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Fixing poorly structured writing, pointing out mistakes, working flexible hours, and living anywhere in the world is the new definition of proofreading jobs.
Today, you will find out exactly what you need to become a proofreader.
I will provide you with techniques for obtaining proofreading jobs or clients on 30 platforms that pay $10 to $50 per hour.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Proofreading?
Let’s start from the beginning.
Proofreading is the very last step in the writing process. A proofreader checks for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as inconsistencies.
Proofreaders can proof anything that has written content such as:
- Student essays
- Online articles
- Cases Studies
- User manuals
- Press releases
- Social media posts
Here is an example of a proofreader’s work:
”Oak (2000) argues that the music
picks selected can be utilized to position service in the mind of consumers as being of the a best highest quality.”
In addition, a proofreader may need add comments as to why adjustments needed to be made, depending on the requirements.
How Much Does a Proofreader Make?
As a beginner proofreader, expect to earn $10+ per hour. But, as you gain experience and become better at this, your rate can increase to $30 or even $50 per hour.
Here are some personal stories from people who have made over $2000 per month from proofreading:
- Caitlin made $43,000 in one year. She also created the proofreading course.
- Adrienne has made $32,000 in her first year working part-time.
Sound good? So what’s next?
What Skills Do You Need to Become a Proofreader?
- Close attention to detail
- Great focus
- Knowledge of grammatical rules
- Rich vocabulary
- Aware of the difference between American English, British English, Australian English and Canadian English.
- Strong grasp of editorial styles, including familiarity with at least The Chicago Manual of Style
- Some understanding of the subject matter
All checked off or nearly so? Then let’s see what’s next.
What Tools Do You Need?
As you saw in the last section, a proofreader needs quite a few skills. However, it’s the 21st century, so feel free to facilitate your work with these online tools:
This is a fantastic tool and has changed the game when it comes to proofreading faster.
Wordrake: edits writing by removing unnecessary words.
Hemingway Editor: detects wordy sentences and highlights problems with writing styles
So, your skillset is complete. Now what?
How to Find a Proofreading Job?
Where can you earn money as a proofreader?
Stay with me, and you will find out!
As the name suggests, ProofReadingServices offer proofreading services for academics, job seekers, businesses, and authors.
On the website, it says that they hire only one out of every three hundred applicants, so the competition is tough. However, it’s worth applying because their application consists of only 20 questions and should not take more than 15 minutes to complete.
Keep in mind that they have a 20-minute limit on the application page. However, if you need more time, open the “Incognito window,” and you will be able to start the test again. The test will consist of filling the gaps in sentences with one of the choices provided:
- “I depend on __ sits in the front to stay awake and look for police cars.”
Choose “whoever” or “whomever”
- “The __ argument is discussed in this article.”
Choose “principal” or “principle”
And so on…
How much can you make as a proofreader on ProofReadingServices?
The hourly rate varies between $19 and $45 per hour and depends on the turnaround time, which can be as quick as 3 hours or up to 7 days.
ProofreadingPal uses a unique two-proofreader model, meaning that projects are checked for any spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors by two professionals.
In order to get a job, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Currently employed by or enrolled as a graduate or postgraduate student in an accredited United States university with a minimum GPA of 3.5.
- Have a graduate degree with a minimum of 5 years of professional proofreading and editing experience.
Next, there are some generally preferred qualifications such as “Ability to meet the deadlines,” “Exceptional time-management skills,” and experience with popular writing styles such as APA, MLA, CMS, AP, and CSE.
If you meet the above requirements, you will be asked to fill out a short questionnaire about your experience as a proofreader.
How much can you make as a proofreader on ProofReadingPal?
ProofreadingPal indicates that their freelancers typically earn between $500 to $3000 per month. To be more exact, editors just starting out earn around $12 to $15 per hour, while editors who have been around for 6 months or more earn $18 to $22 per hour.
Do you remember struggling to write your college admission essay and worrying about typos? Prompt helps people improve college admission essays so they can get into college. You can take what you’ve learned and help new candidates get peace of mind.
Given their academic focus, Prompt is a seasonal employer. You’ll want to check their hiring page carefully to see if they’re still open positions. If not, check back in a few months. Note that they call their workers “essay specialists”.
If you want to focus on fiction instead of nonfiction proofreading, consider Reedsy. They focus on the creation, polishing, and promotion of books.
If you want to see your name in the acknowledgments of a published book, this is the place to apply. If you have marketing or web skills, you can also offer those services.
R3ciprocity is an odd duck, but a cool idea. People submit essays to the site and proof each other work. You then get feedback on your changes from the original author and earn credits based on the score you get.
