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Why Kenyans fail in online work: My real-life experience

Hi, My name is Frank Muthuri. In this post, I will share my freelance journey as one amongst the growing number of Kenyans reaping the benefits of working online.

Currently, thousands of Kenyans are making money online or running an online business and making a living from it. However, there also thousands of other Kenyans who try to make money in online work but fail.

Holed up in a room for more than ten hours a day, in front of a computer, I have been able to rake some good amount from clients I have never seen, and probably, will never see. However, as you may know, online freelance work is not a walk in the park. It is a journey with numerous challenges.

I started my freelance journey back in 2012 when I was a second-year student at a local university. When I started freelancing, I found it quite challenging to make decent money online but I never gave up. I have learned a lot of valuable lessons that I will be sharing with you in this post. I will share with you all the mistakes that I made while I was new in the writing industry. Currently, I am making my living through writing articles for overseas clients and blogging.

I am sharing the challenges I faced and reasons for my failure since you might be going through what I experienced some years back and you could be on the verge of giving up. However, before you down your tools, I want you to go through all these reasons why most Kenyans fail to make money online. You might pick a thing or two from these invaluable lessons and start afresh.

Not committing 100 percent to your work

Just like most people, I joined freelance writing because I had seen people who were making a killing from it. I thought it was an easy way to make money and decided to give it a try. However, as much as I wanted money working part-time, I was not giving my all to it. I could find many excuses to relax after doing a little work. I thought it was an easy task and thus I never took it seriously. As a result, I could go for weeks without working thus earning nothing.

After graduating from college, I joined thousands of other graduates in search of white collar jobs. Unfortunately, it was not forthcoming. It is then that I decided to give freelance writing 100 percent commitment. Since then, I have learned to work late into the night and sometimes to work through minor illnesses to meet strict deadlines. I am grateful that I can now reap the benefits of online work.


Distractions are one of the largest enemies of the self-employed people. Remember that while working online, you are your own boss. Thus, you do not expect anyone to come and push you around. You have to set your goals and work hard towards achieving them.

I still face many challenges while working from home. For instance, if you are a parent, then you can be sure to get distracted by the kids while doing some important work. In other cases, a friend may show up unexpectedly while you are working on a serious project. You can also get distracted by incoming calls, text messages, social media and even spouses.

If you care about making some money online, then learn how to limit these distractions. When I am working from home, I do not allow anyone to enter my study room until I am done with my day’s project. I also keep my mobile phone away so that I can avoid the temptation of checking my social media pages. This way, I can pay full attention to my work thus ensuring that I deliver quality work for my clients.

Failure to understand your niche

One thing that I have realized over the years is that the freelance industry is quite big, and you cannot be good at everything. You have to find out what works best for you and focus on it. For instance, some people have specialized in graphic design, programming, article writing, transcription, blogging, and many other fields. If you do not cut a niche for yourself, then you might find it difficult to earn money online.

Once you identify your freelancing niche, you need to do much research on it to ensure that you know it inside out. For instance, if you decide to write articles, ensure that you understand every aspect of article writing. There are a lot of online resources that help you in perfecting your skills.

Giving up too early

As I said earlier, working online is not a walk in the park. Therefore, you are likely to face many challenges that might scare you off from the industry. I have friends who started working online and quit before they earned a coin from it. Do you want to be like them?

Quitting online work even before you earn a coin from it is an act of cowardice and an apparent show of lack of determination. The process of making money online is gradual, and sometimes you may need to wait for months before earning your first dollar. It depends on the amount of effort you put into it, and sometimes your luck 😊

I wish you the best of luck in your freelance journey.

Final words

This article paints a real picture of the mistakes I made when I started freelancing. I believe that thousands of Kenyans are trapped by the same challenges. In my case, when I overcame these obstacles, I started making decent money while working from home. You can also change your life by avoiding these mistakes.

Did you like Frank’s story? do not forget to comment and share below. God bless!