Over the last 20 years, the business landscape has changed greatly in Nigeria and many parts of the world, and so, many new & exiting entrepreneurs are going online to start and run their businesses.
With a wide growing list of online business ideas and opportunities in Nigeria, Africa, and many other places around the world, here are 35+ profitable online businesses to start:
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Blogging has become one of the fastest growing online business ideas in Nigeria because of the widespread successes of many millionaire bloggers like LindaIkeji, and more.
If you have a flair for a particular topic and are a great writer, you can set up a blog and start writing on that.
Writing to suit your target audience is the most important part of blogging, as you must write the way they understand, so they can easily connect with what you’re trying to teach or show them. This will ensure you have a loyal audience that’s there to stay.
Depending on what niche you choose to focus on, you could be the next big thing in the online blogging industry.
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You can also make a lot of money from blogging by setting up a blog on WordPress or Blogger. Starting for as low as only $3.95 per month, anyone can follow this link to create a WordPress blog in minutes for a really low rate. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value), a free site builder, and a 30-days money-back guarantee if you purchase, at least, 12 months of blog hosting.
2). E-Book Publishing:
People go online to download thousands of e-books every day in Nigeria. People are also looking for guides on various subjects and topics, while many others just enjoy reading a lot of books.
If you’re a great writer that’s vast in a particular skill people are willing to learn, you can write a detailed e-book on that and have your work published. With a great marketing plan and execution, you’d make money from every purchase of your e-book in Nigeria, Africa, and all over the world.
3). Affiliate Marketing:
A great advantage of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to spend a dime to set it up. What you do in affiliate marketing is to promote other people’s products and services from your website or any other means. Every time your link is clicked and a purchase is completed, you’d get paid.
So if you have a large following on twitter, Facebook, or a website with some traffic, you can harness your audience and start your affiliate marketing gigs for any company selling, and start earning revenues with every successful sale.
Some companies in Nigeria looking for affiliate marketers are Globexia (commodity export brokers), Jumia, and several others.
4). E-Commerce (Electronic Commerce):
Buying and selling online, while already established in the developed world, is getting more popular than ever before in places like Nigeria and other developing nations. With many businesses coming online every month, Nigeria and Africa’s e-commerce business market is exploding, and as a result, many businesses and individuals are generating thousands of dollars in revenue every month from running e-commerce companies.
You can start an e-commerce business from home without owning a single item by simply reselling other people’s items like books, clothing, accessories, etc. and over time, you can start stocking your own merchandise.
The potential in the eCommerce sector makes it one of the fastest growing online business ideas in Nigeria.
5). Advertising Network (AD Networks):
The basic concept with Advertising Networks is to feature advertisers ads on websites that are willing to have the Advertising Network’s Ads show on their websites. A perfect example of this online business is Google Adwords. People advertise through google, and it shows up on many websites at the same time. If you have the resources, a niche idea, and a wide network of websites to partner with, you can also start an ad network.
6). Web Design & Development:
With a lot of Nigerian businesses going online, a lot of people & businesses are seeking the services of professional web designers.
Without a great looking website, many customers will not trust what you have to offer on your website. Because of this, the demand for really good web designers is rising, leading to higher fees for the designers. Some even earn as low as 50,000 Naira ($166.67) to as much as 1,200,000 Naira ($4000) for a web project.
Web design is one great business you can start from your home in Nigeria. All you need is a good computer, great training, and a sample website to get started.
7). Online Market Place:
This involves selling your products on online marketplaces like Jumia, Konga, Amazon, and several others. Selling on marketplaces saves you advertisement costs and marketing stress.
You can start selling on online marketplaces from your home in Nigeria today.
8). Search Engine Optimization Services (SEO):
Many online businesses in Nigeria are now racing to get their businesses on the first page of google. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being a tricky trade has got many scampering around to find professionals that can help them get to the top ten results on google in the shortest time possible.
