A successful online business in Nigeria can truly be a dream come true, giving you both an income and the ability to work at home.
But like any other businesses, starting an online business that will be successful takes planning and effort. The very first step, even before you write your business plan, is to figure out how you’re going to make money online. Obviously, you’re going to sell products or services, whether they be gadgets or nutritional information.
But what online business model are you going to use to entice customers to buy what you’re selling?
Here are six different online business models to explore in Nigeria to get you making money online.
1. E-commerce Site
The classic ecommerce site, designed to make money online by selling products, has both an online catalogue and a shopping cart. You can set up your own online store from scratch or choose to sell in one of the growing number of online marketplace.
2. Sales Letter Ecommerce Website
Like the infomercials on TV, these websites make the pitch, focusing on educating potential customers on the benefits of the products or services being sold. Unlike television infomercials, this type of online business model is long on copy and short on pictures.
As a website visitor, you can often recognize this way to make money online at a glance; the copy often begins with a question directed at the potential customer (such as “Would you like to increase your sales by fifty percent?”), and involves a lot of scrolling as benefit after benefit is revealed, usually backed by testimonials from satisfied customers. Time-limited and special offers are common.
3. Stand-Alone Blog
Blogs are popping up all over the Internet like mushrooms on a damp forest floor. The beauty of blogs is that anyone can self-publish their work online easily and cheaply. While many blogs exist just to get a person’s thoughts and ideas out there, others are attempts to make money online.
The standard online business model for blogging is to run ads on the blog pages. Google AdSense, for instance, is a popular choice. There are, however, other ways to make money online through a blog.
4. Service Business Website
The typical service business website, properly done, combines a portfolio with persuasive copy. To make money online, a good service business website has to answer the question “Why should you hire this person to do that?”
Often, what’s being sold is the talents and skills of an individual, but these are difficult to show online so the mainstays of service business websites are biographies and testimonials.
Samples of a person’s work may be included if possible. If you’re starting an online business of this type, I recommend soliciting testimonials from satisfied customers as a first step. You can also offer prospective customers free content, such as a newsletter, email tips or eBook. These are, of course, great ways to get to collect customer data and stay in touch.
The info-site, as I’ve dubbed it, is a website that focuses on presenting information, often on a specific topic. Portal site such as Yahoo is an example of this online business model.
Info-sites are predicated on the theory that enough people will be interested in the information to seek it out, visit the website and support it by clicking on or buying something.
While some info-sites make money online by selling their content, through subscription or syndication, others make money through advertising and/or affiliate programs
6. Brochure Site
The brochure site is basically an online business card. It presents the name of the business, some information about the products or services the business provides and contact information. People interested in learning more are asked to call, visit and/or sometimes to fill out an online form.
The brochure site is the online business model least likely to make money online in and of itself. Such a site is best suited as an adjunct to a business with a strong offline presence. Many small businesses use this kind of website as an Internet billboard for their customers, providing yet another way for their customers to get basic information about their business such as phone numbers or directions to their premises. The website is actually part of the business’s customer service rather than a money making venture in itself.
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