How To Start Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

How To Start Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

Overview of writing articles for money in South Africa

Writing articles for money has become an increasingly popular way for people in South Africa to earn an income online.

With the growth of the internet and demand for online content, there are now many opportunities for aspiring writers to write articles and blog posts for pay.

For those with strong writing skills and the ability to research and write on a range of topics, article writing can provide a flexible online job opportunity that can be done from home.

It can serve as a full-time career for some, while also providing a supplemental income stream for others with existing jobs or commitments.

Some of the major benefits of writing articles for money in South Africa include setting your own hours and being your own boss.

You also gain valuable writing experience and exposure by publishing articles online.

The ability to work remotely means you can write from anywhere with an internet connection.

However, making a consistent full-time income just from writing articles can be challenging.

Factors like finding clients, dealing with low rates, and inconsistent work can make it difficult to solely rely on this income stream.

But for those able to stick with it and market their services effectively, it can develop into a rewarding career.

Overall, writing articles for money in South Africa presents a flexible opportunity for South African writers to earn an income online. While rewarding, it requires commitment and hard work to find success in the competitive online writing market.

Pros of Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

Writing articles for money as a freelancer can be an attractive opportunity for those looking for a flexible way to earn an income online in South Africa. Some of the major benefits of writing articles for pay include:

a). Flexible Hours

One of the top advantages of writing articles for money in South Africa is the ability to set your own hours and be your own boss.

Instead of working set office hours or shifts, you can structure your day in a way that suits your lifestyle and other commitments.

Many article writers work part-time before or after a main job.

You can choose to work in the mornings, afternoons, evenings, weekends – whenever is most productive for you.

This flexibility makes it appealing to parents, students, retirees and anyone looking for work-life balance.

b). Work From Home

Article writing in South Africa is an online job that allows you to work 100% remotely from the comfort of your own home.

By leveraging your laptop and an internet connection, you can take on writing work without needing to commute to an office or workplace.

This remote work arrangement can save you time and money traveling to/from work each day.

It also gives you the freedom to work from anywhere – at home, coffee shops or while traveling.

c). Supplemental Income Stream

In addition to flexibility and remote work, writing articles in South Africa can serve as an excellent side income to supplement your existing career or earnings.

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Many writers take on articles, blog posts and other freelance assignments in their spare time outside of a full-time job.

The extra income can help cover monthly bills, savings goals and discretionary spending. While it may not pay enough for full-time work, it can pad your income during your downtime.

d). Gain Valuable Writing Experience

Writing articles in South Africa for various clients across different industries can expand your writing skills and experience.

As you research and write on new topics, you develop subject matter expertise.

The practice of regularly writing, editing and submitting articles helps sharpen your writing abilities over time. This gained experience enhances your portfolio and expertise as a writer.

e). Work From Anywhere

Whether you want to work while traveling or reside in a rural area lacking job options – article writing in South Africa allows you location independence.

As long as you have a laptop and Internet access, you can write articles from anywhere in South Africa or even abroad.

This gives you the freedom to work while on the go or live wherever you want.

In summary, the flexible schedule, ability to work remotely, supplemental earnings and valuable experience make writing articles for money in South Africa an appealing opportunity for South African freelance writers. The freedom and convenience are often major motivators for giving it a try.

Challenges of Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

Challenges of Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

While writing articles in South Africa for pay comes with nice perks like flexible hours and remote work, making a steady full-time income from freelance writing can be challenging in South Africa.

Some of the top challenges to be aware of include:

Finding Enough Clients and Work

When first starting out, one of the biggest challenges is finding enough clients and consistent article writing work to fill your schedule.

Without an established portfolio or network, you’ll need to actively prospect potential clients through cold emails, bids on freelance sites and direct pitches.

Until you build up your reputation and client base, you may struggle landing enough assignments.

Stiff Competition Among Writers

The online writing space in South Africa has gotten highly competitive in recent years.

There are now thousands of skilled writers in South Africa bidding on article jobs through prolific freelance sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

Underbidding from writers willing to work for very low rates can make it hard for writers looking to earn fair pay. Standing out requires strong writing samples and effective self-promotion.

Low Rates Offered by Some Clients

Sadly, many inexperienced clients seek absurdly low rates of say 5-10 cents per word.

This makes it virtually impossible to earn reasonable money from article writing without working ungodly hours each day.

