How I Make Money Online (In Nigeria): My Story, My Goal, and My Advice to You

I pocketed about $200 (N30,000) within the last 10 days of March 2013 (I was on break for the first 20 days).

In April I was able to amass about $550 (N84,000).

Now, this is early May, and I already have on my table projects worth more than my April income.

Of course, I’m into online business and I work for less than 5 hours on most days. And it may interest you that I don’t work every day.

Well, let me come out straight: I’m a blogger and freelance writer.

how to i make money online in from Nigeria

For some time now, I’ve been receiving mails from people who wanted me to explain how they can make money online (from freelance writing or otherwise).

At first I tried to respond to each mail. But as the number of emails kept increasing, I found it difficult to reply each. So I felt a smart move would be to share my story and tips on this blog and then share relevant links with anyone who sends such emails again.

Here, I’ll be sharing my story — not for any other reason, but to prove to you that you too can make money online here in Nigeria. It doesn’t matter if you’re not interested in blogging or freelance writing (or you don’t have the skills).  There are many avenues through which you can make money via the internet.

(Read: 6 Proven, risk-free ways to make money online in Nigeria)

Aside my story, I’ll also reveal some truths you need to know about online business.

Though I presently earn all my online income from freelance writing, I have in-depth knowledge about many other online businesses. So, you’ll learn from this post, no matter which business you’re aiming at.

Here’s my story…

I made my first attempt to venture into online business in 2005, when I stumbled upon some websites that promised to pay members for reading emails. I soon discovered that most of these websites were scams. And the few genuine ones among them offered insanely meagre rates that won’t add up to $10 in one year. So, I backed out.

In 2006, a friend introduced HYIP (high yield investment programs) to me, and I quickly jumped at the opportunity. But I soon got burned after transferring my funds to a “high paying” website, which turned out to be another scam. Again, I retired from online business.

For the next 4 years, I stayed away from online business. Each time I came across a business that seemed promising, my sad experience would quickly discourage me.

In 2010, I went into bulk SMS reselling. I was very zealous, and I adopted every strategy that could attract clients to the business. Yet, no success. After about 7 months of running the business in mediocrity, I closed shop.

However, what seemed to be my breakthrough came in August 2011, when a close friend to whom I’ll forever be grateful introduced freelance writing to me. He had been writing since 2009 and had observed that I had the required skills and equipment.

My friend explained to me everything about freelance writing: basic terms I must understand, how to hook up with clients via outsourcing sites, how to handle projects, how to convince clients to choose my bid, how to satisfy my clients, and virtually every piece of information I needed to get started. was my first ever source of reliable online income. I registered with the site and luckily got my first client within 3 days — even though I had no writing sample to show.

Within my first 3 months with Scriptlance, I won just five projects or so. But I never stopped placing bids like crazy, despite the huge  browsing costs. (I went to the cybercafé every day to place bids and check my email. Though I already had my laptop at the time, I didn’t have enough money to buy a modem or a monthly internet plan.)

In October 2011, I got a new client — an Indian medical doctor — who hired me on a long-term deal. I wrote about 15 articles for him every week. Although he paid me rates that I now laugh whenever I remember, I was glad that I got a promising online business at last.

Then came January 2012. More clients came my way, and I started earning a healthy monthly income. Along the line, I raised my rates gradually, and my clients were paying readily. I was paying my bills and I even had some amount — though small — to save monthly.

But something happened on July 9, 2012, which I won’t forget anytime soon. was acquired by At the time, I was ranked the 3rd best writer on Scriptlance — a feat which helped me win new projects easily. So, you can imagine how devastated I was.

Freelancer was a no-no for me. Though I had registered there since I started this business, I never liked the site because of the stiff competition. It had millions of registered members, and each project attracted hundreds of bids — unlike Scriptlance, which had much less members at the time.

After some days, I put the bad news behind me. (Of course, life must continue.) I mailed all my clients, telling them that I’m still available for their projects, the demise of Scriptlance notwithstanding. Many of them kept hiring me repeatedly. And in fact, I’m still working with some of them to date.

