Wondering how to make money online in South Africa? Check out this article with top ideas to earn extra on the side and even replace your income! With most of these ideas, you’ll be able to make R1000 per day in South Africa or more.

make money online south africa

Ever wondered how to make extra money in South Africa? Or maybe you would like work remotely and make money from home? In this article, we review different ideas to make money online in South Africa. From creating websites for small businesses to doing transcriptions, many options are available. And with a lot of these, you can even make R1000 per day in South Africa.

Don’t feel like reading through? If you want to start quickly, I’ll recommend offering your services as a freelancer. This gives you a lot of flexibility, and you can get your first project within a few days. And that is super motivating when you are just getting started!

We’ll review the following ideas, all detailed below:

  1. Create websites for small companies
  2. Work as a freelancer
  3. Do audio and video transcriptions
  4. Become an online tutor
  5. Sell stock photos and videos
  6. Write content for websites
  7. Affiliate marketing
  8. Start an eCommerce store
  9. Sell on Fiverr
  10. Sell handmade items online
  11. Work as a virtual assistant
  12. Review apps, websites, and software
  13. Take online surveys

Let’s get started!

Want to start your online store?

Create your online store and start selling in 5 minutes.

How to Make Money Online in South Africa

The table below summarizes the best ways how to make money online in South Africa. With each idea, we include the time before this method starts making money and the earning potential. This way you can see at a quick glance which ideas might be a good fit for you.

  Method Time to start earning Earning potential *
1 Create websites for small companies A few weeks 3 out of 5
2 Work as a freelancer A few days 3 out of 5
3 Do audio and video transcriptions A few days 2 out of 5
4 Become an online tutor A few days 2 out of 5
5 Sell stock photos and videos A few days 2 out of 5
6 Write content for websites A few days 3 out of 5
7 Affiliate marketing A year or more 5 out of 5
8 Start an eCommerce store A few months 5 out of 5
9 Sell on Fiverr A few days 3 out of 5
10 Sell handmade items online A few weeks 4 out of 5
11 Work as a virtual assistant A few weeks 2 out of 5
12 Review apps, websites, and software A few days 2 out of 5
13 Take online surveys A few days 1 out of 5

* The earning potential is an estimate, it will change significantly depending on your commitment and skills level.

Found something interesting? Check out the details below!

Best Ways To Make Money Online in South Africa

Now let’s see which are the best ways to make money online in South Africa.

Create Websites for Small Companies

  • Time to start earning: a few weeks
  • Earning potential: 3 out of 5

You might be surprised by this fact, but many small companies still don’t have a website. Simple business sites are not that complicated to create. You will need to have some design skills and use a website builder that does not require coding skills. Then, it is perfectly feasible to create simple websites for small companies after a few days of self-training.

Advanced sites or online stores are more complex to set up. When you will have more experience and technical skills, you will be able to create more complex sites. Then, get extra training on HTML, CSS, and Javascript. This will allow you to customize most templates and sites exactly to your clients’ needs.

In terms of earnings, you might be able to charge between R1000 and R5000 per website, depending on the complexity of the website you create.

How to Get Started – Create Websites for Small Companies

If you do not have technical skills, your first step is to select a website builder that you will use to create your clients’ sites. Those platforms will allow you to create very nice websites in a short time. The technical side is handled by the platform. Most of your work will be to create the content of the site, after collecting the information from your client. You can then add the content in the website builder, and customize the layout to fit the wishes of your client. You will need to agree in advance with your clients that you will be using a website builder and which one. This way they can approve this technical side of the project and it does not come as a surprise.

In terms of which website builder to choose, there are many solutions on the market. In South Africa, we recommend Portmoni, which is very easy to use and affordable. Alternatives to Portmoni include Wix, Squarespace, or WordPress.org. Once you have selected a platform that you like, we recommend focusing on using only this one at the beginning. This way you will be able to master it, and offer more and more added value to your clients. Later, when you are more experienced, you can add other solutions to your tool belt.

