There are countless articles which advice people on how they can make money online but alas most of that advice assumes that the reader has access to a computer. In Zimbabwe the only way many people access the internet is via smartphones (like most parts of the world really except in Zim it’s less of a choice). This article is therefore for those people who can only access the internet via their phones but are still very much interested in making money online.
Making money via social media
Nowadays the ability to interact with and engage people on social media is a legitimate skill that can earn you a pretty decent living. The caveat is that like with everything that everybody else is already doing, your skills must be indeed extraordinary for them to matter and be valuable to anyone. There are already millions of Zimbabweans using platforms like Facebook and Twitter daily so you must give whomever you wish to pay you a very compelling reason why they must do so.
Social media influencer
On social media, there are people with large enough followings that companies are willing to pay them to endorse and promote their products. Some of these people acquire such large audiences because they are already popular even outside the confines of the internet e.g. celebrities, models, singers, motivational speakers, prophets, authors, sports players, and socialites. There is however a growing number of people whose fame is entirely a product of the internet such as bloggers, self-proclaimed models (you would be surprised how popular some people can get just by taking pretty selfies and putting them online) and some people who are often described as “famous for being famous”. You can take your pick out of all these, the key is to grow a large enough of a following that companies would be willing to enlist your assistance in their marketing efforts.
Social media manager
Social media platforms are popular, everyone uses them and they have become some of the most popular channels for businesses to market their products and engage with customers. Unfortunately, social media marketing is easier said than done. It is one thing for a company to have a Twitter account and it’s quite another to get anyone to care about the said account. This is where social media managers come in. A social media manager’s job is to represent a company (or even another person) across social channels as the voice of the brand. They respond to comments, compile campaigns and create content. They are experts who guide organizations on how they can enhance their online presences.
Depending on the size of your device, typing large amounts of text on a mobile phone can be tricky but it is not impossible. There are many mobile apps which give writers almost the same kind of functionality as they would get on personal computers. If you think you can write something which someone out there would find compelling don’t hesitate to do so. From short fiction to high school notes, if there are people who want to read it then there is a pretty decent chance that you can find a way to make money from it.
Start a podcast
Not much of writer but you have something interesting to talk about? No worries, audio content is gaining popularity nowadays. You can start a podcast, build an audience and find a way to make money from it. There are many iPhone and Android apps available which make it super easy for you to start recording and distributing your podcasts. You can make money through advertising or recommending other people’s products and services to your audience among other things.
Online forex trading
In recent years online forex trading has been growing in popularity and with good reason. Some millionaires made their money trading forex online (there is at least one gentleman from South Africa whom I know of). Online forex trading can easily be performed through a mobile phone. Before you go any further I must, however, emphasize that forex trading is a skill which must be learnt and honed through practice. It is very easy to let beginner’s luck fool you into thinking that you have mastered the practice and then go on to make large losses.
Sell prepaid vouchers
Foreign currency is back in circulation in Zimbabwe but unfortunately, a lot of it is the physical kind and the RBZ in its infinite wisdom banned agent lines. This means that there are a lot of people out there who don’t have access to the convenience of buying electricity or airtime directly on their phones. You can take advantage of this if you have a mobile wallet or mobile banking account; buy ZESA prepaid tokens, airtime and data bundles for people and get paid in cash.
Remember that online work, be it on a phone or a personal computer, is still working. If you keep this in mind you should be able to keep yourself away from getting rich quick schemes which offer you outlandish returns in exchange for a small investment and no work. These are almost always scams.