Online Business Ideas in Kenya

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.

Awesome, right?

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

If you possess web design skills such as Html, javascript, WordPress, php and Css, you could start a business of developing websites for people. You could also sign up on job board such as people per hour, upwork and freelancer.com where such skills are highly looked for.

  • 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.

  • Start teletherapy

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,

  1. 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.

Best Web Hosting Services in Kenya [2021 GUIDE]

Once you have bought your website domain, the next thing you want to do is host it.

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.

When you buy cheap hosting, you buy low disk space, low bandwidth, poor customer support and insecurity

James njenga

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.

Shared hosting

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

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

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). 

Cloud hosting

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.

Managed hosting

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

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.

Blue host

Although bluehost is a global company, they have been at the helm of offering exceptionally great hosting packages in Kenya.

True Host

Truehost.co.ke is a subsidiary of True Host cloud and provide great web hosting services to small businesses and big businesses alike.

Sasahost

Over the years, sasahost has been providing top notch web hosting services in Kenya. They also register domains.

Skyhost

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

  1. Back ups

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.

  1. Email

A good web hosting company in Kenya should enable you to have as many company emails as you want.

  1. Disk space

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.

  1. Customer support

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.

  1. Managed hosting

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.

  1. Software installations

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.

  1. 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

  1. 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.
  2. Pay for hosting–The hosting cost depends on the package you buy, its features as well as which company you buy it from.
  3. 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:

  1. Redirecting one domain to another
  2. Updating your htaccess files
  3. Changing website theme
  4. Updating your php files.

You will of course agree on the cost for doing such tasks.

Is there Free 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

James Njenga

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.

Which Companies Offer the Cheapest domains in Kenya

kenyan students registering a domain

Domain registration in Kenya

Let’s say that you want to start a blog where you sell products or services to Kenyans.

It could be that you want to try out affiliate marketing for products on Jumia, Kilimall or other eCommerce platforms in Kenya, the first thing you will need to do is register a domain name. 

For a Kenyan audience, you could use a .ke or .co.ke domain name. If you are targeting to get a global audience for your blog, you could use a .com or .net domain name.

For organizations, I would advise you to use a .org domain.

All these domain suffixes can be registered in Kenya.

You will then host it and start a blog.

You are now looking for a company that offers the cheapest domains in Kenya.

Well, we have got you sorted because in this blog, we will be looking at exactly that.

Best domain registrar in Kenya

Without saying too much, the best and cheapest domain registrar for a .co.ke domain has to be Skyhost that charges a measly 599.

For a .com or .ke domain though, I would go with Kenya web Experts whose prices are way better that any other domain registration company.

Here is a summary of the registration prices you are charged by some of best domain registrars in Kenya:

DomainKenyawebexpertsSafaricomEacDirectoryHostpinnacleSasaHostSkyhost
.co.ke9991300999999850599
.com999999119999910001000
.ke299970002999590030004000
Price in Kshs for domain registration

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.

  • Customer Support

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.

  • Affiliate program

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.

Related: How to set up a wordpress blog

  1. Kenya Web Experts

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.

  1. True Host

Truehost is another highly reputable domain registration and hosting company in Kenya.

  1. Safaricom Domains

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.

  1. EAC Directory: Eac directory is another platform where you can register your Kenyan domains. Register your domain with eacdirectory here.
  2. SasaHost–Sasahost are another great domain registration company with relatively good prices and customer support. You can register your domain with them here.
  3. Skyhost— From our comparison table, Skyhost are the cheapest registrars for a .co.ke domain in Kenya.

Free domains in Kenya

Did you know that you could benefit from free domains in Kenya?

Well, the good news is that you could. And what’s more, you could as well get free hosting!

Yes, some companies do not require you to pay a dime to own a blog.

Some of the places where you could get a free domain and hosting in Kenya include:

  • WordPress.com–your domain will be something like jamesnjenga.wordpress.com
  • Google Blogger—your free domain will be something like jamesnjenga.blogspot.com
  • Tumbler—your free domain will be something like jamesnjenga.tumblr.com

Why you should not use free domains for your Kenyan business

I would however not advise business bloggers to try out these free platforms. 

For one, people do not take you seriously when you are on a free domain. Two, you do not have many customization options such as using different plugins and designing your site as you would like.

Three, doing SEO for free domains is tough. The permalinks for example are ugly and long. There is no way that you can customize them.

The free domains are only great for students who are learning how to blog. Once they have learnt how to do it, they can go ahead and use the custom domain names to do serious business.

Check: How to do SEO on your WordPress blog

How to make money online as a student in Kenya

Kenyan student making money online

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.

You could also do affiliate marketing either through local affiliate programs or International programs such as Amazon, Shareasale, Payoneer or CJ Affiliate.

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.

A Definitive Guide to Affiliate Marketing in Kenya[2021]

infographic on affiliate marketing in Kenya

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

photo showing a workstation of an affiliate marketer

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?

