Need to earn extra money online?
We all have different reasons for needing a little extra money. Maybe you’ve just retired and your income is a little stretched… Maybe you’re swimming in debt and you want to increase your debt repayments…
What if you could combine skills and interests you already have to earn extra money from home with an online business?
Nancy has a keen interest in botany after years of working in that area at four universities. Rather than giving up work completely once she retired, she opted to combine her love of plants with her interest in proofreading to keep her mind active and boost her income.
Keep reading to hear more about Nancy’s story!
Q: Hi, Nancy! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?
I had recently retired from an academic advising position at Widener University. My background before working there was a bachelor’s in biology and master’s in horticulture with many years of work in botany at four universities and an editorial position at Rodale Press in their book division.
Q: When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?
My first experience with proofreading was when I worked at Cornell University. I helped proofread Hortus Third that they were publishing in the mid-70s.
I wanted to continue working after retirement because I still have plenty of energy and want to keep my mind active, and I can certainly use the extra money. An online job that I can access anywhere is perfect for my situation. It has worked out well. I have a part-time job in a garden center as a day job, and I have my proofreading and plant research and data entry in addition. I’m seventy years old now, and after I decide to give up my part-time day job, I’ll still continue with the online work as long as I am able.
Q: What a great attitude to have! Our minds don’t stop working when we retire. Proofreading can be a great way to keep your brain sharp. What was the most challenging part of getting started?
It wasn’t challenging at all. I had looked into PA in August 2017, then decided to start the course in October of that year.
Q: I love that you jumped right in! What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?
Commas, hyphenation, capitalization, and then setting up my website and marketing after graduation.
Q: We give our students all the tools they need to be successful — hands-on proofreading practice and marketing information. All they have to do is implement it! How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?
About three months. I graduated in January 2018, and I first proofread in April.
Here’s What Nancy’s Happy Clients Have to Say!
Q: How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?
About six to eight months.
Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?
Gosh, yes! If you are good with words and have an interest in this work, this course is definitely worth the money. The people who don’t finish the course are generally the people who find it too difficult because they’re not inclined to work with the grammar and punctuation rules, or it’s not the right time for them to do it.
Q: I always recommend that people ensure they have some natural grammar ability before signing up for my courses. If reading is a chore for you or you don’t have a great eye for detail, proofreading might not be for you. What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader?
Absolutely hectic! I have a part-time job in a garden center, I proofread for an online insurance company, and I do plant research and data entry for online nurseries.
Q: It’s awesome that you still get to put your botany knowledge to good use even though you’re retired! Anything else you’d like to share with the PA community?
Caitlin’s course is very thorough, and the Facebook groups will give you the interaction and support to keep going. You will graduate with the tools to become an awesome proofreader!
I love that Nancy chooses to keep active in retirement! Our minds don’t stop working just because we’re retired. Why not use your interests and the skills you’ve built up over years in the workforce to earn extra money online in retirement? Way to go, Nancy!
Approaching retirement and wondering what you’re going to do with all that time on your hands? Proofreading can keep your mind active and bring in some extra money to boost your retirement income. Check out our free Intro to Proofreading workshop to see how you can get started.