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How Chelsea Made an Extra $14,000 in Ten Months Proofreading Transcripts

Updated: February 11, 2018

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  1. How many hours would you say you work each week or month, on average, to make that ,much? Congrats on your success!!

    1. Hey, Katie, while still at my full-time job, I was working anywhere from 10-20 hours a week also proofreading (depending on how busy I was). The longer I’d been doing it, the faster I got. Now that I’m proofreading full-time, I work between 30-40 hours now proofreading and am still exceeding my 40-hour-per-week FT job salary.

  2. The picture is showing you in front of a laptop. Are you using it or an iPad to do the proofreading? Just asking since an iPad is recommended. If you are using a laptop, which software do you use instead of iAnnotate?

    1. Hi Anita, that photo isn’t actually of me; it’s a stock photo. 😉 But I use both an iPad and my computer depending on what I’m working on and my moon. I use iAnnotate on the iPad and PDF Annotator on the laptop. Both have strengths and weaknesses, but they make getting the job done easier. I generally prefer the laptop/PDF Annotator, but that’s just my personal opinion.

  3. Hi Chelsea,

    Congrats on your success and being able to pay down your debt as well as have the freedom to plan more travel time with your hubby!

    I purchased an iPad and iAnnotate (just beginning to go through the practice transcripts). I’m curious about your laptop/PDF Annotator combo though.

    Do your clients notice any difference in the final proofread transcript you send back to them, depending on which software you use?

    How do you decide whether to use iAnnotate or PDF Annotator?

    That’s enough questions for now!

    Thanks for telling your story and best wishes for continued success!!


    1. Nope, they’ve never said they notice any difference. 🙂 I do the same exact thing for both programs; so they shouldn’t even be able to tell the difference. I largely choose based on my mood: Do I want to lounge on the couch (iAnnotate) or sit at a desk (PDF Annotator)? Do I want to take my dog to the park (iAnnotate) or focus at home? Stuff like that. 🙂

      1. Thanks Chelsea!!
        Makes perfect sense:)
        Your answer helps me decide to go with iAnnotate first, since I purchased an iPad and have downloaded the app. I’ll become familiar with using it and then move on to PDF Annotator.

        I can then make the same decisions you have and work for you.

        Really appreciate you sharing your experience:)

  4. In order to take the course for proofreading court transcripts, should one take the general proofreading course first or does it really matter?

    1. Hi, Rochelle! Great question! They are two separate courses and you do not need to take one before the other or both of them.

  5. Hi Chelsea! Thank you for sharing your experience. Your story really struck a chord with me. I have all the same fears that you had experienced. I’ve been looking into this for about two months, and although I have the support of my husband, my fears have held me back from just going for it. I think this is a really exciting opportunity, but I’m afraid that my anxiety will get in the way of my ability to pass the exam.
    When you did finally take the exam, was it easier or harder than you had imagined? Were you happy that you took so much time to do practice transcripts, or did you wish that you would have taken the exam sooner? If you could go back to your first month of this course, what advice would you give yourself?
    Thank you so much for your time! I appreciate it!

    1. Hi Shauna, I am so grateful for those practice transcripts now (even though I felt like I’d never finish)! These aren’t just transcripts they thought up for the course to pretend; they are real world transcripts and taught me to look for sneaky real world errors. In my first month, I would have created a schedule for the PTs and actually stuck to it instead of procrastinating and wasting so many months dragging it out. I’m glad I didn’t rush through — that’s no good — but I could have gotten started so much sooner had I just buckled down and did it. Hope this helps!

  6. I’m following some of the latest questions posted here.

    In addition to hearing about your experiences with iAnnotate vs. PDF software for Windows, Iam wondering what “scoping”, and whether the Transcript proofreading course is more technical, and preparing one for a much different kind of work than the other course ProofreadAnywhere offers.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. You’re an inspiration.

    1. Thanks for your comments! Transcript Proofreading is much more niche and more technical, but which course is best for you depends on where your strengths and interests lie, honestly. I’m hoping one day to maybe take the General course and add those services to my repertoire. 🙂 Scoping is essentially the step before proofreading transcripts where you clean up the raw notes. The transcript course definitely gave me a good foothold to branch into that, as well.

  7. One more question…

    I notice you also “do” scoping. I’ve looked at the course and felt totally overwhelmed.

    At what point in your proofreading career did you study scoping?

    I’m feeling like I need to master proofreading and have some client experience before I broaden my horizon.


    1. I started learning to scope about six months after I started proofreading. I was feeling confident in my abilities and wanted to try something else that could expand my possible pool of clients.

  8. Hi, Chelsea. Thank you for being real. It is tough getting started on something that is important to you. I have felt that way too; however, I have noticed that not getting started chips away at one’s confidence. Thank you for sharing your success! It is inspiring. I hope to be a work at home hero just like you!

  9. Great story. I’m finally digging into the course even with all my fears. However, I know it’s going to pay off big time.

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