How To Start A Proofreading Business And Make $4,000+ Monthly

Do you need to discover ways to begin a proofreading enterprise?

Proofreaders are chargeable for placing the ending touches on written content material, from weblog posts, net copy, advertising and marketing supplies, resumes and canopy letters to educational articles, authorized briefs, and far more.How To Start A Proofreading Business

This can be a very versatile facet hustle, and it’s an ideal alternative in the event you get pleasure from studying or have been identified to identify grammar and punctuation errors.

At the moment, I’ve an ideal interview to share with you. It’s with Ariel Gardner, who has been working as a proofreader, copy editor, and freelance author. She’s been enhancing for me for almost seven years, and I’m excited as a result of she’s placing out her first course, Proofreading Launchpad.

Ariel began proofreading as a facet hustle, and it’s turn out to be a really versatile full-time job that permits her to journey together with her household in the summertime. She went from incomes lower than $500 a month proofreading to often making $4,000+ each month.

On this interview, I ask Ariel questions on easy methods to begin a proofreading enterprise. 

Proofreaders are in demand as a result of enterprise homeowners perceive the necessity for error-free content material. And as Ariel explains in our interview, Google favors error-free content material in its search rankings.

So if you’re excited about beginning a versatile and in-demand facet hustle, I ask Ariel questions you might be questioning about, like:

  • What’s the distinction between an editor and a proofreader?
  • How a lot do proofreaders earn?
  • How lengthy does it take to turn out to be a proofreader?
  • How can a brand new proofreader construct their portfolio?
  • How can a proofreader discover paying shoppers?
  • Do it is advisable to have a level to turn out to be a proofreader?

Plus extra!

At the moment’s interview will enable you to get began in your path to turning into a paid proofreader. 

If you wish to discover ways to launch a proofreading enterprise on the facet of your job, whilst you’re in class, or with children at residence, this interview is a superb place to get began.

You possibly can click on right here to be taught extra concerning the Proofreading Launchpad course.

How To Begin A Proofreading Enterprise


Hey! Are you able to share your background, who you’re, and so on.? How did you begin your proofreading enterprise?

Sure, hello! I’m Ariel Gardner, and I’ve been working as a contract proofreader, copy editor, and author for about seven years.

Proofreading and enhancing are actions I’ve been doing since I used to be in highschool. I used to be the editor-in-chief for my highschool’s yearbook, and I bear in mind spending numerous hours proofreading articles written by classmates who didn’t care a lot about correct grammar or punctuation. I did much more than proofreading in that function, however I’d say that’s the primary actual sensible software of my expertise.

Even earlier than that, correct grammar and punctuation have been drilled into me. My grandpa (I known as him Gaffer) was an English professor who had no drawback correcting me on the dinner desk. And he handed on probably the most vital classes about grammar and punctuation—it’s okay to interrupt the principles when you perceive them.

What my Gaffer meant is that writers make stylistic decisions that affect the tone and that means of their textual content—and that’s okay! Accepting that is tough for brand new proofreaders as a result of we’re so centered on following the principles. However I’ve tried to convey that nugget of knowledge into my work, and I believe it’s why I’ve been in a position to work with such all kinds of shoppers. 

Talking of shoppers, every little thing began once I was again in school lastly ending my bachelor’s diploma in English. I used to be working two jobs and had three youngsters between the ages of 4 and 11.  I volunteered my proofreading providers to my son’s preschool, and I did mild proofreading and enhancing for a few of their fundraising solicitations. Finally they have been paying me, however I had volunteered my providers at first.

I will need to have talked about that to you, Michelle, or perhaps you knew I used to be again in class engaged on my diploma in English, however you approached me about enhancing your weblog posts. We have been actually tight on money again then, and it was an enormous deal to have an additional $300 to $500 every month.

A number of different little jobs got here my approach, however I used to be nonetheless making solely round $1,000 a month with my facet hustle. After a few years of that, two life-changing issues occurred inside months of each other: My dad handed away, and I used to be lastly graduating from school. I used to be so threadbare at this level, working 80 to 90 hours every week between college, part-time jobs, and my facet hustle. It was painfully exhausting, and I used to be lacking valuable time with my household. 

