8 Warning Signs That You Won’t Make A Kobo Online

Online business is lucrative. And it can really make you financially independent — whether you target a global or a Nigerian audience.

And the fact that many Nigerians are making money online — through various business models — drives home that point.

However, some Nigerians will never make a kobo online, no matter how hard they try. (That might sound harsh, but it’s the pure truth.)

And if you’ve been into online business for years and haven’t made anything, you might just be one of these people.

But before giving up and dispelling online business as sheer hoax, check yourself for these warning signs:

warning sign

1. You’re a grammar goof

Much of your efforts in online business will be channeled into writing. Blog posts, sales pages, newsletters, e-books, and so on are all products of writing.

While you don’t necessarily have to write in perfect English, your grammar must be far above average. Although a Nigerian audience might be more tolerant of your grammar mistakes than a global audience, even a Nigerian audience won’t deem you credible if you write too poorly.

So, if you’re not making money online, it may be that your grammar is bad. And in that case, you need to work on it before coming back to online business.

2. You’re into online business because you’re broke

I recently received a call from a guy who was considering venturing into online business and needed me to put him through. His motivation? He was dead broke at the time, and he needed a source of quick income. I instantly told him that online business isn’t for him.

Now, there are many other Nigerians like that guy. I mean, those who think online business can provide them with a quick fix for their terrible financial situation.

If your motivation for plunging into online business is to make quick money, you’re sure to fail — not only because succeeding at online business naturally takes time, but because also you’ll hardly do things right under such pressure.

3. You’re a desperado

Some people are into online business to make money at all cost — even if that requires going unethical. Such people do all sorts of things out of desperation to make quick money. They click on their own Adsense ads. They spread false news on social media and online forums just to attract traffic to their blogs. They display photoshopped proofs of their earnings, just to fool others into buying the shitty products they’re trying to sell. And they sprinkle links to their blogs everywhere on the web just to get cheap traffic.

If you’re guilty of any of these, you won’t make a dime online because Internet users will always get smarter. Adsense has a way of detecting self-clicks. People are becoming blind to obtrusive links that disrupt discussions on blogs, forums, and social media platforms. And people can now identify most scams easily. So, in the end, it is you who will be frustrated out of the system — with nothing!

4. You’re stingy

While you can get lots of quality information on the internet for free, there are times when you have to pay to get access to some really valuable information.

No doubt, the internet abounds with scams and bullshit that are not worth your money. But that doesn’t rule out the existence of genuine information products that come at a cost. It’s left to you to know how to identify scams when you see them online (This post by Akaahan Terungwa will open your eyes.)

While you have to be cautious, you shouldn’t think of every premium offer as a scam — just to give yourself some excuse not to buy it.

If dropping some cash is the only way you can get some products or information that you think will be of great help, do that–provided you’re convinced it’s not a scam. Spending some money can really boost your chances of succeeding in online business.

People are into online business to make money, not to give out everything in their brain for free. And that’s why they’ll ask you to pay to get some valuable information, or a product or service. And doing the same is the only way you too can make money online.

So, if you’ve sworn never to leave Blogger because you don’t want to spend on your blog until starts fetching you money, well, it’s your choice. If you’re looking around for hacks and cracks because you don’t want to spend money, keep it up. If you’re snubbing valuable e-books and e-courses because are not free, keep wallowing in the mire of mediocrity.

If you think you should get everything you need for free, trying giving out everything you have for free too, and let’s see how you’ll make a kobo online.

5. You’re a dumbass

Some people will not make money online simply because they’ve chosen not to be smart. No matter how much things are simplified or laid bare for such people, they’ll never understand.

I once received a call from someone who claimed he had read every page of my free e-book and enjoyed it. Then he went ahead to ask me how to optimize a blog post for certain keywords. I couldn’t believe the question came from someone who just claimed he had read “every page” of my free e-book. I simply told him to go back to read the e-book again to find the answer to his question.

If you’re familiar with this blog, you’d have known that I reply most comments. But I sometimes trash or simply ignore some questions because I deem them too dumb. After spending hours writing a post that explains how to open a PayPal account in very clear and easy-to-understand terms, I still got a question in the comment that read, “Please, how can I open a PayPal account?”

