Web marketing offers jobseekers opportunities
As unemployment continues to rise in Kenya, job-seekers are turning to websites hosted in and out of the country for online work or as platform to do their business.
Each year, a big number of graduates from universities and tertiary institutions join the job-hunting group in Kenya, but not so many score formal employment. High unemployment rates have left millions of youth jobless.
However, the country’s online job sites and a number of initiatives by multinationals firms such as Google, that provides ready developed business websites for start-ups have helped relieve the unemployment pressure for the jobless, mainly the youth who can now earn money as freelance workers.
The websites offer various jobs such as writing, web and graphic design, Internet marketing, online tutoring, online research, jewellery selling, placing classified adverts, data entry, telecomputing that are popular among Kenyans and some other opportunities that do not require specialised skills, thus allowing all kinds of people to work.
Evans Hamisi, a resident of Nairobi, is making money online. Hamisi, who majored in Business Management, graduated from a university in Nairobi three years ago and has been working online for the past two years.
“I work for several online sites both foreign and local as a freelancer. With the money I make every month, I do not think I will look for employment any time soon,” says Hamisi.
The 28-year-old works as a web designer, a writer, a graphic designer and online tutor. As an online tutor, Hamisi teaches students mainly mathematics and statistics. “They post assignments online and I take them through the work step by step through my employer’s website. Sometimes if that is not possible, I do the work, then I explain the steps I have gone through to arrive at the answer so that it is easy for them to understand,” he said.
Similarly, as a web designer, Hamisi gets clients’ assignments from his boss. He then reads the guidelines, and if there are any questions, he asks before he works. “I take time to understand what clients want before I start working. This has helped me to be efficient and avoid time-wasting,” he told Xinhua.
Most of the websites he designed, he says, have not been rejected by clients, adding that he was paid between $82 and $141 for each assignment. In the years that he has worked through the Internet, Hamisi said he has earned more than 5,000 dollars.
“I look at the money and thank myself for going online in search for jobs instead of using the conventional methods of applying to companies,” he said.
“They give me assignments, which I work on and send back. The articles vary from as little as 300 words to 1,500 words. This earns me between $5 and $20 . There is no limit in the number of articles one can write,” said 25-year-old Zachary Kweyu, who writes online for a website in Kenya.
Another way of making money online that is gaining popularity in Kenya is to partner with Google’s Adsense, which provides advertising business. In the partnership, individuals liaise with Google, where the multi-million shilling advertising giant channels adverts through their sites. The company then pays them according to the visits to the sites.
Grace Murugi Wanjama is an owner of a small cake business based in Nairobi, but currently has clients across the country thanks to the Google initiative.
“My business has really grown thanks to the Internet – I am able to reach many more people through my website. But beyond that, having a well-managed online presence has helped my business engage with customers.”
The Google initiative – Getting Kenyan Businesses Online (GKBO) – a joint initiative with Safaricom, Equity Bank and other partners, has already helped bring over 11,000 small and medium size enterprises online since the launch of the initiative on the 12th September this year. Through GKBO, businesses can create their own website and develop an online presence, for free.
“We really believe that the power of the Internet will help them to grow their businesses and give them access to the global village, whether you sell shoes, electronics, cars... the GKBO tools will help you reach new customers.,” Olga Arara-Kimani, Google Kenya country manager said.
Njambi Kiritu, the owner of Impact by Design, said that she has been able to add new clients using less effort compared to when she had not adopted the online business. “Information about my business is now readily available to them on www.impact-by-design.com. I have reached over 90 new customers and increased our revenue ten-fold since 2008.”