Did you know that you can earn money working online as a proofreader? You do not even need to have technical skills.
All you need to do is have a keen eye for details, even the little details. This is what makes one a good proofreader.
Today, proofreaders are on demand. Individuals are self-publishing books, companies need documents written in a professional manner, and a lot of content is being published online.
Therefore, they need proofreaders to ensure that the content they create has no grammatical errors and the intended audience can read it without struggling.
If you are beginning your journey as a proofreader, you should look up to and learn from Caitlin Pyle.
Caitlin Pyle is one of the best proofreaders in the world and the founder of Proofread Anywhere.
Below is an interview with Caitlin Pyle. It will enlighten you on how to make money as a proofreader.
Hi Caitlin! How did you get started as a proofreader?
I started my proofreading career when I went to college in Germany. I was passionate about helping students proofread their essays.
I can say that I have a grammar talent that enables me to note errors quickly. Through this skill, I was able to help other students make their writing better.
I continued to pursue my proofreading passion even after college. In 2012, I embarked on helping court reporters proofread their transcripts.
Due to my expertise at identifying even the smallest errors, people referred to me as "Eagle Eyes." In the next two years, I relied on proofreading as my primary source of income.
Intending to educate other people on how they can earn money from working as proofreaders, I started my blog Proofread Anywhere.
I love my job because it is very flexible. I can work and get paid from anywhere in the world.
What does proofreading entail, and how is it different from editing?
As a proofreader, you are the final eyes of the document. Even though a copy or write up has been edited, you need to go through it again to identify and correct errors.
Your goal is to look out for grammatical mistakes, misspellings, improper use of phrases, and punctuation marks, among other formatting issues.
Such errors might distort the write-up's intended message and make it very hard for the reader to read through.
When you proofread a document, you make it enjoyable to read such that a reader can draw the intended message from it.
Proofreaders are often confused with editors. Unlike editors, proofreaders do not rewrite or rearrange content. This is why it is essential to have both of these people to work on a document.
What skills must a proofreader have? Are there any tools needed?
To make proofreading a perfect job that you can do from home, the most important skill is having a keen eye for details.
Your attention to detail will enable you to find the errors and make the necessary adjustments quickly.
Being patient enough to read through the content without skimming is very crucial.
If you have a natural ability to spot errors, then that is an added advantage. However, such skills can be learned and improved over time.
You can take up a course and learn how to spot even the tiniest grammatical errors in a write-up.
It is common for people to think that proofreading is an easy job and can hire anyone. However, it takes time and a lot of practice to become excellent at this kind of work.
You do not need lots of tools to start this online job. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You also need proofreading software as they make work easier.
What are some of the ways that proofreaders can improve their skills?
One of the ways to improve your proofreading skills is by taking up training.
Since you are the last person to go through a document before it is published, you must produce high-quality work.
There are no rooms for errors, and if any, you will be held responsible. This calls for the need to learn from experts through courses.
If you get proper training, you will be able to do away with poor grammar habits.
Tell us a little bit about your proofreading course.
Sure! The General Proofreading: Theory & Practice Course is a great training program that provides insights about all aspects of proofreading.
When you enroll for this course, you will discover if proofreading is a perfect fit for you and how you can make money out of it.
You will also learn grammar and punctuation, how to proofread blogs and books, setting up your website, rates for your work, and how to get clients.
Let's just say you will be very well equipped to start and grow your proofreading business.
This course contains:
- 40+ lessons in 8 modules, ten grammar and punctuation worksheets
- 40 practice essays
- a detailed marketing module
This course also comes into two levels. We have Ignite and Ignite Plus.
If you enroll in the Ignite program, you will get lifetime access to the course.
The Ignite Plus program comes with lifetime access and an exam to check your skills.
If you pass this exam, you will be added to an exclusive mastermind group, a certificate of completion, and a self-publishing listing.
How long does it take to get a client after completing the course?
How fast you get your first client after taking this course entirely depends on you. Work is not going to find you automatically.
You will need to market your services, letting potential clients know that you can handle proofreading tasks for them.
It can be complicated and overwhelming to market your business. Fortunately, my course covers exactly how to get clients.
If you implement all the knowledge you gather from it, you will surely land your first client.
Accessing our exclusive mastermind group also helps because you can exchange ideas with other people who have taken that course.
