Making Online Payments:
To do business online, you need a credit card. This is very important as the credit card is an international recognized way of guaranteeing that the seller will get paid for products and services delivered to you. If you are worried about using a credit card online, there are secure ways of shopping online. One way is to sign up for a free PayPal account. PayPal is an international recognized online payment system that is safe way for making and receiving online payments. At present South Africans cannot receive payments through PayPal due to governments regulations but it is still a safe way of making payments. PayPal acts as a financial intermediary, so that a third party will never have directl access to your credit card details.
One of the best ways to make money online is affiliate marketing. Through affiliate marketing you are paid for helping to market the products and services of other businesses. First you need to register with such a company. Then place affiliate text links or banners on your website. When people click on the links or banners you are paid in accordance with a predefined fee structure. There are numerous affiliate marketing programs available in South Africa, but it is best to sign up at an affiliate network. You are not limited to marketing of South African products only, since the beauty of the online business is that you can market international products too.
South Africa has very few big affiliate networks. The top three networks are: Trafficsynergy, and OfferForge. At this stage OfferForge is the largest affiliate network in South Africa, but Trafficsynergy is fast catching up. Well known South African businesses as well as International businesses make use of the services of affiliate networks. When you sign up for a affiliate network account and your application is approved, you can market the products and services of more than one businesses through one account.
There are additional benefits for using an affiliate network. You can use a single username and password to access your affiliate account and it is easier to access your statistics for all the campaigns you are promoting. Also, many well known businesses like Outsurance only offer membership to their affiliate programs through affiliate networks.
Another common way of making money online is to sign up for Google Adsense. Google will display ads that are relevant to the content of your website and when visitors click on any of the Adsense links you will be paid per click. Just paste the relevant code provided by Google onto your website. These links will be updated frequently without any further action from your side. Just beware that Google has a reputation of terminating your account if their algorithms find any suspicious activity on it, such as too many clicks coming from one particular IP address.
A second way of making money online is to sell products and services through an auction site. Bidorbuy is the largest online auction site in South Africa. You can buy and sell almost anything at their site, even without a website. For security reasons, you will need a credit card to sign up.
Getting a Website:
You will need a website for using Google Adsense. You can either design and maintain your own website or find a business to set it up for you for a fee that can vary from a few bucks to a few thousand bucks. Should you decide to do it yourself, you need to sign up for a hosting account at one of the many website hosting companies in South Africa and abroad, depending on the type of site you want.
Next, get yourself software to create and publish web pages. There are many programs that can do this, but Microsoft's FrontPage program is better if you are new to the trade. Some web hosting companies also offer an easy to use website builder that is template driven and does not require any knowledge of webdesign.
Getting a Domain name:
Each website needs a name, referred to as the domain name. Most international domains are ending in dotcom (.com) while South African names typically end in dotcoza (.co.za). Choosing the right domain name is vitally important. To see whether your chosen domain name is available, go to http://co.za/whois.shtml and type your proposed domain name in the search box and press enter. Just follow the instructions that follow, since you will find everything you need to know on how to register a domain here.
Advertising your website:
Go here for more information on online advertising.
There are many other considerations to take into account when starting a new website in terms of content, search engine optimization (SEO) and submission of your new website.
You can also visit the http://www.warriorforum.com/forum for help on any of the website issues as well as reading as many articles on the relevant issues as possible.
In the end, proper research will pay off.