A statistician by profession, I like looking at data and drawing patterns from it. And I believe this helps me get better at analyzing my serp competitors and beating them ten-nil.
Hey, am a blogger and affiliate marketer. I have been doing this for the past 3 years
A case for content clustering in Finance Institutions in Kenya
Working with financial institutions in Kenya that want to benefit from organic search traffic, I have noted that most are going to try to rank for technical terms (that they have coined themselves) while their audience ain’t really looking for that.
Their customers are searching for other simpler terms.
If you have not really invested in knowing what they are searching for on their mobile phones and laptops, you lose out.
You will spend a long time trying to wrack your brain on why you are not getting traffic to your pages.
I will use the example of trade finance.
It is a lucrative field for financial institutions.
Unfortunately, not many customers will search for the terms’ trade finance’ on their devices when searching for a financial institution to offer them the service.
My keyword research tool shows that ‘trade finance’ is being searched for by about 150 Kenyans per month.
Ranking for that term is also difficult judging by the keyword difficulty shown here.
Instead, what they are looking for is some of the elements of trade finance.
Some of these include:
Letters of credit
Advance payment guarantee
Lpo financing actually has a better search volume and less keyword difficulty
Looking at the data from ahrefs, I found out that caritas bank is ranking for the term ‘lpo financing’ and is getting about 185.
KCB is also getting a good chunk of this traffic with keywords such as ‘lpo financing’, ‘lpo financing in kenya’ and lpo.
Though bank guarantee also has a sizeable search volume, it also has a tough keyword difficulty.
Gtbank is ranking for bank guarantee and this screenshot shows an estimate of the traffic that it is getting:
I could go on and on with the other elements that financial institutions call trade finance products.
I would continue proving that you need to create individual pages on the different elements of the topic.
That brings me to the heart of this blog.
The need for content clustering
It is a concept that has been there for a long time.
For the last one week, I have been actively looking at awesome startups that have gone on to win in award challenges.
They offer lots of niche ideas for anyone trying to think of their next blog.
One is Money 254 where I have actually guest posted an article on passive income. Money 254 is a financial advice tool for Kenyans. It looks at different loans available for Kenyans whether they are bank or mobile loans.
It tells you of the interest rates, repayment period as well as the requirements you need to meet to acquire the loan.
I also like the option they have of you comparing different loans.
The website is really interactive and once you answer a question, you are taken to another page with options that you qualify for.
My guess is that they will use affiliate marketing and sponsored financial ads as their monetization model. As it stands now though, they seem to be just adding content and getting lots of traffic from it.
What I love about the blog is the consistent posting as well as the potential to scale. I am sure once they have adequately captured the Kenyan market, they will diversify and look at Africa as a whole.
Covering the entire Africa, am sure will be easy peasy for them.
I feel that the struggles that I am having in finance here in Nairobi are the same that a guy in Lekki, Lagos is also going through. If you do not believe this read the Smart Money Woman book by Arese Ugwu.
They are mostly relying on social content which will of course generate direct visits since the blog is getting so popular with valuable content that would help the average Kenyan struggling with money management.
With the kind of content they are publishing, their internal linking and topical relevance, I am sure that they are also getting Google organic traffic.
Lets just explore their report from ahrefs for avoidance of doubt.
Ahrefs estimates that they are getting about 5000 organic monthly searches.
This though is always a low estimate and the real numbers could be from 8000 to 10000.
I can’t be sure. Not unless I get a Google Search console access of their data.
Looking at the top keywords bringing in the traffic, am pleased to see that they are not brand searches but rather product searches that they have reviewed.
They are ranking for ‘zenka loan limit’ and ‘tala loan limit’ for example, even ahead of the real apps.
That is super dope!
Flutterwave is another admirable fintech startup that has won millions of dollars in investment. The startup is all about enabling online payments and remittances in Africa.
Businesses can create seamless checkouts on their online stores while individuals can create virtual cards to complete payment.
It borrows heavily from Paypal and Stripe.
But now in a local African way.
This makes it unique and really scalable.
It seems though that Flutterwave has not invested that much into their SEO game.
Judging by the look of things, they seem not to be getting that much organic traffic despite the fact that their domain has lots of authority and backlinks.
I feel that they might have executed things wrongly when they introduced flutterwave stores into their own domain where business owners can sell their products.
Well, to a business person wishing to grow and make things easy for their consumers, then this is super cool.
But from an SEO standpoint, it ain’t cool at all.
Search engines had begun identifying them with payment processing and all that.
Then they introduced indexable store urls that talk about selling clothes, electronics, chairs and all that.
It gets confusing and the search algorithms might not really get topical relevance for that.
Checking through their Ahrefs report, they have a traffic of about 120K visitors per month.
However, most of their organic searches seem to be about the brand ‘flutterwave’
They owners need to come up with a proper content strategy on guides to use flutterwave that will capture in new audience.
At the same time, it is time they decided to move the customer stores into a new domain maybe?
Wowzi is another great startup that is leveraging on the power of influencer marketing. Cool thing is that they are not targeting those big celebrity influencers.
No, just the common Mary and Joe.
Nano influencers you may want to call them.
I think I have seen the same model being used by intellifluence and I loved it.
So, in a nutshell, Wowzi are thinking global but acting local.
A look at their organic traffic estimates though, I see that they are not doing so well in terms of SEO.
I would recommend them to do proper keyword research and blog about it this time targeting businesses that are searching for digital marketing solutions.
