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12 People Earning Extra Money from Their Proofreading Side Hustle

Can you make money with a proofreading side hustle?

That’s the big question on the agenda today. 

Of course, I firmly believe the answer is yes — freelance proofreading is the perfect side hustle idea for anyone with a pair of eagle eyes!

A proofreading side hustle offers the flexibility to manage your own schedule. You get the opportunity to make money doing something you enjoy. And you can work from home or anywhere in the world. 

Just because you’re interested in becoming a proofreader — for whatever reason — doesn’t mean it has to be your full-time gig. You determine how much work you take on and how much money you make. The sky’s the limit!

Of course, everyone’s situation is different. We all have varying amounts of time we can spend on our side hustle. And we all have different needs when it comes to how much extra money we need to make. But you can adapt your business to suit your own needs. 

Here are some of the questions you might be asking about starting a proofreading side hustle. I could just give my opinion on the matter, but instead let me introduce you to some of our graduates and show you how they make proofreading work for them.

I have massive debts and need to earn more money on top of my day job! Can I do that with proofreading?

A proofreading side hustle lets you earn extra money from your word nerd skills!

Yes! This is one of the most common reasons people with eagle eyes turn to proofreading. A lot of people are crippled with student loans or medical bills they have no idea how to pay off. 

If you’re good at grammar and you have above-average attention to detail, proofreading could be a great way for you to attack those loans or bills. 

Alaina had a big goal to get her finances under control. She wanted to pay down all credit card debt, get an actual savings account going, and do a better job of budgeting. Not to mention the fact that she lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world — New York! Through her proofreading side hustle, she earns an extra $600 a month and she’s on track to pay off her credit card twice as quickly as she was previously!

Linsey balanced her proofreading side hustle with her full-time job for several months when she was trying to pay down debt. She didn’t have to do it for long though! She started earning enough to quit her day job after only eight months!

Kristin’s main goal for her business is to pay down debt, her monthly goal is to earn at least $300 a month after she sets aside taxes. Most months she earns more than that! That’s not the only benefit she’s found from proofreading. Learning a new skill meant her confidence went through the roof!

I have LITERALLY no spare time. How will I balance proofreading part-time with my full-time job?

This is a tough one! Time is a limited resource, and there never seems to be enough of it. 

But maybe you might be able to reclaim some time where you think there isn’t any? Anyone here with a Netflix addiction raise your hand! Or Amazon or Hulu or cable TV, for that matter. 

According to Neilsen, the average American over the age of eighteen watches over four hours of TV a day! That’s four hours you could be earning money from home!

I bet there are other ways you could steal back some of your time too. Got kids? How about proofreading while you wait for them at sports practice? Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

When Stephanie’s son started preschool, she was looking for a way to fill in the time she used to spend with him in the mornings before she went to her full-time job in a medical lab. Proofreading turned out to be a great fit! While she loves proofreading, she has no desire to leave her day job just yet. Proofreading is her “hobby job” — something she enjoys doing and makes money while doing it.

Even if you work forty hours a week at your day job, it’s still possible to earn a little extra money in your spare time. Maria is proof that it’s possible! By day Maria is an accountant; by night she works as a transcript proofreader. Not only that, but Maria also branched out into proofreading for businesses, academic proofreading, copyediting, and virtual assisting! She’s killing it!

Patti is another accountant turned transcript proofreader. She earned an extra $3,000 in just ten weeks through her proofreading side hustle. Now she’s at a point where she needs to make a decision about leaving her day job!

I’ve just retired. There’s no way I want to work full-time again! Can I just proofread 10–20 hours a week to supplement my retirement income?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you worked over the years, retirement income just doesn’t stretch far enough. But most of us don’t want to get another full-time job after retirement. We’ve spent years fantasizing about our retirement lifestyle, and these fantasies probably didn’t include working all day!

Turning a hobby into a money-making side hustle is the best way to supplement your retirement income while still enjoying the freedom you’ve earned.

Debbie retired from her stressful job after twenty-three years of service. She wanted to find a way to supplement her retirement income that didn’t require her to stick to a strict daily schedule. Enter proofreading! Now she can supplement her pension while still having flexible time to live the retirement life. She works just a few hours each day, hikes with her dog, rides her bike, takes a yoga class, or just relaxes in the backyard with a book. Debbie has the best of both worlds!

