10 Ways To Make Money Online in South Africa

Think outside the box or you’ll just end up competing with everyone who reads this list.

Making money online in South Africa is today easier than ever. More and more people are earning a full-time living working from home which enables them to spend more time at home or travelling.

When we talk about making money online, there is this notion that it is a get-rich quick industry. Not so! Some of your favourite legitimate businesses make money online like Showmax and Loot.co.za.

Furthermore, the idols and celebrities we look up to earn money online too by using their popularity and influence on land sponsorship deals or start their own online businesses.

Here 10 ways you can cash-in and make money online in South Africa, in no particular order.

1. Remote work

Due to covid and the resulted lockdown restrictions in 2020-2021, many more people have made the shift to remote work. Which in essence allows them to make money online.

Both employers and employees have seen the benefits of remote work and as such more remote work opportunities are available for career driven individuals.

Not only is more remote work available, the benefits and flexibility of contracts are increasingly becoming more competitive and thus better rewards remote workers.

No longer do you have to go to a specific country, city, or office to be a data scientist or a marketer, you can do so from the comfort of your home whilst making money online.

2. Start an online business

While remote work allows you to earn a living online, most people want financial freedom and income which scales beyond what employers are paying workers. An online business is easy to start and can make you a lot of money.

While the idea of starting an online business sounds great, it does not mean that it’ll be less work than starting a traditional business, you will still have to sacrifice a huge amount of time and put in a lot of effort before you see any returns.

If you are venturing into new online niches like web3, AI, or crypto and blockchain, you have to accept that it is uncharted territory, and the promise of foretold vast fortunes are subject to the ability of your project solving a problem and gaining an audience large enough to monetize it.

Additionally, as anyone can start an online business – competition is fierce, and you will have to stay committed to the cause.

It’s always best to start small and spend a few hours a day or on the weekends working on side project which could potentially become an online business.

3. Services business

Is there a service your online business could potentially provide to customers like branding for start-ups, copywriting for marketers, or perhaps you are already involved in a services business-like printing or counselling?

Why not take your business online and benefit from a never-ending pool of customers or clients?

Another example of online services businesses are digital marketing agencies. Many companies want to increase their online exposure and market the right messages to consumers.

If you enjoy spending your days on social media, like most of us, then you could spend some more time helping businesses grow their social media accounts and reach their desired audiences.

So, it’s a win-win, you get to do something you love, make money online – and help someone else while you’re at it!

Try your best to pair your online ventures with what you enjoy doing and are passionate about.

There’s nothing worse than working on a project simply for the sake of making money, you will most likely lose interest and hate what you do sooner or later.

4. Blogging

Next up is blogging, if you love writing you should consider blogging. Write about whatever you want and once you’ve built up large enough readership you can earn money from your blog.

While blogging does not guarantee financial success overnight, it is a proven method to make money online and many bloggers earn a living from blogging.

To start a blog, you can join platforms specifically designed for bloggers like Medium.com, WordPress.com, or Blogger.com and start blogging for free.

Once you’re more comfortable take the blog onto your own domain name and explore various ways of monetising your blog.

A blog can be monetised by adding ads, selling your own products or services. For example, if you are blogging about music, you could potentially sell your own course on music or even license music you create to other creators.

5. eCommerce

Another way one can make money online in South Africa is with eCommerce.

While large brands like Takealot.com and Loot.co.za dominate the online marketplaces, smaller more niche ecommerce stores could potentially compete with these large brands by focusing on specific categories.

You could for instance launch an eCommerce store focused solely on phone covers or stationery and offer products at competitive prices since you don’t have to pay the large platforms fees or commission.

While eCommerce can be very profitable, it is probably the one method of making money online which requires the most effort and investment.

Nevertheless, platforms like Shopify allow anyone to get their store up and running in no time.

6. Freelancing

Freelancers are among the highest earners online and have the freedom to work when they want and where the want as well as negotiate contracts to suit their personal preferences.