Jarvis is an AI content generation tool that helps you write your content while you watch. Not that it will do the entire write up process on its own. No you will have to guide it on what you want using a few prompts here and there.
I have used it and it is amazing.
Lets be honest. The hard work in blogging is content creation.
Because to rank for a simple keyword, you will have to write about the keyword itself, go ahead to write content that relates to the main keyword and interlink, do content for your guest posts, teaser content for facbook posts, pinterest and all other social networks where you will be sharing the content.
It can be hectic. And costly.
But Jarvis is here to make things easy for you. And interesting too.
Before I heard of Jarvis, a 3000 word content would take me the whole day.
With Jarvis, it is a matter of 2 hours maximum to put up such content.
So, I can output at least 5000 words of content in one day.
Why you need to join Jarvis
–Free trial period
If you use this link, you will get a free 10,000 words content written for you. If you are not content with the write-up that you get, you can always cancel the subscription.
-Bonus word count when you refer other people into the program
— Join the job board and earn when you help clients write using Jarvis
Let’s say that I have arrived at jamesnjenga as my domain name and would like to use .ke as my domain suffix. Therefore, my domain name will be jamesnjenga.ke
Well, I will go ahead to kenya web experts and type in this.
After typing, I click on the search button.
Remember the domain name need to be available. The Kenya web experts online portal will check this out and inform me whether the domain name jamesnjenga.ke is available.
If not, I will have to look for another name.
If available, they will ask that I create an account with them and then go ahead to make payment.
In this case, jamesnjenga.ke is available! I can therefore go ahead to register it.
To do so, I will click on continue where I will be taken to step 2 of the domain registration in Kenya process.
Here, I am required to enter the domain configuration details.
They will expect me to input the hosting details where the domain will be pointed to.
If I am using Kenya web experts as my hosting company, I do not need to edit this part since by default, their nameservers are written there.
If I am using another hosting company though, I will have to change the nameservers.
Once I have have completed this step, I go ahead to the last step where I make payment as well as register for an account with Kenya Web Experts. When all this is done, an email will be sent to me indicating that the domain has been registered.
Payment on Kenya Web Experts can either be via Mpesa, Airtel Money, Vodacom, Paypal or Bank.
It might take time before the domain is propagated to the nameservers of the hosting company and I can have the website created on it.
Making money online in Kenya is hard, right? There are so many options out there and it can be really confusing to figure out which ones work best.
You’re not alone. A lot of Kenyans struggle with finding a profitable online business idea that works for them and their lifestyle.
We’ve done the research for you! This article will give you an overview of some of the most popular online businesses in Kenya today, as well as a few tips on how to get started.
When I was starting out on my journey to make money online in Kenya, I remember I faced a lot of hurdles. For one, there was no genuine information how to get started. Those who had the information wanted to be paid or only gave it out to their best of friends.
I remember clearly walking into the University of Nairobi Mathematics Department computer lab and Googling the words make money writing as a campus student. There were many search results but most did not clearly state what I needed to know.
One led me to an email address of a client who wanted academic article writers.
I applied for the job and got a reply.
Well, the client wanted me to do a sample article on what is social deviance.
I did my research using Google scholar and quickly wrote up an article.
It was however not well formatted and the Grammar was anything but good.
The client did not reply after I sent the article.
I gave up on online writing.
If only, I would have pushed on.
Later on, in my third year in college, I came across someone who literally held my hand in article writing.
The guy showed me how to research my articles, how to ensure that my Grammar was alright and asked me to proofread my work before submitting it to clients.
From there, it was a smooth sail as I handled one client work after the other.
After college, I had my stint working as an academic writer. I made good money but the work was tough and really mind boggling.
When I landed my first ICT training job, I learnt about amazon affiliate marketing which has been giving me a steady stream of income from 2018.
Start a blog and earn through affiliate marketing or ads
Since 2018, I have been making money through the Amazon affiliate marketing model. What the model involves is finding products on the ecommerce store, reviewing them on your blog, Youtube channel or Facebook page and earning a commission whenever readers buy through your affiliate links.“`
Sell courses online
I have a friend who sells his Amazon affiliate marketing course online. Another does a course on copywriting. They are using loom and zoom to create the course and record it. Once edited and packaged nicely, they are able to sell it out to a good number of their email subscribers.
You too could do the same. Think of what you know that other people do not know and could be searching for it. Package it nicely and sell it in form of an online course.
Earn through kindle publishing
You do not have to publish your book with offline publishers. You could opt for self-publishing and go ahead to sell the book on Amazon kindle. As long as your book is highly informative and engaging, has covered a much sought for niche, then you are good to know. You can be sure that you will always find buyers for the ebook.
Design websites for people and get paid
Start a graphic design website
If you are really good in using Adobe photoshop, illustrator or even Canva.com, you could advertise your graphic design skills and start creating logos, business cards, adverts and posters for people. You could then market yourself either through Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin, Tiktok or a personal website.
Start a gig board that connects workers with clients
The guys at kuhustle had an excellent idea where they created this platform where Kenyan freelancers could meet with companies that wanted to outsource work. Of course both parties needed to pay a certain fee to Kuhustle for the connection and using their resources.
Start a home schooling course
I like what the guys at Kidato school are doing. Maybe the idea was birthed when corona virus struck the country and parents saw the need for home schooling sessions delivered from an online platform. How about you start teaching skills through such a creative angle.
As the world becomes more of a global village, you no longer need to meet your clients physically for therapy. Say for example that you are a speech therapist, since parents may be getting tired of the commute to a speech therapist, jump on the opportunity and start offering your services online. All you will need is a video conferencing platform say Google Meet, Zoom or even Whatsapp video calls and you can meet your clients for the teletherapy sessions.
