BY Anita Solomon
The internet is a bustling marketplace, which allows people with skills, talent, and business ideas to pursue their dreams of becoming successful online entrepreneurs. However, despite the abundance of opportunities on online, there seems to be a major challenge in Nigeria or for Nigerians as a result of the bad reputation brought on by the scam artists (419), the lack of resources, information, and the drive/passion to achieve this dream.
That being said, with the right guidance and coaching, starting and running a successful online business is very possible.
First of all, one must realise that working online is not a get rich quick scheme, but a legitimate work or job opportunity that requires hard work, dedication, consistency, focus and other trappings of a brick and mortar business excluding the initial capital investment. With the right mindset, anyone, who is ready to put in the hours and make a long-term commitment, will be able to have success working online.
Working online requires the willingness to learn and discipline to do the work. Being focused is very important because it is easy to get distracted with the next big thing out there. If you have a laptop or smartphone, and wireless connection, you can work from anywhere. You can even run a successful online business, while working a full-time job.
Internet marketing is undoubtedly a cheaper option than employing a sales workforce in an offline business. One major benefit of IM is that it does not require much experience or formal education to venture into it. This is definitely something worth exploring for many Nigerians out there.
With the creation of sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites, offline businesses or brick and mortar businesses have a better chance of reaching a wider audience. The IM savvy individual will see this as an opportunity to sell a social media marketing service to a prospective offline business. It is all in the packaging.
Why limit yourself to selling only in Nigeria when it is called the World Wide Web?
Who Can Work Online?
Virtually anyone can work online, students, business owners, employees, stay-at-home moms, men, women, etc. All that is required is access to the internet and a smartphone or laptop (or both). In Nigeria today, there are millions of idle and jobless people, who use the internet on a daily basis and have access to tools that can make them fortunes in the long run. Social media, for instance, is an underutilised and misused gold mine.
Three Proven Online Business Models You Can Start Today
There are many online business models or opportunities for a savvy individual to earn a sustainable income, but we’ll be talking about three of those business models.
Blogging: “Blogging for money” is a prevailing trend in Nigeria today as you would notice blogs like Bellanaija and Lindaikeji ranking in the entertainment, fashion and lifestyle industry. These blogs are targeted primarily at the Nigerian audience and earn their income from paid advertising and Adsense, etc.
Despite the fact that there is an explosion of blogs around the world every day, there is still a chance to set one up and build a loyal readership. Blogging can provide work opportunities that can be a potential springboard to full and part-time monthly income. With a blog, you can make money by advertising through direct ad sales or through ad services like Google Adsense. With this sort of service, you earn a percentage of the advert cost each time someone clicks on the ad displayed on your site. This is otherwise known as ad publishing. You can also earn a living through blogging with affiliate marketing, creating and selling your own information products, or selling your own physical products or services.
The key with blogs is having both high-quality content and the implementation of solid monetisation features. The real fuel though is the content, focus on posting helpful, useful content with an eye on making your articles keyword rich and optimised for the search engines, and real people.
You can start blogging on just about any topic. However, you should choose a niche that is evergreen, and research the revenue potential behind it. You also want to pick a niche that you will be comfortable writing about for a long time.
Freelancing: Working on the premise that you have a specific knowledge or skill that has a market value, you can start earning income selling your skills online for a fee. If you are proficient at any of the following:
· Article writing
· Graphic design
· Website design
· Social media marketing/management
· Voice Over
· Video editing
· Content Marketing, etc
… then you should consider going into business for yourself as a ’freelancer’.
The market is hot and you are in demand because thousands of businesses are looking to outsource the jobs they can’t, don’t have the time, or don’t want to do. There are internet marketers looking for others to take care of things like graphics, website design, and content creation or handling customer support.
Outsourcing is a way of getting your products created and generally speeding up your business development timeline. Marketers or businesses outsource things they cannot or don’t want to do so they can concentrate on things they can do well.
There are many sites you can join and lease your skills. It is worth checking out sites like upwork and fiverr. Doing a search on Google for sites you can sell your skills will yield a lot of results.
Freelancing is really a lot of work, but it is one of the guaranteed ways you can make money online without spending any to invest. Most people, who make money working as freelancers, end up using said earnings to invest in other online business models.
Social Media Marketing: This is one of the fastest growing online business models in Nigeria. Today, there are thousands of Nigerian owned businesses on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. More brands are turning to social media daily to improve brand awareness and build a thriving online presence. A skilled social media marketer is in the right position to get paid for such gigs.
However, to earn from social media marketing, just like all other business models, you have to learn/develop yourself. Some of the required skills that will help you excel include; content marketing, public relations, customer service, social media strategy, community growth & management, content creation, etc. You will also need a good understanding of how the various social media platforms work.
As a social media marketer/manager, you can make money from managing social media profiles for brands and businesses. You can also earn through influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, or selling your own products.
The best thing to do is choose just one model, and focus on it until successful. Even though some of these models can be mixed and matched, it’s best to put off doing that until you’ve got your core model running and producing a profit.
In conclusion, note that the longer you remain visible in your niche, the greater chances for long-term success. It’s much harder to establish credibility if you’re dabbling in two or three businesses at once.
• Solomon can be reached on Instagram and Facebook @AnitaSolOnline