire professionals to build you a site. People like us. 🙂
  2. Do it yourself, but only if you have the technical know-how.

That said, here are some things you should keep in mind:

  • How many products do you have? If you have just a few, your site will look bare. (Depending on how it is built)
  • What type of products are you selling? This will affect how you display them – jewellery will be displayed differently from, say, aquariums. :p
  • You must have good quality pictures of your products.
  • Include item descriptions jameni! Of course your customers want to know this.
  • Ensure that your site loads quickly and that it is easy to navigate.
  • As well as making your site the best it can be for customers, make sure it is very easy for you to update it i.e. add new products or change prices.
  • Make the selling process as easy and as fast as possible. You don’t really need to make your customers register at your site, do you? This is an unnecessary step that will cost you sales!

Because I love my readers, I shall suggest a super easy way to build a top-of-the-range online shop. Listen carefully:

  1. Download wordpress
  2. Install wordpress on a server somewhere. How?
  3. Install this wordpress theme. How?
  4. Install this wordpress plugin. How?
  5. You have your very nice online shop!

Other tools you can use: Magento, osCommerce.

Web hosting
One your website is made, it needs to be hosted somewhere. This is so that it is accessible to the whole of the Internet. Learn more.

If you’re going to handle any kind of financial transactions through your website, you need to make sure your web host offers secure servers. This means that they offer SSL encryption. You should find out whether your prospective web host offers SSL encryption as part of its regular package or charges extra for this service.

When your website is your storefront, if your website is down, your store is closed – or worse, effectively nonexistent. So you need a web host that offers at least a 99% uptime guarantee. While asking about a web host’s uptime guarantee, you might also inquire as to its back up systems in case of emergencies.

There are hundreds of good web hosts out there. I recommend that you choose us. 🙂

Marketing your online shop
The key to online retailing is to strive to get as many people visiting your shop as possible. Please, please keep search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind. If need be, hire someone to do your SEO.

There are some helpful articles here and here. Oh and we are also available to help you with SEO.

Dealing with payments
You will need a way to accept payments online, or at the very least accept orders online. Many modern online shop creation systems (like the ones I suggested earlier) do this right out of the box. If you intend to sell to people in Kenya, it would be helpful to be able to receive payments by ZAP and MPESA. Here’s an article we wrote about this topic.

We haven’t covered everything you need to know in this article, but most of it is up there. You can have your shop ready by next week if you follow what the article says.

Good luck 🙂

PS I was thinking of doing a follow-up article on this topic by going step by step through what I did when setting up an existing online shop. Anyone interested?

Image courtesy of Jesse757.

How To Fax For Free

So recently we’ve been having a number of dealings with organisations and people in the big USA here at Like Chapaa. We’ve had to send a number of faxes, unfortunately. Unfortunately because we consider faxing to be…old school. We don’t even have fax machines at our offices, for starters!

What to do? Well, for a while we sent the faxes the old way…but we’re internet people so we were always looking for a smart alternative. We think we found one!

How to send faxes to the USA, free of charge and via the internet
Cool, eh? It’s simple too. Just:

  1. Get a free account and US fax number from k7. K7 will give you a US number that will let anyone fax or call you. Faxes and voicemail will be delivered to your (email) inbox.
  2. Go over here [] here [] and send your free fax. Be sure to put in your new US fax number in the “sender information fax #” field.
  3. That’s it, you’re done!

We’ve been sending faxes (and receiving them) with smiley faces ever since we discovered this. Hopeful, some our dear readers (that’s you) will find this useful.

What can you do with this? Well, if you’re doing business with anyone in the USA, you can now get faxes and voicemail delivered to a US number and you retrieve them quickly and easily from your email.

Have you tried it yet? How did it go? What do you think?

Image courtesy of Yo Spiff. – whoooops!

Spot the difference: KissTV Vs JA Tube.

It looks like whoever made the Kiss Tv website used a Joomla template. Joomla is one of the leading content management systems so, at the very least, the Kiss Tv website is build on solid ground (code). However, this means that the designer hired/tasked to make the Kiss Tv site did little or no ‘designing’. What do you think about this? People have made millions from Joomla in exactly the same way…

What do I think about this? Well, it is a little embarrassing when people learn that a major website was made using a publicly available template but I have absolutely no problem with this. Using templates/themes means we can drastically cut website development time and costs as well as have elegant, well designed websites instead of the absolute eyesores that we used to see.

How much do you think the person who made the Kiss Tv site was paid? Why can that not be you? All you need to do is learn how to use WordPress, Joomla or Drupal and you’re well on your way. Making websites using these systems is easy. Good luck!

As a parting shot, will the designer of the Kiss Tv site please fix the top navigation bar?

The Strawberry Store

A whole lot of people dismiss Kenyan online business as being ahead of their time. Some people even go as far as claiming online entrepreneurs in Kenya as being misguided, or even plain silly. The usual explanation is that Kenya is still very new and untested as far as the internet goes…etc etc. But who will do the ‘testing’ if no one dares to try? The good news is that more and more Kenyan online businesses are being launched. When are you launching yours?

Today, we’re going to take a look at the Strawberry Store, a Kenyan online business that specialises in importing and selling home, office and institutional furnishings and accessories. One of the co-founders, Naomi Konditi-Kivuvani, has been interviewed over at Tujuane – click here to go and read the interview which talks about the Strawberry store at length.

What I found interesting was that the store exists purely online. There is no physical showroom or shop. While I have doubts on how well this approach works in Kenya, it is a commendable and brave move. For one thing, the expenses of the store are very much reduced and the only overheads are those of hosting and maintaing the website – which are usually very minimal.

When you buy items from the Strawberry store, you either collect them at their pick-up center near Adam’s Arcade, or you can have them delivered to you starting at Kshs 200/-. Again, this is a commendable approach. However, I’d think that several strategically located pick-up centers would work better.

So, how does the Strawberry store get it’s clients? Naomi mentions that they rely on email marketing and facebook advertising. Both of these are powerful ways of getting people to notice you, especially here in Kenya. However, I wonder how well the facebook campaign is doing. To me, facebook – at least in Kenya – wouldn’t be a suitable advertising medium for most products/services. Why? Well, the majority of people who use facebook in Kenya are teenagers and other youth. Unless you’re selling something that this group can afford and would want to buy, getting their attention is not worth much.

One thing that I would wholeheartedly recommend for the Strawberry straw is a blog. The absence of a blog was something that struck me within a few minutes of browsing the site. As far as internet marketing goes, a blog is almost always something like your mothership.

All in all, I love the work that Naomi and her team are doing. I recommend that you check out the site (and make a purchase).

Parting shot:

“Running a web-store may look easy, but it’s really harder than running an ordinary physical store. This is because there’s nobody just ‘passing by’ to come into the store, you have to make people be aware of the store using creative methods. ” – Naomi Konditi-Kivuvani.

Photo by Muffet.