[2018] List Of Online Business Ideas In Nigeria Without Startup Investment

The internet has made it incredibly easy to start a business – this is also true here in Nigeria. This is a list of online business ideas in Nigeria one can pursue comfortably from the comfort of their homes. All you need is: an internet enabled device, Internet connection, a business idea, and you’re ready to go.

First things first: there are numerous legitimate businesses you can do online which means: to make money, you must serve people; you must be willing to provide solutions to people’s needs. That’s all there is to earn from the internet.

You’ve heard there’s a goldmine to be mined on the web. You may even know friends that have hit it big doing what-you-don’t-know online. And you want to do same; only that, you don’t have an idea where to begin and what to do.

You may be a seasoned internet guru, with several strings of businesses behind you – but you’re on the look out for new business ideas to venture into.

No matter where you’re at, this blog post is for you.

The aim of the article is simple: To curate all legal internet business ideas you can start right here in Nigeria.

What you will learn

  • Different online business ideas you can start right here in Nigeria
  • Real link to sites you can start earning online
  • Requirements to start each business

Please note: This is a very long post, for ease of navigation go through the table of contents and click on any idea that interests you and you’ll be taken directly to that section of the article.

Table of contents

Affiliate Marketing


Course and Tutorials






Services and Consulting

Simple Tasks


Disclaimer: I have not personally tried out all the ideas here, but you can easily find stories online of people who’re making a decent living with one or several ideas here. This is so before some smart dude start asking me questions.

so here we go:

Affiliate Marketing

This is one of the traditional means of making money online. It involves directing traffic to online stores and earning a commission when someone makes a purchase through your efforts.

Your job will be to promote other people’s products or services – it could be anything, any product, any service. It doesn’t matter the niche. Just be sure, the product/service is what people are searching for online and you’re good.

There are many affiliate programs you can join here in Nigeria and make a decent commission. Popular eCommerce site such as Jumia and Konga offer mouth-watering commissions for every sale you bring in. Other sites include:

Web4africa affiliate program

Wakanow affiliate program

Aside from signing up with individual affiliate programs such as these ones listed above; you could also join affiliate networks. This gives you the added advantage of having an array of products and services to choose from. Some of the popular affiliate networks include:

  • CJ affiliate network
  • GrowSumo
  • Rakuten affiliate
  • MaxBounty

Requirements to start affiliate marketing

Fortunately, the startup cost to affiliate marketing is next to nothing – the only initial cost outlay is your hosting and domain name purchase. After that, it’d be more of perseverance, your time and smart marketing to promote your site.

  • Domain name purchase
  • Hosting
  • An Email list building software
  • products from affiliate programs


Blogging is perhaps the most popular online business in Nigeria and that’s for good reason – with the Ikeji’s grabbing all the headlines. And here you’re considering doing the same thing.

The truth is, blogging is lucrative – if you can crack the blogging code as these guys did, then the sky is only your starting point.

Blogging is sharing your opinion, thoughts, and knowledge on any topic online. To make money from blogging you can either guest blog – you get paid to write articles for other blogs or monetize your personal blog using these methods.

Requirements to start blogging

Before you start blogging, it’s important to decide which blogging platform to use and also whether you’d be going for a free hosted CMS or self-hosting. Your decision here will affect a number of things like:

  • How much control you have over your blogging site
  • The public perception of your business
  • SEO and other marketing initiatives

If you choose a free hosted blogging site – all you need do is:  register your account; choose a domain name – bear in mind your domain name is going to have an extra extension.

For instance, you chose domainname as your url, you’re going to get either: www.domainname.blogspot.com or www.domainname.wordpress.com as the case may be; choose a template; and go live.

for self-hosted blogs, you’d need the following to get started:

  • Register a domain name
  • Buy a hosting plan
  • Buy a WordPress theme or get a free template

Develop online courses and tutorials

Online courses are an excellent means of monetizing your skills and expertise on the go. Once you’re done with the initial task of creating the courses, you can be rest-assured of ranking in the money with no additional input going forward – except of course, when you need to update the course.

There are several articles online describing the steps to creating a web based course your students will love. Check out this detailed post on smartpassiveincome.com: How to create the perfect Online course

However, here is a summary of what you’d need to get started in creating your course:

Requirements for creating an Online course in Nigeria

First, decide what you would teach.

How to come up with e-course ideas

  • Audit your skills and expertise: You have a skill. Everyone does. So, take a plain sheet of paper and write out all your skills. What training have you had in the past? What are you passionate about?

