In a world of text messages and informal digital communication, proper grammar and spelling often goes out the window in favor of quick responses and abbreviated sentences, YKWIM? And punctuation and capitalization — well, forget about it!
And, to be honest, it’s perfectly fine for informal communication. In fact, it’s even recommended.
A recent study found that text messages with punctuation can make you seem insincere.
Who knew putting that period at the end of a text could make you seem like a jerk? (Not this gal — I always end a sentence with punctuation, text message or not, sorry for the offense).
But just because the preferred type of everyday communication doesn’t emphasize proper punctuation, spelling or grammar, doesn’t mean it’s a lost art entirely. In fact, your grammar know-how and ability to put together a coherent sentence can actually be a lucrative skill.
If you proudly identify as a card-carrying member of the Grammar Police, have taken a stance on the Oxford comma, and can use they’re, their, and there correctly in a sentence, well then, I bet you can find a side hustle that puts your skills to good use (i.e., makes money!).
If you can spot an error easily enough, you can side hustle as a proofreader. From bloggers to ebook authors and even court reporters, there’s no shortage of work to be found as a proofreader. In fact, this single mom earned $3,000 in ten short weeks with her proofreading side hustle — you can, too.
Popular to contrary belief, you don’t necessarily need an English degree or years of experience to earn extra money as a proofreader. You will, however, need a sharp set of eyes so you can identify in-text errors.
Where to Find Work
A number of companies hire remote proofreaders to work on everything from academic papers to medical reports. Some of these companies are very entry-level friendly, as long as you can pass a test, and others require advanced degrees combined with subject matter expertise.
If you’re not already, you could sign up as a freelancer on Upwork and fill out a profile. It’s free to join and apply to gigs each month. You only have to pay fees once you’ve landed a gig and been paid by the client.
You never know what kind of work you’ll find on Upwork, but sometimes you can stumble upon some quick and easy gigs like the one above — if you landed this gig, you could earn as much as $250/week working about 15 hours or so — not too bad for a side hustle.
Proofreading jobs are hit or miss on Indeed. But it is worth checking every so often to see if there’s anything available that seems like a good fit for your proofreading side hustle.
Just type “proofreader” in the “what” box above and “remote” in the “where” box and hit “Find Jobs” — chances are, there’s at least a handful of gigs worth applying for at any given time.
If you’re not thrilled about contracting with a company, signing up on Upwork or keen to search Indeed for a gig or two, you could always take your side hustle into your own hands and go solo. It may take a little longer to see income coming in this way, but it often gives you the most earning potential and flexibility than the other options. This get-started guide to proofreading will help show you the way if you’re interested in pursuing a solo side hustle as a proofreader.
Grammar buffs can find tons of side hustle success as a writer — just ask Elna Cain, mother to twins and successful side hustler. She started from scratch and was able to build a profitable business even though she had no experience and spent most of her days chasing two toddlers.
And, she’s not the only one — I too started freelance writing as a side hustle and ended up turning it into my full-time job. Eventually, I started this blog, but I would have never gotten to this point had I not jumped into the freelance writing waters first 🙂
But, before turning your great grammar prowess into a side hustle, remember: Everybody’s writing side hustle is different — some start with content mills, others find clients on social media and some decide to apply to gigs posted on popular job board sites.
Remember, your side hustle is just that, yours. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong or should be starting somewhere else — do what makes sense for you! Got it? Great! With that being said, let’s look at some of the more popular ways to get started as a freelance writer on the side.
Pick a Niche
I’ve said it many times: Whether you want to be a full-time freelancer or a part-time side hustler, you’ve got to pick a niche. Not only does picking a niche bring you overall clarity when it comes to writing, it helps you narrow down your gig search so you can find something quickly and easily. And that’s what a side hustle is all about after all — earning money. Trust me when I say, you’ll earn more as a niche writer AND find work much faster. Period.
What Will Your Niche Be?
It can be anything, really. My original niche was legal writing. I have a background and education in law, so it just seemed natural to start off writing content for lawyers and law firms.
When picking your niche, it should be something that you enjoy writing about or have experience in. Some niches to consider include:
- Personal finance
Really, the list could go on and on. If you’re stuck for a niche idea, Skyword has 5 Tips for Finding Your Content Writing Niche to help you narrow down your options. You can also head on over to the Dummies website (you know, those yellow and black books that will help you learn everything from knitting to investing).
Take a look at their existing categories for inspiration. The Dummies people do a lot of research and investigation before they write a book — so if they’ve found something to be a worthwhile subject, you can bet it’s a pretty good freelance writing niche, too.
