The Most Important Question to Ask Yourself before Starting an Online Business

No doubt, your passion is one of the most important things to factor in when planning to start your online business. But it’s NOT the most important; there’s a much more important factor that will determine whether you’ll ever make money online or not.

And that’s… availability of a market.

Your main aim of going into online business is to make money. But, ironically, your passion isn’t what you need to achieve that aim. What you need is a market — a big one.

So, the most important question to ask yourself before starting any online business is…

Is there a market for what I want to offer?

market is important

If you’re convinced that there’s no market for your offer, then consider offering something else that many people are interested in. Why? Because the market — not your passion — is what will fetch you money.

For example, if you’re skilled in bead making and have a strong passion for it, starting a blog that teaches every aspect of that craft might sound like a great idea. But in reality, it’s a bad idea because there’s no market for it.

In other words, such a blog won’t attract traffic because most people are not interested in bead making, and only very few people will ever think of searching the web for information about bead making. So, even if you consistently churn out loads of quality content and promote it aggressively between now and the next four years, you won’t make a dime with that blog!

Similarly, if you’re a graduate of Civil Engineering and are passionate about anything related to building construction, you’d probably jump at the idea of crafting an e-book that reveals the intricacies involved in the construction of magnificent buildings. That’s wonderful information, no doubt. But nobody is interested in it. You won’t sell a single copy in seven years!

So, whether you’re looking to start a blog, publish an e-book, market affiliate products, or sell physical products, the most important factor to consider is the availability of not just a market, but a market that is big enough to fetch you decent profits.

Before starting any online business, you need to check if people are searching the web for what you plan to offer. You also need to check if people are willing to pay for that offer if they find it. If your offer ticks both boxes convincingly, then you can go ahead. But if it doesn’t, offer something else!

If you’re looking to target a Nigerian audience, read this post, in which I’ve detailed 27 online business ideas that offer what many Nigerians are desperately searching the web for and are willing to pay for.

On a final note, if you’ve chosen an online business idea based solely on your passion without, you need to analyze the market for that idea now. If the market isn’t encouraging or there’s no market at all, ditch that idea and choose something else! It’s never too late.

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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 28, 2015 — 5:02 pm


Add a Comment
  1. Hi Abass,
    I decided to change my blog title after reading the free e-book I downloaded from you and I totally agree with you. Thanks for your kind gesture, you are one in a million.

  2. I believe with what you said, You need a hungry market to create your online businesss around it. Actually passion has a role to play here but if you did not consider marketing stratagy for your niche, you may be floating in an ocean of delusion. I think newbies in online business will learn few tips from these brief guide.

    1. Onyema,

      Thanks for taking your time to read the post, and for leaving a comment. I greatly appreciate it. You rock!

  3. Truly speaking, passion alone is not enough. Passion without market is just an effort in futility. Both of them have their own position in any business.

    Passion can only complement the availability of a big market to market an offer. Therefore, passion without market is like a mouth withot teeth.

    1. Mutairu,

      You’re just so on point. Thanks!

  4. Great tip. I was blogging about jokes and comedies before just for the sake of traffic. I never had any atom of passion for it. But when I alligned my thoughts with what I am – an accountant, I set up an enterpreneurship-inclined blog where I share expert practicable and profitable business ideas that will help people to start making money for themselves. I like this post. I hope many other bloggers will read this and define their purposes.

    1. Just checked your site it’s looks good but I discovered an unpardonable error : sign up HEAR and get our daily new update via email. kindly correct this

  5. Another great post here. I took time to read the post and ALL the comments and all of you are correct in your views. Passion alone cannot fetch you money but passion + hungry market can fetch you had currency. I am a web developer/designer, blog about same and dollar is rolling in. So research and start something today.
    Please Abass, I need an ebook cover design software?

    1. Stan,

      I don’t have a software for ebook cover design. What is use is a web-based service called But lately, I do outsource my e-cover design to designers on Fiverr. That way, I get better designs.

