Can I do online freelance jobs in a cyber cafe if I don’t have my own computer

Yes, you can do online freelance jobs in a cyber cafe here in Kenya if you still don’t have your own computer.

I have used cyber cafe computers to do some online work before.

So, it can be done. You can start working online even without your own computer.

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Some tips for when you’re doing online freelance work in a cyber cafe

If you are going to use computers in a cyber cafe to do client work outsourced to you, here are some tips for you:

Prepare what you want to do the night before

Create a simple to do list in a notebook that you will carry with you to the cafe the next day. If you know what you are going to do the next day, and create a simple to-do list before going to bed, you will be much more focused once you pull up a chair in the cafe and get to work.

Instead of wasting time surfing the web, you will use your to-do list to keep you on track, to only do what you must do to complete the work outsourced to you.

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Carry enough money (cash) and have some back up in your M-PESA

There is nothing as embarrassing as running out of money when you are far away from home and need to get something done before you return home.

So, plan beforehand. Know how much time you will need to get work done on the particular day you decide to visit a cafe. If it’s two hours you are going to spend in front of the computer, carry cash for 3 or 4 hours. Some days the computers (internet connection) will be fast.

On other days the connection may be slow, forcing you to spend more time to accomplish certain tasks. So, carry enough money in your pocket / purse. And have a little something in your Safaricom M-PESA mobile money wallet as well. And carry your ID too. Don’t forget it.

Go to the same computer if possible

If you find a good cyber cafe, try your best to use the same computer if possible. On your first few visits, find the perfect place in the cafe – a place that allows you to do your work with few distractions:

  • from people coming in and going out
  • from the conversations people are having (you can carry your headphones / earphones too if you like working with instrumentals / music on)

Find the perfect slot for you – and go to the computer in that slot every time you go to the cafe.

Carry a flash disk with you or an external hard drive

If you are going to work online from a cyber cafe, having something to store your work is a must.
While some will just use a USB cable to transfer files from the cyber cafe computer to their smartphone (or from their smartphone to the desktop computer), carry a flash drive or an external hard drive.

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At least have two peripheral devices where you can store your files and folders. Anything you download, you can just throw to your flash disk or the external hard drive.

Any work you do on the cyber computer should also be backed up on at least two different devices. Doing this doesn’t take a lot of time. And having your work / files stored in multiple places will give you peace of mind.

Create a folder in the cafe computer just for you

Yes, create a folder in the cyber cafe computer to organize and store your work. Don’t add it on the desktop. Place it even inside the My Documents folder.

So, while working, you can just save things to this folder. And then before you leave you can:

  • copy and paste the folder’s content to your storage device (without deleting the files)
  • cut and paste the folder’s content (so, just move everything from the folder to your storage device). You can do this if your work is sensitive in nature and you don’t want it content lying somewhere in public accessible to just anybody

Backup your work online before you leave

Storing files in a flash disk, external hard drive or your smartphone is not enough.

Do take things up another level. Store some of your files, those you can’t afford to lose, on cloud storage service providers like Google Drive and Dropbox. They all have free account options. Use them to store:

  • Graphics you design
  • Code you write
  • Content you write
  • Presentations you make among other things

If you sit down for example to write a 2400-word blog post, spare yourself the headache of doing the work again from scratch because something wrong happened to your flash disk (a malware / virus ate the files on it). Take a minute or two and upload a copy online to your Google Drive or Dropbox account.

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Or at the bare minimum, add it as an email attachment to your Gmail account and save the email to your Drafts folder.

Log out of all your accounts before you leave and use 2FA (Two-factor authentification)

Before you leave the cyber cafe, look at all the tabs you have opened on the web browser (use one you can sync with your phone – Firefox or Chrome) and sign out from all the websites you visited.

For accounts such as Gmail, make sure you have two-factor authentification turned on – so anytime you or someone else tries to log in to your account, a code will be sent to your phone number – and you must enter that code to access your account even after entering your password.

If you like, you can also delete your history and cookies for the duration you spent in the cafe.

I hope these tips will help you get more out of the time you spend in cafes trying to make money working online. Keep working on different projects. Keep finding new clients.

Ask for repeat work, get paid and save some of the money you bring in. Later down the road you will have enough money to purchase your own desktop computer or laptop – a brand new computer or a used a computer that works well.

While at the cafe, also make sure you create an ad listing in one of the categories on Niabusiness Classifieds page. You never know who maybe looking at the ads on the site. It could be a client just looking for the right person to outsource work to – you maybe.

Place your ad here. It is free.

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