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13 Ways You Can Make Money Online in 2021

13 Ways You Can Make Money Online in 2021

Have you ever had the temptation to smash your phone against the wall every time your morning alarm goes off? Have you pressed the ‘snooze’ button too many times you literally had to sprint out of your door, headed for work? Have you woken up to a heavy downpour and bumper to bumper traffic?

If your answer is yes, then you must have wondered what it would feel like if you could skip all the hustle, and earn money from the comfort of your home. At your own time, at your own pace, getting to spend more time with family, and take control of your life and time. 

With the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic upon us, working from home is no longer strange at all - many who are out of work have now also embraced working online with significant benefits. 

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If you’re looking to earn money online but are not sure where to start, here are some easy ways you could consider:

  1. Freelance Writing

If you have ever done some appreciable amount of writing in your life whether in college, a blog or think that expressing ideas, explaining concepts or telling stories is something you can excel at then you can easily monetise that skill and make some good money. 

There are several avenues you can use to get started on this sojourn. If you are academically inclined, then you can try academic writing where you would be basically writing or proofreading essays for students in other countries for a fee. This can be charged either on an hourly basis, per word or per paper. 

Please note that the legality of this option is in the gray area - for example, the UK government has been trying to regulate this practice on account of this being a form of cheating for students procuring such services. The ethical side of this is a little more clearer - handing someone’s else work for grading in college is considered a form of plagiarism and cheating. 

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Away from academic writing where many Kenyan youth have been making a killing - to the extent of being singled out as the hotbed of an global essay contacting business valued at $1 Billion (Ksh108.9 billion) there are many less controversial freelance writing jobs to do. 

For example, article writing. There are thousands of websites across the world that have a shortage of writing talent that would pay top dollar for blog authors, opinion writers and more including product reviews. 

Many more publications offering an average of Ksh10,000 per article for specialised topics such as technology, Africa-focused content, geopolitics, self help etc. exist with huge rewards for those who prove themselves. 

  1. Blogging

A blog is a website where a writer shares their opinion or view on subjects of their own choosing. There are many areas one can choose to blog about. If you have a passion about something and you know how to engage a reader in your style of writing, money would be a step away from you once you come up with a solid monetisation plan.

An easier way to start blogging is creating a free Wordpress site. Once the site is up and running, you can sign up for a free Google AdSense Account. Thereafter, Google will provide a unique code that you will paste onto your website. Google will then be able to track your page views, traffic, and earnings on your behalf, free of charge.

The ads are in forms of CPM (Cost per 1,000 impressions) or Cost Per Click (CPC). In CPC, one is paid for the ad-click when readers click on them while for CPM one is paid for the number of people who’ve viewed the ads. 

Note that there is a steep learning curve on this one and you would need to do continuous research especially during the initial stages of your venture to increase your chances of getting a meaningful income. If you get it right, you could actually hire writers and focus more on marketing and be on your way to making a cool passive income. 

If your blog achieves this kind of success, companies can pay you to write about them or they can place banners and other types of ads on the blog pages - note these negotiated ads give you more income per ad than Google ads. 

  1. YouTube / Vlogs

YouTube is the world's largest video hosting website with more than 5 billion videos being watched every day. It has a majority of its users coming to look for information or get entertained. You can launch your own channel giving entertaining or informative content and you can start monetizing it with ads once you hit the 1000 subscribers/4000hr of view time.

For every 1000 views, you can get from KSh200-400. If you have 30 videos getting 10,000 views per month, then that would translate to Kshs60,000 – 120,000 in monetary gain.

  1. Transcribing video and audio files

Do you consider yourself a fast typist? Then transcribing could be your answer. You simply listen to audio files through headphones and type them out. Point to note is that your pay is directly proportional to how fast you type. The faster you type, the more money. Transcription jobs are paid depending on the audio file's length, rather than by the hours you work in it.

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To be able to transcribe, you have to be at least 18 years old and get access to a computer and the Internet. You will undertake an English test or exam, which can be done in just one sitting.

  1. Influencer Marketing

When exactly does a social media user merit to be labelled as an influencer? Apart From having a relatively large following, one needs to have a significant impact on the opinions and actions of other people. With this, brands pay you to promote their products, with the aim of making more sales.

Influencers are tasked with introducing new customers to the brand, sharing brand content, offering brand testimonials, writing reviews or sharing ratings, creating content about the brand, telling stories about the brand, and interacting with other consumers about the brand.

Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok are huge on influencer marketing.

  1. Renting out your apartment/a room

Do you have more than one house? Scratch that. Do you have a spare room in your house, or just extra space? Do you know you could rent it out, for a few days, and earn while at it.? Most tourists, both local and domestic, are slowly transitioning from hotels to short-term rentals such as the most popular model by Airbnb.

