Ever Thought of Becoming a Freelance Proof Reader?

If you have been following my articles recently (thank you), you will know that from time to time, I feature a specific home business idea or opportunity.  In this article, I take a look at a career in freelance proofreading.  Enjoy! 

Do you spend a lot of time reading?  Do you enjoy reading a wide range of subjects?  If you have answered yes to these questions and have a habit of noting any grammatical mistakes in the articles you are reading, then you may well be ideally suited to becoming a professional freelance proof reader. 

If you Google “freelance proofreading” you may be surprised to learn just how many opportunities are available to you. Researching the whole area of proofreading will give you a good idea as to what’s involved and the type of work you can undertake.  Depending on the skills you already have, you may need to undertake some training.

A formal qualification in proofreading will stand you in very good stead.  Once qualified, the world is pretty much your oyster and you can take on as much, or as little work, to fit in with your family or other commitments. (Even with a basic college certificate, you will still find opportunities to proofread for clients.)

Essentially a proof reader performs two main tasks.  The first is to ensure the document is free from all typing and grammatical errors.  If you already have a trained eye, this process is probably no different to what you already do when reading articles for pleasure. For those just starting out in proofreading, there are some very good software packages available which will help you to check for spelling and grammatical errors whilst you train your eye to do it automatically.  The second important task a proof reader must perform is to check that the article they are reading flows well and is easy for the reader to understand.  As you become more experienced, you will quickly be able to cast a critical eye on those documents that are difficult to read and understand.  You will find that this is a much sought after skill. .

The vast number of websites being created sees no sign of diminishing, so the demand for good proofreaders will grow exponentially.  So many organisations now, elect to contract out the task of proofreading website content; indeed, when you research the market, you will find any number of opportunities for you to actually write website or blog content, rather than just proofreading somebody else’s work. Some do still hire their own writers, but of course the writers’ work still has to be proofread prior to being published.  Additionally, with the advent of the e-book and similar online publications, you get a sense of the sheer scope of opportunity in the proofreading world. 

If you happen to have a website, you could kick-start your proofreading business by promoting your services directly on your site.  Having a website is of course very useful, but it is in no way compulsory as a means of getting started in the proofreading business.  As mentioned above, if you undertake a Google search for proofreading opportunities, you will come across a great many sites that you can apply to directly.  The choice is yours as to the type of proofreading work you apply for.  You will also be able to search for any additional proofreading training you feel you might need.   

Depending on your ability, experience and the organisations you work for, there is no doubt that you could make a very good living as a proof reader. As to how you get paid; if you work for a content company that offers hundreds of articles to proofread at a time, you will usually get remunerated on a pay-per-piece price. Alternately, as a freelance proof reader, you can pretty much set your own prices for private clients. Obviously, as you gain experience and you reputation for consistently high quality work grows, so you will be able to attract higher fee paying assignments.   

The key to success in this business is to keep practising your skills.  Do this by proofreading random articles that you come across everyday. Some freelancers choose to offer their services to companies for free in return for a good testimonial. This can be very helpful to you, since as well as having the opportunity to refine your skills you also get all important referrals (which you will need) when you first start out in your proofreading career.