How to Make Money Online in Kenya with Your Phone

How to Make Money Online in Kenya with Your Phone

Imagine this: You’re sitting in a matatu, stuck in Nairobi traffic, scrolling through your phone.

But instead of just killing time, you’re actually making money.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, it’s not.

In fact, there are numerous ways to make money online in Kenya with your phone.

I’ve been in your shoes, searching for legitimate opportunities to boost my income without leaving the comfort of my home (or my phone, for that matter).

After years of trial and error, I’ve discovered 11 profitable methods that actually work.

In this post, I’ll share these strategies with you, complete with actionable steps to get started right away.

Whether you’re a student looking for some extra cash, a stay-at-home parent seeking flexible work, or just someone eager to diversify your income streams, there’s something here for you.

So, let’s dive in and turn your smartphone into a money-making machine!

What Makes These Methods Worth Your Time?

Before we jump into the list, let’s talk about what makes these methods stand out:

  1. Smartphone Accessibility: Each of these opportunities can be pursued primarily using your phone. No fancy equipment required.
  2. Profit Potential: These aren’t just ways to earn pocket change. With dedication and skill, these methods can provide substantial income.
  3. Viability in Kenya: I’ve specifically chosen methods that work well within the Kenyan market and economy.
  4. Low Entry Barriers: Most of these opportunities require minimal initial investment, making them accessible to a wide range of people.
  5. Scalability: Many of these methods allow you to start small and grow your earnings over time.

Now that we’re clear on what makes these methods worthwhile, let’s explore each one in detail.

1. Freelance Writing: Turn Your Words into Wealth

Freelance writing is my personal favorite way to make money online in Kenya using just my phone.


Because it’s flexible, in-demand, and can be incredibly lucrative if you play your cards right.

Here’s how to get started:

Identify Your Niche:

  • Choose topics you’re passionate about or knowledgeable in
  • Consider areas like technology, health, finance, or local Kenyan culture

Build Your Portfolio:

  • Start a blog or contribute to free platforms like Medium
  • Write sample articles in your chosen niche

Find Clients:

Set Your Rates:

  • Start with competitive rates (e.g., 500-1000 KES per 500 words)
  • Increase your rates as you gain experience and positive reviews

Deliver Quality Work:

  • Meet deadlines consistently
  • Proofread carefully (use apps like Grammarly)
  • Be open to feedback and revisions

Pro Tip: Specialize in writing about Kenyan topics or for Kenyan businesses. This local expertise can set you apart in a global market.

Remember, success in freelance writing doesn’t happen overnight.

It takes persistence and continuous improvement.

But with dedication, you can build a thriving writing career right from your phone.

2. Social Media Management

Today, social media management is a goldmine for smartphone-savvy Kenyans.

Businesses need help managing their online presence, and you can be the solution they’re looking for.

Here’s how to capitalize on this opportunity:

Master the Platforms:

  • Become proficient in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Learn about content creation, scheduling, and analytics

Develop a Strategy:

Build Your Own Presence:

  • Grow your personal social media accounts
  • Use them as a portfolio to demonstrate your skills

Offer Your Services:

  • Start with local businesses in your area
  • Use platforms like PigiaMe or Jiji to advertise your services

Set Competitive Pricing:

  • Research market rates (typically 10,000-50,000 KES per month per client)
  • Offer package deals for multiple platforms

Success Story: I started managing social media for a small Nairobi café.

Within three months, their Instagram following grew by 500%, and they saw a 30% increase in foot traffic.

This success led to referrals, and now I manage accounts for five local businesses, all from my phone.

Remember, social media management is about more than just posting content.

It’s about creating a strategy that aligns with the business’s goals and engages their target audience.

As you gain experience, you can expand your services to include paid advertising management and influencer collaborations.

3. Online Surveys and Microtasks

While not as lucrative as some other methods, online surveys and microtasks can provide a steady stream of pocket money with minimal effort.

And you can do them on your phone in Kenya!

Here’s how to make the most of this opportunity:

Sign Up for Reputable Platforms:

  • Swagbucks
  • Appen
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Premise (particularly good for Kenyans)

Complete Your Profile Thoroughly:

  • The more information you provide, the more surveys you’ll qualify for

Be Consistent:

  • Set aside time daily to check for new surveys or tasks
  • Even 30 minutes a day can add up over time

Diversify Your Platforms:

  • Don’t rely on just one site
  • Different platforms may have varying opportunities

Watch Out for Scams:

  • Never pay to join a survey site
  • Be cautious with personal information

Earnings Potential: While individual tasks may pay little (50-500 KES), consistent effort can net you 5,000-15,000 KES per month.

