The internet has opened up many new possibilities when it comes to making money. It's now easier than ever before to earn extra income or even replace your full-time job with an online career. But how do you get started? There are tons of ways that you can start earning money on the web, but which ones will work well for someone who doesn't have much experience? If you're wondering how to make money online for free in South Africa, here is our guide to help you choose between all the different options available today.
If you want to learn about other opportunities outside these routes, check out this article from earlier this year where we listed some of the most lucrative side projects anyone could pursue while working their 9-to-5 jobs.
Freelance writing gigs are one of the best ways to make money online quickly without any previous skills required. You don't need a degree in journalism, just a passion for what you write and a willingness to learn as you go along. The biggest advantage of freelancing over "traditional" employment is that it offers greater flexibility, so if there's something coming up down the line (like maternity leave), you can take care of it yourself instead of having to ask permission first.
Blogging makes sense as a way to earn money online because it requires no special skills whatsoever---just creativity and time. To be successful at blogging, however, you'll need to find topics that people actually love reading about and then create interesting content around those subjects. With enough dedication and drive, though, blogging can become a very profitable business.
3) eBay selling
Ebay is definitely not for everyone, but it does offer another option for making quick cash. In general, eBayer s are looking to buy low and sell high -- they won't waste hours listing items that only end up getting 1 bid per hour. This means that sellers should avoid trying to compete with each other by offering ridiculously cheap prices. Instead, focus on quality products sold at fair market value.
4) Affiliate marketing
Affiliates are basically salespeople for websites like Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, etc., meaning that they sell advertising space on their pages in exchange for commissions. Commissions range anywhere from 5% to 50%, depending on the product. For example, Nike pays roughly 20%. As such, affiliate marketers must keep track of everything involved with running a website, including stats tracking, SEO optimization, social media management, etc.
5) Data entry
Data entry refers to transcribing documents into digital formats like PDFs. Most companies use data entry services to handle things like signing contracts, creating spreadsheets, sending emails, etc. While it may sound boring, the pay tends to be decent and it's easy to set up shop doing this kind of thing on sites like Fiverr.
6) Transcribe audios & videos
Another popular method of making money online is transcription. Basically, you listen—or watch—a recording and type up its contents. Some common examples include doctors dictating medical reports, lawyers giving depositions, teachers lecturing lessons, etc. Depending on what you're interested in, you might also consider teaching others how to transcribe if you live near certain cities.
7) Crowdfunding campaigns
Crowdfunding platforms allow entrepreneurs to raise capital via investment crowdfunding. Generally speaking, investors put small amounts of money upfront for returns through donations or investments. Since crowdfunders usually have limited funds themselves, they often look for smaller contributions from individual users. Sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, Patreon, Fundable, etc., are good places to start.
8) Paid survey taking
Paid survey takers typically agree to answer questions regarding particular brands' offerings. They receive compensation for every completed survey, and participants tend to fill them out fairly regularly since it can add up quite easily. Companies hire third parties to manage their panelists, who aren't aware of what exactly they've agreed upon until after they've given feedback.
9) Playing video games
Playing video games is essentially outsourcing your life to strangers in foreign countries. However, if done right, it can bring in significant profits. One of the easiest methods is buying a game used off of Craigslist or Gumtree and reselling it once you beat it for less than retail price. Once you acquire a copy, you can either give it away or try to turn it into cold hard cash.
10) Virtual assistant jobs
Virtual assistants perform administrative tasks like bookkeeping, customer support, email correspondence, etc., freeing up employers' schedules. These days, virtual assistants are mostly women based overseas, especially in India, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, UK and Argentina.
11) Renting out stuff
Renting out household goods is a great way to save money. After identifying what you own that others would probably want to borrow, you can advertise it on sites like Airbnb, Roomorama, Kijiji, LetGo, etc. By renting out your stuff, not only do you get to enjoy spending more time with friends and family, but you also get to make some extra cash too.
12) Selling crafts online
Selling your handmade crafts online gives you complete control over pricing decisions and keeps overhead costs minimal. Etsy is arguably the largest marketplace for crafty folks, but there are plenty of alternatives available. Keep in mind that shipping costs are always factored into the final cost of sale, so be prepared to spend a little bit more than you'd normally expect to cover postage fees.
Teens have unique needs and concerns compared to adults, and the above paths generally cater better towards older generations. That said, there are still several legitimate avenues that teens can explore to make money online for free in South Africa. Here are two of the top ways to earn extra cash during school breaks.
