How To Earn Daily as a Freelance Writer in South Africa

How To Earn Daily as a Freelance Writer in South Africa

Freelance writing is an excellent side hustle opportunity that can pay daily in South Africa.

With the ability to work flexibly from home, freelance writing provides a way to generate consistent income in addition to your regular job or other commitments.

What is Freelance Writing?

Freelance writing involves creating written content for clients on a freelance basis. As a freelance writer, you are self-employed and work for multiple clients across different industries and niches.

Common types of content freelance writers create include:

  • Blog posts
  • Articles
  • Whitepapers
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media posts
  • Website copy
  • Scripts
  • Proposals
  • Press releases

Basically any type of written content a business needs created, freelance writers can provide as a service. This content helps businesses promote products, share information, connect with customers and improve search engine visibility.

Why Freelance Writing Works as a Daily Side Hustle

There are several advantages that make freelance writing a reliable way to earn daily income in South Africa:

  • Flexible schedule – You can work hours that fit your availability, including nights and weekends. No set 9-5 schedule.
  • Freedom to work from anywhere – Only requires a laptop and internet connection, allowing work while travelling or from your home office.
  • Variety of clients – Choose to work with multiple clients across different niches to keep things interesting.
  • Control your workload – Take on as much or as little work as you want to fit your income goals and lifestyle.
  • Opportunity to specialize – Develop expertise in high-income niche areas like finance, technology, healthcare etc.
  • Potential for growth – Can start small and build up your client base and rates over time.
  • Transferable skill – Writing skills remain in demand even in turbulent economic climates.
  • Low startup costs – No major equipment or qualifications required outside of writing ability.
  • Payment options – Many clients open to pay per project completed or weekly/monthly versus only per word or hour.
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For those reasons, freelance writing provides excellent income potential and bottom line benefits that make it sustainable as a daily side hustle.

How Much Can You Earn Daily?

Income potential with freelance writing depends on:

  • Your skill level and writing niche
  • The types of writing projects you take on
  • Your speed and productivity
  • The rates you are able to charge clients

According to Thumbtack, freelance writers charge an average rate of R175 per hour in South Africa. However, more experienced writers in fields like marketing, journalism and content creation often charge R300 – R500 per hour.

Assuming you have some writing experience already, a reasonable goal as a side hustle would be to work 5 hours per day at around R250 per hour. This would equate to R1,250 in daily earnings.

To build up to this, you can start at 2-3 hours per day at a lower rate of R150-200 per hour until you establish your reputation and portfolio. Within a few months, you can then increase your rates and workload.

Earnings Per Month

Working 5 hours per day, 6 days per week at R250 per hour results in potential monthly earnings of:

5 hours x R250 x 6 days x 4 weeks = R30,000 per month

This shows that with consistency, freelance writing can become a lucrative full-time career as well. But as a daily side hustle, it offers excellent income potential without requiring you to immediately quit your job.

Finding Freelance Writing Jobs That Pay Daily

Here are some recommended platforms and strategies for finding paid freelance writing opportunities in South Africa:

  • Upwork – Leading freelance job site with writing gigs from small businesses to Fortune 500s. Offers hourly, project and even weekly/monthly pay options.
  • Fiverr – Freelance services marketplace with writing gigs starting at R100. Sellers get paid out daily.
  • Freelancer – Australian freelance website with writing projects across over 100 categories.
  • FlexJobs – Paid job board for screening and matching with professional remote writing jobs.
  • Problogger – Blog that lists available blogging jobs and other writing gigs updated daily.
  • Contently – Creative network connecting writers with content creation opportunities from brands.
  • Social media – Promote your freelance services on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook groups.
  • Job boards – Search listings on Indeed, Careerjet etc. for “remote writer” and “freelance writer” roles.
  • Business directories – Reach out to local companies directly to pitch your services.
  • Content agencies – Contact digital content agencies to be added to their roster of freelancers.
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The key is casting a wide net by having an Upwork profile, searching job boards, leveraging your network and proactively pitching businesses. This diversity helps ensure a steady stream of new clients and projects.

Skills Needed to Succeed

To thrive as a freelance writer making daily income, these skills and attributes are important:

  • Strong writing ability – Have excellent writing skills and experience creating web, blog, marketing content etc. Familiar with AP style.
  • Time management – Be organized and able to stick to deadlines when working independently.
  • Self-motivation – Driven to reach income goals and grow your freelance business over time.
  • Research skills – Ability to research and understand unfamiliar topics quickly.
  • Subject matter expertise – Having a niche like finance, tech, healthcare etc. boosts earning potential.
  • Language proficiency – Strong reading/writing skills in languages like English, Afrikaans, German are assets.
  • Communication skills – Articulate, professional communication style.
  • Tech savvy – Proficient with Google Workplace, Slack, Trello, Asana, etc.

Beyond raw writing talent, you need the soft skills and self-discipline to thrive as an independent freelancer working from home.

Step by Step Guide to Getting Started

Follow these steps to launch your profitable freelance writing side hustle:

  1. Pick your niche(s) – Choose an industry or topic area to initially focus on like tech, health, marketing based on your expertise.
  2. Build your portfolio – Create 4-5 samples demonstrating your writing skills (have variety). Use a website, Google Docs or LinkedIn.
  3. Create profiles on freelance sites – Make a strong Upwork and Fiverr profile highlighting your background, skills and portfolio.
  4. Set your rates – Research typical freelance writer rates in South Africa for your niche. Balance being competitive and charging fairly.
  5. Apply to writing job postings – Every day, apply to quality job postings on Upwork, Fiverr, Problogger, etc.
  6. Reach out to potential clients – Email relevant businesses, agencies and professionals to pitch your services.
  7. Network online and locally – Join LinkedIn groups and Facebook communities to connect with those hiring writers.
  8. Deliver excellent work quickly – Take on initial projects at low rates to build reviews and reputation. Aim for 5-star ratings.
  9. Gradually increase rates – Once established, begin charging higher rates for your writing services.
  10. Manage workload – Only take on the volume of work you can handle while maintaining quality and timeliness.
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Consistently applying these steps will position you for success launching a freelance writing career from scratch. Remain flexible and adaptable as you build experience.

Read also: How To Start Freelancing in South Africa And Make Money

Key Takeaways

  • Freelance writing is a flexible, accessible side hustle that can pay out income daily.
  • Writers can potentially earn over R30,000 per month working 5 hours per day at R250 per hour.
  • Top freelance writing platforms include Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer and FlexJobs.
  • Key skills needed include strong writing ability, time management, research skills and communication.
  • Consistently build your portfolio, network and apply to writing jobs daily.
  • Start at lower rates to gain experience and reviews before increasing your pricing.


Freelance writing is an optimal side hustle if you enjoy writing, working independently and want to supplement your income.

By targeting high-paying niches, establishing your reputation and reaching out to clients, you can earn a consistent daily income from home.

With time and effort, freelance writing can even grow into a full-time remote career.

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About the author

Kevin is a location independent freelancer, blogger, and side hustler located in South Africa. Originally from Kenya, he worked as a digital marketing developer for 5 years before making the leap to full-time freelancing.

Kevin has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur Magazine and The South African for his work promoting freelancing and side hustles in South Africa. When he's not working with clients or updating Freelancian, you can find him exploring new destinations as a digital nomad.

Want to share your own freelancing or side hustle story? Have a question for Kevin? Just want to say hello? You can contact Kevin and the Freelancian team at:

Email: [email protected]
X: @freelancian

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