How to Make Money in Kenya Without Capital: 6 Ways To Make Ksh 100,000 Online

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We’ve all been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug at least once in our lives. If we’re being honest, chances are you were fired up for a while- maybe you even started doing something about your ideas- but then something happened that made you lose momentum.

As with most business fails stories, most people never try again. They get so traumatized by the loss of their money that they would rather keep it in a bank rather than lose it again.

That’s what brings us here today- how does a person make money without capital in Kenya?

The Problem

Needless to say, making money without capital is in itself a daunting task. Add that to the fact that we live in a country with a flailing economy and it becomes almost impossible.

It’s no wonder that many Kenyans search for terms such as businesses to start with 50k or how to make money in Kenya.

At this point, you’ve probably already thought of numerous ideas and ruled them out for one reason or another. The internet hasn’t been of much help either- most articles have ideas like dog walking or babysitting which are not the best ideas on how to make money in Kenya.

So, How Does One Make Money from Nothing?

That’s a simple one. You can’t make money from nothing. Basic economics dictate that for there to be a production of a good, there must be several factors at play- capital, land, labour, and entrepreneurship.

Now, without capital, the only way to make money is to have more of the other factors of production to offset the gap left by the lack of capital.

It gets even harder to make money when you’re lacking more than of the factors of production. What happens when you only have your own labour and entrepreneurial skills? You’d have to apply double the effort to make up for not having land and capital.

This is how most successful small-scale entrepreneurs in Kenya have mastered the art of entrepreneurship. The physical and virtual streets of Nairobi are filled with brokers and resellers who use their smarts to make money.

How many times have you seen people posting clothes for sale in Facebook groups? Many times, I bet! These people have mastered the art of marketing goods they do not have. They only make the order for the item once they have a client who has already paid for it. To top it all off, they have even designed a system of designated pickup points inside and around Nairobi!

This is all pretty genius if you ask me! It’s what brings us to our main topic of discussion.

How To  Make Money Online In Kenya- The Best Ideas

Making money online in Kenya is easy- if you know what you are doing. Instead of giving you a generic list of ‘200 profitable business ideas’, I am going to show you how to make money online in Kenya- even more precisely, 6 ways you can make over Ksh. 100,000 a month from your sofa!

Moving away from formal employment has never been easier. With some technical skills, a lot of experience in your trade and a lot of patience, you can make a lot of money online while you’re at home, on holiday or on the move!

Before we get to the actual ways of how to make money online in Kenya, here is some pre-game advice:

You Need the Right Mind-set to Get Started

Most people think that all you need to start making money online is a computer and an internet connection.

They are wrong.

Working online means living in a fast world where things become obsolete mere moments after they were created. In order to survive in the online world, you must be curious, tech-savvy, easily adaptable, and very very well-informed.

I spend most of my days in various news feeds following up on different topics. I feed my brain so that I remain well-informed on all that is happening in the world of ecommerce.

The one thing that most freelancers fear is that they’ll wake up one day and become obsolete. Don’t let that be you. 

Now, without further ado, let us dive into the top 6 ways of how to make money online in Kenya.

1. Web Design and Development

This one isn’t as complicated as you think. When it comes to web des/dev, anyone with average skills can set up a simple website in no time! Hell, I built this site in less than 48 hours and I’d only ever built two sites before.

Granted, building a website takes a bit of preparation if you want to do it right. That’s why many people are willing to pay top dollar for a good finished product.

If you want to get into web des/dev, a good place to start is to learn how to code in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. That’s how I started out. I then taught myself how to use popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress and Wix.

From there I delved into the world of ecommerce and taught myself how to use various tools such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Square, and so on.

How Much Can I Make from This?

Basic portfolio site projects with around 5 pages can fetch you anywhere between $300 to around $1,000. Ecommerce sites with several landing pages and between 5 to 20 product description pages can fetch you between $2,000 to upwards of $5,000.

2. Affiliate Marketing

I must admit, this is a tricky one- especially in Kenya where ecommerce hasn’t taken off quite like the rest of the world.

My advice when it comes to this is to go with the current market trends. As I said earlier,  women’s clothes have become quite popular online. A smart investor (preferably a social media star with plenty of friends/ followers) would grab this opportunity and set up their own website that sells said women’s clothing. Who knows- maybe you can build a brand from it.

Honestly, if I was in the position to do this, I would have done it a long time ago. However, if the opportunity to partner up with such a celebrity ever arose, I’d definitely be in 😉

How Much Can I Make from This?

This is a hard one to measure. It really depends on the branding. If you live in the ecommerce world as I do, you might have heard of the 20 year-old lady who made a million dollars in sales in 8 minutes last month.

I know. That’s insane.

Her company was selling skincare products and her main mode of marketing was through her Instagram account that had over 200k followers. That’s all she needed to make a million dollars while the company I was working for made around $27,000 in sales in the same month.

