• Home
  • /
  • Blog
  • /
  • How Alicia Made $1,100 in Proofreading Work — Her First Month!

How Alicia Made $1,100 in Proofreading Work — Her First Month!

Today we’re featuring Alicia Ritmaha, a fabulous student of the proofreading course Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice. Alicia enrolled in January 2015 and in her first month after completion of the course, she was able to earn $1100 worth of proofreading work!

Alicia and her hard work were also featured in this awesome post (opens in new tab/window) where I actually uploaded a screenshot of Alicia sharing her proofreading work success with us in our students-only Facebook group.

Hi, Alicia! Tell us about your background.

I’m just a normal person who likes to read and take on new challenges. I am married with two kids. I have a BA in Accounting, and I work full-time in banking.

Alicia interview proofreading work
Here’s the lovely Alicia at the Grand Canyon. “With the extra money I am making, I will be taking more trips like this in the future,” she says.

RELATED: Love numbers? You can work from home as a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers earn up to $75 per hour.

When did you start proofreading transcripts, and what made you decide to learn how to do proofreading work?

I signed up for the course in January after I read an article on LearnVest.com about Caitlin and how she started a course to teach people how to proofread transcripts. I have the goal of being 100% debt free and this is a way for me to make extra money from anywhere. I commute about 90 minutes each way and was using that time to read. Now I use that time to proofread and earn extra money for my family.

What was the most challenging part in getting started? How hard is it to find proofreading work?

Finding clients is intimidating at first. Then, once you have clients, you have to know how much work you can realistically take on. I took every job that I could get for the first month. I made over $1,100, but I spent pretty much every waking moment that I wasn’t at work proofreading, even staying up until 2 am to finish a job when I had to go to work the next day!

I now have 2-3 reporters who send me work pretty regularly, and I haven’t been looking for new clients. I know that I can make great money doing this work, and look forward to the day that I can have the freedom to do it full-time.

What was/were the most valuable thing(s) you learned during the proofreading course?

I learned everything from the course. I am an avid reader and a decent writer, but I don’t consider myself particularly skilled in grammar and punctuation. So all my success I owe to the course. Caitlin is phenomenal!! I swear she doesn’t sleep. She is always available to answer questions and provide support. We also have a very active Facebook group for students where we can ask any questions any time.

How long did it take you to find your first proofreading work? How many clients do you have now?

It took me a good three weeks of trying to get my first client. I have a story about my first job.

I bid on a 50-page rush that she needed back in two hours from my phone, as [my kids and I] were finishing up at the park. She accepted my rate and asked how to send me the file. She didn’t know how to convert her file to a PDF so I went to the course content, copied the instructions, and pasted them into an e-mail; within five minutes I had the PDF. I, of course, was so excited that I forgot that I had a massage appointment in two hours (an anniversary present from my husband, and an unusual event, which probably was why I didn’t think about it). The job was a little technical and I was nervous. I spent a lot of time looking up medical terms, but I used what I had learned and got it in just in time.

BEWARE — you will be very slow when you start out!!

I literally sent out the file, grabbed my keys, and headed to my appointment. I didn’t get a response from the reporter before stripping down and getting on the massage table, but I heard my e-mail pinging as I lay there. It was hard to relax (during a 90-minute hot stone massage, I didn’t even know that was possible). After my massage, I sat in my car and read the e-mails she sent me. I had caught some spelling and format issues on the medical terms using Google, and she was thrilled with my work. She asked me if she could send all her work to me. Of course, I said yes. She is a very busy reporter and keeps me on my toes.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about doing proofreading work and enrolling in our course? Is it worth the money?

It is definitely worth the money! I made my money back for the course and my new iPad mini in the first month. However, this is work, not a get-rich scheme. You will get out what you put into it. I would also mention that once you get started you do get a little obsessed and will think about proofreading nonstop. You will also start to notice and point out errors everywhere, if you don’t already.


Congratulations to Alicia! She hustled and is now making great money doing proofreading work! With some hard work and effort, you can make real money with just a few clients. As she confirmed, it is not easy at first. Not everyone is cut out for it.

If you’ve got the eagle eye and you’re willing to work hard to learn this craft, the proofreading work is plentiful, and we can teach you how to do it. Enroll in the 7-day intro course below to learn more — it’s totally free!

Have questions for Alicia? Leave a comment!

Read more Student Success Stories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

  1. Alicia, now that you are experienced, how do you budget your time? I also work full time and have two kids, and this is my biggest concern as I am finishing the course.

    1. I didn’t realize I could reply directly to people. Kate, see my comment below about budgeting time. This definitely is the most difficult part when you have a lot of responsibilities. It is possible though, just stay focused and on top of things.

  2. Hi Alicia! Your story is amazing as I too have two kids and a full time job, but it’s just not enough to keep up with all the bills and all of my kids’ needs. Your story has truly inspired me and I think I will be signing up for the course as soon as I get the money together for everything! Thank you for sharing.