When my dad handed, he left me his paid-off home, and though I hate speaking about my dad’s dying this manner, with the ability to promote his home meant my husband and I may repay ours. It additionally allowed me to make the choice to pare down my jobs and spend the summer season after commencement making an attempt to see if I may flip my facet hustle right into a full-time job.

That summer season, I constructed a easy web site and began placing myself on the market. If I didn’t make it that summer season, I’d determine one thing else out for work. However as a result of I didn’t need to work a conventional 9-to-5 job, I put every little thing into discovering shoppers. I pitched anybody I knew and thought may use my providers. To my shock, I rapidly landed some gigs, like proofreading and formatting books of poetry, working with a non-profit, and enhancing the copy on my good friend’s graphic design website.

I used to be including to my ability set and growing new providers for shoppers all through that interval. I used to be continually rising my expertise to match the wants of my shoppers, and it was round this time that I landed two extra large shoppers: Millennial Cash Man and Laptop computer Empires. These websites wanted weekly assist with proofreading, copy enhancing, and writing. It felt like an indication that I used to be on the appropriate path. 

About six months after commencement, I used to be often netting $4,000 to $5,000/month. Finally I stop all of my part-time jobs (phew!), and I used to be working as an impartial contractor till early 2022, when Millennial Cash Man supplied me a salaried place. 

I assume I sort of do work a standard 9-to-5 job now, but it surely’s nonetheless versatile and permits me to show others easy methods to begin proofreading and enhancing, and I like the folks I work with.

Whoa, that was lengthy! I assume I’ve a variety of large emotions about how I bought began. 🙂 


What’s the distinction between a replica editor and a proofreader?

Copy editors enhance what an writer writes. Whereas they edit for proper grammar and punctuation, in addition they concentrate on consistency and concision. Copy editors may rearrange sentences, restructure the textual content, change phrases, and so forth. They will make a lot bigger structural and stylistic adjustments, if that’s what the author wants and desires.

Proofreaders, alternatively, are centered on correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. They typically guarantee consistency inside the textual content, like fonts, italicized and bolded phrases, and so forth. 

More often than not, proofreaders and replica editors are following particular type guides and guaranteeing the textual content matches these set pointers.

Should you have been desirous about the order of labor, it will go writer, copy editor, after which proofreader. However this will depend on what the author wants, and never each shopper wants each a replica editor and a proofreader. Really, most don’t.


How a lot cash do proofreaders earn? 

Model-new proofreaders typically earn round $15 to $25/hour, however pay can go as much as $30 to $50/hour, relying in your area of interest and expertise.

The best-paying niches are in science, expertise, and medication, however it is advisable to have a robust understanding of particular terminology and magnificence guides utilized in every of these fields, if you wish to proofread for any of them.

New proofreaders can leverage earlier work or educational expertise to get into these higher-paying niches. 

Proofreading resumes, CVs, and canopy letters can also be a high-paying area of interest (some pay $200+ for a assessment!) as a result of it typically requires a tighter turnaround time. 

In my Proofreading Launchpad course, I train college students that they will provide extra providers, like mild copy enhancing (suppose: fewer structural and stylistic adjustments and extra edits centered on concision, generally known as proof-editing) as a technique to enhance their pay.


Are proofreaders in demand?

What’s attention-grabbing about proofreading is that so many enterprise homeowners don’t perceive how a lot they might profit from a proofreader. Proofreaders can edit something from net copy, gross sales pages, emails, and white papers to educational articles, ebooks, display performs, RFPs, grants, resumes, and extra. 

I don’t suppose it’s an understatement to say that any revealed copy can profit from the eyes of a proofreader. Not everybody realizes that, however there’s a variety of potential!

To your query, there’s a demand, particularly as an increasing number of persons are publishing content material on-line. Google favors content material that’s correct and error free. If a website proprietor desires to maintain their pages to the highest of search outcomes, they can not ignore the necessity for a proofreader or copy editor.


How can a brand new proofreader construct their portfolio?

