Interested to work as a freelance proofreader? You’d be happy to know that prospective freelance proofreading jobs pay well, even at the lowest end of the spectrum. According to Glassdoor, as of June 2020, the lowest base pay is at $34,000/year and the highest is at $66,000/year. This means the average base pay is at $45,222/year.
Not bad, considering you’ll be working from home, or where you’re most comfortable and productive.
Depending on your skills, you can expect to earn within the range specified. You can also use Payscale, a salary comparison research site, to determine your pay rate based on your location.
Overall, working remotely as a freelance proofreader comes with benefits, salary-wise. You just need to find a gig that’s legitimate.
There are plenty of remote job websites that you can use to find proofreading jobs. Having a lot of choices can be a good thing, but you will have to vet these choices one by one and create online profiles on websites that you are not even legit.
Fortunately, we took the liberty of listing 20 legitimate online proofreading job websites that are fit for first-time and long-time online jobseekers. If you learn how you can get freelance clients, getting hired for the job would be easier.
Top 21 Places To Look For Proofreading Jobs
Here are some of the best places with a high chance of landing online proofreading jobs for beginners and pros alike:
Fiverr is one of the best websites for any freelancer, including beginner proofreaders. The pay may not match your expectations, but it is a great place to start acquiring experience.
If you are looking for quick jobs, Click Worker has a lot of choices. All you need to do is complete a test and gain access to tons of proofreading jobs once you pass.
The best thing about Proofreading Services is the flexible schedule of offered jobs and the salary that ranges from $20 to $40 per hour. Although, getting a high rate may be challenging for beginners.
Why waste hours of your billable time looking for jobs when you can sign up for SolidGigs? SolidGigs does the work for you, sending you the best freelance proofreading jobs every week, so you can get back to doing what you do best.
FlexJobs has many proofreading jobs and other positions that require a similar set of skills. This means you can also explore other projects on top of proofreading. Proofreader gigs vary as full-time, part-time, and temporary.
This community of job seekers and clients offer various editing and writing projects. Proofreading jobs may be scarce, but you can try a different keyword to expand your search.
LionBridge requires a skills test to get started, but anyone who is naturally good with grammar can pass.
UpWork has tons of proofreading jobs to offer. However, the screening process is the most challenging part. Make sure you buff up your profile to get a better chance to get in. Once you are in, you will need to spend a little amount of money on “connects” to submit proposals.
LinkedIn is a legitimate social media platform for freelancers and professionals. The more connections you make, the higher the chance you get to land a legitimate proofreading job.
Scribendi is a fast-growing editing and proofreading service who are always constantly searching for the best work-from-home proofreaders.
Joining Contena takes only about five minutes of your time. They offer tons of jobs for freelancers who specialize in writing, editing, and proofreading.
Guru is a great website if you want to market yourself for almost any type of job inside and outside of writing.
Wordvice is a great website if you want to take academic writing and proofreading projects. Because of their clients from prestigious universities in the US, you can gain quite a lot of academic editing and proofreading experience.
Craigslist has a couple of interesting proofreading job posts, depending on your area.
Scribbr has a meticulous screening process, but once you pass, you will gain access to tons of proofreading projects.
If you are looking to make working remotely a full-time job and your main source of income, Cactus Communications will allow you to choose. However, you might need a college degree for this option.
17. Polished Paper
Polished Paper has a reputation for giving higher pay. However, it is quite challenging to get in, especially if you don’t have enough experience. It includes a test and various levels of screening.
EditFast allows you to create a profile to market yourself to clients. However, the fee is quite pricey but good enough for building your work experience.
This website is the perfect option for students enrolled in college. They usually hire students and professionals with a minimum of 3.5 GPA.
Freelancer is similar to sites like Fiverr and Upwork. However, the number of proofreading jobs on this site tend to be fewer.
Signing up for Gramlee is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is fill out the application form and wait for a response. It is a great company that offers flexible hours and remote proofreading jobs.