Selling own products
I just completed doing keyword research for a lady friend who is selling fruit baskets in Nairobi. She has been in the business since 2014 and though she is not making millions in the business,
Offer SEO services to people
If you are good in SEO, you can offer your services to people who are starting out their local services sites or ecommerce. To do this, you will need to have great content writing skills as well as ace your on page and off page optimization skills.
Sell sponsored content and guest posts
There was one time when I was offering pbn and sponsored guest post links. Online marketers need links that will prove to Google that they have authoritative and can be trusted so as to rank with ease. I used to scrape for expired domains that had authority and sell them or recreate websites that had authority and then sell PBN links. This strategy was really good but at the same risky and tiring because I had to really hide my footprints lest Google discovered that I was trying to game them. Today, the only thing that I offer is guest posts on a few high DA sites that I am a contributor.
Though I get few clients, the pay is really good. At the moment, I charge at least $80 to $100 per guest post link.
Offer data science services
With machine learning and data analytics skills, you should be making a kill online. Today, most fintech companies are looking for data scientists who are going to help them with credit scoring or creating financial models that are going to help their businesses predict how they are going to perform in the future.
Start academic writing
Most Kenyans students after college try academic writing where they help students in the US, UK and Canada complete their assignments. You too could learn the ropes of how to do it. Once you have skills in writing using the required formats such as APA, Turabian, Chicago and MLA and can write in a wide range of subjects, you are good to go.
You could either acquire the clients through direct contact through their university sites or through SEO since they are always looking for online help to complete their assignments
Help people complete online tasks
In Kenya, people require to have DCI good conduct certificates, passports and obtain log books. Every year, we are also require to file our tax returns with KRA. Once you master how to do these tasks, you could start doing them for people at a fee. All you need to do is do good marketing and deliver high quality services as per your client needs.
Start a Youtube Channel and earn through the Youtube Partner Program
Are you comical? Do you have content that could get people engaged and glued on the screens as they watch you? Well, you could make money through Youtube Partner Program. To qualify, you will first need to have a Youtube channel that is generating lots of traffic and has a couple of subscribers.
From what I have observed from friends who run successful Youtube channels, you need to focus on having content that will keep the audience glued through your entire videos. It therefore needs to be helpful, entertaining as well as engaging.
Hosting is having a computer save all the files, text, videos and images you have on the website.
Since it will be next to impossible to have your own computer saving all these things and being on throughout, you want a good company to do this bit for you.
In this article, we will be reviewing some of the popular web hosting companies in Kenya.
We will also look at which are cost friendly without compromising on the hosting package.
We will also explore the concepts of shared, dedicated and vps hosting and look at the differences.
Should you go for Cheap web hosting services in Kenya?
At times cheap is expensive. The saying cannot be truer than when you are considering hosting.
Dirt- cheap hosting might cost you a lot.
The cheapest type of hosting is usually shared hosting where you and a million other people are sharing one server. With such a plan, your site cannot use too many resources because it will be affecting the other million people who want to use the limited resources.
You cannot have high traffic or large files taking lots of disk space. Security is also compromised since if a hacker is able to break into one site, they might as well replicate it on all the other sites.
You will find that with cheap hosting services in Kenya, your site is down most of the times.
They will also have limited disk space such that you cannot upload large videos and images on the website.
There will also be hidden fees such as high prices charged when you request to migrate your site from the cheap web hosting platforms. They will also charge insanely for SSL certificates, sell out your domain if you are not on time to renew it and ask you to pay exorbitant prices for WHOIS privacy.
Different types of wordpress hosting
Most probably, you have come across terms such as shared hosting, dedicated hosting, vps and managed hosting. Probably, you did not understand what they meant. Well, in this section, we explain all of them to you.
For newbie bloggers and small businesses, shared hosting is the best option to go for.
Shared hosting puts your website files on a server with other websites. They therefore share the same RAM and CPU. This means that you never need to worry about hardware failures or anything else like that.
In addition, shared hosting can be significantly cheaper than a dedicated server setup. Shared servers also offer more features and flexibility, allowing for more control over storage space and bandwidth allocation than a standard shared space plus SSDs for increased speed amongst other benefits.
Shared hosting providers will give you easy to use cpanels and website builders because they are serving a clientele that might not be so good in tech.
The main downside of this type of hosting is security – if someone breaks into one site they break into all sites hosted on the same machine – but it may not be an issue if your website doesn’t contain any particularly sensitive information like credit card numbers.
At the same time, if one of the people in a shared hosting plan gets a surge of users visiting their site, the others are going to be affected. It is therefore recommended that you use this type of plan if you are not getting that much traffic.
VPS hosting is the in between dedicated server hosting and shared hosting in terms of cost and control.
Virtual private server hosting is like any other company’s servers set up to mimic a more traditional computer setup. The user has a space of their own on the server where they can do all that they want.
The difference is that the user can control which operating system or software will be installed, as well as what applications are running on the VPS. This allows the user to have a front-end machine configured just for his or her needs instead of having to share one with all potential customers at once.
The down side of VPS hosting, though, may be that not many people know how to use this type of service due to lack of personal knowledge about it which tends leads to less usability on behalf of the customer base.
Dedicated hosting is the best possible option for web hosting in my opinion. You can decide what you want hosted on it, the amount of RAM, and if you want to connect to a data center.