We have built a wonderful and helpful community through that group, and I love it.
How much money do proofreaders make?
That is a great question. I would like to state that the amount of money that you can make depends on the level of your skill, your rates, and the speed with which you work.
Your income can increase if you gain more knowledge and become more efficient.
And proofreading is not a kind of work that makes you rich quickly. But you can make a comfortable living out of it.
When I worked part-time, between 20 to 25 hours a week, I made $43000 per year. You can now see the possible amount of money that can be earned.
Can a person become a full-time proofreader?
Proofreading can be whatever you want it to be. You can make it a full-time or part-time job.
All this depends on your goal. If you can commit to working more hours and market your business, you can do it as a full-time job.
If you want just a little extra money, you can pursue it as a part-time job. Proofreading offers a lot of flexibility.
What are the challenges that aspiring proofreaders face?
Fear and self-doubt are the main challenges that newbies face.
It is usual for a person to feel that way when they are starting something new. They are not sure about so many things about proofreading.
This fear, however, should not hinder you from pursuing this career path. It should build your confidence, and you should take action.
You can overcome this fear by improving your skills, learning the poor grammar habits that you must avoid, and increasing your knowledge in this area.
Practice will make your work perfect too.
Caitlin, what advice would you give people who are getting started on proofreading?
Things do not always work out fast as we would like or imagine. Just stick with proofreading no matter how long it takes to perfect the business.
You might not find your first client immediately. However bad the situation seems, you need to persevere. Do not give up.
Good things take time to build. Keep taking action towards being better, and you will become a successful proofreader.
Thank you, Caitlin, for your time. I would recommend aspiring proofreaders to follow your advice and even enroll in your course.
As you can see from the above interview, proofreading is a lucrative online job that you can pursue. You just need to implement the tips effectively.
Online Proofreading Skills You Must Have
Besides the guidance Caitlyn has provided, other skills can help you get clients faster. These include;
- You must know the language used in a write-up. If you cannot speak English, you cannot get hired to proofread a document written in English.
- You need to have a mental focus. This means that whenever you are proofreading, you must entirely focus on it. Avoid distractions because you can easily miss out on some errors.
- You should adapt to different writing styles. Remember that different authors write in different ways. Being in a position to proofread different writing techniques will help you work for more clients.
- You should be familiar with digital editing and proofreading tools. Proofreading just by reading a document might not be an efficient way to do your work.
- You should practice professionalism. Even though proofreading allows you to set your own working conditions, you must treat your clients professionally.
Listen to their proofreading needs and address them. Deliver their work on time. You need to create a good reputation so that you can secure long-term clients as well as referrals.
- It is also essential to have a passion for reading and writing. It is going to be extremely difficult to proofread documents if you hate reading.
This job entails reading through documents, and if you don't fancy that, then maybe this is not the best online business to pursue.
Let's look at how you can get jobs as a proofreader.
Where to find Online Proofreading jobs
- Online platforms
You can proofread for individuals, companies, blogs, and authors, among other clients.
To get these clients, you need to know some of the online platforms where you can get them.
Here are some of the platforms where you can search for clients;
Whenever you are searching for a job online, always ensure to read the job requirements well, and see if you can handle the work and deliver the expected results.
Consider if the companies offer work on a part-time or full-time basis and how they pay.
As a beginner, your skill level might not enable you to handle complex tasks.
Do not do those tasks because if you do them wrongly, you might get a negative review, which will prevent you from getting clients.
- Networking with other proofreaders
Another way to get jobs is by connecting with other proofreaders. This strategy opens up many opportunities.
These people might not necessarily give you jobs, but you can learn a lot of ways that can help you improve your services.
Sometimes when they have extra work, they can hire you to do it for them.
- Creating a portfolio
You could also consider creating a website or a blog informing people about your expertise in proofreading.
By sharing content about proofreading, you can attract potential clients.
This is precisely what Caitlin does on her website. She publishes content that helps proofreaders start this job and improve their skills.
This interview with Caitlin on making money as a proofreader sheds essential insights that can help you build a business around this area.
As discussed, you need to acquire the skills through training, improve them, and market your business effectively.
The best thing about proofreading is that it is lucrative, and you can set working conditions that suit you. It also allows a lot of flexibility.