In short, if you’re not smart, you won’t make money online.

6. You’re a copycat

If you’re blogging on entertainment news and celebrity gist simply because Linda Ikeji is making money from that niche — and not because you’re passionate about the niche — you’re a copycat.

If you’re copying posts from other blogs and pasting to yours without obtaining permission from the author, you’re not only a copycat, but also an e-criminal. In fact, crediting the author doesn’t vindicate you if you didn’t obtain his or her permission in the first place.

And if you’re always copying blog post ideas from other blogs without ever brainstorming for new ideas yourself, you’re a copycat.

If you’re a copycat, you won’t make money online. Why? Because for every idea or information you copy, there’s always some remnants of it left within the originator of that idea or information — which you cannot copy. For example, you can only copy other people’s ideas, but you cannot copy how they plan to implement those ideas if they haven’t revealed that. So, you’ll most likely fail at implementing such ideas.

7. You’re stubborn

Stubbornness is when you believe so strongly in your own ideas that you don’t accept corrections or criticism — even when it’s obvious that you’re doing things wrongly.

Truth is, most rules about online business are not etched in stone, and breaking few of them at times could even lead to resounding successes. But downplaying all rules or breaking them without a strong conviction that this can be of help will only land you in the quicksand of failure.

8. You’re a “no-actioner”

Those who are making good money online achieved that feat because they didn’t just learn, but they also took action — quickly.

It’s a no-brainer that the only way to boost your chances of making money online is to get started in the first place. If you’re dreaming of become the next Linda Ikeji and are still busy searching the web for information on how to play your cards right, you’ll remain a dreamer until you take action.

In fact, to succeed in online business, you need to not just act, but also act very fast. I personally hold that Linda Ikeji is now a successful blogger because she quickly took action by starting out at a time when only few Nigerians knew about blogging. If she had waited until now, she would be lost in the crowd.

Online business is dynamic. What works today might no longer work again in the next few months. So, you won’t succeed if you’re not a fast action taker.

It’s never too late, though

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in yourself, it’s not too late to get back on the right track. Just start doing the right things from this moment onward, and you’d be on your way to success.

Now, your turn

If you’re guilty of these eight attributes, feel free to “confess” using the comment form, and I’m ready to be of help. Similarly, if you have questions or contributions, share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

If you found this post helpful, share it with others on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other platforms.

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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: October 12, 2014 — 5:15 pm


Add a Comment
  1. Wow that is a splendid piece of advice, and a very good info. Thumbs up sir

  2. Nice post, i love it. I love reading, what if I can summarize what i read and some e-books i bought online to do the same too. How about it? About to be blogging on relationship. Thanks!

    1. Jennifer,

      There’s no problem with using points you got from other books and blogs. But whenever you do, credit your source. It doesn’t hurt!

  3. always inspiring good post keep it up

  4. Hi Abass,

    Once again, a masterpiece! I cannot but completely agree with you (even of that’s what I only do).

    I’ll comment on a few of the points you raised:

    1. When I first landed on WIP, I was amazed by the quality (yet simplicity) of the articles here. I read first rate grammar – that I could in all honesty not offer any correction…that was when I said: ‘now, here is a guy I need to follow closely’. It saddens me when a blogger cannot put his thoughts in meaningful constructs devoid of grammatical bumps! Such fellows do not only annoy, they also give us all a bad name!! I once (in anger) advised a ‘blogger’ to try being a native doctor: my idea was that he would have better success with the gods than he was at the time having with words!

    2. Nigerians appreciate freebies…no doubt. However, this is really annoying! Many persons have asked me about the Mini importation business (which you know I do and have a premium eBook on). When those questions implicate answers that can be found in the eBook (and I accordingly refer them to it), they simply vanish! And I think: WTF?! Sometimes, to benefit, you simply have to pay…I wonder when the average Nigerian would understand that.

    3. Most bloggers are lazy – very lazy! I once had a fellow who lifted all my blog posts as I published them. He simply came on board, used CTRL + A; CTRL + C & then, CTRL + V (over at his blog). Can you imagine? What annoyed me was that this fellow wasn’t even smart enough to alter the heading or even change the photos! Tell me, what business did he have with a blog? When will folks understand that blogging is a writer’s business?