Like services businesses, freelancers offer a service or services to clients online. Freelancers can go at it alone or join freelancing platforms like Fiver.com which connect them to clients.

With Freelancing you can do the work that you love while setting rates that you are happy with, and you also have the choice of choosing which clients you want to or don’t want to work with.

Freelancing can also be tough, and you will need to be well organized as well as able to keep yourself responsible to deliver work on time and of the quality promised.

7. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is another popular way many people make money online, due to how easy it is to get started and the high commissions.

With affiliate marketing you market other businesses products and services using a unique URL or creatives and anytime someone buys the product or services you earn commission or a fixed amount.

There are several affiliate programs from leading brands like Loot.co.za or Mantality.co.za in South Africa, as well as affiliate networks which host a bunch of affiliate programs for you to choose from.

Easily sign up, grab your link, and start promoting. Add links into your blog posts or promote products and services via email and social media marketing. Many businesses have affiliate marketing as their primary business model.

Take the Wirecutter for example, which was acquired by the New York Times. The Wirecutter is known to produce incredibly long and in-depth reviews on products from eCommerce stores like Amazon.com.

In every article or video The Wirecutter publishes they include their unique affiliate links so that when a customer decides to purchase the product, they earn a commission.

8. Social media Marketing

If you have a large following on social media or are interested in becoming an influencer, then through social media marketing you can make money too.

Ever see your favourite social media stars and celebrities endorsing products and services or starring in commercials?

If these individuals are endorsing specific brands and products, then it has the potential to create brand awareness within a target market and potentially lead to sales among that individual’s audience.

If you have a clothing brand? Then there’s no better place to promote your clothing with influencers who people look up to and want to be like.

But you don’t have to be famous or a model to make money with social media. Many people are making money online from simply doing the things they love and sharing it online.

For example, if you enjoy gaming with your friends, you could start a YouTube gaming channel on YouTube or stream your gaming on Twitch.

As you gain an audience brands within the gaming industry will recognise you and offer you sponsorships and even free products to use.

And while you grow your audience you can begin to diversify your monetization strategies and for example include affiliate links to the gaming hardware you use or games you play or enable Google AdSense on your YouTube channel and earn money online simply when people watch your videos.

9. Teaching

If you have any skills or knowledge that you could teach others, then you can make money online too.

Programmers could for example teach others to code or create their own platforms for others to use and charge them for using the platforms, commonly referred to SaaS, Software as a Service.

Platforms like Udemy allow you to upload a course and sell to students all around the world. If courses aren’t your thing – another way people, make money online is through coaching.

Let’s say you’re a gym buff and go to the gym religiously which has resulted in you obtaining a godly physic. Then many people who would like to reach your level would like to know how you got there and what they can do to achieve the same results.

You could offer coaching online and charge per session, or you could develop training routines and diet plans for customers. Who knows, maybe one day you might even start your own gym, gym clothing line, and supplement brand…

10. Investing

Finally, you can make money online by investing. I saved this one for last as it’s in my opinion the best method to make money online.

There is a wealth of information online (excuse the pun) paired with innovative platforms and investment opportunities.

You can invest in shares from the comfort of your home or buy an online business. There are platforms dedicated to selling already profitable business like Flippa.com, where you can fast track your journey to online riches.

Next you can invest in new technologies which include for example crypto and blockchain.

Through investing online, you can source the latest, and historical, information on almost anything and devise a winning strategy. With investing you are having your money work for you.

And there you have it, 10 ways to make money online in South Africa.

Remember making money is not limited to just these 10 ways, try to think outside the box or you’ll just end up competing with everyone who reads this list and made the powerful decision to take action on one for the listed methods. Goodluck!

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Leigh Williams
Leigh Williams
Leigh Williams is a digital marketing specialist and writer currently interning in digital media at Conversion Science, and works alongside Incubeta as a paid media manager. Leigh began his career as an SEO intern at Adevia Health. Leigh is also the founder of IXA Media, publisher of The Frontline.




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