If you do well enough, you can get an offer to become one of their paid proofreaders. When people pay for a higher-end worker you get a cut of the money.
Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancers. As the name suggests, all services start at $5. At the moment, there are over 3 million services listed on Fiverr, including online proofreading services.
In order to find jobs on Fiverr, you have to be better than your competition.
Let me elaborate on this.
People who need to have a document proofread will type phrases such as “Proofreading,” “English Proofreader,” or “Proofreader” in Fiverr’s search bar.
If you do the same, you can analyze the sellers who come up first and try to create a similar or better profile than they did. You can also take a more custom approach.
First, decide what content you want to proofread. As I have mentioned before, you can proofread content such as blogs, e-books, articles, and other written forms.
If, for example, you want to proofread blogs, that means that you will likely compete with other freelancers found under the “Blog proofreader” keyword. Whatever your proofreading preference, enter the relevant keywords into Fiverr’s search bar to discover your competition.
Next, analyze at least the first 10 proofreaders and make a note of their titles, the services they offer, prices, gig descriptions, images, and deliveries. Also, read the reviews and familiarize yourself with what people like about each of these proofreaders.
Take the best pieces from each profile and create your own. Simple, but keep in mind that reviews play a vital role in Fiverr’s algorithm. As such, here is what you need to do:
Offer additional services at no extra cost for at least a month in order to get your first reviews. Doing so should leave people amazed by the price you charge and naturally more inclined to leave a review.
In short, exceed customer expectations! Once you garner a similar amount of reviews as your competition, you can increase your prices!
How much can you make as a proofreader on Fiverr?
You can offer service starting from $5. Under Proofreading Gigs, for example, you can ask for up to $200 to proofread a book, but Fiverr takes a 20% commission.
Cactus Communications provides top-notch English writing services for specialized fields. To get accepted by them, you’ll likely need a bachelor’s degree, but there are opportunities if you have the background.
The company is located in India, so you may have to deal with some time zone and cultural differences. However, Flexjobs considers it an excellent place to do remote work.
8. Managed Editing
Managed Editing, also known as Wordfirm Inc., provides copyediting and proofreading services to non-profits, government agencies, and publishers. The types of projects can range from simple flyers to multi-volume book projects.
They have a pretty extensive application, so read it over carefully before applying! If you have experience with a style manual, that will be a bonus.
Upwork is the largest online freelancing platform. As a result, there are lots of people looking for proofreading services on it.
Upwork is slightly different than Fiverr because you may find clients willing to offer you long-term jobs instead of one-off gigs.
First of all, you need to open an account on Upwork. While completing the application, you will be asked to fill in details such as your work history and skills as well as upload pictures and things of that nature.
Instead of guiding you step-by-step through setting up a profile, I will point out the most important parts of being successful on Upwork.
The end goal is to obtain invites from the Upwork “buyers” and chose the projects you want to work on.
It all boils down to this…
Create a profile title that concentrates on clients’ benefits. Instead of using a title such as “Experienced Proofreader” or “Professional Proofreader,” focus on what the client needs.
Typically, they are looking to save time or earn more money, so how can you help them to achieve this?
- Fast, Affordable, & Professional Proofreader. Results in 24 Hours!
- Proofreader – COST Efficient | FREE Revisions | FREE Sample
Doesn’t that sound better?
An overview should help clients decide if they want to hire you. Again, put yourself in their shoes when reading your profile. You want to convince them that you can solve the biggest problems they have in terms of their proofreading projects.
Once they recognize that you cure their pain, you have a project or even a long-term job. Here are some ideas for your overview:
- How fast can you deliver the finished product?
- Have you taken any courses or tests that will help you get the job done?
- What will happen if the client is not happy? For instance, will you make unlimited adjustments?
- How will you make sure that no mistakes are made? Maybe you can suggest which tools you will use to ensure that there are no mistakes (don’t name what they are, just say what they do).
Your portfolio can show if you are a good fit for a job. Essentially, clients want to see content in your portfolio which is similar to the work they want proofread.
If you do not have much experience, set a low hourly rate so more clients will hire you.
Doing so will allow you to build a diverse portfolio. In addition, I suggest that you hire some top proofreaders on Upwork yourself in order to see how they proofread projects.
Here’s why that’s important.
You will be able to reflect on their notes and comments or any other additional value they offer to strengthen your own portfolio.
How much can you make as a proofreader on Upwork?
You can easily start at $10 an hour, and, with some experience, this hourly rate can grow to $50.
*Note that Upwork has 5% to 20% commissions, depending on your lifetime billings.
Just make sure that you never argue with your clients and always complete what they have asked you to do. Doing so should result in positive feedback, which will ultimately lead to better hourly rates and more clients.
Go to Upwork now to start earning money as a proofreader.
