Are you one of those Grammar nazis who can’t resist any typos? Do you have an urge to fix errors as soon as you spot them? If Yes, then being a proofreader is one of the major boosts you can give to your career. It’s high time you realize that you can make some extra bucks.
Let’s take a look at how you can give your proofreading journey a kickstart.
You will learn the following things in this article.
- What is the difference between a proofreader and an editor?
- How do you know whether you will be a good proofreader?
- How to become a freelance proofreader with a good client base?
- What tools do you require to become an online proofreader?
Step 1 – Know a Proofreader’s Responsibility
The first step to a freelance proofreading career involves knowing exactly what a proofreader does.
What Does A Proofreader Do?
A proofreader checks a document for typos, inconsistencies, misspellings, and grammar error. Proofreaders give already written content the final check and make it error-free. This way, the publisher can get the content out there without any mistakes whatsoever.
Some examples of written content that proofreaders have to deal with include novels, children’s books, textbooks, content for online or university course, blog posts, website pages, presentations and slides, magazines, newspapers, ads, legal documents, transcripts, pamphlets, court reports, resumes, podcast pages, scholarship essays, etc.
Step 2 – Learn To Differentiate Between An Editor And a Proofreader
Not many people know the difference between an editor and a proofreader. They usually confuse roles and perceive them interchangeably. Before a proofreader gets to take a look at a book, there are various stages of editing a book has to go through.
Editor: Editing is a broad topic and there are different types of editing. While I won’t go into the intricate details, The essential information to know is that editors handle the overall flow and take care of the big picture. From reorganizing chapters to deleting paragraphs and modifying words and sentences to make better sense, editors take care of the big tasks.
Proofreaders: Proofreaders basically correct any errors that slip through the cracks. They get to look at a write up at the last stage for the final polishing before it gets published and correct punctuation mistakes, typos, and grammar errors.
Step 3 – How Much Money Does a Proofreader Make In An Hour?
According to an interview, it is fairly easy to deduce how much a proofreader makes on an average in an hour. You can expect a decent income of $25-$45 in an hour.
Most book proofreaders charge about $0.02 per word. In other words, $25-$45 per hour is common for proofreaders to charge.
After gaining more experience, proofreaders can increase their per hour rates. If you select a niche such as proofreading court transcripts, you can earn more per hour.
Step 4: Acquiring The Vital Skills Of a Proofreader
Apart from grammar and business skills, here are the skills you need naturally.
- In-depth knowledge of English
- Excellent oral and written communication
- Meeting deadlines
- Familiarity with Microsoft Word
Step 5: Analysing The Pros And Cons
Before diving into freelance proofreading, take a look at its pros and cons.
1. Financial Security – You can take vacations without hassles and won’t have to worry about a paycheck to paycheck income and its challenges.
2. Flexibility – Work according to your own schedule.
3. Freedom – No need to work a 9-5 job. You can easily work from home as well.
Even though being your own boss has its own perks, the downsides include
1. Hard To Find Clients – If you are a beginner, it might be a little hard to land promising deals at first. Finding someone willing to provide your with recurring tasks can be a challenge.
2. Hourly Rate Cap – It’s hard to earn more than $5 per hour as a proofreader. You can add some other services to your schedule to maintain a decent income.
Step 6 – Finding Freelance Proofreading Jobs
If you are wondering where to get freelance proofreading jobs, FlexJobs is the answer. Here are some reasons why I recommend the platform.
1. Legitimacy – Job listings are screened to increase legitimacy.
2. Easy of Work – You can find jobs according to your own schedule which offers a great deal of flexibility.
3. Support – The customer service team comprises helpful and friendly people.
4. Guaranteed Satisfaction – If you are not happy with the services, you can get a refund within 30 days.
Even though it is easy to find the type of job you are looking for, you have to invest $14.95 per month to gain access to their services.
Some other proofreading guides and listings are…
You can also contact authors, bloggers, and business owners who need proofreaders for court reports, tax documents, and product manuals.
Step 7 – Training For Proofreading (Optional)
You can opt for pursuing a degree in journalism or English if you wish to gain some in-depth training. However, it’s completely optional. There are many online courses that can train you for the same at less than $500.
Step 8 – Enrolling In General Proofreading Theory As Well As Practice (Optional)
Enrolling in proofreading theory and practice is a great way to polish your proofreading skills. However, just like training, it’s completely optional. I personally recommend ‘Proofread anywhere course.’ It has 40 lessons which teach you the basics as well as the steps you should take to become a successful proofreader.
Step 9 – Win The Scarce Mindset
It is understandable to pinch your wallet as tight as possible when it comes to spending on online courses. But you have to realize that by opting for professional courses, you will gain new skills for life and earn the money back in no time.
Step 10 – Start Proofreading!
Once you get through the courses and develop the necessary skills, you can work as a proofreader according to your own schedule. So, get ready to deliver the best work to clients and earn to the best of your skills!
No matter how good a write-up is, it has got to have some typos. This is where role comes into prominence. This is when you can use your proofreading to make some extra cash. No doubt, there is an increasing demand for proofreaders. But most of the beginners don’t have an idea of how to land their first lead.
If there’s anything you think I’ve missed – talk to me in the comments below!
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