List them on the paper. Once you’re done you’d see the opportunities are endless.

A quick tip however, don’t fall into the temptation of discounting any of the ideas. Give each a fair chance.

  • Research the questions people are asking: Visit forums, stay active, and listen … really listen to what’s been discussed. You will find clues and course ideas to help answer people’s questions. Now, here’s why you should stay active on these forums – they ‘forumers’ would eventually become your students.

Also, use Google suggested queries to fluff out your course ideas. Or use the old dependable method – ask                      your audience what course they would love you to create.

Choose Tools to create your online course

The next step is deciding the tools to use in creating the course. A quick check online will show there’s a plethora of  both free and premium tools available. This comprehensive resource from elearning platform covers everything you need. Also check out Kathryn Hocking toolkit for creating e-courses here

However, it might get overwhelming sorting through all the tools, so to make it easy on you, here are my favorite tools.

Resources to create video courses

  • Jing (free tool)
  • Screen-o-matic (freemium)
  • Camtasia (paid)

Resources to create podcast

  • Audacity (free)
  • WavePad App (Android)
  • Ardour (free)
  • Podomatic

After creating the course, you have to decide where to host it online. Would you go the self-hosting route or perhaps on revenue sharing platforms?

Bear in mind each of these models have their benefits and demerits.

Self-hosted online courses mean you’re in charge of everything; from purchasing a domain name to host; marketing and every other responsibilities that comes with online businesses. However, the up side is, the revenue are 100 percent coming to you.

If you decide to upload your courses on revenue sharing platforms, keep in mind you’d be sharing a certain percentage of the revenue with the platform. Albeit, you would be relieved of the cost of purchasing hosting and domain name; also the platform is likely to drive traffic to the site, which will rob off on you. However, don’t leave the marketing of your course entirely to them.

Revenue sharing platforms for your online courses

  • Udemy
  • Cousera
  • Skillshare
  • Teachable
  • Thinkific

Selling your design skills

The demand for skilled designers is at an the all-time high. Businesses, brands, celebrities, and individuals are constantly on the look-out for experienced designers that are able to provide high-quality designs for them.

Design skills do not look to go obsolete anytime soon, in fact, there is a growing market for people with various design skills as mentioned above.

That said, the basic job of a designer is to communicate the ideas of a service provider to its customers or intending customers through graphic illustrations.

Requirements to start earning as a designer

First, decide which niche to specialize in.

Like in most other business ideas on this list, you need to first decide what niche you have a passion for in design. The key to being a professional in anything is to start by focusing on a particular aspect.

Design, as it is, is a fairly broad field encompassing sub-fields like web design, logo design, UI design, UX design, etc. When you try to learn everything at once, you will end up being a mediocre in all.

So, pick a niche, master it, and then continue to learn.

Once you’re clear on the design path you’d like to go; the next logical steps after choosing a niche, is to check out various online learning platforms that offer that design course.

Tools required for design jobs

For virtually all  design jobs, the following tools are essential:

A computer with  design software like Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw installed. The computer can be a desktop PC or a laptop; it doesn’t matter as far as it is capable of running the required software.

Internet connection: This is important because there are many free online tools that you can employ to learn design skills and how to use design software.

Practice, practice, and more practice: While learning and afterward, you need to put what you have learnt into action by practicing. You can start by trying to design other peoples work, and when you get better you can start designing original stuff. You can also join some online design competitions.

Online platforms to get design jobs

When you have learnt and practiced enough you can start applying for online design jobs. The following are some of the freelance websites that you can register with and check for design jobs:

  • 99designs
  • Envato Studio
  • Dribble
  • Behance
  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Elance

Note: Before you start the application process, however, you need to have built a portfolio. This portfolio should comprise some of your best works so as to make you stand out.


Ever fancied buying and selling? Now you can start selling from the comfort of your homn through the internet.

The reality is, starting and running an e-commerce business has never been easier than now. You have the options of either starting the business from scratch or buying an existing e-commerce business.

Before we continue, it wouldn’t hurt to understand what an e-commerce business entails.

An e-comm business at it’s basic level, involves an online store, a payment gateway, and products; think of them, as the same as your favorite neighborhood store – in this case however, they’re online.

Examples of some popular e-commerce companies in Nigeria are Jumia, Konga, Yudala, and Jiji.

Requirements for starting an e-commerce business

To start an e-commerce business from nothing, you need to follow the steps below:

Choose a niche and a brand name: Choosing a niche involves drilling down to a specific market; it also involves selecting the kind of products to carry.

