Last updated on March 5th, 2014 at 07:55 am
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.
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.
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.
Scriptlance.com 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. Scriptlance.com was acquired by Freelancer.com. 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 (ContentMarketingPlus.com) 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.
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: https://www.facebook.com/WebIncomePlus) 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.