Do you have a keen eye for spotting typos, spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes as soon as you take a glance at a written piece of content?
If so you’ve got a natural talent for languages which shouldn’t be wasted. You’re the perfect candidate for a proofreader.
Have you thought of becoming a freelance proofreader?
It could be a fabulous way of making some extra money on the side with NO upfront investment. There are a plethora of proofreading jobs available online these days.
Want to know the best part?
You can work from the comfort of your own cozy home. Even if you’re a beginner. Without an English language or journalism degree. Or any other previous experience.
The essentials you need to start are:
- in-depth language knowledge and love of reading
- accuracy and attention to detail
- be computer literate
- have a quick and reliable Internet connection
- be familiar with the most popular style guides (APA, Chicago, MLA, CSE, AP, etc.)
- motivation to perform at your best and meet deadlines.
Not only can you easily find an excellent and profitable side hustle, but you could also consider pursuing a freelance proofreading career once you realize all its hidden potential.
Besides the many different levels of proofreading, there are numerous fields and industries offering home-based proofreading work.
Want to know how you to land an online proofreading job in three simple steps?
Step 1: Hone your proofreading skills to perfection
We’ve already mentioned that, in most cases, you don’t need any particular qualification to become a proofreader. That said, some employers do require you to have a university degree. But many of them are mostly interested in what you actually know and how you can write.
Holding a degree in English, journalism, science, medicine or any other field of expertize in which you’d like to proofread, is certainly a great advantage when trying to land a proofreading job.
However, being able to prove and demonstrate your knowledge is far more important for success.
Thus, it’s critical that you practice and perfect your skills. You can do it with the help of a wide array of online proofreading training materials such as:
- free proofreading exercises
- free proofreading courses
- free resources such as e.g. Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Proofreading
- paid proofreading courses, a few of the best being:
- reading books such as e.g.
- The Pocket Book of Proofreading: A guide to freelance proofreading & copy-editing
- Butcher’s Copy-editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Copy-editors and Proofreaders
- Proofreading Practice: Exercises with model answers and commentary
- McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook
- How to Start a Successful Proofreading Business
- How to get proofreading jobs online from book publishers
- Copyediting and Proofreading For Dummies
- Copy-editing: With Exercises and Model Answers (Barbara Horn)
- Copyediting: A Practical Guide (Karen Judd)
- finding and doing some fun proofreading activities and games online.
Before you pay for certification or course, you should spend a bit of time to:
- learn how to choose a suitable training for yourself and
- make sure what course best suits your needs.
You can also check out how good you’d be at proofreading by taking this short SfEP proofreading test.
If you’re certain that an online proofreading career is a right move, and you’ve sharpened your proofreading skills, here’s what to do next.
Download our free, handy, Cheat Sheet of Proofreading Marks and Symbols.
Step 2: Advertise your proofreading services
Marketing your proofreading services is crucial to getting hired. How can anyone give you work if they don’t even know that you exist?
Alright, we understand that you’re not a marketing guru, but no one said you have to be one.
But how to advertise yourself then?
Simple. By building a good online presence you become visible to the people who actually need proofreading services.
Here are a couple of uncomplicated promotional strategies that you can do.
a) Register with online job boards
This is one of the most widespread ways of seeking remote work. So, if it works for millions of freelancers all around the world, why shouldn’t you try it too?
By registering with an online job board you can bid and apply for jobs, as well as showcasing your skills and qualifications in order to attract prospective employers.
Some of the popular global job boards are:
- Simply Hired
- Fiverr and other similar platforms.
b) Keep an eye on websites which provide proofreading services
Register on publishing agencies and other related websites which provide proofreading or editing services to clients worldwide.
Remember, it’s not enough to create a profile and then sit back. The perfect job won’t just drop into your lap!
You need to check the websites regularly for updated job offers and/or set up email notifications so that you’re among the first to know when new job opportunities arise.
Here’s a selection of the best scam-free websites offering legitimate proofreading jobs online. Take a look and pick your favorite(s).
c) Join professional online groups
Join proofreading and editor groups, associations and forums such as Editorial Freelancers Association. You can also register with directories such as Find A Proofreader.
These platforms and support groups of professionals and typically provide education in the form of:
- conferences or similar events,
- discussions or exchange of experiences,
- valuable expert advice,
- assistance in job search and
- other helpful learning and developing aspects especially for newbies.
Your membership in such groups can be highly rewarding and very beneficial.
d) Build your own website
Building your own website would be a wise idea for those who have decided to pursue a long-term freelance proofreading career.
In this case, you can advertise yourself on your website because you’re in complete control of all the information you present and the way in which you do it. You can display every detail related to your professional qualifications, your skills, experience, availability, rates, testimonials from previous clients and any other insights that you believe your potential clients might like to see.
Marketing is a must-have for every business. But if it isn’t your cup of tea, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to read Marketing Your Editing & Proofreading Business. It’s a book you’ll probably find very helpful as it covers the essentials for any freelancer looking to start a successful marketing campaign.
Step 3: Launch an online proofreading job search
So you’ve been working on mastering your proofreading skills and presenting them in the best possible light? Great!
You’ve joined the most popular online marketplaces and become a registered user of various credible publishing and proofreading websites? Even better.
Now, it’s vital to your success that you remain active and alert.
- Visit those job boards every day and monitor job postings that you’re interested in.
- Stay informed about proofreading work opportunities. From prominent publishing agencies, related agencies and other online companies—they all count.
- Initiate contact with prospective employers and promote your proofreading services to them by email, phone, and chat.
OK. Now that you know what to do, it’s time for action.
Take a step towards success
There are plenty of online resources and approved courses that can teach you the fundamentals of proofreading and how to land a legitimate and well-paid job.
When it comes to getting hired for freelance proofreading work, and although a formal degree is not mandatory, practicing proofreading, taking courses and gaining certifications can give you a leg-up on the competition. So, give it some serious thought.
Another step towards landing a good online proofreading job is marketing your services. You can do this by:
- registering with some popular online job boards as a freelance proofreader
- joining special supporting online groups, forums and directories for proofreaders and/or editors
- creating your own website to promote your own business.
When you’ve completed the above actions, the final step is doing a job search:
- visit those job boards,
- keep an eye on well-known publishing or other relevant websites that offer proofreading services to clients,
- reach out to potential employers via email and perhaps offer a discount, or another similar perk, to promote your services.
Decide on which approach might work for you and then get started.
Don’t agonize about it for weeks and months. Just take one little step at a time. So long as you’re moving in the right direction, you’re making progress.
Wouldn’t you agree? Then make a start to getting an online proofreading job of your dreams – TODAY!