With so many people clamoring to work remotely, more and more companies are offering an online job as a proofreader, which is, by the way, one of the most sought-after remote work today.
Proofreading is the final key to perfecting an article or a written document prior to being published, which is why you got to be someone with keen attention to detail, and excellent grammar and communication skills in order to pass for an online job as a proofreader.
Are you someone who is quick to notice grammatical and/or punctuation errors, or someone who smirks whenever you see misspelled words? How about being knowledgeable of different style guides like Modern Language Association (MLA), The Elements of Style, and American Psychological Association (APA)? If your answer is yes, then proofreading is perfect for you.
As the years passed, there has been an increasing demand for proofreaders, which is quite not surprising because of the rising numbers of websites like commercial or personal blogs, e-books, and e-news sites being put up these days.
That good thing, because it basically means, there are more chances of making big money by getting into an online job as a proofreader. It’s just all about knowing the craft and mastering it though.
Now, for starters, especially stay at home moms who wanted to get into online proofreading jobs, we are going to answer some of the most common questions on proofreading and working as a proofreader today. These questions include:
- What is proofreading?
- How to be a proofreader?
- What are the benefits of working online as a proofreader?
- How much does a proofreader make?
- How to find online proofreader jobs?
- Where to find an online job for proofreader?
WHAT IS PROOFREADING?
Proofreading refers to the process of reviewing a draft of a piece of writing (it could be an article, a blog post, etc.) to ensure there are consistency and accuracy in spelling, punctuation, formatting, and most of all, grammar.
Meanwhile, The Writers Bureau defines proofreading as, “the final stage of the editing process of a piece of writing and should only be carried out once all other revisions and edits have taken place“.
Probably during your high school English classes, you have gone through learning about the writing process. It was taught to us that there are five distinct phases when it comes to writing something with the intention of getting it published. If you still remember (if not, well, we are reminding you now), proofreading is the last and final step in the whole writing process.
Most often than not, people usually have mistaken proofreading to edit. Just so you know, proofreading and editing are two totally different things. Proofreading has something to do with (as mentioned earlier) finding grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors, while editing has something to do with fixing the thought of a paragraph or fixing sentence structure.
During the proofreading stage, what a proofreader does is he or she polishes the content, and make sure it is ready for publication. It is the proofreader’s job to ensure that the article or the write-up is free from any grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and/or formatting errors.
Anyone who produces content needs a proofreader. Regardless if you are a blogger, a small business owner, or a big company, you need a proofreader to ensure that the content you publish is error-free, and would spare you from any criticism. While some choose to proofread on their own, others opt to hire a professional proofreader instead. Basically, the reason is the same – to make sure that everything that is being published is free from errors.
HOW TO BE A PROOFREADER?
To be a successful proofreader, you must possess certain skills like the following:
– Excellent vocabulary and top-notch grammar skills
– Excellent knowledge of the right use of punctuations, subject-verb agreement
– Knowledgeable about standard proofreading marks
– Knowledgeable of certain style guides like The Elements of Style, the AP Stylebook, and The Chicago Manual of Style
– Depending on the company, some requires a specific degree like Journalism or English, while others would prefer proofreading experience
– Ability to manage your time well, and multi-task
– Excellent attention to detail
– Ability to meet deadlines
If you are serious about getting into a proofreading job, we highly recommend checking this proofreading video tutorial by the English Language Centre. This video teaches you the basics of proofreading, which is essential if you want to pursue a proofreading career online.
What’s nice about this video is it teaches you how to proofread using Microsoft Word. So, check this out:
Furthermore, you will also need the following tools to make your proofreading stint easier and manageable:
– Grammarly – Grammarly is an online tool that helps spot grammar and spelling errors. It’s like a proofreader’s best friend, it totally helps make work easier for proofreaders. The tool has a free version, which you can use to ensure that you do not miss anything. The free version allows you to check WordPress and social media posts. However, if you are using Microsoft Office products or Google Docs, you will need to upgrade to their Premium account. Grammarly is a time-saver. It helps you to be more efficient actually. Another thing to like about it is that it also suggests sentence structure, as well as writing style. But do not really on the tool alone. You must still go through the whole document or write-up to ensure it is error-free.
