“Most people will tell you that they want to make money, without understanding this law. The only people who make money work in a mint. The rest of us must earn money. This is what causes those who keep looking for something for nothing, or a free ride, to fail in life. Success is not the result of making money; earning money is the result of success — and success is in direct proportion to our service.”
Before we discuss how to realistically earn money online, let us look at the slippery slopes and dark avenues you should not venture into, in your quest to earn money online.
Do we even need to talk about this? All gambling websites are businesses out to make money off you. Therefore, you shall most likely lose a lot of money before you make a substantial profit.
My advice would be to only gamble with money you are happy to lose because there is a greater chance of you losing it than earning it.
Time is your most valuable resource, so you need to consider if the time it takes you to complete online surveys is worth the money you earn. If you calculate how much you are being paid per hour, it’s probably way below minimum wage. It might not even cover the cost of the internet data you spend while taking the survey. You are better off advertising the paid surveys than taking them.
Most websites that advertise paid surveys are earning money through affiliate marketing – I explain more about affiliate marketing under blogging below.
Beware the pyramid schemes, they come disguised in many forms and various names, but they are all the same. The point behind these is to recruit as many people as possible and gain a commission from all your recruits’ earnings. However, this is an illogical business and the only people who earn a significant amount of money are those at the top of the pyramid.
Here is a video to help you understand the danger of these schemes.
Do not go down this slippery slope, it only goes downhill, there is no way up.
Here is a list of pyramid schemes aka MLM that you might want to avoid.
There are traders out there earning a living through trading bitcoin, forex stocks, and shares. However, they probably have years of trading experience and a lot of money to act as a buffer when things do not go their way.
If you are short of these things, attempting day trading is just as good as gambling with bad odds.
If you would like to invest, I would suggest opting for longer-term, lower-risk investments, that are well diversified. For beginners I would especially recommend buying funds. Most brokers offer ready made fund portfolios to help you decide on which funds to buy.
Now that we have got the gremlins out of the way, we can discuss how to realistically earn money online in Malawi. The best way to earn money is through passive income, you want to create something once, that you can leave alone to earn you money whilst you sleep. Some of these ways of earning money can provide you with passive income, but you have to put in the initial work.
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.”
― Earl Nightingale
“The secrets of success are getting started and being persistent.”
― Debasish Mridha
You firstly need a topic you are interested in or know enough about to write about.
Think about a topic you are good at, then see how much competition there is online for that topic. After doing the research write helpful articles that are fully detailed. The more detail you include in your article the more likely you are to rank and appear on the first page of a google search.
You can learn about finding a topic (niche) and niche sites in general in the videos below.
Creating a blog is straight forward. All you need is WordPress, a domain name, and a hosting plan.
A domain name is the name of your website, e.g.: google.com is a domain name. When deciding on a domain name try to consider your audience and the purpose of the website, but do not narrow down the name so much so that you are not able to expand your website in the future. Here is an article to help you decide on a domain name.
You can register for a domain with your hosting provider, however, most hosting providers tend to overcharge for domains, so it is a good idea to shop around. You want your domain name to be cheap because you need to renew it every year.
Next is your hosting plan. There are a lot of hosting providers, so I would suggest, you do some research to find the provider that works for you.
Here are a few hosting companies you can choose from.
I recommend you get a hosting plan from hostinger.com, which is the provider I currently use, (Will update if anything changes), they have an easy to use interface and good customer service. The only issue I have with them is their slower customer service response time as compared to siteground.co.uk, which is another good hosting provider. Just to add, I make no commission from recommending Hostinger.
Once you have your hosting provider and domain name, all you need to do is download WordPress and start your blog. These videos below will help you with this entire process.
Here is a video that explains how to set up a website on Hostinger.
If you buy your domain from another site the video below will help you point your domain to Hostinger
After having written a couple of articles you need to sign up for affiliate marketing to start earning money. Affiliate marketing is basically, marketing on behalf of other companies.