Online Proofreading: A Lucrative Work-From-Home Job
If you reached this point in the article, then it means you decided to give proofreading a shot. So let’s go into the details about freelance proofreading.
What is proofreading exactly?
Proofreaders, from the name itself, read and proofread almost any online content. Whether it is a blog post, marketing copy, social media post, or anything else in between, a proofreader ensures that the specific content or draft is bulletproof and ready for publishing.
Sounds simple, right?
It is simple in theory, but this job does require focus. It is a meticulous job that requires patience, the utmost attention to detail, and a good handle on the English language, including an extensive amount of grammar knowledge.
Although you might be confused with the terms “proofreader” and “editor,” they are two completely different things. A proofreader can be an editor, and an editor can also become a proofreader.
Sometimes, writers become their own proofreaders, depending on the job or client. However, having a different pair of eyes to proofread an article is highly recommended due to what is called writers’ blind spots or a writer’s own errors that they failed to spot.
No matter how good a writer is, there may still be lapses in their work. This is where proofreaders come in to look for those gaps.
When a final draft is ready for polishing and preparing the content for publishing, proofreading comes into play.
Whether it is an essay, a transcript, a marketing ad campaign, or anything else in between, a proofreader’s job is to make sure that there are no typos or grammatical errors.
The proofreader also needs to make sure that the content is written in the preferred style set by the client or company.
With that said, proofreaders are essential in most writing processes. It only means that just like writers, proofreading jobs are also in demand for online blogs, marketing, and most other industries.
What does a Copy Editor Do?
Just to provide a clear distinction, a copy editor comes in earlier in the process of writing and proofing an article. They do the bulk of edits needed to improve a draft beyond typos, punctuation, and grammar.
Copy editors are there to make the content clear and consistent, and then makes notes for revision. It is a whole back and forth process between the writer and the editor before the draft makes its way to the proofreader.
Copy editing requires the same skills as a proofreader, so you will most likely see these two terms linked together when you start your online job search.
How Much Money Does a Proofreader Usually Make?
Proofreading salaries can range from 30k to 50k annually.
It is so much more than a minimum wage, without the hassle of the commute, waking up early, and more.
Just like any other freelance job, proofreading salaries will be based on the amount of work you put in.
My mindset towards freelancing is kind of like a sole proprietorship, where clients come to you to hire your services, as opposed to the conventional job scheme.
Most proofreaders charge per project, word count, or hourly rate, and a beginner proofreader can charge around $10 per hour. This rate can significantly increase, once you have proven your skills and gained enough experience.
Becoming a Proofreader: What Do You Need?
Before looking for any work-from-home jobs, one of the most important skills you need to learn is proper time management above anything else.
You might have the right skills that will fit the proofreading job description but, without the ability to manage your time properly, you won’t be as productive.
With a flexible schedule, procrastination is your worst enemy. When working from home, there can be a lot of distractions such as chores, hobbies, and more.
The best tip I can give you if you end up working remotely is to isolate yourself from all the distractions as much as possible. If you can set up your workstation in an isolated area in the house, such as a separate room, it will help a lot with productivity.
Aside from time management, here are some of the most important skills every proofreader should have or acquire:
- Excellent Vocabulary – Any proofreader should have an extensive vocabulary. You can always learn a new word each day and list them down for future use.
- Top-Notch Grammar Skills – Catching spelling errors may be a part of the job, but it does not stop there. You should also know your subject-verb-agreement rules, proper uses of a comma, and most of all, consistency.
- Advanced Writing Knowledge – Some jobs require a certain degree and a higher level of education. You can always take an e-learning course to land a higher-paying proofreading job.
- Attention to Detail – Proofreaders are like quality assurance personnel. They make sure an article or write-up is error-free before publishing, and to catch all the bugs and errors, you will need to be focused and take your time.
Some clients may prefer speed over quality, but make sure you focus on quality and work on a productive workflow later.
