How To Start An Online Business In South Africa-2 Legit Ways To Show You Its Possible

Hi there! This is Roopesh from Passive Income For All. If you are new to the online world, then I am sure starting an online business can feel overwhelming at the moment. But it does not have to be.

Today, I want to keep things simple. There are many ways by which one can make money online. I am going to discuss 2 Legit Ways on how to start an online business in South Africa.

The first way is if you have a product of your own to sell. And the second way is if you do not have any product but would like to get started on earning a share of the internet market.

Either way, I believe that going online is a smart move. Across the globe, there is a huge transition. People are turning to the internet. Be it for information, shopping or communication, the internet has become the obvious choice.

Social Media and e-mail are bringing products and services right to people’s doorsteps.

Would you not consider this an opportunity for yourself as well?

Is It Worthwhile to Have an Online Business In South Africa? 

Here are some facts that are worth considering:

  • Almost half of the South African Population use the Internet (25 million people).
  • Many people research online before making a purchase (you can capitalize on this-I will explain later).
  • All major retailers have online stores.
  • Most of them have affiliate programs (this is good news for you).
  • In 2016, the e-commerce sales rocketed to R9 billion.

Can you imagine what the sales figure will be when we reach the end of 2018?

Ready to learn more? Great! Let’s begin.

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How To Make Money Online -PART ONE- WITH A PRODUCT

Let’s say that you have a traditional brick and mortar business, that involves the selling of tangible items, then a smart move would be to open an e-commerce store.

Start an online business by opening an e-commerce store

As I’ve shown you earlier on, having an e-commerce store can be lucrative. Apart from the ‘money’ side of things, there is a host of other benefits that your business will get to enjoy. These are;

  • Increased business exposure
  • Online presence- people can shop from the convenience of their armchair, using a laptop or smartphone
  • Advertising can be tried and tested at a fractional price as compared to conventional advertising
  • You can target your audience/market by specifying the particular age, demographics, etc

How can you get started with your own e-commerce store?

The good news is that there is a platform called Shopify, that offers a 14-Day Free Trial.

To learn more, read my detailed review here.

How does Shopify work

Alternatively, click on the banner above to go directly to the official website and learn how it works.


So, you don’t own a product of your own-is your dreams of owning an online business over?

Absolutely not!

Actually, it can a be a good thing.


Because it opens the door for you to make money by promoting other people’s products.

All you’ve got to do is promote a company’s product on your blog (website). You will earn a commission on every sale that takes place via your promotion.

I know what you are thinking- “Roopesh, I don’t have a website” or,  “I don’t even know how to build one” or,  “I don’t know anything about marketing“.How can I start an online business

Relax, that is the least of your worries. I am going to give two FREE Websites later on, and I am going to show you how to get started for free.

Let me first talk to you a little more, about this commission marketing concept.

It’s actually got a fancier name, its called Affiliate Marketing.

WHAT IS AFFILIATE MARKETING?- Giving Everyone a Chance 

The diagram below outlines how this process works.

How does affiliate marketing work We all, at some point, will become an affiliate marketer, without even realizing it.

Let me prove it to you.

I recently watched Thor Ragnarok at a Nu-Metro cinema. I thought that it was a really good movie.

At a friend’s braai (South Africa’s name for a barbeque), the topic of movies came up. Naturally, I ended up raving about the movie, as I am a huge Marvel Comics fan.

My friends ended up going to watch the movie. I became an affiliate for Nu-Metro. They got the business as result of my recommendation.

Sadly though, Nu-Metro did not pay me anything for my recommendation.


You Can Become an Affiliate Marketer In Almost Any Niche


3 Billion Searches a day on the internet

There are 3.75 billion people using Google daily to search for products or services.

Affiliate marketing is growing by the day.

Online retailers want to capitalize on these growing numbers. What better way than to recruit affiliate marketers like you and me?

They would benefit by,

  • saving themselves lots of time on huge advertising costs. (Remember they only pay you, once you make a sale.)

You as an affiliate will benefit as,

  • Registration is free to become an affiliate,
  • You can have unlimited earning potential-(the more people click on your affiliate links, the more potential commission you can earn),
  • Your business is open 24-7, and
  • You can choose to operate locally in South Africa or Internationally.

And since there is a huge audience out there. You can build your business on almost any niche you want!



These are just some of the affiliate merchants in South Africa. In other words, you can join their affiliate program, promote their products and earn moola!

  • Bid or Buy

Take my earlier example of the Thor movie at Nu-metro.

As I am passionate about movies, I could build a website around Movie reviews or even Movie Memorabilia.

I can promote DVD’S and Blu-rays and send my customers to Loot or Bid or Buy. I can also promote memorabilia like vinyl figurines and send them to Mantality.

how to build an affiliate marketing website
Deadpool Vinyl Figurine for Sale at


Everywhere you look there is a niche or an interest. It does not have to be hard to find a niche.

You can build a site on whatever you like. If you are passionate about something, chances are that someone out there likes it too.

Oh, and the best part is that you are not limited to only the South African market.

You can expand your brand internationally and register with affiliate companies like;

  • Clickbank
  • eBay
  • Target
  • Alibaba

The list goes on and on.

Imagine, you can have a customer buying from you in the Netherlands whilst you are sleeping.

How exciting is that?


To get the best head start, I recommend a decent training platform. One that will take you from start-up, through to becoming a confident and successful online entrepreneur.

The platform that I recommend you sign up with, is called Wealthy Affiliate.

They are an overseas-based company, but they accept South African citizens.

I have been with them for 3 years now and they are the real deal.

Why Wealthy Affiliate?

