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Part-Time Proofreading is a GREAT Side Gig to Your Full-Time Job

Time. There’s just never enough of it, right? Our days are packed with work, family, social obligations, and a million other things to do.

You might think there’s absolutely no room to add anything else to your already-packed schedule — especially if you’re already working a full-time job. How in the world could you add a part-time transcript proofreading gig on top of that?!

Well, guess what? You CAN! And we have proof that you can successfully rock at both.

Check out this interview with our very own PA grad, Maria. She is a total numbers person by day (as a full-time accountant) and a part-time proofreader by evenings and weekends.

How Maria Became a Part-Time Proofreader

Hi, Maria! Can you start off by telling us a little bit about your background?

I’ve always loved to read since I was very young. I was that student who was always in the school/city library, the bookmobile, and always got a free pizza for reading! For study hall, I signed up to work in the school library instead, and I’d get in trouble sometimes for reading during classes. As I grew up, I’d notice spelling and grammar errors in the books I’d read and other everyday places.

As much as I love to read, I’m also good at numbers, and that’s what I ended up doing as a full-time career. But I’d always thought it would be great to get paid to read and find errors. It seemed like most of those types of jobs require some sort of degree, though. That is, until I found Proofread Anywhere two years ago.

You were an Eagle Eye at a young age — love it! So when did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread transcripts?

I found out about the Proofread Anywhere course in early March of 2015. After corresponding with Caitlin, I signed up for the free 7-day intro course. Once I went through that, I realized that even though I had a knack for finding errors, I needed more training when it came to proofreading for court reporters, so I signed up for the transcript proofreading course right after that and finished at the end of May of 2015.

The fact that I didn’t need a degree to do this was a major factor in my decision to learn how to proofread transcripts. I had also been trying to find a way to make some extra income on the side since I do still have a day job. This seemed quite convenient because it wouldn’t require me to go to another physical job location to work. Plus, it would be something I’d enjoy doing and wouldn’t really seem like work. I also hope to eventually leave my day job and make proofreading one of my few freelancing jobs instead.

Proofreading as a Side Hustle

Side hustles are definitely more common these days. What was the most challenging part for you in getting started?

The most challenging part was finding the time to take the course with everything else I have going on. But because of the portability this job offers, I was able to find time to take the course at my own pace, and it was easier than I thought it would be.

Proofreading Courses

What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

I would say learning how to market myself was most valuable to me. I have never been good at sales in general. In the past, I’d signed up for a few direct sales companies, but I never really made any money because I’m just not good at sales. But the course teaches you how to market yourself in more than one way — and it worked! I no longer fear putting myself out there and reaching out to potential clients.

Way to conquer your fear! How long did it take you to find your first client, and how many clients do you have now?

Well, I have a court reporter friend, and she started sending me work once I finished the course. But on my own, I was able to find my second client within a few days of finishing the course.

Right now, I have six clients. Three of them send me work on a regular basis, and the other three send me work on a more spread-out basis. I never thought I’d be able to take on several clients while still having a day job, but it’s worked out well so far. The nice thing is that I can always take on more clients as the need arises and my circumstances change.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course? Is it really worth the money?

I would say that it’s worth every penny. If you like to read a lot and you have a knack for catching errors, then this might be a good fit for you. You might find, at first, that you thought you knew how to proofread but really don’t. That’s where the course comes in. The free 7-day intro course made me realize that I didn’t really know as much as I thought I did about proofreading in general. But that didn’t stop me. It actually made me want to learn more about specifically proofreading for court reporters.

Any parting words for our fellow proofreaders?

If you’re really serious about proofreading, you can make it work. It will take time to go through the course, but you’ll have all the information you need to make this a part-time or full-time career. For me, finding Proofread Anywhere has also opened the door to other opportunities I wouldn’t have considered before.

In the almost two years I’ve been part-time proofreading, I’ve branched out into proofreading for businesses, academic proofreading, and copyediting, and I continue to look into other avenues of proofreading as well. All of this has also led me to further branch out into being a virtual assistant, not only as part of the Proofread Anywhere team but also assisting a few court reporters as well. Really, the sky’s the limit.

What Maria’s Clients Are Saying

Check out the glowing reviews Maria keeps getting from her clients. Talk about providing excellent work 🙂

Maria catches typos as a part-time proofreader
Maria catches typos as a part-time proofreader
Maria catches typos as a part-time proofreader
Maria catches typos as a part-time proofreader

Our Take

We love that Maria is running a successful proofreading side gig while maintaining her full-time accounting job.

