Here is a list of the best online businesses to venture into in Nigeria. Most of the businesses listed in this article can be done entirely online. It means you don’t need a physical office address or a shop before venturing fully into these businesses.
From the convenience of your home, you can start up any of these businesses. And keep earning money online for free.
Take note that it all depends on the scale of your business. You can start very small and expand your way into a huge business.
On the other hand, if you have enough finance to start big from the first beginning, then you don’t have to hoard your investment capital.
There is no point in holding back when you can invest enough capital.
So here is my list of top online businesses in Nigeria.
How To Make Money Online In Nigeria
1. eCommerce Online Business
The rise of the eCommerce business in Nigeria was a shock to many. It was also an eye-opener for those who understood how it works.
An eCommerce is a marketplace that houses many sellers under one umbrella.
Most people think it is hard and expensive to start an eCommerce, but in the real sense, it is not.
Although money is needed to advertise to business and make it stand firm, promotion is the major expense that will be made.
The leading eCommerce in Nigeria are Jumia and Konga. Am very sure you must have heard of the.
You must have also heard of Amazon and AliExpress; they are among the reputable eCommerce store around the world that sells and ship to Nigeria.
How an eCommerce business works
An eCommerce is a web software marketplace, specially designed for buying and selling goods.
What makes this different from an online store is that it is open for vendors (multiple sellers). The vendors are the sellers in eCommerce.
If you decide to invest in eCommerce, you will act as an intermediary between the sellers and the buyers.
Once your eCommerce application is ready, you will have to invite vendors to register and sell on your platform.
Once an order is made by a buyer, it will be your duty to get the request from the vendor and deliver it to the buyer.
To make money from this kind of platform, you may choose to charge vendors for registrations, and for sales made you will have your commission.
You will be responsible for handling all the finances of this online business. It will be your duty to get the payment for orders and pay the vendors either within a particular period or once they reach their payment threshold.
You are not limited to what I explained above. You may choose to make a better model that you think will function better. From your model, you can customize your eCommerce.
How to set up an eCommerce
If you decide to hire a web developer to build your eCommerce based on your customization, you may end up spending over a million naira only for the platform.
You don’t have to worry much about this; lots of opensource software out there to customize your eCommerce. The Magento framework has been perfect for building this kind of software. The Konga.com you see today was developed under the Magento platform.
One can also build a standard eCommerce with WordPress Woocommerece + Dokan Multivendor plugin. And set up a Multivendor marketplace in less than 24 hours.
2. Blogging as an Online Business
You’ve probably heard about blogging more times than you care to listen.
Blogging is one of the most popular means of starting a business online. Most Nigerians are into blogging, even though they don’t know much about the blogging industry.
Blogging is like an online portfolio. The main aim of blogging is to make money, but many people don’t understand the basics of making money from blogging.
What if I tell you that the wealthiest bloggers do not display Google Adsense on their blogs. Would you be surprised that you can make huge money from blogging without relying on AdSense?
The major problem is that; most “bloggers” so to say don’t understand blogging in the first instance. They choose a blog niche with huge search volume; they copy and rewrite articles on the topic and publish it on their blog.
As luck will have it, they will get some crumbs traffic from Google, and start monetizing their blog with Google Adsense. It is a weak and unproductive blogging style, and you should never start your online business in this manner.
Now, let me show you what blogging as a business means:
Choosing Your Blog Niche
The first step to starting a blog as a business is to make a list of five things you are good at.
Don’t spend much time building a list, as a matter of fact; you don’t have to think while making a list.
Just pick up your pen and book, and then write the first five things that come to your mind. It might be your hobby, something you love reading about, something you find exceptionally difficult to do, or something that inspires you. Just come up with the random five (5) things that come to your head.
Look through the list, and sort out the ones you are good at doing. If you can’t do this on your own, you can send a message broadcast that looks like this:
“Hey guys, so am about to decide on what I am good at; of the following five(5) items, what do you think am good at?”
Send the message out to your friends; your close relative and those that know you very well. Give it time and make a table for their response.
You can quickly reduce what you are good at when their response is collated on the table.
The above exercise would make it easy for you to choose a blog topic.
The next few paragraphs of this article would assume you’ve chosen your preferred topic already, so let’s move on with that.
