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7 Lucrative Online Business Ideas in South Africa

Last updated on September 11th, 2023 at 10:22 am

If you are looking for a way to make money online, this blog post will provide 10 best online business ideas in South Africa that can help. 

The first three ways involve creating and selling content on the internet. 

One is blogging, which we all know about by now. You can also create your own videos or podcasts and sell them on sites like YouTube or iTunes respectively. 

Another idea is to write an e-book and set up a page to collect payments from people who want it before they buy it through PayPal or Amazon Payments. 

Finally, you could open a forum where people pay you monthly fees in order to have their questions answered based on your expertise in the field of interest covered by the forum topic area.

What is an online business and why do people start them

Online businesses are simply internet-based companies that allow people to make money online. 

Some of the most popular ways include blogging, selling content on sites like YouTube or iTunes, creating forums where members can pay monthly fees in order to get their questions answered by an expert in the field, and writing ebooks which you sell through your own website or other places such as Amazon.

Why do people start online businesses here in South Africa?

Well, there are a ton of reasons, but I will only discuss two that carry the most impact!

a). Easy to start

If you have been in business before, I bet you owned an offline business. This is to say, you owned a physical business operating out of a specific location, maybe even next to town.

Quick question, how was the starting process?

If you are honest, it was hectic! All those licenses among other myriads things made it hectic to start and maybe even to make that business work.

Online business in South Africa is a whole different thing!

It is easy to start and run.

In fact, all you need is a market ready to buy, and a product or service to offer them.

From there, you are sorted.

You do not need thousands of Rand to start (although some online business ideas in South Africa require some funds).

b). Freedom

Imagine someone running a shop around town, is he free to move around as he pleases?

No! Why?

Because the business demands that he should be around to oversee everything (unless he hires employees).

With an online business in South Africa, you can work from anywhere you want, any time of the day.

You can be on the beach and still running your business.

The business will work on autopilot and doesn’t require your constant supervision.

With that said, let us look at some of the best online business ideas in South Africa

I had introduced you to some ideas on the introduction. Let us look at what each means and how you can get started!

What is a blog? 

A blog is basically just a page made out of web pages that contain whatever information its owner wants it to contain with links back to other blogs usually written by friends or associates. 

The term was coined because these kinds of websites looked similar to printed “blogs” that were stuffed full of handwritten notes jumbled together but presented all together on one page.

To get started blogging in South Africa, you will need a domain and a hosting space.

Here is how to get both for cheap!

What is a forum? 

A forum usually contains categories and subcategories where people can post discussions about specific topics, share information, and ask questions related to the topic areas covered by the individual forums. 

People who create these kinds of websites charge monthly fees for users to access certain parts of it that may require special knowledge or skills in order to answer each question asked within them. 

An example would be an online guitar lessons website created by someone with years of expertise as a guitarist allowing other players to pay him money every month in order not only for his advice on their playing but also his opinion on what they should learn next based upon how quickly they are progressing. 

Just like YouTube allows you to make money through your videos or podcasting allows you to make money through your podcasts, this forum idea allows the creator of it to receive a monthly fee from members who want access to his expertise.

What is an e-book? 

This is another one of the best online business ideas in South Africa.

An e-book or electronic book is just that – a digital book that usually contains information related to all kinds of topics and can be viewed on devices like tablets and PCs.

As well as smartphones using apps designed for reading them such as Kindle Reader or iBooks but also other programs dedicated only towards their use like Adobe Digital Editions if they are not protected by DRM (digital rights management) software.

The biggest benefit with these books over traditional paperbacks comes down simply to convenience because once purchased.

They require no physical space in order for readers to be able to access them whenever they are connected to the internet. 

This allows readers not only to read them on any device but also at their own convenience without having to carry around a lot of physical weight in order for it which makes e-books highly desirable products these days.

What is an affiliate program? 

An affiliate program is basically just a way for people who create websites or other forms of media like videos and podcasts to make money by allowing others to earn commissions from the sales they generate for them.

