More and more South Africans are turning to the internet for ways to make some extra cash – and if you are one of them, we have some practical tips for you.
Making money online in South Africa can take some time, but with some creativity and patience, it can pay off. We provide seven ideas you could consider.
How to make money online in South Africa 2020
1 Become a YouTuber
According to a Forbes report, the highest-paid YouTube earners in 2019 raked in millions of dollars – and some of them are just kids. For instance, eight-year-old Ryan Kaji earned a reported $26 million in 2019 via his YouTube channel, where he does science experiments and do-it-yourself arts and crafts.
South African citizen Dan Mace reportedly makes up to $50,000 (around R886,000 in August 2020) per video showcasing his experiences as an African travelling in the United States.
These examples show that you do not necessarily need specialised skills to make money on YouTube in South Africa. All you need is an engaging personality and interesting hobbies to get YouTube views, build a solid following and ultimately, attract advertising and endorsement deals.
2 Become a virtual assistant
Becoming a virtual assistant is a great way of how to make money online in South Africa for free. The world is full of online entrepreneurs and internet-based businesses that seek virtual assistants globally.
In case you choose this role, you would be offering services such as managing documents, replying to emails, making travel arrangements and scheduling meetings for your employer.
Of course, you would need a stable internet connection, some basic writing, Microsoft office and time-management skills, and a way to receive your payments securely online, such as PayPal, Payoneer or a bank account. Make sure to conduct background checks to make sure your employer is reputable.
3 Sell your photos online
If you are an outdoors person and like photography as a hobby, you could easily make money online in South Africa fast by selling your photos. Bloggers as well as medium and small businesses across the world buy stock photos for their websites.
Pictures of people in work or business settings are particularly popular, but you can also sell travel, nature and cityscape photos, among others. Starting a photography website where you showcase and sell your images is a good place to start.
Furthermore, you can submit your photos to popular stock photos websites such as Adobe Stock, Alamy, Shutterstock, Fotomoto and Crestock where buyers around the world can buy them.
4 Become a freelance writer
Do you have excellent writing skills? If yes, becoming a freelance writer is another awesome way of how to make money online in South Africa without money fast.
A simple way to start would be to sign up on various online freelance platforms such as Freelancer, Upwork and People Per Hour. Having some samples, especially in content writing fields such as blogging, reviews and how-to articles, could put you ahead of the competition.
Freelancing requires discipline and strict adherence to client standards and deadlines. Most platforms enable clients to leave reviews of your work, so be careful to maintain the highest standards. Make sure to also sign up on secure payment platforms such as PayPal and Payoneer to receive your payments.
5 Google AdSense
If you have a blog or website, or are planning to start one, you can sign up for Google AdSense to make money online from home in South Africa.
The content on your website must be family safe and can be anything from your hobbies, business-related topics such as product reviews, or even news and current affairs. It must be original content, not duplicated word-for-word from other websites.
Once Google AdSense accepts your application, you will receive a code to add on your website. Advertisements will then be enabled inside the content and as visitors to your website click on them, you will earn revenue. Remember, you will need thousands of page views to make sufficient income.
6 Sell your handmade items on Etsy
If you have a talent for creating handmade items such as unique jewellery, arts and crafts, gifts and cloths, you can sell these items on popular e-commerce website Etsy.
Registration on Etsy is easy and connects you to a vast market of online shoppers from around the world. With savvy marketing skills, you can quickly recoup costs (listing and transaction fees, among others) and make profits in no time.
Most buyers are likely to be overseas, so be sure to have PayPal to receive your payments securely. In addition, find an affordable, reputable and reliable shipping agent to make sure your items reach your clients.
7 Become an e-commerce seller
Amazon owner Jeff Bezos became the first person ever to cross the $100 billion net-worth mark recently, an indication that e-commerce is growing stronger by the day.
Amazon sells a wide range of products to the South African market as well and there are real opportunities if you are strong in marketing. You can sign up on Amazon and research the bestselling rating (BSR) for various items on the platform.
Once you select the products you wish to sell, you then need to find wholesalers who offer them within your budget, make an order for a set number of items and then market them for a markup profit as an e-commerce seller.
Remember, this business idea requires an upfront capital investment and the element of risk is therefore slightly higher. However, if you get it right, the profits can be lucrative.