We all know why proofreaders are awesome. They help writers fix grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. That benefit is the main reason why so many writers hire proofreaders.
But there are other more hidden benefits of hiring a proofreader! Not only can proofreaders help writers improve the quality of their work but they can also save them time and leave them with enough creative energy to pump out more content.
When a writer can find the time to write more, they can earn more. And the more they write, the more they need to hire a proofreader. Win-win for everyone!
Today on the blog, Kevin from Freelanceaholics shares how hiring a proofreader nearly doubled his income as a freelance writer!
Take it away, Kevin!
How Hiring a Proofreader Nearly DOUBLED My Income
I’m not a good
I hate editing. Probably because I’m not any good at it. 😉
Always have and always will.
And don’t even get me started on punctuation. Based on her rancor regarding the colon vs. semicolon debate (and her condemnation of misused apostrophes), Caitlin would probably go into cardiac arrest if she were my proofreader.
I’m a writer. Not a proofreader.
When the juices are flowing and my brain is cooking, the words basically write themselves. I can write a quality 1,000-word blog in a shade over 30 minutes.
But editing was always my biggest weakness.
As I was working my way up, I heard great feedback consistently… but always with a caveat:
“Hey, Kevin. Great blog, but there were a few typos. Can you go back and fix that?”.
“Loved the blog, man, but the typos look VERY unprofessional”
“Hey, Kev. The content manager is on vacation this week so nobody will be there to check the work. DO. NOT. MAKE. ANY. MISTAKES. DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND. ME!?!?”
I got you, man. Stop yelling…
But, actually… he was right. I didn’t get him. Didn’t work out much longer with me and that agency.
Looking back from where I am now, I realize the one “level-up” that helped me nearly double my income: MY PROOFREADER.
Ben is an awesome proofreader. He also happens to be one of my best friends and former roommate when we lived in Prague. We can totally relate to the value of personal connections in online business and safeguarding our work.
I see typos like a bat sees — well — anything.
But Ben has hawk eyes.
Now, instead of spending God knows how long proofreading 3,000–4,000 word mega posts (and destroying my brain), I just put a link in Trello, wait a bit, and BOOM it’s done perfectly.
My efficiency NOW compared to two years ago is basically night and day.
Wait, Kevin. How Did a Proofreader Actually Help 2x Your Income?
Keeping track of everything in Trello is easy. Imagine how long it would take me to write all of this if I had to proofread it? **Shudders** NOTE: That’s not Ben’s real name.
Imagine you’re a freelance writer like me.
You’re writing, researching, and cooking up new ideas constantly. And since you’re crazy creative, there’s a good chance you didn’t sleep well the night before.
Your brainpower is your biggest asset. Having a proofreader to care for my biggest, most time-consuming weakness has been a game changer in every sense of the word.
I can save my brainpower now…
You already know I hate editing (see above).
Before, I would slog through each article and edit only because I had to. It’s tough to break into this business, and even harder to maintain a good reputation once you have it.
Typos, poor punctuation, and repetitive writing will sink your career faster than (insert disgraced politician, actor, or comedian here).
By the time I’d finished editing a 2,000-word piece, I didn’t have enough brainpower to move on to the next one. I’d have to rest for a while, go for a run, read an interesting article, or play some music just to get the juices running again.
Now, BOOM: I send it off to Ben and I get RIGHT TO WORK on the next one with my brain intact. I can easily crank out 3,000–4,000 words a day (on multiple topics) now if I know the topic well.
Before, I’d get to 2,000 words, stop, proofread, and then feel like “Nah, time to rest.”
It obviously saves time…
You work-at-home heroes don’t need me to say this, but proofreading takes a long time.
I can write a 500-word blog post in 20 minutes or less. It might very well take me the SAME AMOUNT OF TIME TO PROOFREAD IT (OR MORE!).
And even then I STILL might not catch all the errors. Now, I just move right along to the next piece. In the time it used to take me to write a 500-word blog post and edit it, I can now write two 500-word posts. (Though I normally don’t even write at this length anymore.)
It increases the quality of my work…
Remember all that negative feedback from clients?
That pretty much never happens anymore.
Every client of mine gets high-quality work without punctuation, formatting, or spelling errors. And my proofreader catches me when I slip up and get lazy.
If he notices my quality slipping or poor word choice, he leaves notes or comments and notifies me immediately. Like this…
Notice the typo… I told you I’m not any good at this. Ignore the use of “ur”; this isn’t official documentation.
Now, I can churn out more work at higher quality. His proofreading might have helped me MORE than double my income.
OK cool, Kevin. So How Does That Help Us Work-at-Home Heroes?
Good question… I’ll explain.
The majority of freelance writers I know DON’T use a proofreader. Maybe I’m just not talking to the right people, but it seems to me like this is an untapped resource for proofreaders to break into the business.
I don’t know what rates are like across the board, but I know that Ben makes an easy couple of hundred dollars a month proofreading for me, and it doesn’t take him much time at all.
Closing thoughts on hiring a proofreader
Having a proofreader has been huge now that I’ve launched Freelanceaholics. I’ve been working on creating a resource for freelance writers online for quite a while, but it’s been hard to find the time.
Especially with the mega guides I’ve been writing, there’s no way I could possibly edit them on my own and still get enough work done.
So on behalf of all the writers out there, THANKS!
Without a proofreader, who knows where I would be today?
I love that Kevin realizes the value of having a proofreader! Book authors aren’t the only ones who need our help; let’s add freelance writers to our list of possible clients! If they have the time and creative energy to double their income, that means more work for you!
Want to offer professional proofreading services to freelance writers and help boost their income (and yours!)? Check out our free Intro to Proofreading workshop to learn how you can get started as a proofreader.
Hey, I’m Kevin, and I’m a guitar-playing vagabond and freelance writer with more than 5 years of experience writing e-commerce and high-value niche web content (legal, medical, dental content). I’ve recently gone on to launch Freelanceaholics, a learning resource for new writers. It covers my complete experience in this business from building a career from SCRATCH to earning more than $5,000 a month writing. And all while living on the road.