Ways to Make Money From Home Online Proofreading

Ways to Make Money From Home Online ProofreadingAre you a stickler for proper grammar? Do you have an eagle eye for spelling errors? If so, maybe becoming an online proofreader is your calling.

Because proofreading requires a highly detail-oriented personality, proofreaders tend to be in high demand, particularly for online businesses. And because you can proofread from anywhere, it’s a great option for making money from home. In many cases, online proofreaders can even set their own hours and work at their own pace.

If becoming an online proofreader sounds appealing, keep reading for everything you need to know about this work-from-home profession.

What’s the Difference Between Proofreading and Editing?

Proofreaders and editors are often thought of as interchangeable, but there are specific differences between the two roles. Proofreading primarily focuses on catching errors in grammar, spelling, syntax, and formatting.

On the other hand, editors may go through the information and reorder and organize it. They may change or strike out material completely, check research, and change the tone of voice to better meet the audience. Editors and writers may work together through several revisions.

While editors also proofread, proofreaders aren’t necessarily considered editors. Both roles are professional and skilled, but proofreading doesn’t require as much in-depth examination of the material.

How Much Do Proofreaders Earn?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, proofreaders earn around $43,200 on average for full-time work. The pay and amount of work vary by the proofreader’s availability and workload. A busy proofreader who can maintain several consistent clients may earn more, whereas someone who’s simply looking for opportunities in their free time will earn less.

How Do You Train to Become an Online Proofreader?

Many proofreading and editing jobs require a bachelor’s degree or current enrollment in a four-year program. If it’s been some time since you’ve been in school, a refresher course can help you brush up on your skills.

Check out this free webinar for proofreaders from Proofread Anywhere. In it, you’ll learn:

  • 5 signs proofreading is the right career path for you
  • The freedom, flexibility, and financial rewards
  • How to attract your proofreading clients

Or, if you’re ready to sign up and get started, you can purchase the online course here. It takes approximately a month to complete and covers everything from proofreading basics to finding clients and managing your workflow.

Ways to Make Money from Home Proofreading

Ways to Make Money from Home Proofreading

Where Can You Find Online Proofreading Jobs?

There are many great resources if you’re looking for freelance proofreading jobs. Here are a few to start with:

EditFast is a proofreading service where clients can submit their documents online for proofing. Potential proofreaders must submit a resume and complete several editing tests. Once approved, you’ll receive notifications regarding potential projects. EditFast pays 40% of the project price to the proofreader, so rates vary by project.

  • Education: A college degree
  • Experience: Must have past editing experience

Wordvice operates worldwide, servicing universities, medical institutions, and laboratories. They hire freelance editors, content writers, translators, and online English Tutors. To get hired, you’ll need to submit a resume and complete an editing sample. Pay is commensurate with experience, projects, and knowledge-level of the specific topic.

  • Education: A college degree or enrolled in college
  • Experience: Must have two years of experience

Gramlee is an editing and proofreading company. They offer services for writing projects such as dissertations, essays, novels, whitepapers, and more. Contractors must complete an application that includes a background check and an assessment. Proofreaders are expected to turn documents around within 24 hours during the week (but can set their own hours).

  • Education: Unknown; may not require a degree
  • Experience: Unknown; may accept beginners

Kibin is a smaller company that offers copyediting, proofreading, and grammar services. They work with many students and scholarly organizations to help with essays, applications, and dissertations. Kibin pays proofreaders per word but also includes bonuses for deadlines and customer satisfaction. According to a review on Glassdoor, proofreaders earn $0.01 per word.

  • Education: Unknown; may not require a degree
  • Experience: Unknown; may accept beginners

Offering $19-$46 per hour and flexible hours, ProofreadingServices.com works with various clients around the globe. Contractors go through a 20-minute testing process when they apply to prove their proofreading skills and abilities.

  • Education: Unknown; may not require a degree
  • Experience: Unknown; may accept beginners

Scribendi is a proofreading and editing company based in Ontario, Canada. They offer both in-house and freelance opportunities. Freelancers must pass a screening test and complete an application process. The pay varies by project, but it’s competitive, and each project’s priced out upfront. They do not hire freelancers from California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, South Dakota, Washington DC, West Virginia, or Wyoming.

  • Education: Must have a university degree
  • Experience: At least three years of experience in editing, writing, or teaching the English language

ProofreadingPal offers proofreading services for resumes, essays, books, businesses, and more. According to their website, freelancers can earn $500-$3,000 a month proofreading documents from home. To apply, you’ll need to fill out their online application, as well as submit a resume and cover letter. If you make it to the next step in the hiring process, you’ll be required to pass their timed proofreading exam.