In late 2012, I registered with Elance, and I was able to get some new clients with my huge portfolio.

But my orientation changed afterwards. I realized I’d been somehow unfair to myself by working at bidding sites for so long.

So, following the recommendation of some expert writers, I started my new blog ( in March 2013. And since then, my monthly income had multiplied exponentially, my rates increased, and I landed more jobs.

Now, my monthly income trumps the monthly salary of most 8-4 workers in Nigeria. (No bragging intended.) Yet, I work for less than 5 hours daily (not even daily — I don’t work every day).

To date, I’ve written more than 1000 pieces of content — articles, ebooks, reports, sales letters, newsletters, etc. Yet, I’ve not even neared the peak I’ve always dreamt of.

Even though I’m still experimenting with blogging, website flipping, and affiliate marketing, I’m yet to hit it big with those — despite my deep knowledge about them. So, as of present, all of my online income is from freelance writing.

UPDATE — March 5, 2014: I’m now making additional monthly income through affiliate marketing and information marketing. In subsequent posts, I’ll be sharing tips on how I set up these additional income streams.

— End of story —

My friend, you too can convert whatever skills you have into money. You don’t have to be a writer. You may be a web designer, a graphics designer, a translator, a fast typist, or a programmer (in fact, these people earn more than writers do).

Whatever skills you may have, there are clients out there ready to hire you and pay you well. If you’ve got an interest or some knowledge that other people would be eager to learn from you, online business is for you, too.

Now, note this:

Online business is just as challenging as offline business — it’s not easier, except that you can run it from your home. At least, you should know from my story that online business isn’t that easy. In fact, some people had challenges that are more harrowing than mine.

At the outset, many harsh factors will play against you. Depending on your chosen business, these factors include competition, lack of time, inconsistency, difficulty in landing clients, low traffic, brain block, etc. But you’ll succeed only if you’re determined to keep going strong.

In short, online business has its own dark sides, which most people never told you about.

(Read: 10 bitter truths no one told you about online business)

So, if you think online business isn’t just for you, don’t go into it at all. But if you’re interested in it, jump-start it now with great zeal. And you’ll succeed.

My new goal

After I discovered that more Nigerians are becoming interested in online business, but aren’t getting enough information on how to start, I decided to set up this blog.

Here, I’ll be sharing tips on how Nigerians can make money online from realistic, risk-free, and low-capital businesses. All these information (or 99%, at least) would be free. (The rate at which some Nigerian webmasters ask newbies to drop some cash into their bank accounts before they can reveal certain secrets is getting outrageous.)

With time, I hope to make this blog the premier online resource and guide for Nigerians aiming to start their online businesses. The blog would feature very informative and valuable posts, expert interviews, tutorials, and more.

In addition, I’ll readily answer questions anyone may have to ask about online business in general. Sometimes, these answers would be published as blog posts — for the benefit of many visitors to this blog.

So, if you think my story motivated you in some way, please “like” the Facebook page for this blog (see right or visit: and subscribe to receive email updates as soon as new posts go live. This way, you won’t miss out on the valuable posts that I’ll be publishing on the blog from time to time.

Are you interested in online business? Do you have any questions about online business? Then let me have your questions in the comments.

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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: March 5, 2014 — 7:55 am


Add a Comment
  1. wow.. Your story was cool..
    For me.. I too want to earn big though i earn 4-5 figures not much.. I don’t like freelancing.. I prefer ptr,ptc nd affilliate sites.. So, if u know any legit site.. Halla @me

    1. Mayor,

      Thanks for reading my story. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Well, it’s interesting I could only see a clash of interest here — You prefer paid-to-read and paid-to-click sites, but I don’t like them because most of them are scams (my opinion based on experience).

      However, since you don’t like freelancing, I’ll have to research some legitimate “get-paid-to” sites and list them in a post on this blog. I’ll do that as soon as possible.

