How was 2017 for you?
I bet it had its fair share of good and bad things, right?
The same happened in the online jobs/business world as well.
Below are a few highlights.
Hit #1: Cryptocurrencies shocked the world
Love it or hate it, cryptos were such a big hit in 2017.
Just take a look at bitcoin (BTC).
If you bought 1 bitcoin worth $994.80 on Jan 1st, 2017, you’d have sold it at $19,405.01 on 17th Dec, 2017. That’s 19.5 times the buying price. Hardly does anything else come close.
Apart from bitcoin, there are many other cryptos that hit the roof in late 2017 such as Ripple and Litecoin.
Was it a hit or not? Definitely a big hit. After all, the value of one bitcoin went up 19.5 times in 12 months. Other cryptos even went over 500% in a matter of days.
What’s the predicton for cryptos in 2018?
Volatile. According to Julian Hosp, bitcoin could hit $60,000 in 2018.
Other experts will tell you not to buy.
Same things being said about all cryptocurrencies. I personally think they’re here to stay, though. The value may keep going up and down then settle at some point. The tech is tight as you’ll realize from a little bit of googling.
Do your own research and make your own decisions. If you decide to buy, excercise utmost financial wisdom. Don’t take a loan to buy. Don’t invest anything you cannot afford to lose. If you’re unsure, don’t invest at all.
Noah Kagan, a leading online entrepreneur once said that out of all his savings, he only uses 5% for such calculated risks. If a multi-millionaire only puts that much thought in such, then consider being extra-cautious.
Hit #2: Upwork made awesome changes (e.g. the introduction of MPESA)
When Upwork started making some funny changes, guys were annoyed! All of a sudden it was rejecting profiles for no good reason. It also started suspending profiles that were bidding a lot but not getting jobs (seriously?). People complained.
I still don’t like how Upwork rejects profiles or suspends people’s accounts. I hope it somehow finds a balance so that the good are not locked out with the bad.
Another great change in Upwork, especially for Kenyans, came on Feb 14th, 2017 when Upwork added MPESA as a payment method. That was a dream come true for many of us who’d been asking for it. For this reason, many Kenyans feel like this is one huge international corporation that really values them. As you can see in my Upwork review, it’s really an awesome site.
What’s the prediction for Upwork in 2018?
Great perks for the wheat, stricter measures for the chaf.
Upwork is keen on ensuring that good freelancers and clients get the best value from the site. It wants to retain it’s status as the world’s biggest freelancing website.
It will continue rewarding great freelancers with perks like the Top Rated Status, lower fees, more job invites, training sessions and many other yummy things.
On the other hand, fraudsters, unskilled freelancers and those who don’t properly master how to get jobs using its system will have an even harder time. My biggest problem with this is that sometimes even first-rate freelancers get caught in the cross-hairs.
Should you freelance in Upwork? Yes. It’s okay to start there. But don’t let it be your main hustle. Strive to get your own direct clients so that in case of anything, your income streams don’t run dry. Also direct clients tend to pay way higher than the clients you’ll get through freelancing websites.
Hit #3: Freelance writing earned people thousands of dollars
This came as a shock to many! In 2017, writers soared to some of the highest heights ever. For a long time, people assumed that most freelance writers were being paid peanuts in sites like iWriter.
I’ve kept saying that there were freelance writers earning 6-7 figures in Kenya shillings (equivalent to 4 to 5 figures in dollars) and guys thought I was insane. But in 2017, many proved them wrong. Just check out the testimonials below:
- Johnson got to $1,268 just a few months after getting trained
- Martha went from beginner to $400 per week in one month
- Nick built his writing business to $2,793 in a month
- Richard made $3,558 in his first month of freelance writing
- Yassir went from $140 to $350+ per week
There were many other guys who shared their stories with me in private. Some were earning between $4,000 and $7,000 per month. Isn’t that amazing?
What’s the prediction for freelance writing in 2018?
It will go up and up and up. We live at a time where nearly half of the top 10 billionaires in the world are online entrepreneurs. Where Jeff Bezos (owner of Amazon) is currently the richest man in the world (at the time of writing this). All these huge online corporations will need content. And freelance writers will eat a decent piece of the pie 🙂
Hit #4: Videos were dancing all over our screens
Video is exploding. People don’t just want to read stuff anymore, they want to see it in video. Online marketers are all being advised to consider some form of video marketing. YouTube is huge. Facebook videos are blowing through the roof (and now actually being monetized).
What’s the prediction for video in 2018?
As the internet keeps getting cheaper and faster, more and more people will be able to upload and access videos.
Should you do video? Yes you should. It’s a trend that will keep going up.
Hit #5: Online courses by seasoned veterans were huge
Look around you. In fact, read this post again. You’ll note that things are all moving online. Our parents raised us to work offline in banks, hospitals, law firms etc. Later on the internet boom came in and right now the top billionaires are internet moguls.
Schools aren’t training people to make money online. It’s other people who’ve figured it out. The future is actually online. It’s the new oil rush. The new gold rush. People need to be trained.
We saw very many courses coming up in 2017. As demand increased, the prices of those courses kept going up. Soon many will be opting to just go for some online course and start earning online.
Here at FreelancerKenya, we currently have two courses:
What’s the prediction for online courses in 2018?