Also, SEO is becoming increasingly important by the day as companies are looking for multiple ways to reduce their marketing expenses and still get more leads for their businesses.
In the United States, some SEO experts could earn as much as $25,000 per project. Depending on where you are around the world, the sum would greatly vary but is a place to start.
With many companies paying a lot of money to SEO experts, using your SEO technical know-how to get any web page to rank on the top ten results on the first page of google would get you in business.
9). Social Media Marketing:
Social media consultants are helping Nigerian companies grow their revenues and get more relevant on social media. They employ strategies ranging from social virality to pure user engagement.
Social media consultants help businesses make their customers on social media feel like family. Their services are too vital for the success of any business’ image on social media and the internet as a whole, and in all, their activities help these companies grow their sales.
10). Trading Forex:
Forex trading has over the years proven itself to be a viable source of income for many stay-at-home Nigerians. With the right training, a computer, an internet connection and a little startup capital, you can start growing your revenues from trading forex.
11). Online Transcription:
Video producers, scriptwriters, and more usually look for people who can transcribe a script from one language to another for further use. For instance, if a movie is shot in the Yoruba language, but the producer or an independent party wants to transcribe to English so that it can be played for an audience, a transcriber experienced in the language is usually commissioned to handle the transcription.
You can set up a website promoting your transcription service and also register on platforms like Fiverr to promote your service and gain more customers.
12). Graphic Designs & Animations:
Thousands of people worldwide are constantly paying for a graphic design service to a designer for one project or another. And for these, they could pay anywhere from $5 to over $1,000. The same applies to animation videos as companies are constantly creating more videos to promote their brands on social media, which could cost anywhere from $500 to as high as even $25,000 per video.
If you’re creative, you could learn graphic design and video animation production, produce a lot of sample works, and promote them online through social media, your website, and other freelance platforms like Fiverr.
By doing this, you could be on your way to running one of the most lucrative online business ideas to venture into.
13). Online Reputation Management:
Reputation management essentially refers to the influencing and controlling of an individual’s or group’s reputation. And today, too many people especially politicians, top executives, and more, are trying to clean up and have a great online reputation so that when they’re being researched on the internet, there would be so much positive information about them.
For a fee per client, you could start helping people to carry this out by setting up credible social media pages for them, writing to blogs carrying unverifiable information about them to bring them down or face a lawsuit, and much more.
14). Virtual Assistant:
The need for a virtual assistant service is growing every day as companies, executives, and other people have fewer available time to focus on other things that matter to them asides their business.
You could set up a professional virtual assistant service and help people manage their emails, write their documents for them, handle their customer service for them, and much more all for a fee, depending on the payment structure and frequency.
You don’t even have to have met the client, as they could be halfway around the world, while you’re domiciled in your country.
The virtual assistant service is not just highly needed in today’s world but is one of the easiest online business ideas to venture into.
15). Bookkeeping Service:
Most companies have problems handling their bookkeeping activities, and so, usually require the services of an external party to help them keep their finances in check, and possibly even help them file their taxes.
If you’re good with accounting or are a chartered accountant, you could start an online bookkeeping service and market your business to a lot of startups and medium-sized businesses and grow with them.
16). Freelance Professional Writing:
You could start a professional writing service writing professional documents like business plans, feasibility reports, blog posts, speeches, web content, and much more for clients.
With prices ranging from $150 to more than $3,000 per project, you could advertise yourself online and start working on multiple projects.
17). Start A Youtube Channel:
Vlogging on youtube has become an increasingly popular online venture as hundreds of people are now earning hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly with a few earning even up to and more than $10 million US dollars yearly, by just posting videos on Youtube.
As one of the most lucrative online businesses to start up, you too could start a creative youtube channel in a niche that has large viewers and as long as your content is highly interesting and well-promoted, you’d eventually get to where you want to get.
18). Online Tutoring:
Online tutoring is one of the globally fastest growing online business ideas because of the need for people to try to learn a new skill or the other online. Some do this through webinars, skype sessions, or more, and pay per hour or per course.
