Whether it is by choice or due to circumstances beyond their control, for many, working from home is the right option. But if you’ve had any experience in looking for work that you can do from home, you may have realized that jobs can be a hustle to find. That might be because you’re not looking in the right places. If you have a knack for grammar and an eye for detail, you can turn your love of reading into an endless employment opportunity. Online proofreading jobs are a great way to earn money while working from home.
Freelance proofreading jobs offer the freedom to set your own hours and location of work while providing a serious source of income. In fact, legitimate proofreading jobs online can pay as much as $50 an hour, or even more. There are also entry-level proofreading jobs online, which means that online proofreading jobs from home can offer just about anyone with the right skill set a great way to make a strong income while working from home.
This is a comprehensive guide on proofreading jobs online with no experience to the seasoned expert. It contains information that can help you achieve all of your work-from-home goals. We will take a look at what a proofreading job entails, where you can find jobs online and what the top online proofreading jobs are.
What Are Online Proofreading Jobs Like?
An Important Distinction
Oftentimes, people think that editing and proofreading are synonymous, when in fact they are quite different. It is not a proofreader’s job to rephrase sentences or suggest changes in structure. Rather, a proofreader is primarily concerned with checking grammar and spelling. It’s important to understand the differences between these two jobs. Sometimes, companies will combine the two terms when they advertise, either because they are looking for someone who can do both or because they are confused. While the distinction is important to remember, it’s also worth remembering that many others will forget to make that same distinction, meaning it is often worth your time to comb job listings asking for editors to find out if they really want proofreaders.
What Does a Proofreader Do for Freelance Proofreading Jobs
There is a veritable online explosion of digital content. And with companies using this content to sell themselves and their products and services, a premium is placed on making certain that the content is high quality and professional. This means loads of content need proofreading and budgets to cover the cost of paying for proofreading done well.
Online proofreading jobs from home can cover a broad array of different kinds of jobs. In addition to general web content, proofreaders are asked to work on e-books, student essays, white papers, and even user manuals.
What Do You Need to Get Started Proofreading
For many proofreading jobs online, no experience is required. What you do need are strong grammar and spelling skills and an eye for detail. Entry-level proofreading jobs online are not that hard to find, so, as long as you possess that skill set, then you are ready to get started.
But to make a successful career from online proofreading jobs from home, you will need to gain experience to build the credibility for access to the best and highest paying online proofreading jobs.
It’s also important to note that while no degree is required for general freelance proofreading jobs, some of the highest paying sites do require one. Oftentimes, they look for a major in English or journalism.
But if you don’t have a degree, don’t worry. There are plenty of legitimate proofreading jobs online where you can build experience and gain testimonials. Once you have built up in that department, you will gain access to plenty of well-paid work.
Another great way to get started is through networking. This does not require you to go to events; rather, it is possible to reach out to industry leaders online, through social media and LinkedIn, and create a strong network that way. This can be invaluable in locating new jobs and opportunities. One leader in the proofreading industry is Caitlin Pyle, the founder of Proofread Anywhere. She even offers a Survival Guide for work from home.
A Look at the Pros and Cons of Online Proofreading Jobs
- It allows you to work from home.
- It allows you to create your own schedule and fit work around your life and what’s convenient for you.
- There is no lack of entry-level proofreading jobs online.
- You can start small as a part-time or a side gig and grow it into a full-time job and successful business.
- The overhead and start-up costs are much lower than most businesses.
- Online proofreading jobs generally have strict deadlines.
- You may have to gain experience or even further education to gain access to some jobs.
How Much Do Online Proofreading Jobs Pay?
Like all freelance work, success with freelance proofreading jobs is dependent on the work that you put into it. Online proofreading jobs will often pay less than other kinds of writing work, because proofreading takes less time. But because it takes less time, it is possible to quickly complete jobs and earn a great deal.
In fact, ZipRecruiter reports that the national average salary for an online proofreader is $51,305/year. That is a great average for work that you can easily do at home. It also makes it the perfect potential career for someone who loves to read. You can be paid well to do what you love!
There are different ways in which proofreaders are paid. Some clients pay per word, per page or per project, while others pay based on an hourly rate.
In general, those entry-level proofreading jobs online average out to pay of about $10 to $15/hour. Of course, this is affected by how much energy you put into finding the “best proofreading jobs online no experience required.”
One of the best ways to get started at a higher rate is through taking a course designed to help you become the best proofreader possible. In just a little over an hour, a course from Proofread Anywhere can help you decide if proofreading is the right fit for you, teach you how to find clients, and many other tips to help you get started.