    2. Am not to discourage you, but based on my little experience with ptr,ptc sites, they do not worth tring at all.

      If you’re looking for a complete time, resource and energy wasters, try PTR or PTC sites. They are all the same, don’t touch it. ASAP.

      Abass, very good job. Keep it up bro.

  2. Nice write up I will say …I have flare for writing , infact , is an in thing , though I often feel I haven’t gotten to that level where my skills will get my readers glued to my write ups . Will appreciate if you can also post tips on how to write good works , and how to get started .will appreciate also if you can prescribe book (s) that are could help me develop myself …ps , am also a script writer …can you help me with legitimate site where I can put up my scripts for sales *will prefer you get back to me through my email thank you

    1. Emahh,

      It’s great you’re interested in writing. But I must say that underestimating your skills won’t help matters. As for tips on how to write good works, I can’t cover all of that in this section. So, I’d recommend that you subscribe to this blog so that you’ll get updates on new posts.

      As for books on how to help develop your writing, I’d recommend “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. I’d also recommend “The Chicago Manual of Style”. These books should go a long way in perfecting your grammar and writing style.

      Hmmm, regarding sites on which you can sell your scripts, I’d have to research more on that. I’ll either answer that in a new post or send you an email.

      In all, thanks so much for reading the post. Please check back on the blog.

  3. Hello Abass,

    It’s cool to know that you’re really kicking up so quickly; I’m really inspired.

    A word of caution: If you really want to make big buck online, don’t procrastinate; TAKE ACTION even if it means you fail–it’s fine. It’s better to do something than do nothing.


    Thanks for this unique and inspiring post my friend.

    Take care

    Daniel ADETUNJI

    1. Daniel,

      Thanks for taking your time to read the post and for the extra motivational words you added. I greatly appreciate it. 🙂

  4. It is well,
    I am into gospel/inspirational write up on the internet. Please check both my site and my facebook page and give your advice on what you think about it and improvement i can make
    Thank you

    1. John,

      I checked your website and it looked rather cool. But I wouldn’t know exactly what purpose you’re using it for. Kindly explain better so that I’ll be able to give more specific and helpful recommendations.

  5. I usually just jejeli read and move on but I must say this made a great read.
    I’m a graphic designer (more into online banner ads). I’m looking to getting bigger projects though. Any help would be appreciated, sir. Thanks

    1. Lightheart,

      Thanks for taking your time to read the post. It’s interesting to know that you’re a graphics designer.

      But before I can give recommendations, I need to know what steps you’re already taking to get clients online.

  6. Olafisoye 'Kunle

    Hi, I took time to read your post on making it online; and am particularly impressed with how you are able to pull it through with most of these Article-bidding sites.

    I have been writing and selling articles for years now; but things are not as rosy as they used to be few years ago. I have just one client, and he is a Nigerian. The reason I have not been able to get article jobs outside this country is because I don’t have a PayPal account. So how do you get your money since most foreign clients use PayPal?


    1. Kunle,

      Thanks a lot for your time.

      Well, there are ways by which you can receive payment from foreigners even when you don’t have a PayPal account. First, you can request for a Payoneer card. Second, you can use 2checkout; it’s another cool option.

      Very soon, I’ll publish a post on the various payment methods Nigerians can use to accept payment from foreigners.

  7. Brother, i gently read ur post and its amazing, what a nice blog u got here, i am so inspired i must say and u aswell boost my courage on dis e-biz; believing that one of this days i am going to make money online aswell, even is if its 20 dol…. Honestly i never make a dam ever since i started and i learnt that i didnt follow the right way or learn, i created dfft blogs and bought domains publishin and all that…. But none of all this never pay me nofin……… I beg i need u to carry along………………..

    1. Paul,

      Thanks for your nice words. I’d advice that you stick to one business for now and focus on it maximally. Shuttling between businesses won’t help you in the least.

      Read blogs and forums on that chosen business. Implement tips and tactics that have worked for experts. Be consistent, and be persistent.

      And…follow this blog — religiously 🙂

      You’ll succeed!

