7 Reasons Why ONLY 1% of Nigerians Really Make Money Online

The topic of making money online is the most popular topic you hear all around the web, especially in Nigeria. Why is this topic so popular? Because the idea seems super easy. You just sit down before your laptop, work for 2 hours a day (as some people promise) and get money into your bank account. This obviously is not so. The second reason why making money online is a very popular topic is because it`s very easy to lie on the internet. "Hey, I make $500 every week. If you can pay me xxx, I will teach you my secret", even while I've never made $50. Only 1% of people who try to make money online in Nigeria ever made good money and why is this so?

Here are main reasons why only 1% or less of Nigerians really make money online.

1. Most Nigerians don't see internet business as a business.

You and I are used to the idea of what business is, I mean in the physical world. Some of us understand that business (in the real world) entails so many things. We know for you to succeed you have a lot of work to do, you have a competition to kill (I mean, win), you have customers to please and you have employees to train and lead. We understood all these points until the idea of making money online came in and some gurus started presenting it as something magical. With this deception deeply in most people's' heart, they have forgotten (or never knew) that internet business is a business, which requires everything that physical world business requires, even more. You have competitors in the physical world business, you have even more competitors in the internet business. You have customers you must please in the physical world business, no difference on the internet. You have employees you have to understand, train and lead. Who told you that you won`t have employees with the internet business? Your laptop, your software, your plugins and every other technology that are working together with you are your employees. Mismanage them and you'll wound your income. Internet business is a business which has to be taken with all seriousness requires by any business.

2. Most Nigerians are not willing to pay the price it requires to make money online.

Since most people get into this line with the thought of easy money, the idea of working very hard is strange to them. I was discussing with a mentor of mine who has business in the physical world. He was trying to have a business he can "just sit down with a computer", thinking that will be easier than his present business. I laughed. I am "just sitting down" with my laptop but I know what it means to work 14-16 hours every day. I have read good numbers of books about offline businesses where the authors are honest enough to write that there is a price to be paid. This is not so about the online gurus. If you have been deceived before now, I am happy you know the truth now. There are so much to learn, so much to do and few mistakes to be made. Be willing to pay this price and you will make money online.

3. Most Nigerians don`t know it`s all about selling.

I still saw this about three days ago. A Facebook friend of mine tagged me in a picture where he was advertising his Network Marketing Business and he said, "This MLM is different, no selling is involved". A Multi-level Marketing business without selling? You must be kidding me! As a matter of fact, no legitimate money making business that doesn't have anything to do with selling. You just must sell. No selling, no money. So many people wish to make money online and they are not willing to figure out how and what they will sell. They must be joking. If you cannot sell advert, you then must sell a service or a product, if you want to make real money (well maybe you can make some change with some other dubious way, but it won`t be enough to pay your house rent)

READ: The Art of Successful Selling

4. Most Nigerians sell substandard products online.

In the physical world business, we were thought that you cannot make money except you can sell to your market again, again and a couple of times again. Any difference about the online business? Be sure, none. Whether you're selling advert, service or digital product online, you cannot make money (I mean real money) if you are having a "me too" website/blog or selling a copy and paste digital product. I will tell you the reason. Nobody will visit your blog or buy from you again and again. I bought a video from one "guru" earlier this month. After watching what he sold for me, I wish I could see him, sit him down and teach him about the topic he claims to be an expert on. I really did not have any issue against him, so I didn't call him to tell him. I simply told myself, "Well, I will never buy anything this guy sells again". If 95% of people who bought his video feel that way, he hasn't got a business. I have been selling online for a few years and I know what it means when someone calls you and say, "I bought your xxx book. It's really great. Please, what other materials do you have?" The more of this testimony you can get, the more money you'll make. If you ever wish to pull out a scab or a scamming product for sales on the internet, I recommend you go and get a job, because you'll not make (real) money by selling such.

5. Most Nigerians online entrepreneurs do not care about positioning themselves in their market.

You may be a blogger, an information marketer or just anything, if you're not seen by your market as an expert, there is no way people will come to you again and again. How can your audience see you as an expert? Just as I explained about marketing strategies for African entrepreneurs, every business man/woman, online or offline must see himself as a warrior. Warriors only win wars by strategies, not by their physical strengths alone. Positioning yourself means you`re perceived to be different by your audience. Not just different, but able to deliver on what your market demands. What should you do? Don`t just be "another internet marketer", differentiate yourself from the crowd.

6. Most Nigerians hate learning and reading.

When it comes to the business on the internet, you're in a new school. I was telling a friend of mine that what you have to study to master Search Engine Optimisation is as much as a course in the university (maybe I exaggerated a little here). But the point is, there are too many things to learn. Here we are in our country where most people hate to read. To make money online is to become a student, first, and an entrepreneur, second. I read, read and read. Whatever Google cannot answer, I ask people.