You could start the same, build a large mailing list, and market your course to them.
19). Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Consulting:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is becoming increasingly important by the day as companies are looking for multiple ways to reduce their marketing expenses and still get more leads for their businesses.
In the United States, some SEO experts could earn as much as $25,000 per project. Depending on where you are around the world, the sum would greatly vary but is a place to start.
20). Fitness Instructor:
Online fitness instructing has become a massive hit on Instagram as hundreds of fitness instructor accounts crop up every week, with some of them managing to earn six-figure incomes so far, and a few others earning in the seven-figures income range.
If you have a great body, you could start an online fitness page, make great photos and videos, advertise a lot, and sell courses, personal training programs, and much more.
You could start a podcast, which is a series of audio files structured in episodes, which users can subscribe to, download and listen to learn.
Hundreds of people around the world have successfully built a successful online business around podcasting, and a bulk of them make money through partnerships, sponsorships, advertisements, selling products, and affiliate marketing.
If you can find a highly interesting and engaging topic that people want to have a conversation about, you could start and build a successful podcast around it.
22). Buying & Flipping Websites:
Buying and selling (flipping) websites can be one of the most lucrative online business ideas to venture into if you can find great websites with domains carrying meaningful dictionary words and remarketing them to companies and organisations whose businesses are inline with that name.
Some websites and domains have gone on to sell for millions of dollars, but many are selling for thousands of dollars daily.
You could start by registering on a domain reseller’s platform and start trading.
23). Career Consultant:
Too many people in the world today have no sense of direction on what they want to do or where they want to go in their careers. If you have experience in Human Resource Management, you could start an online consultancy service for career advice, post articles frequently on your website/blog, and offer online advice to help people who have no clue on what to do with their careers.
24). Business/Commodity Brokerage:
You could register with a company to bring business to them for a commission on every successful transaction. Whether it’s a service, product, or commodity, brokering successful transactions for organisations can earn you a consistent and steady income.
25). Build Mobile Applications:
You could either build mobile applications for clients for a fee per mobile platform or build an app that goes viral, gets a lot of downloads, and generates revenues via advertisement, in-app purchases, sponsorships, and much more.
If you go with the former, you could earn anywhere from $1,000 to $150,000 per mobile application built depending on the type of client, type of app, number of platforms, and more. You could target clients with popular web applications but that do not have a mobile application or don’t have a great mobile application that would engage greatly with their users and quickly grow their businesses.
If you go with the second option, you could build a mobile game, photo & video app, productivity app, and much more, and if it goes viral, you could earn millions of dollars in revenues, and probably eventually sell the app for millions of dollars or in some very few exceptions, over $1 billion.
Building mobile applications is one of the most lucrative online business ideas only if you can either source clients or build a mobile app that goes viral.
26). Create & Sell WordPress Themes:
WordPress themes are purchased every day on platforms like ThemeForest and the likes. Some designers sell thousands of each, while some sell hundreds.
If you’re a web developer, you could build rich graphic WordPress themes and sell them on popular theme selling platforms like Template Monster for a fee of probably $15 to $70 per purchase. If you sell 1,000 units of a $40 theme, you’d earn $40,000 in revenue.
27). Sell Photos Online:
Stock photography has grown greatly over the past few years and popular stock photography platforms like DepositPhotos, Shutterstock and more have created a huge opportunity for photographers to sell their photos online.
Some sell thousands of a single photo and many have hundreds of photos that have sold over a thousand units each.
If you’re a great photographer you could sell photos online today on platforms like DepositPhotos and Shutterstock
28). Trade Cryptocurrencies:
The cryptocurrency world has created millionaires and has also cost thousands of people to lose their entire investments. If you’re good at studying markets to know when the prices of various cryptocurrencies will rise and fall, buying and selling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins & Ethereum could be one of the top lucrative online business ideas to start today.