– Google Docs – While you can do your work via Microsoft Word, most online proofreading jobs are done through Google Docs. This tool allows you to markup procedure and adds comments to an original document – basically like what MS Word allows you to do. What makes the difference is that when you do it via Google Docs, you automatically save it on the cloud, and you get to share it online easily.
– Dropbox – Dropbox is another great tool for sharing documents especially for clients who prefer using MS Word or other document formats.
– McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook – This handbook is one of the must-haves if you want to seriously get into an online job as a proofreader. It offers a lot of great and helpful tips, as well as tools to help make your process and business run more competently. Apart from McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook, you may also opt to secure yourself a copy of the AP Stylebook, as well as The Chicago Manual of Style. These are all very good resources, especially for a newbie proofreader.
In addition to the skills and tools, there are also a few technical requirements for the job:
– A dependable laptop or desktop computer
– A high-speed internet connection
– A proofreading software (usually it’s either Microsoft Word or Google Docs, or it depends on what the client prefers)
– A home office or a workspace that is free from distraction
When you work online as a proofreader, a client may ask you to proofread anything from emails to social media posts, blog posts, or even e-books. While there is totally nothing wrong with that, we suggest though that you rather specialize in a specific service, and focus on one particular type of content. It will also help make your proofreading journey easier. To give you an idea here are some of the content types that you may opt to focus on:
- Student essays
- User manuals
- Press releases
- Self-published novels or e-Books
- Court transcripts
- Online articles and blog posts
- Legal transcription
Apart from working on a specific type of content, you may also opt to work on specific client type, which could be:
- Court Reporters
- Real Estate Agents
- Local Brick and Mortar Businesses
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WORKING ONLINE AS A PROOFREADER?
We can run down a list of benefits why you should consider working online as a proofreader, but there’s a lot really. So, we’ll just focus on the major ones.
First, working online as a proofreader provides flexibility, which means you can work at your preferred time and pace. You can complete the task when you want to and where you want to – for as long as you are able to meet the specified deadline by the client. In fact, if you have a regular day job, you may also consider proofreading as a side job to help you earn extra or if you are a stay at home mom, you can also do proofreading jobs to help you make money while taking care of your kids.
Second, although I mentioned having a laptop or desktop computer as a requirement, in some instances, you can, in fact, do proofreading work using other devices like your smartphone or a tablet. You know, technological advances made it very easy to do work and share files back and forth wherever you are in the world.
Third, proofreading does not require any phone jobs, which means, you do not have to deal with anyone on the phone. All communications with your clients are usually done through email exchanges. So, yeah, you do not need a phone line at all.
Lastly, there are a lot of proofreading job opportunities out there. With tons of content creators all over the world, you will never run out of proofreading gigs. You know, these creators are too busy to even polish their work that they need someone else to do it for them, and that’s you!
HOW MUCH DOES A PROOFREADER MAKE?
Just like any other online jobs, proofreading pay rates vary depending on a lot of factors. Some may earn very little, while others make huge salaries for themselves. As compared to writing jobs though, an online job as a proofreader pays lesser.
Working online job as a proofreader lets you earn a salary range of $24,000 to $59,000 a year, with an average pay rate of around $36,000 according to the salary site, Glassdoor. If you think about it, that still is a lot of money. After all, you save yourself commuting and food allowances, as well as other miscellaneous expenses when working on a regular office job.
Also, apart from your skills and your years of experience as a proofreader, you get to earn more if you work on more projects. Proofreading is usually on production-based pay, which means, the more you accept proofreading projects, the more likely you are to earn big.
HOW TO FIND ONLINE PROOFREADER JOBS?
To be able to find an online job as a proofreader, you could either choose to search via job listing sites or online companies that offer proofreading jobs, which we are going to share with you in a while, or you may opt to market yourself and do networking instead.
When searching online, note that there are a few different terms and keywords you can use to help you find proofreading jobs. Some examples are:
- copy editor/editing
- line editor
- academic editor
- book editor
Once you land in a job post, make sure to read thoroughly the job description to ensure that it is exactly what you are looking for,
WHERE TO FIND ONLINE JOB FOR PROOFREADER?