  1. Create content on your blog around a product to serve to your online audience
  2. Register as an affiliate marketer with the model
  3. Convince your audience to buy the product from the platform using the affiliate links assigned to you
  4. Get a commission once a sale is successful
process of doing affiliate marketing in Kenya

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:

  1. 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:

https://www.jumia.co.ke/samsung-galaxy-s7-edge-smartphone-g935v-g935f-5.5-4gb-ram-32gb-rom-12mp-quad-core-lte-4g-cellphone-white-23571877.html

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

So lets head over to Kenya web experts to check for the availability

the techgeek.co.ke domain is available on Kenya web experts

Kenya web experts shows that the domain techgeek.co.ke is available and is going for Kshs.999

I should click on continue to claim it.

In the second step, they will ask for the nameservers that the domain should be pointed to.

If you already bought a hosting service, you will have these nameservers which you can change. If you have not yet bought hosting, use the default nameservers since you can change this later.

Then click continue.

They will ask me to provide my personal details as well as complete the order by paying.

After we have bought a domain and configured our hosting with WordPress, we are ready to start blogging.

You can also check out my cheapest domain registrars in Kenya here.

Related: How to start a blog in Kenya

Keyword Research

We will niche down to a certain field in electronics say for example smartphones

We will create content around ‘best phones in Kenya under 15k’.

This is just one keyword that I quickly thought about. It has a search volume of 110 people per month according to Keyword surfer.

To arrive at a bunch of good keywords, you need to spend time doing proper keyword research.

Although you can use paid tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush for this step, I have found some really nice free keyword research tools that internet marketing noobs who are low on cash can use.

Content Creation and Building Topical Relevance

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.

building topical relevance on a blog

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.

Backlinking

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.

How to start a Business blog in Kenya and run it successfully [Case Studies Inside]

how to start a blog in kenya

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:

  1. Identifying your niche
  2. Doing proper keyword research for your blog
  3. Leveraging on social media and paid ads to drive traffic to your blog
  4. 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:

  1. AIKenya—blogs on data science
  2. AMG realtors—sells real estate property
  3. Stawi—lends out mobile loans

So, lets look at the steps you need to take to create an online presence.

1. Identify your niche

A niche is nothing but the topic that you are blogging about. The niche of my freelancinghackers.com blog for example is how to make money blogging. I therefore should try to limit whatever I am posting on my blog to this topic.

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:

Ubersuggest

Keyword Surfer

WMS Everywhere

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

I have written a comprehensive guide on how to buy your blog domain and hosting which you can look up.

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:

AMGRealtors

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.

Url rankingNumber of times the word ‘Nanyuki’ appears in urlSerp position
https://www.ryden.co.ke/properties.php?id=2&rid=3&lid=8311
https://property.mitula.co.ke/lands-nanyuki-laikipia545
https://www.buyrentkenya.com/land-for-sale/laikipia/laikipia-east/nanyuki434
https://www.the-star.co.ke/classifieds/land-plots/land-for-sale-in-nanyuki.html533
https://www.amgrealtors.com/921

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.

stawi site lacks ssl certificate

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.

AIKenya

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.

Ahref free keyword generator

Did you know that ahrefs has a free keyword research tool?

It is called ahref free keyword generator.

Yes, a completely free tool.

Am not talking about the $7 – 7 days trial program.

No, am talking about a keyword research tool where you pay zero but get data on the search volume of your keyword as well as related terms.

It was cool to discover this because well, Ahrefs must be one of the best SEO tools that one could ever dream about.

How to use the ahref free keyword generator tool

  • Just go to ahrefs keyword generator
  • Enter keyword.
  • Set your needed location
  • Hit the Find keywords command button
  • Prove that you are not a robot by checking the Captcha checkbox
  • It gives you upto 150 phrase matches as well as related questions related to the term you searched.
  • It will also show the aggregate searches per month, their keyword difficulty (KD) and when last this data was updated.

Using this free keyword research tool is easy peasy.

Why I like the ahref keyword generator

  • You can use it to research on searches per month for keywords in Google, Youtube, Bing and Amazon.
  • It shows searches per month
  • It also gives you the keyword difficulty
  • Gives you a long list of related search terms.
  • You can use it to search terms in different localities.

Related: You can also check WMS Everywhere free keyword research tool.

WMS Everywhere Review

After keyword everywhere retired their free keyword research plan, in came WMS Everywhere and judging by the reviews that I have gone through, it is an equally good tool.

It is very similar to keyword surfer in that you are able to tell the search volume per month for a keyword as well as its related terms.

What is WMS Everywhere free keyword research tool?

WMS everywhere is a free chrome extension tool that newbie bloggers can use for their keyword research needs.

I hope that they keep it free and not act up like those Keyword Everywhere guys who gave us the tool for a certain length of time before they went premium.

