Getting Started: An Introduction to Online Business

Though there are many definitions for online business, here’s the one that I deem most apt for our discussion here:

Online business is one that is operated via the internet and that brings income via the internet as well (my definition).

In online business, your website or blog is your showroom/store where you display your wares and skills and convince prospects that you offer quality.

There are two types of online business: active and passive

introduction to online business

An active online business is one that requires you to render specific services or requires your active participation in some other way. Most of the time, the profit you’ll make from an active business is proportionate with your activity.

For instance, I’m a freelance writer. So, my monthly income is based on how many writing assignments I complete within a month. If I decide not to write, then I’ll make no money.

Your online business would be an active one if you render services such as ghostwriting, graphics design, SEO consulting, programming, virtual assistance, data entry, etc.

A passive online business is one that brings income continuously even when you’re not actively involved.

But does that mean you’ll do nothing? No.

In fact, for you to make money through passive means, you must have invested lots of time, effort, and even money right from the beginning. Only after you’ve built your business perfectly can you sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. So, passive online businesses also require hard work (even more than active businesses).

When a passive business starts to turn profitable, there’s no limit to the income you can make from it. And you can continue to make money even when you’re sleeping (that why it’s called “passive”).

Examples of passive online businesses include affiliate marketing and information marketing.

The bottom line is that both active and passive online businesses require hard work.

So, if a self-proclaimed “genius” somewhere is promising to teach you how to make thousands of dollars overnight or just at the click of a button, quickly raise your bullshit detector and look elsewhere.

(Read: 10 Bitter Truths No One Told You about Online Business)

PS. Sports betting, investing in HYIP schemes, and being paid to read emails or completing surveys are ways by which people make money online. But they’re not real online businesses. A real business is what you own, run, and have control over the income it brings. So, I only teach real businesses that have permanent profit potentials.

With the above in mind, let’s look at the tools you’ll need to start an online business.

No, you don’t need to be a programmer or a graduate in marketing or writing. And you don’t need a huge amount of cash to get started, either. Here is a short list of all that you need:

  • A computer (laptop, desktop, etc.)
  • A reliable internet connection
  • Basic computer skills (browsing the internet, typing, performing simple computer operations such as uploading images, etc.)
  • Minimal writing skills. I stress the word “minimal”. All you need is a basic ability to express yourself clearly. (We’ll discuss this in our coming lessons.)
  • $10 per year to register your own .com domain name. Plus hosting fees (this varies depending on your chosen host) if you’re not going for a free hosting platform.
  • Most importantly, a strong determination to learn and take action, and the zeal to succeed.

Having understood all that has been stated, you’re now ready to find out what online business is most suitable for you. And that’s what we’ll be discussing in the next lesson (coming next week).

But before then, read this post: 6 Proven, Risk-free Ways to Make Real Money Online In Nigeria)

If you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas, leave a comment.

And one more thing, don’t forget to share this post with others (on Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

If you found this post helpful, please share...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn
Follow me

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.

Click here to read more about me.
Follow me


Add a Comment
  1. Thanks for dis wonderful piece BTW Is it possible to use a mini laptop?

    1. Leocolin,

      Yes, you can use a mini laptop. It works perfectly.

  2. Tnx for the quick reply. God bless you a million fold..

  3. thank you for todays lesson God bless you i really learnt alot…pls i was considering affiliation with a guy who owns a new,small but growing website..i was planning to help him build the site and then we could share profits…am trying to do this due to lack of startup fund for my own website…please i need your advice…thank you sir Abass and may God bless you

    1. Chukwuemeka,

      Thanks, too, for reading the lesson. I’m glad you really learned from it.

      As for your plan to liaise with a friend to develop a website together and then share the profits, I’ll advise you not to adopt that idea — for many reasons I just can’t exhaust here.

      Instead, set up your own blog on Blogger or WordPress (it’s not expensive at all) and develop your ideas on your own. This way, you’ll have full control over your online business and you’ll be the one to enjoy all the gains it brings.

      Very soon, we’ll be discussing how to set up a blog in the e-course. You’ll learn how to go about the whole thing.

  4. chukwuemeka onyeneke

    Thank you very much sir Abass for your quick response i deeply appreciate it….

  5. I’m very grateful for what you did today. Please never stop this because the reward will come unexpectedly. Thanks so much. I’m expecting the next lesson.

    1. Adedotun,

      Thanks for your following. Without you guys, I would be writing for no audience.

      I’ll strive to give you more of helpful and relevant information.

  6. Ride on Abass, I am enjoying your lesson. Though, I have a wide experience already, and I av been into the game for long, I still keep learning everyday because knowledge varies….. Keep it up.

    1. Paul,

      Thanks for the encouragement. I’m sure you’ll still learn many new stuffs as in the course of this e-course.

  7. Hello, please am just bugged down with setting up some blogging plan, am new in blogging and would want to you to tell me little on blogging such as the “DO’S” and ” DONTS” that hinder blogging.
    Also, it has been said that blogging on its own it very easy if you apply fun, how are you treating your blog as a business outsite fun!. do you schedule your blogging and post plan and when writing your post, where do you focus on how do you generate Seo freindly post tittle?.
    4.what are epic content and how can you distinguish epic content from others?.
    5, who are your blog readers/targeted audience and how can your know your blog readers before you give them what they want?.
    6.when frequently do you post and how many post do you post, night/days or weekdays?. or from where do you get post knolege, i mean how you get post before you publish on your site?
    8. What are the major wordpress tweaks/plugin to protect your site from hackers and how do you backup your wordpress site?.

    I will be happy if you can publish this same questions and answers on your blog for others similar to me to learn from it..thanks

    1. Emmatech,

      Well, all your questions will be adequately answered in the coming lessons of the free e-course I’m running presently.

      However, I’ll soon answer the questions briefly in a fresh post, which I’ll place in the questions and answers category.

  8. Olufisola Agboola

    Thanks for this intro. I am eager to progress with the course.

  9. Thank you so much, Sir, for today’s lesson. I believe that as we go on in this training, financial breakthrough over everyone that subscribe shall come forth.

    1. Tope,

      You’re welcome. I share your hope and belief.

  10. What a good info..keep up your good effort.

  11. Thanks Abass for making this information available. I stumbled on your site and I’ll say it’s been most enlightening. Working online is what I have been contemplating for a while now. I have all the tools/requirements and I also do some writing, though not on a large scale anyway. Pls how do I go about it? I tried elance and fiverr sometime ago but didn’t really know how to go about it. Moreso, when Nigeria has been banned from using Paypal through which these sites pay their clients.Can you help on how to get started on these sites? Will be most grateful. God bless you as I await your response.

    1. Sola,

      Let me start with this question: do you plan to go into freelance writing, or you have other online businesses in your plan?

      As for the freelance outsourcing sites, I’d advise you to visit each of them (Elance, Guru, and Freelancer) and read their FAQ pages to really understand how to work with them. I can’t give all the information that you need here. So, their FAQ pages would be the best and most authentic resource.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Web Income Plus © 2014