7 Money-Making Side Business Ideas for African Writers

Offer independent services

According to Smart Blogger, freelancing is one of the easiest ways to make money online as a writer. With multiple platforms offering employment opportunities, Africans can earn a decent income offering freelance writing services.

Skilled African writers can earn money through freelance by registering on platforms and bidding for jobs on marketplaces. So whether you are in Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana or Kenya, starting a career as a freelance writer is lucrative. Also, platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, Indeed, and ProBlogger are a few platforms that African writers can offer freelance services.

Self-published books

According to The Balance Small Business, self-publishing is ideal for authors to take control and publish their work without gatekeepers. It’s one of the most lucrative ways to make money in the writing industry. If you can write and self-publish books with valuable information for readers, consider a career in self-publishing.

Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Lulu and Kobo are reward platforms for African writers to self-publish and monetize books for stable passive income. Plus, you don’t need to write long, laborious, and time-consuming books to earn a decent income on self-publishing platforms.

Create an online course

According to Udemy, creating online courses is a great way for any writer to earn money without barriers in the industry. Most online courses include presentations and videos that are helpful to readers. African writers with a passion for teaching can earn a decent income and build a career through online courses.

If you have an email list of readers and can start an online course, online courses offer endless opportunities to earn money. Consider creating courses and leveraging video and social media platforms for readers to generate passive income on the African continent.

Start a newsletter

According to Make a Living Writing, creating a newsletter is a quick and lucrative way to make money in the writing industry. Newsletter writers make money by writing to build an audience of dedicated readers willing to pay for content.

Africans can improve their readership and build loyalty with a newsletter. The idea is to make money from paid subscribers by planning, writing, and marketing your content. Skilled African writers can make money from this idea in the industry without amassing a huge following.

Produce and sell an audiobook

According to The Urban Writers, producing and selling audiobooks is a quick and easy way to earn money and fans as a writer. While authors with popular books in the public domain earn $2,500 to $30,000 a year in passive income, Africans stand to benefit.

African writers with creativity and a savvy understanding of the market can generate passive income with audiobooks. The idea is to get a producer, a microphone, a quiet room and patience. Consider hiring a professional producer who can prepare audio files for services like ACX.

Affiliate Marketing

According to Better Marketing Pub, affiliate marketing is a smart way to make money as a writer in the creative industry. Skilled African writers with promotional and marketing skills can earn passive income with this idea without leaving the continent.

If you have a website or readers and can write or review products and services, consider an affiliate marketing career as a writer. You can write about products you’ve used or recommend products to others for a fee. Also, you can sell products with storytelling and adopt different marketing strategies to earn money with affiliate marketing.

Create an authority or niche website

According to Make a Living Writing, building an authority or niche website pays off for every writer. Skilled Africans who can write about a profitable niche can generate income with this idea. If you can cater to a specific audience or topic, consider niche or authority websites.

You can start with the business, health, relationships, pets, food, and travel industry and leverage the internet for readers and monetize your content. A niche website covers a specific topic in greater depth, and Africans with the skills can benefit from it.


African writers can earn money by offering freelance services, self-publishing books and creating online courses. You can make money by starting a newsletter, producing and selling audio books, doing affiliate marketing, and building an authority or niche website. African writers can earn a decent income with these proven ideas, but they require research. Now that you know the lucrative ideas for African writers, consider thoroughly researching each point before selection.

*Views expressed in this article are those of a Business Insider Africa contributor. It does not represent the views of the Business Insider Africa organization.

Olayinka Sodiq is a skilled copywriter with technical, analytical and writing experience gained over 5 years of in-house and freelance gigs. He is versed in finance, investments, technology, blockchain, mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, etc.

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