We foster relationships with brands we use and trust. The testimonials on our site represent real experiences, but they don't guarantee you'll achieve similar results. When you make purchases through our links to our partners, we may earn a commission. Your support helps us continue this work. You can read our full disclosure here.
In the last few years, I’ve made a decent side income proofreading from home. One of the perks of running a home business is that you can set your own rates and make money doing the things you love.
While I wouldn’t call myself a grammar police, I do enjoy reading through content and marking the errors–which is the whole premise of proofreading online.
If you pride yourself on being a grammatical genius, why not turn that penchant for perfect spelling and punctuation into a money-making portfolio? Becoming a proofreader is something that you can do from home, or you can turn it into a full-time career. If this excites you, then this proofreading guide is the perfect place to start.
Online content is only on the rise, so you can work as much or as little as you want, even from whichever country you choose.
You don’t always need a degree – whether college-educated or not, there are plenty of companies just looking for good entry-level proofreaders. The job possibilities for proofreading online from home are nearly endless.
You can build up your experience and make good money if proofreading is your thing.
What is Proofreading and How Much Can You Earn From It?
What exactly is online proofreading? Proofreading is the final step of the writing process. It involves searching for correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, as well as a good flow of content and understandability.
Bloggers, business websites, authors, even college students all want perfect papers, articles, and content. Proofreading makes sure everything is complete, is understood by its audience and is error-free. The proofreader catches anything that was missed in the writing process and makes sure a piece of work is polished, professional and precise.
Related: 25 Best Jobs for Stay at Home Moms
Does Proofreading Require Certification?
General proofreading doesn’t require certification or an English degree (depending on the companies you apply to work for). If you don’t have a degree in English or didn’t go to college, it’s still possible for you to become a successful proofreader online. You’ll need to have a natural attention to detail in writing and proofreading.
While certification isn’t required, there is an amazing free proofreading workshop to help you become a successful proofreader.
Proofread Anywhere gives you all the right tools to make sure you can hone your language skills into a money-making, work-from-home machine! Caitlin’s workshop answers your questions and guides you along the proofreading process, so you can come out completely confident and ready to apply to your first proofreading job.
Check out her workshop today to get the perfect jump start on your proofreading endeavors.
Other Proofreading Requirements and Qualifications
If you have great attention to detail as it pertains to writing and content, you’re already an excellent candidate. Proofreaders will need to be skilled in reading pages of content, searching for the smallest of errors in various pieces of work on a regular basis.
Some companies/authors require college degrees and up to 5 years of proofreading experience, but there are plenty of sites who are more than willing to let you gain experience with them and prove yourself valuable as a beginner, even if you didn’t go to college.
Some sites only need a high school diploma and a serious inclination for great grammatical finesse. Wherever you fall between these categories, there is a proofreading place for you online.
Related: How To Become A Content Creator
Proofreader Salary or Pay Expectations
How much can you expect to make as a proofreader? Most companies will either charge by the hour or by the word. You can expect to make about $22/hr in the beginning, which can quickly rise as you gain experience.
Once you dive in and enjoy the work, part-time can easily turn into more. If you’d like to head into becoming a full-time proofreader, you can potentially make an average of $45,672/yr, even as a beginner. Demand is high and work is always available, so proofreading from home can quickly become very profitable for you.
How to Become A Proofreader
There are five basic steps to working from home as a proofreader. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, you can become a proofreader!
Starting your own proofreading business could lead to the best profits. When you work for another company, they cap your earnings or take a cut of your income. While it’s a legitimate business model, this means less money in your pocket. Instead, start your own business and set your own prices.
Step 1: Choose a Focus
You might think that all proofreading jobs for beginners are the same, but that’s far from true. Whether you’re working on Amazon listings or eBooks, these are two completely different opportunities. Amazon listings are short, quick tasks, while books require hours of reading and correcting errors.
There are all kinds of opportunities once you find the area you would like to focus on; keep honing your skills in that area.
