4 Smart Ways to Make Money Online in Nigeria — in 2016

With more and more people hopping onto the bandwagon of online business, the competition is getting stiffer by the day.

But the good news is, new opportunities keep surfacing with each passing day. And this fact is what smart people always capitalize on.

Yes, it’s been quite a while since I last published a post on this blog. But I never for once stopped brainstorming for new, smart ideas for making money online — in Nigeria.

During most of my brainstorming sessions, I stumble upon virgin ideas or promising modifications of some existing ones.

But the truth is, I just can’t implement every single idea I come upon. And that’s why I don’t hesitate to share them with people who can summon the courage to implement them.

In addition to the 27 ideas I earlier shared, here are four smart and promising ideas on how to make money online in Nigeria.

ways to make money online in nigeria

1. Carve out a narrowed-down version of a specialized website

Chances are you’ve heard of popular Nigerian websites like Nairaland (online forum), Jobberman (job search portal), PrivateProperty.com.ng (property listing site), Vconnect (online business directory), and so on.

Although each of these sites offers value in a different way, all of them target the whole of Nigeria and cover a wide range of topics or niches. And to grow them into the big, popular, and successful brands that they’ve now become, their owners invested a lot of money, time, and manpower.

While the idea of setting up the next successful forum or job board might seem appealing, you won’t be able to implement it without a big budget and a team of seasoned professionals. But does that mean you still can’t make money from the same model? No.

So, how can you tap from the opportunities that these mega websites are tapping from? It’s simple; just narrow down. You know what I mean? OK, I’ll explain.

As you know, Jobberman targets job seekers all over Nigeria by publishing job vacancies across all sectors of the economy and states of the federation. Instead to aiming for something that big, consider starting a job search portal that would list vacancies in only one field (engineering, teaching, accounting, or something else) or in only one geographical location (state or city).

During my keyword research sessions, I do stumble upon keyphrases like, “Accounting jobs in Nigeria” and “Job vacancies in Port Harcourt”. And that leaves me with no doubt that a job search portal targeted at only one or few career fields or locations in Nigeria is a smart idea.

Similarly, you can create an online forum that discusses only one topic (such as sports or business) or targets users within only one state or city. This same strategy can be applied to other forms of specialized websites (property listing sites, classified ad sites, price comparison sites, and so on).

Another bright side of this idea is that it gives room for expansion. After achieving success in your chosen niche, you can expand by including more niches and targets.

2. Create a niche blog for a diverse audience

A niche blog is an information-laden online resource that is laser-targeted at a particular topic, category of people, or location. Here are good examples of niche blogs:

  • A blog about electric blenders: This would feature information about different types and models of electric blenders and how they compare against each other. The owner’s aim would be to make money through affiliate marketing — earning commissions each time someone buys a blender through one of the affiliate links on the site.
  • A blog for retirees: This would feature information about life after retirement as well as products and services that retirees need. Such a blog can be monetized through affiliate marketing and contextual ads.
  • A blog for Kenyans: This would feature detailed posts written around topics that Kenyans are searching the web for. The posts would cut across several topics — from helpful tips to reviews of Kenyan products and services — but they would be tailored to people living in Kenya (regardless of the location of the owner). Such a blog can be monetized with contextual ads, direct ads, and affiliate marketing.

From these examples, you’d have deduced that any mega topic can be narrowed down by being tailored to a specific set of people or geographical location, or by being smartly streamlined based on any other criterion.

While you’re free to target a local audience with a niche blog, you’d be better off with a global audience because it would be far more profitable in the long haul. Although targeting a global audience can be more challenging, it usually presents better opportunities for monetization and growth.

(However, it goes without saying that if you’re targeting your niche blog at a specific geographical location, you can no longer target a global audience in that case.)

3. Render specialized freelance services

There are two ways to mastering any subject: you can either know something about every topic or know everything about one topic. The former option is the generalist approach, while the latter is the specialist approach.

