When thinking about doing online writing as a career, one question that often pops up in people’s minds is how much do online writers make in Kenya.
It’s understandable. We all want that job that can give us plenty so we can buy rich people’s snacks and visit cozy places whenever we want.
For others, venturing into online writing was the only viable option they had after persevering 5 or 6 years in college only to find out later that jobs aren’t dished out like food in a cafeteria.
So, they start to ask these questions to see the financial extent that academic writing can get them to decide whether they’ll do it for a short time while looking for other ventures or stick by it for good.
As always, the answer to this question is not specific. It’s not like we can just put a figure and get away with it. Online writing is a career like any other. Like medicine, law, or even teaching.
There are doctors (specialists) that make millions a month while others (newly graduated generalists) struggle in the 5 figures zone.
Established lawyers with a reputation that precedes them can easily pull 7 figures a month while new attorneys working pro-bono tasks in law firms barely scratch 6 figures. For teachers also, the same story resonates.
So when it comes to online writing, you should expect a wide range of monthly salaries. In fact, for this case, the disparity in earnings is quite huge.
For some writers, a month that brings in Ksh 10,000 is a great month that deserves serious partying and clubbing to celebrate work well done. For others, Ksh 500,000 is a bad month that necessitates sitting down to see what went wrong and re-strategize.
So it’s a matter of what kind of online writer you are talking about.
Most certainly the Pareto Principle applies in this sector, which basically means, 20% of academic writers make more money in a month than 80% of academic writers.
Often, you’ll hear of an individual that falls in the outlier group based on these characteristics
- They have a car (Subaru most likely)
- They live in a well-furnished home while still in college
- They appear to always be traveling the world and enjoying life more than you do.
You’ll definitely envy them. But you probably still don’t know how much they make.
By estimations, it runs into several hundreds of thousands a month.
I did a small survey within my network to find out precise figures and although one individual was too superstitious to tell me, (he said I’d report him to KRA) the rest gave me a pretty good idea of what they make.
Here are some of the responses I got.
Based on my experience as a retired academic writer and insights from this survey, I’d like to break down how much online writers make in Kenya.
These are writers who have just discovered online writing and want to give it a try because they believe they have a good grasp and passion for fluent writing. Often, they are freshers joining campus with zeal and ready to take control of their financial destiny.
So they approach colleagues with information about online writing and seek advice on how to get started. They get connected to an account owner who pays them Ksh 200 per page.
Account owners are often cautious with complete beginners because the latter’s writing skills are not well established. However, the account owners exploit their naivety to pay them peanuts before they “chanuka”.
In a good month, a Kenyan beginner online writer working with a full-time account owner will get 10 2-page jobs which bring in 10*2*200 = Ksh 4,000. If your writing is impeccable and clients love it, you’ll get more work and soon pass the Ksh 10,000 mark.
That’s some pretty good cash for a fresher.
But then many beginners start getting insights that writers should be paid at least 250 and on average 300 per page considering account owners make twice as much doing nothing. That’s when they transition to the next stage.
2. Competent Writer
The second stage is for an experienced beginner. This is a writer who has done a good amount of work for an account owner in a span of 3 months, more or less.
I call them competent because considering the number of jobs they have done, they should have already grasped the basics of academic writing well for instance APA, MLA, and Chicago writing formats.
Also, they know how to write unambiguous content and use standard structures such as problem-solution-example, which makes their work professional.
But most importantly, these writers have interacted with other online writers and come to know the ins and outs of academic writing. They already know that account owners often make twice as much as they do per order.
For instance, a 4-page order on Uvocorp, one of the best online writing accounts, can be quoted at $28 or Ksh 3000. The account owner will want to pay you 200 per page totaling Ksh 800 while he makes Ksh 2,200.
However, as a competent writer, you should have negotiated your per-page pay to Ksh 300.
Quality competent writers are assets to account writers. Hence, when they negotiate for increased wages, they often get.
Now, a competent writer working with an account owner during high season can secure 10 4-page jobs a month. That’s 10*4*300 = Ksh 12,000.
Mind you, that’s what a university student who has to balance work with academics, can make in a month.
A full-time competent writer can get more jobs and rake in as much as Ksh 30,000 per month.
But then, there comes a point in time when working for an account owner just doesn’t seat will with your conscience. You feel short-changed considering how hard you work and knowing how much your boss makes from your efforts.
So you decide to upgrade to the next obvious stage,
3. Account Owner
In simple terms, an account owner is anybody with an online writing account.