Along with choosing a niche you’d also need to choose a brand name, which might of course, double as your domain name.

Build your online store: The next step is to build the website for your e-commerce business. While you can do this yourself, you can also hire the services of a professional web developer to help you set up a website for the business.

However, if you’re tight on funding for a website, you can start off first, by selling on social media like on Instagram and Facebook.

Upload your products description on the store: Once you’ve setup your e-com site, it’s time to customize and brand it, then, upload the details of the products you are selling. Unlike an offline brick-and-mortar store, you only need to list the products you are selling on your website.

Before uploading the product images to your online store, I assumed, you’ve already sorted out the logistics of products with your suppliers.

Check out 1688, Alibaba, salehoo, etc. they are a handy online list of suppliers you can work with when sourcing your products.

Launch the store: When you are done with the website development and products stocking, the next line of action is to launch the store on the Web. However, before launching, you need to ensure that everything is working correctly and your checklist is complete.

Promote your business: Finally, it’s time to let the world know about your online store. Tell your friends and family about your new business; run Facebook and adword ads to drive traffic to your store; and constantly post and engage with your followers on social media.


A freelancer is anyone that offers a service to a customer without any long-term contractual agreements. Freelancing covers a whole lot of services with many websites recording huge membership of freelancers and millions of freelancing jobs available on a daily basis.

As mentioned above, there are various types of services under freelancing such as graphics design, virtual assistant jobs, writing (more details later), animation, and so on.

You can venture into freelancing as a means of passive income while keeping your regular job or you can take freelancing as a full-time job.

Requirements for freelancing

To be a freelancer, the first thing you need is to have a skill. When you possess a skill and know how to communicate with customers – customer relations skill – you are on your way to start making money with it online. Your skill(s) will determine the niche you will go into.

A PC with Internet connection. As with other business ideas on this list, you need an Internet-connected computer for freelancing. This is because you need to register with a freelancing website as well as communicate with your clients through the Internet.

Register with a freelance website. As someone new to freelancing, your best bet is to sign up with one or more of the numerous freelance websites to be able to get freelancing jobs.

Some of the popular freelance websites include:

  • fiverr.com
  • skillshive.com
  • freelancer.com
  • upwork.com
  • peopleperhour.com

Start bidding for jobs. When you have successfully registered with a freelance website, you need to start looking for jobs relevant to your skillset.

Before you start bidding for jobs, you need to have built up a portfolio of what you have done; this is to show your prospective clients that you are suitable for the job(s).


Marketing in this context refers to Internet marketing or Digital marketing. As an Internet marketer, your job is basically to help promote a business  by creating and implementing online marketing strategies.

Examples of online marketing strategies include email marketing, social media marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Requirements for starting online marketing

While an Internet marketing business is not so difficult to start, you will need to have the following:

A good knowledge of marketing and online marketing strategies. First, you are a marketer, so it is important that you know the basics of marketing and to have the relevant marketing skills. Skills such as communication and copy writing are essential for any online marketer.

A personal or business website that shows your experience and skill in Internet marketing. The essence of a website is to first show your clients that you are serious about your work as well as to provide your clients a medium of reaching to your.

Knowledge about your target client(s). Having a good understanding about what your prospective clients want is a very important requirement if you are to succeed as a digital marketer.

Depending on your region, you may need a license.


No doubt, programmers are one of the highest paid people in the world today. Almost every modern business today needs the services of a programmer. Joining this bandwagon will not only make you relevant today, but also in the foreseeable future.

A passion for learning is important as well as a love for technology if you are ever going to become a programmer. This is because while you can take courses and bootcamps for programmers, you will have to learn most things by yourself.

That being said, let’s get to know the required steps to take in order to become a programmer.

How to start a career in programming

First, you need to decide on what you want to solve with programming. There are different categories of programmers today: web programmers, game programmers, app developers, etc. Choosing what solution you want to provide with programming is the first step in the journey.

Choose an appropriate programming language. Every programming language has its advantages and downsides. Understanding what you want to solve will help you to choose the appropriate language.

Start learning the basics of the chosen language. Like human languages, you need to understand the basics of a programming language before you can be able to start using it.

Thus, after selecting a suitable programming language, you need to start learning the language. You can sign up for an online coding course to learn the basics of programming or download programming books from the Internet.

Put what you’ve learnt into practice. Most programmers will agree that the best way to learn programming is by practicing. Learning all about a programming language without practicing will not make you a programmer because you can easily forget what you have learned.

