Meet Martha Ngaruye, an unstoppable new freelance writer from Uganda.
She just joined my training last month and she’s now already earning $400+ weekly from a long-term client. Note that she’s not even through with the training yet. What’s more? She only sent 8 proposals and landed 3 jobs from them.
How did she do it?
Check out this interview I just did with her. Don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know what you think.
Interview with Martha Ngaruye, a successful new freelance writer
How was your life before you got into online writing?
I was self employed, dealing in the sale of virgin human hair extensions, bags, shoes and clothes for women and babies. I sold any fashionable item I could get my hands on at a discounted rate (I still do this by the way).
I have been operating this online. I buy stock from UK and US online stores then sell via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
After giving birth to my beautiful daughter last year in December, my life changed. I was not able to deliver to clients. Generally, I had less time to run my online boutique business.
I found myself home 24/7 taking care of my baby. I am strongly against hiring nannies, so I had to do it all myself.
Describe your challenges and what eventually led you to become a writer?
Some of the challenges I faced include:
- Clients who would buy my boutique items on credit and take ages to pay or never pay at all
- High costs of running an online boutique. These included transport, airtime, data and shipping costs among others. As much as the profits were good, it would take long to sell everything and break even.
- No office job. I graduted in 2014 with a Bachelors of Business Computing at Makerere University Business School (Uganda). But, my dear, getting regular jobs was and still is very hard. I cannot count the number of times I have applied for them in vain.
Earlier this year, I met a Kenyan gentleman who was kind enough to tell me about the online writing business. He told me his wife was doing it, so he arranged for us to link up.
That was the turning point in my career life. I met the lady, Mercy. She was so humble and patient.
I went with my baby to meet her :). You know how babies can be a handful – crying and throwing tantrums every second – but she warmly welcomed us to her home.
She taught me the basics of freelance writing and showed me some sites like iWriter. Unfortunately she had to go back to Kenya to see her family, so I didn’t get another chance to sit down with her for training.
After that day, I hardly slept. Day and night I was always on my phone searching for online jobs in vain. I signed up to iWriter but I stopped at that. I have never done any work there.
Most clients in iWriter put me off. For example you find a job post, take your time to read it and bam! At the end of the job post you read something like “DONT WRITE THIS – ONLY MY FAVORITE WRITER SHOULD WRITE). Really?
Then I joined ClixSense. Here you click on adverts to get paid $0.05cents. You can imagine how many adverts I had to click on just to get just $1. Martha has seen crazy days! haha ????????
It was during my usual searches on Google that I found your blog, FreelancerKenya. I think at that time I was looking for online jobs in East africa. The information I found on your blog was so insightful.
I stalked you in Facebook ???? and joined your groups. I first joined your free online course and later the paid training. The rest is history.
400 dollars per week is impressive for a beginner. How exactly did you land that client? Feel free to tell us more about the job.
During the first week of the training, I signed up to Upwork and sent 5 proposals.
I was scared of sending proposals because I had read about how Upwork closes accounts of freelancers who apply for so many jobs without getting hired. I got help from your team to set up a great profile and understand how Upwork proposals work.
The first job I got earned me $4. This was a great achievement. At least someone noticed me and was impressed by my proposal. This encouraged me to apply for more jobs.
After 3 more proposals I finally landed on a second client. She sent me 2 articles to work on as a sample. Guess what? I nailed them and she paid me $10 on the spot, which I did not expect.
She sent the samples to her team and they loved my work. That night I won myself a contract to deliver weekly work that would earn me $400. To top it up, I can earn more than $400 if I deliver more work. So my pay is up to me. The more I work, the more I earn.
This was a dream come true. I give God the glory for his endless blessings.
What Upwork hacks would you want to share with new writers?
- Your profile should be professional, aim for at least 95%. Use a presentable profile picture, set a reasonable hourly rate, such as $10 per hour for newbies. There are many clients who are looking for freelancers with low/medium rates thus you should start small to take advantage of them. Steadily increase your rate as you gain more experience.
- Create a new, unique proposal for each job post. It should always be in line with the job description. Do not copy and paste, that’s a bad mistake. Take time to read the job post so that you don’t miss any important information. Keep that in mind when applying.
- Make use of filters. You can type your country under search. Sometimes they post jobs for freelancers in a specific country, so competition is not tight. In such jobs, you have a 90% chance that your proposal will be picked up.
What’s your opinion on the Complete Freelance Writing Course?
This course is the best I’ve ever had!
I remember when I first joined your mailing list. I wanted to join your training but I kept postponing it.