Pro Tip: Use downtime effectively. Complete surveys while commuting or waiting in line.

It’s not going to make you rich, but it’s a simple way to earn extra cash using just your phone.

4. Selling Products on Social Media: Turn Your Feed into a Store

Social media selling is booming in Kenya, and it’s a fantastic way to make money with your phone.

Whether you’re crafting handmade items or sourcing products to resell, your phone can be your storefront.

Here’s how to get started:

Choose Your Products:

  • Identify in-demand items (e.g., clothing, accessories, electronics)
  • Consider unique or locally-made products for a competitive edge

Set Up Your Social Media Shop:

  • Create business accounts on Instagram and Facebook
  • Use high-quality photos and compelling descriptions

Build Your Audience:

  • Use relevant hashtags (#MadeInKenya, #NairobiMarket)
  • Engage with potential customers through comments and DMs

Leverage Instagram Stories and Facebook Live:

  • Showcase products in action
  • Host live “shopping events”

Offer Excellent Customer Service:

  • Respond promptly to inquiries
  • Handle complaints professionally

Success Story: I started selling Ankara fabric phone cases on Instagram.

By consistently posting and engaging with my audience, I grew from 0 to 5,000 followers in six months.

Now, I make an average of 50,000 KES per month in sales, all managed through my phone.

Remember, success in social media selling is about more than just posting products.

It’s about creating a brand and building relationships with your customers.

Be authentic, responsive, and always prioritize customer satisfaction.

5. Mobile Photography and Stock Images

If you have an eye for photography, your smartphone can be a powerful tool to make money through stock images.

Kenya’s diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and unique wildlife provide endless opportunities for captivating photos.

Here’s how to turn your snapshots into cash:

Improve Your Mobile Photography Skills:

  • Learn about composition, lighting, and editing
  • Use apps like VSCO or Snapseed for professional-looking edits

Identify In-Demand Themes:

  • Local cuisine
  • Nairobi cityscapes
  • African wildlife
  • Traditional Kenyan culture

Sign Up for Stock Photo Platforms:

Understand Licensing and Rights:

  • Learn about different types of licenses
  • Ensure you have necessary permissions for recognizable people or private property

Consistently Upload New Content:

  • Aim for at least 10 new images per week
  • Pay attention to trending topics and seasons

Earnings Potential: While individual sales may be small (100-1000 KES per image), popular photos can sell hundreds of times, creating passive income.

Pro Tip: Focus on uniquely Kenyan themes. There’s high demand for authentic African imagery in the global market.

Remember, success in stock photography requires patience and persistence.

It may take time to see significant earnings, but once you build a substantial portfolio, it can become a steady stream of passive income.

6. Online Tutoring and Teaching

If you’re knowledgeable in a particular subject, online tutoring can be a lucrative way to make money with your phone in Kenya.

From academic subjects to language learning, there’s a growing demand for online educators.

Here’s how to get started:

Identify Your Area of Expertise:

  • Academic subjects (Math, Sciences, Languages)
  • Test preparation (KCSE, SAT, IELTS)
  • Skills (Programming, Digital Marketing, Writing)

Choose Your Platform:

Set Up Your Profile:

  • Highlight your qualifications and experience
  • Create a compelling bio that showcases your teaching style

Prepare Your Teaching Space:

  • Ensure good lighting and a quiet environment
  • Use a stable phone stand for video lessons

Market Your Services:

Earnings Potential: Rates vary widely, but skilled tutors can earn 1000-3000 KES per hour.

Success Story: I started tutoring high school students in Mathematics via WhatsApp video calls.

By offering flexible schedules and personalized attention, I quickly built a client base.

Now, I earn over 80,000 KES per month tutoring part-time, all from my smartphone.

Remember, online tutoring isn’t just about knowledge transfer.

It’s about building relationships with your students, understanding their learning styles, and adapting your teaching methods accordingly.

Patience, creativity, and excellent communication skills are key to success in this field.

7. App-Based Gig Economy Jobs

The rise of the gig economy has created numerous opportunities to make money with your smartphone in Kenya.

