How to Find Freelance Proofreading Jobs Online That Pay Top Rates
Discover how you can pick up plum jobs for freelance proofreaders online and make a great living from your own home.
The Best Freelance Proofreading Jobs Online
If you have a good eye for detail, then you can earn a great living as a freelance proofreader. With such a vast amount of content being produce online nowadays, there will always be opportunities for good and dependable people to make a living doing this kind of work.
The simple fact is that anyone who produces content needs help from proofreaders. That includes publishers, corporations, bloggers, writers and editors of all descriptions. Traditionally, most of this kind of work was generated through book publishers and court reporting – but that is no longer the case. Anyone who publishes content offline or online needs proofreading help to ensure the quality of their work.
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So there is plenty of work out there, but what are the best freelance proofreading jobs? In essence, they are the ones that pay the best. And that means working for companies that truly value the quality of the content they publish. You may get work from an individual blogger, for example, but such a blogger is unlikely to have the budget necessary to pay you a proper rate. However, if you work with large companies and organizations, you are much more likely to get a high rate for your work.
Getting Started as a Freelance Proofreader
You don’t have to have formal qualifications to work as a proofreader, but it certainly helps to have some training. You can sign up for proofreading courses and learn the basis that way. That is certainly enough to get you started.
Then you need to find your first job. A good way to do this is to sign up with one or more of the main freelancer marketplaces and start applying for jobs. At first, it is OK to accept work at lower rates, because these initial clients will be the foundation of your business. Make sure you do your very best job for them, then ask them for testimonials and referrals. Once you have done a few jobs of this type, you can consider yourself to be an experienced freelance proofreader, and your rates for jobs can go up accordingly.
Your aim should be to work your way up to the higher paying clients – the ones that have the money to pay top rates. This probably won’t happen overnight, but if you keep doing good work for clients, you will find that you naturally attract serious clients who are prepared to pay you well.
How to Do Freelance Proofreading Jobs
One of the beauties of freelance proofreading as a career is that it is relatively easy to get started. You just need a good command of the English language (or whichever language you intend to work in) and a good eye for detail.
The key to being a good proofreader is being able to read quickly yet still spot mistakes in the document. There is no point in being fast if you miss the errors that you are supposed to be picking up. On the other hand, if you read too slowly, you will find it impossible to make a decent living.
This is certainly a skill that improves with practice. After a while, you will find that you can scan through a document and pick up errors with hardly any effort. Of course, it goes without saying that you need a good understanding of grammar and spelling.
Be sure to understand what variants of spellings are right for each job. For example, you may end up with clients in the US, UK and Australia. Each may have different vocabulary and spelling needs. What Americans call ‘pants’ are generally called ‘trousers’ in the UK and ‘long pants’ in Australia. You need to be aware of these differences, and apply the correct use of language for each project.
Another huge benefit of proofreading is that you don’t need much in the way of equipment. You can work happily on a laptop or a tablet. However, iPads are the most popular tools for proofreaders, especially if you download the iAnnotate app to help you mark up work as you go.
How Much Can You Make from Freelance Proofreading Jobs?
Most proofreading jobs are paid per pages read. This implies that you need to get good at reading quickly, whilst still maintaining the quality of your work. The average rate is around 35 cents per page, which means that if you can read 50 pages an hour, you will make an hourly rate of about $17.50. That’s not too bad, but there are ways to greatly improve on that.
The best way to get higher rates is to find better clients who may pay up to $1 per page. Then you can make $50 an hour if you are reading 50 pages per hour, or perhaps $60 an hour if you can read faster. Then it becomes easy to see why some people are doing so well with freelance proofreading jobs.
You might also be able to agree a fixed fee for a particular project – let’s say $1000 to proofread a book. This is a good way to increase your income and ensure that you have bigger projects to work on.
Expenses and Overheads for Proofreaders
Another huge benefit is that your overheads and expenses are minimal. If you have a laptop or tablet to proof read on, you are most of the way there. Of course, you will need regular Internet access, and it’s a good idea to pay to join one or more freelance marketplaces to find work.
Apart from that, your only overheads are the ones that any business will incur – business registration, insurance, and so on. These should not cost you much, so there is nothing to stop you launching a whole new career as a freelance proofreader anytime you want.
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