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How This Air Force Vet Runs Her Freelance Business

Korean linguist.

Air Force veteran.

Pilates instructor.


Those are just a few of the highlights of Danielle’s journey toward running her own freelance business. Can you imagine what’s going to come next?!

Read on to get an in-depth glimpse into her story and how Proofread Anywhere has impacted her life.

Take it away, Danielle!

1) Hi, Danielle! Why don’t we start by you telling us a little bit about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?

Danielle runs her freelance business while traveling the world

Where do I start? I’m a California native who had explored several different career options and colleges to include serving as a Korean linguist in the Air Force after completing an associate’s degree in general studies and still having no clear idea what I ultimately wanted to do workwise. After a two-year stint in South Korea as part of my enlistment, I decided to get out of the military and head back home to San Diego to train in the healthcare field as an EEG tech doing brain wave recordings. I met my military husband a few years later and we decided an overseas assignment sounded like fun, so we accepted a three-year assignment to London, United Kingdom.

2) That’s a super interesting background, Danielle! And LONDON! Sign me up 🙂 So when did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?

Prior to moving to London, I had moved to working only part-time as an EEG tech and was teaching group Pilates classes as well. I had thought I might be able to continue my Pilates business in London, but it didn’t pan out the way I had originally intended, and local jobs on the economy can be tough to come by in the UK for ex-pats.

So I took a two-year work sabbatical, if you will, and became a full-time domestic goddess, travel planner, pet sitter, and travel blogger during that time. About a year and a half into our three-year assignment in London, we decided to put in for another consecutive overseas assignment as my husband’s “twilight” tour before his military retirement. It was then that I realized I couldn’t always depend on being able to work on the local economy wherever we went and I needed to find a profession or skill that allowed me to work from anywhere with complete continuity with each of our moves. So after researching legitimate work-from-home careers, I started the Proofread Anywhere course in the fall of 2016 and finished up the course in early spring the next year.

3) You make such a great point! Depending on the local economy when you’re traveling the world is not a viable option for many. That’s exactly why proofreading is perfect for military spouses! What were the most valuable things you learned during the course?

The course gave me a great brush-up on things such as when to use hyphens, comma placement, as well as transcript-specific formatting that I never would have known about if I had just ventured out on my own. I also love the support and wisdom that is shared in the Facebook groups for both students and graduates. I think it’s probably the best part of the course!

4) Our Facebook groups are definitely a huge perk of the courses! Let’s talk about your transition into scoping. What made you expand from proofreading into scoping, and did you receive any scoping training?

Danielle runs her freelance business while traveling the world

Proofreading naturally led me to train as a scopist within only a few months as a way to offer an additional service to clients and open up my income potential. I enrolled in the course offered by Internet Scoping School and was able to test out of the punctuation portion of the course using what I learned from Proofread Anywhere and shorten the training duration and cost a bit. Right now I do a mix of scoping and proofreading since I like the variety and love all the clients I’ve worked with since the beginning. There’s no way I could part with them!

5) You know what I always say: mo’ skills = mo’ money! What was the most challenging part of getting your freelance business started?

Marketing! Living overseas in London made it challenging to market myself other than through online means.

6) How long did it take you to find your first client? How many clients do you have now?

It took me about four weeks of actively marketing via multiple avenues before getting my first clients. It can be frustrating to sow so many seeds and not see anything come of it right away, but once I got the first client it wasn’t too much longer before I had several other clients, all of which I still work with to this day. Patience is key. Sometimes it is just being in the right place at the right time to get that first client. I regularly proof and scope for eight reporters now as well as a few one-off jobs that I’ll pick up off of job boards if I’m having a particularly slow week with no other personal commitments.

7) What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the transcript proofreading course? Is it worth the money?

Absolutely! I recouped my course and business start-up costs within two months. I’ve even encouraged three people to sign up for the course as well! I love that I’m able to choose how much work I want, so I’ve been able to adjust my workload as I need to depending on what’s going on in my life. The feast-or-famine nature of this kind of work can take some getting used to. Some weeks I’m drowning in work and others it seems like I’m on an unplanned vacation. I’ve learned to enjoy the quieter weeks when they come rather than have that freelancer worry that I’ll never hear from my clients again. I’m a numbers person, so I can tell you that for this year so far I’m working an average of 22 hours a week and earning an average of $675 a week.

8) That’s amazing! Way to go, Danielle 🙂 What does your life look like now as a freelance business owner?

Danielle runs her freelance business while traveling the world
Danielle living her dream life in Switzerland

I’ve temporarily moved to Washington, D.C. since starting my proofreading/scoping business and am getting ready for another overseas move to Lima, Peru. The best part about this gig is that I can work from anywhere that has an internet connection, so I have been able to maintain continuity in my work regardless of where my husband’s work sends him!

Also, I’m one of those people who does bring a bit of work with them when traveling (I need something to do on the plane!) and I’ve been able to work in 16 countries to date, even on top of the neighboring mountain to the Matterhorn in Switzerland! Working while traveling is also a great way to pay for the trip itself, so I can afford to take longer holidays. Earlier this year I took a four-week-long working holiday in London and Paris, and even with a reduced workload during that time (you don’t want to spend your entire trip staring at your laptop rather than your destination!), I was able to work enough each day to pay for my daily expenses of food and transport and the few nights of a hotel when not staying with friends or family!

Our Take

If you think you don’t have the “right” background to become a proofreader, I hope Danielle’s story has convinced you otherwise. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been; it only matters where you’re going. Danielle is now living her dream life and we’re excited to see where she goes next!

Your Turn

Are you a veteran or military spouse looking for a career you can do from anywhere? Or maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom, retiree, or just looking to expand your skill set? Whatever the case, proofreading is a GREAT option to make money from literally anywhere — even on top of a mountain! Get started with my free 7-day proofreading course to see if it’s right for you.

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  1. I am single and working full time. However, I need help building additional income to save for a down payment on a home. Meanwhile, I am a avid reader constantly finding myself by happenstance proofreading the books that I am reading. I always wanted to set up a small business for myself that somewhat included doing something that I love to do. When I came across Caitlin's website on Instagram regarding Proofreading, a light bulb went off for me. I just purchased the Ignite Plus Course that I will be beginning this weekend and currently finishing up the 6th day of the introductory course. My mind is about to explode with the amount of information. Yet, I am ready to get started. One of the Proofreader"s Danielle mentioned doing Scoping training. What is scoping training? Did I miss something?

  2. Inspiring! Following in your footsteps, Danielle. Thank you for reminding us about that first client and how long it might take to get one. Puts it in perspective.

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