Do you dream of being unchained from schedules? Have you ever wondered how people who travel the world make money on the road do to stay on the float? Maybe you have some extra time in your hands and would love to turn it into money but don’t have a clue about how? Well, we have the answer to all those questions.
The digital age of extreme connectivity we live in has brought many advantages in terms of working possibilities, and one of them is making serious money without leaving your house to go to an office. We are going to go through different methods and sites you can use to become a self-sufficient human with an online proofreading job. Read on, take note, and jump into your future today; the sky is the limit.
See also: Best Work-At-Home Online Jobs
Overview of Proofreading Job
What Is Proofreading?
A proofreader is to texts what a quality control manager is to processed food products. A proofreader is the last link in the chain before the content goes online or to be printed.
Without the supervision and final touches of this profession, much of what we read daily would be filled with grammatical errors, misspellings, and all sorts of difficulties. A good proofreader is as valuable as a great writer or a skilled editor; they are all part of the same chain. As the saying goes, a chain is as strong as its weakest link.
A proofreader’s job is to spot the weak aspects of a text. As much as a writer has to come up with a revolutionary point of view and make the topic interesting, a proofreader has to polish that talent and make it easy to read.
They take care of all kinds of mistakes, whether they are grammatical, punctuation, word choice, or in regards to the flow of the piece. To say it in another way, a proofreader is the last checkpoint before going to battle and winning those readers.
As a profession, proofreading is a job that is increasingly on-demand as the amount of written content in the world has been growing exponentially in the past decades. Bloggers, websites, even Social Media posts most of the time, go through the expert hands of proofreaders before going live.
Proofreaders are also found in the corporate environment and have historically been part of the backbone of the media industry. This profession is among the invisible workers, the anonymous heroes that make the written world a better one on a daily basis.
What’s the Difference Between a Proofreader and an Editor?
This is a question that many people have in their minds: are editors and proofreaders the same? Well, the answer is no, they are both links in the same chain, but the description of their work varies widely.
Editors take on the task at an earlier stage of the work and shape the text according to the format and style needed and give feedback to the writer to make the needed changes to the piece to go in the right direction.
Proofreaders usually do only one revision of the text, and that is the last one. After the piece went from the writer to the editor several times to have it checked and corrected, it falls into the hands of the proofreader. The job of this person is to check for grammar mistakes, sentence structure, and make sure the writing flows.
We can say that the proofreader also polishes the piece changing some words here and there and making sure the message is conveyed to the reader the best way possible.
- Do the final revision of the piece, generally only once.
- Make sure no errors in grammar, spelling, or structure remain after the editor worked on it.
- Checks the content for consistency.
- Revises consistency in terms of format and sentence structure.
- Ensures the flow of the piece is good so readers can enjoy the reading.
- Are involved from the first draft and take care of the communication with the writer.
- Provide feedback about all deviances and mistakes they find so that the author can fix them.
- Make sure there is consistency in the style and approach of the subject and the intended use of the piece.
- Does the fact-checking of an article and reviews how sources are named.
- Fix errors related to grammar, spelling, and sentence structure.
Besides these differences, editors perform the most radical changes to texts like moving paragraphs around and doing rewrites of the content. We can say that editors are more involved with the creation and perfecting of the piece, and proofreaders are those who polish the diamond to make it shine as much as it possibly can.
Is Proofreading Job Difficult?
The answer to this question is relative to many things, but mainly to the amount of knowledge, you have of your language (or the one you want to work with). Proofreaders can and should be able to work on all kinds of content since they go for structure and flow instead of fact-checking and content.
If you have a good idea of your language and have an eye for details, then it is not going to be difficult for you. It is important to say that it can be taught, learned and perfected with time.
How Time-Consuming It Is?
This depends on how easy or hard it is for you to spot the mistakes and how well you know your language. Again, the more you do it, the less time it will take you to complete it. Practice and hard work make the best professionals.
Who Can Be a Proofreader?
The answer to this question is everyone.
What are the requirements to be employed as a proofreader?
- Have a good understanding of the structure of your language (whether it is academic knowledge validated by a degree or self-learning and enthusiasm).
- Have some experience proofreading content.
- Have a strong desire to make a living out of it.