There are a variety of affiliate marketing programmes, from paid surveys, to courses and products. Go to best affiliate programs for a list of affiliate programs, you may be able to register for. Since not all affiliate programs accept Malawian residents you shall have to carry out some research to find suitable ones that do. Some have strict requirements you need to meet to join, so have a look at the programs, if you find one that is suitable for your website, you can go and read their terms and conditions.
Additionally, you can go directly to a company’s website and find out if they have an affiliate program.
One of the most popular affiliate programs is Amazon associates, so, it only makes sense to take the time to discuss it.
You can sign up for amazon associates here. Remember to select which country’s program you want to sign up for. I would recommend signing up for the .com program because the global Amazon is available for .com. However your website does not necessarily have to target Malawians, you can write articles that will be read by people from all over the world.
After signing up you will be prompted to provide information of how you want to be paid by amazon. You can choose to be paid via PayPal – which you can sign up for here, or you can choose to be paid via bank transfer. For more information on joining amazon associates program read the following article: getting started with amazon affiliates program.
In order to remain an amazon affiliate, you need to earn a commission within 3 months. Therefore, it is advisable to only signup after your blog is set up and you are getting regular traffic.
Now as you write your posts you can include these affiliate links to help people find and buy products you have reviewed, used, or recommend. Every time someone makes a purchase using your link you earn money.
But that is not it; If you have products for sale you can direct people to the website where you have them listed. If you don’t have any of your products listed and are looking to list them online you can do so here on izebuy.com.
Just remember Nothing worth having, comes easy. In order for you to earn money, you need to put in the work and write the articles. In the video below, the income school guys explain the entire process.
Do you take good pictures or have experience in any form of design, illustration, or art form?
If so, you can sell your work on sites such as Shutterstock.com and RedBubble.com.
There are a couple of sites that allow you to advertise your skills and get paid for providing services such as:
If you have the skills and enjoy the work, this might be the thing for you. Here are a few websites I was able to find.
You can register on freelancer.com here. Once you are registered you need to verify your account and set up a withdrawal method, which requires you to verify your identity. Here is an article for more information.
After registering you can bid on projects that people post and if you get accepted, you get paid in instalments every time you reach a milestone. If this sounds confusing to you, hopefully the video shall be able to clarify everything.
UpWork.com is another great website you can register for. To get started go to upwork.com and register for an account and watch this video for help getting set up.
There are several similar websites out there. You can carry out some research on the following sites to find out if they accept Malawian residents to register.
Publishing a book has never been easier, gone are the days when you had to send your book to a million publishers who just did not care. Now you can self-publish your book.
You obviously need to write a good book and do all the editing and proofreading and marketing.
But you don’t have to do it all by yourself. If your book is written in English, you can hire professionals to edit your book for you from sites such as:
You however, do not have to pay to get your work edited. You can just find someone you know who is good in the language your book is written in to proofread it for you.
Then create an account with Amazon KDP to self-publish your book. Follow the link to learn everything you need to know about KDP: getting started with KDP
After you have published your book you still need to advertise it, else it will be sat online collecting digital dust. So, promote your book on Facebook, twitter and Instagram. Tell everyone you know and their grandmother about it. Go advertise it at work, church, school, in the minibus on your way to and from work, everywhere.
If you are skilled in a field or subject, whatever it may be. You can create a video course and sell it on sites such as SkillShare and Udemy. Although YouTube currently doesn’t allow Malawian residents to monetize their youtube channels (read more here), it is still a good place to start honing your video creation skills.
Shopify is a content management system like WordPress that allows you to set up a dropshipping website. Watch the video for more information on this topic
Reading this article is completely useless if you just never get started. So remember the following quotes as you decide on an idea and get started. All the best.
“You can’t plan for everything or you never get started in the first place.”
― Jim Butcher, Changes
“Start before you’re ready.”
― Steven Pressfield
“You don’t have to be good to start … you just have to start to be good!”
― Joe Sabah
“You cannot begin, until you begin.”
― Tony Cleaver, A Chain of Flames