Writers in South Africa must become skilled at pricing their services fairly and identifying reasonable paying clients. Otherwise, profit margins can be thin when accepting lowball rates.

Inconsistent Workflow and Income

It takes diligence to maintain a steady flow of new assignments with multiple clients.

There is almost always a natural ebb and flow to freelance work.

Some weeks you’ll be overloaded with articles, while other weeks might be sparse if clients cut back on assignments.

This irregular workflow can lead to an inconsistent income each month.

Rejection and Critical Feedback

Preparing for rejection and constructive criticism is key.

Not every article you pitch or submit will get approved. Some clients may request major revisions or edits to meet their standards.

Receiving critical feedback can be tough, but improves your writing skills over time.

Developing thick skin helps shrug off negative experiences.

Self-Motivation and Discipline Needed

Without a structured office setting or boss overseeing your work, freelance writing requires much self-discipline.

There will be days you feel unmotivated and distracted at your home office.

Pushing through those hurdles and sticking to deadlines takes inner drive and commitment.

Lacking self-motivation makes working independently a challenge.

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In summary, making a steady full-time income from writing articles in South Africa takes dedication and hard work.

But those able to jump the common hurdles often find great reward and satisfaction building a freelance writing career on their own terms.

It’s certainly not easy, but perseverance does pay off.

Skills Needed for Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

Skills Needed for Writing Articles for Money in South Africa

Succeeding as a freelance writer in South Africa and writing quality articles for pay requires having certain core skills. Some of the key skills needed include:

Exceptional Writing Abilities

First and foremost, excellent writing skills are a must.

You need to be able to write clear, concise, well-researched articles tailored to diverse topics and audiences.

Strong spelling, grammar and diction are essential. These core writing mechanics need to come easily and naturally. Clients expect clean, articulate, professional writing.

Research Capabilities

Top-notch research skills allow you to delve into unfamiliar topics and pull together articles even on subject matter outside your expertise.

Fact-finding and synthesizing research are crucial.

The best writers can analyze sources, determine key info, and translate research into compelling articles for readers. Expect to get assigned niche topics to write on frequently.

Self Editing Skills

With tight deadlines, writers must edit and refine their own drafts efficiently.

You need a keen eye for catching mistakes in spelling, grammar, structure, tone and flow.

Mastering self-editing allows submitting polished copy the first time. If clients must edit heavily themselves, you risk losing their business.

Ability to Write on Diverse Topics

In freelance writing in South Africa, you never know what random topics you’ll be assigned next.

Successful writers can adapt their skills to tackle new niches and master unfamiliar subject matter.

Being versatile and able to write knowledgably on many topics makes you more employable. Narrow expertise limits work opportunities.

Consistency and Reliability

Freelance writers in South Africa only succeed if they consistently submit great work and meet deadlines.

Poor quality or late articles will quickly tarnish your reputation.

Clients value writers who are reliable and deliver error-free articles on time as promised. Show you’re accountable.

Self Motivated and Driven

With no boss watching over you, you must stay motivated and driven every day to get work done without supervision.

Successful freelance writers in South Africa have high initiative taking their career into their own hands.

They diligently market services, hit targets and are committed to excellence.

Expertise Crafting Headlines

One overlooked but crucial skill is crafting compelling headlines.

In the online world of browsing, strong headlines are critical to grabbing and keeping readers’ attention.

Study headline writing techniques that provoke curiosity, emotion and clicks. Great headlines elevate the impact of your articles.

In summary, freelance article writing for money in South Africa requires wearing many hats beyond just writing.

Researching, marketing, editing, planning, pitching and more. Leverage these key skills to maximize your success and income writing articles for pay.

Where to Find Article Writing Jobs in South Africa

Where to Find Article Writing Jobs in South Africa

For those venturing into freelance writing, a common hurdle is finding enough quality clients and article writing opportunities to fill your workload.

So where exactly should you look to land writing assignments and start earning? Here are some of the top sources:

Freelance Job Boards

Great platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer have extensive databases of clients looking to outsource writing work.

You can quickly create a profile showcasing your skills, past work and areas of expertise. Effective profiles tend to attract inviting job leads and client invites.

Direct Pitches to Companies

Do some investigating to find companies, blogs and publications that actively hire freelance writers so you can pitch your services directly to them.