    1. It can still be done 🙂 I have a college degree, BUT I can honestly say everything I learned to do this was not learned in college. I put all the necessary need-to-know stuff into the course curriculum.

  3. Hello! I’m very interested in proofreading. I’m an avid reader and I always find myself correcting spelling and grammar in everything! I’m just really worried about how it will work out. The course is a little expensive for me right now and I’m worried I won’t find any clients or earn the money back. I’m a stay at home mom with 2 kids and I’ve been searching high and low for an opportunity to work from home.

    1. You’re in the right spot! Confidence will come with the education. Seriously. Once you go through the material that will give you the skills and practice you need to do a good job, you won’t worry about the clients so much. Really, the skills are what earn you the money, anyway, so I always encourage students (who often get psyched about earning money) to CHILL, focus on becoming a master, then you’ll be able to actually KEEP the clients you get 🙂 What good is getting a bunch of clients if you can’t keep them with your mad skills? Skills first, clients second.

  4. Bravo, Alicia!! As someone who just finished the course and is now building my business, your story really inspires me. I pray to imitate your success! 🙂

  5. Congratulations, Alicia!!
    I know you discussed your income above ( so I hope this is an appropriate question). I’m just wondering what a person can expect to make having 2 to 3 regular clients. Can you give some insight? I know Caitlin has 20 + clients, but that probably isn’t the norm for most proofreaders (especially beginners).

    I’m a stay at home mom and thinking of enrolling in the course.

    Thanks so much!

    1. It will all depend on how busy those clients are — their schedules and workload can fluctuate, so yours will, too 😉

    2. Thank you Carrie!
      The income I posted was made with three clients and maybe one or two one off’s. Your clients are repeat customers, so you don’t have to have a lot of clients to make money. It will really depend on how busy your reporters are. You could have two reporters that send you work a couple times a week and earn very different amounts from each, depending on the number of pages they send. I have one reporter where all her jobs are 80 pages or less, but I have another that rarely sends anything less than 150 pages. So it will depend more on the reporters you have then the number of reporters you work with.

  6. I will say that it is very difficult to budget your time since work can come in at any time. I think the biggest thing is to stay on top of your work and get it done as soon as you can. That goes for housework and spending time with the kids. Try not to procrastinate because then you get behind.

  7. Thank you for sharing your story with us. It’s absolutely important that everyone hears your success story, especially people who have doubts about this course. I am single with no kids and I do have a full-time job, so it’s nice to know that if a mother with full-time job and two kids can do it, so can I.

  8. Good to know I am not alone with experience etc, and it’s inspiring to hear about your success. Congratulations! I’m working my way through the the practice transcripts, getting more nervous as I get closer to finishing and attempting to find my first client. BUT I’m also so excited!

  9. Its nice to read about “real people” succeeding. This has really inspired me to save up money and take this course. I have a question, do you get work or transcripts just from the state you reside in or from any state?

    1. Anywhere! I do recommend starting in your own state, but you are free to proofread for anyone, anywhere.

  10. I’m wondering if it’s possible to work 30 hours a week rather than 20 once I get up to speed. In other words, Caitlin, you work about 20 hours a week and I’ve seen your income, but if I would like to do more, is the work really out there consistently enough?

    1. Sure. You can work as much as you want. It’ll take some time to build up to my speed, though. I wasn’t always this fast 🙂 There is plenty of work — as you have seen in Alicia’s case, sometimes a bit too much 😉 If you’ve got plenty of time, the sky’s certainly the limit. Keep in mind, too, that reporters’ schedules and personal workloads will fluctuate, which means your workload will also fluctuate. Sometimes they’ll be super busy, other times not as much.

  11. Congrats Alicia! Your success story is awesome and so well deserved. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have a paralegal degree from some years ago, and also have many years medical office background. My concern is how much proofreading work there is for court transcripts. I would eventually like to phase myself out of my semi-full time job and be able to proofread as a freelancer.

  13. I am also trying to scrounge up the money, but I think it will be a good investment. It is nice to know that there is a community of experienced proofreaders born from Caitlin’s program to communicate with. I’m looking forward to it! Hopefully I’ll have an encouraging story to share with other busy moms, full-time workers, and free spirits who need to make some money!

  14. Congrats Alicia! Your story is very inspiring and I’m looking forward to starting the course.

    I was wondering if you and/or Caitlyn can answer this question: what do you do when you go on vacation? I know proofreading can be done anywhere and is portable but I also think it’s important to have family time and down-time without working. Do you just tell your clients you’ll be on vacation and unavailable or do you work in partnership with another proofreader and cover for each other during times like this?