10. OneSpace Freelancers
Do you like helping businesses sell their products? OneSpace helps companies create content for businesses like product descriptions and content marketing pieces. This means they need proofreaders and editors!
If you have a background in small business or accounting writing, especially in non-US countries, they’re looking for someone like you.
If you’ve been rejected by a lot of the sites on this list, there are places with much wider requirements. Domainite is an example.
Some proofreaders do get their initial experience working for content mills like this, but there’s a big downside. The pay is really low and you’ll have to edit a lot to make minimum wage. But if you’re just looking for experience and beer money, it’s an option!
Clickworker is a site that crowdsources independent contractors for their help in various projects. These projects do include proofreading and they have a whole division for proofreaders.
This is an excellent site to get some experience before trying some of the others. However, how much you can make depends on how many jobs are on the site at the time. No jobs, no work!
FlexJobs is a dedicated platform for part-time, remote, and freelance job listings.
Each company that posts on FlexJobs has been hand-screened and curated, meaning that FlexJobs ensures that every position it lists has flexible working options and is legitimate.
Flexjobs has a dedicated category for Proofreaders. Within this category, you can filter jobs by “Only remote jobs,” “Only freelance jobs,” “Only flexible schedule jobs,” and more.
But there’s a catch. If you want to apply for a job you see, you must subscribe to FlexJobs.
And it’s not free. At the moment, there are three plans:
- $14.95 for 1 month
- $29.95 for 3 months
- $49.95 for 12 months
What do you get for a subscription to FlexJobs?
- Unlimited access to all jobs
- Free skills testing
- Email alerts once new jobs are posted
- Expert job search tips and resources
- A profile so employers can find you
The best idea would be to try the service for a month and apply for each position you find. If, for any reason, you are not happy with the jobs you find listed, simply send an email to FlexJobs Support within the first 30 days for a full refund.
How much can you make as a proofreader on FlexJobs?
Jobs pay $22 per hour or more.
Scribendi does proofreading and editing services for English documents. Their team has edited nearly two billion words since they opened in 1997, so there’s plenty of work!
But to work for them, you have to qualify. They combine their editing and proofreading job descriptions into one thing. Try for proofreading, but you never know. You might qualify as an editor too!
(from $30/hour )
WordsRU performs editing and proofreading services for a wide range of writing, from academics to business, to fiction and non-fiction book authors. Plenty of things to choose from!
Unfortunately, they do prefer people with at least a Master’s degree and two years of professional experience with editing, copyediting, or proofreading. But if you have the background, you can give it a shot!
If you like what you see and can meet the requirements, send a CV or resume and a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Writer’s Relief
Writer’s Relief helps authors get their writing sharp and well-marketed, including web design services for authors, guidance on self-publishing, and, of course, proofreading. They also have a ton of tips for new authors who want to make a splash in the market.
They’re looking for proofreaders too. Here’s how you can apply for a position. Unlike a lot of other sites on this list, the process is simple.
Scribbr is a proofreading service designed to provide fast service, especially for those on a tight deadline. It may be a good choice for you if you prefer academic work such as essays, theses, and dissertations over blog or articles.
Scribbr appears to be hiring most of the time. In order to get a job, you need to go through a 3-step application process. First, they will ask you to fill in some details about yourself and answer 10 test questions such as this one:
Question: “In the passage below, which punctuation marks are used incorrectly?
The quality of these determinants stems from national institutions. According to Lee (1999), institutional development, formal or informal, drives growth. It aligns incentives for private and social returns, affecting trade and growth-enhancing policy. Others have examined long-term effects, those of colonialism, which include: impacts on current institutional settings and economic growth. (Zhang 2001). Despite instructional development’s benefits, developing countries enjoy institutionally-embedded norms. We ask; are these determinants diverse? “
Possible answers, of which you can choose as many as you like, are:
- Question mark
Next, you will have to edit a text according to Scribbr’s style guide.
In that assignment, you will be asked to correct language issues and provide feedback on how a student can improve his or her future work.
Finally, if you pass the first two tests, you will be given access to the Scribbr Academy, where you will be asked to complete 2 to 5 simulation orders in three days.
Here it comes…
Upon successful completion, you will receive a 175 Euro bonus and join the Scribbr Editor team!
How much can you make as a proofreader on Scribbr?
According to Scribbr, you can expect to earn approximately €20 to €25 per hour (around $22 to $28 per hour) as a Scribbr editor. Scribbr pays in Euros because the company is based in Amsterdam.
Guru is another general freelancing platform like Upwork or Freelancer. If you’re already swimming in those waters, adding Guru into the mix could give you more opportunities.
