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Bamidele Onibalusi: 4 Ways Nigerians Can Make Money Online



Recent research from digitXplus has revealed that Nigeria experienced a growth of 102% in internet adoption between 2009 – 2013; that’s a total of 62.4 million Nigerian internet users in 2013, a significant increase from 30.9 million internet users in 2009.

Similarly, a 2014 Phillips Consulting study titled Online Shopping Report: A study of current trends in online shopping in Nigeria, revealed that internet usage in Nigeria has grown from just 200,000 users in the year 2,000 to 57 million users in the year 2012, essentially positioning Nigeria as “one of the fastest growing internet consumer markets in sub-Saharan Africa.”

While there are many explanations for the suddenly massive explosion in Internet adoption in Nigeria, there is no doubt that a lot of Nigerians are looking to the Internet for greener pasture.

We’ve undoubtedly heard about Linda Ikeji, Uche Pedro, Jason Njoku and other leading Nigerian entrepreneurs making a fortune online, and we’re convinced that we can make the Internet work for us.

However, it is very important to realize that the key to creating sustainable income from the Internet, as a Nigerian, isn’t to be gullibly sucked into online survey or paid to click scams. Instead, you have to focus on a reliable online business model that works.

I’ve been making a serious living online since 2010, and my success story has been extensively publicized in publications here in Nigeria and abroad. Based on my experience in the past 5 years, I want to share the 4 most effective ways Nigerians can create a sustainable source of income online.

Start a Service-Based Business
Many Nigerians who want to make money from the Internet fail because they think the process is much different from building a real business offline.

It isn’t.

Of course, with the internet your reach is significantly increased, and perception of value online is more than it is offline. You also don’t have to worry about qualifications and startup costs.

However, the premise is still the same thing: you are building a business, and a business only thrives by offering value to others.

Don’t get sucked into the idea of making money while you sleep, or the idea of making money without doing anything; for most people, that’s a pipe dream.

One of the most effective ways to make money online as a Nigerian is by starting a service business based on a skill you have; it could be design skills, writing skills, motivation skills, business skills, health skills, agriculture skills or other skills that can benefit others.

If you have knowledge that can help people get measurable results in one aspect or the other, you can create a a service based business online.

Start a Blog
Blogging is another sustainable source of income for Nigerians who can get it right

Now, pay special attention to my emphasis on “getting it right”.

The problem with most new Nigerian bloggers is that they have heard about Bella Naija, they have heard about Linda Ikeji and they assume that the best way for them to make money from a blog is by starting a blog, placing adverts all over the blog and then expecting income. It doesn’t work that way.

Linda Ikeji’s blog and Bella Naija can command the massive income they make due to the massive reach they have, which involves a lot of efforts over the years; they also have an advantage of being pioneer bloggers in Nigeria. These are advantages you don’t have; at least, not yet.

If you want to make money from a blog, instead of hoping and waiting for income that might never come by putting adverts all over your blog, look for a sustainable income model that will deliver solid results real quick.

Here are some sustainable income models:

Build your blog around a service you offer
Whether you’re a freelancer or consultant, make this information clearly available on your blog. You’ll need very little eyeballs to your blog to start making money through this approach; this is an approach I have been using for years now

Create a product of value to sell on your blog
For example, farming is a big deal here in Nigeria with a lot of people having interest in fish farming, poultry farming, crop farming, etc.

If you have experience in this area and create an ebook and video packages aimed at helping people start their farms, you’ll get people who want to start real businesses buy from you in no time.

Promote other people’s businesses
Now, this approach isn’t as effective as the ones earlier listed, but it can be much powerful than waiting to make money through ads on your blog. Look for someone who sells a product that readers of your blog might be willing to buy, and partner with that person to promote her product in exchange for percentage of sales you make.

The above 3 income models are very practical and sustainable, and you’ll start seeing results without having to get tens of thousands of people to read your blog.

Work as a Freelancer
There’s also high demand for freelancers in the international space, and there are legitimate companies willing to pay talented freelancers irrespective of where they’re from.

You could be a freelance designer, a freelance programmer or a freelance writer.

With freelance writing for example, you can make anything from $50 – $200 per article regardless of you being from Nigeria. I know this because I’ve done this extensively over the past few years.

Try to look for companies, in Nigeria or abroad, looking for freelancers to help them with tasks they don’t want to employ people for online. Reach out to them to see how you can help, and in exchange you’ll get paid for your work.

Furthermore, there are lists of websites that pay writers all over the internet and here’s a recent one I published on my blog. This can be handy if you want to purse an online career as a freelance writer: 110 Websites that Pay Writers

While most of the websites featured in the above list will offer to pay via Paypal, considering that Paypal is not Nigerians, you can reach out to them to see if there’s an alternative way to get paid; depending on what you have to offer, you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to make a compromise.

Help the Non Tech Savvy Set Up an Online Presence
A byproduct of the surge in internet adoption in Nigeria is that hordes of people want to have a presence online, and this includes small businesses and corporations.

These businesses will need a website, social media presence and other forms of exposure for their business online. If you have tinkered with the internet before, know a lot about WordPress, HTML and how to setup a website, then this can be a source of income for you.

Help other people who are just getting started online setup their online businesses; most of these people probably already have a business model, and you’d be guaranteed to make a fine and sustainable income by helping them setup their websites and other things necessary to effectively operate online.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Syda Productions 

Bamidele Onibalusi is a Nigerian blogger and entrepreneur, as well as the founder of Effective Business Ideas, a blog that shares practical business ideas. He has been featured in Forbes, Huffington Post, as well as in several publications locally and internationally. You can follow him on Twitter via @youngprepro.

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