29). Become A Personal Shopping Consultant:
Personal shoppers are always in tune with the trends, know what fashion is in vogue, what colours match best with which items, generally look very trendy, also and how to purchase the best quality items at great prices.
If you have all the traits above, you could start an online personal shopping business by promoting your self and service on social media and helping clients who are too busy to shop and don’t know the right things to buy to procure fashion items on their behalf for a fee, including the fact that you’d also make a profit on every item purchased.
Asides purchasing on their behalf, you could also provide expert fashion advice for a reasonable fee.
30). Become a Lead Generation Expert:
Companies need leads they can convert to paying customers and to achieve this, they try to hire a lot of marketers and more to get them a lot of prospects they can engage to purchase their products and services.
If you have a great experience with sourcing leads on the internet, you could offer your services to a lot of organisations and charge them a fee per number of leads you provide.
If done right and a few of them convert into high paying customers, this could turn out to be one of the most lucrative online business ideas you could venture into because the organisations would reward you handsomely to bring in even more credible leads.
31). Create An Online Course:
If you have a skill you’ve honed over a period of many years and have experienced a form of success using it, you could create a highly informative and in-depth online course and sell it on popular web course platforms like Udemy and the likes.
Some courses there sell anywhere from $10 per course to over $2,000 per course, and some tutors have successful sold over 50,000 units of their courses. If you sell 1,000 units for $10, that is $10,000.
Depending on how you promote and how informative your course is, creating and selling online courses could be one of the most profitable online business ideas you could venture into.
32). Become An Instagram Influencer:
Instagram influencers are known for one thing or the other. Some are known for travel/vacation trips/experiences, some fitness, some business advice, some comedy, and others for many other things.
When they end up getting popular, they start to earn income for each advertisement posted on their pages.
Influencers could earn anywhere from $50 to over $1,000,000 per post depending on how many followers they have and how engaging their pages are.
If you have a great idea for an Instagram page and have the corresponding content to follow, you could promote your page and if done right, could become a popular Instagram influencer too.
33). Publish A Book On Amazon:
Many people around the world have successfully written and “self-published” books on Amazon that have gone to become bestsellers over a period of time.
You too could write a book may be in fiction, business, or the likes and “self-publish” it on Amazon. Depending on how interesting the book is, the reviews, and how well it is promoted, you could have a best-seller on your hands that could earn you thousands and/or even millions of dollars.
34). Become A Copywriter:
Copywriting is essentially an art. And it involves being able to strike an emotional chord with the reader through delivering written or spoken words that will motivate them to take an action.
It is used in sales pages, marketing campaigns, advertisements, and blog contents.
If you’re a great writer that knows how to engage and keep the reader glued to your content, then copywriting is a great opportunity for you to explore because people pay anywhere from $50 to over $2,000 to produce copywritten contents that can motivate readers to act and purchase thousands of a certain product or service.
The better you are and the greater the results, the higher your value will be and the more popular you’ll become.
35). Online Tech Support:
For IT experts, remote online IT tech support services can be a great opportunity for you to take advantage of because some companies are more prone to use this service than to set up an in-house team that will be more expensive to maintain and pay.
Some of the services you can offer are networking, programming, and most especially, identifying and fixing IT security threats. And the best part is since small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from a very wide range of IT support services remotely at a cheaper cost, you can show them your value and how you’d help them save a lot of time and money in hiring, having, and maintaining an in-house team to handle it.
36). Create A SaaS (Software as a Service) Application:
Software as a Service (SaaS) applications are web applications that people use to execute a certain task on the internet consistently over a very long period of time, usually for a small monthly fee.
Some SaaS applications are CRM apps, email marketing apps, social media management apps, online accounting apps, lead generation apps, and so much more.
If you have an audience that could benefit greatly from a Saas application that wouldn’t just save them a lot of money but would quickly grow their revenues and give them enough time to pursue other important things in their professional and personal lives, you could have a winning software solution. And depending on what the SaaS application does, this could be one of the most profitable online business ideas you’d be starting up.