How To Start A Freelance Proofreading Business in 2021 – Ultimate Guide

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

But wondering about “What is proofreading? And how you can start a freelance proofreading business in 2021 from your home?

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

Are you -a language connoisseur? Lynx-eyed in grammatical misstep? Crazily 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 it was published.

It’s very awful to read any content which is full of grammatical mistakes and spell errors.

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

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

Credit: technofaq.org

Even the smallest mistakes in your writing can lead to miscommunication among the audience and which gives a negative impact on the reputation of the business.

Hence, revisions of the content multiple times before it’s published is very important.

As a proofreader, you have to scrutinise every part of the Manuscript with your keen vision. The mistakes which you have to generally take care of 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 in a precise and professional way. 

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 if you are keen enough to detect the error of any sentence that will be enough to start a career in proofreading.

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

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

If you find passion about it, I bet you you can earn more than your imagination.

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

The quality which most of the good proofreader’s poses are –

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

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

In which types of documents, you can do proofreading?

There are lots of options on which you can do proofreading. You can choose any types of documents like the mentioned below- 

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

So you can see there are tons of opportunities present to start 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.

To succeed in this field the only things which are required are language skills, discipline, passion and good business sense.

Though there are some Academic manuscripts on which the company hires only those proofreaders who have some certain degree like bachelor in English or journalism.

In some cases, you may require to understand the referencing technique like APA, MLA, Harvard etc.

In non-Academic content like a blog post, books, social media content you don’t need any degree at all.

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 the people who are already excelling in this field.

What are some good proofreading tools?

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

Here are 7 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 a lot in identifying some spelling/grammar mistakes and increases my overall typing speed.

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

How much does a proofreader earn?

There are various benefits of proofreading, just look below:

proofreading benefits
Proofreading benefits

Actually, it depends upon many factors.

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

How much you earn it depends upon –

  • 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 need to complete a work
  • Your communication abilities with clients.

In the beginning, freelance Proofreaders earn around $15-20 per hour when they have proofread a few documents and got 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 job:

There are many companies or websites which offer proofreading jobs. You can work there as a full-time proofreader or a part-time as a 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 all are legitimate websites. So start as 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 skills required for it, the website that provides such a facility, etc.

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

1. Pay extra attention to Proofreading Skills

Your keen eye is the main weapon of your proofreading battle. So work on your skills. Always 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, 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 search within yourself which niche fits you more.

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

You have a huge 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 few and basic recourse to start. like-

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

Here is some style guide reference that guides you to improve grammar, spelling, 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 also it’s no different. As you practice more your number of errors every time becomes less.

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 initially spend a few bucks to make your presence on the internet.

Here is the ultimate guide to starting a freelance proofreading business in 2021:

start a freelance proofreading business
Proofreading business

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Email me at [email protected] and I’ll hook you up!

1. Make your prsence Online:

If you are looking to start your own proofreading business then your online presence is very much needed.

That’s the place from where you will showcase to your clients and get a project. And also running ads will require a website.

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

You can start your website with just $2.95/mo from Bluehost. Visit this special link to grab with 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 best reviews from them and put that on your website. Thus you will get experience and well your portfolio too at the same time.

3. Advertise Your Business

After setting up your website, you can start promoting through social media or even if your budget allows, you can run Facebook, 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 advertise your website.

4. How to get proofreading clients

If you have your own website then you can use that website to showcase your skill on social media.

Also run Facebook, Instagram and google ads and get leads.

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

Apart from that, you can use some freelance websites like fiverr.com, upwork.com, freelancer etc website to get projects for yourself.

Proofreading business Training course

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

Training from experts who are already in the market for the past 10 years can teach you well about whats works and what does not? What would be your rate etc?

So I would recommend going with Proofread Anywhere by Caitlin Pyle, that would help to get lots of proofreading practices with proper modules and test.

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

You can Join also the 76 Minutes FREE workshop and decide to purchase their training or not. It’s better to get this workshop before jumping into it.

Search for a proofreading job

At last, 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. Although chances of getting projects are very less. 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 at first, you may not pay as you expect.

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

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More to Read:

FAQs Related to start a freelance proofreading business in 2021

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 they are published.

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.

Bottom Line

In this post, we discussed, how to start a freelance proofreading business in 2021.

Now your turn to find is it your cup of tea or not. Follow your inner voice before it starts or if you are confused then you can try the acid-test proofreading.

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

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