Many potential Nigerian entrepreneurs want to start a legit online business in Nigeria to earn cool cash. They are searching for the most successful online business idea and legitimate online business opportunities in Nigeria. So, this is my take on Nigeria’s top 10 legitimate online business opportunities.
Nigeria has an estimated population of over 218 million people. According to a report, as of 2022, Nigeria had nearly 84 million internet users. This figure is projected to grow to 117 million internet users in 2027. Moreover, internet penetration amounted to over 38% of the population in 2022 and is set to reach 48% in 2027. The same report notes that Mobile phone internet usage is prevalent. The country is considered a mobile-first market where infrastructure and online usage development skipped wide-ranging desktop PC adoption and went straight to mobile internet usage via inexpensive smartphones. With more than three-quarters of Nigerian web traffic being generated via smartphones, Nigeria ranks second on the list of African countries based on the share of traffic via mobile. Other African markets with a similar percentage of mobile online traffic are Sudan and Libya.
Today, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, several businesses in Nigeria are taking their business online to leverage the massive community of Nigerian internet users and market their products. Several people are also interested in investing in legit online companies in Nigeria.
I’ve noticed an alarming increase in the number of people calling to ask me how to make money online in Nigeria or how they can take an online course or watch videos and earn money in Nigeria<. This saddens me because it shows that many are idle and don’t know what to do! So, they’re looking for ways to make passive income.
Table of Contents
What is an Online Business?
An online business is a business that is conducted, managed, or delivers services primarily over the Internet. It’s a scalable business model usually not requiring a physical business space. An online business is a business that can be registered or not, formal or informal. Running a business online does not exclude it from legal requirements.
Why You Need to Start a Legit Online Business in Nigeria Today
A legit online business model is a simple way to make a passive income and to make money online in Nigeria as a student, job seeker, and a side hustle for those employed.
Online businesses rarely follow traditional business models. Many don’t, as a necessity, require a license or registration to operate.
Starting a Legit Online Business in Nigeria
Apart from a great internet connection, the first thing you should carefully consider is a business name. Immediately after shortlisting a few names, check for their availability as a domain name. If it is, register all the domain extensions and country-level extensions associated with them.
Afterwards, register your business with relevant authorities in Nigeria, such as the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), the government agency responsible for registering and managing the database of legitimate companies in Nigeria.
Then it is also advisable to open a separate bank account for your business.
How to Promote Your Business Online
There are several ways of promoting your business online. But for those just starting, I suggest you go with content marketing. This is creating relevant content (text, audio, video) around your products, services or industry and using these to market your business.
While creating texts/ valuable content for your products and services, you must research the keywords people typically use to search for such products. These are the keywords that your search engine optimisation (SEO) experts will use in your search engine optimisation or online advertising campaigns when the time comes.
As the famous saying goes, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” While promoting your business online, you must also continue to promote your business through other ways too.
What Are the Top 10 Legitimate Online Business Opportunities in Nigeria?
If you desire to be a business owner, here are my picks for the top 10 legitimate online business opportunities in Nigeria (in no particular order) you can explore. Let me know if I’ve not mentioned a legit online business available in Nigeria.
- Affiliate Marketing
- Web design/ web development
- Job Board
Now let us explore them in detail.
Affiliate marketing is a legit online business in Nigeria. It is a form of marketing that is a commission-based arrangement where you receive a commission from merchants for sales or leads that you direct to their website.
When you sign up for an affiliate marketing program with a merchant, you will get a unique affiliate link from the merchant as one of their recognised affiliate marketers.
Using this unique tracking link, which you can place on your blog, email, social media or anywhere you like, direct interested persons to the merchant’s website. You then get a referral commission every time someone buys after clicking your link on social media or elsewhere. You can also use things like Google Ads (fka Google Adsense) to drive traffic to your affiliate website to increase your chances of earning extra cash through your affiliate links.
They will usually provide you with all the necessary business knowledge and digital marketing strategy. They will also provide you with essential online business assets and a dashboard to see details of all the sales, leads you’ve made for the merchant and your commission.
It’s advisable that you only market genuine products or services that you have used yourself.
Affiliate programs can use various types of online marketing and payment terms. For example, in Pay per Sale terms, a product owner pays you a percentage of the sale price when the purchase is made.
Today, web hosting, domain name registration, and similar types of businesses are good examples of affiliate marketing programs. The majority are affiliated with the more prominent players in the industry. They earn income by selling the web hosting and domain name services of more significant players in the industry. Selling domain names can be lucrative if you are knowledgeable about the business.
Blogging is another fantastic legit online business for students in Nigeria. A blog is an online diary or journal updated regularly in chronological order by a person or group that focuses on news or views.
As a freelance writer, your blog’s content must not be intimate or scandalous. It can be corporate, educational and entertaining. But the important thing is that you must have a powerful passion for the topic you wish to blog about.
