How to make money online as a teenager in South Africa

Students never have enough money. There is always a new video game, a new gadget and just about everything else they do for fun involves splurging money.

Being a responsible teen means you can’t always count on your parents to sponsor everything. Making your money is an essential part of growing up.

Thank heavens for the internet where you can dip in and out of things between assignments and going out.

Through the internet, you can find work and earn quick bucks online doing anything you want.

As long as you have a computer, a high-speed connection and a good command of the employer’s language you are good to go. Here are some ideas to get you going.

Selling stuff

Making money is quite easy if you are prepared to put in the effort and to do it properly.

You can sell your unwanted stuff to people who want it and make your side business a real money maker.

Identify all the useful items that you no longer need or have been sitting idle for long and put them up on the market.

There’s plenty of options to use for sales such as Gumtree, Bidorbuy and Etsy.

Take great pictures of your products to make them appealing to the buyer, and then place them on auction sites at reasonable prices for a fast sell-off.

If you are skilled at making things, try selling DIY designs and crafts on Etsy. An Etsy shop is basically free to operate, and you can make a great deal of money through the platform.

Once your registration is complete, you can start posting photos of your works, and people can purchase your products.

Virtual Assistant (VA)

If you’re not that good a writer but are more of a social media expert, you can be a virtual assistant for a blogger.

You can edit their posts, manage their social media accounts, do graphics work and much more.

If you are above 16 and have the capacity to take on the extra workload and learn new skills, you can be a virtual assistant for just about anyone else.

Thanks to high-speed internet, document sharing and cheap conference calling systems, VA’s are in high demand by entrepreneurs and online businesses that need help but don’t want to bring on full-time staff in a specific location.

As a teen virtual assistant , you will basically be someone’s “go-to” when there is a task that they don’t have time to complete.

This could mean that you’ll be doing sales, marketing, scheduling meetings, editing, proofreading, accounting, and really a bunch of different things.

Usually, your boss will land up training you on tasks they need done, so this is a great way to learn and get paid while you do it.

A virtual assistant can work from their own home, with their own computer, phone, and internet connection.

Because these positions usually require a wide breadth of knowledge about various tasks, it’s good to be a well-rounded person who can also learn new skills quickly.

Being a virtual assistant is demanding on your time, so before you pick that option make sure you have enough time to devote to the task.

You might, just like your friends who picked restaurants and office jobs, spend your entire day at work.

At the very least, you will have to make yourself available to do work on the computer, because you never know when your employer might send you a task.

Doing this will be very hard as it limits your flexibility with what you can do.

Many of your plans, especially during the summer holiday, might be ruined because you need to rush home to do work.

But even so, you can limit your times to a regular workday (9 am – 5 pm). To make the most out of this job, you can take on more contracts so you can earn more money while waiting for a task from another employer.

Because of how demanding this option is, it’s wise to pursue it during school holidays or gap year so it doesn’t affect your schoolwork.

They’re multiple local and international websites which accept teen applications for virtual assistant jobs.

Write a good resume, fill out a profile on Upwork or any website of choice and start applying to as many jobs as you can.

Taking an online survey

If you like to give your opinion about things, then why not get paid for it? Companies are always in need of information so surveys are a cash cow just waiting to be milked.

Taking online surveys is a simple but effective way to make money. Imagine making money from the comfort of your own home while watching t.v or cooking.

With online surveys, I love the fact that you can watch videos and earn free gift cards.

They’re dozens of companies that will help you get paid for your opinion. Brands want to get your feedback on their products and services, and they are willing to pay for it.

You can do online surveys for reliable sites such as Swagbucks, Toluna South Africa, Prize Rebel and SurveySavvy.

Most of these sites have an age limit of 13, so you become eligible for the job the moment you qualify as a teenager.

To make the most money through online surveys in South Africa through surveys, sign up in several of the hundreds of both international sites and local sites.

Surveys are however not without risk. Extra caution has to be exercised because there are many chancers on the internet.

Before embarking on that journey, start by fetching survey guides from experienced people to make sure you complete surveys safely without falling prey to scammers.

Avoid surveys that ask for your sensitive personal information, bank account number or driver’s license number.

Also, install an anti-malware software in case one of the survey sites redirects you to a spammy third-party client.

There is a bonus with online surveys. Most websites offer other ways of earning, for example taking online offers, doing micro-tasks, downloading apps, watching videos, playing games, and more.

Using some of these extra methods can be a great way to boost your earnings. The sites that offer several options like this are usually called Get-Paid-To (GPT) sites.


If you are good at something, e. g writing, design, customer service, web development, you could earn extra bucks from putting your skill to use as a freelancer.

As a freelancer, you pick your workload so this allows you to balance the side hustle with more important responsibilities like school.

If you secure good clients, you will receive your payment
soon after completing tasks.

Freelance online writing is the most popular freelancing job. It is quite fashionable for those seeking fast cash.

Unfortunately, it requires a certain level of skill. For high school students, mostly those with a natural talent for English as language are likely to succeed at it.

There is unbelievable demand for articles, blogs and press releases but content is King on Google.

To succeed in the field of online freelance writing, you must always produce freshly baked and totally original content.

Freelance online job market websites include Freelance Cape Town, a local market.

Local is always lekker, and in this case it means less competition for work as compared to international markets.

Upwork and People Per Hour are other popular South African websites for marketing freelancing jobs.

When looking for jobs on websites like Upwork, it’s best to invest in your profile. Fill in as much personal information as possible.

To distinguish yourself, you can also do free tests via the site. It ranks you on how you did compared with others on Upwork.


You might be young, but that’s no reason to stay broke. Grab a computer and a reliable internet to initiate your first quick pay.

The question is how much money do you want to make? And which online route will you opt to use to make that money?


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Staff Writer

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