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Top tips: Earning money from home

With a global resurgence of high unemployment rates thanks to the ‘rona, employment has become a worldwide problem, which means that everyone needs to work harder to survive. This means that you may be looking for a new way to bring in money to your household  along with millions of others. So then, it can’t hurt to at least look into what you can expect to do when looking for a business opportunity while working remotely. It’s important to recognize that if you set this up successfully, you can create some financial security or back-up for yourself. We also know that onlien is the way, since most in-person jobs aren’t in operation right now. Instead of watching videos or sitting on social media, there’s something you can do to start earning money from home. We’ll discuss some options for South Africans who are looking to earn from home. 

  1. Sell things you don’t need

Ever heard of spring cleaning? While this tip won’t set you up with the longevity of a fully-fledged remote business, you can start by looking at your household and immediate surroundings and sorting through your belongings. You may have outgrown some clothes, or not used your old camera in a couple of years. You may be better off selling some of your belongings than letting them collect dust in the back of your closet. We recommend using an online platform for this, such as Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace or OLX. These platforms allow buyers to contact you directly if they’re interested in your products. If you use Facebook, you can also post on specific community groups that might relate to your product or specific suburb/region to make sales happen fast and close to your home.

  1. Look into transcription work

This is for the fast typists and quick learners out there. Essentially, what you’ll be doing is writing down audio that corresponds to audio that you’ll need to listen to. You’ll need to be accurate and quick, and you’ll require some kind of pc/laptop and internet connection, as well as time to complete your work. Some platforms also require you to use a paypal account – but don’t worry, since this money can be easily transferred to your South African bank account. 

At most, you can expect to earn around $20 per hour. You’ll be able to access jobs that are posted from all around the world after you pass an initial assessment. Once this is complete, you can log in to your platform and claim jobs or transcription tasks. For instance, you’ll need to complete the transcription of a 10-minute audio file in 4 hours. Once you’ve done this, you will be graded and paid following the acceptance of your work.  

One of the benefits to this kind of work is that many of the training transcriptions you will do are also paid. But some of the audio can be unclear and difficult to complete, so you’ll need to have strong attention to detail in order to transcribe every word correctly. You can expect to earn around R100 for a 20-minute file to start with – this price will increase as you gain experience. If you have good speakers/headphones and are able to dedicate a lot of time to this, you could potentially earn a living out of transcribing or it could, at least, become a profitable side job.

  1. Pet or house sitting

If you love animals, this is the perfect opportunity for you. You can look into becoming a pet sitter/house sitter or dog walker in your area. This is especially popular in larger cities, as many people are often away from their homes for a variety of reasons. Even during COVID-19, homes have been abandoned and there are pets (and plants) that need attention. The best things about doing this is that you are in control of your own schedule and working conditions.

If you offer an amazing service and work hard for your clients, you could even earn up to R10 000 every month.You would need to include a few services, such as dog walking, daycare for pets or overnight stays. The benefit to this is that it can be quite flexible. You can control which services you offer, your price points and your working schedule. You can even choose the kind of animals you’d prefer to work with. However, you should probably have some experience with pets in order to get started with this. So if you’ve never had a dog and are scared of them, you should sit this one out. People will be trusting you to maintain the health and safety of their animal, so you have to be responsible and knowledgeable.

The same goes for house sitting. People might entrust their property and personal belongings with you – so you should have some experience and be a trustworthy, clean and respectful individual in order to consider this kind of work.

  1. Complete surveys for companies 

Many companies are looking for information from consumers; including their personal tastes, demographic and opinion about certain products and industries. 

There are a ton of survey websites that South Africans can use. The majority of surveys will be market research based or based on a specific industry of products. 

You can look at MOBROG (which pays out between R5-R35 per survey), SurveyCompare  or SurveySavvy, a global platform that pays out in US dollars and offers $5 just for connecting your devices (laptop, tablet or phone).While taking surveys can net you some extra spending money, it doesn’t seem lucrative enough to sustain a full-time job when looking at these figures. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t find one high-paying survey along the way.

  1. Start a niche business

Think local. Have you ever wanted to be part of Saturday morning markets as a seller? This is the kind of thing that could be considered a niche or small, specialised business. 

While the current climate is not apt for large gatherings, you could find a specialised online platform that could sell your products.

This can include anything from leather goods, jewellery, chocolate, preserves and baking, fashion, books, artwork and more. If you’ve got a skill in a very unique field, you might consider producing enough stock to supply an ecommerce store and eventually, a trading stall at a market. HelloPretty is an example of a specialised marketplace, who sells goods from many small crafters and artisans on their website. There’s no reason that you can’t join a platform like this.

  1. Become an online teacher 

There are many options for South Africans to teach English online. Many of the students reside in China or South East Asia but this isn’t always the case. If you’re teaching online, you will need a clear voice, confidence and a fast internet connection. 

Some of the minimum requirements include a neutral voice and effective communication skills. In addition, some specific providers may require a Bachelor’s degree and specific shifts for working.

One big player is ABC360, which allows tutors to teach one-on-one lessons to Chinese students between the ages of 5 and 15 from 6 to 9pm Beijing time.

Take note that many of the other platforms require a TEFL or TESOL qualification – this stands for Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Official Language. If you have prior teaching experience, this would be advantageous.

Some other platforms available to South Africans include SayABC, Micro Language, Palfish, and Hujiang. You can expect your base pay to range from $11 to $28 per hour, depending on the size of the class and performance levels. Some of these jobs are available to people without a diploma or degree, which you can read about here

  1. Start blogging!

While it might seem outdated, you can still make money through blogging because of sponsored posts, brand collaborations, product reviews and affiliate URLs. You could eve throw in some competitions/giveaways and sponsored social media posts, too!

It’s a skill to create original content (for a product or on your own) that can be entertaining while still informing their audience about the product or larger environment/industry. If you can do this, you can get paid for blogging. You can use your individual voice to make fresh content that can set you apart and this will excite brands into working with you. 

The key is to remain balanced at all times – just because you’ve been offered money, you need to carefully consider the brand and how it fits with your own image. You don’t want to bore your audience with sponsored posts every time! 

This is a skill that may take some work, but could lead to a career as a content creator or influencer if done well. You might want to read more about content creation here


Our world is rapidly evolving – there could be something happening in another country that can affect you, as we’ve seen with COVID-19 and its far-reaching outbreak. While this could be seen as negative, it’s become a fact that international markets are easier to reach and align yourself with. 

The reality is that many people may face unemployment, so we hope that we can help provide you with real methods that can help you earn an income, no matter how small it might start at. 

The fact that our economy can support a large variety of digital work is changing how we work, and the good news is that you can take your hustle online to supplement your income. We at ShoppingFeeder stand in solidarity with all affected by COVID-19 and urge you to stay safe and stay home. 

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