Tools that Will Come in Handy for Proofreading Jobs
Proofreading doesn’t require a high-end computer similar to what will be required for gaming, music production, or graphic design. Still, you must have a stable and reliable setup.
As an online proofreader, you will be working with a lot of confidential documents. Aside from the computer specs, you also need to ensure a safe and secure working environment.
Here are some tools that will almost always come in handy for online proofreaders:
- Grammarly– This proofreading tool can never beat a human proofreader, but it can help a lot in making your copy air-tight. Plus, you can install it as an extension for most word processing software like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, emails, WordPress, and more.
Aside from Grammarly, there are tons of grammar checking tools you can choose from. Other tools that you will need are:
- The Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, and Mcgraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook – These books will help you significantly as a professional proofreader. It contains plenty of useful tips for being a more efficient proofreader.
- Google Docs – Most remote teams use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other apps included in the Google Suite. Why? Because of its excellent collaboration features. Google Docs allows remote teams to work on the same document in real-time without trading emails or direct messages. Plus, it enables project managers to build a system for tracking the progress of the whole team.
Make sure you set up your Google Drive account because you will most likely need it when you become a proofreader.
Different Types of Proofreading Jobs
As a proofreader, you will be required to proofread many forms of content from emails to PDF files to manuscripts. Because there are so many types of content, you can choose to focus on one or two types.
Although there are differences in writing styles, the main goal will always be polishing and freeing an article from grammatical, punctuation, and structure errors.
Here are some examples of content that you may or may not come across as a proofreader:
- Social Media Content
- Court Transcripts
- Blog Posts
- User Manuals
- Press Releases
- School Tests
- Restaurant Menus
- Medical Transcriptions
- Legal Transcriptions, and more
Basically, anything you see written online, in newspapers, magazines, or a cereal box most likely went through the eyes of a proofreader.
So, if you are worried about the demand for this line of work, there is enough work out there for proofreaders and editors around the globe.
Pros and Cons of Being a Proofreader
While there are many advantages to becoming a proofreader, there are drawbacks as well. Before deciding if you are willing to take this route, make sure you weigh out the pros and cons first.
- You get to work remotely
- The flexible schedule allows you to manage your own time and become your own boss
- You can get online proofreading jobs without investment
- You can choose to become a part-time or full-time proofreader
- There is a chance to get proofreading jobs from home even without experience
- Proofreading is a skill that comes naturally to many
- If you want to make it big, you might need to get a degree or undergo formal training
- Deadlines are strict
- Working from home is very different from working in an office, and might take a little getting used to
Tips on Finding Proofreading Jobs
If you have decided on what kind of proofreading work you want to do, you can do a little quick online search to have a glimpse of what is out there.
With so many options, you are going to need to put the right search term to get more tailored results. Here are some helpful keywords you can type in your search engine, or one of the websites that I will mention later in the article:
- Academic Editor
- Book Editor
- Online Proofreading Jobs
- Line Editor
Useful Tip: It is possible to find jobs where you least expect it such as social media groups. You can also join freelance groups on Reddit or Facebook to get help and ideas from the community.
Plus, most clients often resort to Facebook groups when hiring freelancers to avoid third-party fees, which has some advantages and disadvantages. When getting jobs outside of these groups, you will be dealing with unverified strangers that may or may not scam you. It is ideal to draft your own contracts for instances like these.
The only advantage, however, is that you can get paid more without the service fees. So, if you decide to take this route, make sure you check out your potential client’s reputation online and ask around within the community.
So, if you have a knack for correcting other people’s mistakes and have a good command of English spelling and grammar, you can become an online proofreader and get paid for it handsomely.
Online proofreading jobs are everywhere, and it is a great place to start your freelancing and independent contractor business.
Just remember to take the job seriously once you get in, and you will never run out of clients or projects.
Becoming a proofreader is more of a business than a job, so the more work you do, the higher you get paid, ultimately leading you to financial freedom.
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