Until that day when you sent that straight-shooting email on ” how to cure the newbie syndrome”. I decided to join immediately. Walter, you were so happy to train me despite the fact that I’m not Kenyan.
I get prompt responses on all my (very) many questions. The course has incredibly useful information and it’s not rocket science. You just have to follow instructions, which are clear and straightforward.
The training uses experts from PenStars.com to assess content. What do you think about PenStars?
PenStars is awesome. Without it, in my mind I would still be a newbie.
I learnt so much from it in just one week. I acquired writing skills from the training and I was able to write my first article, which was later given a great score (80%) by the team at PenStars after 3 revisions.
I now use this as my sample article when applying for writing jobs.
How has your life changed after this training?
I honestly can not say I am the same person I was before the training. I have learnt so much and I’m still learning. In fact, I’m just 55% into the training.
Without the training, I would still be on my phone looking for online jobs. I can’t even believe that I’m now earning $400+ per week working from home.
Any final advice to new writers?
Have confidence in yourself. Research as much as possible about freelancing and writing. Follow people who have been in the field for sometime and have experience like Walter Akolo, Bamidele Onibalusi, Danny Margulies, Jorden Roper and Mathew Woodward among others.
Do not give up or get discouraged. The freelancing world has limitless opportunities, you just have to look in the right direction.
Great interview Martha. I’m so proud of you. This is such a great start. I have no doubt that you’ll go far as a writer. Keep going.
What have you learnt from Martha?
That’s a good start. I was that good too until i was given Saas article. hapo ndio nlijua bado mimi ni newbie.hehe
This was inspiring.
Oh this is inspiring, I’m new in this field but am sure that with consistency I’ll be among the best.
Sure, Zacky. Take massive action.
Wow! Am already feeling like Martha, am new into writing and am looking forward to being the best with your guide and numerous trainings.
Great, Jane! I love that positive attitude!
Wow, Martha’s journey to successful writing is so inspiring and encouraging. Massive Congratulations Martha.
I subscribed to your e-mailing list in 2019 and that was it. I never did anything about it until three weeks ago when I purposed to pursue aggressively. I signed up for the Free Writers’ Pack and am already done. I am now in the process of signing up for the One Month Paid Training.
Thank you so much Walter, already learnt a lot – Can’t wait to begin my course soon.
Thanks, Monicah! Happy to walk this journey with you!
This is so inspiring Martha, This is my second week in training. I don’t have a writing background and was wondering how I would hack and start earning from article writing.
You have greatly inspired me and I have learned that a great article can come from your current environment. Thank you, Martha.
As for Walter, thank you such much for the training. You give hope of a brighter future to aspiring future writers. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity. May Almighty God bless you in excess of his abundance.
I love how you write. You have such a bright future ahead. Keep doing your best!
Thanks for your kind words. God bless you too immensely!
Thanks for sharing. It’s so inspiring and encouraging. Upward and forward only!
Thank you Walter for stepping in and helping her and others to make it through freelancing. Keep doing matching and may the LORD bless you richly.
If Martha could earn $400 besides taking care of her baby then I can do it. This is my biggest dilemma at the moment since I’m not into the house helps thing.
Congratulations you have truly inspired me.
Always a pleasure!
Martha’s testimony and story is heart moving.
I was just wondering how a super article looks like and you just shared it. I even got the second thing I should be writing about while reading her article.
Yes! I am yet to pen down my first try since I am still gathering as much information as I can. But then, here I got my other reason to push on towards freelance writing career.
If anyone else can do, I can do it. That’s my philosophy of life. So these kind of testimonies keep on telling me that I surely can.
Thanks for sharing.
Always welcome, Jackson!
I am so impressed with Martha’s story. Her circumstances led her to succeed in writing. I am blessed.
Glad it inspired you!
Martha, your story is inspiring. You are giving the less fortunate, with writing skills, a great hope in venturing into freelance writing.
The more the hard work, the more the earnings!! I loved that. This will keep me moving.
Mr. Akollo. Joining you soon. God’s blessings!!
Great. Let’s start soon. God bless you Laan.
That is encouraging Martha. I can attest that the Freelance writing course is what every beginner in online writing requires to start on a safe footing.
Martha that was encouraging, I am moving forward from searching to training and getting in to practice, I can’t imagine there is someone like me, I have searched and searched I even tried ClixSense and I was never able to reach the target to withdraw.
Now on Walter’s Training
This is quite inspiring , thank you for giving me hope and to have faith that i will make it at the end of the training.