13) Taking online courses
Online course providers are constantly updating their catalogues with exciting new programs. A lot of them offer free trials, so why not sign up and see whether you really need to shell out $50-$100+ for a monthly class subscription. Don't worry if you miss the deadline for registration; you can cancel anytime. Also, remember that going back to college isn't necessary for learning new skills. Many universities offer accredited classes online, allowing you to continue studying while keeping your current occupation.
Tutors charge hourly rates for helping peers improve their grades or test scores. The beauty of tutoring is that you can decide on your own schedule and rate. Just think, you could teach one math lesson a week with ease, or take on multiple clients simultaneously if you wanted to increase your earnings overnight.
15) App development
Photography enthusiasts can leverage their hobby into extra cash by becoming professional photographers or stock photo contributors. You don't necessarily need fancy equipment and training to get started. All you need is a camera and a strong desire to capture beautiful moments. Check out these helpful resources:
17) Music production
Musicians can earn extra income by producing music tracks for artists or labels. Before you begin scouting potential producers, however, you'll need to familiarize yourself with industry lingo. Terms like MIDI files, MP3s, WAVs, FLACs, APEs, etc., can all confuse beginners. Fortunately, there are lots of beginner tutorials available on YouTube to help you understand what goes into audio editing.
Consultants provide expert advice and guidance to businesses and individuals. Depending on what you specialize in, consulting can involve anything from project planning to strategic analysis. Consultants can be experts in various fields, ranging from finance to programming.
19) Event organizing
Event organizers organize events, whether large or small. Events can vary widely, but commonly consist of weddings, conferences, festivals, charity fundraisers, birthdays, baby showers, reunions, sporting tournaments, conventions, etc. Organizing events is relatively straightforward and allows consultants to flexibly accommodate client preferences.
20) Web design
You're a university-educated kid who's trying your best to find ways how to earn some cash on the side while studying at home during lockdown. You've tried looking through Reddit job forums but it seems like everyone is working full time or already have their part-time jobs. And you don't want to get scammed out of $200 because someone wants you to buy something that doesn't exist...
Well then, welcome to the wonderful world where we actually live forever into our old age without ever having to work another day in our lives! If only there was an easy way to make money online from anywhere with nothing other than our smartphones... Well, now there is. Here are all the different ways you could possibly use to make extra income if you'd just try one thing today.
Playing video games (and getting paid)
It might seem counterintuitive to play video games when you're supposed to be doing study material -- especially since most games require you to pay again after completing them. However, this isn't always true. In fact, there are many websites which allow you to download games for free or even get paid to play these games as well.
To give you an idea of what kind of opportunities are available within the gaming industry, here’s a small selection of companies willing to hire people for remote tasks related to game development. Although none of those will pay enough to consider quitting school entirely, you should still think about what kind of skillset would fit best for each company and see whether they offer any potential.
2. Playdek — Create custom card decks for popular digital collectible card games such as Hearthstone, Magic Duels, Legends, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokemon TCG, HeroKids, Pokémon Showdown, D&D Beyond Deck Building Games, etc. Get paid between 0.10 cents/card up to 20 cents/card depending on the type of cards you build.
3. Vindictus Gaming — Join us as a freelance voice actor, graphic designer, concept artist, animator, writer, editor, producer, content creator, marketing manager, sales representative, customer support agent, recruiter, product tester, community moderator, social media specialist, translator, beta tester, technical advisor, etc. Be sure to check out the website regularly for new openings.
4. Twitch.tv — Become a streamer for popular games such as League of Legends, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Rocket League, Overwatch, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, Fortnite Battle Royale, Minecraft, Super Smash Bros., FIFA Ultimate Team, etc. Earn a share of revenue based on viewer numbers. Check out the site for current positions.
If you enjoy building things instead of coding, you may also be interested in these sites offering courses on software engineering, 3D modeling, electronics, etc.:
5. Coursera — Take courses across multiple disciplines including computer science, business management, creative writing & literature, public health, political economy, quantitative economics, entrepreneurship, programming, design thinking, data analysis & scientific visualization, cybersecurity, human rights, environmental policy, sustainable energy systems, renewable energy technology, global history, international relations, natural environment, modern American poetry, gender studies, women’s studies, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, cognitive psychology, quantum computing, etc.
6. FutureLearn — Register for courses on topics ranging from mathematics and statistics to arts and humanities and beyond. Access hundreds of free course materials, lectures, videos, podcasts, quizzes, exams, certificates, and qualifications. All completely free of charge.
7. EdX — The largest provider of MOOCs globally provides access to thousands of high quality educational resources covering almost every conceivable subject matter, right inside your browser. Choose from over 100 universities and colleges worldwide, earning academic credit along the way.
8. Udemy — Offering both short courses and certification programs for various subjects, Udemy has become one of the top places to learn new skills online. Whether you need help learning a specific skill set or want to brush up your existing professional knowledge, Udemy has got you covered.