For your blog to thrive on your freelance site, you must update it regularly with great content valuable to your visitors.
If you are fortunate, regular visitors to your blog may become subscribers. Subscribers will get a notification of any recent updates to your blog. Subscribers can share your blog with their friends on various social media platforms.
By growing your subscribers, you would create a community around your blog.
Once you’ve created a community around your blog, you can then start monetising your blog by displaying Google AdSense ads on your blog.
Or, if you’re not interested in Google AdSense, you could use other customised solutions or plugins to sell ads directly.
Are you wondering how to get started? You can use platforms such as Blogger, Tumblr, Medium or WordPress.
Register a unique domain name to use with your blog to make it more professional.
Some brands, like Amazon, Commission Junction, and Avantlink, pay a small percentage of sales for every product an affiliate brings in.
Success in blogging or most eCommerce-related businesses requires you to be good at content writing.
Another option is starting a relationship blog. Nigerians are increasingly turning to the internet for advice on relationships, and by creating a blog that offers valuable insights and tips, you can attract a loyal following and even monetise your blog through affiliate marketing or sponsored posts.
Vlogging is a new legit online business for students in Nigeria that has caught on, especially among youths. What if you have a passion for a particular topic but are not into writing? Don’t despair.
You can always do a vlog! A vlog is a blog in which the postings are primarily in video form.
In recent years, there has been an increase in video content which is very popular on social media.
What platforms can you use for your vlog? You can use YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion and even Facebook!
Yes, with the recent launch of Facebook TV, Facebook has shown interest in catering to this niche of video content creators.
Once your vlog gets a lot of traffic and subscribers, you can consider monetising it by placing online adverts.
But what if writing isn’t your thing, and you’re also camera shy and won’t be caught dead in a video? Then you can consider podcasting as a means of earning extra money.
Unlike vlogging, with podcasting, your gear must be your voice and a voice recorder to create your audio file.
What platforms can you use to host your podcast? You can use SoundCloud, LibSyn, PodBean and Amazon S3.
As with blogging, you need to be passionate about your podcast and the topic you choose to cover. You can cover various topics, from art to the financial market, but you must stick to a particular subject. It would be best if you also invited subject matter experts as guests on your podcast.
Remember that your voice is now the primary focus; nobody will listen to your podcasts if you sound insecure or bored.
It would be best to capture your audience’s attention through the passionate way you speak to them. Your podcast needs to provide value and be entertaining to your audience.
The mode of monetising your podcast is similar to how you monetise a blog.
Some tried and tested legitimate online businesses in Nigeria are internet marketing, website design, web development, video editing or joining an authentic affiliate marketing program.
Individuals like politicians, chieftains of corporate organisations and successful businesspeople are now using online tools such as online surveys and eCommerce websites to promote their brands and personality. If you learn to use standard design tools and build excellent websites, you are in for a pleasant business or dream job. To be successful, you need to know how to design professional websites, create web graphics, build web pages, and upload web pages to the server.
One thing to note is that website design and web development are different. The two are interchangeable, but they are different.
Web design, as the name implies, is the design and graphic elements of a website that you see on the front end.
Another valuable digital skill related to web design and website development that is awesome for online businesses is mobile app design/development because most mobile phone users spend their time on apps. This valuable skill and the freelance job can fetch you lots of money.
A forum is an online discussion site where you can discuss a topic with other community members through posted messages.
If your forum becomes famous, you can monetise it by placing ads similar to how you monetise a blog. You can even convert it into a paid membership site.
It’s interesting to note that one of the most popular websites in Nigeria is a forum. It is substantial evidence that having a forum is a legitimate online business.
An online directory is a listing of information within niche-based categories.
Your directory could be about products, services, or general business listings. You can monetise your list through Google ads or paid placements.
Owning a niche directory to collect payment for listings or placing ads on your site is another profitable legitimate online business in Nigeria.
A job board is a website that specialises in employment or careers. You can also monetise your job board through the use of ads or paid memberships, or job placements.
Regarding the actual development of your job board, you can use off-the-shelf job board software or create a customised job board from scratch.
As a consultant, you offer advice and strategy instead of providing services so your clients can become more active.
You can have a commanding online presence and build your brand by using your website, a robust email list, an email marketing strategy, and social media channels.
Whatever your passion, you can provide one-on-one coaching. As a coach, you offer your clients advice and guidance. If you know of other experts in your field who are ready to partner, you can combine your efforts into a scalable business online.
You help your clients set goals to improve their business and make them accountable for reaching those goals.
Bonus: Digital Marketing
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people asking me how they can engage in e-commerce business or digital marketing. There are loads of online courses on digital marketing (aka internet marketing) that you can take, and some courses are free.
