Working online provides a way to supplement your income. Research published by Ajira Digital shows that 5% of Kenya’s adult population works online. The number will likely increase as more Kenyans embrace the digital and gig economy.
There are many opportunities to work online, and you don’t need much to start as a beginner. You can take advantage of these opportunities with little to no experience. You will need commitment, consistency, and the eagerness to learn as you grow. The first few days may be challenging, but it gets smoother once you get your foot in the door.
This article will cover everything you need to know about working online and ten online jobs for beginners in 2023.
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The first thing you need to do before you dip your toes in the world of working online is to figure out what you want to do. Do you want to be self-employed or work virtually for other individuals and companies?
Several online jobs resemble formal employment. You'll have to work on deadlines and report to a superior. You'll be in charge of other jobs, however. It will all depend on your preferences, skills, and the opportunities that are accessible to you.
Here are three things you will need to work online in Kenya:
Online work is a remote role that allows you to work from home or anywhere. The most significant advantage these types of jobs offer is flexibility. And with many options to choose from, you will easily find one that suits you.
Over the past few years, online work has been simplified, and it has become easier for beginners to get started. Online jobs are ideal for anyone looking to change their career, enter a new industry, diversify their income, or create a business.
As a beginner, you won’t need much experience to get started. There are many entry-level online jobs you can take and upgrade as you gain more expertise. Here is a list of ten such jobs;
A freelancer is a self-employed independent contractor with unique skills and expertise to sell online. Freelancers are often paid per project but can negotiate hourly rates depending on the service they offer.
As a freelancer, you'll be in charge of your career. You can choose to work part-time or full-time. You will set your rates, market yourself and negotiate your contract.
Due to its many opportunities, freelancing is one of the best and easiest ways to make money online. There are many types of jobs available for people with different skill sets.
Some popular ones include Video editing, writing, videographer, photography, translator, SEO specialist, web designing, etc. Simply put, you earn money as a freelancer if your skills can be digitised and sold online. If you don’t have such skills, you can take time to acquire them before you start.
To get started as a freelancer, you will need to create a CV and portfolio. You will use these two to market yourself.
The next will be to search for gigs. You can look for jobs on freelance marketplaces, cold pitch to potential employers, use social media platforms and LinkedIn, or ask established freelancers to recommend you.
Before you start freelancing, you should be aware of its challenges. Being your own boss means you will not receive employee benefits like health insurance and pension. Additionally, you'll be in charge of paying your taxes and buying supplies. Since you'll work on a contract basis, you will also not have a stable income.
Online shopping has significantly grown over the last few years. Research shows that 58% of Kenyan consumers started buying more online in 2020, and 99% of them plan to continue.
Opening an online store gives you a perfect chance to hop on that train and make money on the internet.
You can sell anything online. And the beauty of it is that you don’t need to open an offline store/shop or quit your job, as you can do it from home and part-time.
The first step you need to take is to find a niche with high demand or something you are passionate about. This will help you decide what you want to sell online. Don’t forget to perform a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) and market analysis to help you create a sound business plan and risk mitigation strategy.
The second step is sourcing your products and setting up your online store. You can choose to buy your products from wholesalers or import them. You should start with a small inventory to minimise losses. You can sell your products on eCommerce platforms like Jumia, p2p platforms like Jiji, social media, or set up your website.
Finally, start promoting your products online once you have everything ready. Attracting customers and building trust will be challenging when you just set up shop. Therefore, consider targeting prospects near you and offer incentives like free delivery and pay-on delivery.
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An influencer leverages their social media platform to make money through brand promotions and endorsement. Contrary to popular belief, you don't need tens of thousands of followers to be an influencer. While more followers can earn you more money, brands look at different metrics, like how committed/engaging your followers are and how you tell stories online.
To become an Influencer, you need to craft an audience and have a niche. This will help you attract followers who are interested in your content. From there, create content that shows your expertise and appeals to them.
For instance, if you like travelling, share your travel content. Or, if you are a tech guy, share technology content. If you can get the majority of your followers to react to your content, brands that align with your content will notice you. You can also approach and pitch collaboration ideas.
Other ways to leverage your social media to make money include creating a product/service and selling directly to your audience. You can also monetise your content and put it behind a paywall.
An online affiliate business involves promoting a company’s product/service online and earning a commission on every sale you generate. The company will usually give you a trackable link that will help you know how many people you have influenced to make a purchase.
Starting an affiliate business can be lucrative, but it requires a lot of work.
The first thing you need to do is find an affiliate program. These are companies that are willing to pay you a commission. It is important that you choose companies that have products/services that have a demand or you know how to sell.
The hardest part is finding customers. You will need to develop a strong online presence to attract people who will click on your links. Once you identify your target audience, you should create content that can convince them to purchase through your link.