7. Most people hate to write and never want to learn.

Are there ways to make money online that don't require writing? Yes, if you'll have a retail portal like Amazon, Jumia or Konga. But you will soon be surprised that you will have to write sales copies, which is the king of all the writing. Virtually all the internet business (I mean most) require you to be a writer in one way or the other. Don't be scared away by this. Every one of us started somewhere, learn and grow. Sharpen your writing axe by writing often and much.

There you have it, 7 reasons why only 1% Nigerians who want to make money online really makes money online. If you find yourself struggling with making money online, you will need to make sure to work out these reasons for your own good. If you have problems with making money online and you need help, make sure you subscribe using the subscription box provided further below. You will get further details. If you do make money online as a Nigerian, kindly share with us other reasons you think we all should know about? Share with us in the comment.

This is a guest post by Stephen Abiodun, the CEO of the Africa Business Classroom.


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  1. Hi Stephen,

    Thank you so much for this great article...I have just signed up on your website and downloaded your e-book.

    Thanks for giving others the opportunity to guest post on your blog.

    Best regards,

  2. @STEPHEN: Thanks for this incredible post here on this blog. It is sad everything you wrote down to all the posts are true of our Nigerian people. In my creative field of architecture and computer graphics I see so many half-baked gurus who are as ignorant as air about what they claim they know. They don't groom themselves via e-books in pdf or video tutorials online after whatever shoddy training they've received which is quite unfortunate.
    Now about your quote about Google I rather go to that search engine do my research before I ask people like Soji & etc into web-related business so not to question them to death*lol*
    @SOJI: Thanks for the awesome share as usual. best regards...

  3. I love this post. It is nothing but the truth. I need to re-position myself again because my spirit had been lifted again.thanks a lot.

  4. To be candid, most point you mentioned was actually affecting my internet business and is like you have prescribed solutions to carter for tons of people with this rough mindset.

  5. Hi, Stephen.
    Thanks for writing this piece; you are so much on point that it gladdens my heart that someone in this same country can say the truth as it is.

    I've had a lot of people ask me about making money online, and I've reiterated almost all the points you've listed here. Then they run. They see me as discouraging. Guess the truth still remains as bitter as ever.

    The first question I ask is: "Why do you want to do this?" Once the person starts with money reasons, I can always tell he'd fail sooner than later.

    One other question I ask is: "if you were to do this offline (as a physical business), how would you do it?" Whatever their answers are, I then say "so do same online...cos there are just a few differences".

    I also love the point that it's all about selling. Most people online (not just Nigerians) don't know you have to keep selling EVERY TIME. I have a services page that sells my copywriting services, yet I pitch businesses online regularly. Bloggers are guilty of this. Just blogging and blogging and not doing any active selling. Brian Clark once said something like: traffic means nothing when you are not selling, you'd understand this when you can't pay the bills and your power goes off on you while blogging. (Not his exact words!)

    Your points are encouraging to me, as they point to the fact that if I keep up with what I'm doing -- and strive to do more/better, I'll soon find myself amongst the most successful Nigerians online. But if your 1% is for those that make some fair regular money, and not just those that make millions and 6-figures, then I'm proud to be amongst the 1% 🙂

    Points I will add however:
    1. Most online entrepreneurs (wannabes) are not patient enough. They give up easily at the slightest frustration. And hey, online is the home of frustration!
    2. Most don't spend money to make money. It's same as not investing some capital and starting a biz offline.
    3. My own mistake: most target the wrong audience. I was busy running after oyinbos for years, neglecting where I'd easily become a superstar. The only thing I have to show is some attractive portfolio.
    4. Not seeking mentorship. They do well to copy and paste models, but they don't reach out physically to learn from those models.

    There are several other mistakes people make online. Only few can be discussed here.

    Thanks for the great piece, Stephen. Thanks for publishing this, Adesoji!

  6. This is a great post, it's timely. Please, I need to be tutored and mentored into this business. Though what brought me into the business is the promise to make money quick, however I'm beginning to realize the truth. I sincerely ask for mentorship. Thanks a million times

  7. To make money online whether as a Nigerian or not requires foundation and study. Most Nigerian internet marketer are always at point of misleading some newbies into thinking that they can make money without spending a dime and that is outright lie. If you want to make money online especially as a Nigerian, you must come out with a working strategy. You must provide a solution to people's problem. If you do provide solution to peoples problem, you will definitely make money along the line.

  8. Hello Stephen,
    Thanks for the interesting post and all the points highlighted. Also, we need to treat this like a business. You just want to make money and think that the money will start flowing in just after some few hour? What service or product are you selling?

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