Since I became a parent, I’ve kept a watchful eye on ‘mommy groups’ on social media for advice, guidance and also to glean how other moms cope with juggling work and parental responsibilities. Few are able to do both which, although concerning, puts me somewhat at ease as I know that I am not alone when it comes to this problem.
Another thing I’ve established is that, more often than not, moms in South Africa find it hard to get a job. Many of them are single moms too so they have to take on what they can get. However a post I saw recently on Homeworkingclub.com about how students can get online jobs got me to thinking that moms could do this too. After all, all you need is a laptop and/or phone with data and a bit of tech savvy.
Now that we are all connected online, the lines of communication between employer and employee are completely open, no matter how far apart they may physically be. It’s possible to work remotely and this can be a perfect solution for stay at home moms (and also dads). While not all moms who work would be able to freelance in this way (certain call centre jobs for instance may require you to come into the office) there are lots of moms who would benefit from using various online portals to earn an extra income.
During my search, I found 10 ways that moms can earn some extra money. It involves pitching for jobs, conducting some work through or selling products. The beauty about it is that most of it (not all) can be done online, which means you don’t have to leave the house:
- Micro jobbing and taking part in surveys
Micro jobbing (also known as doing human intelligence tasks or HITs) enables you to complete a couple of small jobs or tasks at a time. It is a perfect way to earn a little bit of money on the side if you have a busy toddler or a full time job. Try South African company M4Jam, which allows you to sign up to jobs which take 10 minutes or less. There’s also lots of websites that allow you to answer quick surveys in exchange for cash or points (that can later be converted into cash) such as Answered. Also try Clickworker and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
Look out for mom-specific jobs that include permanent, casual and temp work on RecruitMyMom or list your services on The South African Freelancers’ Association (SAFREA). Internationally, there are lots of other portals where you can apply for work, including Upwork or PeoplePerHour. If you want to make a quick buck list yourself up on Fiverr, where you can get work for $5 a project (about R68).
When it comes to the smaller jobs, the money you get may not initially amount to much but it can all add up if you stick it in a savings account or unit trust.
Make sure you price your hourly rates and flat rates according to your expertise and remember that these platforms do take their own cut or commission as well. If you aren’t sure what to charge Freelancecentral, which is unfortunately closing down this month, suggests these rates after its 2013 Rates Survey. Obviously add a bit on top because it is now 2017 after all!
|Level and years’ experience||Hourly rate||Daily rate|
|Junior (0-3 yrs)||R150-325||R1,125-2,500|
|Middleweight (3-7 yrs)||R350-500||R2,625-3,750|
|Senior (7-12 yrs)||R500-700||R3,750-5,250|
|Heavyweight (12+ yrs)||R700-1,000+||R5,250-10,000+|
- Teaching English
You can teach English to learners or even foreigners. Signing up to an accredited TEFL course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) can be expensive so look out for featured deals on group discount platforms like Hyperli. At the time of writing Hyperli is advertising a TEFL course for R595 – which is an 88% discount from the usual R4, 355.
- Creating courses
There’s a lot of money to be made in the edtech space because there are plenty of people that don’t have the time to study during the day and are increasingly turning to online platforms to sign up to courses that they can do in their spare time. If you have the skills, confidence, some capital and the time to create a course then try out Teachable and Learning Cart. If you get this right, it can be a lucrative. But there are upfront costs involved in course creation. For example, Teachable charges $33.25 (R450) per month for its basic start up plan (which is billed annually) while Learning Cart charges $179 per month for its ‘silver’ package, so be sure that you can afford the expenses and create a business plan for your course to make sure that it will be profitable.
- Sell your creations online
If you’re skilled with things like sewing, pottery, and knitting why not sell your ware online on classified websites like Gumtree. Alternatively, ask the organisers of your local market to find out if you can sell your creations on the weekend. Remember to ask how much you need to pay to secure space at markets and factor this into your business plan.
- Create your own blog and get paid for it
Creating a blog is easy as there are simple platforms like WordPress that allow you to set up a website for free, but you’ll need to pay a small amount to have your blog hosted on the likes of GoDaddy, which can provide domain names, email addresses, etc. There are, however, some templates and widgets that you’d have to pay for if you need extras for your site like a shopping cart or a directory. The more functionality you need for your website the more the templates and the development cost is likely to be.
You can make money in several ways through your blog such as advertising, affiliate partnerships, sponsored campaigns and some companies will even pay you to post content on your site and social media pages once you’ve established a substantial following. Remember, blogging and creating a loyal following can take time. So consider this a long term project and not an immediate money spinner.
If you are good with children and have the right qualifications to look after them then consider advertising your services online. You can do so on Gumtree, Sitters4U and Babysitter’s Club. Parents are more prone to hire you as a babysitter if you have experience with children and if you know how to administer first aid. Clinics like Cape Town’s Bowwood Baby Clinic offer courses in first aid or sign up to College SA’s First Aid “Save a Child” Short Course.
- Driving people/kids around
If you have a car and some time on your hands, sign up to Soccermom, where your job would be to cart kids to and from school and to their extra mural activities. Soccermom perform a thorough background check on people offering their services through their portal, so make sure you have all your qualifications and relevant paperwork in order.
- Renting out space for lodging or storage
If you have a spare room, garage or parking bay that you are not using, why not rent it out and generate some money from it? Wahi is a South African peer to peer marketplace where you can list your space and rent it out to people that need it. Like most other platforms, Wahi also takes a cut of the business. It charges a 17.5% service fee, of which 15% is payable by the tenant and the remaining 2.5% by the host. Alternatively, if you want to host people, advertise your home, room or granny flat on Airbnb. It charges a service fee of between 3-5% for hosts, and 6-12% for guests.
- Sell your photographs