So, you want to become a proofreader? Well, good news! You can, and there are plenty of options for you.
There’s a staggering number of websites out there. At last count, there were just about 1 billion (yes, 1 billion) active websites in existence. When you put together all the online content with print (newspapers, ads, magazines, pamphlets, etc.), that sure does make for a whole lot of copy — copy that needs to (or at least should) be proofread before it goes live or to print.
It’s no wonder then that becoming an online proofreader is one of the most popular ways for people to earn a living online.
If you’re an avid reader, chances are you’d make a great proofreader. This is especially true if you find you easily catch errors when reading — things that most people tend to not even notice.
If you’ve always thought you’d make a great proofreader, you’ve landed on the right page. I’ve written about proofreading quite a bit here at Work from Home Happiness.
So, I figured I’d put together a roundup of sorts to help guide you through the process of sourcing proofreading work online — yes, even if you’re a beginner. Ready? Let’s get starred — err, I mean started 🙂
What Exactly is a Proofreader?
The average person confuses editing and proofreading. In reality, they’re two very different (yet equally important) stages of the writing process. Editing happens before proofreading. It’s big-picture stuff like restructuring, deleting huge chunks of text if needed, and generally making sure that copy flows well and reads as it’s intended to be read.
Proofreading, on the other hand, is the final stage of writing. It’s when you meticulously go over content with a fine-tooth comb looking for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Proofreading helps turn a final draft into a perfectly polished, ready-to-go-live draft.
If you think you’ve got the chops to launch a proofreading career, make sure you sign up for this free proofreading webinar and training series.
It’s a must for anyone wanting to turn their proofreading skills into a profitable business.
What Does it Take to Become a Proofreader?
Most people believe you need an English degree to be a successful proofreader. But this isn’t always the case. If you decide to contract as a proofreader with any number of companies, one of the requirements may be a degree. Heck, some of them require advanced degrees before they’ll even consider you.
If you’re sitting there thinking, “Great. I don’t have a degree. I can’t make it as a proofreader,” well I’m here to tell you to think again. There are a number of different ways to become a successful proofreader. Yes, some of them require a degree. But many others (which we’ll discuss) do not.
How do I Get Started?
Before diving in, head on over to the Complete Beginner’s Guide to Proofreading Jobs Online. This is about as comprehensive as it gets when it comes to starting a career as a proofreader even if you have no experience. You’ll learn what it takes to become a proofreader, who uses proofreaders, and what you can expect if you decide to launch your own proofreading business.
I’m Ready to Apply
No problem! I keep a running list of companies that regularly hire proofreaders and editors (currently at 16). If you’re more comfortable working as a contractor with a proofreading/editing company, this is the list for you. Keep in mind, they each have their own sets of requirements and many of them require you to pass a proofreading test before they’ll consider bringing you on board.
I Prefer Working for Myself
That’s the spirit! If you want to become a proofreader on your own, you will be a freelance proofreader.
Freelancers find work in different ways. For example, you can network on LinkedIn (highly recommend). You can set up a freelance service website (also a good idea) to showcase your skills and gain new clients. Some freelancers even use social media to get gigs.
There are also freelance marketplace sites like CloudPeeps, Upwork, Fiverr, and Hubstaff Talent to consider. These sites require a profile and a cut of your profits, so keep that in mind when signing up!
Again, I highly recommend you start with this free proofreading webinar to learn more about the world of proofreading and whether it’s
write right for you 😉
Become A Proofreader: Online Training Options
So, you’ve got a solopreneur spirit and want to launch your own proofreading business? That’s great! There are a few options for you:
A general proofreader can tackle just about any document from academic papers to blog posts and even entire e-books. As a general proofreader you need to know common proofreading marks and how to attract clients. You can’t go wrong with online training through General Proofreading: Theory & Practice.
I’m sure you’ve seen court reporters before on your favorite true crime TV show or late night legal drama. Court reporters transcribe what is being said during legal proceedings — these transcripts become official records! But, before that happens someone has to go through a proofread the transcripts to make sure they are accurate and error free. That someone could be you!
And that’s exactly what you’ll learn over at Proofread Anywhere — how to become a proofreader for court reporters. Before you dive in, be sure to sign up for the free 7-day introductory course to find out if it’s the right proofreading path for you.
Is your dream job to get paid to read books all day? Well, as it turns out, you absolutely can get paid to read books as a proofreader for publishers.
My friend, Phon, has worked as a proofreader for a publisher of romance novels (awesome, right?) for years. And now she teaches other bibliophiles how to turn their love of reading into a full time career as a proofreader for publishers. Make sure to sign up for the free masterclass to proofreading first to gain insight into this in-demand proofreading option.
Is there Anything Else I Should Know?
I think that about covers it. But if you’d like to do some more digging, you can’t go wrong with an ebook or two. If you don’t already have the free Kindle App, download it so you can start reading a number of helpful proofreading titles on all your favorite devices. Then sign up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited so you can read in-depth ebooks like:
- How to Start a Successful Proofreading Business
- The Pocket Book of Proofreading: A Guide to Freelance Proofreading and Editing
These titles (and many more) are available to read for free when you sign up for a trial of Kindle Unlimited.
One-on-One Help To Proofreading Success
I’m a certified career coach that specializes in remote work. Part of my expertise is helping job seekers, like you, pick the right career path and then make a plan to land the perfect job.
I’ve helped other people establish proofreading careers from home, and I can help you too. Let’s start with a free 15-minute discovery call to see if we would be a good fit!
Have any questions? I’m here to help. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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