Being a university student can feel like a full-time job — albeit one that drains your account rather than pays you. And you’ll agree that battling sapa while schooling in Nigeria is the only thing more stressful than the general wahala of uni life. So, we totally get why you’re wondering how to make money online in Nigeria as a student.
You can make money online as a student by offering content and copywriting services, translation services, blogging or by tutoring online. Other viable options include content creation, data entry, influencer marketing and social media management.
The rest of this article dives into the fine details of how to make money online as a student in Nigeria — whether you want to monetise existing skills or acquire new income-generating ones.
How to make money online in Nigeria as a student: 9 easy ways
1. Content writing and copywriting
Technically speaking, content writing and copywriting are different ventures. Still, they require the same skill set — the ability to create and edit written content.
While a content writer focuses on creating informative and engaging content (like blog posts, scripts and white papers), a copywriter creates marketing-focused short-form content to persuade an audience to take a specific action.
You can make money from content writing and copywriting by creating for brands, individuals, websites, and NGOs. However, the actual profit will depend on your skill level, portfolio and clientele.
Content writing and copywriting are easy to start, even if you’re a student without experience. And you can start monetising your skills if you have a smartphone, laptop and internet access.
2. Online tutoring
Online tutoring isn’t for everyone, but you can make a lot of money as a Nigerian student with internet access and a knack for teaching. And while it’s not necessarily a requirement, being academically gifted can also help.
An online tutor is pretty much like a regular tutor — you teach people what you know and get paid for it. Online tutors use platforms like Zoom and Google Meet to engage with students instead of a board and marker.
These students can be from anywhere in the world, even as far off as the United States, so you can earn in almost any currency with the right clients. And thanks to the remote nature of online tutoring, students in Nigeria can fit the job into a rigid university schedule.
You can teach primary and secondary school students — and even college students — all from the comfort of your hostel or apartment.
3. Translation services
Offering translation services might not seem profitable, but it’s a pretty good venture if you’re looking for an easy way to make money online as a student. And thanks to the internet and tools like Google Translate and ChatGPT, you can get started without formal training or prior knowledge of a language.
People typically need translation services for long-form content (like blogs and articles), and you can make a pretty nice sum, if you’re good. All you need is a smartphone and internet access. However, you might also need to improve your proofreading skills as a translator to ensure you deliver high-quality work.
Blogging has been a part of the internet for about as long as the world wide web has existed. It’s easy to set up and can be quite profitable in Nigeria.
In a nutshell, blogging is creating content (usually written) for an audience but via a self-publishing platform. In simpler terms, you write content on a website you own and get direct — and sometimes continuous — revenue from this website.
Today, bloggers can make money from sponsorships, ads and partner programs. In fact, setting up and monetising a blog is much easier than a few years ago, thanks to blogging platforms like Medium and Substack.
You’ll need to have excellent writing skills if you want to own and maintain a successful blog. You might also want to find a suitable niche for your skills and experiences.
5. Content creation
Content creation has grown from a quirky pastime to a fun way for anyone to make money in Nigeria. Creators like The Igbo Wolf use online platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok to profit from entertaining or informative visuals.
But how does it work?
The premise of content creation is pretty straightforward. First, you create something informative, funny, inspiring, or even weird. This content is usually a video but can be motion graphics or images.
Then, you post your creation online — typically on your socials or website. Finally, you make money off the uploaded content.
It’s like blogging — but for videos. Therefore, you can monetise your content just like you would a blog: through ads, sponsorships and partnership programs.
6. Data entry
Data entry jobs require that you enter, edit or update information in online databases for a small fee. They’re another way to make money online as a student and only require you to have a basic understanding of how computer systems and spreadsheets work.
Some data entry jobs don’t even require you to work with a database. Instead, you answer surveys and share feedback on products or services.
And like every other job in this article, data entry roles are fully remote, allowing Nigerian students to work with any company anytime and from anywhere.
7. Virtual assistant jobs
Virtual assistants are what you think they are — remote workers that offer administrative services to clients. As a virtual assistant, you’ll be tasked with tasks like replying to emails, making phone calls, and organising your client’s schedule.
Once you get the hang of things, you can combine your job with the rigours of schoolwork. But you might need a bit of training to become an effective virtual assistant. Fortunately, you can take several short online courses to help get you started.
8. Social media management
Social media management is one of those jobs that didn’t exist until recently — not until the rise of social media platforms like Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). So, it’s a role that’s perfect for tech-savvy Gen Z uni students looking to make money online.
As a social media manager, you’ll handle a brand or individual’s social media pages. You’ll be responsible for public interactions and handle tasks like uploading content to the page.
Some social media management roles go beyond posting content and replying to comments. Some clients might hire you to implement their social media content strategy, which usually requires analysing engagement data and developing online campaigns.
Still, it’s a job you can do from the comfort of your university hostel with your smartphone and internet access.
9. Social media influencer marketing
Despite what some say, high follower counts and engagement metrics on social media platforms are impressive. In fact, they can provide an excellent way for you to make money online in Nigeria as a student.
And as a social media influencer, you’ll persuade your audience to buy a product or take action — usually in partnership with one or more brands.
It’s a simple way to make money off being online all the time and can grant you social media celebrity status if you do it well.
You don’t even need hundreds of thousands of followers to make money as a social media influencer. Some brands partner with smaller accounts (micro-influencers) to achieve the same results — although for a smaller fee.
To get an overview of what it’s like to make money in Nigeria through social media influencer marketing, check out this illuminating interview with Toyosi Godwin.
If you opened this article wondering how to make money online in Nigeria as a student, we hope you go away with the realisation that while it might seem challenging, it’s not impossible. In fact, the roles in this article only require you to have a device with internet access and relevant skills to get the job done. And while it might take some time and effort to get your first clients, freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can help you get started.