A decade ago, online jobs were unheard of in Kenya. In fact, any online work was deemed an uncommon career path.
Fast-forward to the present, and the internet has dramatically shifted the career landscape. This change can be attributed to the following factors:
- Internet access is easy and affordable thanks to infrastructure in Kenya.
Kenya was ranked third in Africa and 84 worldwide with an internet speed of 7.62 Mbps in the Worldwide broadband speed league 2019 report. Leading telecommunications company, Safaricom, has been a factor in the growth of the infrastructure as more Kenyans even in far-flung areas are now able to access the internet.
- Smartphones are more affordable as phone brands compete for new customers.
The phone brand wars have been in full effect as brands like Nokia, Samsung, Techno, Infinix and many others have identified the value of the Kenyan market. The budget smartphone is a hit in Kenya, and this is apparent in the array of choices available from different brands at affordable prices.
- Innovations that have made life more convenient for Kenyans are online driven.
Kenya is well-known as a technology hub with its famed Silicon Savannah and the success of M-Pesa. This innovation has created online opportunities for many Kenyans.
The internet has made it possible to find online jobs that provide work flexibility and good pay. One of these jobs is that of a copywriter.
A copywriter is a person paid to write the words for advertisements. These words are known as copy and are used to market products and services through different types of adverts, articles and social media posts.
What Does It Take to Be a Copywriter?
- A passion for writing and researching
The work requires a lot of writing and hours of research to provide quality information. Passion and dedication are therefore important.
- Access to a computer
A computer is your tool of trade, so having access to one is a necessity. If you don’t have one of your own, you can borrow one or you can find a reliable cyber cafe and work from there. Alternatively, if you’re a student or have access to a library, you can arrange to use the computers available for your work.
- Good internet connection
As most of the work is online, as well as the research you need to turn in great quality work, a good internet connection is a must. Thankfully, Kenya has great internet service providers you can choose from. Remember to consider both reliable speeds as well as cost before making your decision.
- Ability to meet deadlines
Most online work has strict deadlines, and it’s important that you’re able to keep them. Learn how to create a regular routine here.
- PayPal account to receive payment through M-Pesa
Just less than two years ago, accessing your PayPal account in Kenya was a hassle. Today, all that has changed thanks to the partnership between PayPal and M-Pesa. You can now link your PayPal and M-Pesa accounts and withdraw funds from PayPal to M-Pesa. Depending on the number of funds withdrawn, the transaction takes two hours to three days.
Take initiative and sign up for copywriter courses to sharpen your skills and make you a more desirable candidate.
So, now you know what it takes to be a copywriter, but what about making money?
How to Make Money as a Copywriter
Blogging is one of the most beginner-friendly ways to start online writing. There are three ways to approach it:
- Writing blog posts for company websites
This is a great way to get started, and because everything is well structured, it gives you an opportunity to enhance your skills.
- Writing guest posts or being a contributing writer for a successful blog
A lot of bloggers take on writers as they expand, and this is a great way to learn the ropes and get your name out there. Apply for writer positions for Kenyan news, as well as lifestyle and entertainment blogs such as This is Essential. They have a lot of opportunities for writers and pay a decent salary.
- Running your own blog
This one requires much more commitment and work, but offers the most freedom and growth. It’ll take a bit of time, but with some dedication, you can start to earn money through sponsored posts and other ads on your blog.
Writing Website Copy
This is different from writing for a company blog. A lot of businesses require copy for their website that goes into details of who they are and what services they offer. This is especially true for small businesses. You can charge an affordable fee and end up with a steady stream of income.
Writing Social Media Copy
Social media posts require a great copy and this a great job for a copywriter.
There are two ways to do this: working as a copywriter or social media manager at an advertising agency or working as a freelancer for small businesses.
Writing an Ebook
If you’re an expert on a topic, writing an ebook can be a great way to stand out. In Kenya, the most successful ebooks are by food bloggers such as Mandi Sarro and fitness gurus such as Jane Mukami. There’s definitely a market for ebooks, and considering how inexpensive they are to create, it’s worth a try!
Writing Scripts for Podcasts and Online Videos
There are so many podcasts and YouTube videos by Kenyan creators such as Joanna Kinuthia, Wabosha Maxine and the Green Calabash. To create great work, they probably do need writers for scripts. Do some research and reach out to a few, and you’re bound to land a great opportunity.
Writing Product Descriptions
Product content writing involves writing product descriptions for online stores. Websites like Amazon have tonnes of products that require product descriptions. You just need to put in some research and find a seller in need of these services.
Pitching for Writer Callouts
Online magazines always call out for contributions to their periodicals. The easiest way to go about this is to write a list of online magazines, especially in food, travel, lifestyle, women empowerment and politics, and begin to follow their callouts. They pay anywhere from Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 20,000 an article, and though it is not reliable work, it’s a great way to get noticed.
Many bloggers, authors and online magazine owners engage the services of ghostwriters. Of course, as a writer, you will care about not being credited for your work. However, it’s a great way to get started and get ongoing, reliable work.
Searching for copywriter jobs online can appear overwhelming but thanks to dedicated job search platforms, that is no longer the case.
Other than the common platforms like Upwork and Freelancer, there are also localized platforms worth taking a look at, like Kaziwork.
The secret in landing as many jobs as possible is consistency: Consistently apply for jobs, consistently grow your skills and consistently turn in great work.