How to Build an Online Business in South Africa - Marketing Channel
Online business

How to Build an Online Business in South Africa

How to Get Started with Building a Business Online. 

Step 1.  Setup your Paypal account

At some time or other, actually, very soon, you will need a Paypal account in order to purchase goods and receive payments on your website or to sell affiliate marketing products.

You will also need to verify your Paypal account in order to up your payment limits and this will take about 3 to 5 days.

So please click through to our “How to open your Paypal account and verify it” article and get that done.

Step 2. Choose your market or niche

Are you already an expert in some field and now you have decided to start an online business?

Perhaps a blog, website or eCommerce store around this category?

Or are you trying to find an appropriate niche and will take it from there?

Either way, if you are determined to start an online business in South Africa, you will need to do some serious research because South Africa is a relatively small market, which does not leave much room for mistakes.

Choosing a market that has passionate followers is always a good idea.

Consider evergreen categories such as Photography, Parenting, Food & Nutrition, Cricket, Golf, Surfing, Entertainment, Beauty, Travel and Vegetable Gardening, these are all hot topics that generally stay in demand.

Step 3. Decide on a domain name 

Will your blog aim at a local target market or an international one? If it’s local, it is better to go for an URL ending in your country Top Level Domain tag, in the case of South Africa, it is .co.za. You can easily search for available domain names in South Africa on the ZACR.

This service is also useful if you need to know who owns a domain as you may wish to make an offer to buy a specific domain name from its current owner.

You need to be registered with the ZACR if you want to register domain names.

Once you find a domain name you want, it would be easier to head on over to Domains.co.za and register your domain there. You can also check domain name availability.

For .com and other international Top Level Domains (TLD’s) we suggest Namecheap or Go Daddy.

Step 4. Select a WordPress theme

There are 1000’s of great WordPress templates available on the market.

We recommend using Themeforest for your theme purchases.

It’s easy, find a theme, buy it and download it to your desktop, you will need the zip file for upload to your hosting.

Step 5. Hosting

For hosting we highly recommend Bluehost, it is the world premier WordPress hosting platform.

It is very easy to use and your hosting includes one free domain registration.

Locally we would also suggest Domains.co.za, again the simplicity of uploading your website is superbly easy.

Step 6. Install WordPress and upload your theme

Please do not be intimidated by the process of uploading your own theme, Bluehost does it for you in an easy, step-by-step manner.

At Domains.co.za you can do as follows:

Register and log in.

Go to the menu tab and select “Register domains”.

Find a domain and press the order now button.

It will add it to cart for you, when you checkout it will ask you if you wish to add hosting, go ahead and add the hosting.

Then check out.

Domains.co.za will send you, your c-panel logins and passwords with links to access it.

Login to you c-panel and search for the Softalicious “install WordPress” button and install WordPress.

Domains.co.za will send you, your WordPress links and passwords.

Click on the link and login to your site.

In the dashboard, search for the “Appearance tab” and select “Themes”.

On the themes page, click add new at the top of the page.

You will now be requested to upload your theme’s zip file, upload and activate it.

From there you can go to the “customize theme” option and decide how you want to set-up your site.

Step 7. Tweak your theme

Pick your colour schemes, fonts and page layouts now.

You can use the “Appearance —-> Customize” tabs and the”Appearance —-> Theme options” tabs to tweak your site.

Pro tip: If you are new to WordPress, do not change your theme too much, in fact if you can stick to layout of the theme as you bought it, you will save yourself a lot of time, trouble and possibly the heartache of the whole thing falling flat on you and not looking at all like you wanted.

You may even “break” the theme and have to re-install WordPress.

Step 8: Build your website

Keep it simple and keep your workload down to the minimum, nothing will break your spirit more than sitting for weeks trying to get your site right, when all you want to do is get out there and start marketing your blog or business.

The following will suffice to get you launch ready:

5 Menu tabs including; “About us”, “Contact us”, “What’s new (or latest news)” and maybe one or two product or services related tabs.

10 articles to start with will do.

Don’t forget to add your list building items and forms for newsletter registration.

Activate Google Analytics.

Install Mouseflow.

Set up your social media links.

Step 9: Launch

Once your site is live, ensure that everything is working well and check your Mouseflow site visit video recordings often to get valuable user interaction feedback.

Make sure your site visitors can find what they are looking for and more importantly ensure that they click on your calls to action and other important items you want to guide them towards.

Step 10: Monetise

Bring in your Adsense banners and ads, courses, affiliate marketing, membership, digital downloads.

Also, remember private advertisers and banners are a lucrative way to get your site to start paying you well quickly and on the road to a successful online business in South Africa.

Leon Swartz

Leon Swartz is the CEO of FRONTPAGE Media and a professional Digital Marketer. He has been in the media industry since 1994, when he started his first publishing company. He is the publisher of over 150 business books, directories and consumer publications. During the past 12 years, Leon has established and proven himself in the fields of digital marketing, website strategy, lead generation, inbound marketing, product design, product positioning, branding, promotional marketing, creative concepts, copywriting and growth consulting. In addition, Leon has been the founder and CEO of various successful South African media businesses.

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Guy roger - July 10, 2017

Hi there Leon, great content you have here.
I’m still new in the online marketing industry after struggling for a long time to finally get in.
I am so glad to see a South African online marketer and I wouldn’t want to pass away the opportunity of networking with you. Since most online marketing programs and experts are in the US or other international countries, having a South African help me out with my online marketing journey would be really really helpful and great.

If possible, I would love to hear from you and if you ever in Johannesburg maybe we could meet if its alright with you.

Best regards,
Guy-roger

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Ken John - September 22, 2018

What of froeign domain providers. Can u suggest any

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