These app-based jobs offer flexibility and the ability to work on your own schedule.

Here are some popular options:

Ride-Sharing and Delivery Services:

  • Uber, Bolt, Little Cab for ride-sharing
  • Glovo, Uber Eats for food delivery
  • Sendy for package delivery

Task-Based Apps:

  • TaskRabbit (not yet in Kenya, but similar local alternatives may emerge)
  • Lynk for various services (plumbing, cleaning, etc.)


  • Airbnb for renting out spare rooms or properties

Freelance Services:

  • Ajiry for various short-term gigs

Here’s how to succeed in the gig economy:

a). Choose the Right Platform:

  • Consider your skills and available resources
  • Research which apps are popular in your area

b). Provide Excellent Service:

  • Prioritize customer satisfaction
  • Communicate clearly and professionally

c). Manage Your Time Effectively:

  • Use peak hours to maximize earnings
  • Balance multiple gigs if possible

d). Keep Track of Expenses:

  • Many gig economy jobs involve costs (e.g., fuel, data)
  • Track these for tax purposes

e). Build a Good Reputation:

  • Encourage positive reviews
  • Address any negative feedback promptly and professionally

Earnings Potential: Varies widely depending on the gig and time invested. Full-time drivers or delivery personnel can earn 30,000-80,000 KES per month.

Pro Tip: Diversify your gig economy involvement. For example, you could drive for Uber during peak hours and deliver food during off-peak times.

Remember, while gig economy jobs offer flexibility, they often lack the stability and benefits of traditional employment.

Plan for things like health insurance and savings on your own.

8. Affiliate Marketing: Earn Commissions from Your Recommendations

Affiliate marketing is a powerful way to make money online in Kenya using just your phone.

Essentially, you earn a commission for promoting other people’s products or services.

Here’s how to get started:

Choose Your Niche:

  • Select a topic you’re passionate about (e.g., fitness, technology, fashion)
  • Research popular products or services in that niche

Join Affiliate Programs:

Create Content:

  • Start a blog or YouTube channel
  • Use social media platforms (Instagram, TikTok, Facebook)
  • Focus on providing value, not just selling

Disclose Affiliate Relationships:

  • Be transparent about earning commissions
  • Build trust with your audience

Track Your Performance:

  • Use affiliate dashboards to monitor clicks and sales
  • Analyze which products and content perform best

Earnings Potential: Highly variable. Successful affiliates can earn anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000+ KES per month.

Success Story: A friend of mine started an Instagram account reviewing local Kenyan beauty products.

Thanks to honest reviews and partnering with brands through affiliate programs, she now earn an average of 50,000 KES per month in commissions.

Remember, success in affiliate marketing doesn’t happen overnight.

It requires building an audience that trusts your recommendations.

Focus on providing genuine value, and the sales will follow naturally.

9. YouTube Content Creation

Creating YouTube content is an excellent way to make money online in Kenya using your smartphone.

With the right approach, you can build an audience, monetize your channel, and even attract brand deals.

Here’s how to get started:

Choose Your Niche:

  • Identify topics you’re passionate about
  • Consider local interests (e.g., Kenyan cuisine, travel vlogs, tech reviews)

Create Compelling Content:

  • Use your smartphone to record high-quality video
  • Edit with apps like InShot or KineMaster
  • Focus on storytelling and providing value

Optimize for Search:

  • Use relevant keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags
  • Create eye-catching thumbnails

Engage with Your Audience:

  • Respond to comments
  • Ask for feedback and video ideas

Monetize Your Channel:

  • Join the YouTube Partner Program (requires 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch hours)
  • Enable ads on your videos
  • Explore other revenue streams like sponsorships and merchandise

Earnings Potential: Varies widely. Successful Kenyan YouTubers can earn anywhere from 20,000 to 500,000+ KES per month.

Pro Tip: Collaborate with other Kenyan YouTubers to cross-promote and grow your audience faster.

Remember, consistency is key in YouTube success.

Commit to a regular posting schedule and always strive to improve your content quality.

It may take time to see significant earnings, but with persistence, you can build a thriving channel and a loyal audience.

10. Virtual Assistant Services: Be the Remote Support Businesses Need

As more companies embrace remote work, the demand for virtual assistants has skyrocketed.

This presents a fantastic opportunity to make money online in Kenya using your phone.

