Proofreading is a terrific side hustle, but there are a few things you should know before getting started. Learn how to work as a proofreader and what it takes to be successful in this field. Many professions and businesses rely on proofreaders to ensure that the materials they publish are free of errors. Have you ever wondered what it takes to become a proofreader and work from home? Before you get started, there are a few things you should know about how to become a proofreader.
What is Proofreading?
Simply reviewing a paper and marking or correcting any flaws is proofreading. A final pass by a proofreader ensures that a published work is free of any spelling and grammar errors. To work as a proofreader, you must have a keen eye for detail and the willingness to speak if you are unsure about something. If the proofreader has trouble comprehending something, it’s likely that the audience will as well. Furthermore, the writer may not even read it until the proofreader is finished, thus the document must be flawless.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make?
Depending on the extent of the task, a competent proofreader can charge anywhere from $20 to $45 per hour. The Editorial Freelancers Association estimates that the typical hourly rate is $30 to $35, assuming a word rate of 2,200 to 3,200 words per hour. According to PayScale, the median annual wage is just under $45,000 per year. How much money you make is partly impacted by how much demand there is for your services. You may be able to get more steady work if you chose an in-demand expertise, such as legal transcript reporting.
How to Become a Proofreader and Work From Home
In as little as a few weeks, you can start proofreading online as a side hustle — or even a full-time internet company. You’ll get there faster if you use the appropriate strategy.
1. Get Training on How to Become a Proofreader
You’ll need some proofreading instructions to get started. Darnell advises settling on a single style and sticking with it. “I recommend learning either the AP or Chicago Style of writing and mastering it to the point that you can recognize which one is being used from the first few phrases of a written document,” she said. Free quizzes on Chicago and AP Style can be found online, but there are few resources for learning the skills required to become a skilled proofreader.
One of the reasons Pyle offers proofreading training is because of this. Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice is a course, which teaches students basic proofreading skills, how to start a business, and how to get and keep clients. Students must complete over 3,000 pages of transcripts and take three examinations.
2. Determine Your Niche
Once you’ve determined that you have the skills and love proofreading, it’s time to look into the various niche alternatives. Depending on your strengths and time availability, you can choose from a variety of proofreading niches. Examining newspapers, books, and other printed or online materials for errors in spelling, punctuation, and formatting.
Academic proofreaders verify references, citations, and style in assignments, dissertations, and course materials in addition to grammar and spelling. Many YouTube and podcast hosts have their audio transcribed for use on their websites. Proofreaders ensure that the automatic transcription is accurate and understandable.
3. Set Your Proofreading Rates
Beginning freelance proofreaders charge anywhere from $10 to $35 per hour, depending on the length of the document, turnaround time, and skill set required. You can charge more if your expertise is more focused. Don’t be discouraged by the low-paying proofreading gigs when you first start out. Take what you can obtain and make it a point to keep studying and narrowing your focus as your experience grows.
4. Look for Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners
Choose between starting your own business and finding clients on your own or taking a job. Sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter can help you find proofreading work. When you don’t know where to start, Fiverr, Upwork, and LinkedIn are wonderful sites to upload your résumé. Facebook communities for writers and media professionals can also be beneficial, but you should avoid being spammy and only offer advise or services when requested. On college campuses, you can also advertise your services in the English building or library. Join industry-specific communities and reach out to persons who might be in charge of locating proofreaders if you know what specialty you want to work in.
You must be proficient in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other areas to be a successful proofreader. However, there are tools and resources available to assist you in completing tasks more quickly and accurately.
Grammarly is a free tool for Google Chrome and macOS that automatically detects and corrects grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. It also detects overuse of words and suggests alternatives. Grammarly’s commercial edition goes much further, detecting overused terms, ambiguous sentence structure, and even plagiarism.
ProWritingAid is a premium tool that focuses on context, syntax, and structure. It has a limited free version. It can help you become a better writer by providing in-depth explanations for its recommendations, which can be useful when revising long-form writing.
The Hemingway App is designed to help you write in a clear and simple manner. You have the option of using it as a free online editor or purchasing a downloaded edition. It uses different colors to suggest areas where sentences and words may be made clearer. It even analyzes the content to determine the grade level at which it was written and the amount of time it takes to read it.
The AP Stylebook, the fundamental style reference for news and public relations, is published and updated by the Associated Press. You can buy a physical or digital copy to use as a proofreader’s reference, or you can obtain style-checking tools for Microsoft Word and other programs.
Proofreading is a dependable profession that has existed since the beginning of print media, and it will continue to exist as the demand for content marketing and court reporting grows. It won’t make you rich, but learning how to become a proofreader can help you build a lucrative side business.