Related: How to Become a Beta Reader
Step 2: Read for Practice
A great way to exercise your proofreading skills is to read online content and train yourself to naturally proofread for mistakes. Make a mental note when you find an error and correct it in your head. Do this every day while reading social media posts, news articles, blog posts, etc.
Step 3: Familiarize Yourself with Proofreading Tools
If you have impeccable grammar, you may not need the extra support, but everyone makes mistakes. That’s why it’s important to have the right proofreading tools ready to go for when you get hired for your first proofreading job.
- Grammarly – a free Google Chrome extension that checks spelling and grammar, marks errors and suggests corrections.
- Google Docs – clients can share live documents with you to proofread and return all in one place.
Step 4: Build a Portfolio
Potential clients may be wary of hiring new proofreaders without seeing samples of your work. You can build a portfolio website using this tutorial and fill it up with samples to show future clientele. A quick way to show your work is to offer free or discounted proofreading services to various bloggers and content creators. Then, ask for a reference and link to their article to show your skills.
Step 5: Set Your Prices
Proofreading prices vary based on your experience and skills. You can set your price based on word count, hours worked, or per page. It’s important to keep your prices competitive while ensuring that you earn a realistic amount for your efforts. You can charge between $.03 to $.06 per word or up to $45 per hour.
Step 6: Start Cold Pitching or Applying
Finally, you can start contacting potential clients to offer your proofreading services or apply to the jobs that fit your background whether entry-level or professional. Since you have the training and portfolio as proof of your skills, it’s easy to show what you can accomplish.
Related: How to Become a Photo Editor
Questions New Proofreaders are Asking
There are a number of questions you may want to have answered before applying to your first proofreading job. You can get all the latest details here to help build your confidence and get hired sooner.
Don’t forget to sign up for Caitlin Pyle’s free Proofread Anywhere workshop to get even more details.
What is the difference between proofreading and copyediting?
While both proofreading and editing require similar skills, proofreading typically stops at marking spelling and grammar mistakes throughout the content. Copyediting, on the other hand, involves correcting the spelling, grammar, and sentence structure of the content.
Related: How to Become a Copyeditor
What comes first proofreading or editing?
Proofreading is the secret to a perfect piece. That means the editor makes her changes and corrections, and then the proofreader polishes it to perfection.
Can I make money as a proofreader?
Anyone with strong English and grammar skills has the ability to make money proofreading. You can earn an average of $45 per hour working for clients, or much more by hiring independent contractors. Many opportunities have a low barrier to entry, making it easy to get started.
Can you be a proofreader without a degree?
Proofreading is possible with or without a degree. However, having a degree in English can help you land a job sooner or get paid to proofread at a higher rate. You can start applying for beginner jobs to fund your way through college, or build your career through hands-on experience.
Are proofreaders in demand?
The demand for proofreaders and editors grows with the increase of online businesses and content. There is no lack of work when it comes to proofreading online. Some digital markets are just unaware that they need a proofreader in some cases.
How long does it take to become a proofreader?
Truthfully, you can become a proofreader today. You don’t have to wait on any fancy training if you have the skills it takes. You can apply to jobs and pitch your services using any existing experience you have in a comparable field.
Are proofreading courses worth it?
While many proofreaders have natural editing abilities, proofreading is also a skill that can be learned. Online proofreading courses are best for someone who wants to master the art of proofreading without returning to school for an English degree.
Who Should Become a Proofreader?
If grammar and spelling is your thing, then becoming an online proofreader just might be the perfect at-home job opportunity for you to dive into headfirst. If you are constantly noticing errors in texting, signage, posters or even the books you read, it’s all a good sign that you could make some serious money with a proofreading position.
Make it your side hustle or turn it into a career path – proofreading from home can start now and it can be an incredibly successful opportunity.
Armed with all the necessary information and honed skills, you’ll be ready to take on this venture. You can soon be on your way to a successful new part-time or full-time proofreading job.
Whatever your reasons, if proofreading online is at all interesting to you, it’s worth checking out your options. Proofreading is flexible, it pays well, and it takes experience of all kinds. Start with Caitlin Pyle’s free Proofread Anywhere workshop, then shop these job sites for the perfect fit for you and get to work making money.