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Best Legal Online Business That Pays in Nigeria (2021)

There are several legal online businesses that pay in Nigeria. Since we live in the age of globalisation, there exist a plethora of legitimate online business opportunities. One doesn’t have to engage in dishonest business practices to secure competitive leverage.

In short, the internet is a modern-day goldmine. And we are going to discuss the best online business ideas in 2021. With the world shifting towards a higher dependence on the internet, billions of people around the world come online daily for several reasons.

In Nigeria, more than a hundred million persons out of a population of two hundred million have access to the internet. This offers a lucrative outlet for anyone with the right skill sets without being constrained by time, technology or location.

Even more, the global pandemic has further amplified the need for businesses to conduct a good portion of their daily operations online, as well as influence consumer behaviour to use available internet options.

This has thus hastened the internet adoption process. It would be appalling to miss out and not take advantage of this opportunity.

Legitimate Online Businesses in Nigeria

With the help of an internet connection, you can use your mobile device or personal computer to start making money online. These online businesses require little financial investment. They are;

  1. Create and sell digital products
  2. Become a social media marketer or influencer
  3. Buy and sell websites
  4. Teach online courses
  5. Become a freelancer
  6. Offer professional services
  7. Make online videos
  8. Start a blog
  9. Become an affiliate marketer
  10. Create an online shop or start drop shipping

Furthermore, let us consider in detail the ten best ways to make money online with little investment.

 1. Create and Sell Digital Products

What Are Digital Products?

Digital goods or e-goods are intangible goods that exist and can be used only in an electronic device. Examples include e-books (digital books), software, documents, digital media such as music, podcasts & audiobooks, photography, graphics & digital art, and more


If you are contemplating starting an online business that pays in Nigeria, then creating and selling ebooks should be at the top of your list.

As a result of how easy it is to produce an ebook, especially if you are a writer, eBooks have been and will continue to be one of the most popular digital products for content creators.

All you need is to choose a particular subject matter, create content, and add a few relevant images. You can sell your eBooks on large marketplaces such as Amazon or via self-created online stores. As for customers, all they need to read your content is a mobile device, a tablet, a computer, or an e-reader.

The fascinating aspect of creating and selling eBooks is that you do not require any capital investment to start this online business. Moreover, you can share almost anything you are passionate about and sell it in text form to consumers.

Are you good at educating or advising people? Are you a motivational speaker? Are you good at writing erotic novels? Or are you an excellent storyteller? You would definitely find people who would pay to get your content. Also, you can curate the existing content of a bestselling eBook and sell it to consumers.


The software industry is large and it’s embellished with countless possibilities. This industry is filled with opportunities.

However, you would need the ability to write codes in other to tap into this market. Therefore, if you have experience with coding applications, plugins, themes, snippets, websites, or anything else that needs code, you can turn your code into cash.

There is a ready market for mobile applications, desktop software, video games, web-based applications, website templates, and more. So pick up your notes and start learning codes today, soon you will be rewarded for it.


Do you have a blog? Or have you written a final year project or thesis? If so, you can package the content of your website, project or thesis and sell it as a manuscript so others can learn from you.

Such documents are password protected to prevent content theft. So consumers would have to pay a sum to get the password. You could also sell industry reports, business proposals and resumé templates, guides, and manuals.

This is an avenue to share useful information with others and at the same time make a profit.


In this era of high technological innovations, music has become a very lucrative online business. The beauty of music as an online business is that you don’t have to be very famous to make money from it.

If you are interested in starting a music business, you’re in luck because we wrote an article on how to make money from music.

Podcast and Audiobooks

Audio is a powerful medium to communicate with an audience. There are several types of audio digital products. Many people around the world are willing to pay for audio tracks to receive information, an inspiration for creativity, motivation to achieve goals, entertainment, and relaxation.

Audio digital products include; audiobooks, recorded lectures, relaxing background sounds, foreign language lessons, comedic stories, and more.


Premium photos of exceptional quality are one of the most demanded digital products today. Despite stock photography has made it possible to buy photos for a relatively cheaper rate, truly exceptional images are still being sold for its real worth.