But I’d like to sprinkle in some spices, I promise it will be delicious.
I describe account owners as competent writers who have done so many academic writing jobs to know the struggle of maintaining an account.
Often newbies make the mistake of investing a lot of cash to buy accounts from established writers in the hopes of circumventing online job brokers to make more money faster. But then, when the quality of writing after the purchase fails to match the standard set by the experienced writers, these accounts are closed.
I normally advise those interested in buying online writing accounts to put their ego aside and gain some experience from established writers before buying accounts.
Now, there are various levels of account owners. There are those that own top-tier accounts like UvoCorp and UnemployedProffessors, and others who own low-level accounts. I won’t give names but their characteristics include; ease of opening and a wide pool of writers.
High-quality accounts have a reliable supply of well-paying jobs and both take or bid capabilities. Account owners are therefore assured of a good amount of work.
Meanwhile, low-quality accounts have fewer and low-paying jobs and thousands of writers fighting for them. As such, an account owner can go for weeks without a job.
However, considering that an account owner receives the total amount payable to the writer after the content mill deducts its share (50%), an account owner can easily make over Ksh 20,000 per month with consistent efforts.
A low-quality account can bring in Ksh 20,000 to Ksh 30,000 a month and the writer will have enough time to relax during that period. For industrious writers whose only motivation is money, they can get past the 50K per month mark.
On the other hand, a high-quality account can consistently bring in over Ksh 30,000 per month with considerable efforts and enough time for other activities. For an industrious account owner with some elements of the next stage of writers, Ksh 100,000 is attainable.
This brings me to the next stage of writers.
4. Career Writers.
These are writers who have decided to do academic writing as a full-time job and are implementing delegation to increase their income.
Career writers often have years of experience in this industry. They have scaled the ladder from the beginner stage, learned through experience, and improved their strategies over the years.
They have more than 2 accounts and close to a dozen writers under rotations.
Having established a good reputation with the accounts, they are empowered to take jobs whenever they want. Upon taking these jobs, they allocate them to their writers based on their competencies and later review the works when submitted before delivering to their clients.
Career writers also understand that it’s never a guarantee for an account to last forever. From experience, they know accounts can be closed at any time when content mills’ brutal quality assurance agents want to.
So in the course of their work, they secretly and meticulously ‘steal’ clients from content mills.
Having direct clients is the holy grail of online writing. You dictate your prices and get a good supply of tasks as long as your client is still in college.
Career writers will do everything possible to acquire direct clients because that’s where the money is. They get to work on high-paying jobs from these clients who are synonymous with international friends, while they continue securing jobs and delegating to their writers.
So ideally, a career writer will make Ksh 100,000 per account while making Ksh 200,000 from direct clients.
Hence it’s no surprise for a career writer to rake in half a million per month. Some even make more than the basic salary of the president; Ksh 2,000,000.
This explains why they manage to sustain seemingly grandiose lifestyles; buying vehicles and traveling whenever they feel like it.
So from a high perspective, online writers in Kenya make between Ksh 4,000 to Ksh 2,000,000 depending on experience, writing season, account levels, and whether they deal with direct clients or not.
There you go. That should answer your question.
Now back to the Pareto rule. As I said earlier, the top 20% of academic writers make more than the bottom 80% of academic writers in Kenya.
While it’s easy to pay attention to the top 20% of online writers and feel motivated to work towards it, don’t be ignorant of the fact that it takes many years, a lot of investment, and several sacrifices to get there.
Many career writers are university dropouts. Others have gone through painstaking work routines to reach that level of earnings. They have lost friends, broken relationships, and picked up bad work-stress coping mechanisms in the process.
If you dream of making over Ksh 100,000 doing academic writing in Kenya, be prepared to put in the work. It’s only glamorous once your bank account reads more zeros.
Online writing employs many Kenyan youths considering the serious lack of employment opportunities in the country. The ease of entry into the industry contributes to this popularity. In fact, many university graduates have resolved to online jobs to meet their daily needs.
However, for most writers, the earnings are barely as attractive as they could get from employment. Yet as their only practical alternative, they have to keep working with the hope that better opportunities will come later.
For other writers who have invested years and money to learn the ins and outs of the academic writing industry, the monetary rewards are more lucrative than their employed counterparts. So they paint a picture of glamour, enviable to the masses who are oblivious of the work and sacrifices needed.
Either way, an undeniable lesson you can pick today is that online writing is just like any other job. It’s not special.
You can make a few bucks with a little work but to get the big bucks, you’ll have to break your back.