If you have a language-related degree or something related to it, then you walked half the path there. If you don’t have such a degree, you need to be a self-motivated, fast-learning person with a strong will and lots of desires to learn.
There is a great online free course by Caitlin Pyle that will give you the first tools you need. With those tools, you need to go find some experience for yourself and take the first steps towards your goal.
How Much Proofreaders Earn?
There are differences for those proofreaders who work in a steady gig and get paid by the month and those who work as freelancers and get paid by the piece. In this last category, it is also a big difference how much time do you devote to this task; in most cases, the more time you work, the more money you’ll make.
According to major survey sites like Glassdoor1, Salary.com2, and Payscale.com3, the average income of a proofreader in the USA is between $48,000 and $55,000 depending on your experience and other influential factors, like whether or not you have a degree.
How to Choose Your Rate?
It all comes down to your profile. Many beginners believe that if they set the lowest fee on the site, they’ll attract all the business to themselves. This is wrong; people who don’t care about the quality of the published texts don’t hire a proofreader at all and those who care to invest in a good one.
In sites like Upwork, you can find hourly fees starting close to $60 and ending over $100. Those with the higher fees have lots of incoming requests and are always validated by their resume and experience. Starting, we recommend you match the lower-mid part of the fee chart.
Being a Freelancer or Working for a Third-Party?
This is something that depends completely on what your motivation is to turn into a proofreader in the first place.
If you want the freedom of movement, schedules, and nobody to call your boss, or making a little extra as a side income, then being a freelancer is being handed the keys to the kingdom of heaven.
On the other hand, if what you want financial security, a steady flow of work, and a paycheck that matches the due date of your credit card and rent, then a steady job at a third party would suit you better.
Best Proofreading Platforms
For those who have a degree (or a lot of experience)
You need a degree and at least three years of experience in the field. There are no country or workload restrictions. They require you to have a secure and fast internet connection on a PC (no MAC) with Microsoft Word 2010 (or later) and be able to proofread up to 1,000-1,500 words an hour.
Go to: Scribendi’s website
With this platform, you go through a hiring process close to what it would be to start working for a company. Once you apply, they will get back to you within 5-10 business days. Those who get their account set up and going make anywhere between $500 to $3,000 a month. This depends on experience, degree, and how much they are willing to work.
Go to: ProofreadingPal’s website
3. Book Editing Associates
If you have more than five years of experience and a track of books you have worked on that have been published, then you can apply for this platform. Once you do, you’ll be presented with a small questionnaire that you need to pass. This platform does not accept any proofreader with a steady job; you must be 100% freelance. Once you are in, the flow of work is endless, and the payment is among the best in the market.
Go to: BSA’s website
This platform is named among the top 100 companies to work remotely by Forbes. They have a huge team of over 2,000 freelancers working for a roster of over 200,000 clients. It is not so easy to get in since you have a round of tests that take approximately 30 minutes to complete and then different interviews. Once you’ve done it, though, the workflow promises to be endless.
Go to: Cactus’s website
Best platforms that don’t require a degree
This is a site that works great for beginners since they include what they call the Contena Academy, in which they teach you the basics to get started with the profession. It is also a portal where potential clients post available jobs. You need to pay a membership to be a part of it and can earn as much as you can work; there are even remote full-time job opportunities available.
Go to: Contena’s website
This site is among the easiest to get into; you’ll only need to answer a simple questionnaire and fill in your experience. They receive hundreds of requests daily, so the more experience you have, the better the chances to get in. They charge projects up to 3,000 words $0.03 to their clients, so freelancer incomes are not so high, but still, it is a great way to make some experience.
Go to: Gramlee’s website
Extra: Generic job platforms
7. Flexjobs, UpWork, Freelancer, and others
These platforms are not exclusive to proofreaders but include gigs for them. Most of them will just require you to make a profile (pay a membership or not) and bid on gigs to be selected. This is the best way to start from absolute zero. You’ll make money depending on the time invested and gigs completed.
Being a proofreader and doing it for a living can very well change your life. If you were one of those people who spent two hours commuting to go to work, you’d recover that lost time by working remotely from the comfort of your home. If you want to see the world traveling and working, you can just take your laptop and turn every amazing landscape into your office.
Proofreading can be the key you were looking for to unlock the door of your dreams. The initial investment is close to zero, and the thousands can count the possible income; Why not give it a go starting today?