How to Become an Online Proofreader – Ultimate Guide for 2023

If you’ve been looking for a side hustle that allows you to work from home, I have some good news. Online proofreader jobs for freelancers are hot – and it’s a trend that’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Online proofreaders have the flexibility to take on or turn down projects and enjoy working collaboratively with others who share your interest in reading and editing.

The great thing about becoming a proofreader (especially online) is that you can choose when you wish to work, and of course, how much you wish to charge for your services.

If you’re a native English speaker with excellent reading and editing skills, becoming a proofreader can be a perfect way to make money online. This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to get started and the things you need to know about this potentially profitable venture.

Interested in learning how to become an online proofreader? Let’s do this!

How to become an online proofreader FAQ

What is proofreading?

Proofreading is the process of reviewing written material for errors or other correctness issues, such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax.

Proofreading also includes checking for facts and word usage, ensuring that writing a piece of content makes sense.

Why become an online proofreader?

Proofreaders are a necessary part of the publishing process, as errors in printed material are often embarrassing and costly.

Proofreading is also a job that requires attention to detail, and many people find this type of work extremely enjoyable.

Benefits of proofreading as a freelance online job

The benefits of becoming a proofreader are endless. For example, you can work from home, set your own schedule, and make your own hours. You decide when to work and how much to charge for your services. Plus, you can work as little or as much as you want.

Complete flexibility

You have complete flexibility to choose which jobs and clients you take on. Additionally, you get to decide whether you want to work on one project at a time or take on more advanced projects, such as those involving plagiarism checking or those requiring a wider vocabulary.

You set your rates

One major benefit? You get to choose how much you charge for your services.

As a freelance proofreader, you are the one who gets to choose how much you earn as a proofreader. You can decide to set your fee per hour, or you can make it a set project fee depending on the size of the job.

Setting your hours

You can work on as many jobs as you want, and you can also turn down any projects that don’t appeal to you. As a freelance online proofreader, your time is your own.

You can choose to work for just a few hours on the weekends, or you can choose to work longer hours during the week. The choice is yours.

You can take on proofreading jobs part-time and earn some cash whenever you need it, or you can pursue proofreading full-time. Many people choose to use proofreading as a side hustle because they enjoy the work.

Now let’s turn our attention to how you become a proofreader.

Become an online proofreader in 4 simple steps

1. Choose a niche

Choosing a niche as a proofreader is crucial because it will be your area of expertise. In addition, it will allow you to stand out from the crowd when offering your proofreading services.

Choosing a niche also allows you to charge more money because your services are highly targeted to a specific customer base. A jack of all trades usually doesn’t earn as much as someone who specializes in an area because they take any work that they can get.

A few areas of proofreading that are popular online include:

Medical proofreading

Medical documentation, such as medical reports and medical research papers, requires a high grammar and spelling skills. This may be an area that you wish to specialize in because they pay well.

Legal proofreading

Legal documents are often very detailed and are required to be free of errors. If you have a background in law or other related fields, you could consider specializing in legal proofreading.

Marketing proofreading

Sales copy, landing pages, and blog posts are some of the things you would be proofreading. Marketing professionals usually make a lot of money, so they may wish to have their content proofread by someone with expertise in this area.

That means they are willing to pay a premium that many others wouldn’t.

2. Build your portfolio

Some will say that you should take on several free proofreading clients so that you can build up your portfolio. You do need experience, and there’s only one way to get it, and that’s by proofreading. How you get that experience is up to you.

Take some time out to make sure you are the best proofreader that you can be. If that means you need to go back to school, take an online course, or do whatever, make sure that you do it. This will be your money maker, so you want to make sure that you are the best proofreader you can be.

Showcase your work on your blog

What you would do here is have a blog that tells people all about your proofreading services and how they can benefit from using them. This will be one of your long-term income streams because the more you blog, the more they will come.

Your blog should let them know how they can benefit from hiring a proofreader, and it should also convince them that they are getting their money’s worth. You’ll get a ton of organic traffic from Google, and you can also promote your blog using social media channels.

3. Find freelance proofreading gigs

Freelancing is probably the most popular way for proofreaders to make money. It’s one of the fastest ways to a sustainable income because it allows you to work when you feel like it, and it’s also the most flexible, allowing you to pick and choose the jobs that appeal to you.

There are numerous websites for proofreaders to use as their marketplace.

List your proofreading gigs on Fiverr to start

Fiverr is excellent; you can get a ton of work for quite a few different people. Fiverr brings the work to you, and you don’t have to do anything to get customers. However, Fiverr does take a 20% fee for every order you get, so keep that in mind.

For many freelancers, Fiverr is where they go when they want to pick up work when their other occupations aren’t providing them enough money. Proofreading is great for this kind of income because the pay is good, and it doesn’t take much time.

Use Upwork to find steady work as a proofreader

Upwork is another platform for freelancers to market themselves on. Upwork is a broader network with more freelancers, but it does take more work to get started, and once you do, you tend to build up a steady income.

Facebook groups are a great way of getting clients

Facebook groups are great for finding proofreading gigs. There are many Facebook groups that can be a source of steady income for freelancers.

Bloggers and eBook writers will be your main customers. Though, sometimes a company will somehow squeeze through the cracks and find its way into Facebook groups. This can also be a great way to get some steady work because you can rely on the same people for repeat business.

You can also use other social platforms such as Twitter to get customers. Make sure that your account is all about proofreading and nothing else so that you have the highest possibility of success.

4. Skip the freelancing route and find a proofreading job

Any company that produces content online needs proofreaders. If you’re looking for a steady income, this is where you’ll find it. You’ll have a stable job, and who knows, you might even get benefits and a retirement plan as well.

Proofreading jobs are difficult to land due to the competition, but they’re not impossible to get. If you’re looking for a job as a proofreader, make sure you get the right qualifications and use all the tools available to land some work.

Always work on updating your resume and your skill set as well. You might not get a steady job today, but if you keep your nose to the grindstone, there could be an opening a few months down the line. You want to make sure that you’re ready if such an opportunity arises.

Becoming an online proofreader: The bottom line

If you want to get your name out there and make some extra cash, then proofreading is a great way to go about it. There are many different ways of making money, but you’ve got to be willing to put in the effort and time.

If you’re going to stick with proofreading, you need to focus on the quality of your work because it’s the only way you’ll get clients. If you do this, then it won’t be long before you’re earning a stable income.

Proofreading is a craft that you hone over years and decades. It’s not something you’ll master in a month so don’t get disappointed when you don’t start making money right away. You need to focus on the long-term with this job. And, if you do that, it won’t be long before you’re making a living as an online proofreader.

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