I’ve seen a lot of comments on Facebook over the last few years, questioning why anyone would pay for proofreading.
They say things like, “There’s software that will do that for you” or, “I can just get my friend who likes to read to proofread it.”
While some proofreading software applications can be super helpful for identifying errors, they just can’t compare with a human.
And your friend might have a great eye for detail, but she might not be familiar with all the grammar rules or be aware of the importance of consistency throughout a text.
Some aspiring proofreaders assume that other people take grammar and punctuation as seriously as they do…
You just need to scroll through your Facebook feed to see that isn’t true. Does anyone know the difference between your and you’re anymore?!
In the age of text speak and autocorrect, there’s more opportunity than ever before for well-trained proofreaders!
Patricia thought no one would pay her to proofread their work. She’s a stickler for accuracy and assumed everyone else would be, too. Once she changed her mindset and realized the value of proofreading, she saw the opportunity to add another service to her business. And it’s paying off!
Find out more about Patricia’s story below!
Q: Hi there, Patricia! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
As a former educator, I turned my teaching passion into a business — writing books (I’ve published fourteen) and developing online courses — and worked in my business writing copy for sales promotions and various articles.
I tended to edit and proofread my content and my clients’ content along the way. Because I enjoyed it rather more than I realized, when I saw the promotion for PA, I thought, why not get a certificate in this as well?
Q: It’s so awesome that you’re a writer as well as a proofreader. Way to make use of those word-nerd skills! When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?
I was adept with words, structure, and grammar for as long as I could remember. So when I grabbed the course, I realized I knew much more than I admitted. I finished the General Proofreading course in a few weeks, submitted the final exam (twice — those single quotes in double quotes fooled me), and hung up my shingle to proof immediately.
Q: What was the most challenging part of getting started?
If I’m being honest — proofreading — some think it’s not the most exciting job in the world; however, I beg to differ. Not only is it a cool trait to have, but an absolutely necessary one! The challenging part is to believe it’s of such value that people are willing to pay for the services! I actually had to overcome this mindset because since I was a stickler for accuracy and spelling, I assumed others would be as well. I found out that that is not the case! Too funny.
Q: You just need to scroll through your Facebook or Twitter feed to see that not everyone is a stickler for accuracy. It shows that proofreaders are still needed in this day and age! What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
I enjoyed how the lessons were structured, the test exams that were offered, and having a nice answer key made the process easy.
Q: How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?
I had my first client in about three weeks. And she was a tough one. Complex, long sentences, space before a period — she drove me crazy! But we got through it, and the client created her first best seller!
Here’s what some of Patricia’s happy clients have to say!
“Ease the Book Writing Struggles!”
“You are a genius, Patricia Ogilvie. All your help and great suggestions have been of great help to me. God bless you Patricia. I honestly wished I contacted you before now. You are a Star! I couldn’t have completed this project without you. Your expertise is very commendable and highly appreciated. When I met you, you gave my project a total twist. I will encourage many more to work with you. As a coach and best-selling author you will surely impact the World. You are loved and well appreciated.” — Vowero, Professional Speaker
“Thank You for Literally Spelling it Out!”
“Best editor in the world! I couldn’t have done it without you!” — Terry Mudryk, Author/Essential Oils Expert
“Feels Good Knowing It Is Well Written”
“This is the first time I’ve used Patricia as an editor, and she was fantastic. Not only that, but she completed the job in record time, and was able to help me meet my deadline. I would highly recommend her! — Kelly Fardeau, Professional Inspirational Speaker
Q: Wow! How exciting to have proofread a best seller! How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?
I recouped course cost plus a healthy margin within a month. Totally worth the price and effort!
Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?
It was worth it to me. I’m aware of the cost of quality programs and even our local university offers proofreading courses for the same price. But I would have had to travel several times a week to formal classes for in-person course delivery. So I know I made a good choice with this online program because I could complete it at my own pace and had access to a group for support.
Q: Being able to complete it online at your own pace is one of the biggest perks of the course. What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader?
I wish I had thought of using this skill years ago! I could have supplemented my writing, offering proofreading and editing back then. Now, I receive, at minimum, one book manuscript a week, plus articles and publications to review regularly. Even though I made more money writing content, I enjoy the steady income proofing brings. To be honest, I still think $0.01 a word is not enough for the time it takes to sift through the content. But that’s me. I make a handsome $1,000 per month just proofing. I hope to double this soon as the word is out my skills as a proofreader are impeccable!
Q: I have no doubt you’ll be able to achieve this goal! Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?
I wrote a post to the PA student Facebook group when a bit of hell broke loose with frustrations from some disgruntled students. I wasn’t all that surprised because as a former adult educator, when course content gets tough, a few just love to complain it’s someone else’s fault and not their own. As an instructor, I experienced being attacked. Sure, like I’m the one who made you feel bad! LOL! Anyway, here’s what I wrote, and you may take what you want from the message:
You were thrilled with the prospect of getting to explore a new or extension of a career when you first came upon proofreading. Caitlin showed you a variety of ideas, situations, condition, events, relationships and opportunities to make more money. You were excited at first. And you kept thinking about passing the exams, proving your worth and moving forward setting up your business.
Then what happened? The more you talked about and thought about how hard this was, you were taking too long to finish, you didn’t pass the first, or second, or maybe not even the third time—the more you dwelled on the shit, the worse it became. And that’s what Caitlin is telling you here. In her words, “If we continue to look for garbage in the world, we’ll keep finding it. If we start looking for gold instead… the world will transform. It’s the very definition of a revolution — and it can be a peaceful one for the most part.” This includes your career journey, not just fixing the world!
She’s correct telling you to stop complaining and focus on succeeding.
I took this program, I passed in 3 weeks. I am earning money and expanding my business. I know from experience, this program works. It’s up to you.
It’s gonna get better for you. It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right. You have to trust yourself first. Then you will trust my words, those of us who succeeded, and Caitlin herself. It’s gonna get better for you.
Bottom line: be at peace with your past. If you don’t allow fears to interrupt a process that you know is of value and can be a great gift, you will move steadily ahead. If you complain, well, you get what you deserve. Harsh, maybe, but you can really experience satisfaction just by deciding to stay positive.
Well said, Patricia! I’m a big proponent of focusing on the positive. Your thoughts create your reality. If you believe you can’t learn new skills or get any clients, you won’t! Opportunities are out there if you just open your eyes and see them.
Are you sick of all the grammar and spelling mistakes you see on social media? Want to get paid to fix ’em? Check out our free workshop to learn how you can get started.