  8. Wow! I’m delighted to find a Nigerian making waves in the online writing industry and being so kind as to enlighten others…may God bless you.

    The concept of online freelance writing has always intrigued me. I have written a few short stories, with others upcoming but the problem has been the market. There are too many restrictions on nigerians (and Africans in general). I’m happy to hear about payoneer and 2checkout as alternatives to paypal, I’ll give them a try.
    What tips can you give me on finding online clients to write for?
    Thanks and great job.

    1. Stanley,

      I greatly appreciate your kind words.

      I agree with you that many Nigerians are being discouraged from making money online by the restrictions.

      As for your question, I’ll advise you to register with freelance bidding sites such as Elance or Odesk. After building your portfolio, start a blog (better yet, you can go straight to this step).

      Then check out writing job vacancies at and If your writing is really of good quality, you’ll get clients easily.

  9. Nice post.

    So now that went belly-up, what other sites are there that one would use on their path to freelance writing? Freelancer has so much competition, that it would be a hard thing to make any leeway there.

    Kindly send me an email if you have any tips. I’m not sure I’ll get an email notification if you reply here. And I’m very interested in riding this through.

  10. Great writeup, I really appreciate your temerity and persistance. It really payoff, hoping to write my own success story one of this days.

    1. Thanks for reading the post. I’d be pleased too to read your success story. Let me know when it’s live.

  11. Thanks for the encouraging words here, i appreciate all your efforts.

  12. Osikhena Ignatus Agiogu

    I’m a graphic designer and web site designer. Pls how can i get a freelance job in graphic or web site designer.

    1. Hello Osikhena,

      It’s simple. Just register with any of,, or, and start bidding on the several projects that fall within the scope of your skills.

      Soon, I’ll publish a post on these freelance sites, how they work, and how to make money quickly with them.

  13. This is amazing, and I must say that you are doing a wonderful job. Quite impressive I must say.
    Someone said something and I quote ”you cannot do the ordinary and expect the extra-ordinary”.
    I am a fan of hardwork, I have worked hard with all my muscles and veins pouring out,toiled under the sun and rain but I cannot stand close to the man that does smartwork or rather brainwork in terms of I adopted pythagoras ideology.mathematically
    If working smart pays well, what will then happen when you workhard and smart? You double the smart man.
    That’s what the online community provides for us,to workhard and smart in the comfort of your home.
    Just as someone said,just start even if you are better of than not starting at all.
    I Just started and am learning all the way through.because what I saw,my falling can’t prevent me from getting there.

    1. Thanks for your great comment. See you at the top!

  14. your story is highly motivating, I’ve been dealing with wrong people in my desire to do business online, In some cases the process of making and receiving payment are had and difficult.If you can help me do an online business I will appreciate. Thanks.

    1. Onyema,

      Sorry about the fact that you’ve landed in wrong hands in the past. Click on the “free e-course” button at the top of this page and read all the posts I linked on the page displayed. They will teach you the basics of online business and everything you need to know before starting one.

      And if I may ask, what online business are you thinking of venturing into?

  15. nice job bro. More power to your elbow. How can i make money online with my poetic and script writing skill?


    1. Major,

      No, problem. Just follow the path I trailed (as explained in my story), and you’ll make money as a freelance writer, too. There are no secret tips.

      PS. If the way you wrote your comment is the best you can offer, then I don’t agree that you’re a “very good” writer. You need to hone your writing and grammar skills before jump starting your freelance writing career — or else, you won’t go far.

  17. Hi Abass, i feel very related to your story, like you i’ve been researching on ways to earn money online for over a year now. But i’m handicapped. I dont have a laptop, although i’ve tried some like the sms reseller, referral programs etc, nothing have worked for me yet.

    I’m also interested in freelance writing, blogging and affiliate marketing and i happen to have gathered a lot of knowledge on them. But i know i cant do anything without a laptop.

    In my attempt to find an online business i can do on my phone, i came in contact with some paid forum posting and blog commenting. I registered with the determination that i’ll work hard at it and at least earn enough to buy a laptop for myself.