  6. Lord knows I feel like hugging you right now. But I am yet to know how to create an E-book, I just created my Blog and I want to get audience and make Money from it, i have signed up for a number of Affiliate programs. Please how do I create an E-book and which affiliate programs are you currently into, one without too much itches, like Amazon said they wont pay unless I produce my SSN and again what is Postal code I tried checking it up and I got the one for FirstBank but an affiliate program said its invalid. concerning the SSN how do I go about it as I am still a teenager and dont pay Tax yet.

  7. Hello sire Toriola,

    It’s nice to be here on your blog. It might interest you to know that even though I have been visiting your blog, this is going to be my first ever comment and of course my first comment on any blog this year.

    Truth be told, its not passion but the availability of the market you want to sell that counts.

    I mean what’s the use of passion, when people aren’t interested let to talk of buying what you’re selling. Who blames them? Since what you’re offering do not fit in to their necessities.

    Sire, you got a great article here, thanks and imma do well to stick around here more often.

    Thanks for the share! 🙂

    Best regards,

  8. What are the odds Abass that someone could “create” a market with an online product the world didn’t even know it needed? Like Bajaj did with the KEKE NAPEP, or Apple did with the tabs and pods in the offline world. Don’t you think it would be kinda constraining or even retrogressive to only create what people are searching for at the now? There’s bound to soon be a glut in the market and the only way to unplug it would be to come up with something innovative, new, and fresh…even off the board?

    When this happens, would you term it sheer luck or sheer genius?

    1. Philips,

      Thanks for your comment/question? It actually got me thinking for minutes before I could give an answer. Anyone who has a bright idea that solves a long-standing problem in a unique way will most likely succeed. But then, we shouldn’t rush to conclude that a rare idea will always be successful. It might be a rare idea not because others have not thought about it, but because there’s just no market for it or other reasons.

      That said, there’s nothing constraining or retrogressive about selling only what people are searching for at the moment. Or are you suggesting that people start selling what there’s no demand for? There can’t be a glut so far the demand continues to outweigh the supply. For example, a food business will only stop being profitable the day we find an alternative to food. Until that day, the food business will continue to thrive, regardless of the number of players in it.

      Yes, it’s great to come up with new ideas. But one must also tred softly, as there’s usually much more to our ideas than our over-optimistic eyes can see.

  9. Pls must I own a website before having a blog or doing anything worthwhile online? Thnks

    1. Peace,

      It’s strongly recommended that you have a blog as a platform for your online business. But once you have a blog or plan to have one, you don’t need a website, since a blog itself is a form of website.

  10. Godwin O. (Gentle)

    My Blog Boss, I would love to appreciate you for ynur efforts on makin sure dt Nigeria youths gain Financial frm Online Business. For it is by your words and posts dt I hv been motivated to start my own blog. Although my blog is jst abt 2hrs old as at d time I am posting ds comment, I wld appreciate more if U help me check out my blog to make criticisms nd possible recommendations.
    Thanks… Kudos to d Boss.

  11. Hello Abass,

    You are doing great works here! Today makes my ten days checking on your write ups.

    Let me say, so far, you stand out from the many who only pitch through email; no real values to give!

    Please keep doing your best, and continue in your honest, frank and transparent way.

    I’m following you and

    Best wishes.

  12. This is one of the big parts most people are missing out. The common thought was to just start a blog and that money will be made regardless of the niche.
    You really nailed the truth here.

  13. Correctly said Abbas, I have been digging through google, ubersugest and keyword planner for long term niches with the right audience who are hungry to solve or get rid of there problems. Indeed you are on point, however can one have a blogging site and still use it to create review post for amazon product? Or let’s say i have found a niche related to backpack, should I start blogging on such link, grow its audience and then promote affiliate product related to my niche as I build my credibility as blogger? What do you say?
    Lastly, I believe this write up is a personal message to me and requires the correct answer from me. Keep up the good work

  14. Thank you sir! Your posts have been quite helpful

  15. Thank you Abass,i’m learning &gradually,i will get it right.

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