Finally, to find clients, you can offer your services on freelance platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork. You can also market directly to businesses. For instance, a great way to start is to focus on local businesses in your area. Those might appreciate a local and direct contact, and allow you to get a few projects before finding remote clients.

freelance how to make money online in south africa

Work as a Freelancer in South Africa

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 3 out of 5

Freelancing involves working for clients without formally being part of their company. Your clients will hire you for a specific job, and pay either for a fixed number of hours or on a project basis. Any service can be offered on a freelance basis. This can range from graphic design, photography, marketing, data entry, web development, and so on.

The flexibility of freelancing appeals to many. You can choose which services you’d like to sell, how many projects to take on at once, who to work for, what prices to charge – the list goes on. You are your own boss with all the flexibility it entices. But as a freelancer, also don’t forget that you’ll have to manage your own schedule, admin, and taxes by yourself.

Overall, freelancing is a great way to start earning money online. You can easily work from home, and get started with simple missions. And if you develop your skillset or already have in-demand skills, you can easily scale this up and quickly make R1000 a day in South Africa.

How to Get Started – Freelancing in South Africa

There are many ways to enter the world of freelancing. To find your first clients, you can start with your network. You could for instance contact former colleagues through LinkedIn or existing business connections.

Another option is to use online platforms such as Upwork or Freelancer.com, which specialize in connecting freelancers with companies. These platforms typically charge between 10% and 20% of the contract amount for their service. The commission is quite high, but it is a great way to find your first missions when you are just starting out. Many recruiters are happy to give a chance to new freelancers who usually charge less for their service, as they are just getting started.

Once you have completed a few freelancing projects, you can also create your portfolio. You can then add this portfolio to the freelancing platforms, or even start your own website to promote it. This will allow you to build trust with prospects, and start finding clients directly.

Do Audio and Video Transcriptions

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 2 out of 5

Another one of the best ways to make money online in South Africa is to work as a transcriptionist. More and more companies are looking to turn their audio and video content such as podcasts or interviews into written content. It can then be used to create articles, be better referenced by search engines, and is more easily searchable when you need to refer to it. With this type of role, you can work directly for a company or on a freelance basis. There are also specialized platforms that you can use to get started easily.

To succeed as a transcriber, you must have strong English language skills and be able to accurately transcribe audio. You might want to practice a bit before applying for jobs, but this is easily done using available audio resources online.

If you work with a specialized platform, earnings typically range from R100 to R300 per audio hour transcribed.

How to Get Started – Transcription Services

Several online platforms are specialized in transcription services.

Rev for instance is one of the leaders of the market. To get started on Rev, you need to take a grammar quiz and submit a transcription sample prior to being approved. When you are approved, you can then apply for jobs. Rev pays out once a week to your PayPal account for all work completed.

Another online transcription service is TranscribeMe. With TranscribeMe, earnings start at R200 – R350 per audio hour. One of the advantages of TranscribeMe is that they allow you to transcribe short clips, between two to four minutes. The system then sends you another audio recording after you’ve transcribed the first. When you sign up, you complete a brief training session and take an exam to test your knowledge. If you pass the exam, you are welcomed onto the platform and start receiving audio to transcribe.

online tutor earn money online

Become an Online Tutor

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 2 out of 5

Online tutoring is becoming more and more popular for South African students and their parents. Several online platforms offer to connect you to students and families looking for extra-curricular help. Typically, the website takes payment from the student before they begin the session. Then you get paid once a week based on how much tutoring you’ve completed.

If you have qualifications, online tutoring is definitely a great option to start earning money online. You can start with teaching a few hours per week or per day, and even turn it into a full-time activity if your profile and demand allows. With rates between R150 and R300 per hour, this can allow you to easily make R1000 per day in South Africa.

How to Get Started – Online Tutoring in South Africa

Many platforms are available, but here are our top picks for South Africa.

TurtleJar is a South African platform that enables you to tutor online and in person. On TurtleJar, hourly rates start at R150, and you can make as much as R270 per hour depending on the subjects you’re teaching and the grade you’re tutoring. The most popular subjects on TurtleJar include mathematics, English, Afrikaans, science, and accounting. To join TurtleJar, you need to provide information to substantiate your tutoring skills. This can be previous results, education and work history, and recommendations.