You CAN find time to hustle and work on the things you love while still working a 9-to-5!

We know Maria is going to continue to rock and eventually turn her part-time proofreading business into a full-time job, and we’ll be there to celebrate with her when it happens!

Do you have questions or comments for Maria? Leave her a comment below!

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  1. This looks to be right up my alley. I was looking as starting this as a part-time gig in addition to my full-time job as well. Glad I am not the only one. It would be nice to have it grow into a full-time job, but I am going to take it slow.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You’re welcome! For me, it’s still a part-time gig because I still do need my day job. But I know one day I’ll be able to leave my day job and I’ll already be established in my freelance side gigs. Taking it slow is smart too. You don’t want to rush through the course just to start proofreading right away. Court reporters will know if you’re not skilled, so it’s best to take it slow and take the course material in until you understand it well.

      I hope it works out for you as it has for me! 🙂


  2. Maria, I am curious how you handle marketing through LinkedIn (assuming you do) or other channels since you do have that day job. Do you have both listed on LinkedIn, just your day job, neither? I am curious how to go about doing that, since I don’t really use LinkedIn much in my field, but do have a page, connections, etc. I am not trying to keep a side hustle a secret really, but wouldn’t want colleagues from my day job to ever wonder if my side job was impacting my work. Not sure if this is a real concern or one I have created in my head though!

    1. Hi Carly,

      Even though I am on LinkedIn and do list both of my side gigs on there as well as my current day job, I’ve never gotten a client through there nor do I use it for that reason. I had a LinkedIn page way before I got into proofreading. I do know that several of my colleagues have looked at my profile but it’s never come up because it doesn’t impact my work at all.

      Whether you decide to use LinkedIn or another source for marketing is totally up to you, though. You know better how your current colleagues will see it and if it’s something you want to put out there or not. But the course teaches so many other ways to go about marketing so you don’t have to limit yourself to just LInkedIn or Facebook or other social media platforms. You won’t know until you try, so I suggest signing up for the free 7-day intro course.

      Maria 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jenn! You’re pretty awesome to proof for too. 🙂

  3. This is such a timely piece. I needed to read this.

    Maria’s road to proofreading mirrors my own. So does her work situation. Her story is just the kick I need to finish the course.

    Congrats, Maria. I wish you continued success.

    1. Thank you, Tira! I hope it works out for you too. Keep us updated in the PA Facebook group.

      1. Appreciate the well wishes, Maria.?

        I will definitely update everyone in the FB GRIUP.

  4. I just wanted to comment and say that Maria has been nothing shy of great! You can tell her heart goes into every job she proofs, and she never fails to catch my mistakes. She’s saved me on numerous jobs — actually, probably every job — from looking like an amateur. I absolutely love working with Maria, and I would never hesitate to recommend her!

    Thanks for all your hard work, Maria! 🙂

    1. Aww! Thank you, Sidney. I appreciate you! You’re great to work with too. 🙂

  5. Maria has been my proofer for well over a year, and I feel SO lucky to have found her. She is amazing at what she does. She can take a jumbled paragraph of nonsense that I’m stuck on and turn it into something smooth and flowing. With her proofing my transcripts, I am 100 percent confident that my final drafts are clean and readable. I don’t know what I would do without her!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Summer. I’m so glad our paths crossed too. I enjoy being your proofer and appreciate the good communication we’ve always had. 🙂

  6. Maria, you and I must be the “twin” the other never knew about! I was exactly as you described in school! I even worked in the school library while in high school, and knew all of the summer bookmobile drivers! My day job (and weekend job!) is being a math teacher in a rural middle school. See? I told you we are “twins” who have never met

    However, my dream job would be to proofread for authors and freelance writers. Does the PA course cover this area also? I want to learn everything I can, but it’s a big load of money for a mom of four! I’m just checking that it would help me in all areas, even if court transcripts aren’t for me. I’ve had the free 7-day emails already sent to me, so I know it is definitely good information! I’m just checking with you because it seems you’re doing exactly what I’m wanting to do by keeping my day job (I ❤️ it), doing the Mom job (I ❤️ it more!), and adding the part time portion as well.

