At the time of writing this post, I have blogged for 2 years. I have seen people come and go. Some friends have come with a storm, gotten good cash, got a tragedy (e.g. sickness, death of a loved one e.t.c.) and left the business. Others keep growing and growing; starting from below poverty level to a place where they live in big houses and drive good cars.
This leads us to the big questions: how do you secure your online income? How do you ensure that you still earn even when sick or away for an urgent commitment? How do you make the most of what you earn? How do you ensure that your kids and future generations eat from your sweat?
Below are some tips that I use that may also help you to be able to withstand any weather when it comes to earning online.
1. Get an online income
Obvious point, right? To secure your online income you need that online income in the first place, right?
Yes, totally. But because there are some reading this who still haven’t started earning money online, I had to include that here. If you belong to that bracket, feel free to join my mailing list so that I can give you regular tips on email on how you can earn online. Feel free to also drop a comment below in case you have any queries. Or use the search bar above to search for different topics.
2. Increase your streams of income
No, you don’t just increase your income. You need to WORK HARD FOR IT. I wish I could put that on a billboard or shout it out loud on a megaphone. You have to work hard and smart to make more money.
Let me explain.
I started working online in 2011 April/May. By August, I had more than tripled my income. 2012 stagnated a bit due to a few issues so I earned nearly the same. In 2013 I doubled my 2012 income. In 2014 I have doubled my 2013 income per month.
How did I do it?
- Online courses – I started doing online courses towards the end of 2012 on blogging, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization, internet marketing e.t.c. I took both free and paid courses at 3-4 month intervals per course. I still do. Through these, I was able to multiply traffic to my site and market my products better.
- Self-hosting – I decided to self-host this blog, which as of that time was hosted by WordPress.com (it used to be accessed at freelancerkenya.wordpress.com). I now host this site at HostGator. With a self-hosted site you can do whatever you want without rules and restrictions.
- Email marketing – There is nothing in this world that converts better than emails. I started using AWeber for that. That’s where I get most cash from and that’s where I first sell all my products.
- Personal branding – In my first few months of online business, I used to be known by my username on different online sites. Clients wouldn’t call me in person, they would go to Fiverr (or any other site), look for a freelance writer and get akowally. He would do a good/bad job then they would review and forget about akowally. I decided to be Walter Akolo. Through my blog and social media profiles, I was able to craft my own name. I get more orders through my blog and Facebook than anywhere else at the time of writing this – as Walter!
- Follow the leader – It is good to follow the leaders in the market. You can’t claim to know everything. I personally always follow local and international blogs such as Quicksprout, Social Triggers, Alex Maina among others. This way I can easily tell what’s trending on the market that can help me increase my online income.
- Implement! Implement! Implement! – Don’t be the person who just says, learns but never does. When you learn something great, implement it immediately and to completion. For example, if you take Sheeroh’s transcription training, give yourself 3 months implementing what she teaches you. You can do some additional transcription research based on her training before taking my article writing and blogging training.
3. Increase your access to credit
How credit-worthy are you?
Yes, FreelancerKenya will teach you to make money online, save money online, borrow money online and even spend money online. Let’s have a life talk here.
I still remember when I was once caught up in a fix, went to different banks and realized that banks don’t recognize freelance writers. In short, even with 6 fat PayPal statements, I couldn’t access a loan which an employed person earning 1/3 my income could easily access. Sorry but that’s just the way it is.
Not to worry though!
Here is how to handle that:
- Join SACCOS (Savings and Credit Organizations) – There are many SACCOs out there that you can join. Here, whether you are employed, a freelancer or even a farmer, you can simply save your money then access 3 times the amount you’re saving as credit. E.g if you save 100k, you can borrow 3ook. You can get a loan after 6 months of saving. Some SACCOs have heavy barriers to entry. One that you can easily start with is Kapital Options Sacco. For more info call Zarina at 0725783018. Tell her Walter referred you. I also hear Stima SACCO is great. With a SACCO, it will be easy for you to borrow money and get it in a 1-3 days.
- Insurance packages – Protect yourself and your family by getting different insurance packages. Get health insurance, life insurance, education insurance, pension packages etc. from an insurance company. I usually get financial advise from Lisa Muthoni. You can call her at 0722869586. She is an accredited insurance consultant. She has an excellent eBook that you can buy and learn how to manage and increase your finances. If you hold an insurance package for more than 3 years, you will be able to take loans from the insurance company and repay at your leisure Tip: Pay quick lest you forget and don’t get your full benefits when the insurance matures.
- Chamas – Are you part of a chama? These force you to save money. For example, if you are 12 in a chama and you each pay 5k monthly, you will be getting 60k when your turn comes. Let’s face it. It’s not that easy to do much with little cash. But with 60k at once you can do a lot. The chama model combines both saving and borrowing. When your turn comes (when you receive the cash) it’s like you take a loan. When it’s other people’s turn it’s like you’re paying it off.
- Buy assets – With your savings/loans above, start buying assets. In Kenya you can never go wrong with real estate. Buy pieces of land at different strategic places. They can range from 50k to millions. Make sure they are legitimate. Depending on your level of income you can even develop property e.g. housing units. It’s okay to buy a car when you can afford it (not first priority). At the end of the day, with assets you can easily borrow money from banks and financial institutions.
- Zidisha (online borrowing platform) – If you are completely at zero with zero assets and no way of accessing credit, you can feel free to join Zidisha, an online lending platform. All you need is a Facebook account and a few referrals to get a loan. You can get a loan of as little as 4k to as much as Sh. 862,470. Tip: Don’t only take a loan to pay rent, fees or to sort an emergency. Take a loan to do something that will make you money. See how Zidisha works here. I have personally gotten two loans from them.
4. Automate and celebrate your achievements
So how do you automate?
There are a few things I refer to as automation in this post:
- Specialization – This is where you do something so well that you feel like it’s in your blood. You do it without thinking much. This is what I do in my PayPal withdrawal business. It works almost perfectly, without lots of effort or energy.
- Residual income – This is money you get without putting in as much effort. Money that you will still make even if you were in a comma for one month. This includes affiliate marketing, email marketing (partially) and having an online shop. Therefore if you are an academic writer, freelance writer etc., start thinking of other ways in which you can earn income without as much active effort. This will supplement your income and eventually can even become your main source of income.
- Automation tools – These are free and paid tools that help you do something that you would have done manually. I personally use Google ads, Facebook ads, an email marketing software, blog scheduler, text messaging apps etc for this purpose.
Motivation is very important in life. At the end of the day, you only live once, right? Therefore feel free to once in a while recline, go out and have fun with your online income. Whether it is going for a mutura hangout in the neighborhood or to Mombasa for a one week holiday, make sure you enjoy life in one way or another.
When you are out on holiday, your automation tools will do the work for you and bring you the money wherever you are. For example, I sell my first eBook, how to make real money online in Kenya through an email autoresponder. People receive the marketing email, send me the money wherever I am and I email them the book through my phone!
5. Help others
You get more so that you can give more.
Helping someone does not have to be for direct financial gain. Like the Swahilis say “Tenda mema, nenda zako” i.e. “Do good and go”. Somehow God finds a way to reward you.
I can tell you something from experience.
There is nothing such as someone who you helped making it in life. In fact if they MAKE IT BIG, you will have lots of people who market you without your knowledge. You will not have to drive traffic to your blog, it will come by itself.
Once again don’t be fooled to think that earning good money online is easy. It’s hard work. It’s being smart. It’s persistence. After all that sweat, use the tips above to ensure that you secure your online income so that it can help you and your future generations. As usual, let’s talk on the comments.