    1. That is EXACTLY what I do 🙂 There is a lesson in Module 7 on this topic, too 😀

  15. I’m very excited to take this course! I’m almost finished with school for medical transcription, and I didn’t realize when I started that the job is likely only good for extra spending money at best. I’m still planning to do it, but it will only be for extra money. You’re a life-saver, Caitlin! Thank you for helping me find out how I want to make my living! 🙂

  16. I’m excited for you, too, Lacee!! Looking forward to having you!

  17. I love to see and hear real life stories like these. I really hope “Alicia” is real, meaning that she is a legit person who took the course and received the legit benefits she said, and not Caitlin’s cousin or friend that made this story up. I want to believe in this opportunity. But too many things like what I have just mentioned have happened to me after I sign up for a course, training, seminar, business opportunity, etc. It all seem pretty legit, until I find out that it isn’t. However, I feel good about this one. I will take the free 7-day course and decide from there. I have been wanting to do this for like 10 years now, before it became as big as it is. I thought I had to go back to school for an English degree to be marketable. But I a finding that this is not the case. Excited about the possibilities!

    1. Lol 😉 Yes, Alicia is real. She lives in Colorado with two kids and her hubby. You’ll meet her “in person” in the student support group on Facebook.

  18. I bid on Facebook jobs, says Alicia, but I’m not sure where.

    1. I’m sure she’ll tell you if you ask her 🙂 It was the group I got kicked out of unnecessarily, HA.

  19. this story is so inspiring and I am loving the questions and comments! Hoping to enroll soon!!!

  20. Alicia, I’m having a hard time deciding which package to enroll in if I decide to proceed. Can you tell me which package you chose and why? Any words of wisdom from yourself or others you may have had experience with in this community on the real differences?

    1. Hi Alexa! The other packages just rolled out in July — Alicia enrolled back in February in what is now the Plus program (we used to include 1-on-1 support for all students, but the program got too popular to continue offering it to every student for free). The Plus package is still our most popular package for the full course, though — the extra boost is well worth it. We personally critique your resume and help you with your intro to clients.

  21. All these stories are great to hear and encouraging. I have kind of a weird question, but one that is a concern for me. I was wondering how the taxes work with this type of business. I work a M-F 40 hr week job, so I don’t have to worry about paying my own taxes. With this, it seems like I would have to learn how to pay for taxes quarterly, etc., and that is a little overwhelming to think about at the moment. I live paycheck to paycheck, just like so many other American, so being able to earn enough money to pay for taxes, is a little concerning for me.



    1. Hi, Kelly!! A good rule of thumb is to save 15% for taxes. I paid estimated taxes all by myself; it is a learning curve, but the IRS wants their money so they make it pretty easy. It can even be done online. You only need to worry about quarterly taxes if you earn over a certain amount. I’m not an accountant, so I can’t tell you what that amount is.
      Please don’t quit your job just yet — most students start out very part time and build from there.

  22. How much does it cost to become a proof reader. I am not looking for a full time job just looking to make some extra money

  23. I am interested in taking the course , I’m from mexico , I am an architect who left her job to care for my children but my husband’s salary is not enough to cover all expenses , I would like to make corrections and translations from English to Spanish . I can take the course?

    1. Hi, Jazmin. Unfortunately, we don’t recommend the full course for non-native English speakers because it can be very difficult for non-native English speakers to find work proofreading English transcripts. However, we do recommend the Beginner Basecamp membership level of our course to help you further develop your English skills, which can be very beneficial for future employment opportunities. For more information, go to https://proofreadanywhere.com//overview. Let us know if you have any questions! We’re here to help. 🙂

  24. Good morning Alicia, my name is Eva, I was reading your testimony and how it didn’t take too terribly long to find work. I’m myself looking to get into this kind of work, however, outside of the payments I know I can’t do now, I’m quite skeptical about actually finding work in that field. Have a great rest of your day

    1. I’m sure Alicia will chime in, but I had some thoughts to share 🙂 Are you skeptical that court reporters actually hire proofreaders, or are you struggling with doubt that *you* would be able to find work yourself as Alicia has done? There’s lots of evidence that court reporters hire proofreaders, so what I’ve found in the two years I’ve been working with students is that usually the doubt comes from within. It’s usually not a question of “Will I be able to find clients?” but a question of “Will **I** be able to find clients?” Have you watched/read the Q&A webinar? It’s here: https://proofreadanywhere.com//qa-webinar — it will go in depth on the fear of finding clients. You’ll also learn about our brand-new course option, Beginner Basecamp, which allows students to get started for just $77. Beginner Basecamp also includes a $50 discount to the next portion of the course.

  25. Yes, I am skeptical about finding clients and the partial skepticism on working from home…?…. What I’m more worried about, is wanting to work from home, needing desperately to work from home, because we need the money, however, because of lack of funds, I’m not able to take the class. Thank you ladies and have a wonderful weekend.

  26. Hi Alicia/Caitlin, first Q might rule out further ones…are grandadsathome eligible to apply for this course?

  27. Hi Alicia,

    I have a full time job and a family as well. I know you said you need to make sure you stay on top of things and get it done without procrastinating, but how exactly do you find the spare time for anything other than work and proofreading? And how do you stay sane? ? I can’t imagine you stay up until 2am every night, do you?

  28. So, do you only proofread court reporter’s transcripts? Once you’ve completed the course, what do you “call” yourself? A proofreader? Transcript proofreader?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Posts You Might Like