How To Start A Freelance Proofreading Business in 2023 – Ultimate Guide

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When you search for new career options or a source of passive income, you frequently see proofreading at the top.

But I am wondering about “What is proofreading? How can you start a freelance proofreading business in 2023 from your home?

Then it’s the right place to clear all your doubts as here we discussed A to Z about “online proofreading business“.

Are you a language connoisseur? Lynx-eyed in grammatical misstep? Wildly scrupulous?

Keen-eyed to detect omission?

Easily spot a typographical error or spelling mistake? Then, my dear friend, you are extra steps ahead of any regular person to become a proofreader.

So let’s get started!

What is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the “quality checking” of any article before publication.

It’s awful to read content full of grammatical and spelling errors.

So, when someone wants to write good content, they may need a professional proofreader or someone very good at it.

Many big companies hire an online proofreader to analyse with a fine-tooth comb.


Even the most minor mistakes in your writing can lead to miscommunication among the audience, which negatively impacts the business’s reputation.

Hence, revisions of the content multiple times before publication are significant.

As a proofreader, you must scrutinise every part of the Manuscript with your keen vision. The mistakes which you have to take care of generally are-

  • Basic grammatical errors
  • Spelling mistake
  • Punctuation Marks
  • Consistency of writing 
  • Styling problem
  • Monotony in writing
  • Typographical missteps
  • Wrong Formatting, etc.

Skills Required for Proofreading

A professional proofreader’s duty will be to present an article precisely and professionally. 

If you are panicked because you don’t have any good academic qualifications in literature, don’t worry. There is nothing to do with any degree.

If you have a grip on language and are keen enough to detect the error in any sentence, that will be enough to start a career in Proofreading.

Proofreading is a trendy career option, and proofreaders are always in demand.

It also gives a good buck if you seek a side hustle income as a proofreader. So, take a proper guide and start a freelance proofreading business.

I bet you can earn more than your imagination if you find passion in it.

Some quality and skills that defines that you are going to be a good proofreader:

The quality that most good proofreaders have –

  • Good command of English
  • A keen eye for analyses
  • Capability to focus on reading for long periods 
  • Excellent grammatical and spelling skills 
  • Interest in writing and editing
  •  Good communicator 
  • Diligent details work 

If you have some of these qualities, then you should go for proofreading.

Which types of documents can you proofread?

There are lots of options on which you can do Proofreading. You can choose any document like the ones mentioned below- 

  • Blogs
  • Resume
  • Books
  • Advertising website post
  • Bulletin Article
  • Transcript 
  • Manuscripts 
  • Product Description
  • Social media posts 
  • Email
  • Easy
  • Public relations or marketing agency articles 

So you can see many opportunities to start a proofreading business and earn money from it.

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Do I need a degree to become a proofreader?

No, of course not!

You don’t need any rocket science degree to do Proofreading.

If you have the quality to spot the mistakes in the sentence and modify it, you don’t need any degree or diploma to start proofreading.

The only requirements to succeed in this field are language skills, discipline, passion, sound, and business sense.

There are some academic manuscripts on which the company hires only proofreaders with degrees, like a bachelor’s in English or journalism.

Sometimes, you may need to understand referencing techniques like APA, MLA, Harvard, etc.

You don’t need any degree in non-academic content like blog posts, books, or social media content.

Proofreading is in demand right now. This is because of the following reasons illustrated:

proofreading demand
Proofreading in demand

But to improve your skills in proofreading, you can attend some training program, or you can take a guide from people already excelling in this field.

What are some excellent proofreading tools?

Although a robotic tool can’t replace a human being, you can use some tools to minimise your efforts to proofread faster.

Here are seven proofreading tools that you can use in your Proofreading –

  1. Grammarly
  2. Ginger
  3. ProWritingAid
  4. Paper Rater
  5. SlickWrite

Although it can’t replace any human proofreader, it intensifies some words that are no error at all.

But Grammarly helps me identify spelling/grammar mistakes and increases my typing speed.

For this reason, human proofreaders are always in demand, but if you want to cut down your labour or your deadline for submissions is within no time, you can test these tools.

How much does a proofreader earn?

There are various benefits of Proofreading; look below:

proofreading benefits
Proofreading benefits

It depends upon many factors.

But if you ask, is there enough money to pay your expenses? Yes, definitely Yes! But it’s all up to you and your quality.

How much you earn depends upon the –

  • Your skills in Proofreading
  • Your experience
  • Your dedication
  • The hours you input in Proofreading. Are you taking it as part-time or full-time work?
  • Your marketing ability
  • The times needed to complete a work
  • Your communication abilities with clients.

In the beginning, freelance Proofreaders earn around $15-20 per hour after proofreading a few documents and getting into their footprint.

This can rise to $25-50 per hour when you gain more experience and become more efficient at proofreading a broader range of articles.

Online platforms to find proofreading jobs:

There are many companies or websites which offer proofreading appointments. You can work there as a full-time proofreader or a part-time work-at-home job. Here are some of them listed below –

  • Fiverr
  • Proofreading Services
  • Upwork
  • Scribendi
  • Reedsy
  • ProofreadingPal
  • ProofreadNow
  • American Journal Experts
  • Freelancer
  • Indeed
  • Editor World 
  • Guru

They are all legitimate websites. So start a proofreading career today and boost your income.