9. SkillShare — A platform dedicated solely towards sharing creativity, ideas, and expertise via projects, workshops, classes, eBooks, and more.
Getting started is simple—just head to either Skillshare.com or Skillshare.ca to start browsing courses. From photography and illustration to knitting and cake decorating, there are tons of options waiting for you to explore.
Download: iOS | Android | Windows | Mac OS | Chrome Extension (Free trial period required)
Answering surveys for money
As mentioned earlier, finding reliable survey panels is often quite difficult unless you know exactly what you’re looking for. Some survey panel services don't include payment processing, so you won't receive anything back if you fail to complete the task. It takes time to screen dozens of survey providers until you finally land yourself a good paying gig. But luckily, there are plenty of other methods by which you can potentially earn extra cash to supplement your monthly stipend.
One example is signing up to market research firms' panels. Market research involves collecting information regarding certain demographics, lifestyles, preferences, and opinions, among others. These types of surveys usually involve filling out questionnaires and reading lengthy documents.
For starters, you could look into market research agencies such as Nielsen Research, OnePoll, and Ipsos Connect, just to name a few. They typically provide compensation packages for participation in focus groups, telephone interviews, online polls, and similar activities. Once you sign up to a reputable firm, you'll eventually qualify for their incentive offerings. Most market research companies do not directly process payments, so you must go through third parties. The exact amount of commission varies between partners.
Another option is becoming a freelancer and creating your own personal profile. This allows you to choose whatever topic interests you the most. Then, simply search for clients seeking qualified individuals to fill out surveys. Afterward, once you fulfill their requirements, submit proposals for payment. Freelancing platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, People Per Hour, Toptal, and Amazon Mechanical Turk are great examples.
Becoming a blogger
Blogging used to be pretty much limited to large corporations, influencers, and celebrities before the emergence of blogging platforms like Blogger, WordPress, Medium, Tumblr, and Instagram. Nowadays, anyone can easily start a blog for free. For instance, if you're passionate about a niche and wish to write about it, why not consider setting up your own blog?
The easiest method to start a blog is by using a service called Weebly. Alternatively, you can opt for Wix or SquareSpace. There are lots of free templates you can customize to suit your needs. Next, add relevant posts, images, comments, tags, categories, etc. That's basically it.
Earnings vary greatly depending on factors such as traffic generation, advertising campaigns, affiliate links, sponsored partnerships, page rank, SEO strategies, etc. To maximize earnings, ensure you follow the rules and guidelines laid down by Google AdSense. Also, remember to keep your posts fresh by adding unique content consistently.
Starting a YouTube channel
YouTube has revolutionized the way we consume entertainment and education alike. With millions of users uploading billions of hours worth of footage each year, chances are you're guaranteed to draw attention to your brand or cause. If you're okay with sharing your life experiences, thoughts, feelings, and emotions, you too can turn your passion into a hobby---or maybe even a career.
There are several ways you can monetize your channel, such as publishing review videos, vlogging, interviewing experts, making tutorials, hosting giveaways, selling merch, promoting products, and more. Depending on your approach, you can earn anywhere from Rs 10--100+ lakhs annually. Just pick a strategy and stick to it.
Selling items on Facebook Marketplace
Facebook Marketplace is a place where buyers and sellers meet and exchange goods and services. Sellers post listings offering everything from furniture to clothing, cars, bikes, appliances, tools, books, antiques, jewelry, art, pets, plants, computers, etc. Buyers can browse seller profiles, send private messages, request additional photos, etc.
Unlike eBay, Facebook Marketplace does not host transactions. Instead, users deal directly with vendors located outside of Facebook. As long as you stay safe and secure, take reasonable precautions, and comply with local laws, you shouldn't encounter major issues.
Earnings depend on a variety of factors including item description, location, popularity, demand, competition, price point, shipping fees, buyer protection policies, etc. Generally speaking, prices range between R20 and R500.
If you're currently studying or have recently graduated from university it's likely that at some point during your studies you've wondered how exactly you'll be able to earn enough cash to survive once you graduate. It isn't easy making money when you're living off an overdraft. Studying is expensive, but there are plenty of ways to make money online without spending a dime on advertising costs. We've compiled this handy guide with information on how to make money online in South Africa.
The following methods will show you how to make money online for free. All these options require no out-of pocket expenditure. You don't need any special skills other than having access to a computer and internet connection. The earning potentials vary widely so take note of what suits your lifestyle best. Let's get started!