Dedicated hosting means that your site won’t be shared with any other sites on the same web server. This way, website visitors and search engines are visiting exactly where they should be going rather than being bounced around from one site to another. It also helps for security reasons because there’s no chance someone else could infect your site by loading malware onto their domain – or attack it though other vulnerabilities like directory traversal (which is more difficult when there’s nobody else sharing files).
A cloud hosting service provides shared resources on a virtual platform. Typically, this means that the customers are able to use pre-configured server solutions without having to invest in costly hardware and incur monthly expenses like data transfer fees, physical location leases, staffing or electricity. In addition, extending an application into the cloud is much easier because it can be done at any time and requires significantly less effort from IT teams because they don’t have to worry about how servers will be provisioned for them.
If you’re a beginner, managed hosting is the answer.
One of the benefits offered with managed hosting is that your website will be monitored 24/7 by experienced professionals. This means that you’ll know about any problem or security breach before they cause any significant problems to your site–or worse yet–lead to customer data being stolen or lost. All of this can help your bottom line and ensure first-class quality for your customers.
Since servers monitor themselves, it’s easier for them to catch problems before they get too big and affect other sites on the server as well as individual client websites hosted on each server. When you rely on self-monitoring, it’s harder to pinpoint where a problem may have originated from.
Reseller hosting is when you purchase web hosting and then resell it to your clients.
Some common features of reseller hosting are billing, support, servers, bandwidth, software licensing & installation. When choosing a provider be sure to explore all these features. It can be a significant advantage if the provider has unique features or deals that you can offer your customers. You may require different pricing models for this type of service; however, most providers will be happy to allow you more flexibility in this regard because they know that if you’re successful at generating new business for them then it becomes a win-win situation for both parties involved.
Best web hosting companies in Kenya
Below, we are going to look at the best web hosting companies in Kenya. Here we go:
Safaricom Web hosting
As we had seen earlier, telco giant Safaricom wants a slice of the cake when it comes to domain registration and hosting. They therefore have this hosting package for you if you are interested.
From their packages, I see that they have this Lite Package that gives you free hosting as long as you buy a domain from them. The package only gives you 50MB Disk space. This is however too small and after uploading a few files, you will find that you are out of space.
I would therefore not go for such a package. The best package for your small business would either be the Silver or the Gold Package that have 2GB and 10GB disk space respectively.
Although Safaricom is reputable as far as telecommunication is concerned, word on the interwebs show that they are pretty bad when it comes to website hosting since their customer support really sucks. You do not want that, do you?
Kenya Web Experts
Seasoned as far as matters to do with domain registration and hosting, Kenya Web Experts are your best bet when it comes to hosting your site in Kenya.
Although bluehost is a global company, they have been at the helm of offering exceptionally great hosting packages in Kenya.
Truehost.co.ke is a subsidiary of True Host cloud and provide great web hosting services to small businesses and big businesses alike.
Over the years, sasahost has been providing top notch web hosting services in Kenya. They also register domains.
Skyhost is another great web hosting service that small businesses can use to host their domains.
Web host Kenya
The guys at Web host Kenya are also great when it comes to managed shared hosting for your small business website.
What to look out for when selecting the best web hosting in Kenya
I would advise you to go for a hosting platform that does daily backup of all the websites in their server. This way, if your backup system fails, you are assured of a good backup from their end.
A good web hosting company in Kenya should enable you to have as many company emails as you want.
You want a web hosting platform that gives you a large disk space that will be sufficient to save all your videos, text files and images.
I would advise that you go for a web hosting company that offers 24/7 customer support so that in case you have a problem with your website over the weekend or in the wee hours of the night, you will not call in only to be told that they are not in office.
For a newbie not so good with tech, go for a managed hosting that monitors the server and tells you in case something happens and you need to fix it.
When you are starting out, you want a web hosting platform that gives you an easy to use software installer that is able to install your preferred content management system (CMS) at the click of a button.
Free SSL certificate
Every website needs to have an SSL certificate. The SSL is able to add an ‘s’ on your http so that it looks like ‘https’. With an SSL certificate, your readers are assured that their details such as credit card details are safe when they give them out during checkout on the website.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hosting in Kenya
Here, we will explore some frequently asked questions that our readers have about hosting their websites in Kenya.
How much does it cost to create a website in Kenya?
To create a website in Kenya, you will need to meet the following costs
Domain name registration–The cost varies depending on the company you use to register your domain as well as the suffix of the domain. A .co.ke is cheaper than a .com which is again cheaper than a .ke domain.
Pay for hosting–The hosting cost depends on the package you buy, its features as well as which company you buy it from.
Web design cost–If you are not conversant with how to design a website or using WordPress, you may have to hire a web designer to help you do it.
What is the average Website maintenance cost in Kenya?
Other than the regular updating of content, a website does not need that much of maintenance. There will be times though when you feel that the site speed is low and need to be worked on. At such times, you may need a skilled person to speed things up for you. They will come and do a plugins audit, see what is causing the slow speed and work on it.
Other activities that might require maintenance include:
Redirecting one domain to another
Updating your htaccess files
Changing website theme
Updating your php files.
You will of course agree on the cost for doing such tasks.
Is thereFree web hosting in Kenya?
As we mentioned in our article on best domain registrars in Kenya, you can get free domains and hosting in Kenya.
Here you will be using the free domains and hosting by WordPress.com , Google Blogger and Tumblr.
The advantage of using these platforms is that you do not have to pay a dime to have your website up and running. You will get a free domain name as well as a hosting package.