3. Google Ads/ Blogging

By now you’ve probably realized that most of the ways to make serious money online require you to have a website. At the very least, having a website shows that you are seriously committed and have the necessary skills and determination to make money.

When it comes to making money from Google ads, the easiest way is to start a blog. Good examples of websites that have mastered the art of making money online in Kenya through blogging include Ghafla, the Kenyans website, and Tuko News.

The trick to making money from Google ads is by continuously posting viral content that will draw more visitors to your site. More visitors = more people viewing the Google ads on your site = more money.

The process of setting up Google ads is easy. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like me to write up a guide for you guys.

How Much Can I Make from This?

Personally, I haven’t had much luck with this. This blog is my second trial at making money online in Kenya from Google ads. My application is still in review (damn you corona for making this take too long) but I’ll let you guys know when it goes through.

According to Google, with around 50,000 visitors a month, a blogger can make close to $4,000 per year from ad impressions alone. When a person clicks on the ad, you earn even more.

I plan on documenting this blogging journey. I’ll write up a piece and attach the actual data from my site to show you just how good/bad the earnings from Google ads are.

Stay tuned!

4. YouTube Ads

This is basically the same as Google ads. The only difference is; you don’t need a website. All you need is a YouTube channel and a knack for creativity.

Your content is what will matter most. Most popular YouTubers post content such as guides, memes, music, and so on.

How Much Can I Make from This?

YouTube rates are pretty standard. Most YouTubers make $4 per 1,000 views but you only get paid around half of that so it’s actually $2 per 1,000 views.

Let’s say you post videos every week. Assuming your content is quite popular and you manage to get 100,000 views on each of your videos, you’ll have gotten 400,000 views in one month. That translates to roughly $800 in a month.

It doesn’t sound bad for a Kenyan. Why post memes on IG when you could make 80k a month off of them on YouTube?

5. Influencer Marketing

This brings us back to social media. If you have a huge following, you could approach brands of popular products and offer to market them using your account.

Now, I know this hasn’t quite taken off in Kenya but that only means that the market isn’t saturated and there are a lot of opportunities!

Get all your best selfies, garner a huge following and who knows? You might become an influencer.

How Much Can I Make from This?

From my experience, I’ve paid UK influencers $70 per IG story they post for me for 48 hours. Most of them also charge a monthly fee of around $200 for one weekly post to promote your product.

Now, this is Kenya so let’s work with half those numbers i.e. $35 per story and $100 per month. Note that all the influencers I worked with had over 100,000 followers. Assuming that you are working for 5 brands, their monthly subscriptions alone would get you $500. Add in the odd once a week story post per brand and that’s an extra $140 in your pocket.

When it comes to influencer marketing, the more followers you have, the more brands you can attract, and the more money you’ll make.

6. Copywriting

Copywriting is the oldest online trade that most Kenyans know. This method of making money online in Kenya is at the bottom of the list not because it has the least potential, rather that most people already know about it.

As any veteran will tell you, the best copywriting clients are definitely not Kenyans. If you want to make money from copywriting, you need to know how to get clients. Most people start out working for content mills such as Upwork, iWriter, and PeoplePerHour.

The smart ones have good networking skills and end up ‘stealing’ dozens of clients from these sites while the not-so-smart ones keep on working for meager rates and having these websites taking a percentage off their pay.

How Much Can I Make from This?

It really depends on your level of skill and your client’s budget. Most content mills pay between 1 shilling and 4 shillings per word.

If you write a thousand words per day every day (which is basically childsplay for most of the people I’ve met), you could easily make between $300 and $1,200 every month.

The Lesson We Should Learn from Facebook Marketers

Just as we said earlier in this article, factors of production dictate how much goods and services, and subsequently how much money, is made.

The only way to make money without capital is to put whatever factor(s) of production you have into overdrive.

Do you have land? Do something with it. Do you have knowledge? Don’t let it go to waste! Do you have skills(labour)? Get a job and get the capital you didn’t have!

That’s It!

There you have it folks- I’ve given you the top 6 ways of how to make money online in Kenya that I either have personally had success with, have some sort of experience with or in the process of trying out.

Instead of spending time on unhelpful guides promising to show you businesses to start with 500k, you now have 6 of the most tried and tested online business ideas. Whether you are a student who’s looking for some quick jobs that pay via mpesa or a veteran who knows the ins and outs of the online world, this list will serve you well.

As they say, experience is the best teacher. If you want to know more or if you are a fellow ecommerce person, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Until next time, stay safe!

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4 replies on “How to Make Money in Kenya Without Capital: 6 Ways To Make Ksh 100,000 Online”

Hi Ben! Web development is a skill that’s very much in demand right now. You can start small by building freelancers portfolio sites at a discounted price in exchange for them letting you use their sites in your portfolio. As you gain more experience you can work your way into handling more complex tasks such as ecommerce websites.

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