Once you’ve chosen the topic you consider your strength; it must be something you know a lot about, or something you love reading.
It is very important because your success as a blogger depends on how well you can show your competence on the topic you choose to blog about.
Planning a blogging business
Just like any other business, the first thing that should come to mind is how to make money from the investment.
You need to have a master plan of how you intend to make back the money you invested and the time you spend. So let’s walk through the process of planning your blogging business.
I said earlier; when you intend to choose to blog as an online business; you need to forget about Google Adsense and other ad networks.
You must get this point because like a regular business; your primary source of income should not be solely dependent on a third-party platform.
While planning, let’s talk about how you intend to make a profit from your blogging business.
First, there are two ways of making a profit from the business. It’s either you have a product that you intend to be sold, or you have a service you expect to render.
Take, for instance; you have a blog about tourism; you might choose to sell an EBook guide with comprehensive details on where to visit Nigeria. Or you might as well have an offline tourism business and use the blog as a marketing funnel for your business.
So think deeply about your choice of topic; what do you think will do well when it comes to monetization, products, or services?
If you run a tutoring blog; an EBook Product would do well, provided you don’t have time to organize offline tutoring classes.
The main reason for thinking about this at the very beginning is for you to develop your product even before you begin the blogging business.
If your choice is an EBook product, then, you should get to work on writing comprehensively about the product. Make it your best outcome, conduct research of the market, and see what problem people are having within your niche.
Let’s say your niche is about tourism; you can write extensively on places to visit for a honeymoon in Nigeria.
Do so if you discover that people are always asking this question on the popular Nigeria forum.
The most important thing is to conduct extensive research on your niche and try to solve a problem with your product.
The plan is to make sure that your product is ready for sale before you start blogging.
Once the production stage is settled, the next step is actually to set up the blog.
Setting Up a Blogging Business
This process is not as complicated as it may seem; the most important thing is to conduct proper research before you commence the blogging business.
One of the most important things to do is choose a domain name and reliable hosting.
Before you choose a domain name, you need to think deeply; you have two primary options.
You can either go the branding way or choose a domain name based on keyword popularity and search volume.
Since it is an online business; I would advise that you choose your domain name based on keyword popularity.
When keywords are embedded in your domain, it gives you some search engine optimization benefits.
You must understand the basics of keyword research using various online tools.
My favorite tool is the Google Keyword Planner; it is one of the features of Google Ads. It is free and relatively accurate, even though the data analyzed is restricted mainly to the Google search engine.
Once keyword research is done correctly, you can move on to the next stage of hosting the blog.
It’s a business blog, and as such, you must invest some amount of money into it.
You should get reliable web hosting, which usually comes with a free domain name for lifetime usage.
Set up the blog on WordPress (it’s relatively easy to do this, or you can hire a professional to help out in case you don’t know how).
Once your blog is up and running, the next stage is to create quality content for your blog.
How to Blog
Content remains the king as long as blogging is concerned.
Remember, we are treating this blog as a business, not as a hobby. So I would be linking your content to the goods you have in your regular physical shop.
Back to my example of a tourism blog, for this type of blog, you would need to convince the readers that you know a lot about tourism.
You would need to share pictures, videos of your adventures, and a complete review of places you’ve visited and you think people should visit.
For every blog post you make, your first objective should be to convince the reader that you are a real tourist. And that you are capable of showing them what tourism is all about in Nigeria.
So when creating your blog post, have in mind that your aim is to convince the reader. To do this, you are expected to create unique content that they won’t find elsewhere on the internet.
What this means is that a considerable amount of time should go into planning each blog post.
When running a blog as a business, you don’t have to publish a post all the time.
A single blog post in a month with information that solves people’s problems is worth much more than thousands of refined internet junks that readers can find elsewhere.
When you create a blog post, give it all that you’ve got, don’t hold back in sharing explicit information on your blog. Use every available piece of information you find to make the most resourceful.
As a tourist blogger, for example, you would do well by leveraging the power of videos, HD pictures, and other relevant information about the places you’re writing on.
Another important aspect of blogging is promotion.
It is effortless to write an epic blog post but still gets lost in the vast world of the internet. If you don’t promote your blog post, it might take a lot of time; months, or years before you get noticed on the internet.
This is why it is vital to promote each blog post on social media and other relevant platforms as regards your blog niche.
