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The idea of making money on the internet in Malawi is uncommon for many people. There are many reasons, such is the case. I suppose, partly, it is because the internet is not yet popular among the Malawian population.
Recent statistics show internet penetration in Malawi is still small at 9.5%. Out of the 17 million people in Malawi, only 1,825 503 have access to the internet.
Besides, most internet users think of the internet as a social tool only for communication on Facebook, WhatsApp, and social media. The number of people who realize that the internet is a business tool where others are making enormous sums is small.
If the idea to make money on the internet is new to you, read the last paragraph. I will share with you different ways fellow Malawians used to make money on the internet. I hope that going through this article, will equip you with adequate basic knowledge on how to make money as an internet entrepreneur.
What is an internet business?
It’s important to get this right.
Internet business is like the traditional business with few exceptions. As a business, it exists to solve a market problem. It offers a valuable product or service to the consumer. Like the brick and motor business, an internet business makes a profit.
The major difference with traditional businesses is that we do internet businesses on the internet. Instead of building physical shops made of bricks, wood, or metals. Just as in traditional stores, internet entrepreneurs build online virtual stores where they sell different products.
Another difference between traditional businesses and internet businesses is the size of startup capital. Internet businesses require less capital and human resource to start. No need to rent a shop. No need for transport to go to the market.
How to start an internet business and make money in Malawi?
The first thing is to identify a market need. Every business has to exist to solve a specific problem by offering a valuable product or service to consumers.
Another thing is to invest in perfecting and building the business. Once you identify a need as a business owner, find out the best way to address the existing challenge.
Entrepreneurs solve market needs in different ways, such as creating new products and services. They also provide market solutions by simply making improvements on the existing solutions. This requires investment in either cash or time or, as in most cases, both.
Having a brilliant solution on its own is not enough to make you money on the internet. The most important thing is to devise a successful revenue model. Understand how the business will bring income into your pocket.
It is great to figure out the revenue model before starting the business, as this will determine what efforts to put in creating your product. This will also require that you understand the customer behaviors such as their payment methods and spending habits if you’re going to do direct selling.
Now let me take you through some practical businesses that people in Malawi are doing to make money on the internet.
Blogging is one of the best ways to make money on the internet. Unlike many other businesses, it takes more time to make money blogging. It can take anything from six months to a couple of years. Blogging is for people who love to write valuable information that they will share with the world. We can write blogs on a wide range of topics, such as health, current affairs, romance, politics, making money, technology, and education. Bloggers make money by selling advertising space, placing contextual ads, selling physical goods, affiliate marketing, and offering services on the blog.
The demand for eBooks is high on several subjects. There is less literature written about several topics that Malawians are interested to read. E-books can cover a wide range of topics, such as business tips, job interview tips, home remedies, tour guides for foreigners, scholarship guides, cookery tutorials, and so much more.
The first step is to write the eBook using a text editor like Microsoft word. Then convert the content into a PDF document. Protect the document to restrict unauthorized distribution.
Once the eBook is ready, you sell by promoting it on social media and websites, if any. As long as the book is of outstanding quality and is addressing a pertinent issue, finding customers won’t be a problem. With eBooks, it is possible to make money while you’re sleeping.
Most manufactured goods found in Malawian homes are imports, mostly from China. Nowadays, importing goods from China to Malawi is a lot easier than it was years ago.
With a small capital of K50000 you can start importing items from China to resell in Malawi for profit.
The most crucial part is to know what product is in high demand in your location. If you identify the market, then go over to the Chinese website to place your order.
To realize a reasonable profit, go for low-weight, high-value items. Shipping cost is considerably low for low-weight products than heavy goods. Hence, importing low weight-high-value products makes sense, especially when starting with small capital. Start small then grow the business with time.
Some goods that people import in Malawi are smartwatches, bridal accessories, men’s and ladies shoes, phone accessories, laptops, TVs, make-up braches, handbags, and women’s hair.
These items are imported over the internet without physically the buyer going to China. They are also sold mostly through the internet on Facebook and WhatsApp. Importation is an example of good business ideas in Malawi because it is highly scalable.
- Online Forex trading
Another good business idea to start in Malawi is online Forex trading. It is a profitable business that some do on the internet.
Trading forex involves buying and selling currencies for different countries. Specialized software is used to trade forex.
The beauty of forex trading is that it requires a small amount of capital to start. Capital as small as K20 000.
In order to enjoy the benefits of this business, a person has to learn the ins and outs of the business. The best way to learn is to find a mentor who has experience trading in forex. There are also plenty of free tutorials on the internet and YouTube that provide basic information for starters.
Caution! Forex trading is a high-risk trade because people can easily lose more money within a blink of a second.
- Offering Online Courses
Another viable business opportunity in Malawi is the provision of internet online tutoring.
Like many other internet businesses outlined, online lessons targeting Malawians are uncommon.
I know few Malawians who offer online tutorials on subjects such as leadership, business, soap making, digital marketing, and web development.
Do have some skills that would like to teach others?
If yes, then consider offering online courses to interested individuals.
Online tutoring is a passive way of making money.
Some online classes that people can start are cookery classes, cake decorations, how to make money, personal financial management, graphics design, and writing business plans.
- Web Hosting and Domain Name Registration
Internet penetration is low in Malawi in comparison with other African countries like Nigeria and Kenya. However, there are people interested to publish websites online. One of the most important services that they require is web hosting and domain name registration.
There are many international web hosting companies and domain name registers, but some people may prefer local hosting. The most challenge that webmaster face in Malawi is a betrayal by most people who provide the services.
Low price, high-quality service, and honesty are key factors that will keep you floating above the completion.
Starting web hosting requires coding skills, a computer, and a reliable internet connection.
Capital required is usually small if you start as a reseller hosting provider. While the starting capital is small, the returns are huge. It is also relatively easy to maintain keeping customers when providing quality, affordable and reliable hosting/domain registration services
- Invest in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency invented in 2008. Since its inception, its dollar equivalent value has mostly been increasing.
You buy bitcoins using your debit cards or bank transfer.
Then create your bitcoin wallet where to store the bitcoins you’ve bought.
When the price goes up, you can sell at a higher price than the one used to buy. Investing in Bitcoins is risky, so be careful to only invest an amount which when you lose will not break your bank.