BrightSparkz is another local South African platform that offers online tutoring. Tutors can choose to teach in person or online, depending on the needs of the clients. To join BrightSparkz you need to complete a thorough vetting process before your profile appears on their website. This vetting process includes attending an interview and submitting proof of your qualifications.

Finally, TutorMe pays a bit more than the hourly average of R150 to tutors of popular subjects: English, math, writing, and accounting. But part of that higher pay grade means subjecting yourself to a more rigorous vetting process and meeting their high standards. The process includes submitting your qualifications to substantiate that you are an expert in the subject. You will also need to have graduated or be currently attending one of their accredited universities.

Sell Stock Photos and Videos Online

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 2 out of 5

In the search for how to make money online, South African photographers and videographers have several options. One of these is to make passive cash uploading and selling images on stock websites.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer or videographer to get started. You can start with a DSLR camera and a working knowledge of editing software. Then, all you have to do is submit your photographs to online photography stock platforms. When they sell, you get paid. Depending on the photograph and the type of license chosen by the buyer, you can expect to make between 15% and 40% of the selling price. But, since you can sell the same image multiple times, your earning potential is limitless.

How to Get Started – Sell Stock Photos Online in South Africa

There are many different platforms you can use to sell your pictures.

Shutterstock is one of the most frequently used sources for stock images. In terms of topics, real estate, and finance-related photos are successful on Shutterstock. Why? Pictures related to these topics sell well. For on-demand downloads, you make between R29 and R37 an image.

500px is another platform from which to sell your photographs. On 500px, besides earning money from people buying your stock images, you can also win cash prizes by participating in competitions. These competitions usually pay out R3000 at a time.

Finally, if you love creative and staged photography, Adobe Stock is a great place to upload your images. The marketplace is full of bright, bold, and unique images. Then, like Shutterstock, you can upload pictures to the marketplace and get paid when they sell.

Write Content for Websites

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 3 out of 5

If you have good grammar skills, are creative, and can type quickly you can make money online writing for a content creation platform. This can be the perfect idea for you if you love to write.

Earnings will depend on the type of platform you write for, and the depth of research required for the article you are writing. You can get started on generic articles where minimal research is needed, and charge R100 to R250 per 1000 words. More complex articles that need more research can attract fees of R300 to R450 per 1000 words. And excellent writers on more complex topics will charge R500 to R800 per 1000 words. If you practice your skills, you will improve and be able to attract more and more expensive clients.

How to Get Started – Write Content for Websites

Freelance writer jobs are popular on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr. But you can also find jobs on dedicated content creation writer platforms.

iWriter is one of the online platforms where you can easily get started with online content writing. During the registration process, you will need to include a 250-word writing sample. The sample displays your grasp of the language, grammar, and spelling. From there, you can expect to earn R100 for every 1000 words you write. Depending on your research and typing speed, you should be able to complete it in one hour. This can also of course increase with your experience.

Another option with larger earning potential is Writer Access. For most writers, the initial income is R180 per article. But once you grow your portfolio, you could be earning a full-time income from the platform. During the onboarding process, you will need to upload a CV. You will also need to link to an online portfolio of previous work, and fill in details about your education and capabilities.

Finally, Content Gather allows you to earn from writing in two ways: apply for writing jobs or sell pre-written content. You can expect to earn about R180 per 600 words of prewritten content. But you may have to wait a while for it to sell.  To work around this, aim to write in categories with higher interest from buyers. Business, finance, real estate, online, and tech are great options for instance.

Among ideas how to earn money online in South Africa, writing content is definitely an interesting way to explore.

Affiliate Marketing

  • Time to start earning: a year or more
  • Earning potential: 5 out of 5

Affiliate marketing is a business model where you market other businesses products or services, and get a commission when somebody you refer makes a purchase. This business model has become more and more popular over the last few years. Programs offered by large companies like Amazon have led to huge growth in the industry.

