9 Mistakes You Must Avoid To Make Money Online

As the Naira falls miserably against the Dollar (to the tune of 360+), 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?
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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.
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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).

6. A gross failure to blend ambition with ability

You can be whatever you wish to do — no doubt…but, certainly not online!

Many Nigerians, on a daily basis, jump right into complex models of making money online that are well outside their immediate ability. These models, to put it raw, are well above what they can comfortably do. With such a reality and mode of doing things, failure is just around the bend.

Let me explain…

Some of us, (yours truly inclusive) were born with the pen in our hands. This means that, we can write a whole day — without rest (and can even stretch it up to weeks) and still make a ton of sense, enjoy the process and get results.

Unfortunately, not everyone is cut out for writing. If you are thus not one who can write 10,000 words daily — and still be happy and willing to do it after a whole month, what business do you have with academic writing? Or, maybe, Kindle Publishing (especially, when it is understood that volume is of the essence to make your mark on the platform)?

None, whatsoever!

Let me pose yet another example…

If you are active on Fiverr as a seller — and are doing well, it is easy to see that you’ll be busy, sometimes, up to 3am in the morning and may need to wake up again at 6am, on a daily basis. This, you must appreciate, is not fun nor is it what everyone can do and still have the heart to offer a smile 🙂

However, many of us can do it — and still live to tell the story…but not all!

If you have a medical condition that dictates that you need rest, are well above 40 years or have other peculiar challenges that need rest and a stress-free existence, insisting on going to bed every day around 3am and waking up around 6am is begging for a breakdown — and monumental failure!

…and, if you persist, either the doctors or the undertakers will get you — whoever is smarter to reach you first. Now, can success online be recorded either on the hospital bed or in the morgue?!

How to brilliantly blend ambition with ability

This is common sense, really.

You are the one who knows your brain and body better than anyone else…you are also the one who can logically assess what you can or cannot do, all other things being equal.

So, before embarking on anything online, you must first ask yourself this billion dollar question: can I really handle this?

Now, if you are unsure, kindly avoid the model — and look forward to one which you are certain that you can pull off — and creatively handle — without any challenge…the express rule here is to always look at the type of online business that will give you the least headache or if possible, no headaches at all.

Can you figure out such a business model?

[Please Note]:

The human mind is always a lazy fool that will get scared even at the drop of a leaf…if you are thus inexperienced, the lines above may present all the online models of making money online here in Nigeria as unreachable — and well outside your immediate ability…

If you thus suspect that your mind is playing a fast one of you, kindly give every model you delve into a short time frame (say 1 month) during which you dedicate your entire time and genius to…if you ride effortlessly, you have an awesome deal; if you don’t, the search to match ability and desire continues.

Got that?

7. Dumb competition

Human beings are by nature, highly competitive — there is no doubt or questions about this. It is also competition that keeps the human race ahead of the other species and ensures that the dominion of the human race over the earth is complete.

…but, that is smart competition…

There is another variant of competition however that is called dumb competition…the art of competing for the sole sake of competition; looking at competition as an end in itself and something to be passionately pursued and enjoyed even if it means nothing in itself!

While the first variant of competition (the one called ‘intelligent’) is to be encouraged, online, if you want to fail faster than you can recall your own name, jump into dumb competition!

Dumb competition ensures that you follow someone’s model of making money online without really taking time to study it and see how the person in question is making money with it or if it suits you.

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Dumb competition also means jumping right online simply because your 18-year-old neighbor just bought a car from his online hustles…it means, doing all things stupid for the sole aim of ‘leveling or catching up’…

This is the height of stupidity — a reality you must flee from if you are serious about making money online and making it damn fast!

How to avoid dumb competition online

There is one cardinal reason for dumb competition: jumping into an online model of making money without a really solid reason!

Dump competition can also be likened to getting to the park and instead of having a fixed destination in mind, being rather open to take the bus to wherever the driver is headed…now, your friends (or even enemies) may be in the same bus — headed to their various destinations…if you follow them, won’t you land at their own destinations?

This is exactly what happens when you compete in a dumb manner!

To avoid this harsh reality, always ensure that you have a solid reason that cannot be shaken before you jump into any online business — or else, you will certainly wind up imitating and competing with the fellow next door.

What are your reasons of coming online in the first place?!

8. Refusing mentorship/ taking just anyone as a teacher, model or mentor

I have never seen anywhere else where mentorship is resisted like online!

To qualify as an ordinary roadside mechanic, about 5 years are needed before you can ‘graduate’ (and those 5 years are spent with an experienced mechanic); same goes for ‘ordinary’ professions like panel beating and even masonry. Now, how on earth can you logically resist tutorship online and expect to progress like you would love to?!

This is crazy — and the height of ignorance — but believe me, many persons who are online today resist mentorship like the plague! Such persons imagine that there is nothing online worth wasting time under the tutorship of an established expert and instead, prefer to either attempt their feat ignorantly or else resolve to seek free advice from the Internet via Google.

Unfortunately, such advice, is given by just anyone, whether he/she is qualified to offer it or not. In the end, such an ‘online businessman’ fails classically.

…something tells me that YOU are such a person!

How to select and benefit from the right mentor online

Realizing that you need an online mentor to succeed in your online business is one thing…getting the right mentor to actually help you achieve your set targets online is well another!

The challenge today is thus to get the right mentor that will ensure that your online dreams come true.

But, how exactly can you come by such a mentor?

It’s simple, really: choose a mentor that is already living the reality you wish! If you desire to make money online via blogging or any of the related models like affiliate marketing, Abass Toriola is one mentor you should consider — IMMEDIATELY.

Whatever you do to arrive at the right mentor that will coach you for your online business, you should not consider the mentors who are experts at showing screenshots and who in essence make money online by telling you they make money online!

9. Failure to Adapt

There is nothing that is as constant online as change. Nothing!

Accordingly, while you may start an online business that may, in fact, be doing great today, always open your eyes to the great reality ahead — and around you and change models or variants if need be. And do so swiftly and without apology.

Let me tell you a little story…

I was serving the Nigerian market — under the make money online niche. One sad day, the Federal Government of Nigeria decided to stop the use of Nigerian issued credit/debit cards on foreign sites and in foreign countries…that decision claimed more than 70% of my income (earnings from referring my readers to Arvixe, my host then). I knew it was time to adapt — and I immediately ‘killed’ the site and founded another, The Notopoverty Information Portal.

On the new portal, I serve both the Nigerian and the foreign markets now — in a brilliant and curious fashion. Now, more than ever, I care little if such an unpopular policy is ever brought about by this government or another.

What is the lesson here?

Know when it is smart to adapt and do the needful!

How to adapt online smartly

Adapting is not the issue, most often…

Often, the issue is, adapting smartly — and knowing when it is that you should adapt. For the records, you should only think of adapting when the following hold true:

  1. When your income is threatened.
  2. When the business model in question is getting obsolete.
  3. When you are getting bored with your current model or
  4. When you have got a better model than the existing one.

However, if is apt to note that, aside these four points to take note of, it is very important to understand that should you decide to adapt to another model of making money online in Nigeria, that model should at least be related to the one you are leaving behind…

…if you cared to check out my current portal now – and knew the site I used to run back then, you’ll agree with me that I surely have stayed true to my advice here.

Will you stay true to it on your own part?


From now on, always try to remember these nine silly mistakes and NEVER make them in your bid to make money online; if you are however making them already, the time to STOP is NOW!

If you have any questions (or contributions), kindly leave me a comment below…if you have none, let’s hang out and socialize instead (via comments).

Make the day great!

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