If everything is done as appropriate, you should start making sales within the first six (6) months.
One good thing about blogging is that, once you take the pain to follow the rules, the moment you make your first sales, you are on your way to many more sales.
Most of which would be passive sales even without making any marketing effort.
If you intend to start a blogging business, your best guide is to read comprehensive details about blogging and understand how the business works.
Then you can move on to setting up your blog, creating your product, and making a profit from your effort.
3. Freelance Writing Business
Freelance writing is one of the most lucrative businesses online; not just in Nigeria but in the entire world. The reason for the profitability of this business is not far-fetched; the internet runs on fresh and unique content.
Freelance business comes with many perks; one of which is the flexibility of working anywhere you want, at any time of the day. Most regular job or business does not give you this luxury.
How to Become a Freelance Writer
The first step to becoming a freelance writer is to understand what it means to be a freelance writer.
The role of a freelance writer is simple, you write for people, and they get the credit for your work (In most cases) while you get paid for the work you’ve done.
As a freelance writer, the number one thing (which is probably the most important thing) that you should know is that.
The moment a client pays you for your work, then you don’t have any right to call it your own or use it elsewhere, because it’s been bought.
Once this is understood, let’s look deeper into how to become a freelance writer in Nigeria.
Becoming a freelance writer is not a difficult task; so far, you can write appropriately. All you need is a guide in the right direction, and you would be making money from your writing skills before you know it.
Freelance writing is one of the fastest ways to make money online.
First, you need to decide on the type of freelance writing you would love to get into. Just like blogging, you can’t be a “Jack of all trade.”
You need to pick a market/niche in the writing world and get good at it.
The difference between freelance writing niche and blogging niche is simple. Blogging niche writes about a particular topic; the freelance writing niche offers a service in a specific genre.
The most common niche in freelance writing are the ones listed below:
Copywriting: This is perhaps the most lucrative niche in the freelance writing world.
What a copywriter does is simple; they persuade people to take action through their words. Most often, copywriters would persuade readers to buy or register for something through their articles.
The reason why copywriting is the most lucrative writing niche is not far-fetched. Internet marketers are always trying to sell a product or service to internet users. As a result, they would still need the assistance of an excellent copywriter to help persuade their audience in buying what they have to sell.
Internet marketers can pay as much as $1000 for a single piece of copywriting work. The charge really depends on how established you are as a freelance writer.
Just as you might have guessed; the copywriting niche is lucrative and also very competitive as well.
So for a newcomer, you would have to show that you are good at what you do before you start making a high income.
It explains why it might be a little bit difficult to get your first contract as a copywriter. But once you can secure your first job and you got a good review, then you will be on your way to making a passive income for yourself.
Fiction Writing: Fiction Writing is another popular niche. You might be wondering; who pays others to write their fictional story for them?
Well, people do it; especially amazon publishers. A lot of writers are making money from publishing short story books on amazon. These writers might have as many as 40 fictional books listed on the amazon book store.
What this means is that there is a constant demand for a fictional writer. As a freelancer in this niche, you would mostly work for a single client for a very long period.
Some might even ask you to sign a contract that forbids you from working for anybody else while you work for them.
This kind of niche is rewarding, and it is mostly perfect for writers that love writing fictional stories. It’s an ideal niche for writers that do not get bored of writing quickly and are capable of wild imaginations.
Getting a job in this niche is not as hard as getting a job in the copywriting niche. You would, however, have to work hard in other to gain your client’s trust and respect over time.
Technical Writing: This is also a very lucrative freelance writing niche. Because most of what you would be writing about as a professional writer requires the use of field-specific terms, you would have to be familiar with the field you’re writing on.
It makes the technical writing niche a little bit broad with various sub-niches. There is engineering sub-niche, gaming sub-niche, programming sub-niche, etc.
It might be a little bit difficult to get your first technical writing job. It is not necessarily because you are not good at what you do, but due to the specific target of the audience, you are writing. It might take a while before the right job opportunity comes around.
One of the benefits of being a technical writer is the recurrent contract with clients.
Once you offer an outstanding service to your client, then they would always come back to hire you. The reason because it’s challenging to get an excellent technical writer in a specific niche.
Blog Writer: This is the most common type of freelance writing job. Nigerians who are into blog writing, earn income from it monthly; both from Nigerian clients and overseas clients.
