How to Earn Money Online and Get Paid Through M-Pesa

July 13th, 2023 by Felix Cheruiyot

How to Earn Money Online and Get Paid Through M-Pesa

Imagine working and earning money online, serving global clients, and getting paid directly to your M-Pesa mobile wallet! Well, it's possible. Learn how to earn money online and get paid through M-Pesa.

Search trends on Google show that more Kenyans find remote work attractive. Searches for online jobs and side hustles are trending up. This trend is not limited to Kenya; according to statistics from Forbes, 65% of workers want to be fully remote.

Among the benefits of working online is the opportunity to work with clients and companies you admire without being limited by location. Another is the freedom to choose working environments that stimulate your creativity.

In Kenya, people who prefer to earn money online also want to get paid through M-Pesa. And that is hardly surprising; M-Pesa has over 30 million users in Kenya, and practically every merchant accepts it as a payment method.

The challenge for many people is finding a viable job, side hustle, or business idea that allows them to earn money online and get paid through M-Pesa, especially if they are looking for such opportunities off-shore.

From my experience, there’s only one platform where Kenyans in different professions can earn a sustainable income and get paid straight into their M-Pesa mobile money wallets.

Want to know what that platform is? Read on.

How to earn money online and get paid through M-Pesa?

You can earn money online in various ways, and a few of these methods allow you to get paid through MPESA. We have previously written on some of these, but very few of them produce a sustainable income or cash out directly through M-Pesa.

This article is for skilled people looking for sustainable online jobs that can grow into their main hustles. From my experience, you improve your chances of building a lucrative career working online by choosing one online jobs platform you can build a presence on, and sticking with it.

As it happens, the largest freelance jobs marketplace also pays freelancers in Kenya directly through M-Pesa. This is a result of a partnership inked with M-Pesa and a recognition that Kenya has become a noteworthy source of freelance talent. That platform, which offers the best way to earn money online and get paid through M-Pesa, is Upwork.

I have been working online as a freelance writer for the last 6 years and have profiles on practically every freelance jobs platform, including those that cater exclusively to writers.

I made many mistakes during those 6 years, but my biggest regret is not trying Upwork sooner. Had I done that, I would certainly have earned more.

Don’t get me wrong, though; Upwork is not perfect. For one, even though they recently cut their fees in half, they still take too much from the money we earn through the platform.

But, with all considered and coming from someone who could write a book on the subject, Upwork is easily the best freelance platform out there, with hundreds of jobs posted daily and great privacy and income protection features for freelancers. That the platform also cashes out directly through M-Pesa is a bonus.

10 high-paying online jobs that pay through M-Pesa

online jobs that pay through M-Pesa

So what kind of online jobs can you find on Upwork?

The answer is practically every job you can do remotely or over the internet. The scope of these continues to grow. While IT, graphic design, and digital marketing are natural fits for remote work, expanding connectivity and the growing variety and application of digital communication and collaboration tools mean more jobs can now be done remotely.

Why are we recommending Upwork over local platforms?

A few local freelancer platforms have emerged to meet the needs of Kenyans looking for income opportunities online. Kuhustle and Nerdy Turtlez are a few of them. While these are viable options, especially for beginners, jobs posted there don’t pay as well, and there aren’t enough of them posted.

Another perk of working on a global platform like Upwork is that your earnings are in foreign currency. A stronger currency like the USD protects the value of your earnings in case of volatility in the value of the Ksh.

If you don’t think you have what it takes to compete for jobs on a global talent platform like Upwork, let the many other Kenyans earning a living there inspire you. If they can do it, you too can do it.

Here are 10 of the highest-paying online jobs that you can find on Upwork:

1. Copywriter

Do you have a way with words? If so, you can learn the art of copywriting, which is simply salesmanship in text or using words to convince, persuade, and sell. There is great demand for copywriters for content such as:

If you prefer writing less salesy copy, you can try your hand at SEO copywriting, which is writing content optimised around specific search phrases and designed to appeal to both human readers and search engines.

