Work Online Success Story 2: Meet Chandi, the brilliant academic writer

Last updated on July 11, 2020

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I love reading interviews but lately I’ve discovered that I’m enjoying seeking out interviews from fellow freelancers and work onliners. Why? Well, for one, I want my readers to get a different perspective and to read about other people’s experiences about online business.

If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that my area of expertise is transcription. But I am also intrigued by academic writers and Chandi, the interviewee, stood out for me because of his genuine interest in academic writing. He demonstrates that if you have a go-for-it attitude and a willingness to work hard (and smart) you can go far with academic writing.

And there’s lot’s more too. But don’t let me keep you waiting. Dive in!

 1. Hi Chandi! First things first, could you start by telling us how you first got involved in academic writing? Is it a full-time operation?

It was sometime in mid-2010. I could go to the KU computer laboratories and find tens of students, possibly hundreds, hacking away their keyboards. I got curious because I was certain that these kids weren’t working on their own assignments. Upon inquiry, I discovered the field of academic writing. I figured I should try it out. After several attempts and working with a non-cooperative boss (perhaps because I also lacked the discipline), I decided to give up the practice and pursue other things.

The next 2 years saw me travel from country to country. I think I was on a journey of self-discovery. During this time, I also read several books. So I became wiser. I finally made the decision to come back home in 2012 and decided to take the hard way. By “the hard way” I mean becoming a protégé under someone who could offer me writing jobs.

Read: David, a captioner, talks about his online work journey

It did not matter whether I was going to be harassed by my employer, I was willing to work hard. I convinced my dad to lend me KES 50,000 to settle down with a brand new computer among other tools needed. Perhaps because I was determined, I expanded very quickly. In a matter of months, I acquired my own writing accounts. I became my own boss. I can also hire up to 15 writers.

I have only been working seasonally (about 7-8 months a year), but as from September 2014, I am intending to do it all-year round for about 4 or 5 years. In as much as the money can be good, I do not think that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.

2. What do you find most challenging about academic writing?

The most difficult task is achieving quality. As a determined writer, your deep desire is to write as much as you can in order to earn more and more and more. I mean, let’s face it, the odds that you are doing it for the money are pretty high. It’s not like your work will end up being published with credits to your name. So you want to achieve 10 to 20 pages daily, some people even 30, and a burnout is almost inevitable.

In the process, the quality of your service may end up being compromised. What follows is a complaint from a dissatisfied customer. Then another follows. At this stage if you do not manage your time and emotions well, it could be downward spiral for you. It’s a host of interrelated things; quality, time-management, stress-management, insatiable clients, personal greed (ha ha!) etc. that if not carefully kept in check may end up rendering you jobless and irrationally contemptuous of yourself.

Chandi, working from home.

 3. Is there any other thing you do apart from academic writing?

I am a computer science student at the university. My interest in IT leads me into consultancy and professional services gigs in design (web and graphic), research among other things. I have been attempting farming lately as well. Currently 80% of my income comes from academic writing.

4. What is the best advice you’ve received or read about for an academic writer?

An academic writer that wants to maximize their earnings while ensuring steady growth in this path must be of the resilient type. It’s easy to give up if you are intellectually inept or lazy. If you aren’t prepared to learn and practice how to proofread, proofread and proofread, then this is definitely not the field for you.

Read: Joyce Marara talks about her journey as a freelance writer

You must be ready to improve your writing skill every single day. You have to be fully aware that you are not the only one out there.

Writers get fired, and more get hired.

 5. A lot of freelancers- academic writers included- find themselves procrastinating online when they ought to be working. How do you stay disciplined? How do you also stay motivated to ensure you submit high quality work to your clients?

I belong to this category of freelancers/writers, ha ha! I also do not know of any persons who do not get easily swayed by non-work-related stuff on the internet.

You have to confront the fact that you are delivering a service and that someone is on the other end waiting for quality work.

I don’t think there is any “super trick” for focusing on your work other than just focusing on your work when you have to. You must answer to the client’s call or need. There are no two ways about it. And it is tough for beginners, but once basics are mastered, the rest are as easy as A-B-C. Quality and discipline at work, in my opinion, has more to do with willpower than just a mere methodology.