So how does it work? First, you need to create or have a website, where you will promote the affiliate offers you select. Then, when one of your visitors clicks on an affiliate link on your site, they will be redirected to the merchant’s site. If they make a purchase on that site, you will get a commission as a percentage of the purchase. If you want to check out an example, a well-known affiliate site is Wirecutter, owned by the New York Times. They review a large range of products, from which they earn commissions when visitors buy.

With affiliate marketing, the earnings potential depends on the traffic on your site, the affiliate programs you use, and the type of products you refer to. Affiliate commissions will typically vary between 1% and 10% depending on the products. So if you refer to a low-cost product that costs $10 and offers a 1% commission, you will only get a $0,1 commission per sale. But this would go up to $40 for more expensive $1000 items with a higher commission of 4%. Finding a good niche and good affiliates programs will therefore be key to your success.

And even if it takes longer to setup, affiliate marketing scales very well. This is definitely one of the ways on how to make R2000 in a day in South Africa, or even how to make R5000 in a day.

How to Get Started – Affiliate Marketing

If you already have a website with significant traffic, starting affiliate marketing is easy. You just need to register with affiliates programs and add affiliates links to your site. Over time, you could also create specific articles to increase your affiliate commission.

If you do not have a website already and start from scratch, getting started with affiliate marketing involves more steps.  You will first need to pick your niche, with a process similar to finding product ideas. Then, you will need to create your website. We recommend using a website builder for this, which will your site creation easy and fast. Finally, you will need to create content for your site in a way that Google will like.

Affiliate marketing requires getting several things right to be successful. This makes this business model a bit more complicated. But there are great online courses that will guide you through this process and help you succeed. For instance, we definitely recommend Authority Hacker. This online course describes in detail all the steps, from the selection of your niche, to finding the right keywords to target, all the way to the creation of your site.

Start an eCommerce Store in South Africa

  • Time to start earning: a few months
  • Earning potential: 5 out of 5

Starting an eCommerce business is another way to make money online. To get started with eCommerce, several steps are involved. You will need to find products to sell, create your online store, and market your products.

It is a more complex business model and takes more time to set up and master. However, once the business has started to grow, it has almost unlimited potential.

To get into more details, we recommend checking our step-by-step guide about how to start an online store in South Africa. It will guide you on how to get started with eCommerce in South Africa.

Sell on Fiverr

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 3 out of 5

Fiverr is a freelance marketplace for businesses. It can be used to sell your services as a freelancer, as well as selling more packaged services like reports. Website testing, voice-overs, content creation, reports, you can offer your services in a wide range of categories.

The main downside of Fiverr is that the platform is quite crowded. There are many sellers in each category, and new sellers have to set low prices to get their first clients. But as your ratings build, you will be able to charge more. Fiverr also takes a 20% commission of all earnings. In exchange for this commission, they provide sellers protection, as buyers have to prepay the services. As it is very popular, it is also a great way to get your first clients and reviews when you are just starting with freelancing.

Fiverr also has a rating system where buyers can leave feedback informing others of the quality of your work. If you provide a good service, this is extremely helpful as it encourages more sales from new clients. There is also a seller dashboard with various goals, and you can work towards higher levels of selling seniority.

How to Get Started – Selling on Fiverr in South Africa

Setting up a Fiverr account is easy and free. Then, you decide which services you want to sell, create a ‘gig’, with an image, description, and price. Finally, wait for orders to come in! You can also advertise on the platform to feature your gigs, which can be helpful to get at the top of the pack while you still have only a few reviews on your profile.

If you wonder how to make extra money in South Africa, Fiverr is definitely a great option to explore.

handmade items how to make r1000 a day in south africa

Sell handmade items online

  • Time to start earning: a few weeks
  • Earning potential: 4 out of 5

Making money online in South Africa can also be accomplished by selling handmade items online. You can sell them through your own online shop or online marketplaces in South Africa.

Handmade items take time and effort to create. Prices reflective of their value can deter some consumers in favor of generic commercial products. Don’t let this put you off though – handmade items are unique and many people recognize their value.