Job opportunities for blog writers are numerous. Even though the market may look saturated from afar, when you get closer, you would realize that the market is not as it seems. The competition in it is not fierce.
All you have to do is look at the right places for opportunities. Be good at what you do and professionally treat your clients.
The pay for blog writing is not as much as other freelance writing niches. The availability of opportunities covers the average wage. If you meet the right client, some of them are willing to pay as much as $100 for a 500 words article.
As a freelance blog writer, you don’t need to be an expert before you take on any job. Once you are good at making the inference, you can always read some articles on the topic you are about to write on; then come up with your unique article.
Always remember that there are no new ideas. All you need to do is steal a few different ideas from different places and mix them to make your new invention.
Academic Writing: This is also similar to technical writing because the task you would be expected to complete as an academic writer would be particular. And your knowledge on the topic of discussion must be very sound.
I generally advise newbies to stay away from this niche, even though the pay is above the average for most freelance writing jobs.
It takes years of practice to master how this niche works. You would need to read articles, journals, and understand your client’s work before you can do an excellent job in this niche.
In general, I would advise newbies to start from the level of blog writing niche. From there, you can slowly work your way into other niches as soon as you understand the nitty-gritty of the freelance writing business.
Setting Up Freelance Writing Portfolio
It is a little bit difficult to convince a stranger that you are good at something when they have not seen you in action. It is why having an online portfolio as a freelance writer is essential.
For a newcomer; I would always advise that you start a blog and post quality articles on the blog.
This blog would be your online portfolio, and you can always direct your clients to this blog to check out samples of your writings and access how good you are.
So how do you set up a writing portfolio?
The first step is to get a blog and buy a domain name. I would advise that you get a domain name that is branded along with your online identity. You can choose to name the blog after yourself (this is what most freelancers do).
Setting up a blog like this should cost you more than ₦20,000. This is a good investment, considering the importance of the blog to your business online.
Once the blog is up and running, you can at first publish five (5) or ten (10) articles on the blog and then make a monthly schedule of posting on the blog.
How Can I Get Freelance Writing Jobs In Nigeria?
Getting a freelance writing job is easy, provided you don’t live in Nigeria. Don’t get me wrong; I am a Nigerian; I will quickly show you how to get freelance writing jobs as a Nigerian. But first, you need to understand how the freelance writing business works.
Generally, people from the 1st tier countries (US, UK, Canada, Australia, etc.) prefer to outsource most of their jobs to foreigners because it’s cheap labor.
However, they prefer to hire a native speaker that is willing to charge them fairly and not bill them excessively.
It is what you would be taking advantage of; you would generally identify yourself as a native speaker and get as many jobs as you can.
Many people will criticize this method, but it’s simply the fastest and easiest way to get the right standing as far as freelance writing is concerned.
I don’t see anything wrong with this method because we as Nigerians speak and write better than most native speakers.
We have been writing in English since day one in school, and that should count for something.
So you can pick up a pen name for yourself, after all. As a freelance writer, most of your works will never be credited to you, which means you stand to lose nothing.
Pick up a pen name for yourself and create an online identity around that pen name. It’s as easy as that.
You can set up a Twitter account for your pen name, and name your blog based on your pen name.
Where to get freelance Writing Jobs in Nigeria
Getting freelance writing jobs becomes very easy the moment you create a pen name for yourself online. I would list out popular places where you can quickly get a good start as a freelance writer.
- Nairaland: This is a popular forum in Nigeria. I was not going to list it here, but I have a post on Nairaland about my writing business, and I have gotten several clients through that post. It will be an indication that you can also get clients from Nairaland. (Nairaland.com)
- Freelancers: Freelancers is a popular online website for freelancers. It merged with other freelancing websites (oedesk) about years ago, which means they have a huge user base and there is always a job to bid for. (freelancers.com)
- Iwriter: While it might take some time to get noticed on the freelance writing website. It should be noted that, once you gain the right traction, you will be on your way to making a high income daily. (iwriter.com)
- Fiverr: This is one of my favorite spots for scouting for a freelance writing job. On this platform, all you have to do is list your gig on the website and promote it. Fiverr also have a way of displaying your gig to users on their homepage. On Fiverr, freelancers are placed on levels, depending on the number of sales they’ve made and the times they’ve spent on Fiverr. There is a way of fast-tracking the process of getting noticed on Fiverr, but I won’t cover that in this post.