Depending on the course’s details, you will learn about some opportunities mentioned above. You may also receive a certificate in digital marketing that will be helpful in your career prospects.
These courses in digital marketing are also helpful for those looking to pivot from their current careers into digital marketing.
Besides taking courses, it will help if you can work in an established digital marketing agency. This will give you a hands-on experience of what digital marketing is about.
Bonus: Social Media Marketing
Are you proficient in using various social media platforms? Then you can consider social media marketing. Many youths in Nigeria are earning a living and extra income as social media influencers and social media managers for companies on social media using social media marketing. Create a social media account on your preferred online platform and use it to build your online presence or social media influence. Or offer your social media management services to clients and your potential customer base. Business owners gradually appreciate the importance of social media marketing elements of marketing mix strategy. You can use your skills to help businesses in your locality improve customer experience and customer service.
Bonus: Content Writing
If you’re looking for legitimate online business opportunities in Nigeria, Mauco Enterprises has got you covered. One such opportunity is investing in your skills as a writer. With the surge of content marketing, companies are in constant need of well-crafted and high-quality written content. By honing your writing skills, you can provide valuable content to clients and earn a steady income.
Content writing creates engaging content for websites, blog posts, digital products and digital media. Content writers must be able to craft compelling stories, present valuable facts and insights entertainingly, structure content logically and effectively, use SEO tactics to make their writing more visible online, and source photos to accompany their writing. Writing content to inform or entertain its target audience is a skill that requires practice and knowledge of best practices.
Are you looking for online business ideas for students? Then it would be best if you considered content writing. Freelance content writing is an excellent business for students. There are several online marketplaces where you can find suitable writing gigs.
Having a well-defined content strategy is essential for any business operating online. Creating content with a clear purpose and effective communication is crucial. Understanding your target audience and creating engaging and relevant content can attract potential clients and build a strong online presence. Leveraging social media platforms is also vital. You can attract potential clients by crafting engaging social media posts.
Bonus: SEO Specialist
An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist optimises websites to ensure they appear high on the organic search engine rankings. They also specialise in managing campaigns and optimising websites for local businesses, helping them improve their visibility online and drive traffic to their website. SEO specialists use keyword research, copywriting, content marketing, technical analysis and other measurement tools to understand what works or needs improvement. With their knowledge of algorithms and how search engines work, SEO specialists can help ensure that a website will be seen by those searching for information online.
Bonus: Forex and Cryptocurrencies
Another opportunity worth exploring is the world of forex and cryptocurrencies. With the right knowledge and expertise, you can trade forex or invest in digital currencies to generate significant returns. However, it’s important to do thorough research and seek expert guidance to mitigate risks. Keep in mind that some online business opportunities may require technical skills. If you have skills in web development or graphic design, target companies in need of a professional online presence.
Your Business Plan, Market Research and a Strong Team Building
According to this article, in starting a business, not all business ideas are worth starting at all.
After identifying the significant need or problem, your business idea is addressing, address your value offering. You may need to ask people questions, conduct your research and seek advice from an entrepreneur who owns an eCommerce business.
It is one thing to conduct market research when you want to start a business, and it’s another to utilise the feedback from your research.
The entire essence of this is to help you know more about the business you want to start and helps to form a sound foundation for the company.
If you plan to be the only one running your business, you may not need to build a team.
Note of Caution
Lastly, beware of any opportunities that require an upfront agent fee. Legitimate online businesses rarely require you to pay a fee to get started. Always do your due diligence and research any opportunity before committing to any investment. With these opportunities in mind, you can explore the online business landscape in Nigeria and find a legitimate opportunity that aligns with your skills and interests.
These are my top 10 legitimate online business opportunities in Nigeria.
As I mentioned above, this is not an exhaustive list. Other opportunities include graphic design, virtual assistants, search engine optimisation, drop shipping business, etc. You don’t have to deal with a physical product. First, brush up on your digital marketing skill and use email marketing and your favourite social media account.
Even though entrepreneurs complain about the heavy taxes the government subjects them to pay, we cannot compare it with doing business in some other countries.
So, if you’re looking for fresh opportunities or a new lucrative business, you can try any of these online business ideas you are passionate about. You may not start making thousands of dollars instantly, but you can earn a comfortable livelihood with time and consistency.
Remember that everything has beauty, but not everyone can see it. To succeed, strive to see the beauty in the above online business opportunities.
Which of them appeals to you? Have we missed any opportunity you feel should be on this list? Let us know what other legit internet business or legitimate business idea is fantastic for online business you think deserves mention in this article.
Do you own a legit online business in Nigeria and need help to grow your business? Schedule a call to speak with our digital marketing expert, who is ready to help make your business successful.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this post is for informational purposes only. Getting independent, professional accounting, financial and legal advice would be best before making business decisions.
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