Are you looking for the best way to make money online? Are you a student who could use some money or do you have a full-time job but won’t mind an extra source of income? Maybe the plan is to even turn your online business into a full-time job. The point is, whatever your needs are, there are multiple ways to make money online

 The popularity of the internet in the past two decades has transformed every form of our lives, including the way we conduct business. The internet is now a platform connecting people who require some service and are willing to pay for it with people who can provide the service. 

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Needless to say, the concept of online marketplaces is becoming increasingly popular, and everyone wants a piece. Millions of people across the globe make their money from businesses they build online. With a phone/laptop and internet connection, you can join in the fun too.

Let’s dive in.  

Top 10 Ways To Make Money Online In 2021

1. Freelancing

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Do you have a skill or service you feel like exchanging for money, a laptop, and an internet connection?  If yes, then you should consider freelancing.

The best thing about the freelancing industry is that there is a market for every skill you can think of, although there may be some disparity in demand. Are you good at writing? There are tons of content writing gigs online. What about programming, graphic design or translating or transcribing? Nothing is off-limits, really. 

A good way to start freelancing is to register on freelance platforms: they match clients with talent all over the world. Create your profile, apply to jobs and get to work. 

Some of the top freelance marketplaces include  Upwork, Fiverr, PeoplePerHour , Freelancer, and local platforms like Kula.

To get started, you should check out this resource

2. Affiliate Marketing

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If you have a blog, a website or even a YouTube channel, and people buy a product from a third party via your platform because you talked about it, that’s affiliate marketing. And you can make money from it. 

Affiliate marketing has a low barrier to entry but can be a reliable source of income.

Here’s how it work:  You apply for the affiliate program where it is available. If you’re accepted, you get a custom link to the product you’re looking to promote. When your link successfully converts a customer— i.e. they make a purchase via the same link, you earn a commission. 

Affiliate marketing is designed to increase sales and a good strategy to use is content creation. 

If this sounds good to you, here are some affiliate programs in Nigeria you might be interested in.

3. Influencer Marketing

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A couple of years ago, celebrities were the only sets of people considered as influencers. But that’s no longer the case — anyone with a strong online presence and engagement can sign up to become an influencer. 

This gig is for you if you have a following on any of your social media accounts, such as X (formerly known as) Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or even WhatsApp, and you are looking for a way to monetize it. 

Influencer marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing strategy that relies on recommendations and endorsement from “influencers” — a term for people who have built a strong presence online and engage their followers. Influencer marketing is one of the organic ways brands promote their products and services, so they don’t hesitate to earmark some of their advertising budgets into this. 

How does this work? Influencers partner with brands and  “sell” the products to the target audience by posting “sponsored posts” on their social media platforms.

While reach is important in influencer marketing and brands look for people with a massive following, they also look at engagement. Not much might happen if you have 10k followers on Instagram but struggle to get five comments on your posts. Quality and relatable content, for the most part, is the best way to increase audience reach and engagement. 

If this sounds like you, you will find this guide to becoming an influencer marketer useful.

4. Dropshipping 

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Dropshipping is a retail business model where the seller doesn’t have to stock the products they sell. This is how it works: when a customer makes an order from you, you purchase the product from a third-party merchant — usually a wholesaler or the manufacturer —  and have them ship it directly to the customer in your name. 

Many people will argue that the best thing about dropshipping is that it’s not as capital intensive as the standard retail model. For starters, you won’t have to worry about the cost of setting up a physical store to keep your inventory. And since you aren’t required to buy the products before you find a buyer, you won’t have to lose sleep over recouping your investment. What’s more? You still get to buy the products at wholesale prices and sell them to the customer at retail.

Read more about dropshipping in this article here. 

5. Social Media Marketing

social media marketer illustration

Social media marketing helps brands and businesses find and connect with their target audience on social media. As people spend long hours online, brands are also looking for ways to leverage this to reach more people and promote their products. This is where social media marketers come in. 

A social media marketer’s job is pretty much using social media to promote products and services. So, if you know how algorithms work and how you can use them to boost audience reach or how to use paid advertising to hack growth, you should strongly consider finding work in social media marketing. But remember, the end goal here is also conversion. 