    I’ve registered on a couple of this sites and i’m still waiting to be approved. Do you think i’ve taken the right course?

    1. Jamila,

      I understand how unworkable online business could be without a laptop. But I don’t think paid forum posting and blog commenting can help you earn enough money to buy a laptop anytime soon.

      I would advise that you go the way of freelance writing. Can you get a friend’s or relative’s laptop to use for the mean time? Can you source for funds from friends and relatives? You should be able to get a netbook/mini laptop for very cheap.

  18. Thanks Abass for the reply. I’ll try my best to get a laptop soon. I just checked your writing blog and i must say, you’re a real inspiration.

  19. bro am a beginner idont no much about writin nd free lance plss ineed help on wat nd how to start tnks bro

    1. Francis,

      Download and my free ebook and get yourself started.

  20. Pls can i be a freelance writer with only a secondary certificate cos i have good writing skills and i am well versed with the rules of english grammar and if so will putting the qualification on my profile affect my getting clients and how do people pay for monthly blog maintenance fee…..thanks

    1. Liman,

      Yes, you can be a freelance writer even without any academic certificates. What clients need are your skills! If you’re sure you have all it takes to be a freelance writer, then feel free to take a plunge.

      And no, you don’t have to mention your academic qualifications on your writer profile. As I stated earlier, your skills are what clients want to see. All they need are your writing samples, and if they’re impressed, they’ll hire you.

      As for blog maintenance fee, I don’t understand what you meant by your question. Kindly explain better.

  21. I say your free ebook on how to make money in Nigeria…. it was a superb on… it actually contains… almost every topic contained on this website…. kudos bro

  22. Thank you Abass for your information however, I would like you to refer me to a site where I will get typing jobs. I am a great typist and I love typing. kindly link me to well paying jobs if you can.

    1. Paschal,

      Try and

  23. Hy abass, for me u are beyond what i could think of any Nigerian, i’m so much impressed with ur post its more than helpful, pls don’t forget to email me if found any realistic ptc site because i’ve been dealing with spammers of differs kind in the name of ptc, just 3 months ago i was earning not less than $2,000 but the payment did not work out at all, help me please!

    1. Samuel,

      Thanks for your kind words. Let’s face it, you’ll never find a realistic PTC site. In fact, the PTC model itself is crap. If you really want to start an online business — and stop making cash that never leaves your screen — start a business by following my ebook.

  24. Hi,
    I fall into the category of pc or laptop problem. Is there any freelancing job i can do with my phone?

    1. Abraham,

      Without a PC, freelancing will be difficult. Next to impossible.

      1. I got your ebook. man! KUDOS TO YOU. I benefited alot from it. I am sure if some webmasters have this,they will sell at high price. But thanks to you. About the pc stuff: lets just say internet without a pc is timewasting,right?

  25. am still a student and want to go into online a computer graphics designer.. how can i go about it.

  26. Honestly, this happens to be d best article i have read so far.
    I am a fast typist and also good at graphics design. Please, what website will be suitable for me without d paypal stress.

  27. Godwin Oriaku (Gentle)

    I am highly motivated. Kudos Boss

  28. Sir,
    Thanks you very much for sharing your ideas with us for free. I am a very fast typist (best around if i must say) but i feel like am not using my potential to the fullest. Something keeps telling me that I can still make good money with this gift. I have tried but without success; probably there are things am not doing right. It would gladden my heart if you can properly guide me and i will forever remain grateful to you.

    1. Uche,

      Which exactly is your skill, writing or typing? I hope you know they’re different things entirely.

      1. I have a very fast typing skill. i really need to maximise it, sir..thanks

  29. nice post sir.buh does paypal work in nigeria now?

    1. Yes, it does — but with restrictions.

  30. Thanks a lot Mr. Abass, i will begin by saying that there are a lot of scammers online especially here in Nigeria but that does not mean a Nigerian can not make cool money online. I have spent the last couple of years surfing the internet for genuine online jobs in Nigeria to fine almost none. i think to make it online one should have his/her own website. and go into what he/she is interested in.

