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Picture this:  You’re given a chance to write an article for your dream publication or platform. That top dollar payer like the International Business Times.

You do meticulous research, identify your reader and create an article that hooks them from the title to the conclusion.

However, the publication spot you’re bidding for is highly competitive and there is a 50% chance of rejection. What do you do to increase your chances of success?

Get a copy editor to look at your article before you hit submit. Someone to read through what you’ve written, correct the grammar and check the logical flow of your ideas.

The copy editor fact-checks your work and figures, ensuring your content has clarity and accuracy. This way, you avoid glaring flaws and increase your chances of submitting content gold.

List of Editing Services Involved In Entry-Level Copy Editing Jobs

Before we look at job sites, you need to understand that copy editing can be broken down into four areas:-

Editing Service Example
Appropriate use of syntax Ensure that words and phrases are arranged correctly to avoid changing the intended meaning of the sentence.
Technical consistency The text should contain one English dialect and writing style. i.e. Either US English, British English, Australian English, etc.
Internal consistency Verify that capitalization has been done correctly, that you have the same font style and that all bullets are aligned correctly.
Fact checking The correct  names of people, businesses and places, official titles, the dates of historical occurrences, physical address, quotations

For complete copy editing you require the correct use of syntax, technical and internal consistency as well as fact checking.

How to Find An Entry-Level Copy Editing Job

The procedure is similar to freelance writing.

You can land your first editing client from job boards, social media or your portfolio website.

For instance a writers’ job board like Small Revolution will occasionally have copy editor jobs for blogs, books and even articles.

Visiting job boards every day helps you understand the various client requirements for copy editors.  Perform regular searches on these sites to gain your first client.

Another way you can land your first editing client is through social media.

Join specific Facebook groups and apply when a job is posted.  A quick way to do this is by creating a graphic highlighting your services. If the group allows for promos, post your graphic from time to time, keeping an eye out for anyone asking for an editor.

Have a look at this simple social media graphic created in Canva.

JULIE BROWN
Source: canva.com

Finally, a great way to land some editing jobs is to create your own website which promotes your editing services through digital media. It sets you apart as a trustworthy professional. Your content, testimonials and photos help clients understand you take your brand seriously.

On your website, you can promote yourself as a copy editor, proofreader and other complementary services that you are confident in (such as ghostwriting). This way, you can be assured of landing jobs from small businesses, solopreneurs and even big brands.

Websites That Offer Copy Editor Jobs

As we have seen, becoming an online copy editor is a viable and lucrative career. In several job boards, you’ll find editing and proofreading terms used interchangeably.

Here is a list of proofreading websites.

Want to monetize your editing skills? At these freelancing websites, you can get entry-level editor jobs:

Upwork

Upwork is a freelance marketplace where clients and freelancers connect. You’ll find different job posts and employer bids on the platform. Create a perfect professional profile, add a portfolio of your work and regularly craft winning proposals to relevant job ads.

Enago

Enago offers two levels of editing to non-native English writers. Substantive editing (ensuring the content is functional for the audience) and Copy editing (proofreading for readability)

Once you equip yourself with some writing editing experience, you can apply for remote copy positions at Enago.

Working Nomads

Best Proofreading
Download your FREE cheatsheet of best proofreading

Working Nomads is a platform for freelancers who want to work from home or on the go. You can subscribe to their newsletter that will share with you curated online editing job ads.

Besides their job alert system, visit their website and view available editing opportunities.

Check out these freelancing websites for additional job details and opportunities:

Job hunting sites can be a source of steady and contracted income. Create a great profile in each of these sites and keep an eye on copy editor job details as they appear.

These job sites offer additional job posts.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What is the Difference Between a Copy Editor and a Proofreader?

Copy editing and proofreading have a similar goal: ensuring every piece of writing is as readable and as flawless as possible.

How do these two jobs differ?

As the name suggests, copy editors edit the written copy.  By going through the written content, they identify and correct spelling and grammar. Additionally, they’ll delve much deeper into the articles, checking the logical flow of ideas and facts.

Proofreaders on the other hand are usually the last people to check the written piece. A proofreader checks the grammar, layout and general organization of the text such as italics, capitalization, bold etc. At this point, there is no need for rephrasing of sentences or restructuring of sections.

How much money do Copy Editors Make When Compared to Proofreaders?

Ranking Platform Average Copy Editor earnings Average Proofreader Earnings
Ziprecruiter $52,706 annually $51,305 annually
Glassdoor $49,418 annually $42,783 annually
Indeed $23.34 per hour $22.81 per hour

What Does a Copy Editor Do?

Copy editors are the grammatical watchmen, anywhere where content is produced. They go through all content; line-by-line to ensure only flawless content is produced.

This involves potentially re-writing some sections of the content, making it clear, concise and organized.

As a copy editor, your work is to edit the text for correctness, consistency, accuracy and completeness.

Copy Editing Skills That Every Entry-Level Copy Editor Needs To Know.

Would you like to succeed and bag the career opportunities in this field? Build and strengthen yourself in these skills:

Excellent Writing Skills

Get an exceptional understanding of your language.You can take some online courses that will help you understand the correct voice, tone and structure for articles.

Meticulous Attention to Detail

You must be able to match the given information and filter it for inconsistencies. You also need to switch from one writing style guide to another as you compare various statements for differences.

Team Player

As you edit copy, you’ll be working with a team of writers and clients. Nurture professional relationships with every writer and content specialist.  Guiding them and supporting them in their tasks. Relationships are highly advantageous in this field.

A Creative and Inquisitive Mind

You must have an interest in learning more about every topic you proofread. This way you’re able to come up with creative headlines and sentences that hook the readers.

Ready to Get Started?

The websites and job boards we’ve listed should get you started in your editing journey. Whether you have a bachelor’s degree or just great language mastery, garner experience under your belt. Within 3 years, the possibilities in this field are limitless.

What’s more, you can work remotely at your own pace and schedule.

Alternatively, here are other tips you can use to find freelance opportunities online.

Over to you! Remember to track your progress and increase your hourly rates as you become more experienced.

Photo by Rawpixel / CC BY

Small Revolution

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.