This guide contains all the basics of social media marketing.

 6. Setting Up A Virtual Store

The internet has transformed people’s buying behaviour and how they shop for things. With the rise of e-commerce stores, more people are open to buying things online. 

Jumia and Konga are two of the biggest e-commerce platforms in Nigeria. While they sell products from their warehouses, they also allow other vendors and merchants to set up stores to sell and market their own products. You should consider tapping into this. If you have a product to exchange for money, you can leverage these marketplaces to reach more people and subsequently make more sales. 

All you have to do is sign up to become a vendor and you can put up your products on the sites and start selling once you get approved. However, you should know that these platforms will charge a commission on every sale you make off their platform. 

There’s another way to do this: you can easily create a custom online store on e-commerce platforms like Shopify and direct your customers there. Shopify has this detailed article on how to do this, and you can find it here.

Alternatively, you can set up your store on popular social media websites. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have opened up a new revenue stream for business owners, and they should be part of your marketing and sales strategy. It’s also easy to set up a store on these websites — sign up, post your products and create content around them, receive orders and fulfil. 

If you’re looking for more information about how to use social media websites for e-commerce, this article is a good place to start.

7. Selling Online Courses

If you’re an expert at something and are looking to share the knowledge with others for a fee, creating an online course might be the way to go. You also have the freedom to choose whichever format works best for you — text or video. 

Work on your online course, make sure it’s packed with value, put it on online marketplaces — it could be your custom website or an educational marketplace like Udemy —  and start selling. 

8. Starting A YouTube Channel 

There are about 122 million active daily users on YouTube. In the past few years, there has been an increase in video monetisation attempts by individual content creators and vloggers. With a YouTube channel, you also can make money online. Some of the most popular ways to make money on YouTube include sponsored videos, monetising ad views and joining the YouTube Partner Program

9. Becoming A Virtual Assistant 

Virtual assistants work remotely and help clients, which could be individuals or companies with their administrative tasks.  As a virtual assistant, you’re making someone’s job easier and getting paid for it. 

To find clients, you can use social media sites like Linkedin and Facebook to your advantage in addition to good ol’ word of mouth marketing. Freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are also effective places to scout for your clients. 

10. Investing In Stocks 

This is not exactly an online business, but it can be a good way to make money on the side. Also, it requires some capital, some level of financial education, and an appetite for risks. Financial services like Rise and Bamboo provide a range of foreign stock options you can research and put some money into. Now, sit back and watch your money grow. 

5 Things To Do Before You Start Your Online Business

1. Research like your life depends on it… it kinda does:

Research doesn’t solve all of your problems, but it fixes most of them. The thing about making money online is that there are limitless options, and that can be overwhelming. 

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To get past that overwhelming phase, you must answer the question: will people pay for this service? A business that solves a problem will most definitely get paying clients, so it’s important to scour the internet for the necessary information before making a decision. Also, find out what the other players in the space are doing to secure the bag and see if there’s anything to emulate or tweak to make it better. 

2. Equip yourself with the necessary skills or tools:

A lot of money-making options on the internet require a set of skills and abilities or tools to work with. For example, you can’t make money online off freelance content writing if you don’t build your writing skills. In the same vein, if you hope to make money from photo editing, you need editing skills and photo editing software. 

It’s important to give your skills an honest evaluation and figure out what areas you need to develop. This will help you as you go. 

3. Find out your target market:

This should be something you consider when conducting your research. It’s one thing to know that the service you’re looking to sell is in hot demand — it’s another thing to identify the people who are willing to pay for it. 

Also, the market shifts all the time, and a widely-sought after service at a time might see a sharp drop in demand after a few months. Think about the long-term sustainability and market share before you commit to the business. 

4. Prepare for the long haul:

It’s hard to build a business. Some sources claim that 90% of online businesses fail in the first four months of operation. This is scary, isn’t it?

There’s no guarantee that your business will become an instant hit. So, it just pays to be prepared to hang in there and consistently make moves to turn it into a reliable source of income. 

5. Have a concrete marketing strategy:

A good advertising and marketing plan, in many cases, is a prerequisite to how much you can make. Promotion matters a lot, and it might be what you need to kick start your business and build it to scale. 



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