This is perhaps a sizzling take, however I consider the best technique to construct your portfolio is to supply free providers to somebody in your shut community. You’re gaining expertise, confidence, and a reference or testimonial—all issues new proofreaders want!

When you’ve accomplished that first free job, you’ll have one thing in your portfolio and a reference. From there, I like to recommend two completely different paths: begin actively on the lookout for work on Upwork (or one other freelancing platform) or pitch folks in your broader community.

You’ll need to begin small—I imply smaller, low-paying jobs—however as you develop a distinct segment, experience, and your portfolio, you’ll be able to start to up your charges and pitch bigger jobs.


How lengthy does it take to turn out to be a proofreader?

It actually will depend on what sort of enable you to want getting began. Individuals with actually honed-in proofreading expertise might merely need assistance discovering shoppers and establishing their enterprise. And those that have to refresh their proofreading expertise would require slightly additional time.

However on the whole, you’ll be able to have a shopper in a few month or much less. That’s about how lengthy it takes to get via the Proofreading Launchpad course.

I truthfully consider that the most important hurdle new proofreaders have to beat is discovering the boldness to place themselves on the market and pitch their providers. I do know this sounds slightly tacky, however the sooner you face your worry of listening to “No,” the earlier you’ll discover a shopper who says “Sure.”


How does a proofreader discover paying shoppers?

There are many other ways to search out proofreading shoppers, and a few are fairly enjoyable. I’ve already talked about providing your providers to these in your shut community and thru Upwork, however you too can community in Fb teams for freelancers or in-person teams, like your native Chamber of Commerce.

My favourite technique to discover shoppers, although, is with a way I name “I discovered an error in your web site.” The thought is that every time you’re on an internet site with a punctuation, spelling, or grammatical error, you screenshot it and ship it to the web site proprietor, together with a word that claims one thing like:


I used to be visiting your web site to [insert your reason], and I seen some errors. I’ve hooked up a screenshot to level them out, and right here’s how the corrected copy ought to learn:

[Add the corrected copy.]

Should you’re excited about having somebody proofread extra of your website and proper every other errors, I’m a contract proofreader and can be glad to debate how I might help you.


[Your name]

What’s nice about this strategy is that you just’ve proven the enterprise proprietor the worth in having a proofreader. Nobody desires to publish copy that’s stuffed with errors, and also you’re highlighting that truth whereas additionally positioning your self as a straightforward resolution.


What expertise do it is advisable to be a proofreader?

There are actually two sides to the kinds of expertise you want as a proofreader.

The obvious one is being able to recognizing and correcting errors. That comes from understanding these guidelines and figuring out to use them. I ought to word that making use of these expertise contains understanding type guides.

There’s additionally ability required in operating a enterprise, like advertising and marketing your self, sustaining good shopper relationships, and so forth. These aren’t proofreading-specific expertise—they’re necessities for beginning any sort of freelance work.

The Proofreading Launchpad course is designed that can assist you develop each of these ability units: proofreading expertise and freelancing expertise. Your success as a proofreader relies upon, in the end, in your capability to marry these two issues. 


Do it is advisable to have a level to turn out to be a proofreader?

No, you don’t want a level to turn out to be a proofreader.

There could also be some jobs that require a level, however that’s extra doubtless the case if you wish to get employed on with a bigger proofreading or enhancing agency.

Simply to be clear, if you’re working as a freelancer, you don’t want to have a level. 

Nonetheless, having a background in academia might help discover sure kinds of jobs. For instance, in case you have a level in a STEM subject, you’ll be better-suited for enhancing journal articles, textbook copy, or analysis papers in whichever STEM subject you pursued. You possibly can convey up that have as you fill out profiles on completely different freelancing platforms. 

So, whereas a level isn’t required, it could possibly assist if you understand how to leverage it.


Are you able to earn a living from home as a proofreader? Is that this a superb freelance profession?

For positive, on each of these questions! 

Proofreading is a superb work-from-home profession. You possibly can simply begin your enterprise from the consolation of your own home, but it surely’s additionally potential to work as a proofreader if you wish to journey. My husband is a instructor, and we attempt to journey as a lot as potential when he’s on summer season break, and I can convey my work with me once I have to.

