9 (Silly) Mistakes You Must Correct/Avoid If You Are To Make Money Online In Nigeria (Pt. 1)

As the Naira falls miserably against the Dollar (to the tune of 300+), the concept of making money online in Nigeria has never been this relevant and urgent.

Unfortunately, in the current way and manner most Nigerians pursue their dreams of making money online, it does not take genius to see that failure is the only logical outcome…with this failure, also comes loss of money — money that would  have been judiciously deployed for something better and far more productive.

This is sad — and very ‘unideal’.

Unfortunately too, this is not only sad — it also spells doom and means that, you are (and may continue) in the habit of wasting your time and ensuring that you remain classically unproductive online.

But the good news is that this reality can be sorted out brilliantly, if you as much as take a look at the causative agents.

Accordingly, I have outlined below, nine (9) very powerful and ‘doom-ensuring’ mistakes that you are most likely committing; mistakes that are holding you back and ensuring that you earn either peanuts or nothing from your online efforts.

It is my personal guarantee that, if you correct these mistakes, you are certainly going to see an instant surge in your online business — whatever it may be.

mistakes to avoid making money online in nigeria

In no clearly defined order, here are the mistakes you must avoid passionately if you are to move forward…you are also encouraged to carefully read the suggestions contained therein: for then, and only then, will this piece serve the purpose it was intended, thought out and written.

Shall I show you the road?

1. Insisting on investing ONLY AFTER you’ve made money online

I hear (and read) this uninspiring mistake a lot – especially among newbies.

For bloggers, they prefer to delay such basic expenditures as domain name and hosting until they actually begin to earn with their blogs/website. For mini importers and freelancers, they delay the reality of purchasing tutorials from established authorities until they actually ‘make it’ — a reality that often never happens as they wind up scammed, frustrated or clueless, trying to figure out things out themselves.

The tenacity and dedication with which such folks hold on to this very unrealistic mindset is baffling. Many of such ‘online entrepreneurs’ even have the guts and effrontery to make this misinformed decision known to their network of friends and whosoever cares to listen. This, clearly, is the height of cluelessness!

Solution to insisting on ‘investment only after profit’

There is nowhere offline where businessmen expect any profit — or even imagine that business will take off without some basic and necessary investments. It is thus rather sad that when businesses are taken online, their owners completely forget the basics and start messing things up. To avoid this ‘trappy’ thinking, understand that:

  • No one has ever started a business without a shop (which he pays rent on).
  • After paying for a shop, the businessman must ensure that he stocks the shop with viable goods that he intends to sell…this has never been avoided.
  • It is only after these points that the businessman expects to see some profits.

Go, learn from the businessman on your street!

2. Plying the solo route

Thanks to the rising level of scam in Nigeria today, hardly do Nigerians trust themselves anymore. Accordingly, the average Nigerian who has come online looks at the next neighbor of his as an instant competitor — one to be scared of instantly or worse, a scammer who is loose, looking for a victim.

While there are a million and one scammers roaming the cyber space freely in Nigeria today, it is the height of naivety to imagine that everyone who is online is a scam. Equally, it is height of stupidity to imagine that regardless of niche, you are online to compete with the fellow next door…there is too much to be lost entertaining such less than ideal thoughts!

Online, there is a whole new world to be gained by networking…only novices insist on doing it all alone!

Let me give you two classical examples:

  • My host, Abass Toriola, recently partnered with a friend to run a profitable experiment with Adsense on one of his sites…the results have been amazing ever since!
  • Until recently, I ran one of the most thought provoking blogs relating to making money online in Nigeria legally. On this blog, I had in place what I called the NTP Blog Hop – wherein I featured (for free) all the best entries relating to making money online in Nigeria. This sort of unsolicited partnership made me more friends than I can ever imagine…and the benefits have since transcended the online realm.

What exactly is the point I am trying to make here? It’s quite simple: to achieve greatness online, you’ll need to partner with others — irrespective of what you think!

How to partner with others like a business genius

The truth is devilishly simple: we are all afraid of partnerships and only tolerate them because usually, there appears to be no other way.

However, given the numerous benefits that can be got from them, we have (instead of being afraid of them) developed a simple set of rules that will certainly ensure that your partnerships are safe, intelligent and more importantly, deliver on what you intend them to.

The tips are quite simple and straightforward.

