Back in 2014, while in my first year, a friend called me on a late-night and asked if I could do a 500-word assignment on Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.
Of course, I knew Abraham Lincoln, but the Gettysburg Address part was new. So I checked Opera Mini to determine what it was about and whether I could do the assignment. And yes, I could.
So I took the job, and in a couple of hours, I submitted the job then retired to bed.
Guess what woke me up the next morning? An M-Pesa SMS of Ksh 250 received from my friend.
Before I could do anything, he called and thanked me for the job well done and asked if I could continue writing for him.
And that’s how I made my first buck from online writing jobs. I went on to make much more in the years to come.
This is not a story most people can share because today, the online writing market has become saturated. Due to Kenya’s high unemployment rates, most graduates who can’t secure jobs turn to online writing jobs and other online gigs to sustain themselves.
Back in 2014, the market was perfect. The number of jobs was higher than the number of freelance writers. So it was easy to get online writing jobs in Kenya and get paid well for them.
And then the gold rush came. Everybody wanted a piece of it. Accounts were opened and sold haphazardly. Within no time, the market became saturated.
I saw it coming; it was inevitable.
I’m not here to discourage you from pursuing a career in online writing.
There are many people today making a good income from online writing jobs in Kenya.
I’m talking about hundreds of thousands of shillings monthly, and you can be one of them too.
Anybody can join the online writing industry, work hard and earn enough to sustain themselves and their families.
But you must look in the right spots and talk to the right people. Above all, you must work hard and produce superb work to succeed.
In this article, we’ll talk about finding online writing jobs in Kenya. We’ll find out these “Right Spot” I’m talking about that can supply you an endless number of gigs to keep your wallets loaded. If you have some time, you can find out what to expect as you start this journey.
Freelancing in Kenya is only in its infancy, and the market might seem saturated, but many opportunities are yet to be exploited.
As of 2019, the US workforce had 57 million workers doing freelancing jobs, representing 35% of its workforce. By 2027 it’s projected that have of the workforce population will be freelancing.
Kenya’s freelancing industry cannot compare with the US. It is highly concentrated on a few skills especially writing and transcription.
The little effort required for anybody to start online writing and transcription jobs encourages most people to venture into them.
But what if Kenyans tried other freelancing niches, such as programming, graphic design, videography, 3D modeling, game development, and legal services?
What if more Kenyans attempted new things such as
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
- Artificial Intelligence
- Virtual Reality
- Augmented Reality
and other technologies that seem to be the future of humanity.
If we did this, the freelancing industry in Kenya would accommodate a lot more people. In fact, if the ICT ministry can encourage Kenyans to venture into these fields, unemployment in Kenya will be a thing of the past.
But who am I to say. I’m not the ICT minister.
The least I can do is equip young people with knowledge to exploit the right opportunities and make money.
But if you can, please try out other freelancing niches. You’ll be glad you did.
You can start freelancing in any niche with no prior experience. All you need is the right mindset and some good old hard work.
How to find online writing jobs in Kenya.
Step 1. Join Academic Writing Platforms
There are hundreds of freelancing platforms on the internet you can join and access unlimited online writing jobs.
But the biggest challenge you encounter as a new account holder is the lack of accessibility to most of these online writing jobs because newly created profile shout “inexperience.”
Do you know what clients avoid the most online?
Inexperienced freelancers whose low quality work could jeopardize their grades or careers at large.
Luckily enough, some don’t necessarily require a high standard work and have a low budget. These are the types of jobs you can get as a new account holder.
So if you’re serious about getting online writing jobs, you cannot afford to shy from attempting to create accounts on these platforms.
Check out these academic writing platforms and attempt to create an account in at least five sites.
There are two things you gain from this
- You’ll understand the process of account creation and its requirements.
- You can gauge your work quality based on the acceptance rate of your applications.
If you’re lucky, you might secure an account in one of those platforms, an excellent start for you. On the other hand, if it doesn’t work, move to the next step.
Step 2. Join General Freelancing Platforms
The accounts I talked about in step 1 are academic writing specific accounts. They mostly deal with clients who are university students seeking freelancers that can do their assignments.
Kenyans call them online writing accounts
However, general freelancing platforms also exist. They offer many types of online jobs besides academic writing.
Some good examples are
- People per hour
These platforms are relatively easier to join because they don’t require academic documents for you to be approved. Once you create an account, you can start bidding for jobs.
It will be hard to secure jobs in the earlier stages because of a lack of experience and clients’ trust. So you might have to start doing pro bono work or low paying jobs to build your portfolio and establish yourself as an expert in a particular niche.
While these online job platforms will not have numerous academic writing jobs, they can help you venture into other related freelancing tasks such as
- Article Writing
- Data entry
These platforms are generally more lenient with freelancers than academic writing specific accounts. Disputes are solved in a much more respectable manner to both the client and the freelancer.