Note: This article was written by Simon Glynn who runs South African Freelance Writer, a website dedicated to sharing tips about freelance writing jobs. He also writes articles for websites like Fiverr.com (a place where people offer each other services for $5) and Toptal.com (an employment marketplace for top freelancers). If you want to learn more about working as a writer then check out his website here.
1. Playing Games - There are literally thousands of different gaming sites across the Internet. Some of them only pay very little per hour, but they do allow you to play games whenever you choose. Other sites may give you credits which you can redeem against future purchases. It all depends on the site. Check out our ultimate guide to getting paid to game.
2. Writing Blog Posts - A lot of bloggers now use content marketing strategies instead of relying solely on advertisements. One way you could help support the blogs you enjoy reading is through affiliate links. For example, Amazon Affiliates would let you promote specific products within their platform. If someone clicks on one of those links and makes a purchase, you'd receive commissions based on the sale price. This method is great because you can write posts yourself and still profit from promoting other peoples' products.
3. Taking Surveys - These companies offer incentives for completing short questionnaires. Once completed, they send payment via PayPal or direct deposit into your bank account. Sites such as Swagbucks.com and Toluna.co.za accept both US dollars and local currency. In addition, many survey panels provide referral bonuses if you refer friends and family members to participate in similar research projects.
4. Signing Up As An Influencer - If you have a large number of followers on social media platforms, consider joining influencers programmes offered by popular brands. Brands pay influencers to advertise their latest campaigns. To find out how much you should charge per post see our guide below.
5. Start Your Own Website/Blog - A personalised web page allows you to express your own style and brand whilst providing visitors with valuable information. Many businesses hire writers to create unique company pages on their behalf. However, you can start your own business and sell customised eBooks, reports, newsletter templates etc., or even set up shop selling items made by others. Websites such as Etsy.com and Ecwid.com enable sellers to sell goods directly to consumers. Alternatively, you could try setting up a blog using WordPress or Tumblr.
6. Data Entry Jobs - Most data entry tasks usually involve typing documents, copying text, scanning images, and performing simple mathematical calculations. Companies often prefer not to hire employees specifically for doing data entry. Instead, they look for individuals willing to complete small assignments remotely over the Internet. Depending upon the task assigned, you may receive between R100 - R150 per assignment.
7. Rent Out Items From Home - Selling used household items has become increasingly trendy over recent years due to its convenience factor. People simply order whatever item they need online and pick it up straight away rather than trawling car boot sales every weekend. Visit eBay.com to browse current listings or sign up as an independent seller on Facebook Marketplace.
8. Sell Photos & Videos - With millions of photos uploaded to photo sharing sites daily, photographers might seem like obvious candidates for creating extra revenue streams. But did you know that most users upload just 10% of their original shots? By uploading your pictures and videos elsewhere, you could generate passive income if you chose to display ads alongside them. Use PhotoShelter or PicBackMan to monetise your photographs.
9. Become a Virtual Assistant - Do you love researching certain topics? Then why not share your knowledge and expertise with clients around the world? Being a virtual assistant doesn't necessarily mean you must live far away from home. You could easily connect with customers via Skype or Google Hangouts. Popular VA roles include managing client budgets, organising meetings, transcribing conversations, proofreading, running background checks, assisting with travel arrangements, scheduling appointments, sending emails, editing proposals, booking flights, and updating databases.
10. Transcribe Audio Files - Are you proficient in English and Spanish? Are you interested in expanding your career into transcription? Learn how to transcribe audio files online. Get familiar with industry lingo and terminology before diving right in. Browse job boards like VerbatimTranscriptionServices.com or LiveTypist.com to search for openings near you. If you’re looking to expand your experience beyond voice recordings, consider enrolling in courses designed to teach typists new keyboard shortcuts.
11. Write Articles - Whether you intend to freelance write long form content or run a blog, you may wish to publish your ideas online. Creating informative pieces requires good grammar, spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph development, word choice, formatting, and quality assurance. There are lots of places to go if you plan to submit your work online including EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com, ArticleAlley.com, Helium.com, and InfoBarrel.com.
12. Offer Paid Reviews - When done correctly, reviewing books, movies, video games, mobile apps, electronics, makeup, clothing, gadgets, furniture, food, restaurants, hotels, holidays, and fitness equipment can bring in additional income. To succeed, you must first understand your target audience and niche market well. Study reviews left by previous customers to ensure your language and tone remains consistent throughout. Also keep track of what types of questions reviewers ask most frequently. Consider offering product recommendations to readers wanting to avoid spoilers.
Our next article looks at various tools for tracking your progress towards financial freedom. Meanwhile, feel free to leave us your comments, suggestions, and feedback. What methods have worked for you? Which ones do you think we missed?
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