Learn How You Can Earn Online With This Freelance Proofreading Jobs from Home Guide That Gives You a Comprehensive List and Tips.
Are you a connoisseur of the queen’s language or any other language for that matter?
For the sake of this article, I will focus on proofreading in the context of the English language. If you are bilingual, even better for you. All languages have a market for proofreaders.
You might be happy to know that your copy troubleshooting skills can go a long way and even make you a tidy income down the road.
Given the vast amounts of content that is produced by bloggers, journalists, and authors today there is a high demand for freelance proofreaders and editors.
What is Proofreading?
It’s sometimes easy to confuse the difference between editors and proofreaders, so out of the gate let’s break it down.
Proofreaders typically mark errors and leave the final changes up to the author while editors make all the changes within the content.
The job of the proofreader does not involve in-depth changes or fact-checking. The purpose of proofreading is to correct punctuation, formatting, accuracy, and getting rid of spelling mistakes.
Proofreading is all about analyzing documentation on a visual and content level for final changes after it’s gone through its stages of revision.
How to become a proofreader
To become a successful proofreader, it’s important to have a good grasp of the English language, grammar, and punctuation. It might appear that anyone who can speak and write in English can become a good proofreader, but it’s not always that obvious.
People who speak English as a second language sometimes tend to write words the way they speak them in their native language. Swahili is my first language and I make that mistake sometimes.
That is why some people might require professional or unofficial training before getting started.
Like with most professions, experience and results matter more to clients than qualifications. Your track record and reputation are what would most likely get you hired.
What are the requirements of a good proofreader?
To become an ace as a proofreader, you will be required to have certain competencies which in my opinion are an absolute necessity.
1. Be able to spot mistakes quickly and easily. That might mean slowing down your reading to find mistakes.
2. Precision for the fine-tuning. This means revising word-to-word, sentence-to-sentence, and paragraph-to-paragraph.
3. Meet the demand. Most jobs you get will need to be completed within a certain timeframe. Clients want you to be reliable so you will need to keep your word on deadlines.
Platforms offering freelance proofreading jobs from home.
The good news for any aspiring proofreader is that there are tons of places online where you can get your proofreading career rolling.
Some of these places are more stringent than others when it comes to taking proofreaders onboard depending on your experience.
We all have to start somewhere, so don’t be afraid to submit your portfolio to multiple platforms. As with any career, the more you stay on the game, the more experience you gain and the more marketable you become.
Fiverr is the wild west of online gigs. Anyone with or even without very special skills can post their gig. We have writers, graphic designers, singers, actors, you name it they have it. There are also some pretty strange gigs in there. Want a tribal warrior singing you a happy birthday song. You got it!
Proofreaders without much experience can easily get onboard this platform and start earning some cash. As you gain more experience you can scale up and start charging higher fees for your work.
Upwork is the largest freelancer marketplace in the world.
Upwork allows you to interview, hire, and work with freelancers and freelance agencies through the company’s platform. It was actually one of the first companies to start hiring proofreaders.
With Upwork you can connect directly with clients and work full time for them.
Craigslist is an online classified advertisement platform where one can list all sorts and manner of things from houses, jobs to discussion forums.
In fact, let’s just say that you can list anything and everything. There is a very thin line when it comes to what you can’t list. Like Fiverr, it’s a viral listing platform.
If you are looking for proofreading jobs, Craigslist is a fantastic place to find clients. They operate in over 570 cities around the world, so you can still find proofreading jobs in languages other than English for those familiar with a second language. You can even work as you travel since most jobs are Geo-specific.
Guru has been around since 1998. They tend to encourage more experienced professionals to join their platform.
One thing to note about Guru is their bidding system. You get 10 free proposals per month with the basic membership but you will most likely want to upgrade for a wider reach. The higher up the tier you go the more audience you will be able to reach.
You can find jobs that pay hourly and milestone-based contracts.
Guru charges each seller a commission on their rate plus a nominal handling fee of 2.9%
Flexjobs has been around since 2006 and provides work from home, flexible, part-time, and freelance work. They are currently listed as the best top-rated job board for telecommuters.
They even have a dedicated section for editing and proofreading jobs online.
You also get 50 different skills tests for free on their site to gauge your strengths and weaknesses in different areas.
To join Flexjobs you can opt to go with any of the following three levels.
- Month-to-month subscription: $14.95 per month
- Three months: $29.95 (about $10 per month)
- One year: $49.95 (that breaks down to about $4 per month)
I would probably go with the yearly tier. $4 per month is a small price to pay if it’s going to increase your exposure to clients. The monthly $14 fee is too high in my opinion.
Founded in 2011, the company primarily offers to proofread but also provides other related services like transcription, translation, cover design, ebook formatting, resume writing, plagiarism checking, and tutoring.
You don’t need to pay anything to join Proofreadingservices.com. They do offer full-time and part-time proofreading positions.
To be eligible to join you will need to go through a 20-minute proofreading test. For you to qualify as a proofreader, you must have a score of 95% or above.
They say you can make anything from $19 to $46 per hour on their platform with urgent deadlines offering higher pay.
To get started with Polished Paper you will need to register for a user account and upload your resume. The website doesn’t state whether or not they are looking for you to have a college degree. They do however emphasize that they are looking for exceptional proofreaders and editors so if you are entry-level, this might not be the place for you.
Once you submit, you will be directed to a 35-question editor test that is set using the APA, MLA, and Chicago formatting guides. I don’t know what any of that means so it’s worth your while to familiarise yourself with these styles before submitting your application.
There is no information about pricing on their website, so it’s hard to know what they charge.
LinkedIn is one of the oldest business focussed platforms in the world. It’s often underrated, but it can be a powerful platform to display your resume and even post your portfolio for potential clients to see.
It has a huge database of professionals who might be looking for your proofreading services.
A great way to market yourself is to join discussion forums and contribute useful information.
The entry bar to join Scribendi is quite high and it appears that they only work with seasoned professionals.
A university degree, at least 3 years of editing experience, and be a native English speaker is what they require to get you through. You should also be able to edit or proofread at a speed of 1,000 to 1,500 words per hour.
Scribendi was started in 1997 and has over 400 professional freelance editors.
They only offer premium proofreading services so it will not work for people at entry-level. With Scribendi you pay what you get and it does not come cheap. They do however guarantee to give you results.
Can you make money as a proofreader?
Absolutely. Like any career, it all comes down to how hard you are willing to work and how you market yourself.
Most proofreading companies/clients pay per page, per project, or an hourly rate, so depending on your level of experience choose what might suit you.
As a beginner expect to earn around $10+ per hour. But, as you gain experience and become better at this, slowly raise your hourly rate.
Quick turnaround of projects with excellent results is what will determine your success.
We all have to start somewhere in life and if proofreading is your passion try proofreading your friends’ stuff (e.g., resumes, college essays) to get the hang of it.
They say practice makes perfect and so if you are consistent and patient as you build your career, the long-term benefits can be quite rewarding.
You need to keep updating and refining your portfolio.
Perhaps the biggest challenge one would find as a proofreader is how to market yourself. Building a website where you can showcase your work might be the best way to go.
Many thanks for hanging out with me.
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