    1. Hi Ellen,

      The paths we’ve taken are quite similar. I’m sure there are more of our kind out there too. 🙂

      The course is specific to proofreading for court reporters mainly, but later this year Caitlin will be releasing a general proofreading course that will cover proofreading books, blogs, etc. I might take it myself just because I’ve been expanding into other areas already and would like anything that would help me in other types of proofreading. I like having a variety of things to proofread. I’m glad I’ve been able to learn both proofreading for court reporters and in other areas. You might choose to do one course now and then the other one in the future. More skills equals more money. 🙂

      Maria 🙂

      1. Hi Maria,
        When is the general proofreading course going to be released? Thanks!

          1. Thank you for such a quick reply. I hope to be at your level one day!

  7. I am a retired Calif/Arizona/Federal court reporter and would love to do proofreading part time. I hired a proofreader for most of the 32 years I reported, and now it seems like the perfect job!

    1. Hi Debra,

      What a long career you’ve had. Your experience definitely makes proofreading a good fit for you. We’ve actually had some former reporters and even scopists take the course too. I’m sure your many connections will come in handy if you decide to pursue proofing part time. I have a feeling it’ll work out for you.


      Maria 🙂

    2. I’ve been on this list a while and still don’t understand if this is a pay service that “finds” one proofreading jobs online or what. Or, how much does the course (?) to learn to proofread cost? What if you don’t need a course? Are you paying for leads? Is it like rev.com? That was not for me. Thanks.

      1. We have two courses. One that focuses on transcript proofreading, and you can learn more about the course here. Our other course teaches general proofreading, and you can learn more about it here. We don’t pay for leads. The purpose of our courses is to teach people how to start their own business. Hope this helps! 🙂

  8. Hi Maria
    I’m so interested about this kind of job, just little hesitant because I don’t know the qualifications to become a proofreader. Do I need to be perfect in English language? I love reading books, article etc. It’s just I’m still off beat. Pls help. Thanks

    1. Hi Nadine,

      Your love for reading is definitely a plus when it comes to proofreading, and you don’t need a degree either, but it’s a major plus to have a good command of the English language and not have it be your second language. Even then, it’s not impossible. I suggest you sign up for the free 7-day intro course to get a feel for what’s involved in proofreading as a form of work. I know it helped me decide to take the course. You have nothing to lose since it’s free.

      I hope you’re able to find out if this is a good fit for you or not. 🙂



  9. Do you think someone with a nurses schedule could do this? We usually only work 3-4 days a week, but they are 12 hour shifts. I’m worried about turn around time, but would love to try this.

    1. Hi Callie!

      I’m sure you could make it work just as I did. Communication between you and your clients is important. If you are unable to accept a job, be honest and upfront. I’ve had to do that too, but I learned early on to provide a few backups for them when that happens. That way you keep your clients and they’re always covered. I hope that helps you decide to sign up for the course! 🙂


  10. How many hours per week do you spend proofreading?
    I’m interested in knowing how you fit the work in, too, Is it before work in the morning or after in the evening? What about weekends?

    1. Great question! Our graduates fit in proofreading during all hours of the day, all the days of the week; some proof alongside full-time jobs in the mornings and evenings. Flexibility in setting your own schedule is the best part of proofreading!

  11. Thank you for this article. I'm looking forward to starting. I recently had to buy a car and will have a mortgage to pay. I am single and that's a lot for one person. I know I need a side hustle and I'm always catching mistakes and love to read. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  12. I am very interested. Love to read and get paid for doing it.

  13. This looks to be right up my alley. I was looking as starting this as a part-time gig in addition to my full-time job as well. Glad I am not the only one. It would be nice to have it grow into a full-time job, but I am going to take it slow.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. That’s the best way to go! Slow and steady will ensure you are doing the best work for your clients, too, which is what will get you referrals — and referrals will grow your business while you sleep!! <3

  14. Thank you so much for this information and I’m actually going right now to check out the courses and requirements!

    Thank you again!

  15. Hi Maria, I am seriously considering taking this course. My question is, is it still in demand in 2022 with all the ways technology can correct or find errors?

  16. I have just recently bought the course and am looking forward to doing this on a part time basis to start. I do currently work in customer service in the Health and Wellness department of our local superstore/grocery store. It is fun but can get a bit repetitive at times. I am really glad to have read your experience here on line at Proofread Anywhere it is very empowering and just brightens up my day to know that maybe one day soon after my training I can do close to what you are doing. You seem like a complete superstar in my books. Keep it up Maria!

  17. Just wondering how you get paid by these clients for proofreading jobs. Is it cash, contract employee or actual employee of the companies supplying the material?

