Money making hobbies for the youth

mHub celebrated International Youth Day 2020 by embracing the different work young people are doing in their communities through a digital collage of action pictures submitted by the youth. The hub also shared a blog collaboration by five members of the ecosystem on the topic: “How to maximize your younger years – Start Now and Get Ahead”.  All five articles can be read here.

Below was my contribution to the collaboration.

social media can make you money in your younger years

Money making hobby

Hobbies are about things that you enjoy. If you can make a little money out of it, all the better.

Most Malawi youth will list “interacting on social media” as one of their favourite hobbies. A good number of them perhaps participated in the recent #DataMustFall campaign.

As someone whose work has involved either setting up online systems, developing online platforms or creating content, social media is a great platform for your money making hobby or hobbies.

Many Malawian small businesses have turned to WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to sell their goods, especially in these Covid-19 times. These small businesses, typically owned by our parents, relatives or friends, usually lack the skills to creatively sell their goods and services online. This is where tech-savvy and creative youth can come in.

The youth can make money by creating communication material for social media platforms using skills picked up from photography, graphic design or writing hobbies. Some of these hobbies come naturally, others need a bit of learning.


Almost all businesses have a product or service they can show with a photo. Most product photography we see on social media needs improvement. But hiring a professional photographer can be quite expensive. Here is where a creative amateur photographer can come in by offering a discounted fee. Do a little touchup using a free mobile app like Snapseed and voila!

Graphic Design

Canva is a free online design tool

Once you have your touched up pictures, you can design some cool adverts. Free apps like Canva can be downloaded onto your phone or used for free. You can add in a mix of pictures, text and other designs using Canva’s free design templates. You can even make simple animations to enhance your designs. Now, how cool is that?

Social media management

Once you have your client’s advert, you can offer to manage their social media platforms using platforms like Hootsuite. You can schedule multiple posts for up to three social media platforms for free. That means that you can schedule your client’s posts on the weekend (if you are busy with school) and your app will do the posting for you at scheduled times within the week. If your client’s trust you, you can even respond to comments on their behalf. But don’t offer to do this if you don’t have a thorough understanding of your client’s products and services.


If your client sells a specialised service or product, you can develop a Frequently Asked Questions or a “How To” blog using for free. An added bonus is you get to learn in-depth about the client’s business and also improve your grammar. Your English teacher will be impressed!

Your equipment

Many of these hobbies can be accomplished using a decent smartphone and some airtime (don’t let up on the #DataMustFall campaign folks!). Where this is not possible, ask friends and relatives to lend you a professional camera and laptop. Many people have devices they rarely use lying around in their homes and would willingly lend them to you.

If you work on mastering the skills above, there is more money to be made beyond small businesses run by family and friends. Good luck!


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