One way to make the most of your photography is to own a website. A digital environment where you can showcase your astonishing work. All in all, a website is an integral part of a photographer’s portfolio.

You can sell independent photos or client-commissioned images on your website for the price you want. It is also possible to receive contracts to cover events.

That said, if you do not own a website there are several online platforms where you can sell your photos. However, you may need a competitive pricing strategy to increase sales.

Graphics and Digital Artworks

If you can produce artwork digitally, it’s worth selling online and you would surely make money with it. However, you have to make sure you license it correctly, to prevent theft.

Art is a very valuable product, in physical or digital form. Graphic designers and digital artists enjoy the dividend of their skills when they sell original artworks. This includes icon packs, logos, PowerPoint themes, .PSD templates, and more.

If you are a graphic designer, you can create and sell UI assets, card brushes, patterns, designs, backgrounds, and more. While digital artists can sell finished drawings, prints, and sketches. Finished original art with remarkable quality can fetch a fortune over time.

Conclusively, if you have the dexterity to create digital products, you can leverage the power of the internet. There are billions of people online ready to purchase such products. The sales of digital products is the best legal online business that pays in Nigeria.

2. Become a Social Media Marketer or Influencer

When social media first emerged in the early 2000’s, a majority of persons were quick to dismiss its potentials. By 2010, it became apparent the opportunity that lies beneath the number of interactions you get on your social media accounts.

As of 2021, billions of people sign in to Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Pinterest, and more. Brands, politicians, and activists are aware of the influence of users with thousands of active followers or users that gain high interactions.

Hence, they are contacted to join campaigns or for social media promotion in exchange for money. Social media marketing is a legal online business that pays daily in Nigeria.

Fortunately, only a few individuals are true influencers in the Nigerian internet space. You would have to pick a niche and consistently provide content to your followers.

You can join the intellectual niche and post content that suits the niche. Other niches include health, football, comedy, patriarchy, and feminism. An easy way to go viral without uploading lewd contents is to have hot takes on trending topics with a mix of sarcasm and satire.

3. Buy and Sell Websites

Think of it as a real estate business. For instance, in real estate business, you buy lands and properties, develop or renovate it, then sell it to a customer.

In like manner, you can buy a domain name, build it into a website, and sell it for a price of choice (while factoring the cost incurred to build the site, market pricing, desired profit, and the purchasing power of a potential buyer). This is a legit online business with so much potential.

At this point, a disambiguation of terms is essential. There is a clear difference between a domain name and a website. A domain name is merely the name of a site (e.g., mamimarket.com), whereas a website includes the name, contents of the website and its design or user interface.

The potential of this business is evident in the rate at which domain investors buy domain names these days. For example, Voice.com was sold for a whopping $30 million in 2019. This amount was paid for just the domain name, no UX, no content, just domain name. This is the highest price ever paid for a domain name.

Nonetheless, Ugo.com, founded in 1997, was sold for $100 million in 2007. This apparently is the highest price ever paid for a website.

Does this mean just anyone can buy a cheap domain and sell for a million bucks a year later? Not necessarily. It takes patience and a good understanding of the business to achieve success. 

4. Teach Online Courses (e-Learning)

With more and more people seeking to learn new skills through the internet, entrepreneurs are given yet another opportunity to capitalise. You can teach literally anything you know online.

As an industry, e-Learning is known for its innovative approach to traditional education. It is a fast-rising industry with novel momentum. Due to its growth and the emergence of the pandemic, traditional educational institutions are now implementing some e-Learning methods to teach students.

Are you into music, catering, business, graphics, web design, writing, or what have you? There are a good number of people who would be willing to pay you to learn these skills from you.

There are three major ways you can make content available to learners (customers).

  • A one-off course,
  • A collection of courses,
  • Membership or subscription to web-based service.

These courses are offered either independently or the teacher offers some forms of interaction either through assignment review or Question & Answer sessions.

And in most cases, a student is given a sense of fulfillment upon completion of a course with some form of certification.