    Also, any tips you have for a beginner would be great. I recently got diagnosed with cancer and as a result lost my job. This would allow be to do something I love from anywhere home or hospital.

    Looking forward to speaking with you for more advice. Really am skeptical about online scams and money is too precious to waste on something that isn’t going to produce a return on my investment. Funny side note, I love accounting as well so stickler for numbers and details must be helpful here.

  18. Hi there
    If you are working full-time and you end up accepting a job for proofreading, who sets the deadline date/turnaround time for the project?
    Is that something you decide based on the content/ length/pages? Is there an average of how long a project might take?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Mary, your client sets the deadline for the project.

  19. Thank you Maria and Caitlin, this is quite inspiring.

    You have made my dread of marketing myself a little less!

    Well done.

  20. Hi Maria.

    I live in South Africa and work full-time but with the South African currency depreciating so quickly I am looking for a dollar based side-hustle. My major concern was whether I could do both well. It is really encouraging to hear that it can be done. I am excited to learn the skills I will need and to get started. Thank you for sharing your story!

    1. If you’re not sure about what exactly freelance proofreading is, or if this course is for you, we invite you to check out our Free 7-Day E-Course: Introduction to Proofreading! Please click on the link below:

      For information on our General Proofreading course, please click here: https://learn.proofreadanywhere.com/gptp

      For more information regarding our Transcript Proofreading course, please click this link:

  21. Please let me know how I may sign up. I am self-employed and the storms here in California have limited my income extremely.
    I have a BS in Business Administration and a paralegal certificate…

    1. If you’re not sure about what exactly freelance proofreading is, or if this course is for you, we invite you to check out our Free 7-Day E-Course: Introduction to Proofreading! Please click on the link below:

      For information on our General Proofreading course, please click here: https://learn.proofreadanywhere.com/gptp

      For more information regarding our Transcript Proofreading course, please click this link:

  22. Thank you for sharing your story Maria! your story is inspiring. I am excited to finish my course and start getting my business going. I'm hoping it will help offset my real estate business over time.

  23. I would like to be a proofreading professional. I have just retired and am looking for a part time business. After being an Executive Admin for 30+ years, I LOVE proofreading!

    How and when do I begin the 7-day course?!

  24. I want to know if there is somewhere a person like myself could go and get the jobs to proof-read. I am in the Mortgage business and have been in banking for many years.

    I worry about getting involved in this and even putting money up and then not being able to find work. L

    1. In the second half of the course, we give you the tools to actively market yourself online to prospective clients, and we provide you with the resources to find clients and proofreading jobs.

      There are millions of self-published books published each year, millions of blog articles, and countless amounts of websites all over the internet that all need proofreaders–and that’s just to name a few proofreading categories!

  25. Maria, I was so happy to read that I should not feel bad about not knowing what I thought I knew about proofreading. I have the knack and I graduated with honors with a degree in Communications when I was in my 40s. But when I started the course, (got it, then went on vaca two days later) I was appalled that I missed so many errors. It made me doubt my ability, which I had previously believed was stellar! Thank you for touching on that topic. I needed the confidence boost!

  26. Right decision at right time ….really matters. And Maria proved it …congrats.

    Secondly, why Maria has still not opted to adopt proofreading as her full-time profession to focus it deeply? Because specialized jobs pay more and more. Isn't it right?

  27. Did you find it challenging to learn all of the lingo? The rules, the regulations etc? The CMOS guide is very challenging, I am still trying to figure it out, even after the tutorials is it hard to figure out.

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, proofreading lingo can be challenging, but just like any type of skill you want to do well, it takes practice! If you’re wanting to get more familiar with the lingo, try purchasing a copy of McGraw-Hills “Proofreading Handbook.”
      CMOS is not easy reading! Lol! If you want to study the rules of the English language in context that’s easier to read, try the Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation and their website, http://www.grammarbook.com. Then you can use what you learned there to navigate CMOS a little better. CMOS also has a free, 30-day trial subscription to their website which is wonderful because it has so many features that the manual hardcopy doesn’t have. Give it a try as well.

  28. Care to offer some insight about how much one can earn, perhaps per document or per client/ part time?

  29. Hello Maria! I am a retired music teacher. I have helped many students in their writing assignments for many years. I enjoy proofreading and correcting sentence structures, punctuations and grammar. Is there a procedure for proofreading part time? Sounds so exciting!

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