  1. Never partner with someone who does not have something to lose! To succeed, always ensure that you figure out the big fishes…they are the ones who cannot afford to fail — or stain their reputation!
  2. If you are partnering with a ‘small fish’, kindly ensure that there are verifiable referrals or testimonials and these referrals/testimonials are credible and trustworthy.
  3. Define all goals and objectives before venturing into any partnership…the object of the union must be crystal clear right from the beginning.
  4. Reduce things to writing…this has the singular advantage of ensuring that you do not waste time arguing about trivial details in future.
  5. Finally, in as much as you expect the other party to be true to the terms of the partnership, you must start by being VERY true to them yourself…if you are not, how on earth do you expect your partner(s) to be?

Got the gist?

3. Blunt refusal to learn anything

To qualify to practice as a lawyer, you’ll need to spend 5 solid years of your life in the university and another 1 year (still from your life) at the law school…these are all years that are determined to make you master the basics of Nigerian Law. If you are interested in becoming a doctor, it’s a little longer. And if the Priesthood is your target, be prepared for an average of 10 years (depending on your order).

What’s the point I’m trying to make here?

Simple: you cannot be a Lawyer, Doctor or Priest without learning the basics of the various vocations chronicled above — so is it with making money online. You cannot thus expect to earn anything with the online model of making money when you have not yet mastered the model (you have opted for).

Or, whoever became a lawyer without the requisite 6 year training? Got the gist?

How to learn before earning…

It’s sad and extremely pathetic that online, what is needed to make the initial attempt at ‘business’ is just a laptop, modem and some internet subscription. Sadly, without any previous (concrete) knowledge, such a crazy attempt can produce only one thing: UTTER FAILURE.

To avoid this utter failure, it is very important to note the following tips:

  • Not all online businesses are profitable…study the model you wish to start thoroughly before you jump into it — or you may as well jump out again!
  • The various online businesses have their various tips and ‘tricks’…without knowing what these are, be prepared to waste your data, energy and time for at least 5 solid years!
  • Most online businesses are not suitable for beginners for various reasons; chief amongst which is complexity of operation. A prior study of the model in question will certainly help you avoid the great circle of guess work and cluelessness!

Would you exercise due caution or you can afford to gamble things up and risk going round for years?

4. Threading The Passionless Route

With the reality of making money online in Nigeria (even when you sleep), there has been renewed interest in the overall model of making money online with this model. Unfortunately, many are also grossly misinformed: they imagine that they can make money online even without any passion for the selected model in question.

This is the biggest lie of the century!

This is a lie, not because it is technically impossible…it is a lie because the effort required to achieve success with this reality is far bigger than the eventual reward! Now, you will agree with me that when the efforts far outweigh the results, you are wasting your time in the most classical of manners…

For example: if you are damn poor with writing or the English Language, you have no business attempting to run a blog, except of course you plan on blogging in Tiv, Hausa, Yoruba or Ibo! If you insist, you’ll discover that the headaches, the associated fever, the drag and the overall medical costs to get you back on your feet (as you’ll eventually fall) will always be more than the ‘profit’ you have raised.

Now, tell me…is that what you call business?

How to thread the ‘passionful’ route

Whatsoever you do — do for love!

Passion ensures that you are high on adrenaline and creativity all through the day; it ensures that you work well into the wee hours of the morning and yet, feel no fatigue; it ensures that after an otherwise hectic day at what you do, you still have the energy to run the Olympic meters!

It’s as crazy and important as that – so important that I had previously dedicated a whole entry to it here in the past…if you missed it, consider reading 5 Great Reasons Why Passion Is Very Important In Making Money Online Here.

The summary is crazily simple: if you aren’t in love with a model, kindly do not consider it as a possible way of making money online!

5. Being Infected With S.O.V.

First, let’s clear the contraction above…S.O.V. stands for Shiny Objects Virus, a chronic online infection that mostly affects newbies, leading them to try out any new idea(s) they come across. Usually, failure ensues as they never master any one model enough to make it pay them in a handsome fashion.

Essentially thus, SOV spells death online — the type that ensures rigor mortis sets in immediately! Unfortunately, a plethora of both newbie and ‘oldbies’ are specialists in chasing every shiny object that pops into their skulls — or blindly following the models that have worked brilliantly for others who may not even be doing what they are interested in to start with.

It is thus common to see bloggers (for instance) attempt to monetize via affiliate marketing, then change to Adsense, then jump to products, then further to selling Ad space and finally, close down the entire blog!

This is just a classic example of the typical newbie infected with the SOV…more examples can be readily got if you are observant enough to look carefully around…unfortunately, as you get one example, be prepared to see a ton more spring out from nowhere to further prove this point right!

Yes, it’s really that bad!

How to dispense of S.O.V.

