Can Kitwe Spearhead An Internet Writers Industry?

Kitwe youths walking

If you have seen young men sitting by the roadside watching the world go by then you must have wondered whether there is a way to utilize all that brain power for something more useful. 

It is possible to make money from writing by writing articles for various websites or by publishing your own ebooks or print books. Money is not always the motivation for each project, but getting paid for your work is a good option to have.

Young Indian and Filipino men and women have made a reputation as freelance writers on the internet. They advertise their skills on Elance, Craigslist, Odesk, Rent A Coder and other similar websites. They get hired to write articles or programs for websites and get paid anything from $3 to $1,000 per article. These will usually be around 500 – 1,000 words long and will contain a keyword density of 1-3%.

A writer producing 5 articles at $10 each, can make $50 per day. In a five day week this translates to $250, and $1,000 per month. Although this represents a lot of work, it is better sitting at the roadside   counting posh cars driving by.

A good grasp of English is sought after by the various websites. Most of the world uses English to communicate. English is Zambia’s official language. It’s taught in primary and secondary schools. This places our graduates and undergraduates at a distinct advantage as far as language mastery is concerned.

Other countries have some progress on this front. Foremost among these are India and the Phillipines. We’ll do well to ask what it is we can learn from these countries to help our own youth.

There’s no doubt that Kitwe has its own share of writers of high calibre. There are a number of  questions every writer has to answer:

  • As a writer, are you being recognized for your work?
  • Are you being adequately rewarded for your labours?
  • Who is responsible for your welfare?
  • What have you done this last week to promote yourself and increase your visibility?
  • How much do you know about getting online work as a writer?
  • Is there more you can do about getting paid online?
  • Are you setting an inspiring example for young writers to follow?

 

What would it take for Kitwe to participate? What do young writers need in order for them to transform into an internet workforce?

There are some obvious factors to consider:

Mind Set

It is important for our young people to learn that there is another way forward. The benefits and possibilities need to be discussed with them. If they believe this, it will be possible for them to look for, and eventually find, ways to make it happen.

Everything starts with ideas. Planting positive ideas in young peoples’ minds will help them to become more positive in their outlook.

Role Models

Those who have been able to use the internet to their advantage are the best ambassadors for this model. The more they talk about what they have done and how they have achieved success online, the more people will get to hear about them. This is an effective way of fostering confidence and hope.

Kitwe has benefitted from the examples set by people like John Katebe, Lydia Mhango and Henry Musialela Nasilele among others.

Lydia is involved in Kitwe Poetry Corner and regularly posts the work they are doing here on KitweOnline. John Katebe displays his writing skills on this forum and encourages aspiring writers to learn the trade. Henry is an author and prolific blogger.

Support

A vital ingredient for meaningful change will be the support young people get from parents, friends, community leaders, schools, churches, NGO’s and government.

These different people and bodies have different roles to play, but the roles overlap. A helpful dialogue will involve the identification of the material, psychological and financial support that is required.

Things like:

 

  • Internet access
  • Writing skills workshops
  • Libraries
  • Internet Banking – to allow people to be paid online

 

By far the most important ingredient is individual action. What will you do as an individual to make a difference?

We strongly believe it is possible to empower writers and aspiring writers by leveraging the internet to spread information and information products. There's absolutely no reason why Kitwe can not lead the rest of the country in getting young men and women working on the internet. This won't just happen. Your participation is required.

 

We are writing an eBook “How To Write eBooks For Money” (working title).

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