These sales come through links on their own site referring visitors back to the creator’s website where products are sold usually at prices lower than if customers were buying directly from him/her in order to incentivize buyers into making purchases with incentives coming back towards those affiliates whose efforts have resulted in actual sales being made. 

This concept has become so popular over recent years because there are no long-term commitments required compared with starting your own online business and because affiliate programs allow you to become active in the promotion of other people’s products without having any financial involvement yourself.

To get started, you need to identify an affiliate program offering good commission rates.

Sign up with them and get an affiliate link.

Once you have the link, share it with your community and wait for commission checks.

Of course, it takes more than just sharing your link, but that is a topic of another day!

Creating Online courses

With the increasing popularity of e-learning and all its benefits over traditional classes, it is no wonder that students are willing to pay money for access to online courses with specialized topics like college-level course material.

For example;

Do a Google search on “free iPhone app development” in order to see what kinds of results you will find).

Or courses on how to make money online in South Africa.

For example;

Do a Google search on “how to make money fast” in order to see what kinds of results you will find.

To start this kind of online business in South Africa, you first need a skill many people are looking for and are willing to pay for it.

Once you have it, sit down and create a course that is easy to follow. Upload your materials to places like Thinkifc, which is free by the way!


Freelancing here in South Africa is getting more and more popular. 

Many people choose to do it because they don’t have the time or patience to start their own business, but still, want some freedom in what they do. 

It can be anything from writing articles for companies online, doing graphic design work, marketing on social media accounts – there are so many different options! 

For this you will need certain skills though – clients won’t just hire someone without knowing if they know how to complete a project successfully. 

So make sure you brush up your skills before looking for jobs! 

The great thing about freelancing is that it gives you flexibility with hours which means that even when you get sick of sitting at home all day, simply need a break, and want to go out, you can.

And as long as your work is completed it doesn’t matter what time of day or night you do it. 

Freelancing also gives you the opportunity to travel and/or live in other countries for an extended period without having a problem with working – clients won’t complain if they get their projects done early either!

To get started;

  • Pick a skill like a web design, article writing, etc
  • Create a portfolio (a place where you can showcase to your clients that you actually know what you are talking about).
  • Start looking for work in places like Upwork, Fiverr, etc.

Launch a podcast

This is another one of my favorite online business ideas in South Africa.

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular each day. 

Everyone is always on the go, commuting to work or school for example – this leaves people with little time in their days.

But what if there was a way you could learn something new while doing all of that traveling? 

Launching your own podcast in South Africa is one of the easiest ways to do just that! Many businesses already have podcasts that give them an edge over other companies that do not yet.

They can put out advice about things they know well; teach customers how to use their products/services better etc… 

This will make clients feel like they’re getting some personal attention which increases customer loyalty. 

Just think, wouldn’t it be great if instead of listening to annoying radio DJs talk about ‘insert celebrity name here’ you were listening to someone who is actually teaching you something useful in your daily life AND even sharing some of their own stories with you? 

Podcasts are perfect for this! You can create one in an afternoon and it will take just as long again to find the right hosting service.

Now, once you have started an online business, you will need a way to receive payments, that is where PayPal comes in.

What is PayPal? 

PayPal is an online payment system that was first created back in 1998 and has since become one of the most popular ways for people all over the world, both sellers and buyers alike.

Because it offers more security than other methods yet still remains fast enough so as not to be inconvenient. 

People can send you money directly from their bank accounts or credit cards without having to go through another service if they choose your PayPal email address during checkout when buying something from you.

This means that after you’ve got their money, it is almost immediately available for transfer to your bank account.

Wrapping up online business ideas in South Africa

There are hundreds of online business ideas in South Africa, but not all will work the same.

The ones we have provided here have the potential to make you a lot of money online in South Africa without spending much upfront!

There are many ways you can make money online. The internet is full of opportunities for people to earn a living from home, and it’s never been easier to get started. 

Freelancing, launching your own podcast, or creating an eCommerce store – these are just some of the options that will provide you with a flexible schedule while still earning enough income to sustain yourself financially. 

Which one did we miss? Let us know in the comments!

If you need hosting and a domain, we’ve got you.

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