Some local Kenyan companies such as Safaricom, True Host, host254, webcreationsdesign and Sungura hosting also offer free web hosting. But it comes with a condition that you register a domain with them.
I would however not recommend that you take this free web hosting in Kenya direction. For one when you have a free wordpress.com or google blogger website, you will not have the ability to custom design the site. At the same time, it will have an ugly and long domain name.
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Free web hosting in Kenya has crappy support, limited disk space and low bandwidth
When you use the free hosting package given by the likes of Safaricom and Truehost, you will be awarded low disk space that will not be enough for your web files. At the same time, you will get crappy customer support because, come on, you are not paying anything!
How much does it cost to have a website in Kenya?
Having a website in Kenya is not that costly. The costs involved include annual domain registration as well as hosting cost. For people who do not know how to work with WordPress or want to have the websites custom designed for them, they will need to meet the website developer cost.
At most times, it is a one-off cost unless you want them to remain with the website logins and to be periodically uploading content for you.
Other than that, if you are hiring writers and editors to create content for you, you will need to meet their costs.
What to look out for when choosing your best domain registrar in Kenya
Domain Registration Price
Of course you want the domain registrar that offers the best registration pricing, right? As you look at this though, you will want to also look at the renewal prices.
Domain Renewal Price
Most domain registrars are notorious for charging low prices when you are registering your new domain only to charge you exorbitantly when you are renewing it annually.
When registering my domains, I want a company that has good customer support. With companies such as Kenya Web Experts, you can reach them 24/7 and your issue will be sorted ASAP.
The support should also inform you when your domain is about to expire as well as send you regular emails of promo codes and coupon codes that you could use in your next purchase.
Great and easy to use Dashboard
I want to use domain registrars that have an awesome client dashboard so that I can be able to see all the domains I have registered as well as when they will expire so that I can take action
Ease of transfer
Domain registrars should be able to allow you to transfer the domains you registered with them to other companies. Lets say for example that I have domains registered with Kenya web experts, other with Safaricom and another with Sasahost.
Since it might get cumbersome to know where a certain domain is registered, the companies should allow me to transfer the domains from one company to another at a low fee.
I like domain registrars that have an affiliate program so that I can earn from them any time I refer customers to register domains with them.
This is my favourite domain registration company in Kenya. Almost all my .co.ke domains are registered with Kenya web Experts. They have affordable prices, awesome customer support and are really prompt in service delivery.
Did you know that the telecommunication giant, Safaricom, offers domain registration and hosting services? Well, they actually do. You can register your .co.ke, .ke,.com, .info.ke, .or.ke domains with them here as well as ask questions about hosting your blog with them.
EAC Directory: Eac directory is another platform where you can register your Kenyan domains. Register your domain with eacdirectory here.
SasaHost–Sasahost are another great domain registration company with relatively good prices and customer support. You can register your domain with them here.
Skyhost— From our comparison table, Skyhost are the cheapest registrars for a .co.ke domain in Kenya.
When I joined the University of Nairobi for a degree course in Statistics, I remember clearly eavesdropping some third year students talking about earning money online. It seemed like a dream. What money could come from the Internet, I wondered.
I remember I went to the computer lab and started searching for ‘make money online’ on Facebook. I found an ad by a guy who was looking for academic writers. I contacted him and he gave me a test article titled ‘social deviance’. I did the article but he was not pleased.
I was still new to writing and my sentences were not that good. I believe I must have used the first word pronoun in my article. I did not do any intext citations or the APA bibliography that was required since I did not know what those were.
The guy went silent on me and I believed that earning online was indeed a scam.
It was only in third year when I realized the true meaning of making money online as a student in Kenya. I was introduced to article writing by a roommate.
When school closed for the third year long holidays,instead of searching for an internship like my colleagues,I went on looking for places where I could use this newfound skill of article writing. Fortunately, I found someone who had an account with odesk who hired me.
Though the pay was little, it was worthwhile. It was while working with this guy that I found out about iwriter, a content mill. I went on to register an account with the website and started making at least $20 per week.
At that time, this was a lot of money and I remember a few friends looking up to me as moneyed. I even went on to do a Powerpoint presentation on ‘how to make money online from iwriter’ to a YCS audience at the St. Paul’s University Chapel.
Things were looking up.
Unfortunately, iwriter is no longer available but there are so many other platforms where students can make money online in Kenya.
1.Freelance work–article writing, translation, data analysis, web design, virtual assistant
You could sign up to popular platforms such as Upwork, Writersdomain and Zerys and then go on to bid for freelance jobs such as content writing, data analysis, translating text, transcribing, designing websites or even work as a virtual assistant.
2. Blogging and earning through Google adsense, Youtube, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts
You can earn through blogging about different topics that are attracting traffic. Once you have good traffic, you can monetize your site through ads such as Google Adsense, Mediavine or Ezoic.
3. SEO work for bloggers and businesses-keyword research, backlinks, SEO audits
Once you have mastered the skill of search engine optimization, you could apply for virtual jobs where you help bloggers and online businesses in doing keyword research, building backlinks as well as doing SEO audits for their websites.
4. Flipping websites
Flipping websites is nothing but selling sites. This hustle therefore means that you will first of all need to own a site before you can even think of flipping it. The site also needs to be earning some good money in order to fetch a good multiple on flipping platforms such as Flippa, EmpireFlippers or MotionInvest. The site could be a SAAS or an affiliate blog.
5.Social media management
I have seen some guys work as social media managers for corporates and brands. For this, you need to be good in creating witty, engaging and shareable content that helps the brand grow in terms of visibility, engagement and conversions.
