Long before the pandemic, there was a general worldwide trend to transition work to the home. This has been enabled by the internet, and it is an opportunity never again witnessed in the history of the world.
While this is a trend seen in all countries, economically struggling ones have particularly benefited, since for the first time labour can be outsourced to them at competitive rates.
Today, it is not unusual for South Africans to work for companies that are based thousands of miles away, separated by the vast oceans. And depending on the work they are doing, could even be making comparatively similar salaries as workers in more developed nations.
South Africa may be the largest economy in Africa, but the rate of unemployment is very high. In fact, many poorer countries are fairing much better in this regard.
However, one advantage this country holds is its vast pool of qualified labour. Millions of South Africans could get online today and find something to do. This is mostly because of the relatively advanced education system compared to other nations where labour is outsourced to.
For people starting their careers, looking online for opportunities should be top of their priorities.
Here are 5 ways you can make money while working from home in South Africa.
1. Online reviewer
Online shopping has exploded in recent years. It is estimated that in the near future, a majority of all retail sales will happen on the internet. As a result of this, competition for eyeballs, clicks and attention is at an all time high.
On any e-commerce platform, one method potential buyers use to sift out the chaff is by reading reviews. Thus, sellers are always competing on who has the most positive ones. This can be on physical products or even digital ones.
This demand has led to a whole review industry.
Companies like GetReviewed will pay you to write and submit reviews to certain websites. They act like a marketplace between sellers who need reviews and reviewers like yourself.
As a regular reviewer, you could easily make thousands of Rands a month.
2. AI model trainer
Whoever said data is the new oil was 100% right.
Everyday, the world produces unfathomable amounts of data, on the internet and offline. Individual companies all over the world also produce their own vast amounts of data.
At the end of the day, all this data needs to be curated, categorized and analyzed. In most cases computers do this, but there are certain things that only human beings can do.
One area that human input is still needed is the training of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Most people don’t know that for any computer system to be intelligent, it has to be trained by humans first.
This training is achieved by feeding millions or billions of data points, until the system can start identifying objects and drawing conclusions on its own.
One popular AI training on a global scale is Google’s Captcha. When you are asked to identify images in boxes, you are basically offering free AI training services to the search engine service, while also passing the human test that differentiates you from bots.
Large scale AI training can include things like self driving cars. A website like Remotasks pays you to identify and name objects pertaining to various industries. You are paid via PayPal and the amount earned depends on your own effort.
3. Trancription job
One thing the internet has in abundance is audio-visual content. There are more videos on YouTube than you can count, and now everyone and their aunt has a podcast.
As a consequence of this, demand for transcription services is off the charts. Having YouTube videos with subtitles is now common, which presents a big opportunity for transcription.
Depending on the complexity of what you are transcribing, the pay can start from as low as $10 per audio hour, to tens of dollars for the same.
There is no shortage of websites offering transcription jobs, and many of them are open to hiring South Africans. Some well known ones include: TranscribeMe, Gotranscript, Rev.com, and even marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork.
Other than the relatively good pay, you enjoy flexible working hours.
4. Start a podcast
I know what you think. Doesn’t the world already have enough podcasts? Yes its true, it does feel like everyone nowadays is starting a podcast.
The last decade has seen an explosion of this format, driven by the rise of music/audio streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music.
A lot of people feel more comfortable on podcasts than on videos, as they don’t have to show their faces or even look nice.
Podcasting is not dead, and if you have the right things to say, there is still space for you. If you are an expert in any field, you will certainly find an audience waiting for you. And luckily, you are not limited to a South African audience.
Even if you are not an expert in anything, simply talking about the day’s news events can win you a huge following.
Of course you’ll need to invest in a good microphone and a computer for editing but that’s about it.
Hosting a podcast will require a lot of your time, and reward will not be immediate. However, it can end up being a very lucrative work from home career. And the content you make will be listened to for many years to come, even when you are not able to make more of it.
5. Become an Affiliate marketer
You can become very rich not by selling your own products, but by promoting other people’s products.
Being a bridge between the seller and buyer is lucrative, and many South Africans have made a lot of money this way.
Basically as an affiliate marketer, you are paid a commission for every completed sale you facilitate. In the internet age, this happens using link-tracking mechanisms, where you get paid whenever someone buys a product after clicking on your link.
To find success in affiliate marketing, you need an avenue to drive traffic. This can be a blog, social media following or even a simple Whatsapp group.
Commissions can range from something like 2% to even 90%.
As a South African, you have the option of going global in your hunt for affiliate commissions, or sticking to local affiliate programs.
Some of the local companies offering commissions in South Africa include: Travelstart, Avis, Bid or Buy, Loot, Lime Loans, Wonga etc.