When you are thinking about working from home and making money online what do you think about?
It can be hard to pinpoint the best online job for you – but have you thought about proofreading jobs?
If you enjoy reading and have an eagle eye for spotting spelling or grammar mistakes, this could be the perfect job for you.
In this article, we will look at whether a proofreading job is right for you or not.
What Is Proofreading?
In this day and age, there is so much that is done online, and so much content for people to digest.
With that in mind, there are lots of opportunities for work, and one such opportunity is that of proofreading.
Proofreading is one of the final steps in the process of content creation – so for example, this article that you are reading now will have a proofreader work on it before it is published.
It is where a critical eye is cast over a piece of writing, to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
This is an important step because when you are writing you can accidentally do small mistakes that you don’t notice even if you read it back.
Pros vs. Cons of Proofreading
- You can work from home
- You can manage your own time, and fit this around other things that you want to do
- If you are naturally good at spotting mistakes, this will come easily to you
- The start-up costs are very low compared to other businesses
- There are beginner proofreading jobs out there
- Can start as a side hustle and scale up
- Further education/experience may be necessary for a lot of jobs
- Can have very strict, tight deadlines to adhere to
How Much Do Proofreading Jobs From Home Pay?
As with anything, it depends on your experience, who you are working for, and how they are paying you. You can be paid:
- Per word
- Per project
It’s most likely that you will be paid per project, and typically on a freelance or contractual basis.
A good starting fee for proofreading is $10 an hour, but you can increase this as you gain experience, and impress your clients.
Glassdoor shows an average salary of a proofreader being $36,290 per year.
What Skills Do I Need to Be a Freelance Proofreader Online?
To be a proofreader, you will need to have excellent spelling and grammar and be able to spot a mistake quickly.
You will need to be patient and not rush through your work, as you need to pick up on mistakes that have not been spotted by whoever has written it (sounds obvious, but there are things that you may not notice that you think you would!).
For some clients, you will be required to have an English or journalism degree, but there are many jobs where you just need to have some relevant experience.
What Proofreading Tools Do I Need?
You will need a computer or laptop to work on ideally, but it’s up to you what you work best on (I love a laptop personally!).
There are some other tools that you can use to help make your proofreading job faster, although it is worth noting that you shouldn’t rely on the tools to do your job for you, as they won’t pick up everything.
You won’t regret using Google Docs, as it’s so easy to use, and you can easily store lots of your documents within it.
You can easily share your work once it has been completed, and your client is able to add comments with you can then resolve.
This is a must-have for proofreaders, as it is essentially an online tool for proofreading.
Grammarly is an amazing, time-saving tool for proofreaders and writers alike. Grammarly will scan the work, and let you know of all grammar and spelling errors.
You will be able to decide if you want to change it or not, as there may be things that it picks up but you are happy with due to the style of the writing.
If your clients don’t use Google Docs, then they may have Dropbox as an alternative, so make sure that you get an account set up and you know your way around it.
How to Find Work as an Online Proofreader?
Think about what kind of proofreading work you want to do, before you go looking for it. There are so many different options out there for you, so it’s in your interest to find the best fit.
When it comes to searching for proofreading jobs, there are other search terms that you can use to bring up the jobs, such as:
- Freelance proofreading
- Editing jobs
- Copy editing
- Book editor/editing
- Academic editor
- Online proofreading jobs
- Beginner proofreading jobs
A great place to find clients is within relevant Facebook groups.
I know lots of people who have found work within Facebook groups by adding value, and letting people know that they are available to help.
There are a lot of sites out there which are great places to look for work because hiring companies will generally head to these to find someone for the job.
Training to Become an At-Home Proofreader
There are various training courses that you can take if you are serious about becoming a proofreader and working from home, such as Proofread Anywhere.
Caitlyn Pyle runs the popular course Proofread Anywhere, which will prepare you for a successful career as a proofreader.
The course will give you: 40+ lessons in 8 modules, 8 grammar-specific worksheets, bonus-resource guides for all kinds of markets, and 40+ real-life example jobs.
How to Qualify to Be a Proofreader
It kind of goes without saying, but in order to be a proofreader and to be hired as one, you need to be good at editing and spotting mistakes easily.
When you have applied to work for a company, you will probably have to do a test for them, that you will need to pass in order to be hired.
In order to pass the tests, it’s recommended that you know of the Chicago Manual of Style, and AP style – for which there are lots of free resources online if you are unfamiliar with them.
Is Proofreading a Career?
Proofreading has been around for a long time, but even more so nowadays as there is so much content that is readily available at our fingertips. There are plenty of ways that you can now make money online.