Perfect! this is so inspiring, i now believe, being passionate and taking the training seriously we can all be like Martha! no human is limited.
Above all put God first and you will forever see his blessings.
Am so encouraged by Martha story ,I guess passion is key.
Bravo to Martha for the exemplary work she has been doing.I admire her zeal.To you Walter,I admire your selflessness expressed by your sacrifice to train others.May God bless you.I have been reading your mails and intend to join in your training soon.Am completely new in this and would like to try.
Thanks Anastacia. You can do this! God bless you too.
Martha’s story is awesome and quite encouraging. Mr. Akolo where do I start then?
I must admit, Martha’s story is both captivating and inspiring. It’s as if I was sited with the both of you listening to her share her story. I can feel the joy she has for having bumped into your course work. And the fact that she ‘stalked’ you on Facebook –hahahaa– just so she could find a way out is quite hilarious.
Her struggle to try other sources for online jobs clearly depicts the struggle most of us face out here.
Walter you’re really doing a good job. I have postponed this opportunity long enough and now I’m ready to dive in tonight. May the good Lord guide my journey.
Thank you so much, Laryx.
Yes, it was such a struggle. I’m happy she put in the required effort and made it.
Welcome on board! Do your very best. It will be a pleasure sharing your success story one day.
God bless you immensely.
There’s one thing Martha has mentioned that I need to do right away … adding my country on the job search filter on Upwork. I hope I’ll land a job that way 🙂
Thanks for this inspiring story, Martha and Walter.
Try it out and feel free to let us know how it goes.
The story of Martha is quite inspiring. The confidence she exudes tells you that indeed, it’s worth going for it.
I believe anyone who wants to persue writing just needs to read this piece of encouragement.
It’s worth a try.
Thanks Walter and Martha.
Thank you! Glad it encouraged you.
I’m quite thrilled by what I just read here.
hey, Walter, it happens to be that my elder brother joined article writing through a Kenyan friend here at Mbarara University in Uganda. having tried a couple of times and got cheated I was biased about the idea so I told him it was just another scum. after a week of writing articles as a ghostwriter he earned his first payout of $50to his bank account and I had to also give it a second thought, after all, there is no business without losses, however, this time around I would like to try it when I’m a bit prepared than before that’s why would like to take up your course however if possible I would like you to kindly state for me the price in $ because it is easier for me to convert to Ugandan shillings. I’ve spent quite a lot of time trying to find ways of earning some extra money as I study here at the campus such that I can save more money to enable me to enrol for my second-degree ounce I finish this financial accounting degree in 2020. I’m looking forward to enrolling for a bachelors degree in forensic science as soon as I complete this course but that will only be possible if I start saving now yet I have no source income so I have decided to invest in your course and dedicate much time about learning it so that I can start you never know what may come my way.
I have no Paypal account so I would prefer to use another means of payment that could facilitate transacting from Uganda to Kenya. thank you.
I’m looking forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.
Thanks for your comment. It’s true that people are earning well in this field.
The price is currently $40 (though the price keeps going up with time).
I’ve had many Ugandan trainees. They pay me via M-PESA. I hope you have some access as well.
Feel free to email me for more on this.
This is impressive. I am more confident that I can make it. Making plans to join the training soon. God bless you.
Awesome, Angela. I’ll be happy to see you making it in this awesome profession.
I joined a joined called ‘ branded surveys’ but got a problem with postal code or zip code. So, what is my zip or postal code ?
Your post office must have a code e.g. GPO is 00100.
First of all, i want to congratulate Martha for taking the bold step to tale up the training. Secondly, I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the selflessness that you have. Am a high school teacher with a lot of interest in writing as away of making an extra coin . I have tried Transcribe Me,Academia-research, Uvocorp etc but I have never gone past the start up page. I am really interested in online writing and would to follow your tutelage. How do i go about it.
Happy to help.
Note that I personally do freelance (article) writing, not academic.
You can learn more about that here http://freelancerkenya.com/money-online/how-to-make-money-online-in-kenya-as-a-freelance-writer/
This is very inspiring especially for me. I worked for three months for someone who disappeared with my money. I have just emailed Walter out of desperation. With this, i am ready to get the training i need.
Congratulations to Martha…just aim higher, even sky should not be your link!!!
To Walter:you are truly a blessing to humanity!
I am really inspired by your job,be blessed and keep up the good job!!!
Thank you so much Sora.
Thanks Vivien for your comment. I’m really crushed to know what you went through.