Airbnb is an online marketplace which connects people who want to rent their homes with those looking for accommodations in that location.

First, head to add listing at the homepage's top right corner. You’ll then be directed to a form requiring you to fill in the most general criteria of your place. This includes where your property is, its size, and number of guests you can comfortably accommodate.

Alternatively, you can make use of social media. Take pictures of the property, and share. Let people know you are running a business, and let customers leave reviews after their stay.

You should be aware, though, that if you do not own the property, your landlord may not allow you to run such a business. Also, even if you own an apartment in a complex, the property management has to approve such a venture. However, if you are not violating any laws, short-term letting of an aprtment or spare room can be very lucrative. 

  1. Social Media Management for Brands / Companies

While browsing social media, you will come across pages/accounts belonging to companies. They do this mainly for brand visibility, and communication to customers. Being a social media manager means you run the pages for them. You create content in line with the brand, and post on their pages. You reply to customer queries, and give feedback to the organization

The secret here is to pitch. Apply for the position, just like you would apply for any other job. Some companies advertise the position, others do not.

Some companies, especially startups or tech companies would rather hire an independent social media manager on an hourly or fixed fee rather than hire a permanent employee. This allows you to continue with your other ventures while earning from social media management. 

  1. Start a Podcast

With people getting busier each day, they start looking for passive ways to consume content.

If you are not enthusiastic about writing but you have a good voice, recording a podcast can be a go-to option for you to make money. You start by building your platform and channel, then you make it as interesting as possible and applicable to your audience. A podcaster would usually earn profits by having sponsors, crowdfunding, selling branded merchandise, donations, and paid content or ads, while also growing the number of listeners.

JohnLee Dumas is a successful podcaster, he makes upto Ksh20M per month from his podcast Entrepreneur On Fire.

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The key to getting ahead with podcasts is finding your niche, growing an audience, and afterwards finding ways to connect with sponsors and monetise. For this, you need to have a laptop, and a good microphone, and software for editing sound. Thereafter, you are good to go.

  1. Answer online surveys and polls

Many research projects utilise online surveys and polls to get data. Occasionally, researchers will require a specific sample size that cannot be conveniently achieved without reaching out to the public.

To get started here, in Kenya, websites such as iPoll, Opinion Space Kenya and Paid View Point offer some money in return for answering their surveys and polls. This should not take you more than a few minutes, equivalent to a coffee break. 

  1. Part-time online tutoring

Some platforms offer part-time online tutoring. On KenyaPlex, tutors are matched with interested students (or their parents). Once they are matched, they make agreements (payments, subject matter, venue or online/physical, etc.), and the tutor begins teaching their classes.

You could start tutoring classes on KenyaPlex, just create your tutor profile, and start looking for jobs. You could also earn good money teaching English online to non-English-speaking students in other countries especially in Asia. 

  1. Translate texts into and from Swahili  & other languages

If you can speak more than one language and are looking for some extra cash ,then you’re in luck. Platforms exist online that pay you to translate.

In this case, you obviously need to be fluent in Kiswahili and another language (according to the translation jobs you’re in search of). If you’re certain that you can thoroughly read, write, and converse in good and fluent Kiswahili and another language, then check out platforms such as Upwork and ProZ that offer these kind of jobs.

  1. Review mobile apps and online products

Business people alongside mobile app and software developers usually look for ways to improve their products. To do this, they seek out user reviews. Sometimes, they use third-party platforms such as User Testing, a platform which pays people to use and review mobile applications and online products.

Through testing, User Testing helps larger organizations improve their digital products. If you’re interested in testing different applications and products (and looking to get paid for it), User Testing is an excellent place to start.

  1. Sell Your Photos

Maybe you have the skills to take photos or you dwell in a place where photos are in high demand? Stock photography websites are huge repositories of photographs, covering almost every possible subject you could imagine. 

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This is how it works. Photographers upload images they took to any one of a huge number of databases. This will allow any interested organization like magazine companies with a website to buy them. And something great about stock websites: a photo can be sold so many times, so you will continue to make as much money without putting in any additional effort. Some sites to look at include Shutterstock, Photoshelter and Getty Images.

Wrapping Up

Making money online is not as hard as one may think. However, you have to be alive to the fact that online income especially during your formative months or even years can be unpredictable and infrequent.

So, a general rule of thumb has been - if you already have a day job, keep it as long as you can and build your part time business until it can fully sustain you. 

If you have time, are passionate about something that has online demand, and posses some creative skill, you may be able to build one or several income streams.

Like any business venture, it will take time to grow. You need to be dedicated and patient enough even if your journey is slow when you first start out. Eventually, you will start reaping the fruits.

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Eunniah is an experienced business writer and editor. She is also a published author with two titles under her belt; Breaking Down and If My Bones Could Speak. You can find Eunniah on Twitter @Eunnyversal

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