6. Academic writing
You could earn as a student through helping students complete their assignments, term papers and dissertations. For this, you will need to first own an account that gives you daily work offers to complete. Sites that allow you to open accounts include Uvocorp, Bluecorp, Essaywriters and Unemployed Professors. You could also start your own website where you offer the needed services to students. For this though, you will need to do lots of work in promoting it.
7. Selling ebooks and courses
You could create ebooks and courses on topics that you are highly knowledgeable about and know for sure that people are interested in learning them.
Back in 2016 when I was still working as an online freelance writer, there were these Kenyans who started this hype about earning money in your sleep.
They called it affiliate marketing.
It seemed crazy. It was unbelievable and for sometimes I ignored them as another bunch of scammers who were praising some sort of pyramid scheme.
But then seeing how hard I was struggling to raise my family, I decided to give this affiliate marketing fad a try.
I have never looked back.
Affiliate marketing in Kenya does work.
But you need to separate the wheat from the chaff because there are some guys who are in some sort of pyramid schemes that have been baptized as affiliate marketing.
How to do affiliate marketing in Kenya
Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to make money online. Bloggers and social media influencers are making a kill from this model.
Personally, I have used it to affiliate blogs to make money from Amazon, Shareasale and Moreniche affiliate programs.
While all these are international companies, one can also make money from Kenyan companies such as Jumia, Killmall and any other ecommerce platform that offers bloggers a chance to promote them for money.
The model of affiliate marketing through a blog is the same whether you are doing it on Amazon or Jumia. So how does it go?
Create content on your blog around a product to serve to your online audience
Register as an affiliate marketer with the model
Convince your audience to buy the product from the platform using the affiliate links assigned to you
Get a commission once a sale is successful
Affiliate marketing jobs in Kenya
Let’s explore the different affiliate marketing programs that you find in Kenya. The beauty of the Internet and affiliate marketing jobs is that you are not limited to companies in Kenya. You are also not limited to promoting your products to an audience in Kenya to earn as an affiliate marketer.
No, you could be somewhere holed in Kakamega promoting amazon affiliate products to your readers in New York and you will still earn.
Personally, I have been working as an amazon affiliate marketer to an US audience while I am still here in Kenya. There are a lot of Kenyans doing the same.
Popular Affiliate Programs in Kenya
So, lets look at the popular affiliate programs in Kenya:
Jumia—Jumia is an ecommerce platform that sells all sorts of products all the way from electronics, school stationery, clothes and furniture. They also invite affiliate marketers to their program to help them promote their products. Once you sell a product through the affiliate links that they assign you, they give you a commission.
How to register as a Jumia affiliate marketer
Registering as an affiliate marketer on Jumia Kol is pretty easy. Just click on this link to go to the jumia affiliate marketing sign up page.
Here, you will be required to give your personal details:
Once done, you will be expected to verify your email, provide your payout details and you are done. You are now a Jumia affiliate marketer.
But you will not earn from this.
You need to start promoting their products.
Lets say that I have an audience interested in buying the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, I would go to the Jumia.co.ke page, get the url for this product which is this one:
I will copy this url and go back to my Jumia affiliate dashboard.
I will then click on the ‘Advertising’ tab then ‘Custom Links’ under it.
I will copy the url of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge on the Web Page Url text box.
The program will generate an affiliate link which I can then use to promote the product.
It looks something like this
Kilimall—Kilimall is another ecommerce platform similar to Jumia and they also have a way of rewarding their affiliate marketers with commissions. You can join the program here.
Kenya web experts—Kenya web experts is a hosting and domain registration company. They have an affiliate marketing program where if you refer people to their services and they end up buying, you receive a commission.
Using International programs such as Amazon, Payoneer, Shareasale, CJ, Moreniche etc.
Now let’s look at the nitty gritties of how to go about it.
I have pointed out that you can use social media to convince your followers to buy products. I always see influencers doing this. But since I am not famous, I use blogging as my platform.
So how do we go about it? Let’s say we want to earn from promoting electronics on Jumia.
We will create blog in the electronics niche. Since we want to market locally, we could as well buy a .co.ke domain
How to register a .co.ke domain for affiliate marketing in Kenya
I will be using Kenya web experts as my domain registrants.
Before registering, you need to make sure that your domain is brandable.
Lets say for example that I wish to register a domain where I will be promoting smartphones.
I could come up with a domain name such as smartphonegeek.co.ke or something like techgeek.co.ke
With smartphonegeek.co.ke, the domain suggests that I will only be blogging about smartphones. That is limiting because I might as well decide to blog about other household electronics such as TVs and woofers.
Techgeek.co.ke seems a better choice.
The next thing is checking whether it is indeed available.
We will have one top 20 smartphones to buy on Jumia post with 20 phones reviewed. We will then break down and review each of the phones where each of the product review post will then be linking out to our main post.
This is called building topical relevance through interlinking.
In the main post, you could have a comparison table that looks into details the features of each of the smartphones. You also need to have some good call to action buttons that attract people to click their way to Jumia.
A backlink is like a vote from other websites that say that if you are interested in a certain topic, you should go to this site.
Through backlinks, search engines are able to give you a better ranking on their result pages.
So once we are done creating content and uploading it onto our blog, we need to create authority by backlinking using directories and guest posts on local blogs. You could create guest post links if bloggers are willing to guest post you or rather just buy links.
There are also business directories such as yellow pages where you list your business and create a backlink to your site.
Other backlinking methods include creating blog comments with a url pointing to your site. You could also create a private blog network (PBN) if you have the resources and know how to do it.
