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How To Become A Proofreader From Home

Proofreading is the up-and-coming profession that — due to the rise in popularity of self-publishing — will start to become more competitive in the coming years… If you have ever wondered how to become a proofreader and work from home, keep reading to learn more.

 
Considering that there are currently over 1.8 billion websites online and you will quickly realize the job possibilities for a professional proofreader in today’s market.

This page contains affiliate links meaning I earn a commission if you use those links. Please read my affiliate disclosure for more information. 

If you want to learn more about this great work from home opportunity, make sure to take the FREE General Proofreading webinar from proofreader extraordinaire, Caitlin Pyre.
 

How to become a proofreader

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What you need to know to become a proofreader

What is proofreading?

With proofreading, you take content that other people have written, and proofread it with a fine-toothed comb to make it perfect.
 
Many people use the words proofreading and editing interchangeably and while they are similar, there is a distinct difference.
An editor checks written work for clarity and flow and changes wording around to improve the readability.
 
A proofreader is the final eyes on the document before publishing and checks for spelling and grammatical errors. They do not normally change the text as much as an editor.
 
 
This gig is obviously for a very specific type of person who LOVES to correct grammar, hates when authors use a comma splice, or makes note of spelling mistakes on a restaurant menu… it takes a certain “eagle eye” ability to be good at proofreading!
 
If you answer yes to the following questions, proofreading might be the job for you:
 
     ●  Are you always catching typos and misplaced commas?
     ●  Are you constantly correcting texts and Facebook posts?
     ●  Do you read through an email five times before you hit send?
     ●  Do you cringe when a restaurant menu has a misspelled word?
 

What kind of documents will you be proofreading?

Many different people use general proofreaders for various reasons including:

  • Authors
  • Marketing teams
  • Academics – journals, papers, manuscripts
  • Small and large businesses – proposals, website copy, reports & communications
  • ESL Students – thesis, essays, admission papers
  • Individuals – resumes, applications, submission papers

The legal profession also uses proofreaders who have a little extra training. These are called transcript proofreaders.

What is transcript proofreading?

Transcript proofreading is a specialist niche of proofreading.  It involves proofreading the transcripts created by court reporters during legal proceedings.

As you can imagine, proofreading court transcripts is much more technical and complicated than general proofreading and it requires different skills and technical expertise.  As a result, the pay is higher for a transcript proofreader than a generalist.

How much do proofreaders make?

Most proofreaders are freelancers and pay varies enormously depending on the type and length of the document you are proofreading. If you become a proofreader, don’t expect to make you millions but you can comfortably make a full-time income working 20-25 hours a week.

Here’s an income report from one full-time proofreader to give you an idea: How I Earned $43,000 as a Proofreader in Just One Year

Do I need training or a degree to become a proofreader?

While there is no set rule that you need training in order to make money proofreading, the truth is that without some kind of training, you probably won’t get far.

You also don’t need a degree in English, despite what most people think. The most important things are an eye for detail and good grammar and spelling skills.

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Most companies want to know that they are hiring quality individuals who know what they are doing and without experience, you really need to show that you have some training.

Want to see if you have what it takes to become a proofreader? Take this proofreading test from The society for editors and proofreaders in the UK. 

Are there any online proofreading courses?

Proofread Anywhere is the most popular course for beginners who want to get started with their own proofreading business.

My friend Caitlin Pyle started ProofreadAnywhere.com after running her own proofreading business for years.
 
She is one of the most talented proofreaders out there… and she has compiled all of her knowledge into a comprehensive course: General Proofreading: Theory & Practice™.
 
About Caitlin:
 
Caitlin Pyle became a proofreader back in 2007.  That was her primary income ($40k+ per year!) — until she realized that she was just as good at teaching proofreading as she was at actually doing the proofreading itself.
 
After some encouragement from her husband, Ben, she created an online transcript proofreading course which now has hundreds of graduates, and almost all of them have incredible success stories. (check out the website to read some of them!).
Caitlin has two popular online courses to teach you everything you need about proofreading:
 
The Transcript Proofreading course focuses on proofreading legal transcripts, which takes longer to master.
The General Proofreading course will set you up with the skills to grow a business proofreading more general — and fun! — types of texts like books, blog posts, resumes, news articles, etc.

What will you learn in the Proofread Anywhere courses?

The course includes 8 modules (40 units) of multimedia lessons including worksheets, video tutorials, and practice sheets. There are also tons of bonuses including four premium freelance resource guides, lifetime access to the course and free access to the first module of the sister course, Transcript proofreading.

You can read more about the Proofread Anywhere courses here.

Are there any free courses online?

Proofread Anywhere offers a free 75 minute webinar training to get you started in the world of proofreading. I recently went through the webinar training and was really impressed with Caitlin and the free information she gave out.

If you want to see what it is all about, you can sign up for the free webinar here.

Where can I find online proofreading jobs for beginners? 

Proofreading is primarily a freelance job so the best places to find work is on sites such as Upwork and freelancer.com.

You can also check out the job boards of proofreading sites such as:

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