  • They are in existence for 14 years-Good Track Record
  • Easy to follow step-by-step lessons
  • Helpful Community of over 800 000 people (its one of a kind)
  • Top Notch Support
  • Free Trial
  • 2 Free Websites upon sign-up

By taking up the free trial, you will unlock the FIRST LEVEL (10 LESSONS), that teaches you how to get started with a solid online foundation. You also are given Two Free Websites.

The best part is that NO CREDIT CARD info is needed to unlock these Wealthy Affiliate features.

Watch my video, to learn more. I show proof of my first payment (in dollars!), and how I came to find this awesome opportunity.




Of the two ways on how to start an online business in South Africa, which one would you go for?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

If there is anything that you would like to know or if you have any comments, please place them in the section below. I promise I will get back to you.

Thanks for joining me at Passive Income for All. I hope that this article has helped you.

Please free feel to share it with your family and friends.

Regards and Take Care


10 thoughts on “How To Start An Online Business In South Africa-2 Legit Ways To Show You Its Possible”

  1. Hey Roopesh,
    Great article on how to start a legit online business in South Africa. I really like the e-commerce idea and if I had a product I would totally go down this path. But I don’t so like you and your recommendation I have worked with Wealthy Affiliate for the last 6 months. Now I don’t have any sales yet other than google adsense but I still consider myself to be a laying a good foundation of knowledge and content down to provide some insight to other guys.
    You’ve done a great job explaining all the parts of an effective affiliate marketing campaign, thanks so much for sharing!
    Mat A.

    • Hello Mat

      It’s awesome to hear from a fellow WA member. The fact that you hitting small sales with adsense shows that you are on the right path. Its also shows that the training at Wealthy Affiliate works.

      Thanks for the complement as well.

      All the best for 2018 

      Regards Roopesh

  2. Hello Roopesh,

    These are excellent ideas! I have already become involved with Wealthy Affiliate, and I can also attest that it’s the best resource for success in affiliate marketing.

    I am very intrigued by the idea of starting a Shopify store! Do you know of some strategies for starting this without spending a lot of money on inventory? I’ve heard some things online about being able to crowdfund or pre-sell a product, but I’m not certain of the method.


    • Hey Jordan

      It’s awesome to meet a fellow WA member. I will hook up with you inside the platform.

      Regarding the question on a Shopify store and the inventory, let me get back to you. I am not so familiar with the crowdfund part. I will look into it for you.

      Speak to you soon.

      All the best in your WA journey.



  3. I really like how you walked me through several scenarios on how to make money online.

    It’s nice to know that you can build something even without having your own physical products to sell.

    I like how you show the information that is specific to South Africa. This is very helpful.

    • Hey Rick

      Yes, when I started I was intimidated by the whole situation of having a website and all that other stuff.I always had this impression,that it is only reserved for technically minded folks.I was wrong.

      Affiliate Marketing is one of the avenues that allows people to start without any knowledge and without having any product to sell.

      Wealthy Affiliate is one such platform that teaches this concept in a beginner friendly environment. 

      Let me know, if there is anything else that you need help with.



  4. Hi, Roopesh. Focusing your content article on trying to help people from South Africa understand the possiblities in achieving success through owning an online business, really and because of the ability to have access to the Internet the same thing could be stated about most countries in the free world.

    Yes, there are some negative issues that occur daily on the Internet – scams being a big one and especially on various social media platforms. However, this is outweighed by the fact that with access to a computer/mobile device, being part of a completely legit program, (usually affiliate marketing) that honestly has relevant products that would help people in need, the ability to have tools to build a website and finally the motivation and desire to achieve positive results a person as you suggested could have a successful business online.

    You went out of your way to suggest to people from South Africa about a half dozen reputable affiliate merchants to whom they could connect in promoting products in a business. That is a starting point and, as I indictated above the individual through a great educational program, (such as the one that you referred to in Wealthy Affiliate) the person running an online business could eventually achieve financial success.

    A very excellent and motivating article, Roopesh!


    • Hi Jeff

      You are absolutely spot on. There are tons of online scams and many folks are falling prey to them on a daily basis. Apart from helping people to build their own online business, I also reveal some of the things that people should look out for, to avoid becoming a victim to these types of scams.

      How to Avoid Online Scams

      Wealthy Affiliate is simply one the best options to help anyone get into the league of online business. I guess one has to try it out for themselves, to see what its all about.

      Start Your Wealthy Affiliate Trial Here

      Thanks so much for stopping by



  5. Hi Roopesh,
    I love the idea of Affiliate Marketing as I have had my own business in the past doing consultancy work. I loved what I was doing but I hated the travelling.
    Also, customers often changed their minds. They will agree on a specification only to backtrack on it. This prevented me from making progress and meeting other potential clients.

    With Affiliate Marketing, all of that goes out the window. OK, a customer may purchase an item and decide it’s not what they want. That’s fine. I won’t have to deal with any of the customer service side of things as it’s all taken care of by the affiliate program.

    I also love the idea that I can conduct my business from the comfort of my home.

    It’s great that there are ‘local’ affiliate programs you can join too, especially if you are patriotic. After all, it’ll be for the good of your country.

    Thanks for highlighting this. I will now see if I can find affiliate programs for a country that I love.

    • Some really stronger points you highlighted here Jackie.
      In short the main benefit to having an affiliate marketing business,is that you earn commissions without having the headache of buying any inventory and you don’t have to worry about after sales service.

      Another plus to it, is that your online store is open 24 hours a day. You can chose to aim the ‘local’or international’ market, or both.

      If you need any help with finding affiliate merchants in your country, give me a shout, it would be my pleasure to help.

      All the best


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