In academic writing boards, you either get penalized, or your account is closed in case of any disputes.
If you don’t secure jobs on these platforms, you can move to the next step.
Step 3. Look for Account Owners
Account owners are people who have mastered the art of opening accounts in writing specific platforms. They know how to write excellent entry papers, which passe the unforgiving quality test that freelancing companies subject new registrants.
But not all of them open accounts. Some buy them from professional account registrants.
Account owners typically have a backload of work they cannot complete unless hired writers chip in.
You can be one of these writers.
First, use WhatsApp status to ask your friends whether they can connect you with writing account owners that are willing to employ a writer.
You might be surprised by the number of opportunities you get, especially if most of your friends are university colleagues.
Secondly, check social media platforms such as Facebook and telegram and join academic writing groups. Kenya has many such groups on Facebook where thousands of writing and transcription citizens congregate and transact.
Yet these groups house many cons; people who will give you a job and not pay you later.
So as you search for online writing jobs, be very vigilant not to fall trap to such fellas. Whenever you land a prospective gig or a request for collaboration, always insist on how the payment will be made, ensuring it covers both parties.
For instance, using escrow services is usually the best option when dealing with large payments.
Some of the Facebook groups you can start with include
- Professional Academia Research Writers
- Online Article Writing Kenya (Original)
- Academic Research Writers
- Academia Research Writer (Original)
- Academic Writers Home (Telegram)
- Online Article Writers Kenya
- Find out more Here
When starting, you might not have much of a choice in selecting the kind of job you can do. It will be trial and error for the first week or so because you’ll have to deal with several people before you can settle on one supplier.
So take your time to find an understanding and reliable supplier. Remember that 80% of the people you meet in these groups might not be right for you.
And don’t be afraid to handle whatever the world throws at you.
How it goes depends on vigilance and whether you have contingency plans in case, a job supplier does not fulfill his end of the bargain.
I recently came across a Facebook post of a writer complaining about a gig-supplier gone rogue and failing to pay for work done.
So what do you think he did?
He published the article on an existing indexed website quickly after realizing that the supplier was unwilling to pay.
This means if the job was submitted to the platform, 100% plagiarism will be detected, meaning that the account owner will go unpaid for the job and could even accrue penalties in the process.
A loss to the supplier and a gain to the writer (experience).
A good contingency plan would be to know when the supplier will pay you and have a website to publish the work if the supplier fails to deliver within the set time limits. This time should never exceed 24 hours.
Lastly, never do more than one job without payment. Always insist on getting paid within 24 hours to reduce the chances of going unpaid.
Don’t trust someone supplying jobs and promising to pay at the end of the month. They will ghost you on the 31st.
If the three steps above don’t materialize some jobs, move to step 4.
Step 4. Buy an Academic Writing Account
This step involves some capital, can be risky, and is beyond most beginners’ scope
Buying and selling of accounts is a huge business in this country. Millions of shillings worth of accounts are sold every week. Meanwhile, thousands of people are involved despite the stringent measures that freelancing companies are putting into preventing account exchange.
Buying an account is an option only if you meet the following conditions
- You have enough capital to buy a good account
- You have accumulated enough experience to guarantee high-quality work
- You are eager and ready to start doing online writing jobs regularly and consistently
- You have the balls to risk losing your account if you fail to produce good work
- You have tried all the other steps, and none has gone through
Due to the simplicity of getting started with online writing through buying established accounts, most beginners save and buy accounts.
However, as a beginner, it can be risky to go this route, especially if you have no prior academic writing experience working under an account owner.
When I started online academic writing, I was lucky to work under a job supplier who trained me on the skills and guidelines to undertake academic writing jobs.
I gained some experience, but I knew it wasn’t enough to run an account.
Because when you own an account besides working, you must also run your account well. It looks easy until you start getting calls and revision requests in the cold of the night.
That’s when you’ll realize the challenges of owning an account and why most people don’t consider academic writing a long-term career.
I have many friends who took advantage of the academic writing industry boom to make a lot of money and save. Once they had saved enough, they invested in other businesses, permanently exiting the academic writing industry.
What drove them away was the pressure of running accounts.
So before you invest in buying an account, ask yourself whether you can withstand midnight calls and sadistic clients who never seem to appreciate your work.
Also, the customer care agents can be ruthless when it comes to punishing writers for mistakes, which in most cases, might not be there’s.
Looking for online jobs might seem daunting, but if you follow this guide and use the right channels in your search, chances of getting reliable jobs will increase tremendously.
Just like any other career, freelancing as an academic writer can be challenging in the earlier stages.
Account registrations will be turned down, you might spend days without jobs, and if you do, clients will criticize your work, suppliers may fail to pay you, and the customer care agents for freelancing platforms will be on your neck burning for blood
But what matters is that you will fight your way through all these challenges and make money with no shame or fear.