    Thanks again for your kind words and courage.

  31. Thanks Abass for the words…am a student ,I think elance have merge into upwork..a friend introduced me to online writing starting with Fiverr…but Fiverr you have to be a USA citizen before you can bid there..I managed to bid cause I used paid VPN to change my IP to USA ..but I had problems getting hired because u have be a level 1 seller in other to get hired. And to be a level 1 seller u must get a lot of positive reviews….so I left there and I went to upwork…the mistake I did there was putting my country as USA….I got hired and I have $50 there just in three bids..but I can’t collect because I will have to submit my SSN which I don’t have…it only apply to USA citizen which am not…how can I get my cash back…and should I open a real account using my Nigerian identity..will I get offer?..what can I do….I just registered at freelancer today…am a writer nd a script writer… me if you can….PS..will you help me with reviews on my freelancer acct?

    1. Johnson,

      I think you really got yourself trapped there. I’ve always preached against falsification of nationality. State that you’re a Nigerian, and your skills will speak for you. Now, I have no idea how you can get that money.

  32. hello Abass toriola.first of i will like to subscribe to this website?you have some e-books on 1)on how to make money online in nigeria,2) freelance writing and how to make money from mailing list,how can if have this e-books,i will like to know if you have other e-books on importation,google adsense,facbook cash and maany more,thank you Abass,i will like to hear from you and get your advice God bless you in jesus name Amen

    1. Alex,

      Only the first e-book is free. Others attract a fee. You can find more details about each by clicking on its image.

  33. Thanks bro,and God bless u

  34. Please am an article writer I just signup with this site ( and I have written about 6-article so far and am been honestly credited for them but my problem is dose this site ( ) really pay? I read alot of review online about them mostly on and and alot of freelancer writer say they do get paid with proof while like 35% said the site is scam please help am confused.

    1. Ofonime,

      From what I’ve gathered, is a scam! Run away from them, and try or instead.

  35. Thank you sir for your reply but a close friend of mine said he got paid by with proof but my major worries is that they never respond to emails.
    Well never mind that is not the issue.
    I think the two site you gave me here that is textbroker dont accept nigerian it is clearly started on their site while iwriter only pay via paypal only which Nigerians can not receivd payment but only send.
    Please if you know any article site that pay with payoneer .bank wire or payza pls help
    thank you sire

    1. Going by the reviews I read online, most people didn’t have a good experience working with, so I’d advise you to stay away from them. The fact that they paid your friend is not enough reason to work your tail off on a site that has no clear-cut statements on their websites regarding their modus operandi (and act in the contrary where they do).

      Fiverr pays via Payoneer. Writerbay, too.

  36. Hello MR Abass God will bless you for helping us solved our difficult problem,please Abass am a worker at ( but just recently I reach the minimum payout with microworkers $213 and I wanted to withdraw but I fine out that skrill which is the only payment option for nigerians is not accepting Nigeria please can you guide me on where to get a fully verify skrill account or the service I can use to get my fund from micro workers, alot of people said legerweb can help but I contacted them no avail.
    Please help me .
    God bless you

    1. Hey Raymond,

      I don’t have any idea on how to create a Skrill account. And I don’t know anything about Legerweb, either.

  37. Kingsley Kelechukwu

    Seriously the sincerity i see in your writing is really worthy of appreciation and the deep personal insights and directions you have released and given all for Free is really amazing. This goes a long way to show how wonderful a person you truly are.I must say i have been blessed tremendously by your writing and greatly i am inspired to start up my writing desire. My fears you have helped me to wipe out and confidence and zeal you helped me build. All i want to say is more grace and wisdom be given you as you prosper in all you do. Thank you.

  38. Mr toriola thanks for that great advise and motivational words…God bless you sir.
    Am just seeing this for the first time in my life Actually am under 20yrs.. And I think its not a disadvantage that I can make money like you sir for all what you a have said, please can just give me your whatsap number that I can message you on I want to chat with you privately sir

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