How to make R1000 a day in South Africa from selling hand-crafted items? You’ll either want a cheap product that you can sell to lots of consumers; or, a more expensive product that generates high revenue from fewer sales. You can also explore offering customizable or personalized products where again, you can charge more.

How to Get Started – Sell Handmade Items Online in South Africa

To get started, you first need to decide which type of items to create. You can start with simple ideas like cards, jewelry, or artwork. The most important is that if you have a particular skill, use it! And if you would like to research product ideas, you can check our article about the best selling products in South Africa.

Then, to sell your products, we recommend promoting them on one or more of the online marketplaces in South Africa. Those are easy to use, and you will be able to leverage the marketing and traffic of these platforms. Once your brand is more established, you can create your online store to sell your products directly to your clients.

Work as a Virtual Assistant

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 2 out of 5

Another option to make money online in South Africa is to work as a virtual assistant. As a virtual assistant, you offer your services as an assistant but work from a remote location. It usually involves administrative tasks like managing emails, phone calls, and scheduling appointments.

There are no specific qualifications required to become a virtual assistant. This said, those with a background in administrative and assistant work will find it easier to find a position, and will attract higher wages. The practice and knowledge it requires to juggle administrative tasks can also be challenging. The benefits are worth it though, especially if you have previous experience in these fields.

Working as a virtual assistant offers flexibility around working hours and location. Virtual assistants typically make around R150 per hour in South Africa.

How to Get Started – Virtual Assistant

Similarly to freelancing, you can find virtual assistant work on online freelancing platforms such as Fiverr or Upwork. As remote work becomes more and more common, you can also apply directly with companies looking for that type of position.

Review apps, Websites, and Software

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 2 out of 5

Another option to make money online is to participate in usability tests. Usability tests involve testing companies’ apps and websites and giving them feedback on your experience. You will have to answer some questions, comment on your experience while you browse the website, and record your screen at the same time. Once your review is complete, you just need to upload it to the service, and you are done.

Such tests are typically paid $10 per test. As a test typically takes 15 to 20 minutes, so you can expect to earn $30 to $40 per hour doing this. This is quite competitive though. When reviews request go live, you will need to act quickly to catch the job!

How to Get Started – Review Apps and Websites

Companies offering usability tests include UserTesting, TryMyUI, or UserFeel. You can also find several other options online.

Take Online Surveys

  • Time to start earning: a few days
  • Earning potential: 1 out of 5

Taking online surveys can be an easy way to make money online. No specific knowledge or skill is required to get started; you get paid in return for your thoughts and insight. There are many websites where you can take surveys in exchange for rewards or money. For instance, SwagBucks or OpinionOutpost offer that type of service.

Surveys are a great way to make extra money. It’s very easy to start, but they also do not pay much. You will have to spend a lot of time answering surveys to make a decent income.

The Bottom Line

So, how to make money online in South Africa? Pick the idea that fits best your expertise and has enough earning potential, and get started. And if you’re unsure, you can’t go wrong with working as a freelancer. This will give you a lot of flexibility, can earn a lot with the right project, and will allow you to start in the online selling world. This is also one of the best ways how to make money fast in South Africa.

Most of the ideas described here also have the potential to make you R1000 per day in South Africa, and replace your income if you work on them full time.

Frequently Asked Questions

And to wrap up, a few of the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

How to make money fast in South Africa?

There are several methods to make money fast in South Africa. They include doing audio and video transcriptions, reviewing apps and websites, as well as taking online surveys. All these can be started in a few hours, and will enable you to starting earning in the first few days after your get started.

How to make R2000 in a day?

Most of the ideas described above will allow you to reach the R2000 a day earning level. Freelancing and writing content are some of the best options to reach that level of revenue quickly.

How to make R5000 in a day?

To make R5000 a day in South Africa, there are several options. The first one is freelancing, if your qualifications can attract high enough rates in profession like software development or other in-demand skills. However, what we would recommend is selecting one of the most scalable options described above. These include affiliate marketing and starting an eCommerce store. Both these ideas have the potential to scale very well and make R5000 a day or more.

Want to start your online store?

Create your online store and start selling in 5 minutes.