So far as proofreading as a superb freelance profession, there are many one-off jobs and recurring work. This is a perfect scenario for freelancers as a result of you’ll be able to construct lasting relationships whereas additionally taking up thrilling and difficult tasks with new shoppers.

It’s additionally solely potential to increase your providers as you develop your enterprise. You can begin with normal proofreading and advance to enhancing manuscripts or authorized paperwork. Many proofreaders additionally go on to supply copy enhancing providers, like I did. 


What particular steps does an individual have to take to generate profits proofreading?

Step one is refreshing your proofreading expertise. You started studying easy methods to proofread as early as elementary college and realized extra via highschool. You may not bear in mind every little thing, but it surely comes again over time.

Pay shut consideration to the content material you’re studying, from books to social media posts. Whenever you see errors, make word of how you’d appropriate them. That’s the way you begin dusting off these expertise.

The following step is studying easy methods to discover shoppers. There are numerous methods to try this, and it’s greatest to concentrate on one or two methods to start with. I discover this retains you from getting overwhelmed, and you may actually grasp a method this manner.

Don’t get overwhelmed to start with with the formalities of beginning a enterprise—constructing an internet site, forming an LLC, getting a enterprise checking account, and so forth. You’ve bought to remain out of your personal approach and concentrate on discovering individuals who pays you to proofread.

Whenever you first begin, it may be so simple as asking a good friend in the event that they’d such as you to proofread their resume as they start job looking. 

I don’t need to be reductive, but it surely’s actually these two steps: refreshing your expertise and discovering shoppers. You possibly can actually break these down into smaller steps, and that’s what I’m educating in Proofreading Launchpad.


Are you able to inform me concerning the proofreading course you provide? Why ought to somebody take it?

I’m actually excited you requested! Proofreading Launchpad is designed to show you the best technique to begin proofreading. I begin the course outlining three most important outcomes, that are:

  • You might be assured in your proofreading expertise.
  • You might be able to find paying shoppers.
  • You might be excited to get began.

The course is structured with these outcomes in thoughts, and I made positive every little thing feels very actionable. 

That’s what makes Proofreading Launchpad such a stable course—it’s so usable.

You’re studying the entire crucial expertise, for each proofreading and freelancing, and easy methods to apply them. I additionally lay out two very clear paths for locating your first paying shopper and the best technique to construct your portfolio, which will get you that all-important work expertise that’s so tough if you’re model new. There’s even a lesson on web optimization, which is a should in the event you’re working with shoppers who publish content material on-line.

This would possibly sound unusual, however my course additionally has a variety of coronary heart. There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to constructing a profitable proofreading enterprise (positive, there are some confirmed methods, which I train), however I’m educating you easy methods to be adaptable and construct robust shopper relationships from the start. 


Final, are there every other suggestions you might have for somebody who desires to discover ways to begin a proofreading enterprise?

I’ve one main tip that I discussed briefly: Keep out of your personal approach. Explaining what meaning would possibly sound slightly woo-woo (I’m warning you upfront!), however I actually consider in what I’m saying.

Beginning a facet hustle will be terrifying. You is perhaps afraid of listening to “No,” that you just’re not ok, or any variety of different fears. I’ve been there, and a variety of profitable enterprise homeowners I do know have been there too.

Once we are fearful, we frequently put issues in our technique to stop us from coping with no matter is scaring us to start with. I imply, take into consideration that for a second. Should you have been being hunted by a lion, you’d need to put distance and a bodily barrier between the 2 of you. It’s the identical protectionary response.

However the actuality is that listening to “No” after you pitch a shopper isn’t the identical as being hunted by a lion. One threatens your life; the opposite threatens your ego.

The earlier you settle for that your fears are regular and aren’t making an attempt to maul you, the earlier you’ll be able to commit your vitality to discovering a paying shopper.

You possibly can click on right here to be taught extra about my Proofreading Launchpad course.

Are you curious about beginning a proofreading enterprise?

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