Now, we’ve come to the most awaited part – finding an online job as a proofreader. Just a disclaimer, there are so many sites that offer proofreading sites, and what we have here is just a fraction of that. Rest assured though that these sites regularly offer an online job as a proofreader.
FlexJobs is a famous work from home job portal. It offers a variety of home-based jobs including proofreading jobs. The site has a specific section where you can find both editing and proofreading job opportunities.
We just have to point out though that they have a $15 per month membership fee, which gives you full access to all kinds of remote jobs apart from proofreading gigs. If you money to spare, we suggest you give it a try and see for yourself. If eventually, you feel like it’s working for you, then you may stick to it. Otherwise, you can always cancel your membership anytime without any charges.
Fiverr is another amazing online platform for freelancers. You can use the site to sell your proofreading services. Typically, freelance services posted on this site start their pay rate at $5. Don’t worry, you can always charge more if you think it’s worth the services you offer. Also, you can add more services to your gigs and earn more.
The thing we like about Fiverr is that you get to decide how much you charge for your proofreading services. However, always make sure that you are charging fairly not just for your sake but for your client too.
ProofreadingServices.com obviously offers proofreading jobs – both fulltime and part-time. However, to qualify for the job, you must pass a 20-minute screening test. The site offers flexible working hours, and in fact, you can earn more than the United States average hourly wage for proofreaders.
In addition, since the site caters to all proofreaders from anywhere in the world, it also allows you to get connected with some of the world’s top English proofreaders.
If you are a professional proofreader, ProofreadingPal is perfect for you. The company is very strict when it comes to the output of its proofreaders. In fact, they use a two-proofreader model, which means every document is proofread and edited by two proofreaders.
Becoming a proofreader for ProofredadingPal allows you to make money of about $500 to $3,000 per month. We know what you are thinking, that’s pretty huge for a work from home job, and would definitely help save money for the bills and other stuff.
Now, to become an official member of the company as a proofreader, you will have to answer a very short independent contractor questionnaire. After this, you will have to wait for a company representative to get in touch with you within 5 to 10 business days.
Wordvice is another online company that offers positions for freelance editors, translators, and of course, proofreaders. The company regularly offers proofreading jobs to qualified individuals – while professional proofreaders are preferred, inexperienced proofreaders are welcome to apply as well.
As a proofreader for Wordvice, you will be tasked to work on various academic papers such as dissertations, thesis, articles, as well as admission papers. Wordvice hires proofreaders from anywhere in the world for as long as you have a stable internet connection.
Wordvice pays its proofreaders based on word count, and the deadline set by the client.
The company does hire proofreaders but not on a regular basis. That is why we highly recommend that you visit the site frequently to chance a proofreading job post.
To be able to work as a proofreader for Proofread Now, you must have at least 5 years of work experience as a proofreader and must be willing to undergo challenging editing test. The process may be a little hard compared to other companies providing proofreading jobs, but once you are in, it’s going to worth it for sure.
Editor World is regularly offering an online job as a proofreader, particularly for independent contractors. To qualify for proofreading post, you must be a degree holder, must have editing or proofreading experience in the past, and English must be your primary language. You must also be able to pass a short editing test to be able to start getting assigned editing or proofreading tasks.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON ONLINE JOB AS A PROOFREADER
As you can see, proofreading is a promising work from home job. Thanks to technological advances really — the very reason why remote jobs became possible for a lot of people especially for stay at home moms and those who are unable to work on regular office setup.
Also, what makes it different from most online remote jobs is – while a few companies require a college degree holder or previous job experience for the job, most companies are open to hiring newbies in the industry.
So, if you are looking for an online job as a proofreader, there really is no reason for you to fret, because we are sure you will be able to find one as long as you have the passion, the skill, and the attitude to become one. You know, at the end of the day, those are what matter to potential employers.
Having said all that, have you decided already to get into online proofreading jobs? If you have, just keep in mind the different online sites or companies that offer an online job as a proofreader to ensure you are dealing with legit ones only. Good luck!