Wait to rank on search engines
Search engine optimization is a game that requires patience. You do not create content today and rank tomorrow No, it takes time. Sometimes, you might have to wait for more than a year to see results.
Yes. When you have a new blog, Google places in a sandbox where your page does not rank though your content is great and there is low competition for the keywords you are blogging about.
As you wait though for Google to recognize you as an authority so as to rank, you could be working on getting your business on social media platforms. Work on creating great pins and uploading them on Pinterest. You could also join Facebook groups where your niche is discussed and start sharing your informative pages.
You could also try to answer questions on Quora that relate to your niche topic while sharing relevant pages on your blog to enhance your answer.
Get traffic and link out to affiliate products
Once you start getting good traffic on your blog, it is time to monetize your efforts.
Go to the Jumia affiliate program, generate affiliate links for the products you have listed and link out to the product pages.
This way, anytime someone clicks on your affiliate links to Jumia, you will awarded a commission.
Conversion rate optimization
Now that you are being paid for your efforts, it is time to better your review pages. Work on creating highly converting content that convinces readers to take an action and go to Jumia to buy off your affiliate links.
If you do not have comparison tables, use tablepress plugin to list your products in a tabular format. Readers will be able to easily compare the products you have listed and make informed choices.
You could also try to A/B test the colors on your call-to-action buttons so that you find the winning color.
The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that setting up your business using the traditional brick and mortar model is not the way to go. You seriously need to think of having an active online presence.
How better to have this than setting up a website with regular content uploads, being active on social media and regularly creating content that reaches your audience via email.
In this no holds barred article, I will show you how to set up your blog in Kenya and use it to reach a bigger audience and transact with your customers online.
How to start a business blog in Kenya and run it successfully
I have segmented the article into a few sections which are:
Identifying your niche
Doing proper keyword research for your blog
Leveraging on social media and paid ads to drive traffic to your blog
Create powerful and converting content that is SEO optimized.
I will use a few Kenyan based blogs as my models to explain everything. They are:
AIKenya—blogs on data science
AMG realtors—sells real estate property
Stawi—lends out mobile loans
So, lets look at the steps you need to take to create an online presence.
1. Identify your niche
If you have been following me on Facebook, you will also note that I have mapped out this to be my niche from now on and all I post is related to making money through your blog.
I might confuse my audience and search engines when I blog about making money blogging today, only to diversify tomorrow and write how I went to pay my wife’s dowry tomorrow.
If you are a real estate company, the niche for your blog would be properties in a certain area. AMG Realtors has for example been selling most of their property at Nanyuki to a diaspora audience. This is their niche.
If you are a fintech company, the niche for your blog would for example be mobile loans. Stawi is a good example here that lends out mobile loans through an app. Their niche, therefore, is blogging about mobile loans.
AiKenya has data science as their niche. They should therefore be blogging about financial modeling, machine learning, R, python, Excel and opportunities for people in the data science field.
If you own a boutique, you could have your niche as official suits. A plumber would have their plumbing repair services in a certain location as their niche.
Other online ideas that you could explore in Kenya
Some other excellent online business ideas in Kenya that you could try out if you do not have a niche to blog yet include:
Finding a product which you will be promoting as an affiliate marketer— You could for example decide to promote electronics on Jumia and when you sell the products, the eCommerce platform will award you a certain commission based on the sales you have made.
Starting a jobs board where you charge companies to post their available jobs and earning ad income when the site attracts lots of job applicants–If you look at job board platforms such as fuzu, careerspointkenya and jobs in kenya, you will find that they all target to attract job seekers, give them information about new job opportunities and earn ad income from Google adsense based on the many people who interact with their sites.
CV writing company
Freelancing writing company–If you are good in copywriting, you could start a blog where you attract local clients looking for content writing.
Online shop where you sell your products
Information site where you give people valuable information on a certain topic. You will target to earn through ads.
A site where you sell courses such as ‘how to learn data science’, ‘how to learn R’, ‘how to learn web designing’, ‘how to learn web designing etc.
2. Do your keyword research
Once you have selected the niche that you are to blog about, you can go ahead to conduct your keyword research. One mistake that many business bloggers make is to blog about anything without first interrogating what people are searching on search engines.
Tools that you can use for keyword research include:
If you want a constant stream of passive traffic streaming into your blog, you seriously need to think your keyword research strategy. Let us look at how to do it using a free keyword research tool called Ubersuggest.
3. Create a blog
A blog is nothing but a website that receives content upload on a regular basis.
Though you can use different Content Management systems, WordPress is the easiest and most popular. You do not need any coding experience to blog on WordPress.
So what do you need to have a blog?
Buy a domain name—this is what identifies you for example: google.com, nation.africa, freelancinghackers.com or speechtherapytotos.com. You can check the best domain registrars in Kenya.
Buy hosting—a hosting company keeps your files online. Every content piece you do be it an article, image or video is saved by your host.
You will have to pay annually for domain renewal or else it expires and gets re-registered by another person. For hosting, you could either pay for it annually or monthly.
My friend James Njoya has also done a great job detailing how to configure your domain and hosting. You can see his post on starting a blog in Kenya here.
4. Create social media accounts
Other than using search engines, some of your audience are on social media platforms such as Facebook, Tiktok, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram. You need to meet them by being active on these platforms.
Post relevant information that sets you as a brand so that people can always look up to the information that you provide them with.
5. Claim a google my business account
If you are running an online shop, you really need to claim a google my business account so that when people are searching for recommendations similar to your business, they are highly likely to see your business, see your reviews and even see the location picked by Google.
