How to Hire a Proofreader
Ever winced at an awkward grammatical error on an About Me page? Grammar mistakes can be incredibly costly for your business or side hustle! Professional proofreaders use their trained eagle eyes, meticulously reviewing a piece of writing before publication, and correcting errors that have gone undetected by you or your editor.
Errors and typos can damage first impressions, making you look sloppy and deterring prospects from hitting Buy Now. A qualified proofreader can catch all these client-deterring details, saving your credibility and ensuring your words accurately represent your brand to your target audience.
You can hire a reputable proofreader or content editor by opening an account with any of the online freelance platforms below. There are online proofreading services specializing in any area or industry, and you can find the right one for your team by becoming a top-rated client on the platform of your choice.
Hire a General Proofreader
General proofreaders are the “Jacks of all trades” in the proofreading realm. They’re the most widely known proofreader type because they’re typically the most affordable, and they have the best eyes for proofreading a broad range of written materials across multiple industries. Essays, articles, marketing copy, business documents, and novels are just a few of the docs a general proofreader may have worked on during their careers! Some general proofreaders also double as professional book editors and offer a wide range of services.
Some general proofreaders specialize in particular formats, subject matters, or industries, and they acquire in-depth knowledge and additional skills related to their focus. So, you can typically find a general proofreader who has the expertise to meet the needs of your project, no matter how niche it is.
Take your research paper, for example! To add the polishing touches before submission, you might choose to hire a proofreader who specializes in academic papers and is familiar with scholarly terminology, standard industry style guidelines, and referencing systems.
If you’re looking to become a successful author with a spotless manuscript, hiring a general proofreader can help you give a good impression within the publishing industry.
Hire a Transcript Proofreader
While general proofreaders tackle almost any type of written content, hiring a transcript proofreader could be a better choice if you’re a professional in the legal field or if you’re a court reporter.
Transcript proofreaders are specifically trained to tackle the complexities of court transcripts. Such keen-eyed detectives are familiar with medical and legal lingo, well-versed in industry practices, and know how to handle verbatim records respectfully without altering the speaker’s tone of voice. Some transcript proofreaders are also skilled in court shorthand and Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) software. While transcript proofreaders typically have a higher hourly rate, having a spotless transcript is vital for legal court proceedings.
Best Sites to Hire a Proofreader Online
Connecting with a reputable proofreader online is a simple and quick process, thanks to online freelance platforms such as HireaProofreader, Upwork, and Fiverr. These sites provide all the information you need upfront, including the proofreader’s expertise, experience, and fees.
For example, HireAProofreader.com is the best platform for those who want to work with fully vetted certified proofreaders. HireAProofreader is also the only site that doesn’t charge a fee for clients to hire or post a job. Upwork can be a good platform for managing long-term project contracts. Fiverr is better suited for short-term projects and those on a tight budget.
We’ll take a closer look at each platform (and the nitty-gritty details) below to help you navigate which platform to choose for your business!
Hire A Proofreader consists exclusively of certified proofreaders who have completed training through one of Proofread Anywhere’s courses. These proofreaders need to complete and pass a graded exam to be listed on the site. This ensures that all proofreaders on HireAProofreader are qualified and recommended by our team of proofreading experts.
On the site, you’ll find a profile for each freelancer that lists their freelance website, expertise, rates, and type of certification. This straightforward platform layout makes it easy for potential clients, like you, to find the ideal freelancer for your needs.
You can also use the portal’s dedicated search directory to filter proofreaders and find the perfect fit for your particular niche or industry. Many PA graduates using the platform even provide other useful services like editing and transcription, making the tool a convenient one-stop shop for all your project needs.
To save time and bring proofreaders to you, post your project to the platform’s job board, where interested proofreaders who fit the role specification can contact you directly. This nifty system saves you the time of having to tediously scour through pages and pages of proofreader profiles yourself.
Upwork is by far the biggest online freelance platform in the world, with over 14 million professional members offering all kinds of services — including proofreading.
