How To Become A Freelance Proofreader

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Working in the virtual space is great–you can work from anywhere, set your own hours, and best of all, your own rates! But with all the different job options, it can be tricky to find a starting point. 

If you’re just now venturing into the virtual job market, freelance proofreading is a fantastic place to start. It’s also a great fit if you have an interest in writing but don’t feel quite confident enough to step into it immediately.  Writers are always looking for proofreaders.

In this blog post, I’m going to explain exactly what you need to know to start making money as a professional proofreader. My tips are practical, simple, and you can start implementing them a-s-a-p. 

Read on to learn how to get started!

What is proofreading?

Proofreaders are responsible for ensuring the copy is error-free. They look at spelling, grammar, and punctuation to make sure the text is perfectly polished before it’s ready for the world to see. It differs slightly from editing in that often a proofreader will not focus on things like sentence structure or tone. 

Some types of proofreading jobs you might find are for:

  • Webpages
  • Blog posts
  • Magazine articles
  • Essays
  • Transcripts
  • Legal papers
  • Ad copy

A proofreader comes in at the last stage of the editing process. At this point, an editor or copyeditor has already run through the material so it’s uber important to have the utmost attention to detail.  

Proofreaders have a crucial role in the editing process since they’re the last eyes to read for revisions. If you’re a detail-oriented, type-A personality who enjoys reading or writing, this job was probably made for you.

Related Post: How To Start A Freelance Writing Business

How do I start proofreading?

You don’t need a special degree to make it as a proofreader, but you will need particular skills. 

High proficiency in English is a must–you need to be meticulous when it comes to finding errors, and you won’t be able to if you’re not familiar with best practices of grammar and spelling. If you find yourself a little rusty, you can use free resources online to sharpen your skills and even test them out with a quiz or two. 

This website here is a great starting point. It offers a free 7-day course on jumpstarting your own proofreading business. With minimal investment (of your time), it’s a great way to get your feet wet. 

After brushing up on your skills, you need to do some research on what proofreading jobs are available. This will allow you to see what businesses are looking for, and you can craft a resume that resonates accordingly. 

UpWork is one place you can use to start searching for gigs. By doing a quick search here for proofreading, UpWork generated over 2,000 jobs! Here are a couple of examples:

LinkedIn and Facebook groups are other great places to find job postings.

As you do your search, you’ll see there are different niches you can specialize in as well. For example, some proofreaders work primarily with authors, or others may specialize in the legal or medical field. 

If you have previous experience in a particular industry,  that may be a great place for you to start. It’s great to be open when you’re new to proofreading, but picking a niche is a powerful way to brand yourself professionally. 

Once you have an idea of what businesses are looking for, you can craft your resume around the experience and skills you have that are related to the job. 

If you have no previous experience, you might want to offer your services for free or at a discount in exchange for testimonials. You can also consider becoming a certified proofreader, which will give you more credibility. 

Once you have your resume done, and possibly a few references, you can start searching and applying to jobs right away.

Keep in mind that that like most freelance jobs, rates for proofreading vary widely. 

Entry-level proofreaders can earn around $25/hour. If you are more experienced, you might make anywhere from $35/hour to as much as $60-$100/hour! Pretty good potential for a side gig right?

Proofread Court Transcripts

Become A Freelance Proofreader 

By now you can probably tell whether or not proofreading is the right freelance business for you. 

If you decide to give it a go, make sure to save this blog post so you can reference my tips again and again.  

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Hello there! I’m Jill, thanks for visiting my blog. I help women create work-life flexibility and financial stability by building a profitable online business they love.  Feel free to send me a message and let me know how I can help YOU!

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