How Much Can You Earn As A Freelance Writer In South Africa?

How Much Can You Earn As A Freelance Writer In South Africa?

Freelance writing is becoming an increasingly popular way to earn an income in South Africa.

With the internet making it easier than ever to find clients across the world, freelance writing offers a flexible and lucrative career path for those with strong writing skills.

But how much can you really earn as a freelance writer in South Africa? Let’s take a detailed look.

Average Rates For Freelance Writing In South Africa

Freelance writing rates can vary significantly depending on your experience level, niche, the type of content you are creating, and who your clients are. However, on average, here are some typical rates for freelance writers in South Africa:

  • Entry-level/General writing: R150-R300 per hour
  • Blog posts: R150-R500 per 500-1000 words
  • Web copy: R300-R600 per page
  • Marketing copy: R300-R800 per page
  • Ghostwriting: R300-R1000 per page
  • Copyediting: R80-150 per page
  • Proofreading: R50-100 per page

The top freelance writers in South Africa with ample experience in lucrative niches like finance or technology can command rates of R800-R1500 per page. However, as a beginner, you’ll likely start at the lower end of the range.

Read also: Is Freelance Writing Profitable in South Africa?

Factors That Impact Earnings

Your earnings potential depends on several factors:


Some niches are more lucrative than others. Writing about technical topics or industries like finance, law, and healthcare tend to pay better than general lifestyle topics. Find a profitable niche that matches your expertise.

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Writing Skills

Better writers can charge higher rates. Continuously improve your writing and editing skills.

Client Type

Bigger companies and international clients tend to pay more than smaller local businesses.

Experience Level

As you gain more experience, your rates will increase. Build up an impressive portfolio.


A strong portfolio and great testimonials help you command higher fees. Deliver great work consistently.


Writers based in major South African cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town can often charge more.

Type Of Content

Long-form, highly researched writing pays more than short pieces. Expand your skills.

By optimizing these factors, you can maximize your earning potential over time.

Full-Time vs Part-Time Freelance Writing

Most freelance writers work part-time, around other jobs or commitments.

At the lower end of the rate range outlined above, it’s tough to earn a full-time income with part-time hours. However, with experience, raising rates, finding the right clients and optimizing your process, it’s possible to reach a full-time income.

Here’s a rough breakdown of potential monthly earnings working different hours as a freelance writer charging ~R400 per hour:

Hours Per WeekHours Per MonthEarnings Per Month

So you’ll need to work 20-30 hours per week to earn a decent full-time income. This is achievable but will require dedication and hard work to find enough clients and projects.

Getting Started as a Freelance Writer

If you want to develop a career as a freelance writer in South Africa, here are some tips:

  • Build a portfolio – create samples that showcase your skills
  • Create a website – use it to market your services
  • Network and pitch – reach out to potential clients
  • Join freelance platforms – like Fiverr and Upwork to find gigs
  • Specialize – pick a profitable niche and build expertise
  • Offer diverse services – like copywriting, blogging, editing, proofreading
  • Take on pro-bono work – to gain experience, testimonials and referrals
  • Learn marketing – promote yourself effectively online and offline
  • Develop workflow – use tools to work efficiently on multiple projects
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It takes time and dedication to build a successful freelance writing business in South Africa. But with hard work, leveraging your skills, and expanding your client base, you can earn a healthy income doing what you love!

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


While there is no definitive figure, skilled freelance writers in South Africa can expect to earn anywhere from R15,000 for part-time work, up to over R50,000+ per month as a top full-time freelancer.

The key is to continuously enhance your skills, niche down, and market yourself effectively to increase your rates and secure high-paying clients.

With the right strategy and perseverance, a freelance writing career can become a full-time, lucrative endeavor in South Africa.

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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]
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