You can find proofreaders on Upwork in either of two ways. Use the Find Talent option and browse the site’s category of members, or, post your job directly to the Talent Marketplace, where freelancers who are interested in the role will send you proposals (applications). Additionally, on the Project Catalog page, you can search for proofreaders according to fixed project prices and topic scopes.
Upwork allows you to manage contracts directly inside the platform, which can help simplify the administration process of hiring your freelancer. Upwork does charge contract initiation fees and takes a 5% processing fee for every payment made on the site.
Keep in mind that, because any freelancer can sign up for the platform, there’s no guarantee that the proofreaders who respond to your job posting are certified and thoroughly trained. We recommend vetting proofreaders yourself to verify their credibility. You should only connect with freelancers who have UpWork Verified profiles, and make it a practice to contact your prospects directly using the Message Center before you hire.
Fiverr is another great place to find freelance proofreaders for hire. You’ll search for freelancers in the Marketplace according to the service packages they offer, known as “gigs.”
A gig’s price is set by the freelancer and reflects the scope of work they offer, helping you easily filter search results by your budget (and any other requirements). You can also use Fiverr’s Buyer Requests to list a job posting and attract just the proofreader you’re looking for.
Fiverr charges buyers a 5% processing fee on all payments (just like UpWork), and you’ll need to pay an additional $2.50 fee for small orders under $75. Fiverr is best tailored to short-term gigs, which can make it difficult to manage long-term contracts with a freelancer through the platform.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Proofreader?
A freelance proofreader can make between $11 to $35 per hour in the US, which translates to around $0.02 to $0.39 per word. However, the exact price you should expect to pay can vary depending on the proofreader’s experience, niche, and the project you hire them for.
To give you an idea, general proofreaders fresh out of the gate usually charge around $11 to $15 per hour, while experienced proofreaders specializing in STEM subjects often set their rates above $35 per hour. Experienced legal transcript proofreaders typically charge around $40 to $50 per hour. You may even find some proofreaders who charge per page, usually $0.35 to $0.85 depending on the content and the proofreader.
Why Hire a Freelance Proofreader?
Hiring a proofreader may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it’s well worth the investment! You can rely on them to help ensure your written content aligns with your business goals, connects with clients, and projects a positive image for your brand.
The benefits of hiring a freelance proofreader for your project include (among many)…
- Increases your credibility as a business and helps you come across as a professional to prospective customers or clients.
- Saves you a huge chunk of time and allows you to focus on other aspects of your business (or pump out written work faster).
- Ensures your content style stays consistent.
- Helps keep burnout at bay, saving your creative energy for the content-creation process.
- Prevents costly mistakes — like accidentally printing brochures with glaring grammar errors and having to discard them and pay for an entirely new batch!
- Increases earning potential, elevating your call-to-actions with clear, compelling, easy-to-understand language.
Do Proofreaders Also Offer Editing?
While some freelance proofreaders offer just one niche service, others enjoy dabbling, offering editing services as well as proofreading work.
However, you should expect to pay different rates for proofreading and editing services. Editing is often priced higher than proofreading because editing work is a lot more intensive, requiring the freelancer to go through the work line-by-line and rewrite, rephrase, and format sections to improve the overall flow and clarity of the piece.
Most freelancers charge between $15 to $55 per hour for editing work that does not include proofreading. Freelancers offering both proofreading and editing may be willing to provide a discount if you hire them for both services.
Want to Become a Proofreader?
If you have a detective’s eye for detail and often find yourself cringing at misplaced apostrophes, proofreading may be your perfect side hustle! Becoming a proofreader doesn’t require a degree — just a mastery of grammar rules, punctuation principles, and sentence structures. You must also be able to confidently apply common style guidelines (like APA, Chicago, MLA, AP, MHRA).
Our courses at Proofread Anywhere can help with all that (and more). And remember, our graduates are given certificates upon completion and professional profiles on our job platform, at HireAProofreader.com.
If you’re not sure whether proofreading is the right career path for you, you can check out our FREE workshop for a fantastic introduction to what the role involves. You can also browse our blog for plenty more resources on how to set up your own freelance business and attract prospective clients.