These will also skyrocket. After all, the richest people worldwide are doing online business. This means that our children will actually be thriving in online businesses. Since no school is teaching these things, individual trainers and consultants will be in high demand.
I’d never imagined that I’d see online courses by individuals going for $3,997+ but now they’re there. In years to come they’ll even get to 5 or 6 dollar figures as the trainers and trainees start getting into the billions realm.
Should you start an online course? Yes. But only if you’re really good at what you’re doing. The success and demand of a course is highly dependent on the number of successful trainees.
New technologies will also skyrocket and bring in the world’s first trillionaires in a few years to come. These include emerging and “disruptive” technologies like robotics, Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology and blockchain.
In the freelancing world, apart from freelance writing, other skills like transcription, virtual assistance, web design, video editing among others will keep going up as well.
Miss #1: Amazon affiliate marketing can be good, but…
…it was a big miss in 2017.
Yes, Jeff Bezos of Amazon may be the richest man alive today. He may also have one of the world’s biggest affiliate marketing networks. And just like any other big business, he’s trying to ensure that all affiliates do the right thing.
Since the affiliates are many and others joining in thick and fast, Amazon has had to make big changes that made it hard for new affiliates in 2017.
Most Amazon affiliate sites are heavily, heavily dependent on Google. This makes it double tragedy – being dependent on Amazon and Google. If you don’t play by the rules of either big players, you lose out big-time. Since both players keep changing their rules often, it’s hard to always play by their books.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still an insanely profitable business venture. Unconfirmed reports state that the top earning Kenyan doing this earns over 3 million shillings ($30,000) per month. However, getting to the top (or even to $1,000 per month) is getting harder and harder for new affiliates.
What’s more, it’s a business with many expenses. Getting your site ranked on Google for the right keywords and still having exceptional content that drives people to take action is no mean feat my friend.
What’s the prediction for Amazon affiliate marketing in 2018?
More affiliates will want to join. Amazon will be stricter. Google will be stricter. In the end, it will be even harder for new affiliates. Old affiliates may get tired and start selling their sites.
Those who manage to play by the rules of both Amazon and Google will continue earning very well since Amazon is growing thick and fast.
Those who can’t will be forced out. They’ll have to create other long-term businesses that are not heavily dependent on others.
Should you become an Amazon affiliate? If it’s your dream, go for it. But don’t make it your main hustle. And if it’s currently your main hustle, start building another one that you’ll have full (or almost full) control of.
Miss #2: Ajira did not create all those jobs
The Ajira platform was created by the Kenyan government to help people get into online work. It was launched towards the end of 2016.
Noble as the idea may have been, the project was not properly rolled out. See, if as a government you want to create online jobs, it doesn’t send people out to look for jobs in Upwork, iWriter and the other international freelancing websites.
That’s also a case of sending people to places you have no control of.
The best thing would have been to rally for government, private companies and other institutions to start employing people who work online. That would create jobs from within. We actually need many more online entrepreneurs. We need our own corporations the size of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix etc.
All these are online businesses employing thousands of people. If we can have that in Kenya, then we can create those thousands of jobs that Ajira was targeting.
What’s the prediction for Ajira in 2018?
There’s still hope. But only if the whole thing is restrategized. If not, then it may be just another stalled or failed government project.
Should you go for Ajira workshops? If you’re new and can’t afford to pay someone to train you, go for it. It’s free. But note that once you’re through with the course, you’ll just be back here in the jungle hustling. Therefore, if you can afford to spare a small amount for training by a seasoned expert, you’re better off paying for the course.
Miss #3: Public Likes (and other online scams)
This was probably the worst miss of the year. The only reason I place it at number 3 is the fact that most people already knew it was a scam, so they didn’t go for it. Those who went in blindly lost their hard earned money. Here at FreelancerKenya, I sent an email warning people about it before it collapsed. Glad you guys listened.
There were so many other such online scams in 2017. These promise you a huge predictable increase of income (like 1% per day) doing almost nothing.
What’s the prediction for online scams in 2018?
Online scams are always there year in, year out. Do your best to protect yourself from them. Don’t fall for the “invest what you’re willing to lose” line when it comes to known scams. Why? Because in such scams, you’re 1000% sure they’ll collapse.
That’s not the same as investing in, say, stocks. Stock prices can go down, but you don’t have to sell when they’re down. And you can always get back your cash (or a good percentage of it) if you wait. With scams, once you lose…well…you lose!
A few things which don’t look so promising in 2018 include:
- Sites that are not doing well such as iWriter and Freelancer
- Google AdSense sites
- Poor quality content (there will be so much great content available online that poor content will just seem completely off)
- Forex trading
- Data entry
Don’t just depend on predictions, test and optimize
I believe that 2018 will be a great year full of showers of blessings. If you want to go far this year, consider doing some of the things that are predicted to go far this year. You’re still free to try out Amazon and Ajira if you so wish, then share your personal results. Do NOT get into any scams. There’s no quick easy money.
In the business world, things change real fast. There will always be new surprises. Failing businesses sometimes get revived and do even better than ever before. Thriving businesses sometimes fail. Therefore as you check out these predictions, keep doing your own independent research and make your own decisions.
What were your hits and misses in 2017? Any predictions for 2018?