6. Talking of clients, where do you get your clients? Which sites do you consider the best?

The best, and perhaps the hardest to find and riskiest thing you can have is direct clients. They are more likely to pay well, sometimes up to 7 times more than your average websites. The problem is you have to be ready for erratic payment schedules and if your customer support skills are lacking, you will have a tough time. You can find direct clients through Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. This requires patience and you have to be careful so as to escape the “spammer” label. The good news is that your good work is likely to earn you tons of referrals.

About websites, “best” is debatable. I have worked with,,, and, which in my opinion, are probably not the best. There must be better writing agencies with better rates and terms out there.

7. What is the biggest mistake you see with Kenyan academic writers?

Failure to have backup plan. Few writers think of investing in bigger or better projects that are relatively long-term. A good writer with one of the accounts I have mentioned above can earn $2500 in a month. This is money that if channeled into better investments can transform the lives of a generation of young people.

8. Well said Chandi. Lastly, any tips for academic writers? Any resources that will make one a superb academic writer?

Golden rule: Google is your best friend. Just be patient with your search. The information you want is somewhere out there, just up your search skill and be a bit more patient!

A few more quick ones:

– Read the client’s instructions five times if possible.
– Answer the client’s question. Do not be too wordy.
– Do not plagiarize. Cite all your work. By all means perfect the most common citation styles.

At your free time, read widely. This opens you up to a world of knowledge. Your word-count increases and so does your ability to construct better sentences and more solid arguments.

There are millions of guides to better writing online. If you however want shortcuts and choose to remain capitalistic by just churning out more and more pages then I recommend This tool may help you fix most grammatical errors swiftly.

Workout at least once a day for 30 to 40 minutes. Sleep as much as you can, at least seven to eight hours. The effectiveness of enough rest cannot be overemphasized. You can Google the mental benefits of enough sleep.

When starting out, make sure you have a good computer with an activated Office suite (at least 2003 onwards) or Libre Office. A fast browser like Chrome or Mozilla is advisable but the latest Internet Explorer is just fine.

Well, well, well, I really enjoyed interviewing Chandi. I hope this post added value to you too.  You can check out his sites at your free time:

So, do you concur with what he has stated? Are you an academic writer too, identifying with the points above? We’d love to hear from you, even if you’re not one!

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!


    • Hi Henry, Thanks for your comment. When you have enough determination and a willingness to succeed, you can go far, no matter your background. Getting the right skills, however is very important too. When it comes to writing, you need to clarify whether you need help with article writing or academic writing. I’d love to hear from you so that I can advise further.

  • Nice article there, great work Sheeroh. I am an academic writer and I agree I have learnt a lot from Chandi. I can say that a major challenge to this work is failure to get enough sleep, rest and exercise. You work continuously for a week then you are so exhausted that you take a break for the next four days.

    • You end up shooting yourself in the foot right? I’ve also learned how important rest is during the course of my online work. After all, health is wealth! It’s important to work hard, but also balance that with adequate rest for optimum performance at work.

    • Thanks Flo. There are several things that are kind of alike when it comes to freelancing, whether its transcription, graphic design or the above. You’re most welcome!

  • Wow! That’s very inspiring. Am so encouraged and inspired. Today I was so inconvenienced by the rains and this made me wish i was already working from home. Am confident that I am getting there soon. Thanks Sheeroh for this post.

  • I’m in the process of learning because I believe this is my call,I did transcription but the amount I have earned from writing has passed,I believe i will be a guru soon.I tried my work on gramarly and I was amazed-it said the work is original!now I know why I have been rolling the articles on and on.Thank sheeroh,we depend on you for the growth we see.

    • That is soo good to hear Chrispine. Keep it up! All the signs are pointing to you being a guru in the very near future. Wish you all the best.

  • Thank you Sheero for the interview. Am learning a lot by interacting with you online. Everyday i am challenged to wake up and move from my comfort zone and i hope and pray that the steps am making now will be worthwhile tomorrow

    • They will be so worthwhile Carol. As one Robin Sharma puts it, “What was once frightening becomes your new normal’ when you move out of your comfort zone. Let’s keep interacting! 🙂

  • am a newbie haven’t got any job yet but am not giving up. thanx for the article. need help in academic writing any employer out there… am available.

