How to Start a Profitable Career as a Freelance Proofreader
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People often ask me how I started my proofreading business. My Facebook Messenger inbox is full of questions from friends and acquaintances asking me how to go about starting their own, so today I’m going to tell you how you can get started as a freelance proofreader and start earning money from home.
Before I Was a Proofreader, I Owned a Day Care
I was pregnant with my third daughter and running my home day care full time. At that point, my day care was bringing in about $1700 a month before taxes. I was exhausted, as you can imagine. My days were long, and I was on my feet all day. Sure, I was home with my babies, but I was about to welcome our third, and I just wanted some time to rest and prepare, not to mention keep my baby safe from sickness and germs, so I closed my business.
I was very fortunate that my husband’s income was just enough to take care of us. There was never anything extra on his income alone, but that was okay with me. Just being a stay-at-home mom was enough for me, until it wasn’t anymore.
By this time, I had been a mom for six years. I had always searched for ways to make money from home, but when I gave up my day care, I gave up on finding the perfect home business. I don’t know exactly what sparked the interest in me again, but this time, it was more than a spark. It was a fire. I was determined to figure out what I could do from home to earn money and provide all the extras we wished we could afford.
Was Proofreading Right For More Me?
I was casually scrolling on Pinterest one day, and I saw a pin stating you could make money proofreading, so I clicked the link and read about Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere for the first time. This woman was earning $43,000 a year proofreading. The subject really got my attention because I was always finding errors pretty much everywhere. I thought that I would love to get paid for it, so I went to her website and took the intro course to figure out if this kind of business would be right for me. It was. It so was.
There is a free 76-minute workshop you can watch to see if a proofreading business is right for you. You can access the workshop here. I’ll add the link again below at the end of this post. Important: There is a huge discount for the course at the end of the workshop!
Once you figure out if a proofreading business is right for you, there are some things you need to do to prepare. Keep reading below.
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Take a Course
Even if you think you are the best of the best when it comes to grammar, punctuation, and spelling, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your skills.
The General Proofreading course from Proofread Anywhere (not to be confused with the Transcript Proofreading course, which is a course that teaches how to proofread for court reporters) will definitely help you do that. There was actually a lot I didn’t know, but I didn’t know I didn’t know it until I learned it in the course. There are lots of rules in the English language. I absolutely do not recommend starting a proofreading business if you do not intend to further your knowledge on the subject. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you won’t make it.
Disclaimer: I took the transcript proofreading course. The general proofreading course was not available when I took it, but I would have chosen the general course over the transcript course if I had the choice. The reason for that is it is less expensive and the income potential is higher. The information I’m about to give you is for the general course.
I recommend this course because you will absolutely get your money’s worth. The course contains nine modules, including 10 worksheets and 40 practice essays:
Module 1: Introduction to General Proofreading
Module 2: Get into the proofreading mindset
Module 3: Proofreading basics
Module 4: Proofreading methods + practice
Module 5: Turning proofreading into a business
Module 6: Looking for jobs
Module 7: Once you get the job
Module 8: Getting the most out of the freelancing life
Module 9: Ignite Plus exam
There are also some pretty great bonuses and books included in the Ignite and Ignite Plus options!
Purchase Some Reference Books
Like I said, there are lot of rules, so reference books are a MUST! The ones I recommend are:
The Chicago Manual of Style , 17th Edition
The Associated Press Stylebook
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition
The best punctuation book, period
Pick a Niche
It’s true that you can create a business around serving several different niches, but the real money is in getting specific about who you will serve. There are many different niches:
Books (you can even get more specific about the genre)
Business Websites or Social Media
Legal (There is a separate course for transcript proofreading. You can learn about that course here.)
Finding Your First Job
The course does a really great job of teaching you how to find jobs, so I won’t go into too much detail, but there are plenty of proofreading job boards you can subscribe to, Facebook groups you can join, and people and businesses you can contact to snag your first job. I recommend finding a client that will bring you recurrent business. An example of that would be a blog, business, or professional author. I know that’s super vague, but I promise you the course goes over all of that.
My Life as a Proofreader
Earning money while staying home with my kids is an answered prayer. I truly love what I do and the people I serve.
Before proofreading, we were always on a tight budget, and you could forget about taking a vacation. We were always worried about how we would provide the kids with school clothes or pay their dance tuition.
Proofreading has changed all of that. We even took a vacation to Destin, FL, last summer! It was my first time visiting a beach so beautiful and clear, something I had wanted to do for so long. My proofreading business paid for it. All of it.
Would you like to start a profitable career as a freelance proofreader? Take the first step by joining this free workshop to see if you have what it takes and to receive a fantastic discount!
Until next time,
I’m Kari, founder of Mom For More. Do you often lie awake at night dreaming about what it would be like if your family was debt-free? What if you could make that dream come true with a business that allowed you to stay home and be fully present with your babies? Mom for More teaches moms that they can start a home business, become debt-free, and gain more overall peace in motherhood. It equips moms with the tools they need to succeed in their finances, home businesses, and daily lives. You don't have to put your life on hold when you become a mother. It's okay to dream. It's okay to believe that you were made for more. I’d love for you to subscribe and follow along with me!