How to make money online as a student 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.

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.