In today’s world, specialists — in any field — are usually more respected than generalists, probably because it’s tougher to break into the specialist cadre, while anyone — even without the right qualifications — can wear the “generalist” tag.

So, rather than be a general freelance writer, you should focus only on business plan writing, CV/cover letter writing, proposal writing, fiction ghostwriting, or copywriting. Rather than be a freelance web developer, you should focus only on blog setup/design, e-commerce site development, business website development, or something related. And rather than be a freelance graphics designer, you should focus only on designing website banners, business logos, e-book covers, or landing pages.

As for me, I’d favor a specialist in business plan writing over someone who parades himself as an “all-round” freelance writer. And I’m sure anyone who appreciates quality services would do the same.

4. Start an arbitrage business

This option is for smart folks who are good at marketing, establishing connections, and sealing business deals. Arbitrage simply involves getting paid to render a service, but hiring someone else to do the job for much less than you were paid. Your aim here is to enjoy a margin of profit.

For example, let’s assume I run an advert on Nairaland stating that I design corporate websites for small businesses. I charge each client N50,000 per website, but after landing a deal I hire someone on Upwork to complete the job for just $100 (about N27,000).

Deducting N10,000 for domain name registration and hosting purchase would leave me with a profit of N13,000. That’s sweet cash. If I can land 5-6 such deals each month, I’d be making a decent monthly income without necessarily knowing jackshit about website design.

The same can apply to logo design services, video creation services, and others. For most of these services, you can hire someone on Fiverr for just $5. To learn more about Fiverr arbitrage business and how to start it, click here to read the detailed post I wrote on it.

The choice is yours!

If you’ve been short of ideas on how to make money online here in Nigeria, you just got another four brilliant ones. Look critically at each of them, make your choice, and get started immediately before others outsmart you. (Remember that many others will read also read this post.)

Now, your turn

Do you have any questions regarding the post (or something else)? Or you have contributions or objections? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

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Abass Toriola

I'm a seasoned freelance writer, internet marketing strategist, and online business coach. And I'm a university graduate, doctor-in-training, husband, and father.

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Updated: January 12, 2016 — 9:08 am


Add a Comment
  1. Great post as usual. I think whatever choice one makes, it is best to have a feasible plan and go one step at a time.

    Nice post Abass

    1. Fouad,

      Thanks for checking by. I’m glad you found the post helpful.

  2. Thanks Abbas for this comprehensive write up, I am always glad any time i receive a new post or mail from you keep it up.Pleas how can i set up a niche on safety and security please i need your advice on these field and how i can make it productive if your know what i mean thanks.

    1. I’d advise you call me to clarify the question. Besides, I guess the answer will be much more than I can type here.

  3. Thanks a lot for this post sir, I have more interest in the last idea you shared and so my question as regards that is this; Apart from nairaland.com which you gave in your example, which other site or platforms will you recommend to ensure getting deals from potential clients or customers??

  4. It’s great to see someone offering pure value without reservations. Thanks for the great work, Mr Abass. More grace to you.

    1. Philip,

      I’m glad you found the post helpful. Thanks for checking by.

  5. Tanks Abass for the wel packaged information. I intend 2 start the abitrage biz. Bt my question here is it possible 2 register in an outsourcing sites let say on elance as a one that want to work n one one that wants 2 hire(abitrary)at the same time with the same email address? Plz shade more ligt thanks.

    1. Joy,

      You’re welcome. But i don’t seem to understand your question. Can you please make it clearer?

  6. hello broda,thanks for your tips,i started this blog http://www.trendsnigeria.com.but my problem has always been on how to target a keyword for a particular niche,you have always emphasized on keyword research.secondly hour do i get plenty articles to populate my site ,is time consuming writing the articles please any more suggestions or review from you on my site trendsnigeria.com

    thanks in anticipation on your honest review and advice.

    1. If you can’t write articles yourself, then you can pay freelance writers to write for you. Copying and pasting won’t fetch you any positive result.