There is no known cure of SOV except two things: a keen (laser) focus and an ability to appreciate what it is that you are doing online directly. To fully appreciate the points above, it is very important to explain them in full detail here. Kindly follow me…

  1. A keen (laser) focus: Persons who are infected with SOV are those who have not fully appreciated the full extent of the power of focus…accordingly, they are still uncertain if they should settle for either option ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’. With such uncertainty of mind, anything they come across (or which comes across them) appears to be the real deal. To dispense of SOV therefore, keep a keen (laser) focus and dedicate your time, energy and passion to the model that you have come to master — and love. In summary, keep your eyes on the prize and do not waiver till you get to it!
  2. Appreciating what you are doing: Whatsoever it is that you are doing, there is the prospect/possibility that you will wind up supremely rich/successful doing it…this is especially true when you factor in the reality that all business ideas that are taken online have the prospect of the greatest good and power — if only you are persistent enough to press hard and smart and more importantly, avoiding distractions in the process.

Do this – and the ‘virus’ will certainly not only die, it will also be buried, giving you access to your long sought after success (in the most classical of fashions).

Initial ‘goodbye’

This is an impressively long entry – detailing 9 notorious mistakes certain to ensure that your dream of making money online comes to naught (if you keep committing them). Unfortunately, the entry turned out longer than expected — and I had to keep it manageable by creating a ‘part 2’ which will be live, right here, same time next week.

Kindly do keep a date…but before then, let’s discuss these first 5 challenges via comments below.


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Akaahan Terungwa

Founder & Chief Content Strategist at Notopoverty
Akaahan Terungwa is a best selling author and blogger. Aside writing & blogging, he also runs the World's Number One Information Portal. Connect with him via Twitter: @IamAkaahan.
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Updated: February 26, 2016 — 8:46 am


Add a Comment
  1. Nice write-up Akaahan!

    Frankly speaking, I’m guilty of the fifth mistake. But thanks to the advice from experienced writers, I’m beginning to become focused. Not easy, though.

    I hope part 2 will be released soon. Don’t keep us waiting oooo….lol

    Great job!

    1. Hi Fouad,

      The medicine for SOV is quite simple – and has already been shared…however, I must concur that this is one ‘virus’ that doesn’t get eliminated easily!

      Believe me.

      Expect the second part in a week – and thanks for the sincere comment.

      Akaahan Terungwa

  2. Hmmm. This is quite interesting. Well said and frankly informative. I really stayed glued to the end. Keep the great work up.

    1. Michael,

      Thanks for taking your time to read the post. I’m glad you found it helpful.

    2. Hi Mike,

      Staying glued to the page is a positive sign…kindly do keep a date – I’m sure the concluding part will literarily sweep you off your feet!

      Be certain to make the day great!

      Akaahan Terungwa

  3. Good post, I just like everything about your posts. Keep the good work moving.

    1. Hey Ife,

      Thanks for the compliment. But this post wasn’t written by me.

  4. This is an indispensable post on making money online. It is the bitter truth from the desk of an erudite writer, Akaahan Terungwa.
    I realy learn a lot from it. This is meant not only for newbies but also for oldbies who realy want to add to their knowledge.
    I’m looking forward to read the rest till the end. May you be blessed.

    1. Hi Mutairu,

      I consider it an honor when my entries inspire and bless others…it is thus my fervent belief that you will not make these mistakes chronicled here again.

      Do enjoy the day – and remember to keep a date!

      Akaahan Terungwa

  5. I hear people say i wanted to start making money with my blog before i bought a custom domain, its like saying you want to make money before opening a shop.
    Great share here

    1. You get the gist, Tuham…it’s like putting the cart before the horse – it doesn’t simply work!

      Enjoy the rest of the evening.

      Akaahan Terungwa

  6. LEARNER ARE LEADER indeed this post is great opportunity not only MAKING MONEY ONLINE BUT OFFLINE AS WELL thank u alot

    1. You’re welcome, dear Ahmad…I sincerely hope you learnt one or two things today.

      Do make the evening great!

      Akaahan Terungwa

  7. Thank you Akaahan for this nice piece. I’ve been blogging for about a year now and wondering if I’m in the right niche but this is simply what I have the passion for.
    I’ll try to stay focused as you said and hope for the best. Thanks once again!

    1. Hi Maggie,

      This piece will certainly help you refocus – and re-strategize; after reading the second part of this entry due in a few days from today, I’m certain by this time next year, your story will not be the same again.

      I dedicate this piece to your success!

      Akaahan Terungwa

  8. Hi Akaahan

    Wow! I can relate to this mistakes so well. Sadly, I have seen some bloggers make these kinds of mistake.

    So it is great that you revealed it to us. This will help put some newbies on track…

    Thanks for sharing. Take care


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