How do I earn income online? You earn income online by identifying people’s need and supplying solution to the needs. That sounds simple isn’t it? (The answer is simple, but putting that into action can be quite demanding.)
There are myriads of legitimate business one can do online. Some require no skill and no prior experience, while some require professional training and commitment of huge capital. Basically, all online business can be categorized under two broad headings:
- Selling Products – This can further be split into several categories, e.g. Physical Products and Virtual Products.
- Selling Services – This can further be split into several categories, e.g. Physical Services and Virtual Services.
It is not my intention to either examine all the various businesses or recommend any. However, I will simply give examples using those I have been involved in. For more options, you can easily get tons of free information from Google.
- I am yet to produce any product, Physical, Digital or Virtual 🙂 However, I do market products for others. You can market your own product or that of other businesses online.
- Selling articles, stories, photo etc. This is an area I intend venturing into soon.
- Selling advertisement – I display advertisement for other websites and online merchants and get paid in return. Some pay for just displaying the advert while others pay only when a click is made by a visitor to my website. Some others only pay when a sale is made by a visitor from my site.
- Earnings from actions – You can earn money by performing certain actions for some online businesses. E.g. Filling Survey forms online, surfing websites, . This can be time consuming and the returns are usually very small. (I stopped doing this).
- Earnings from writing – You earn money by writing stories, how to articles, reviewing others websites, e.t.c. (The bulk of my online income has been from this type of online business. I will be sharing more on this in my subsequent posts).
Whatever type of business you choose engage in, it is important that you consider (before you start) how you will receive your payment after selling a product or offering a service. For now, Nigerians are quite restricted in the types of business we can do online. So many online business merchant will have nothing to do with an online entrepreneur once they discover that he is either a Nigerian or he is operating from Nigeria. Some websites have gone as far as blacklisting IP addresses from Nigeria.
However, some still do business with Nigerians. For instance, Google pays her advertisers via cheques which can easily be paid into a local bank account. Google Ad-Sense has been one of the most patronized online business by Nigerians and citizens of other developing nations. Some other merchants do pay via cheque and very few pay via wire transfer.
For now, the foremost payment medium for online business is PayPal. Due to the activities of the few bad eggs, Nigeria has been de-listed from PayPal register 🙁 That invariably means that you cannot do business with anyone that insists on using PayPal for paying or receiving payment. The only way you can get a PayPal account legitimately is by travelling to one of the countries PayPal do business with and opening a current account and a PayPal account while residing there. (The process is tedious, and it is not foolproof – I stand to be corrected. Using fake particulars to register online and hiding IP address to fake your location will only result in problems later on).
While many point out that there are alternative to PayPal, it is confirmed that none of the alternatives have the same wide acceptability that PayPal enjoys. This is not meant to discourage you, it is just one of the several hurdles you are meant to surmount. Some of the popular alternatives to PayPal are AlertPay and E-gold.
Well this post is already too long. Take a break, go and do some research, ask friends and colleagues, brainstorm if need be “What type of business do I want to do online?” Cheers 😉