As with anything though, it depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. You can’t just expect clients to flock to you, so you will need to have a plan for marketing your business and getting clients.
Proofreading is definitely a career, and there are many people who are incredibly successful, such as Caitlyn Pyle who runs Proofread Anywhere. It is also safe to say that there are legitimate proofreading jobs online.
To start your proofreading career today, sign up to the course Proofread Anywhere, to find out how to get clients and improve your skills.
Best Online Proofreader Jobs for Beginners
Upwork is a great site for freelancers because you can choose your own clients and projects from what is available on there.
They will highlight relevant jobs for you to apply for, and it’s up to you to make sure that you create an excellent profile and pitch to the client.
Freelancer is a platform that is very similar to Upwork, and you need to complete your profile and skill set so that you can be matched to jobs.
This is a site that’s not very well paid, but if you are brand new to proofreading, it can be a good place to get started.
Polished Paper (which by the way, has an amazing looking website!) say that they have opportunities for exceptional editors.
You will need to sign up, upload your resume and then complete their 35 question test.
There are full-time and part-time remote positions available, with pay ranging from $19-$46 per hour.
To sign up, you will need to complete a 20-minute test on their site.
Have you heard of Fiverr before? It’s a great site that we have used before and are happy to use again because it’s great value for money from a buyer point of view, but you also have the opportunity to make a lot of money as a seller.
As the name suggests, the lowest offering is for $5, but you can upsell your services to get more than $5.
You can offer to proofread for clients for different price points depending on length, complexity etc.
There are remote, part-time jobs available on this site, and they ask that you let them know your expected pay rate in your application.
You will need to submit your application and resume, complete an editing sample, and then you will be notified of your results via email.
They do ask that you are enrolled in or have completed a graduate degree program.
There are opportunities to work from home full-time, or to freelance.
They are currently recruiting for:
- Freelance specialist editors
- Freelance Pharma/Regulatory Editor
- Freelance Alt Text Editors
- Scientific Reviewers: Physical Sciences and Pharma
They do ask that you have a degree in the relevant subject to which you would be editing.
They say that they are always looking for exceptional editors and that you will do so from home.
To apply, you will need to submit their Employee Application form, and wait to hear back if you have been approved.
Scribe Writing (previously called Book in a Box) is a company who takes on freelance editors for their book editing.
The great thing about this site is that if they don’t currently have any open vacancies, you can set up email alerts for when they do.
You will need to complete the registration process and pass the EditFast review, but whether or not you get work depends on the clients choosing you for the project.
Payments to editors will be made through PayPal. EditFast gets 40% of the final total project price.
To join Scribbr’s team you will need to follow this process:
- Take their language quiz. If you pass, they will review your CV and your motivation statement to see if you will fit in well with the team
- Language editing assignment
- If you have passed the test assessment, you will be invited to join the Scribbr Academy. You will need to complete 2 simulation orders, and then you will be ready for real orders.
Writer’s Relief is an author submission service who help creative writers to get published.
To apply, fill in their application form – but please note that they only accept 2% of the people who apply.
FlexJobs is a job site, and you can search for various keywords such as ‘online proofreading jobs’ which will bring up everything that is available.
Wordfirm Inc provides editorial services and publication production. You will have to fill out a lengthy application, so make sure you give yourself to sit down and go through it.
All of the positions are remote and can be done from anywhere in the world.
You can find a list of their job openings, and apply for whichever are best for you.
OneSpace (previously known as CrowdSource) is a company that hires workers to do short tasks such as writing and editing jobs.
The qualifications that are required to apply to work here are:
- A PhD in English or another writing-intensive discipline;
- A published scholar, with demonstrable talent and skills as a writer;
- A teacher and/or book editor with verifiable experience;
- A master copy editor and experts in various documentation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Turabian;
- Proficient in MS Word and at least one other software application, such as InDesign or Publisher;
- Dedicated to providing their clients with the world’s finest, most professional editing.
If you meet these requirements, you can send them a sample of your writing and your resume, to which they will respond within 48 hours.
Various job openings are available on here, and there are frequently jobs for work at home editors and book reviewers.
Keep an eye on this one, as they occasionally have openings for work at home copy editors. The pay is $15 per hour.
Final Thoughts on Online Proofreading Jobs
Becoming an online proofreader is an amazing opportunity to make some great money online.
If you’re serious about turning your online proofreading job into a legitimate side hustle or even career we highly recommend you take Proofread Anywhere.
You got this! Now go get your first client!