    I’m currently working on a mega post (15,000 + words) which would go live on my blog on the 25 of this very month. Which non writer writes entries to that tune?

    My comment could easily become another blog post of its own (and I must accordingly, stop). Thanks for a great job and the link love. You remain one of the few some of us still recommend – and read ourselves.

    Make the Sunday great!


    1. Akaahan,

      Your comment just blew my mind!

      This part got me really cracked up: ” I once (in anger) advised a ‘blogger’ to try being a native doctor: my idea was that he would have better success with the gods than he was at the time having with words!”

      As for Nigerians hitting the roof when it comes to paying, I’ve had a fair share of similar experiences, too. Imagine some people calling me, asking me to help them set up their blogs. And immediately I disclose my fees — as cheap as they are — they disappear! Do they expect me to design a blog for them for free? Some Nigerians are jokers.

      I have found more than 10 blogs who have stolen articles from this blog (WIP), but I stopped bothering about them when I discovered that none of them is ranking – -and will ever rank — above me in Google for those posts. I just felt there was no need pulling issues with dumbasses.

      Now, I’m astonished at the word-length of the post you’re cooking up (15,000+ words). That could go into an ebook, you know? I’m looking up to it!

      Actually, your comment is long enough to make a blog post. If you hadn’t stopped yourself from writing on, who knows what point you’ll stop at? Maybe 15,000 words(LOL!) Nonetheless, this comment of yours, I think, is the longest ever left on this blog. Maybe I’ll have to give you a trophy for that 🙂

      I greatly appreciate your comment and the kind words. Akaahan, you’re more than awesome!

      1. Your reaction to these folks is perhaps the best option (especially if Google Authorship is claimed). Day by day, the world is getting smarter and some folks are actually getting dumber. Can you imagine? I panicked then because I had not claimed the Authorship Google avails publishers for their works. Now that I have, believe me, I’m relaxing like no man’s business!

        The 15,000 + word post is an experiment. I really want to know what such an amazingly long post can do online – both in the hearts of readers and the ‘limbs’ of the search engine crawlers. After my results are out, a great information product will be born!

        Abass, by now, you should know that I am not only a writer and born blogger, I also love the job. Do you blame me for my overly lengthy comments?

        By all means, make the day great!


  5. Hello Mr. Abass, i must commend u for a gud write up like this, three gbosa for u. There is one thing that u must understand, why many Nigerians have resorted in looking for freebies on the internet is simple, they have been duped several times by people who claimed to have info product or thing or the other. So u dont blame them. I am a living witness to that effect. Many are ready to pay to get good infos but then hw do they know that its real. I guess every body is just being concious of the whole situation.

    1. Stanley,

      Thanks for the commendation. I understand that people are trying to be extra careful. But then, we still have many of them whose mindset is, “I won’t spend a dime until I start making money from this stuff.” Such people have never been duped by anybody. They’ve just sworn never to spend.

  6. great post but i want to add one thing and that’s when you think the internet is a get rich quick scheme. note that there are no shortcuts to success in the real world and these also applies to the internet.

    you have to be visible to build credibility and when credibility comes, you have loyal followers of your online business and these followers will be keen to buy anything you offer.

    Join our naija community

  7. Reputable blogger, your post always amazing. I have taken it as a point of duty not to read your post when I’m in hurry, because I love to master every bit of the lesson therein.
    My advice to all bloggers is to first build their reputation before jumping into monetization. Good reputation go a long way in securing the loyalty of the followers.
    Honestly you are a GREAT fellow. A great asset to most Nigerian blogger who wish to succeed in their online marketing.
    You’re not only a brilliant pen that write good fortune for others but also a powerful eraser that clean their sadness. Thumbs up for you, a reknown writer of our time.

    1. Mutairu,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. Sincerely, I feel so flattered. I’m glad you really learned from the post.

  8. Sorry for the above post. It really is:

    Hi Abass,
    My question is “do education
    niches gather nigerian or global
    I want to go into that niche–
    mathematics to be specific. Can affliate really work? Which
    audience should I target?