  • Education: Must be enrolled in college with a 3.5 GPA or
  • Experience: Currently employed as a proofreader

Scribbr hires freelance editors in a variety of languages to proofread and edit academic documents. They are a Dutch company but hire freelancers from all over the globe. According to their website, editors process on average 1,700 words per hour and earn around €20-€25 per hour. You must fill out an application and pass their online language quiz to be considered.

  • Education: Must have a bachelor’s degree
  • Experience: Accepts beginners

Appen hires independent contractors for data collection, translation, transcription, and proofreading projects. Once you create your account, be sure to completely fill out your profile to unlock more projects. According to their job listing on LinkedIn, you’ll need to have a good comprehension of the English language. They do ask about your education level, but it’s unclear if you need a certain level to complete proofreading projects.

  • Education: Unknown; may not require a degree
  • Experience: Unknown; may accept beginners

Job Boards and Freelance Marketplaces

As you can see, many of the popular editing and proofreading companies require a college degree and experience. So, how do you get experience if no one will hire you? You can try submitting a spec assignment to prove your skills and expertise to a potential client. You can also try pitching and applying for one-off gigs on freelance marketplaces and job boards that don’t have as rigid of requirements for proofreaders. Here are a few to get you started:

FlexJobs is a telecommuting job board that hosts a variety of editing and proofreading positions. The nature, availability, and requirements for each position will vary by the assignment and the company. Some proofreading jobs require high skill levels, while other positions are more general and require less experience. With FlexJobs, it’s easy to view a variety of positions to assess what you’re best qualified for, and they hand-screen all companies so you can rest assured every listing is legit.

Fiverr is a freelance marketplace, but for business owners. Meaning that freelancers post their services on the platform, and business owners can shop around to find a freelancer for their project. Originally, Fiverr worked on the premise that each service was only $5; today, they have expanded how much freelancers can charge for their services. With Fiverr, it’s free to join, and whatever you decide to charge for your proofreading services, they’ll keep 20% of the total price.

Kelly Services is a staffing agency that offers a wide range of temporary and temp-to-hire jobs. Their virtual jobs include proofreading and editing services for a variety of industries and businesses. Listings will vary based on skills, experience, and the nature of the position. Proofreaders can find virtual work in the US and beyond.

Randstad is a US-based staffing agency that allows you to search for a remote temporary, contract, temporary to permanent, and permanent roles. Since Randstad covers all types of positions, you’ll need to search for keywords: proofreader, proofreading, editing, copy editor, and editor. Positions, as well as requirements, will vary greatly from client to client. To help speed up your search, you can sign up for emails for the types of positions you’re searching for.

Upwork is a freelance marketplace that offers a variety of projects, including proofreading and editing. Once you complete your profile on the site, you’re paired with your ideal jobs. You can also search through clients and respond to invitations directly. Rates vary by project and client, and the rates are disclosed upfront. Some projects are hourly, and others offer a fixed price.

How Do I Start My Own Freelance Proofreading Business?

Starting your own proofreading business gives you the option to work the hours of your choosing, set your own rates, and work completely from home. You don’t need a college degree if you start your own business. You can grow with your clients and even offer additional services based on your skills and experience.

While keeping up with deadlines and building up your client base are challenges, there are plenty of resources to help you get started with your freelance proofreading business. The Editorial Freelancers Association is a professional group offering job listings, resources, education, and connections to other proofreaders in the industry.

Ready to Start?

Here are some common steps you’ll need to take to start your own proofreading business.

  1. Get the proper proofreading training if you need it.
  2. Write your business plan — You can grab our free business plan template here.
  3. Determine your proofreading niche (academic, legal, medical, authors, bloggers, copy editor, etc.)
  4. Build your website and set up your social media profiles.
  5. Set up your communication channels, workflow processes, and how you’ll accept payments.
  6. Starting pitching clients, I suggest making a list of 100 people and companies you’d like to work with, then pitch 2-5 people a day until you’re fully booked up.

Conclusion

Freelance proofreading is a wonderful opportunity for a work-at-home job. If you enjoy correcting grammar, have an eye for detail, and a good grasp of the English language, consider becoming an online proofreader!

Originally published August 7, 2017. Content updated March 26, 2021.

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Roland Millaner