Maybe you just want to keep your mind active when you retire instead of plonking yourself in front of the TV all day. Nancy has a keen interest in botany after many years of working in that area at four universities. Rather than completely retiring, she opted to combine her love of plants with her interest in proofreading to keep her mind active and boost her income.

I want to be a stay-at-home mom, but I also want to contribute to our family’s income. Is proofreading flexible?

If all you’ve ever wanted is to stay home with your kids and watch them grow, the reality that your budget can’t accommodate this can be difficult to accept. 

Well, you don’t have to accept it. It’s totally possible to earn money from home without sacrificing too much time with your kids. 

Before she started proofreading from home as her main source of income, Amanda worked in her family’s restaurant. There were days she didn’t even see her son; she left for work before he got home from school, and he would be in bed by the time she got home. When she was pregnant with her second child, she made the decision to stay home. Now she can be there for her family while also contributing to their household income. Win-win!

Even when your kids are a bit older it can still be a struggle to juggle a full-time job with their needs. They seem to always need to be driven somewhere! After moving across the country, Peggy was searching for a job, but she couldn’t find one that fit in with her family’s needs. Finally she ran across proofreading, and her prayers were answered. Her biggest income month brought in $2,700 with part-time hours! Imagine what she could earn if she went full-time?

Sometimes it’s not only our kids that need our attention. Older family members sometimes need a little help around the house, which can be difficult to balance with a full-time job. When Patti’s mother got sick, it was a blessing that Patti was able to be home with her. The fact that she can proofread anywhere makes it really easy for Patti to balance it with her mother’s needs

If I start my proofreading business as a side hustle, can I grow it into a full-time business later on?

Absolutely! When you can quit your day job may vary because everyone has different needs; for example, how much they need to earn to make a living depending on where they live, what their family situation is, and the kind of lifestyle they want to lead.

But it’s definitely possible!

Many of our Proofread Anywhere graduates have quit their day jobs and started proofreading full-time! 

Beth intended to proofread on the side of her day job in Google for at least another 8–12 months. However, once she started networking, clients started rolling in and she decided to quit her job. 

Linsey quit her day job after only eight months of working as a proofreader for court reporters. Because she loved being able to earn money from home, she added even more skills to her repertoire — general proofreading and writing. She’s a freelance machine!

I actually want to be a writer/blogger/bookkeeper, but I’m looking for other ways to top up my income. Can I be a proofreader even if it’s not my main focus? 

Of course you can! It doesn’t matter if proofreading isn’t your #1 passion. 

I’ll be honest. It isn’t mine either. Proofreading originally served to fill in the income gap after getting fired. When I started helping people make money proofreading through my blog, I thought that was my passion. As I helped more people, though, I realized my true passion wasn’t helping people with proofreading specifically; it was helping them develop and market skills. If I’d never started proofreading simply because it wasn’t my passion, I might’ve never discovered my real passion.

While Tiffany loved proofreading, her current focus is now on writing. She works part-time on her blog and other various freelance writing gigs, and she still proofreads about 8–20 hours a week. Despite proofreading very part-time, she consistently pulls in an extra $400 to $1,200 a month!

There’s nothing wrong with being multi-passionate. As I always say, mo’ skills = mo’ money! Since childhood, Mary has always had at least one side hustle going. When she completed the General Proofreading course, she jumped straight into the Transcript Proofreading course — and she continued her side hustle as an internet marketer! Mary didn’t let the loss of her day job due to long-term disability hold her back. She made her comeback in the online world! 

Our Take

As you can see there are lots of ways you can benefit from a proofreading side hustle. Just because you start a proofreading business, it doesn’t mean you have to work on it 24/7. You can make it fit around your life and needs. 

Your Turn

Ready to start proofreading on the side and bring in extra money? Check out our FREE Intro to Proofreading workshop!

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  1. I love your book and really appreciate all your insights, as you have certainly earned every one. I am referring to your “Work at Home” textbook.
    Thank you,
    Muriel Harrington

    1. Hi, Muriel! Glad you enjoyed the post! And thanks for referring Caitlin’s book! It’s full of so much valuable work-at-home advice. 🙂

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