Here’s how to get started:

Identify Your Skills:

  • Administrative tasks (email management, scheduling)
  • Social media management
  • Customer service
  • Data entry
  • Research

Set Up Your Online Presence:

  • Create a professional LinkedIn profile
  • Consider starting a simple website showcasing your services

Find Clients:

  • Use freelancing platforms like Upwork or Fiverr
  • Network on LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Join Facebook groups for virtual assistants and entrepreneurs

Define Your Services and Rates:

  • Start with competitive rates (e.g., 500-1500 KES per hour)
  • Offer package deals for ongoing work

Deliver Excellent Service:

  • Meet deadlines consistently
  • Communicate clearly and professionally
  • Go above and beyond to exceed client expectations

Earnings Potential: Entry-level VAs can earn 20,000-50,000 KES per month, while experienced VAs can make 100,000+ KES monthly.

11. Forex and Cryptocurrency Trading

Forex and cryptocurrency trading can be lucrative ways to make money online in Kenya using your phone.

However, they come with significant risks and require careful study and practice.

Here’s how to get started:

Educate Yourself:

  • Learn about forex markets and cryptocurrency basics
  • Understand technical and fundamental analysis
  • Practice with demo accounts before risking real money

Choose a Reliable Trading Platform:

  • Research forex brokers and crypto exchanges that operate in Kenya
  • Consider factors like fees, security, and user interface

Start Small:

  • Begin with a small amount you can afford to lose
  • Gradually increase your investment as you gain experience

Develop a Trading Strategy:

  • Set clear goals and risk management rules
  • Stick to your strategy even during market volatility

Stay Informed:

  • Follow financial news and market trends
  • Join trading communities for insights and support

Earnings Potential: Highly variable and risky. Successful traders can make substantial profits, but many also lose money.

Warning: Forex and crypto trading carry high risk. Never invest more than you can afford to lose.

Remember, successful trading requires discipline, emotional control, and continuous learning.

It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, but rather a skill that takes time and dedication to master.

Key Takeaways

Here are the main points to remember about making money online in Kenya with your phone:

  1. Diversify Your Income Streams: Don’t rely on just one method. Combine multiple strategies for more stable earnings.
  2. Invest in Skills: Continuously learn and improve your skills to stay competitive.
  3. Be Patient and Persistent: Success often takes time. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.
  4. Provide Value: Focus on offering genuine value to your clients, customers, or audience.
  5. Manage Your Time Effectively: Balance your online money-making activities with other responsibilities.
  6. Stay Legal and Ethical: Always operate within the law and maintain high ethical standards.
  7. Reinvest in Your Business: Use some of your earnings to improve your tools, skills, or marketing efforts.

Final Thoughts

The opportunities to make money online in Kenya with your phone are vast and varied.

From freelance writing and social media management to YouTube content creation and virtual assistant services, there’s something for everyone.

The key is to find methods that align with your skills, interests, and goals.

Remember, success in the online world requires dedication, continuous learning, and adaptability.

Start small, be consistent, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

With persistence and the right approach, your smartphone can become a powerful tool for financial growth and independence.

So, what are you waiting for?

Pick a method that resonates with you and take the first step towards your online money-making journey today!

FAQ Section

Q1: Do I need a high-end smartphone to make money online in Kenya?
A: Not necessarily. While a good smartphone can be helpful, most of these methods can be pursued with any smartphone that has a decent camera and can run common apps.

Q2: How much money can I realistically make online using my phone in Kenya?
A: Earnings vary widely depending on the method, your skills, and the time you invest. Some people make a few thousand shillings per month, while others earn full-time incomes. It’s important to set realistic expectations and be prepared to put in consistent effort.

Q3: Are these online money-making methods legal in Kenya?
A: Yes, all the methods mentioned in this article are legal in Kenya. However, always ensure you comply with relevant tax laws and regulations for your specific situation.

Q4: How do I avoid scams when trying to make money online?
A: Be wary of opportunities that promise quick riches or require upfront payments. Research thoroughly, read reviews, and trust your instincts. Legitimate opportunities will focus on your skills and what you can offer, not on how quickly you can get rich.

Q5: Can I pursue these online money-making methods alongside my regular job?
A: Absolutely! Many of these methods are flexible and can be done part-time. Start small and gradually increase your involvement as you see results.

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