Personalized cold emails and tailored article ideas tend to get better response rates than generic applications.

Social Media

Promote your writing services and availability through platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Share samples of your writing and use relevant hashtags. Connect with other writers and editors. Social media is a free tool to expand your network and visibility.

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Job Search Sites

General employment sites like Indeed, Glassdoor and SimplyHired often post a variety of freelance writing gigs in South Africa alongside regular job listings.

For example, you may find clients looking for writers to create blog content, website copy, newsletters and more.

Content Agencies

There are various content marketing agencies and writing firms that develop articles and other content for business clients.

Contact them to see if they hire and manage a roster of freelance writers to tap for assignments.

Problogger Job Board

Highly regarded in the writing community, the Problogger job board compiles vetted freelance writing jobs in South Africa from clients specifically seeking blog content, articles and copy.

All opportunities are screened for fairness.

Journalism Job Boards

Those with journalism backgrounds should check resources like JournalismJobs.com, MediaBistro and Ivy Exec that cater to media roles.

You’ll find writing assignments at newspapers, magazines, websites and other publications.


As you network and impress clients, encourage referrals to their contacts looking for writers.

Nothing is more powerful than a direct referral from a satisfied client to vouch for your skills and get your foot in the door.

With persistence and creativity, every writer can find quality writing opportunities in South Africa. Tap your networks, search online boards, and hammer the pavement pitching to build a steady client base and writing workload.

How Much Does Article Writing Pay in South Africa?

How Much Does Article Writing Pay in South Africa

For those considering writing articles for money as a side gig or full-time career, an important question is: How much does it really pay? The rates earned for freelance writing vary greatly based on factors like:

Your Experience Level

Not surprisingly, the more experienced a writer you are, the higher your pay rate potential. Pro writers with years in the field, hundreds of quality clips, and top skills can earn between R150-R300 per hour. However, inexperienced writers often start around just R50-R100 per hour.

Type of Writing

Some writing formats and assignments pay better than others. For example, expertly written long-form articles around 2,000+ words often pay R15-25 per word. Short blog posts may only pay R2-5 per word. Highly technical writing also earns more than general writing.

Client Budget

Major corporations and publications pay the top rates in the R150-300 per hour (and up) range for premium content. Small businesses and blogs often pay much less in the R50-100 per hour range. Know your worth, but price accordingly based on each client’s resources.

Your Niche

Writers knowledgeable in highly specialized, technical niches like science, law, finance can earn higher rates for their expertise. Generalists who write on all topics tend to sit at the lower end of the pay scale around R50-100 per hour.


Like many roles, pay can vary based on location. Writers based in major metro areas or working for companies in bigger cities may earn above-average rates. Those residing in rural areas or small towns tend to earn towards the lower end of the pay spectrum.

Full-Time vs. Part-Time

Those able to write articles 40+ hours a week as their sole job can earn higher total income between R20,000-R40,000+ per month through consistency. Part-timers fitting in sporadic writing hours earn far less, but supplement other income.

Overhead Costs

Remember as a freelancer you pay for your own benefits, computer, Internet, software, office space, etc. Factor these overhead costs into your rates so you still earn a competitive wage. Don’t sacrifice pay to cover expenses.

Setting fair rates is a balancing act based on these factors. While tough starting out, talented full-time freelance writers in South Africa can earn R20,000-R40,000+ per month in time. Even part-timers can supplement earnings nicely through writing.

Key Takeaways

  • Writing articles for money in South Africa presents flexible remote work opportunities for South Africans to earn income online either full-time or as a side gig.
  • Major benefits include flexible hours, ability to work from home, supplemental earnings, skill development, and freedom to live/work anywhere.
  • Challenges writers face involve finding clients, competition, possible low rates, inconsistent work, rejection, and need for self-motivation.
  • Top skills needed include exceptional writing, research capabilities, editing, versatility, consistency, drive and crafting headlines.
  • Look for writing jobs on freelance boards, through pitching, social media, job sites, agencies, and referrals.
  • Pay rates vary based on factors like experience, project type, client budget, niche, location, full/part-time, and overhead costs.

With dedication, skilled full-time writers can potentially earn R20,000-R40,000+ per month long-term in South Africa.

Read also: No. 1 Guide To Become a Freelance Writer 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:

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