6. Create content that is focused on your keywords. Write for people
Once you have your set of keywords to work with, you can go ahead to create content that is laser focused on informing your audience while at the same time being SEO optimized.
You need to craft nice content that is going to inform and convert your audience. You could use lots of images, videos and lists that help to break the boredom in your content.
7. Build trust and an excellent online reputation
Since you will be meeting your audience online, you need to do everything to make sure that they trust you.
Have a list of testimonials to create good social proof. You could also write about your company, team members and give relevant contacts.
If you are able you could create a chat interface where clients can come, ask questions and you can message them either realtime or later on.
8. Create local citations on business directories
You can create local citations on business directories such as yelp and yellow pages. These are nothing but backlinks that tell search engines where you are located.
Some people might also visit these local directories to search for companies in a certain niche within an area. Someone interested in dental services in Nairobi might type that on Yellow pages and see your business listed among other dental service companies in the area.
9. Build Topical Relevance around your keywords
Once you identify a keyword in your niche and blogged about it, things are not done. You need to build topical relevance.
Building topical relevance just means creating related content to the main keyword you are trying to rank for and creating interlinks that point to these main pages.
We have for example seen that AMGRealtors would like to rank for land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki. Well, once they have a page on this, they can then go ahead to create other blog posts about Nanyuki and link out to this main page.
With these interlinks, they will be passing lots of authority to the target page that will be able to rank.
They could for example create content on:
History of Nanyuki
Tourist attractions in Nanyuki
Social amenities in Nanyuki
Why invest in Nanyuki real estate properties. etc
10. Spy on your competitors and beat them at their own game
Using keyword research tools such as ahrefs or semrush, you will be informed of your top competitors and how many keywords they are ranking for. With these information, you can go ahead to try and beat them at their game.
Case Studies of Sample Blogs in Kenya
I sampled some blogs in Kenya to see how they were faring online and how they could improve their SEO game. Here we go:
I did a simple search for land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki and from my settings, I found out that Ubersuggest reports that this keyphrase gets roughly 50 searches per month.
I was interested in finding out how well AMG Realtors ranks for this keyword. From my desktop, I found out that they are ranking at position 19 while on my smartphone, they came position 22 on Google.
It is good to note that local Google rankings can vary depending on the device you are using, the Gmail account you have logged in using as well as your search history.
All in all, AMG realtors is not ranking on the top position for this keyword which I believe could fetch them a good number of customers.
The sites ranking at the top included ryden.co.ke which has used the word Nanyuki 31 times in this page. There is also mitula.co.ke that has mentioned the keyword Nanyuki ’54 times’. The star classifieds is also in the first page of Google according to my results and uses the word Nanyuki 52 times.
AMG Realtors has used the word Nanyuki 9 times only.
It is important to note that none of the sites ranking on the first page of Google have the word ‘land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki’.
The Star, BuyrentKenya and KnightFrank are however using related terms such as ‘land for sale in Nanyuki’ in their SEO titles which would give them some competitive advantage over AMGRealtors.
If I was therefore consulting for AMGRealtors, I would advise them to use the word Nanyuki more times in their homepage as well as use the keyword ‘Land for sale in Kenya Nanyuki’ in their copy.
Other interesting things to note is that sites such as BuyrentKenya, The Star and Ryden.co.ke have listed many pieces of plots in Nanyuki with their prices and very short descriptions about the pieces.
I would advise AMG Realtors to do this. If it does not seem feasible to do it on their ranking homepage, they could have one page dedicated to these listings that will receive an internal link from the homepage.
Stawi loan app
I tried to look at how Stawi loan app could increase their online audience through SEO.
One thing I found out is that they do not have a valid SSL certificate. For a fintech company, this is a big shame.
The lack of an SSL certificate could be denying them lots of customers who want to learn more about the app before they go to Google Apps store to download it from there.
Installing one does not take that long. It is really a short process.
I went on to research on keywords that they could hunt for:
From this ubersuggest snippet, you can see that the content marketer at stawi needs to blog about keywords such as credit hela app, loan apps without crb check and online mpesa loans in Kenya.
One might wonder why blog about credit hela on the stawi app. Well, you might have seen websites comparing their products to those of their competitors. It is a really nice strategy where you are able to not only rank for keywords related to your competitors but you have the opportunity to show your audience why your product is better than that of your competitor.
So as the content manager on Stawi, I would go ahead to compare stawi with credit hela. I would even compare it to all other popular loan apps in Kenya such as Tala, Okash, Zenka etc.
For the second keyword on ‘loan apps without crb check’, a simple Google search shows you that loans.info.ke is the top page ranking on the search engine. I would contact the blogger at this platform to link out to Stawi since they have not reviewed it yet.
To get more traffic to their site, the AiKenya site should target on ranking for this keywords
Other keywords related to data science that the site could target to rank for include:
How to start a blog in Kenya for free
You can also start a free blog in Kenya using different platforms. The most popular have to be WordPress or even Google blogger. They will give you a free domain name plus hosting. The only problem with these free platforms is that you are not able to customize the layout to your liking.
Your audience might also not take you seriously since you are using a weird domain name for example jamesnjenga.wordpress.com as opposed to having a simple one like jamesnjenga.com.
So while it is possible to start a blog for free in Kenya, I would not advise you to do it for business purposes. Not unless you are doing it for personal reasons where you used the wordpress or blogspot blog to familiriaze yourself with the nitty gritties of blogging.