How to make money online

1. Start a blog

Blogging may look like a hobby to some, but it is a legit way of making money online. In fact, it has been one of the first ways to make real money online since the dawn of the internet. Creating a successful blog is one of the best ways you can earn a passive income online. You can consider blogging as a side hustle or a full-time career. What’s best about blogging is that you manage your own time, which for some can be a double-edged sword.

Some of you may ask how exactly does a blog make money. Well, money from a successful blog with decent traffic may come from different streams. The most basic way a blog can make money is through advertisements displayed on its pages. Placing ads from the likes of Adsense, Mediavine, and PropellerAds on your blog will earn you cash based on your current traffic. Other methods you can make cash from blogs include paid or sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling your own products. Successful blogs with a high number of visitors can provide a very good living. Learn more about how to start a blog.

2. Start a YouTube Channel

We all have heard of YouTube. It has been the go-to website for entertainment, tutorials, and everything that is video. Have you ever wondered how much money famous YouTube stars make in a year by creating videos? You can even start by just filming and uploading videos from your cell phone, although we would recommend using a higher quality camera if possible. Well, top YouTube stars like Ryan’s Toy Review, Mr Beast, Dude Perfect, and the like earn millions annually! And you can do it, too!

You may think that it is almost too late for people like you to use Youtube as a way of how to make money online in South Africa. However, this is still a huge and growing community and it is never too late to start. Small YouTubers with just tens of thousands of views per video still make a decent amount. The only thing you need to do is to create quality content that captures people’s interests. It helps if you can promote the videos across a number of social media platforms e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. Learn more about how to make money from YouTube.

3. Typing for Cash

If you are a fast typist, a great listener, and a fluent English speaker, you may want to try transcribing audio. So, what is transcribing? Essentially, transcribing is converting audio files to text. Online transcribing jobs can be a great way to make money online in South Africa, they either pay per 1000 words or per audio hour. You can earn money based on your productivity and output per day. It is up to you whether you want to pocket more or not.

Transcribing jobs are not only particular to English speakers but also to other languages. Competence in other major languages like Spanish, Mandarin or French may give you an advantage over others. The most prominent websites for transcribing jobs include Rev, TranscribeMe, and GoTranscript.

4. Become an Online Tutor

On the internet, you can sell anything legal thing – even your education! If you consider yourself gifted in an in-demand skill, you can help others to hone their skills by tutoring them. There are lots of students who need help with their education. What is fulfilling about online tutoring is that you share what you already know. So, if you are a college student who has already mastered basic arithmetic or elementary algebra, this gig might be well-suited for you!

As with the typical face-to-face tutoring, you have to deal with problems that come with tutoring (especially to younger kids who have a small attention span). However, you will be happy to know that online tutors earn a higher average hourly rate than other online freelancing jobs. You can make around five (5) times more! Online tutoring websites include MagicEars, Chegg Tutors, TutorMe, and more! The more you build up your online presence, the higher rate you are able to command.

5. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is like having your own online business, but without the hassle of keeping track of the inventory and handling logistics. Currently, dropshipping is the trend that everyone wants to jump into. So, how does dropshipping work? Allow me to picture an example. You found a supplier for a product that costs only around R 300.00 (including shipping). A customer buys the product for R 500.00. You pay the supplier to send the product to your customer. Once the customer receives the product, you just made an R 200.00 profit from that single product. Now, image if you sell thousands of these?

How can you begin dropshipping? First of all, you need a product and a website. It is necessary to make the website as intuitive as possible so that visitors buy the product. Once you finished setting these up, you need visitors and prospects to purchase the product. In this case, advertising the product linking to the website is the only way to go. You can promote your products through Facebook, Google, Instagram. Read more about how to start dropshipping in South Africa

6. Affiliate Marketing

As I mentioned above, blogs can profit from affiliate marketing. As long as you drive enough traffic and sales to a product, you can earn a living through affiliate marketing. What even is affiliate marketing? It is a form of marketing that lets an affiliate earn a commission for each sale the affiliate marketer brings to another person’s products. These could be digital products or physical products.