Where to Find Online Proofreading Jobs
There is more than one way to find a proofreading job. One of the most direct ways is to directly approach a company or other content creator and offer your services. However, if you’re just starting out, you will likely want to get some experience under your belt first. The best way to do this is by applying for jobs already offered.
When searching the internet for online proofreading jobs, it’s important to use the right search terms. Even though being a proofreader is different from being an editor, it is a good idea to include that term as one of your searches. Some other search terms worth exploring are:
- Beginning Proofreading Jobs
- Online Proofreading Jobs
- Proofreading Positions
- Freelance Proofreading
- Copy Editor / Copy Editing
- Proofreader / Proofreading
- Book Editor / Editing
- Academic Editor / Editing
In between searching job postings and cold calling, a great way to promote your services is through the often-overlooked Facebook. By participating in groups, you can add value to the general discussion, and in that way network and build a reputation. When you let people know you are available to help with paid work, you may find results.
There are other social networking sites that are also excellent places to look for jobs. Twitter is a perfect place for connecting with leaders in the proofreading industry. It can also be a great place to find clients because of the thriving creative writing community there.
LinkedIn truly deserves a place on the list of one of the best places for online proofreading job hunting. It’s not necessarily for the inexperienced, and it will take a significant amount of time to build up a client base there, but doing so can lead to a real career.
30 of the Best Places to Find Freelance Proofreading Jobs
When starting out, or even when trying to break into a specific niche, job sites are invaluable for building a freelance proofreading career. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of some of the best sites out there, both for launching your proofreading career and keeping it strong.
This is one of the best sites for starting out. People do come to Fiverr looking for great deals on services. As the name suggests, pricing starts at $5 per “gig.” But those offering can set their own rates. A proofreader sets how much they’ll proofread for a specific price. Some people have managed to make a good income on Fiverr alone, but because people are really searching for deals, many find this a better option to build experience before moving on to better-paying sites.
Upwork bills itself as the top site for freelancers to find remote work, and it does boast well over 2,000 online proofreading jobs as of the time of this writing. There are jobs available for all levels, and the pay is generally set accordingly.
Not unlike Upwork, Freelancer also requires you to complete a profile laying out your skills to be matched to clients. Freelance job boards are a great place to find individual projects, but every so often, a client turns into more long-term work.
The pay on Domainite is pretty low, but it’s a great place to build up experience when at entry level. All you need to do to get started is to fill out a profile and display your skills by editing a sample.
Get Editing Jobs is a large platform for both job seekers and employers for a variety of different kinds of writing jobs. By searching for proofreading jobs, you can often find some great potential jobs.
This is a great resource for connecting proofreaders directly to authors and writers. Reedsy employs what they call “data magic” to help them make the right matches. People who are signed up get requests for projects and can then offer quotes for pricing.
FlexJobs is like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer in that it offers jobs for a variety of freelance services. So you will have to search specifically for those looking for a proofreader, but there are many to be had. Remember that it is also worth searching for editing jobs, as many use that term when they mean proofreading.
This site offers competitive pay, even for those just starting out. While you will have to pass a skills test in order to apply, the payoff is earnings that start at around $20 an hour and top out well above $40.
Cactus Communications offers a wide range of freelance services, but it is also a great place to start specializing your services. While they do ask that you have a degree in the subject that you’re proofreading, by working in a specific niche, you’ll gain a competitive edge and access to higher paying jobs.
This platform offers the services of writers, editors, translators and more and is a great place to always find online proofreading jobs. Clients include prestigious universities with all kinds of projects, from admissions essays to research proposals.
11. Proofreading Pal
This is perfect for those in school or people with both a degree and experience. If you maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better, you are qualified to apply while in school. If you’re studying, this can be an incredible opportunity to fund your education while working from home.
Lionbridge enables clients to outsource parts of their projects, like proofreading, to freelancers. After passing a skills test, you are then able to access paid jobs.
This job board offers all kinds of jobs related to the media. You’ll have to do some searching to find the proofreading ones, but the site lets you set up alerts for when a match comes in.
14. Scribe Media
Scribe Media actually hires people full-time as well as hiring freelancers directly. There aren’t always jobs available, but by setting up an email alert, you can ensure you’re staying up to date on a solid lead.
While Gramlee promotes themselves as editors, the description of their services truly describes proofreading. Projects require a quick turnaround, so while there are tight deadlines, there is also always plenty of new work. To get started, you just need to fill out an application.
EditFast lets you create a profile where you can showcase samples to help clients decide if they’d like to hire you. Though it can be a great source for jobs, it’s important to remember that the site does take 40 percent of the income.