Be sure not to pay too much in fees though. Guru takes a smaller percentage from each job but you may be making up for it in other costs. It can range from 5-9%, which is much less than Upwork’s current 20%. See this chart for more details on the fees.
19. Book Editing Associates
Books need proofreaders too, and Book Editing Associates is looking for proofreaders in the Christian, New Age, Children’s, Paranormal Romance, and other genres.
Unfortunately, this is a company that does require past experience and they want workers who apply to take tests and commit to a year’s contract with them. Worth it if you want experience proofing this kind of writing, but not so good if you’re looking for the freedom that comes with no commitments.
Are you enrolled in a graduate program or have a graduate degree from a top university but have been unable to find a job placement? You might be able to find a contract doing proofreading academic writing at American Journal Experts.
The qualifications are strict, but if you meet them you can give it a go and get some good experience!
Gramlee is a copy editing service with an extremely fast 24-hour turnaround service for up to 3000 words. If you work for them, you will be asked to meet this deadline.
How to get a job with Gramlee?
Gramlee’s website states that they receive hundreds of applications each week and that if they like your application, they will be in touch with you. As is true of most proofreading services, you will have to answer questions about your qualifications and experience on the short Gramlee employment application.
In short, Gramlee wants to know if you ever worked as an editor, if you have a college degree in English, journalism, or creative writing, and what writing styles you are familiar with.
The interesting part is that there are some tricky questions.
Here is one of them:
- What is your “unfair advantage” that makes you an outstanding candidate? *
Interesting answers may help you to differentiate yourself from the other applicants.
How much can you make as a proofreader on Gramlee?
Gramlee does not disclose exactly how much you can earn by working with them. But we make an educated guess. They charge clients $0.03 per word for 3000 words or about $90 per project.
You may need a few hours to complete the work, so I would say the pay may be around $10-$15 per hour.
Freelancer is a site similar to Upwork. It is a major freelancing platform that connects proofreaders (and other professions) with clients.
If you need experience, or Upwork denied your application, this is a good platform to use. It’s also good for those who want short-term and low-priced hourly projects.
Here is how it works:
– Create a profile on Freelancer
– Select the proofreading jobs to see the listings
– Choose clients that have good feedback scores, verified payment methods, and a job within your skillset.
– Make a bid, do the work, and get paid!
Did you like writing essays in college? Do you like honing thesis statements? Kibin provides essay proofreading services to students who need help polishing up their work.
Their pay scale is a little wonky. It depends on the amount you’ve worked, the project, and the turnaround time. This Quora post goes into some detail, but the gist is that as you prove yourself to Kibin you’ll gain levels that raise your rates, plus you get higher rates if the customer demands a rush job or if they submit small documents. The expectation at Kibin is that you’ll proofread at 1,500 words/hour minimum.
Indeed can be a source for longer-term gigs, especially if you have experience.
Brush up your resume and samples before applying, and take your time to vet companies before applying.
25. Edit 911
This site leans more toward editing, but they do proofreading services as well. However, their entry requirements are quite high. Edit 911 requires you to have a Ph.D. in English or another writing-intensive discipline.
Their focus is on dissertation, thesis, and book correction. You’d be surprised at the number of scholars who have poor English skills. This type of proofreading is not for beginners, but it’s a great specialty that can command a lot of money!
Apply at email@example.com
Wordvice provides premier proofreading and editing services. Most of their jobs are in the academic, government, and business fields.
While they do prefer to hire people who have both proofreading and editing experience, you may be able to get a straight proofreading job if you know a foreign language. Check out their job listings and see what’s available!
27. Edit Fast
Edit Fast is a job board for proofreaders, copy editors, and many other writing professionals. The site may look a little low-tech, but there are thousands of jobs on the site.
This is a freelancing site, so it will help to have experience with doing that so you can set the right rates. You’ll also have to go through several tests and go through their resume builder and web page builder.
28. Scribe Media
Scribe Media believes that everyone should write and publish their own book. To help people with that, they provide several kinds of assistance programs through their site.
They sometimes have openings for proofreaders, but it depends on their needs at the time. Fortunately, it’s easy to check.
29. Kirkus Media
Kirkus Media is a book promotion, review, and editing site. They help independent authors get their books up to par before publication, then get them noticed so they can grow an audience.
Kirkus Media is an established name in the book review field. They’ve been in business for more than 85 years. Someone has to proof their work! Maybe they have an opening for you?
Wordy is an online proofreading and copy-editing services website that works with 56 different subject fields. Some pretty heavy-hitters have used their services, including major newspapers.
Unfortunately, they’re revamping their platform with an expected opening date of Q1 2020. Check back on this site in a few months to see how it will work.
So, are you ready to start your career as a freelance proofreader?