Read our guide on how to become a freelance writer to learn more about how to get started with online writing.

2. Editor

If you are a practising journalist or have worked in an editing capacity before, you could get a job on Upwork as an editor. Editors revise and polish written texts before they are published. As the amount of written content published online increases, the demand for editors will only grow.

If you learn how search engines work and rank content, you could also add on-page optimisation to your skills and find more work. Other complementary skills you can add that will boost your CV are proofreading, WordPress publishing, and keyword research.

Editors earn up to $40 an hour on Upwork, but you can live well in Kenya earning a quarter of that per hour. Here are some of the jobs you can apply for right now.

3. Mobile app developer

Some people are in their element writing computer code than articles and sales letters. If you are one of those people, you could do worse than working as a mobile app developer.

The mobile app craze may have quietened, but their developers still earn decent money. An entry-level mobile app developer on Upwork can earn $18 per hour, which is much higher than the average developer salary in Kenya.

Don’t have a degree in software engineering? You don’t need one as long as you can code, which can be learned. Speaking of that, Kotlin and Swift are some of the best programming languages to learn for a mobile app developer.

4. Social media manager

You are missing a trick if you spend hours on Facebook consuming other people’s content and helping it trend. You could be earning money doing that as a social media manager for brands and influencers.

A social media manager helps brands produce and promote their content on social media. They also moderate comments and manage the client’s communication to gain more followers, boost brand visibility, and promote it most positively.

5. Accountant

Accountants have traditionally worked in a physical office setup, but the role is evolving rapidly with the rise of e-filing and other digital tools that enable accounting tasks be completed virtually.

One of the oldest jobs in commerce, more companies are choosing to hire online accountants because of the cost savings remote work offers. This means an accountant in Kenya can now work for a company in Singapore, Canada, Australia, South Africa, or the USA, which opens up opportunities for more lucrative jobs.

6. Web designer

Web designers design new websites and update old ones with new features and fresher aesthetics. Both of these have never been in greater demand than they are now. To be taken seriously as a business, you must have a website, even before you incorporate.

While people with experience with JavaScript, Python, and SQL have a clear advantage, you don’t need to be an expert in those programming languages to find clients. Using pre-made themes and plugins, you can now design and publish a fully functional website without touching any code.

7. Web developer

how to make money online and get paid through M-Pesa

While web designers create the visual architecture that gives websites their form and look, web developers have a more broad skill set that can include coding. Basically, the code they write determines how well a website functions.

Web developers can focus on the front and backend processes that run a website. When you do this, you are known as a full-stack developer, a role that attracts higher-paying jobs.

There are hundreds of web designer jobs posted on Upwork every week. You can find Kenyan web developers crushing it on Upwork here.

8. SEO specialists

SEO is one of the most in-demand skills right now, with jobs posted on Upwork every other minute. SEOs analyse websites and content to identify weak points to improve so the business can rank high in search engines for search terms that bring more qualified traffic.

Thanks to the growth of the internet that has seen businesses doing most of their marketing online, SEO has grown into a multi-billion industry. As a result, you can now get a wide array of SEO jobs on Upwork, like technical SEO, on-page SEO, link building, mobile experience optimisation, and guest post outreach.

9. Virtual assistant.

Virtual assistants provide administrative and other support services to clients online. As it gets easier to work from home, on the go, and from remote locations, there is a corresponding surge in solopreneurs running entire businesses virtually and without a full-time staff.

These solopreneurs rely on virtual assistants to perform day-to-day office tasks like responding to emails, booking accommodation and travel tickets, organising their calendars, and scheduling meetings.

There is such an incredible variety of tasks a virtual assistant can do that the role you accept will depend on your experience. Some clients will require a VA with more specialised skills, like proofreading, WordPress editing, payroll administration, customer list management, blog comment moderation, or market research.