The best way to do this is by using social media, internet forums, or starting a blog or youtube channel. Sometimes you might have to spend money marketing your affiliate link to generate sales.
Some of the best industries with good affiliate programs in Kenya include;
Online tutoring is a form of distance learning where you, the tutor, teach a student through the internet. Online tutoring can be one-on-one in real-time, or you can create plans/courses, and the learner will study on their time, submit assignments, and you give them feedback.
There are different reasons learners use online tutoring. Your primary clients will usually be students looking to improve their grades. For young children in grade school, their parents will hire you, but university students will hire you directly. Your job will involve helping them with homework, projects, or getting good grades.
Besides school-going students, online tutors can also teach and equip people with new knowledge. You can teach someone a new language, skills, and everything in between.
Tutoring isn’t just for teachers. As long as you can prove your ability, you can get tutoring gigs and earn online. You can get these gigs by approaching parents directly or joining tutoring platforms such as Tutor.com, TutorMe, TutorOcean, Preply, etc.
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Did you know that you can sell products online without any inventory? Yes, you read that right.
As an online reseller, you will simply open an online shop and start marketing a product. When a customer places an order, you buy the product from somewhere and then ship it out to your customer. You will sell at a higher markup and pocket the profit.
That's how Sylvia created a successful online shoe boutique, making over Ksh30,000 per month part-time. She partnered with various offline shoe sellers who send her pictures of shoes in their stock. Sylvia then uploads the photos on her Instagram account.
When a customer makes an order, she alerts her rider, who picks up the shoe from a store and delivers it to the buyer. If buyers like it, they pay for it, and Sylvia pays the shop owner. If a pair of shoes cost Ksh1,500, she sells it on her online boutique for Ksh300 to Ksh500 extra.
While online reselling is profitable, it has its challenges too. For instance, you will have no physical address customers can visit and have to employ strict no-return rules that might scare customers away. However, you can circumvent all this if you provide top-notch services to clients.
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You are already spending a lot of time on social media, so why not make a business out of it?
As the name suggests, a social media manager helps brands and people manage their online profiles. This type of online work is specifically suitable for you if you know how to engage people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
As a social media manager, you will be tasked with helping your employer build and engage their audience. That means creating relevant content that aligns with their brand, replying to complaints and feedback, growing their audience, and encouraging their users to take actions as simple as sharing a post to buying a product.
To become a social media manager, you will first need to learn some skills like digital marketing and customer care.
Second, you will familiarise yourself with some standard social media management tools.
Finally, you will need to get some experience or build a portfolio. You can do this by creating a dummy account or using your personal accounts to show how you can curate content and engage customers.
Once you are ready, look for your first job. Check job boards, fall back on your network, or approach businesses. Most employers will allow you to work remotely.
Do you have exemplary data entry skills? Online bookkeeping might just be the best job for you.
Being an online bookkeeper is different from being an accountant. Bookkeepers help accountants and businesses do simple, repetitive tasks like recording sales, filing receipts, managing bill payments, stock keeping, and payroll. Business owners or accountants then use that information to organise their financial records and statements and comply with taxes.
To become a bookkeeper, you will need to possess basic computer skills, know how to collect sales data, have an eye for detail, and multitask as you will work on different projects/clients simultaneously.
If you have these skills, search for bookkeeping gigs on freelancer sites, from your networks, or on online job boards.
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One of the best ways to increase your income is to monetise your hobbies and talents.
Everyone, including you, has a unique set of skills that you can use to make money. You just need to identify those that can help you make money online.
One of the best ways to monetise those skills and passions is to teach or share them. You can teach them by becoming an online tutor or creating a course. Or you can share them as content on YouTube, blogs, or books and monetise them.
Another way to achieve this is through coaching and consulting. Businesses and individuals are willing to pay you to help them overcome their challenges. Let's say you are a website designer and fully employed. You can work as a consultant in your free time, helping people understand if their websites are well designed and what changes they need to make.
To get started, list down all your skills and passions. Think about things you do in your free time or ask your loved ones what they think you are good at. Once you have identified them, look at how to take them online. If you are a good writer, look online for platforms where you can sell your writing.
Demand for digital art has been growing over the last few years. If you are a creative person, this can be a great way to make money online. You can sell your art as:
When searching for online work, be mindful of fake work-from-home jobs and do due diligence. Avoid the type of jobs that ask for upfront payments, training fees, or any other fees.
Additionally, be on the lookout for jobs that require you to recruit more people. These types of jobs are scams and are run by con artists.
While working online has its perks, from its flexibility to working on your terms, it also has drawbacks. One of them is solitude, which can cause loneliness and mental fatigue. To prevent this, take breaks, find a community, consider working from public spaces like a library and stay fit.