  • Greetings everyone!

    I hope you are learning a thing or two from this post. I however would like to clarify that I am *still* learning as much as I can. I therefore welcome any additional thoughts experiences you may have.

    I will also be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

  • Hello George!
    Thanks for asking. Best that you work with online resources. As an academic writer, you will want to use resources that are readily accessible to your customer regardless of their location. Customers are based in various places around the world and many may not necessarily have access to a local resource that only you have access to.

    You do not need access to your local library to write a good paper. All knowledge is available online.

  • Nice interview and I agree with Chandi on every point he raised, more especially on procrastination. If you don’t manage it well you can waste up to a whole day navigating through other webpages while the waits.

  • Thanks Sheeroh for the comprehensive interview with Chandi.It was great job well
    accomplished,what i find stunning is that chandis blogs lack content am only seeing photos taken at lakeside town.I hope he will provide content for reading.

  • Hi, I am impressed with your work.
    Could you please link me up with Chandi because I have been applying for my own account for the last three years without success. I would like to get some tips or even assistance on opening my own account because I write for some other guy and the wages are a pittance. At least with my own account I can make over 2500 a day for a 5-page paper.

  • Wow, that was an interesting read. I sincerely didn’t expect to be this motivated. I have learned so much from the little that I have read and I have this feeling that I will learn much more in the coming months.
    Thank you so much Chandi and Sheeroh! The two of you are a blessing.
    Have a blessed day

  • I look for very good academic writers to work with me next year for a PHD project in business. I enjoyed the discussion here with your views and I think you are very promising. I pay 40 dollars per 1000 words .
    Email me if interested.
    thank you

  • Thanks alot Sheeroh for your motivation and guidance, its an indication that you want some of us to become as good as you are in working online.The interview is inspiring and above all an attitude booster. God bless you and may you continue with the good work.

  • Nice interview there n so inspiring to a newbie like me. Am interested in academia writing… u train newbies? if so I would be glad to start it…..can you help me? thanks in advance

  • I appreciate you Sheeroh for the interview, sharing such information is important for the new players in the industry. Thanks to Chandi for opening up. Regards

    • Hi James. There are many ways to make money online. Transcription, article writing, academic writing, web design etc. Please clarify. I’ll be happy to help.

  • In my academic writing days I never knew the value of balancing work n play. I used to work 7days a week and this would wear me down completely. Balancing work and play is a crucial skill that all onlineprenuers must acquire

    • True. We need to recharge. I take a break from Saturday 2pm until Monday morning. Come Monday, I’m raring to get some work done!

  • That’s a good interview. However, I beg to disagree with the idea of direct clients. With them, you never get the job security you’d get while working for a company like Uvocorp or Academia-research. Additionally, these directs clients are the reason for some PayPal accounts closures. For this reason, I believe that they may not be the best option.

  • Amazing interview there. I’ve never ventured completely in writing though I like my state as a Virtual Assistant. It’s now my third year being a VA and I want to expand my experience even more. I might shift my focus to writing.

  • Thanks Sheeroh, a very informative article about academic writing. What is the difference between article writing and academic writing? I am also very determined about this freelancing adventure, is it possible to have Chandi as a mentor? If yes please ask him to email me on I would really love to be his student. Once again great work you doing. God bless you.

    • Hi Hillary, To put it simply, academic writing involves carrying out assignments for college students while article writing involves writing informative and engaging articles that will supply readers with valuable/ entertaining material. To learn more about academic writing, please read this post.

  • which are some of the sites would you recommend someone to work with for online writing. That is, a legitimate company where one can be hired for writing whether article writing or article writing.

  • Very encouraging here.By the way Sheeroh, where do I start now? I am interested in both academic and article writing among others,but would like to tackle one a a time. Over to you! Advise me please. Thank you.

  • Wow, what a nice interview with the person that knows how to plays with the keyboard.

    Am also a writer, I learnt a lot from Chandi.

    Thanks for bringing him by to teach us how to make it well.

    Have a nice day

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