Online freelance work & jobs in Kenya: the approach to take in 2021

With the COVID-19 situation in 2019 / 2020 / 2021, more employers have been forced to reduce the number of employees they have. Certain industries have lost almost all customers rendering many jobless. And then, now more than any time in the last 10 years, able-bodied professionals have been forced to stay home longer than they used to before the pandemic.

And as more and more people stay home, people are turning online to find work to make some extra money. Yes, there are people trying to start businesses offline, but there are many others trying to just see if they can use their skills to make some money from home.

If you have been a freelancer for some time, that means more competition. People who never had their eyes on online jobs are now frequenting various marketplaces to find jobs they can bid on. Which means if you want to thrive in 2020 / 2021, you will have to come up with better strategies to find well-paying jobs.

 Note: This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on something I recommend and purchase it, I will receive a commission for the sale – at no extra cost to you. 

You can look at the situation as one that is bringing unnecessary competition or as an opportunity to grind harder and make even more money – because I believe more and more business owners / leaders are turning to outsourcing now, than the same period last year, to accomplish their goals.

So, there might be increased competition, but the opportunities available to freelancers in 2020 / 2021 far surpasses the number of opportunities people had in the same period last year.

The approach to take in 2021 to grow your freelance business / career

Take a multi-prong approach to things. Go wide. Test a variety of things quickly. See what works. Then stick to those things that work while learning how to incorporate more strategies and methods to finding jobs and efficiently completing tasks outsourced to you.

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Build your own platform

It can be a blog. Or a podcast. Or a YouTube channel. Or an account on TikTok.

Build a place where you can publish content related to the services you offer.

Think about what your ideal clients regularly need help with and create content, on your platform, that can attract them to you.

This works wonders overtime. I remember when I started writing about blogging and WordPress, I didn’t know I could use the posts I had published on my own blog as examples to show clients what I would be able to do for them.

You also see programmers use their own platforms to teach others how to fix various problems on their websites / systems. And guess who sometimes look at the content they publish? Their ideal clients. People who’d rather have someone reliable they can send work to from time to time.

So, start working on your own platform. Build a blog. Build a website and share content that can attract your ideal clients. Make it easy for them to find you.

If you build your platform and promote it well, eventually clients will start coming to you.

For resources you can use for your domain registration and web hosting needs, check the Tools & Resources page on

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Continue bidding for jobs on freelance marketplace if you’ve gotten jobs from such sites

If you have gotten jobs from places like UpWork, Freelancer, Guru or PeoplePerHour before, keep bidding for jobs there.

If you have gotten jobs from these sites before it means you have figured out how to stand out from the hundreds of thousands using these platforms to find online jobs.

Take an inventory of what has worked for you, refine your processes a bit and keep bidding for jobs.

To even succeed at getting more jobs from these sites, learn from pros who are sharing tips freely on their own blogs or Facebook groups.

Learn to write better cold pitches and email more potential clients

If you use cold pitching exclusively to get work, start looking for resources that can help you write better pitches and land more jobs from direct clients.

Start by looking for case study type articles where other freelancers doing what you are doing share their tips, strategies and success stories.

For example, if you do freelance write work and depend mostly on sending emails to potential clients to get work, there are hundreds of blog posts now where other freelancers share the exact email template / copy they used when pitching clients (websites, firms, small businesses and blog owners).

Find these blog posts. Look at the email copy / templates.

Learn as much as you can. Then pick what you can from your research and improve your own cold pitching game.

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See if you can add other extra services to the menu you present to potential clients

For example, if you offer writing services to clients but are also good at reaching out to other blogs to get links via guest posting, that is another service you can pitch to your current or future clients.

If you can prove to them that you can help them, not only get quality content, but also quality links at affordable rates they will think about it. And some will hire you (take you up on the additional services you are offering).

You can offer proof by showing them the results you have gotten for yourself (your own rankings) or other clients.

Find ways to turn your freelance service into an almost passive business

For example if you are a freelance writer, you can pretend that you are a client and ‘hire yourself’ to build a 50-page niche site or a 100-page authority site. The site can then be monetized with affiliate links or display ads. And the earnings from these sources, overtime will mostly be passive.

If you are an app developer creating / designing apps for others, you can pretend you are a client and hire yourself to create a simple app (just take one of your app ideas) and launch it on Google Play Store or Apple App Store. That app can then act as an example you can use when looking for more work.

But more importantly, you can make extra income from ads (shown in the app from Google’ network via AdMob) or from in-app purchases.

If you build links for clients, you can hire yourself to build 30 to 40 links to a product review page on your blog and overtime earn monthly recurring revenue / commissions from from the page.

So, keep doing what works for you while remaining open to new ideas that can propel your career / business further.

And do list your service on Niabusiness Classifieds as well. As an online freelancer, you can create a free ad listing showing potential clients what you can help them with.

Place your ad in one or two of the categories shown here.

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