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So, you’re looking to get started as a copy editor?

Without any prior experience, you’re probably wondering whether there are any job opportunities for you.

Well, there are some lucrative career opportunities for you to earn some money as you hone your copyediting skills.

As an entry level copy editor, the basic requirements are a keen eye, perfect English grammar, and spelling.

If you wish to be a senior editor someday, you must also have a deep understanding of the job type and know that your skills should include more than just proofreading.

Copyediting vs. Proofreading

Copyediting and proofreading often get mixed up, but the job description of a proofreader and a copy editor differ.

Proofreading

The work of a proofreader involves going through a document, checking for spelling and punctuation mistakes.

The proofreader shouldn’t change or alter anything else in a text. This is the last stage before the document is published.

Copyediting

A copy editor checks for spelling mistakes, sentence structure, and readability. Line by line, copy editors check and correct punctuation errors and incomprehensible sentences.

The job of a copy editor also involves fact-checking for the accuracy of information. This means that the job responsibilities of copy editors include the ability to research.

A copy editor does all corrections while staying true to the voice of the writer.

Before you have writers lining up with their manuscripts for you to edit, you need to first gain experience and build a strong portfolio.

Let’s take a brief look at both roles together before moving onto some jobs.

Job Responsibilities Copyediting Proofreading
Correct spelling mistakes Yes Yes
Correct punctuation mistakes Yes Yes
Check for accuracy Yes No
Correct sentence structure Yes No

Entry Level Copy Editor Jobs

As a beginner, these jobs will give you copyediting experience and offer room for growth:

  • Academic papers
  • Blog editing
  • Transcript editing

With them, you can easily choose to work from home part-time, which gives you a flexible work-life balance.

Academic Papers

Every day, students from all around the world are writing essays and thesis. For some of them, English isn’t their first language, and for others, they need someone else to take a closer look before submitting their paper.

Most of these students understand the importance of copyediting and proofreading academic papers. That’s why there are numerous job opportunities for copy editors in this sector.

As an entry-level copy editor, this is your chance to shine. You can offer your services to students, giving them more confidence and getting their papers ready for submission.

Here are the services needed for the proper editing of an academic paper.

  • Line by line, check for clarity and readability of the paper to the reader.
  • Check for consistency, transition, and flow of the essay.
  • As you edit, stay true to the voice of the writer. Don’t change the meaning.
  • Check for spelling and punctuation mistakes and fix them.
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Job Opportunities

For entry-level copy editors, freelancing sites are the best. Upwork and Fiverr are known to offer career opportunities to beginners.

On Upwork, copyediting job advertisements for academic papers are posted daily. All you need is to draft a convincing cover letter and start bidding.

Here’s a free tutorial on how to set up an Upwork account and bid for jobs.

Fiverr is another remarkable site for entry-level copy editors. When you make it on Fiverr, you’re bound to do very well in your editing career.

Here, you just need to customize a competitive profile, and orders will start streaming in.

Here’s a free tutorial on how to go about it.

The good thing about these sites is that you’re rewarded if your work is high quality.

Follow these extra tips to succeed on Upwork and Fiverr.

  • Only apply or accept projects that you’re absolutely sure you can complete.
  • Give it your best effort to satisfy your clients.
  • Keep bidding regularly, even if you have clients.

If their grading system ranks you high, clients will be the ones trying to reach you. You’ll never be out of work, and ultimately, you can charge higher.

Blog Editing

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You’ve probably come across a link to a blog on social media, and when you clicked it, you’ve found some spelling mistakes or jumbled sentences.

It makes you wonder, “does this person realize how bad and irritating this is?”

It’s likely that the blogger doesn’t even realize the errors are there. Remember, some of these people are just hobby bloggers and not professional writers.

As an entry-level copy editor, you can offer your services to these bloggers.

Other than freelancing sites, there are two ways to get blog editing jobs.

  • Applying as a copy editor on content writing websites.
  • Cold pitching bloggers

How to Apply

The best way to apply for blog copyediting jobs is through cold pitching.

Cold pitching is where you apply to offer your services, where there are no job ads.

Craft out a winning cover letter to convince the client.

As you do this, be careful not to come out looking like a vulture, opportunistic and predatory.

Remember, the blogger probably doesn’t even realize the mistakes in their work.

Here are some tips to consider while applying.

  • You need to show that you’re a follower and you’re interested in the topic.
  • Explain how the mistakes could interfere with their message.
  • Offer to help at a small fee for a start.

If you can convince such clients, you’re on your way to greatness. And that’s what we all want, right?

Transcription Editing

Audio transcription is mainly done by humans or AI. In both instances, errors occur.

From illogical sentences to inaccuracy and mishears, they could totally change the message.

For a transcript, either legal, medical, or educational, to be presented for serious decision making, these errors have to be eliminated.

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There are numerous career opportunities in transcription editing for entry-level copy editors.

These jobs require absolutely no prior experience and are a great way to gain confidence and build a profile.

Here are the main services you can offer as a transcription copy editor.

  • Correct all incoherent sentences without changing the message.
  • Correct all mishears and wrong homonyms (very common with ai).
  • Research and fix all spellings of names and places.
  • General formatting of punctuation and spelling.

Career Opportunities

Transcription companies are always looking to hire copy editors. All you have to do is apply, take a test, and if you do well, you get the job.

The best part is that you have the absolute liberty to choose your working hours and work part-time.

Working for a transcription agency is one of the best ways to get started in copyediting.

Gain experience as you earn by applying for jobs from these companies.

Before You Get Started

As a copy editor, you should aim for absolute perfection. It’s the only way your work can be considered a job done well.

Don’t expect to be paid $30 per hour for your first job. Focus on building your portfolio and gaining experience.

As you start off, you may have to search deep and wide for clients.

Consider taking online classes from industry experts to improve your skills and market yourself better.

Sometimes you may get rejected, but keep applying and keep giving your clients your best.

With more experience and high-quality work, you can take on bigger projects and charge more.