You’ve got your niche picked out, great! Now it’s time to start writing. Aside from content mills, like Textbroker, you could sign up as a freelance writer on Upwork and start bidding like crazy until you land your first gig (the first one is the hardest one). There’s several other things worth considering if you want to jump start your freelance writing career today — you can even try a combination of sites to see which ones make sense for you.
Where to Look for Writing Gigs
If you’re not crazy about the whole bidding thing or writing for a content mill, no problem, head on over to the ProBlogger job board. Here, you can directly apply for all kinds of gigs ranging from one-off projects to steady work as a contributor. It’s worth checking ProBlogger at least once a day — you just never know what will be posted.
Other good sources of reliable writing gigs include:
- LinkedIn Jobs (networking can go a long way in landing you writing jobs!)
- Freelance Writing Gigs (a roundup of writing gigs)
If you’re active on social media, especially Twitter, you can find a gig or two just by sharing writing-related content and making your profile search-friendly.
<—-That’s me! As you can see, I’ve strategically placed the hashtag #freelancewriter in my profile. Believe it or not, this has resulted in some connections that have then turned into writing gigs.
It also helps that I tend to share writing-related content on my account at least once a day. Typically, I just pop on over to AllTop, check out the latest freelance writing news and share some of my favorites.
This too helps to connect with other writers and eventually clients. Like I said, in the world of writing side hustles, networking can go a long way in landing work!
Speaking of networking, you could certainly use your LinkedIn profile to side hustle your way to success as a grammar buff — there’s tons of opportunities to find higher-paying clients here than anywhere else. If you’re not already, create a profile on LinkedIn and start making connections. After that, go visit Jorden over at Writing Revolt for her exact method on how she uses LinkedIn to land high-paying clients — it’s a must-read for anyone wanting to start a writing side hustle.
There’s a lot of transcription work to be found, making it an easy-to-enter into side hustle for those with talent. Too often, people think anyone and everyone can make a living transcribing. But, the truth is, there’s definitely a lot of skill involved and, although there’s entry-level transcription opportunities anyone can try, some people just don’t have the talent for it.
But, if you’re a grammar buff, you’re halfway there to being a successful side-hustling transcriber — the other part is being able to accurately type what is being said into a document. It also helps if you’re a fast typist because in the world of transcription the faster you are, the more you’ll earn.
If you’d like to try your hand at typing, this beginner’s guide is a good place to start. As with other side hustle opportunities, you can set up shop on your own and source your own clients — and believe me when I say, there’s plenty of them out there.
Everyone from podcasters to best-selling authors use transcriptionists — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to people who turn to transcriptionists for help. So, there’s definitely work to be found, if you know where to look.
Where to find Work
There’s not really a job board out there dedicated to transcription jobs. But, you can find tons of helpful information on forums. Head on over to the Transcription and Writing Forum over at WAHM and browse around a bit. You can usually find job leads and helpful hints — which is especially useful as a newbie side hustler.
Other Side Hustle Ideas for Grammar Aficionados
While proofreading, transcription, and writing are the three main side hustle ideas for grammar buffs — there’s other gigs you might want to consider too. These might not be as readily available as the other three, but they’re still a great way to put your grammar skills to good use and earn some extra money at the same time:
Gradiate – Become a Genius at Gradiate and help grade English papers and problems. You’ll also offer feedback and help students do their best work.
Wonder – Join a team of virtual researchers at Wonder and use your grammar skills to answer questions by conveying research in a well-written synopsis.
ETS Scorer – Your grammar know-how will come in handy when you work from home as a scorer for ETS.
Virtual Assistant – A lot of professionals rely on virtual assistants to handle content-heavy tasks (take bloggers, for example). There’s no shortage of VA jobs out there, and you can even start your own VA side hustle by reading this guide.
Blogger – I might be slightly biased, but this is my favorite grammar-savvy side hustle. You don’t need any experience to get started and you can easily turn this side hustle into a full-time job.
As with most things, getting started is the hardest part! But, you got this — after all, you already have the skills needed to succeed, now you just need to put them to work. To help you manage your new side hustle and get off to a great start, sign up below to receive my bonus guide: 5 Free Tools to Manage Your New Side Hustle (Grammar Pro Edition)!
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And, if you have any questions, you know where to find me: firstname.lastname@example.org I’m also known to hang out on Twitter under the handle @AshleeWrites — Don’t be shy, drop me a line — I’m here to help.