To get it, all you need is go to chrome extensions, search for it and add it to your Google chrome browser.

How to use WMS everywhere

  • Add it to chrome

  • Sign up your WMS account
  • Start using the tool.

My WMS Everywhere review

Though I like that it is a free chrome extension that will give you a keyword search volume per month as well as related terms, I feel that it is not as good as keyword surfer.

For one, you will have to sign up to use it which I feel not to be so cool.

At the same time, it lacks some of the features that Keyword everywhere and surfer have. It will for example not tell you the word count for the webpages on your SERPs.

At the same time, it lacks the beautiful visual data that Surfer shows with its correlational charts.

Keyword Surfer: Best Free Alternative to Keyword Everywhere

If you are a beginner blogger, you must be looking for ways to rank your website without too many costs. One way is to rank without backlinks while another way is to do keyword research at low costs.

Using free keyword research tool: Keyword surfer

One of the free keyword research tools that I am currently using is keyword surfer. I discovered it just the other day when I was researching on free keyword research tools.

I would recommend keyword surfer to any newbie owing to the fact that it is free as well as easy to use.

The tool is able to give me the search volume per month for a keyword as well as terms that are closely related or similar to the phrase that I have searched for in Google.

It also gives me an estimate of the amount of traffic that each of the webpages is receiving as well as number of words that are in each of the pages.

For people who like visual data, it has a correlation chart that shows the estimated traffic for each site, its number of words as well as the exact match keywords in the first 10 results of the Serps.

What is keyword surfer?

Keyword surfer is a free Google chrome extension. It is a product by the guys who own surfer SEO, a cool on page optimization tool. They have assured us that the tool will remain free.

Lets just hope that they will keep it that way lest they also start charging like Keyword Everywhere did.

How to use keyword surfer?

To use keyword surfer, you only need to head over to chrome extensions and search for keyword surfer.

After typing it, hit the enter key to search and you will get a populated list of extensions that are related to that term.

We are interested in the puple one. Click on it and then click on add to chrome blue button.

There you have it. You have just added keyword surfer to your chrome.

Everytime you now search for a phrase on Google chrome, you will get its search volume and correlation graphs.

It supports datasets from upto 70 countries.

Keyword surfer firefox

For those who love Firefox, you can still add the tool.

You will however need Mozilla Firefox 57 to enable addittion of web extensions.

Go to your firefox browse and search for keyword surfer web extension and follow the procedure to add it.

Keyword surfer for android

You can also add the extension on your android phone.

It is not that straightfoward though because you will first have to go to Google Play store, look for Yandex browser.

The Yandex browser once installed will allow you to add chrome extensions. So after installing it, look for keyword surfer chrome extension.

Related: Using Ubersuggest free keyword research tool

6 Absolutely Free keyword research tools for Newbie Bloggers

Sometimes back when I was starting SEO, things were very much easy. Tools like Ahrefs offered us a free two week trial period.

I signed up to their trial tool with as many Gmail accounts as possible.

And then most recently, there was Keyword Everywhere which would show you the searches per month for a keyword, give you related terms to the keyword as well as the word count in web pages.

Things are different now. You will have to cough at least $7 to try Ahrefs for 7 days trial. And then from there, you can decide to start the subscription at a higher cost or ditch it all together.

Keyword Everywhere also introduced charges for using their tool.

Ahrefs and Keyword Everywhere are great tools for keyword research.

But for newbie bloggers who might be hard on cash, getting these fees no matter how small they may seem might be a tall order.

They therefore want free tools that they can use to do their keyword research.

Well, I am your guy in this.

Keyword surfer

This is a free chrome extension tool.

It gives you the search volume per month for keywords you search on Google as well as the number of words in each of the search results plus the estimated number of visitors each of the domains on the SERPs have.

Ubersuggest

We saw that Ubersuggest is a freemium tool meaning that you can use for a limited number of times and as a paid tool if you want to use all its features.

I have found it to be a great tool and have been using it for most of my keyword research works.

WMS everywhere

This is a chrome extension tool similar to Keyword everywhere.

It gives you the search volume of keywords you search on Google while at the same time giving you related searches and their search volumes.

Keywords nowhere

Again this is similar to Keyword everywhere. But it will not give you related search terms.

Google Keyword Planner

Sometimes back, bloggers would use the Google Keyword planner to dig the searches per month for keywords.

All that one needs to sign up for is Google ads as though they are about to pay for ads.

However you need to skip this part and move ahead to expert mode so as not be charged for setting up campaigns.

Ahrefs Keyword Generator

After cutting out their free two weeks trials, Ahrefs still offers what they call keyword generator that gives you a maximum of 150 keywords related to the seed term you enter into this tool

Say for example that I am interested in the keyword ‘free keyword research tools’.

I will head over to ahrefs keyword generator and enter the phrase into the tool search bar and hit the find keywords button.

I could also specify from which country I want to do the search: