Proofreading online, as a job, is becoming ever more popular. With the internet making everything more accessible and good copywriting incredibly important to build a brands credibility, proofreading is becoming an essential service for a lot of larger companies.
We are all able to access websites from across the world as well as from our own country and as such any grammatical, spelling or incorrect use of the English language can look like a huge glaring error staring back at you.
This is why we need proofreaders, or online editors.
But how do you get into it?
What is an online proofreader?
The aim of employing a proofreader is to ensure your content is perfect BEFORE it is published. In most cases.
Sometimes a proofreader will be employed after the fact, to check over already live work.
You will be looking at not just spelling, but grammar and readability. If you are looking at work written by someone whose first language is not English then you will have to do a bit of editing as well, tweaking and rewriting where necessary. The key is that you can be flexible and are able to do all these things as and when the task needs it.
As I’m sure you can imagine, submitting high quality work which is 100% correct is key, otherwise, what is the point in hiring you? So you much have a strong attention to detail and an ability to spot your own errors. And you have to be organised, as timing is key too. Returning perfect work on time. Sounds like every job huh!?
But be careful, there are scam sites out there, which just don’t pay. Look for ones that accept PayPal, these are usually legitimate as paypal has checked them out for you. And the ones I recommend below, have all been checked too.
What experience do you need?
If you have an English qualification, then great, you are on your way. But if you are really keen on this route I would suggest doing some online training specific to this industry.
There are some great courses out there. One that comes highly recommended is Proofread Anywhere by Caitlin Pyle. She offers a free 7 day intro course, worth a look if you want to get a feel for it, as well as the full blown course if you like the intro.
You can take a look at this course here.
How can you find work?
There are 2 ways of getting into proofreading:
- You can find an online proofreading job through various agencies but to start with no specific training you will need at least an English Qualification or some sort.So here are a few of those websites where you can find online prooreading work.
- If you don’t have an English Qualification, then you can learn to be a proofreader, by taking a validated course. and using connections made to find work.
Is it easy to find work?
There is a lot of competition out there for online proofreading jobs. You may be competing with highly qualified people or those with vast experience.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to break into this line of work. So what else can you do to stand out from the rest?
Well I have done a load of research into what the successful proofreaders do to help them get ahead so I hope this helps you:
- Turn yourself into a business. You will need a website. You can create one for FREE here. Brand yourself and set yourself up as a serious business. And then get to work with social media. Good ones to get involved in for Proofreading are Twitter and LinkedIN.
- Find your subject area. Rather than focussing on everything and everything and essentially spreading yourself too thin, find a niche to specialise in. Afterall if YOU were choosing someone to proofread your work, and you found someone who only worked in your niche vs someone who did anything and everything, who would you choose? This way you are the expert. Have a look at proofreading jobs out there (see ideas in my list below) and see which ones come up more often.
- Ongoing training. Be prepared to undertake ongoing training. Once your get going, keep your eyes open for anything that can teach you more. You can’t know it all. Join facebook groups for your niche and for Proofreading professionals.
- Network. These days networking is essential for any online success. Again, this can be done through social media, Twitter, linked in a facebook groups. Find those leading experts in the proofreading field and follow them, interact in their communities and share their posts, comment on their websites. Make it known that you find them interesting. Ask them for help as well.
- Provide great customer service. Always respond as quickly as you can to any customers request or queries, to demonstrate that you are attentive and that you can turn around work on a quick deadline.
- Ensure that you have a keen sense of perfection: no matter what, make sure you always strive to create the absolute best work you can.
You could also get yourself a handbook to help you make the most of the work you are doing. This one by Laura Anderson, gives you a step by step walk thought of all the hints and tips and takes you through the proofreading process. Definitely worth a read.
As I mentioned, getting into proofreading isn’t easy, but if it something that you love, then hard work, dedication and persistence will get you what you want.
Making connections and talking to people in your industry is a must as well and will help you more than you know.
I hope this article has helped you think about how to make money proofreading online and whether this is the right path for you.
If you aren’t sure this is suited to you, but you still want to work from home and make money online with your own business, try my number one recommendation to build a home business. You can start for free, so its definitely worth a look.
Are you interested in Proofreading and have any questions? I would be happy to help!