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How to Turn Proofreading Skills into Multiple Streams of Income

Y’all know I love proofreading. But I don’t think anyone should feel limited to just one skill. I used to feel like I was “just” a proofreader. But my love of proofreading led me to bigger things I never thought possible. It’s a transferable skill that can open up so many doors and increase your earning potential.

There’s just one thing you’ve got to do first… START! If you don’t start with one skill that provides value to people, the other doors will never open.

I’m super excited to have Val Breit with us on the blog today. Val is the head honcho over at The Common Cents Club. She started out learning one skill — editing — and then snowballed her skills to where she is today — a freelance editor, writer, and personal finance blogger.

As if that’s not impressive enough, she’s also the author of Pay Your Student Loans Fast, an inspiring, easy-to-read crash course in handling debt without the overwhelm.

She’s going to show you how you can turn proofreading skills (your “base” skill) into multiple streams of income. Take it away, Val!

How to Turn Proofreading Skills into Multiple Streams of Income

So you’re awesome at proofreading. You’ve mastered the English language and attention to detail is your jam.

But you’d like to earn more money, right?

I’ve been there too.

And this post will show you the strategies I used to turn grammar skills into seven streams of income while rapidly increasing my rates the first year working from home.

Step 1. Be Ridiculously Awesome

To be successful with proofreading and the written language, you need to be amazing at:

  • Paying attention to detail
  • Meeting ALL deadlines
  • Being super friendly

It’s probably safe to assume you pay attention to detail, but do you meet all your deadlines? People who are paying you money expect this from you, so if you want to earn more money, always give yourself a day or two buffer to meet your deadlines.

Of course, you should also be super friendly. Make sure your presence online and in person is friendly, positive, and professional when you’re trying to boost your income.

Step 2. Set Yourself Apart

So step 1 is all about being good at your job and great to work with, but step 2 is about going above and beyond to set yourself apart by:

  • Exceeding deadlines
  • Clearly communicating
  • Adding something extra

Remember those deadlines I mentioned? Exceed them. Instead of returning work on the day it is due, return your work early. This pleasant surprise will make clients remember you — and refer you.

Next, set yourself apart by communicating like a rockstar. Keep your proofreading clients updated on your progress and ask questions to clarify anything that is unclear. That way you are sure to provide work they are happy with.

Finally, you can add an extra layer of awesomeness by adding something extra to go with the work you proofread.

One of my best-kept secrets is when authors hire me to edit books, I include an extra report that summarizes grammar rules I used and common mistakes the author made to help them improve their writing. This step set me apart from all the other editors a New York Times bestselling author had worked with, prompting him to offer and write me an incredible testimonial.

Step 3. Ask for Testimonials

Want to earn more from your word-nerd skills? Here’s how to turn proofreading skills into multiple streams of income

Speaking of testimonials, are you asking every client for one? Even if you don’t use them all right away, you never know what incredible things clients will say and how you can use it at a later time.

You look at the reviews before buying something new, don’t you? Hiring people is no different. Awesome testimonials provide legitimacy for others looking to hire, which also allows you to increase your rates.

Step 4. Have an Open Mind

Part of creating multiple streams of income is having the skills, but a significant portion that is often overlooked is having the right mindset.

You already have in-depth knowledge of the English language and you pay attention to detail. These skills are transferable to more opportunities (many that pay more than proofreading!).

Step 5. Accept New Opportunities and Invest in Yourself

When you find yourself face-to-face with a new opportunity, say yes (even if your mind is fearfully screaming no)!

Proofreading books can turn into proofreading blog posts. Proofreading blog posts can turn into writing articles. Writing articles can turn into writing eBooks. Writing eBooks can turn into ghostwriting or speaking. As long as you keep an open mind and continue to invest in yourself with time and money, there are abundant opportunities to earn money with your skills!

More Ways to Earn Money From Proofreading Skills

So what are some other ways to monetize your mad proofreading skills?

Freelance Writing

Many proofreaders are good at writing too. Why not take a stab at getting paid to write your own content (or ghostwrite for others)?

General freelance writers earn a decent income, but freelance SEO writers earn even more! If you learn unique, in-demand skills, you can command a nice rate as a writer.

Publishing Ebooks

Many freelancers, coaches, and bloggers are learning an incredible secret: You can self-publish a book and sell it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, and more!

Not only can writing a book boost your business, but if done correctly, it can be a nice stream of passive income too.

Depending on your passion, knowledge, and the market demand for your content, you can publish a book about almost anything.

Here are some success stories to get your creative juices flowing:

  • Write personal development books like Steve Scott’s books on habits
  • Sell $3,000 worth of fiction Romance novels like Yuwanda Black
  • Earn a killing by putting someone else’s idea on paper as a ghostwriter

Book Editing or Proofreading

If you don’t want to write your own book but you have the skills, you can expand your clientele by proofreading or copyediting books for self-published authors, like all the book editors on this list.

If you haven’t tapped into the self-publishing world yet, there are lots of authors looking for someone to polish their book before they are published.

Virtual Assistance

Some blog and business owners hire proofreaders, but many more hire virtual assistants who proofread as one of their responsibilities.

If you take on the challenge of learning how to become a virtual assistant, I can almost guarantee you will learn more skills that will help you grow your income.

Online Tutoring

If you’re not into writing but you’re good at teaching others, you can use your skills to teach English to kids around the world who are eager to learn the English language.

I used to wonder if these jobs were legitimate, but after talking to several moms who earn money this way, I’m confident VIPKID is legit and it’s the highest paying English tutoring company.


One more in-demand career option is transcribing, which is turning audio or video recordings into written form. Transcribers are often hired by blog owners, podcasters, and YouTubers.

With the popularity of Facebook Lives, I wouldn’t be surprised if more and more people will be looking to hire transcribers. As Caitlin warns, just make sure you know what you’re doing first before pitching this service. 🙂

Your Turn!

If you’re ridiculously awesome, set yourself apart, get raving testimonials, have an open mind, and invest in yourself to accept new opportunities, you can double or even triple your streams of income. Check out which 7 ways Val made money online while being a stay-at-home mom.

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