    1. Abraham,

      Whether Nigerian or global audience, I don’t think there’s a lucrative market for a mathematics niche. Why not consider something else? Even if people search the web for something about mathematics, there are zero chances that they will be interested in buying something.

      1. I’m confuse which niche to go into,can you please publish a detail post on different niches we can go into?

        1. It depends on whether you’re targeting a global or local audience. For a Nigerian audience, consider technology, business, travel, job search, etc. For a global audience, you have unlimited options; I can’t exhaust the list here.

          1. I’m targeting global audience. Affliate marketing just on my mind. Thanks for your reply but I’ll appreciate the post sir.

  9. Good job Abass,
    A well detailed masterpiece, you really know your stuff as it reflects in every post you pen down.
    Meanwhile, can you give
    me a list of high paying affiliate marketing
    program that are nigerian friendly and
    lucrative niches you recommend for affiliate
    marketing. Thanks.

    1. Emmanuel,

      Visit highpayingaffiliateprograms.com, and you’d see an endless list of lucrative affiliate networks that you can register with across a wide range of niches.

      1. Emmanuel,
        And don’t forget to download his ebook–it’s much someone can put together for free just like that.

  10. Emmanuel,
    If you can research on google,I’ll recommend abdullahi’s affliate e-course[http://naijawriterscoach.com]. Good luck–and hope my hope was helpful.

    1. Abraham,

      I don’t think you understood his request. What he needs is a list of affiliate programs that he can sign up to an start promoting products for as a Nigerians, not a guide on how to make money from affiliate marketing.

  11. Thanks a lot Abass. I will check it out and keep you appraised of how it pans out.

  12. Waoh, Abass, this is a post every blogger must read.i already find myself guilty of number eight and this is an eye opener for me to work on that weakness. even though am already making money online, its not directly from my blog; my blog however stands as my online portfolio that helped me to secure the writing job.

    As for the Copycat,i will also say that every writer is a copy cat in one way or the other (copyblogger) this is because, a good writer is a good researcher and when you research and find useful tips that you might want to share with your followers, there is nothing wrong in that.

    However what is totally wrong and should be prohibited and even penalized is copying another writers content verbatim. If you stumble upon good points that you might want to write a post on, try to just pick out the points, recreate the ideas from your own perspective to make it your original.

    I totally condemn what they did to Mr Terugwa, copying his post and pasting it, if you are a writer and still do that; stop! otherwise, writers block will chase you out of the race soon.

    A good writer must be creative, dedicated, learned, informed, ready to take corrections and above all must be original.

    Thanks Abass, for your originality, you have maintained this standard over the years and this it’s worthy of emulation. Keep the flag flying. Angela

    1. Angela,

      That’s the reason why we have many failed bloggers in Nigeria…most of them come online to make money by all means. With this mindset, ethics and fair play is thrown to the dogs…and the result is behaviour that is often less than honorable.

      Thanks a million for your concern.


  13. Hi,Mr Abass….I have been following your blog for some time now but I have not received the e-book you promised to send.Please I’m in need of it because I want to start blogging before the end of this month though I have no knowledge of how to go about it,so I will be very grateful if you send the e book to me…Thanks so much

  14. Hi Abbas
    You are really a generous writer. Please can i share your e-book on how to make money online in Nigeria and your other stuffs on my website? http://www.blaize2brainwaves.com , so that it will attract visitors to see that i am selling 1GB MTN AND 1GB ETISALAT DATA SUSCRIPTION, i do this through SME DATA SHARE, i also design, host and maintain websites for individuals and companies e. t. c. Although i have been advertising my products and services but i want to boost traffic to the website through bringing in your stuffs, i am not a writer but sometimes i do write stuffs on Android phones.i will always include a link to your blog that’s a promise, so that my visitors will know where the content is coming from.please Abbas don’t say no because i will depend on your stuff in order to create my company presence online.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Hey Stephen,

      I’m sorry, I can’t allow that — not even if you intend including a link. Your last statement “…i will depend on your stuff in order to create my company presence online” isn’t pleasing. And I’m sure nobody would allow that.

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