Kenyan virtual assistants on Upwork

Virtual assistants on Upwork can earn between $10 and $20 per hour, but there are Kenyan VAs earning as much as $50 per hour. We have an extensive guide on how to become a virtual assistant in Kenya here.

10. Data analyst

Today’s data-driven businesses collect and process gigabytes of customer and product data every month. These businesses need data analysts who can apply statistical analysis tools to analyse that data, uncover key customer behaviour trends, and draw useful insights that can inform operational, product, and marketing decisions.

If you have the right qualifications, Upwork is a great platform to launch a freelance career as a data analyst. One of those freelance projects can even grow into a full-time role if you desire the security of full-time employment.

Data analysts on Upwork can earn between $20 and $50 on Upwork, but what you charge ultimately depends on what you believe you are worth.

Other in-demand skills clients seek on Upwork include mobile game developers, machine learning engineers, virtual reality developers, video producers, and automation specialists.

Other ways of earning money online

There are multiple other ways of making money online that don’t necessarily pay through M-Pesa. Here are some of them

These are just a few ways to earn money online, albeit without the advantage of getting paid directly into your M-Pesa mobile wallet. With a little effort, you can find a way to make money online that fits your skills and interests.

Tips for earning money online in Kenya

When you look for work or business opportunities online, it is crucial to recognise that you are no longer dealing with the local market. Targeting clients from all corners of the world entails knowing how to deal with people from different cultures.

There are also language barriers, currency exchange rates, nuances of foreign politics, and time differences to navigate. Here are some additional tips for earning money online:

1. Choose a reputable website or company to work with.

There are many scams out there, so it's important to research before you sign up for any online job or opportunity. Upwork has some of the best protections for freelancers.

2. Be patient.

It takes time to build up a following and earn significant money online. Don't expect to get rich quickly; otherwise, you will get discouraged if you don’t get clients early.

3. Be consistent.

The more you work, the more money you'll earn. Set aside time daily to work on your online business or job, read widely, watch YouTube videos, and take online courses.

Clients care very little about your qualifications; they are concerned about what you can do for them. So it is critical to clearly explain what you will do to solve their problems when you apply for jobs.

4. Be creative.

There are many different ways to earn money online. Be creative and find a way to make money that you enjoy. Do not rigidly stick to one job role and description. Add new, complementary skills, and always be on the lookout for roles that might fit your expanded skillset.

I started as an article writer, but I can now genuinely call myself different things, from SEO, conversion rate optimizer, SEO copywriter, content marketer, to digital marketer.

Make payments conveniently, get paid on time, and do more with your money with Intasend

Working and earning money online requires a suite of tools to help you stay productive, communicate with clients, and manage your payments. As a content marketing writer, I use SEO, proofreading, team communication, and digital invoicing tools daily.

I have to pay for these tools as well as my WiFi data and other expenses. IntaSend has tools to help accomplish these and other tasks online, which saves you time and allows you to be more productive and serve more clients.

IntaSend provides tools that enable you to easily generate an invoice and send no-code payment links so clients can pay you more conveniently. We support multiple payment methods, including ACH, Visa and Mastercard, Bitcoin, and M-Pesa.

For all the payments you have to complete online, we have a feature where you can request a virtual Visa card or Mastercard within minutes from within your IntaSend digital wallet. You can use the virtual Mastercard or Visa card to shop global merchant sites and pay subscriptions for the digital tools you use in your business and your Dstv and Netflix, among others.

If you are more entrepreneurial and decide to open an online store, the IntaSend payment gateway is the best way to accept payments on your website. The IntaSend Payments plugins for Shopify and WooCommerce simplify the checkout process and lets you accept M-Pesa, Visa, Mastercard, and Bitcoin as payment methods.

Sign up for IntaSend and get the tools to make the most out of your freelance business, pay and easily get paid from anywhere, and do more with your online earnings.

© 2024 IntaSend. All rights reserved.