- Warrior Forum: There is a section on the warrior forum called “ Warrior For Hire” You can sign up on this forum and list your writing service in this section. It should be noted that it would cost you about $15 to have your service listed, but the exposure you get on the forum makes it worth it.
There is another freelance writing market, and I might expand the list as time goes on. But the ones listed above are good enough to start with, provided you’re just commencing your freelance writing business online.
As a bonus tip on how to become a freelance writer in Nigeria, I would advise that you focus your energy on foreign clients. The reason for this is simple; the pay is better, and you stand a chance of gaining international recognition once you are good at what you do.
Guest posting on a popular blog is also another way of getting noticed online as a freelance writer. Come up with a unique blog post idea; write everything possible on the topic and forward the post to popular blogs within your desired niche.
In your by-line as a guest poster; add links back to your live portfolio blog and an introduction about your freelance writing business. The guest posting idea gives you broad exposure to a different type of audience across the globe.
I would also advise that you stay away from craigslist and other listing websites as much as possible.
4. Web Hosting Business
Web hosting is one of the lucrative businesses in Nigeria. It requires little capital to start. The beauty of this business is that; everything can be done online; without owning your own personal server or a physical office address.
The simple idea of making money from the web hosting business is by being a hosting reseller. The business plan is very straightforward.
You can buy a hosting reseller account from established hosting companies. Then you sell it off to people that require small disk space and bandwidth for hosting their blog or website.
Most hosting companies would work with you behind the scene; it is just like having a franchise business. But in this case, you give the business a name that pleases you. The mother company provides all your products and services.
This is called White Label Reseller Hosting. The company would give you the opportunity of naming the business after your brand.
And none of your customers would know that you are affiliated with another company. They would see your business name in the storefront and every other thing that has to do with the services you are rendering to them.
How to Become a Hosting Reseller
Becoming a hosting reseller is easy, provided you have the membership fee (which is your start-up capital).
On average, you would need about 100 dollars, to sign up for the smallest reseller package. Depending on the hosting company you sign up with. The allocation of disk space and bandwidth for your account determines the amount you pay the parent company on a monthly/annual basis.
Most of the hosting companies will offer you an Enorm domain reseller account. It will allow you to handle the domain registration and migration process for your client.
Once you choose your preferred mother company, the next thing is to decide on how to make your business stand out amidst numerous hosting companies.
As a Nigerian, this is a big opportunity, because we have few reliable hosting companies in Nigeria right now. You can offer your service at a desirable rate. You would have numerous customers coming your way in no time; considering the number of blogs we have online in Nigeria right now.
To create a hosting package plan, and put up your website (This will be more like your store). Put everything in place and set the ball rolling.
Promoting Your Hosting Company
You must promote your new business through various means in other to start making sales.
You cannot just set everything up and let it sit down there without doing adequate promotion.
So in other to promote your new hosting company, you can budget a small amount of money for Facebook ads, Google Ads, and Sponsored posts on blogs.
If done well, the return on investment for this particular business can be very huge. Once your name is established as a reliable hosting provider, you would be making a high income daily.
It should be noted that the reseller hosting account usually comes with an unlimited Cpanel hosting account. It makes it very easy to be autonomous with your business.
This kind of investment is much more profitable, provided you’re into web design, freelance writing, or app development.
Mostly because your clients would always need the service of a web hosting company, and you can always recommend your hosting company to them.
5. Dropshipping Business
The dropshipping business is still very new in Nigeria and has a promising future. I won’t explain dropshipping business here because I have already written a particular post on it in this blog. You can read it here: Dropshipping – Meaning, Benefits, and How to Run It.
6. Affiliate Marketing Business
An affiliate marketing business is a business that deals with selling goods or services from a commission. This kind of business can be done 100% online.
No capital is needed. All that you need is to have an internet-enabled device that can be used be used to promote the affiliate product.
You don’t own the product you are promoting; you only promote via your affiliate link, it is via this link that you can take track of all sales you made.
We have carefully written an outstanding article on affiliate marketing, where we also mentioned the top affiliate marketing program in Nigeria. Please read it here: Best Affiliate Marketing Programs In Nigeria.
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