If you are watching your favourite YouTube channel, you may have heard them advertise some discounted products by clicking their affiliate links or using their discount codes. What these influencers are doing is affiliate marketing. If you simply review products and provide some useful insight and opinion to give some additional value to the user. Again, beginner affiliate marketers can still earn some buck even if they do not have influential YouTube or podcast channels yet. In this case, you can tap the popularity of other influencers, particularly on Instagram or other social media platforms. This can also provide some great experience for those potentially looking for jobs as social media managers or at e-commerce stores.

7. Write and Publish an Ebook

If you have an idea for a book, this is the time for you to consider writing and publishing your first Ebook. Ebooks are so trendy right now, especially with the rise of Amazon Kindles. There are also other eBook publishing platforms aside from Amazon like Smashwords and Apple iBooks Author. Freelance writing can also help build other skills for creating content, another area which is seeing increasing demand.

Alternatively, if you do not consider yourself a creative type, you can build an eBook business instead. Hire some freelance writers online as ghostwriters to write an eBook for you. Then sell these eBooks as your own, creating a great passive source of extra income.

8. Try Freelancing

Since the start of the pandemic, a lot of people have lost their day jobs. As a result, every country has seen a rise in the unemployment rate. And accompanied by all the lockdowns and quarantines enforced, everyone is stuck in their homes. At the same time, online freelancing jobs skyrocketed.

There are many different jobs you can do online, such as online writing jobs, working as a virtual assistant, digital marketing, graphic designers, and many more. I recommend you try a freelancing job that you already have experience of. It will give you an edge over other freelancers. Online freelance platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, Flexjobs,, and many more. Lot’s of businesses are also now looking at using a freelance service for some of their previous roles.

9. Sell Stock Photos and Videos

Alongside blogging, the most primitive yet high-earning way to make money online is to sell you extra multimedia as stock photos or videos. In the age and era of Snapchat, TikTok, and Instagram, people are instant photographers or videographers. Now that we have powerful cameras on the back of our smartphones, this gig is entirely possible.

Do you want to know the secret behind selling stock photos and videos? Well, you have to be in the perspective of the buyer first. What will they buy? In what scenarios would they need a stock photo or video? If I were to buy a stock photo or video, I am going to buy the one that I can make money from. For example, I am a commercial videographer, and I forgot to shoot a scene. I will look at stock videos online that would match the missing footage. And as a stock photo or video seller, you should fulfil this missing footage. The cornerstone of highly profitable stock footage is undoubtedly the quality. So, get this one right.

The best places to sell photos are Alamy, 500px, Shutterstock, Getty Images, and a lot more. On the other hand, Getty, iStock, Shutterstock, Vimeo, VideoHive, and Pond5 are the must-try for selling stock footage.

10. Answer Online Surveys

Most often, people disregard others’ opinions. However, entities like companies, brands, and organizations are interested and always seeking people’s judgement. Your opinions are well-valued because brands often use these to make principal decisions for their products. The pulse of the people tells companies the time when to and when not to introduce their products.

Although many see online surveys as scams, there are a handful of online survey sites that 100-per cent pay. Legit paying surveys in South Africa websites include Swagbucks, InboxDollars, and MyPoints. The best thing about online surveys, aside from being straightforward, is the time they consume. You only need to set minutes a day to complete surveys and earn that extra buck. Easy, simple, and not time-consuming.

So, what is the downside? The truth is: companies often target only a small demographic of people. Therefore, if you do not belong in that demographic, you will have to wait. Nevertheless, you must be ready to answer once that time comes.

11. Review websites & apps for money

One money-earning way is to review websites and apps. This gig is similar to online surveys. Worldwide brands need people’s thoughts on their websites or apps. By voicing out your thoughts, you can influence the products of brands while earning money. Brands like HP, Samsung, CBS, Adobe, and more make use of user testing.

Most websites and apps you may look at are MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or prototypes by the mentioned brands. You will be looking at the product’s user experience and issues. Companies use your valuable feedback for issues that need to be addressed. As a result, the company will roll out a polished product, which benefits both the company and its users. The leading website for user testing is UserTesting.


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