Sure, I’ll be happy to train you in article writing any time. Check out my training details here http://FreelancerKenya.com/training
That’s great Martha,it’s an opener,I believe I can do something just by squeezing my time
Glad she inspired you. Now do your best to implement what you’ve learnt.
Congratulations Martha, That is very encouraging. I am also in that state as Walter was starting, I am employed but still over burdened by debts while trying different business that end up disappointing. I really want learn how to write and hopefully start earning online. I find myself currently in a state that i am not able to raise 4000 to start this training but with you Walter but i will keep on following and learning and i believe just you Martha i will get there.
Sure, I’ll be happy to train you.
I am deply moved by Martha’s progress and i will work to my best knowledge until i succeed
Sure, John. Have the right mindset and do your very best.
Wow…this is impressive. I am more confident that I can make it. Making plans to join the training soon. I am getting positive insights in your post Walter. I always look forward for them. God bless you.
Congratulations Martha. Thank you for the good job you’re doing Walter. May God bless you abundantly.
Amen. God bless you too Stanley.
Thank you for the share.
.explicitly she has given an idea on how to walk the way.
Dear Walter, am moved by Martha’s journey as narrated here. I am three days into the course and such stories inspire me to work even harder as there are living examples out there.
Thanks again for inspiring some of us. I will do my part.
Great, Nickson. Keep doing your best.
hello walter ,I have walk along on this journey since 2014,I must say bravo the good job.I have a website featuring amazon products.where will I get enough traffic considering a lot of product don’ t have amazon store in kenya . please look at my website and whether there is any thing I missed.my url is
Amazon affiliate marketing is heavily dependent on both Amazon and Google. For that reason, I don’t personally do it, since I avoid having a business that is purely dependent on other businesses. You can google for tips on how to do it well. All the best.
i have read above comments of successful writers. myself i have no finances in my pocket and i come from humble family with little. i had applied a free training support from you great Walter i December 2017 and since then i have been waiting for your comment. please help to raise my concern and i won’t forget your service. please help me. MAY GOD BLESS YOU.
Thanks for your comment.
Sorry for the situation you’re facing. All will be well soon.
I see you’ve been receiving my free, email-based guidance. Feel free to respond to any email in case of queries.
God bless you too.
A great interview,insightful and very encouraging. I feel confident that I can also do it just like Martha.I liked her determination and made it already! Congratulations Martha,keep up the spirit.Am going to follow your footsteps!
Mr Zakayo Oilepu my highschool Chemistry teacher ,industrious and determined.you can do better
Yes, Zakayo. She’s doing really well. You can also get there and beyond!
A great source of inspiration. Well done Martha for your courage and determination. This will be an eye opener to many. Walter you are a true African son and very generous.
Keep on reaching out to train many.
Dear Walter, This is the second week that I have been reading your articles. I find them very informative!
Am soon retiring and thinking off joining your training. I hope to put my laptop into good use through writing.
Keep it up!
I’m honored to know you’ve been reading my articles for 2 weeks!
I’ll be happy to train you whenever you’re ready.
This story is so encouraging especially judging by the fact that Martha used to effortlessly bid for jobs online at very low rates and now she’s earning more. Am looking forward to engaging myself into the world of writing soon enough because its an enjoyment activity whereby you earn some cash from the comfort of your home.
Indeed David. You can get there too.
Can you provide the link to the Upwork Profile of Martha if its still active?
That could help validate the claims in this article and also boost your business.
In such big blogs, you can’t go displaying such private links. I’ve displayed mine before and that led to many people inboxing me in freelancing platforms such as Fiverr asking questions like “teach me how to do ABCD” or even in Sheng i.e. “Hii site sielewi manze, ebu nisort”. That’s inappropriate to ask in such platforms.
So it only makes sense to keep such links private…not just here in FreelancerKenya but any other blog worldwide (you’re free to check).
However, there are many reviews of my course all over that you can check for legitimacy reasons. Some of the top bloggers and writers in the country have actually gone through this course and made it!
This story is so inspiring! i have to think of deciding to embark on my new journey
Sure, you can start the great journey, Zadock!
Very much impressed with this. Always enthusiastic with this writing job but i have no idea how and where to start. I am a college self sponsored student an really wish to fully venture into this.
Mr. Walter thanks to you in advance having enrolled to your links am now getting emails which while reading them, i get motivated and inspired very much.
Most welcome Geoffrey. Keep implementing what you learn.
This is very encouraging Martha. Soon i will be joining the training. I trust God that with hardwork and determination like Martha i will make it. This is great.