You can start out by creating a course where you share your knowledge about a specific topic to a certain degree, make some documentation of it and sell it to buyers. These documents (including videos and eBooks) are then compiled into learning materials.

Online courses are becoming a known component of online businesses because of how easy it is to afford and use Learning Management Systems (LMS). The kind of technology used to sell online courses are very similar to those used to sell most digital products.

Online platforms like Udemy.com and Teachable.com are prime examples of e-Learning websites.

5. Become a Freelancer

Who Is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is someone who works only on request and isn’t obligated to work for anyone in the long run. A freelancer usually works from home. The number of freelancers around the world is growing with unprecedented momentum.

Why Become a Freelancer?

In an economy where employment is at an all-time high, becoming a freelancer appears to be a good alternative to one’s career goal.

It offers the freedom to wake up whenever you like and work at your own pace. Its time, location and resource flexibility make it a good online business for students. As it presents an ample opportunity to focus on your studies while you make some money on the side.

Most of those skills you take for granted can be converted to cash simply by becoming a freelancer. You can put your social media skills to good use by working with brands to manage their social media accounts.

Are you a programmer, video editor, translator or digital artist? There are customers out there who would like to work with you on some projects.

Upwork and Fiver are good platforms to meet customers who would pay for your skills.

6. Offer Professional Services

In the first instance, we talked about products, but this time we are not. Although services are usually sold in the same way as digital products, by comparison, they are somewhat different.

Over the years, the line that differentiates products from services has become a blur. And in most cases, customers are not concerned about the difference.

For instance, a customer can select from a collection of already made logos and buy it as a product for its listed price. Whereas the said customer can also request the services of a graphics designer to produce a logo with a similar result.

When it comes to service-based jobs, you are being paid for the time spent to produce a specific outcome or result. In contrast, a product-based business sells a product for a given price.

In the world of eCommerce, service providers choose to sell their services online. Some of the professions that are becoming increasingly popular are;

  • Digital Artist
  • Web designer
  • Graphic designer
  • Life Coach
  • Accounting profession
  • Legal profession
  • Trainer
  • Consultant
  • Translator
  • Copywriter

This is not an exhaustive list of professional services rendered online today, for we barely scratched the surface.

How Are Services Sold Online?

Professional services are often sold in one of two ways:

  • On a case-by-case basis: Each work is scoped by the service provider, quoted to the customer, and the cost is negotiated and agreed upon by both parties.
  • As fixed-price services: The cost to procure the service is predefined, thus it is known to the customer before engaging the service provider.

7. Make Online Videos (Vlogging)

A popular video sharing network like YouTube is a daily driver for billions of people around the world. YouTube has become a nexus for entertainment, fitness training, eLearning and so much more.

People watch football highlights, comedy skits, talent shows, music videos, Nollywood movies, gadgets’ reviews, as well as News, Politics, DIY tutorials, photography, yoga classes, life hacks, calisthenics videos, and more on YouTube.

As you can see, there is a range of niches that exist within this network. You can decide to join a particular niche and create video content that suits the niche or simply vlog about any topic you have a passion for (there just might be an audience for it).

To make money from your new found passion, you would have to gain some traffic or views on your videos whilst strategically placing Ads in them. You can also develop sponsored content or engage in affiliate marketing. You would learn more about affiliate marketing as you continue to read the article.

Upon commencing your online video business don’t forget to create social media accounts for your brand. You can upload a snippet of your videos on your TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram account.

Vlogging is one of the best legal online businesses in Nigeria with lucrative benefits. Making online videos is currently more prospective than blogging for several reasons.

Below are reasons why you should consider making online videos:

  • Firstly, as the cost to purchase data gets cheaper users are more likely to watch a video that best explains a topic instead of reading a blog post.
  • Secondly, search engines are getting smarter and are now able to itemise points from a video and display it on Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). A user may prefer to have these points explained to him on a video rather than dig through the search results to find a post that does so.
  • Thirdly, most search engines follow a principle that states: if there’s a video on YouTube that describes the topic appropriately, it should rank first on SERP.

There are more reasons why vlogging is the new wave but the aforementioned easily comes to mind.

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