Proofreading jobs can provide the flexibility many work-at-home professionals are looking for. In most cases, the work can be completed on your own time as long as you meet your client’s deadline. It can also be performed on a number of devices. You don’t necessarily need a desktop. And, online proofreading work is plentiful.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. The content and structure have been developed and finalized. It’s time for polishing and getting ready to publish. This final step includes looking for and correcting typographical errors in grammar, style, and spelling.
Everyone that produces content may have the need for a proofreader. This includes bloggers, small business, and large brands. You may be asked to proofread anything from social media updates to emails and blog posts to books. Many proofreaders choose to specialize their services and focus on one main type of content. That could be:
- Student essays
- Court transcripts
- Online articles and blog posts
- Legal transcription
- Self-published novels
- User manuals
- Restaurant menus
- Press releases
You may also choose to work with a specific type of client proofreading all of their documents.
- Court Reporters
- Real Estate Agents
- Local Businesses
What Skills Do I Need?
You will need great vocabulary and grammar skills. Proofreading isn’t just catching spelling errors. You will also need to know things like proper comma usage and standard proofreading marks.
Some sites may want a journalism or English degree. Others may simply want experience. If you don’t have either, you can reach out to small businesses or online publications offering your services to gain some referrals and/or testimonials.
To work for a large brand, content producer or news-centric site, you may need additional, more advanced skills. Many professional organizations and content mills follow AP Stylebook guidelines. The Chicago Manual of Style is another popular style being used by many digital publications.
How Much Do Proofreading Jobs Pay?
As with many online jobs, proofreading pay rates run the gamut from below minimum wage to over $20 per hour. It does tend to pay less than freelance writing jobs. And it is production-based pay. You will rarely be offered an hourly wage. Instead, you will be paid by the page proofed.
Who Hires Online Proofreaders?
There are several sites that are regularly hiring online proofreaders:
Book in a Box isn’t currently hiring proofreaders, but you can get on their recruiting list. They pay $0.0075 per word and have a 4 to 7 turnaround time.
CACTUS offers specialized editing and proofreading services and likes their freelancers to have a PhD/Masters/Bachelors degree or expertise in one or more specialized subject areas in physical sciences and engineering, healthcare, life sciences, medicine and surgery, or social sciences. You can earn $1200 to $3000 per month plus bonuses.
Demand Media, aka studioD, hires freelance copy editors. You will be paid $3.50 per reviewed article and need two years’ experience.
Domainite pays ridiculously low rates, but may be somewhere to test the waters.
Edit Fast requires a degree from a recognized university and some past experience. They pay 40% of the contract price.
English Trackers hires experienced academic editors.
Gramlee has a really unique application process. They charge clients $.02 per word. They don’t disclose how much of that will be your cut.
Hello Essay is looking for experienced academic editors with a degree.
Kibin doesn’t have any proofreader job openings right now, but you can sign up for notifications.
Polished Paper contracts only “exceptional editors.” You will need to pass their 35-question test.
ProofreadingPal offers editing services for a little of everything. They are looking for proofreaders currently enrolled in college with a minimum 3.5 GPA or graduates with 5 years of experience.
ProofreadingServices.com doesn’t list any experience requirements, but you will be required to complete a 20-minute proofreading test.
Scribendi asks for 3 years experience and a university degree.
Sibia Proofreading is looking for those familiar with APA, AMA, CSE, MLA and Chicago citation styles.
WordFirm likes five years experience and a degree.
Words R U requires a PhD, Master’s or equivalent experience in academic principle.
Wordvice requires a graduate degree and two years proofreading experience.
Wordy does not list any degree or experience minimums on their site, but you are required to pass a 50-minute test.
Contena is a new job board that focuses on high-quality writing and editing jobs. There is a great mix of industries here. They also recently released a training program for aspiring writers.
What Tools Do I Need?
Proofreading is one of the great online jobs that can be done from just about anywhere and on just about any device. Work on your tablet if you would like. There are a few tools that may make your life easier, however.
Google Docs – much online proofreading is done via Google Docs which allows for a markup procedure and adding comments to an original document. Documents can also be shared easily online.
Dropbox is another great option for sharing documents with clients who prefer to use Word or another document form.
Grammarly is a fabulous online tool for spotting grammar and spelling mistakes. The free version will allow you to check WordPress and social media, but you will need a Premium account for MicrosoftOffice products and Google Docs. It can be a huge time-saver however! It can even make suggestions for sentence structure and that writing style we discussed earlier. It won’t catch everything. Don’t rely on Grammarly to do your job.
McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook is a must-have for any aspiring or professional proofreader. It has a lot of great tips and tools to make your process and business run more efficiently. 007145764X
Learn to be a Proofreader
Caitlin Pyle has an awesome training program for those wanting to become freelance proofreaders. I’ve known Caitlin for several years and her course is changing people’s lives. Literally. Katie is a stay-at-home moms with a special needs child. Within six months of taking one of Catilin’s courses, Katie had created a $2,000 per month income working only part-time.
Stephanie is working from home as a proofreader part-time. She had this to say about Caitlin’s proofreading course, “The PA team has put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (I’m sure) into this program, and it shows. The skills you gain in this course are real-world skills that can be used for your lifetime and can be expanded on going forward to make you an even more valuable freelancer.”
Allie was looking for a gig she could do while traveling with her husband. She landed her first client within one day of finishing the proofreading course. Those results may not be typical for everyone, but it’s definitely inspiring.
Caitlin knows her stuff! Check out her free webinar here. Caitlin will show you exactly what this field is demanding and how you can get in on the action (and cash).
Free 7-day Series on Finding Work at Home
Join my weekly newsletter to receive remote job leads, work-at-home tips and my 7-day series on finding legitimate work from home FREE!