It always seem impossible until you try it! Yes you can make a living online, even in a third world country like Zimbabwe.
I am going to show you five ways you can use to survive in this hard economy.
Disclaimer: First before we dive into anything, I just thought it fair to let your know, these ways are not any make money quick schemes and they definitely involve a lot of work in the beginning but once you are set up, you are going to thank me (that is assuming you did it the right way [wink emoji])!
Before I started my online journey, I had some wild dreams. Hearing the promises of the internet from a lot of people, being taken away by those quick online money guides (who hasn’t?) I wondered why everyone is not doing this? Like seriously, if you can make $2,000 in one night online, why would you do anything else? Little did I know of the journey that awaited me. I learned the hard way, trust me. Making money online in Zimbabwe or any African country is possible, but its not easy. No its not! You have to be willing to go the extra mile. Devote your time and look forward to no check for some time. I had to go a long waaay before I even got my first payout from online gigs, but I have learned there are ways we can use to speed up your first check. Lets get into it if you don’t mind…
1. The AdSense Way
This is the most common online way of making money for most Zimbabweans.
What is Adsense
Adsense in short is a platform from Google that helps you serve ads on your website. The plan is to simply make a website, about anything. Just find a niche you can focus on, most people advise on starting a website about things you are familiar and interested in maybe knitting or a blog about restaurants if you love food.
This is a great strategy, however its limiting to some of us. I have done a few blogs in the past and the ones that kicked of were not necessarily my interests. They were niches I had seen a way to exploit because there wasn’t enough big competition. You can always do research online of the strategy you use (thank Google, we can all be expects now).
Once you have chosen a niche/topic to focus on, the next thing is to create a website. You can hire services like WH.co.zw, or if you would like to do it on your own. Click here to learn how to create your own website from scratch and attract your first traffic. If you choose to do it on your own, you will need a domain (i.e youraddress.com) you can buy this online for US$10-15 depending on the company you choose to buy from. Once you have your domain, its time to buy hosting, which is explained here. You can buy these two (domain + hosting) from the same company. Then you will need a blog.
Once you have a website running, that is with a few posts, its time to apply for Google Adsense. Applying is easy (follow this link), however Google doesn’t usually approve websites less than six months or with few or poor content! After you are approved it time to set up Google ads to run on your site. If you are not approved don’t fret, we have four more ways, lets move on…
2. Affiliate Marketing
This is the trickiest of them all. Yet its the most paying if you do it right.
Affiliate marketing is more like physical marketing, where you go to teenagers selling services of a game company, because they are the most likely age to be interested. If you sell insurance to them you are just wasting your time!
I hear your question. How do I do it online?
Its much simpler now that you have a website, much much simpler if its on WordPress. All you have to do is sign up to companies that sell products that will likely be of interest to your audience. An example of affiliate marketing is HERE. We know our audience is mostly interested in starting a website, so we write blogs that give true and genuine advise on how to do this. At the same time selling other company services. Links included in most of our posts, include affiliate links. What happens every time you or someone click the link and sign up for services offered, is simple, WE GET PAID! We also offer the same program to people who may be interested in selling our services. Contact us at [email protected] to learn more.
3. Sell Goods and Services
Now that you have learned two of the most common ways of making money, they are common because as you can see, they are pretty much easy and cheap to start. Once you have a blog, which you can get from companies like WH.co.zw, for a mere $60 there is not much you need to pay for.
However, selling goods and services is different. You need goods or services to sell. Sometimes you need an office or warehouse. If you are going to be big, you may need authorization from different players. But don’t fret, you can start small and deal with what comes later.
Assuming you already have the goods to sell, Zimbabwe has been blessed with popular classified websites. Websites that are dedicated to selling goods and services from people like you for free. Sites like classified.co.zw and ownai.co.zw are a starting place for anyone who is serious. All you need to do is sign up, upload pictures of your products, add price and boom you are good to go.
Its that easy, but sadly if you are not selling second hand goods or goods at killer prices, you may find it daunting. You need to do more. Sometimes you may choose to do it on your own. The favorable route for most brands that want to maintain a relationship with their customers is through creating their own store online.
You are much more effective selling on your own branded website, branded to your taste. We can create a professional e-Commerce site for your company at affordable rates. Get a quotation here. E-Commerce maybe a bit costly in the short run, but a good strategy for those who are looking to sustain themselves in the long run.[To get a good look at how e-Commerce is doing in Zimbabwe, read this article.]
4. Join Freelance Communities
Freelance communities, are websites that offer an opportunity for people in different trades to make money.
Assuming you have an always connected network, there are no limits. The most popular community is freelancer.com and fiverr.com. If you have any skill at all, if you can write an article, make a website, design graphics (there are a lot of sites dedicated to graphics, fiverr.com is one), even as big as making an application, you are set to start making money.
Now the only big problem with these communities is being a newbie sucks! They are based on ratings and to get ratings you need to have done some gigs. Imagine starting out with zero ratings, competing for a gig with someone who has a 4.5 rating from 350 people? Not so good.
There are ways to get past this, like sponsoring your bid, getting a few friends to hire and rate you. Its not much but its a start.Your start there is definitely not going to be lovely, but if you are patient enough your luck will strike.
5. Leverage Social Media / Influencer Marketing
This one may be classified under Affiliate marketing, but there is a big difference to the marketing I have mentioned earlier. I have decided to let it have its own point because instead of signing up for affiliate marketing and getting a type of code in the form of URL (website address) or discount code like we do. Brands approach you this time.Well its not always the case, but once I explain it you get what I am saying.
Basically everyone you know and their uncles are on social networks these days. They may not be on Facebook, but they are definitely on WhatsApp, okay maybe Twitter? With this in mind a lot of brands are trying to reach their audience in any way possible using the various social networks available. I take it in Zimbabwe the most popular one is Facebook, so I will be basing most of my examples on it.
A lot of people are making a living out of making use of their popularity on Facebook to attract brands that they will showcase to their fans. Yes even in Zimbabwe, examples include comedy skit makers like Bustop, the new lady on the scene Madam Boss, Comic Pastor. You don’t need to be viral to leverage social media. But you have to be interesting to get attention from followers and brands.
Twitter is for the most talkative, keep your fingers on that keyboard and fire as many 140 characters as you can. Instagram is for your perfect pictures, post as many as you can and follow as many people as you can.
The beautiful thing about Instagram is that it has one of the highest follow back rate you can ever get. Tag and DM accounts share the same content as your profile, if your pictures are great they may share for free or for a price. So basically this strategy is for the ones who are dedicated and it pays off well.
Some people resort to buying fake followers for cheap, however I urge against this because you are literally buying non existing followers as these accounts are not active. Brands may notice, they want to advertise where the conversation is and where they can notice a possibility of Return on Investment.
Facebook is becoming a little blurred on what you can focus on, but live videos seem to be doing well even in Zimbabwe! (Please note, I am generally summarizing in order to keep this post at readable length for a full prognosis on the strategies to get more followers click here.)When you have a large following usually over 5 thousand, you can start promoting other accounts and get deals from brands. You may need to advertise your services on your account and other places to let potential brands know.
So there you have it ladies and gents, five real ways and strategies you can make a living online in Zimbabwe. Let us know what you think works best for you. Leave any questions in the comment section, I will try to reply all.