OneSpace is a resource for freelancers, helping them receive payment and feedback from clients. They offer a job board for any available listings they come across, and this can be quite useful.
R3ciprocity is a different kind of system that allows those signed up to read each other’s work in exchange for credits. In many ways, it’s designed to get your own work proofread by others in exchange for you proofreading others’ work, but the credits can also be exchanged for cash. It’s a great place to build up experience.
Scribbr has a somewhat more arduous application process than most. First, you’ll be required to take a language test. If you pass that, someone will review your CV as well as a motivation statement in order to decide if you’ll be a good fit for the company. From there, you will have to pass another test, and if you do, you’ll be invited to join the Scribbr Academy. There, you’ll be required to complete two test orders before being able to take on real paid work. With all those barriers to entry, it does offer some excellent jobs.
20. Word Firm Inc.
This provides something of a database of writing professionals working as independent contractors. The application is a fairly involved process, but the payoffs for getting in the database make it worth the time and effort.
21. Writer’s Relief
This organization helps authors get published, and part of that is providing proofreading services. It’s a great job, so it’s worth filling out an application, but be forewarned that they only take 2 percent of applicants.
22. Writing Jobz
This can be a great resource for regular work. You are matched to clients based on your previous experience and can apply to jobs accordingly. It also makes it simple to make certain that you take jobs to work with your schedule.
From editors to writers, the Writer’s Job Shop offers jobs in all sorts of writing-related services, including proofreading. You can simply apply for any job you’re interested in.
24. Edit 911
You do need some serious qualifications in order to apply here, like a Ph.D. in English. If you do meet their list of qualifications, they will respond to your application within 48 hours. They specialize in helping proofread and edit academic papers, including theses.
The site regularly advertises for copy editor jobs that pay $15/hour. Not the best, but it can be a good way to gain experience.
Like Fiverr, Guru offers a wide range of freelance services. But if you carefully search the boards, you’ll find plenty are online proofreading jobs.
27. Polished Paper
This site is looking for more advanced proofreaders; however, they do pay higher rates. You are required to complete a 35 question editor’s test for consideration. It is worth noting that you are encouraged to use outside resources such as style guides in completing the test.
They offer a wide variety of different kinds of editing jobs, all of which are remote.
29. Kirkus Review
It’s worth setting up a job alert on this book review site for times when they are looking for editors or proofreaders. Often, the work is remote.
30. Build Your Own Business
And once you’ve gained experience, remember you can always strike out on your own with a full-fledged business of your own. You can easily build a website on a site like Square Space, being sure to include client testimonials and following the right advice to build your business through marketing and networking.
What Tools Do You Need for Freelance Proofreading Jobs?
The main tool you will need is a computer. This can be a desktop or laptop. If you work on a laptop, you can truly work from anywhere with online proofreading jobs.
In addition to the hardware, there are several programs that can make your job easier.
You need to be able to share the projects in order to proofread. Many people these days use Google Docs. It’s free and simple to use, making it easy to collaborate. Another tool that offers similar services is Dropbox. Like Google Docs, it offers a basic free service in addition to a paid service that has more storage capacity and other benefits.
Grammarly is, in effect, an online proofreader. It offers a basic free service and a paid option. It will comb the text for spelling and grammar errors. It is important, though, that you don’t become reliant on a tool like Grammarly. It can make the work easier, but it’s critical to check the work yourself carefully and only accept suggested changes when it makes sense in the context of the work.
Having an understanding of style guides is also an important skill for a proofreader. Familiarize yourself with both the AP Stylebook and Chicago Manual of Style.
The Value of Specialization
As you build your business, you will likely find that a great way to break into the most high-paying jobs while also gaining a competitive edge is through specialization. By carving out a proofreading niche for yourself, it is easier to build a strong and loyal client base (as long as you provide excellent service), one that you can easily grow through both word of mouth and careful marketing. In a niche, marketing efforts can oftentimes be more successful as it is easier to target to the right demographic. Niche markets in online proofreading jobs include:
- Academic Papers
- Papers That Require Specific Formatting
- Highly Technical Topics
- Industry-Specific Topics
- Particular Client Base
While many proofreaders begin as generalists, it will likely be worth the investment of your time to hone your skills to become specialized in a certain type of online proofreading jobs.
What Training Is Available to Become a Proofreader?
While no experience or special training is required to get started as a proofreader, you will likely find it much easier, not to mention lucrative, if you invest the time in a course. Caitlin Pyle, a leader in the industry who found success as a proofreader, offers several such courses through her program, Proofread Anywhere. For a limited time, you can even sign up for a free introductory course that can help you get started. She also offers courses for the more advanced aspects of proofreading.