  7. hello sir,i also forgot can you recommend a good plugin that i can use to lock content,so that when someone want to right click to save the page it will not work,i have tried it on this site several times,and it do not work,so sir please send it to my mail if you do not want to post it here.

    please this is very important and also how to get quality articles


    1. please am still waiting for your review of my site http://www.trendsnigeria.com from you.meanwhile i must thank you so much for the quality of your tips,you can believe i spend up to one one plus reading through one topic 27 hot online business for nigerians,it was an eye opener.

      thanks once again.

      1. Onyekachi,

        I’m sorry that this is coming a bit late. On checking your blog, I got a first impression that you’re not taking it serious. A news blog that isn’t frequently updated?

        Also, tell me how you get your content. Do you copy and paste from other sites? Your answer will help me give you a more detailed reply.

    2. There is a WordPress plugin called WP Content Protection. Download and install it, and it will protect your content from scrapers. BTW, why were you trying to copy content from this blog? Just asking.

  8. Mr. A bass, kudos to u for a job well done, in facts ur write up has inspired me but l have a question to ask. To do any of d on line business listed out, l think d first step is to crest a web address? how much will it cost to learn a web design program or to create one? thanks.

  9. Hello great tutor.I just checked my mail now and saw your new post on “4 smart ways to make money online in Nigeria” .After going through it ,I saw a lot of lights in it pointing to hidden but smart way to realize my age long dream.Bros ,I want to give you kudos for this sterling write up and wish you long life to dish out more useful information like this to your numerous fans .Thanks

    1. Rasheed,

      Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you found the blog helpful.

  10. Hello Abass,
    Thanks for this post. You always know how to add value to your readers. The arbitrage option looks interesting, I’d read the other post on it.

    1. Ruth,

      You’re welcome. I’m glad you were able to consider one of the ideas. Thanks for checking by as usual.

  11. I just completed one of your materials i downloaded and i found it enriching. enriching that i will have to reade and read allover again until i drain all the nutrient in it.

  12. Thank you very much Abass for this post..you are always full of new Ideas.As for me I already have a niche blog, http://www.mariosinn.blogspot.com, it deals about the internet and technology, and my site focuses on a global audience…it is already drawing some amount of audience through search engines after I applied ur tip for good article optimization.But I would like to place private ads, but i dnt knw how to convience prospective advertisers…i mean in the long run.Can i get some tips from u plz, thank u vry much.

    1. Mario,

      I’d advise you to focus on growing your blog for now. Nobody would advertise on a blog with low traffic. When your traffic booms well enough, advertisers will find it and approach your themselves.

  13. HI I wo[ld like to be part of your programme.please when is the next episode?

    1. Olatunde,

      If you’re subscribed to this blog, you’ll get an email notification when next the course is open for registration.

  14. Hi Abass, you are simply a genius. I always find everyone of our blog posts educative and this one was no exception. I’m a writer myself and I am working on creating a niche for myself on every form of creative writing. This just confirmed to me that I am on the right track.
    I’ll be pleased if you can check out my blog and see what I have done so far. Keep it up sir.

  15. Hello once more Abass. I forgot to include the blog address for convenience. Here it is: http://www.maggiesmart88.com

  16. Thanks Abas for this post. Please can someone use free blogspot in making money as an affiliate?

    1. Ezekiel,

      Yes, you can use a Blogger blog for affiliate marketing. But a self-hosted blog is better for optimization, and is taken more seriously.

  17. I consider U alwys as my Online Boss. U ‘r 2much… If U cld recall, dere were tyms I ws calling U regularly 2 ask questions on setting up nd managing blogs nd websites. I actually startd 1; http://www.gentleempire.blogspot.com, bt later I ws robbed in sch., my laptop, my phones, nd all my contacts were lost. Since den my blog has been dormant. Is dere any idea U can gv me on hw I can make some money, enof 2 get a new laptop nd continue frm whr I stoppd. 2ndly, I wld lyk 2 get bck ur phone contact. Thanks!

  18. Interested in the arbitrage business. Just downloaded one of your e-books how to make money in Nigeria, looking forward to its content. Nice work keep the flag flying.

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