How to Become a Professional Proofreader?

Previously, we discussed the basics about starting your proofreading career, the required skills, the website that provides such a facility, etc.

Now, if you are serious about proofreading and take it as a profession, then know vividly ‘how to become a professional proofreader.’

1. Pay extra attention to Proofreading Skills

Your keen eye is the primary weapon of your proofreading battle. So, work on your skills. Constantly update yourself about language, new words, phrases, etc.

Improve your grammatical and editorial skills day by day. Do more Proofreading to learn more.

Read more articles or books to improve your language skills, terminology, and vocabulary, increase word power, etc.

You can be enrolled in some training program or online course to boost your Proofreading skills.


2. Figure out your proofreading niche

I think now you have at least a rough idea about proofreading.

So, the next step will be to find which niche fits you more.

If you specify your place, it will be easy to focus on one thing, and it’s a very professional step to take.

You have a vast option to choose your niche like-

  • Website pages
  • Blog posts
  • ebook 
  • Legal documents
  • Transcripts
  • Magazines 
  • Court reports
  • Essays etc

3. Put some resources in your hand

Although Proofreading is a low or minimal investment business, it needs a few essential resources. like-

  • A personal computer or laptop or a tablet
  • Excellent and robust internet connection 
  • A dictionary, grammar book or a grammar app 
  • some style guide.

Here are some style reference guides to help you improve grammar, spelling, and punctuation. 

  • Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA style)
  • MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing
  • Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications.The Chicago Manual of Style. The University of Chicago Press.
  • The Elements of Style. William Strunk and E.B.

4. Practice for perfection:

No successful person in any field starts his journey as a perfectionist. It’s ‘Practice’ which makes him perfect.

In Proceedings, it’s no different. As you practice more, the number of errors you make decreases.

How to start a proofreading business at home

Start a freelance proofreading business from the comfort of your home. And this is found to be quite profitable, too.

You only have to polish your skills and spend a few bucks to make your presence online.

Here is the ultimate guide to starting a freelance proofreading business in 2023:

start a freelance proofreading business
Proofreading business

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1. Make your presence Online:

If you want to start your own proofreading business, your online presence is very much needed.

That’s where you will showcase to your clients and get a project. Also, running ads will require a website.

So you can start your website showing all your details like the Luise Harnby website.

You can create your website with just $2.95/mo from Bluehost. Visit this unique link to grab a discounted price.

2. How to build a proofreading portfolio

Initially, as you will be a beginner, then work for some smaller publications or small businesses with low prices.

Collect some of their best reviews and put them on your website. Thus, you will get experience and improve your portfolio simultaneously.

3. Advertise Your Business

After setting up your website, you can start promoting through social media, or if your budget allows, you can run Facebook and Instagram ads for yourself to get leads.

You can also use Quora to get good leads, as it works well. Just answer some good questions related to proofreading and advertising your website.

4. How to get proofreading clients

If you have a website, then you can use that website to showcase your skills on social media.

I also run Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads and get leads.

Also, as discussed above, you can use Reddit or Quora to get leads.

You can also use freelance websites like,, freelancer, etc., to get projects for yourself.

Proofreading business Training course

It’s better to gain some knowledge and training before jumping into it. The courses help to polish your skills.

Training from experts who are already in the market for the past ten years can teach you well about what works and what does not. What would be your rate, etc?

So, I would recommend going with Proofread Anywhere by Caitlin Pyle, which would help me get lots of proofreading practice with proper modules and tests.

This will increase your level of confidence after completing the training.

You can also join the 76 Minutes FREE workshop and decide whether to purchase their training. It’s better to get this workshop before jumping into it.


Search for a proofreading job.

Finally, if you don’t want to start your own profitable proofreading business and want to work as a side hustler,

Then you can search for jobs. However, the chances of getting projects are meagre because no one knows about you until you show them your portfolio.

When you do good research about proofreading and gain adequate knowledge about it, you can search for a proofreading job.

It’s not hard to find, but initially, you may not pay as expected.

But once you become more experienced and able to show your skills to the employer, you earn a heavy buck.

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More to Read:

1. What is the difference between Proofreading and editing?

Proofreading is the final step to check misspellings, incorrect or omitted punctuation, etc, on an article before it is published or shared.

On the other hand, editing deals with correction issues at the core of writing, like sentence formation and language simplicity.

2. What does a proofreader do?

Proofreaders review and check grammatical errors, typographical mistakes, punctuation missteps, etc, on written manuscripts, articles and books before publication.

3. Is proofreading a real job?

Yes! It is. If you get a good grip on it, you can earn even more than your regular 9-5 job.

Final Words

This post discussed how to start a freelance proofreading business in 2023.

Now it’s your turn to find out if it is your cup of tea. Follow your inner voice before it starts, or if you are confused, you can try acid-test Proofreading.

Look at proofreading through the business angle that you have to build. Don’t doubt your ability. Focus on your skills, the content and your marketing.

Masood Ahmad

My name is Masood Ahmad, a blogger and affiliate marketer by passion. I am currently studying at IIT Kharagpur. I have been a paid content writer, transcriptionist, web developer, and SEO expert. But right now I’ve dedicated myself to this blog to help professionals like you, how to make money online.

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