Are you good at spotting errors and proficient in spelling and grammar? If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to parlay those skills and find yourself the best online proofreading jobs.
After all, these jobs pay as much as $35,000 to $40,000 a year.
In recent years, proofreading has come into high demand because online businesses rely on content to grow.
Thus, while writers create the content, there has to be someone to check for spelling and grammar errors before these articles are published on blogs and professional websites.
For you, that’s good news, as it offers you an opportunity to make money from home while enjoying a very flexible schedule.
Here’s how to get started.
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What is a Proofreader?
A proofreader meticulously reads through an article, manuscript, or other kinds of text documents to spot and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
As a freelance proofreader, your job is to make sure that the content submitted by writers is free from mistakes that could make the published article look less professionally written. Thus, having an eye for detail and the ability to be willing to look for even the smallest of typos is key.
In some cases, proofreading is mixed together with editing. Although technically, the two are different jobs. This is why you’ll see large publications and media firms have proofreaders and editors.
In the writing process, editing and proofreading are two different stages with editing coming before proofreading (and after writing).
- Step 1: Article is written
- Step 2: Editing
- Step 3: Proofreading
in terms of function, editing focuses on the readability, clarity, and tone of the content. As such, it’s less concerned with punctuation and grammar. Instead, its goal is to improve the article’s ability to deliver its message to the reader.
Do You Need Any Training Before Becoming a Professional Proofreader?
Technically, you can offer your proofreading services to anyone who’s willing to hire you. But, you probably won’t get the best rates. That’s because you likely won’t have any experience or credentials to back you up.
Also, doing so means you’ll be learning as you go along. Because your client’s “word of mouth” goes a long way in getting future gigs, this is not a good idea.
A better way to go about things is to take a legit proofreading course like Proofreading Anywhere. This is taught by Caitlyn Pyle, who’s a professional proofreader, who earned over $36,000 a year proofreading part-time.
If you want to get a better idea of what proofreading is all about and its earning potential, check out her free 76-minute workshop. It goes through the process of proofreading, what you’ll need to learn, how to work as a proofreader, and earn money from home doing so.
How Much Can You Earn as a Proofreader?
Experienced proofreaders earn between $30 to $50 an hour. As a beginner, you’ll be earning closer to $10 to $20 an hour. Since it requires less work and effort compared to writing, you’re not going to be paid as much as freelance writers are.
That said, it’s easier to finish reading an entire article. This allows you to take on more work to even out the earnings if your goal is to make more money.
Just as importantly, how much you get paid will depend a lot on who your client is. Some companies will pay higher rates for professional proofreaders whom they believe are reliable.
As with freelance writing, you also get to work on your own pace, set your own schedule, and work from home.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Proofreader?
While it’s a good idea to have the proper training when you get your first client, there’s no requirement you need to fulfill to become a proofreader.
That’s one of the reasons that makes it easy to work from home doing this job. You don’t need a degree, certification or experience to get started. But, you do need to know what you’re doing.
This is why I honestly believe that taking a good proofreading course is the way to go. It shortens the learning curve, teaches you how to find clients and where to get more work.
That said, successful proofreaders do have some qualities that help them excel in this kind of work. This includes:
- Know the Language Inside Out. English language content proofreaders get the most work for obvious reasons. Thus, that’s the most profitable market to go into. That said, depending on where you live and what languages you’re proficient in, you could do proofreading in those languages. But whichever language you choose to proofread in, you must have a mastery of that language. This allows you to check for spelling, grammar, numerical and punctuation errors. You can likewise take advantage of online tools like Grammarly which does an amazing job doing as well.
- Like to Read. Reading is at the very core of proofreading. And, you’ll need to be able to read a lot. Because you’ll be paid by the hour or sometimes by the word, it’s crucial that are a voracious reader. More importantly, you need to be able to combine speed with accuracy. This means being able to read a lot of text while not missing any details like missing punctuations or misspellings.
- Attention to Detail. In addition to being able to read a lot, you need to have an eye for detail. In many cases, the smallest details will make a difference between a proficient proofreader and an average one. This is key because you’ll often be given text that’s a few thousand words long. Thus, being able to spot all the incorrect spelling, numeral inconsistencies, and other errors is key to impressing your clients.
- Proper Training. Proper training lets you know what to look for. Most successful proofreaders have a system they go through. This allows them to swiftly check an article and know exactly what to look for. Thus, training goes a long way in helping you speed up your work while being efficient at it as well.
- Marketing. Like all freelance work, you’ll need to learn how to market your own services and find out how to get clients. This makes it different from a regular job where the work comes to you. Here, marketing and networking go along way in helping you find consistent work. In some cases, the right connection will take you a high paying client that produces a lot of content. A few examples of these are large blogs that publish 10-50 articles a day. Or media outfits that can produce over 100 articles daily.
Best Online Proofreading Jobs
Now that you know what the job entails,
Flexjobs is a work from home job search site where employers and freelancers find one another. It’s an amazing place to find high paying proofreading and editing jobs. Although, you’ll also see a lot of freelance writing jobs as well as other kinds of work available there.
It’s important to note that FlexJobs is a premium job site. And, you need to pay $15 a month to get full access and apply for work that’s listed on its boards.
The reason it charges this amount is that it vets the employers first before allowing them to post. This extra time and work cost money. And, that’s what the fee covers.
However, this ensures that all the job listings are legit. And, you won’t be scammed or end up doing work and not getting paid. Just as importantly, because of its premium nature, the postings on FlexJobs are of higher quality.
This means you’ll likely find higher-paying gigs here than other places.
Upwork is another freelancer marketplace where you’ll find all sorts of employers looking for people who can do varying jobs. While data entry, freelance writing, and software programming are among the most popular jobs here, you’ll see a lot of proofreading jobs as well.
The biggest difference between Upwork and FlexJobs is that Upwork is free to join. This makes it easier to find freelance proofreading jobs if you’re not ready to start paying the premium $15/month with FlexJobs.
However, because its free, there’s no vetting of employers. So, you’ll need to do that for yourself to make sure you don’t end up doing work and not getting paid for it.
Another difference between the two sites is that Upwork has a lot of users who are from developing countries. While that’s not a bad thing per se, many of these countries have much lower salary benchmarks. As such, expect a lot of jobs priced between the $5 and $10 per hour range.
As a beginner proofreader, you may take some of these jobs for the experience. But, once you have some experience and have a higher pay scale, you’ll want to filter out these jobs.
As its name suggests, Fiverr was originally designed for micro gigs that cost $5 each. However, it has since grown and you’ll see a lot of expert freelances like graphic designers charge over $2,000 per piece of art they create. You’ll also see writers charging between $30 to over $150 per article.
That gives you a chance to find some jobs via Fiverr as a proofreader. But, like Upwork, you will want to screen different users to see which one have good rating and actually pay the rate you’re asking.
Other Places to Find Proofreading Jobs Online
Online proofreading jobs are in demand because of the huge amount of content that’s being published online. As a professional proofreader, you’ll be able to earn a good income while working from home.
Hopefully, the list above helps you find a good proofreading job where you can showcase your reading and grammar skills.