Services and Consulting

Online consulting basically involves offering expert advice on any particular subject. A consultant is someone that has authoritative knowledge on a particular subject.

Like freelancing, the market for online consulting is also growing at a fast pace, this makes it a viable option for people who want to take a share of the Internet revenue cake.

Online consultants are needed in virtually all fields including auditing, accounting, communications, editing, and so on. This is because businesses want to make profit and they need good advice on how to go about it.

However, online consulting is not like any other business on this list as it involves putting in a lot of time and effort. This is also because of the fast-changing world that we live in; knowledge keeps increasing and many discoveries are being made on a daily basis that makes what you know a few months ago almost irrelevant today.

How to become an online consultant

Define your goals: Like most other businesses, you need to be specific on what you want from being an online consultant. This means that you need to choose a particular part of online consulting and focus on.

Get the required skills: When you have defined your goals as an online consultant, the next step is to acquire the necessary skills. You will need to start small here and not want to learn everything at once.

When you have finished learning a particular skill you can then move on to learn another, and on and on like that. As an online consultant, you may also need to acquire certifications to show that you are serious about your business.

Build a name for yourself: You can make a name for yourself as an online consultant by networking with other consultants. When you network with other professionals in your field, your reputation will also improve, even before you get your first clients. Don’t forget that, networking is also a great way of landing prospective clients.

Get a business website: Since you are an online consultant, there is a need for an online presence of your business. While you may start with social media platforms like LinkedIn, you will definitely need to own a website for your business.

Start pitching prospective clients: After all is set, you need to start reaching out to prospective customers that require your services. Consultants are needed in virtually all fields as have been stated;

Freelance Writing

Freelance writing is easily one of the popular ways of making money online, especially for native English speakers (don’t give up if you’re not one).

Writing encompasses a whole lot of fields; therefore, you need to decide on a niche (specific field) to start with if you want to succeed as a freelance writer. Examples of niches include health, technology, self help, agriculture, and so on.

What you need to start writing online for money

To start making money online through writing, you need to have access to a minimum of the following:

A good understanding of a language (usually English). While there may be writing jobs for non-English speakers, the vast majority of online writing jobs are for native speakers. Understanding the basics of a language is the first step to being able to craft grammatically correct articles.

A PC with Internet connection. This is a no-brainer as you will need a device to write the articles and connection to the Internet to make research and connect with your clients.


Yes, we all know how erratic the power supply can be in Nigeria. But that shouldn’t be an excuse if you want to make it online. You will need to invest in a  generating set or a power bank so as to have a steady power supply.

A means to receive payment. Yes! You will need a means to receive  payments after you’ve completed your jobs. There are various options available for Nigerians, albeit limited, and depending on the freelance platform. While PayPal is not still available to Nigerians for withdrawal; you can try other payment methods such as Payoneer that is open to Nigerians.

When you have gotten access to the above-mentioned requirements, you need to continue with the following.

Create samples of your work: To be able to get writing jobs, you may need to have samples of your work ready to show your credibility. You can do this by creating guest posts on websites related to your niche(s) or by creating a blog and posting there.

You c an also leverage social media publishing like posting on Facebook, LinkedIn Pulse, Instagram posts and posting on other platforms like Medium, Steemit, etc. to showcase your ability.

Soft skills: By soft skills I mean the ability to effectively interact with other people. The truth is, you need to able able to effectively handle interactions with both your customers and editors.

Hence, developing excellent inter-personal communications skill is essential to the success of your freelaning business.

Simple Tasks

To wrap up the list, we are going to briefly consider some simple online tasks you can do right here in Nigeria.

It’s worth noting that, these tasks vary – they range from taking quick online surveys to testing apps or websites, commenting on websites, or liking a Facebook page.

You can get simple tasks on the following websites

  • Onespace
  • Amazon mTurk
  • Microworkers
  • Clickworker
  • Figure Eight
  • Inbox Dollars
  • Clixsense
  • Swagbucks

These sites and other similar sites reward users in various ways including gift cards, coupons, and cash. For those that pay through cash, you will need to have a PayPal account.

…Wrapping up

This guide is a list of online business ideas you can start in Nigeria, with little to no capital outlay, it is however,in no way exhaustive, as there are still numerous online businesses one can start in Nigeria not listed here.

Having said that, I would like you to share any business you know or do online that’s not listed here so I an include them in the subsequent updates.

So, if you ever desired to make a living legitimately online as a Nigerian, then,  the businesses listed above are your best bet.

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