How to Become a Proofreader and Make $40,000/Year as a Noob





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Does the incorrect use of there, their, and they’re drive you crazy? So, how to put your eagle eyes to good use by earning money as a proofreader?

If you easily catch errors when reading, or cringe when you come across grammar mistakes, you might consider the idea of being a proofreader.

In this article, I’ll be taking you through an awesome business opportunity that can potentially replace your 9-5 job and allow you to make as low as $40,000 a year from the comfort of your home.

So, are you looking forward to starting a proofreading side hustle to make money online from anywhere and claim all the benefits of being your own boss? This quick guide could be of great help to you!

Make sure to read this post all the way through as I have a special gift for you, and if you find it inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

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How to Become a Proofreader?

Online proofreaders work at helping people who own websites to identify mistakes in the content before it gets posted on the web pages. This is helpful because it prevents alienating prospective readers from the sites.

The fact is that the number of websites keeps increasing every day, and this offers endless opportunities for freelance proofreaders to be paid to correct punctuation, spelling, and grammatical errors.

So, if you possess excellent writing skills, an eye for detail, and a single language command, you can earn extra income by being an outline proofreader.

But the question is, how can you become a proofreader? What you should be considering when you want to get into this lucrative side hustle? Luckily, this is what I’m about to share with you next.

Here are the top things that you need to understand and be aware of when becoming a proofreader:

1. Differentiating Between Proofreading and Copy Editing

Proofreading and copy-editing are different, although closely related.

A proofreader is the last pair of eyes on a project. By the time the project is brought to a proofreader, all the content has to have been rewritten, reworded, and rearranged in all necessary places by a copy editor.

What a proofreader does is double-check to ensure that there are no embarrassing spelling and grammatical errors that slipped through.

It is always recommended to have a copy editor go through the content first and then have a proofreader to ensure all the editing went well.

The reason that makes it crucial for the roles of editing and proofreading to be separated is that a copy editor can’t focus on both copy editing and proofreading simultaneously.

A proofreader makes sure that the content is free of grammatical, typographical, spelling, syntax, punctuation, formatting, and other similar errors.

2. Learning How to Become a Proofreader

Now that we have defined and looked into the details of what proofreading entails let us now have a look at the requirements of being a proofreader:

A. Love To Read

How to Become an Online Proofreader

To become a good proofreader, you have to have a love of reading. You should love reading various forms of writing, make yourself familiar with different writing styles, and obtain knowledge about a broad range of subjects.

Read newspapers, books, websites, and any text that you can find with a critical eye. This will train you in spotting errors that would require corrections.

B. Understand The Needed Skills

Become A Proofreader

In order to become a successful proofreader, you have to first understand the particular skills that you need to have. You have to be competent when it comes to the correct usage of words, punctuation, and spelling.

You ought to be conscious enough to know what the writer intended to say, although the text might not be clear.

A lot of professionals recommend that you apply techniques such as reading the document backward, reading the content aloud, or reading an online printed version of the text.

C. Solid Computer Skills

Become A Proofreader? Solid Computer skills

To excel in proofreading, you will require solid computer skills. Often, proofreading is done on-screen. Therefore, you will need to have familiarized yourself with editing and proofreading tools in your word processing program.

The text that you will be required to proofread will be sent to you by email, or you will be offered access to a site from where you can download or edit the draft text directly.

If you download the document to your computer, you will need to be familiar with the editing and proofreading tools in the word processing program you are using.

D. Understand The Stylebooks

A proofreader needs to be familiar with the most common stylebooks. Often, organizations adopt an established style guide or develop their in-house guide.

You need to be at least familiar with the AP Style Guide that a lot of newspapers, websites, and online news organizations use, and the MLA and APA style guides that are used by many academics.

E. Consider Formal Training

Become A Proofreader? consider formal Training

You should take into consideration pursuing some formal training. Courses in English, literature, and journalism offer you a foundation in language and necessary proofreading skills.

This knowledge can be supplemented with tutorials and online courses like this one. You can learn from Caitlin Pyle of Proofread Anywhere who has made $43,000 in her first year as a proofreader, in her spare time, while studying abroad.

When you consider training, you need to reflect on your areas of interest. If you want to be a proofreader in a particular field, for instance, law, finance, or medicine, you might want to concentrate your training efforts in that area.

This could lead to greater financial rewards and increased personal satisfaction than attempting to proofread all that comes your way.

F. Create A Reference Library

In addition to the stylebooks listed above, you also need to have a thesaurus, dictionary, and, depending on the clients that you target to work for, specialized dictionaries of scientific, medical, legal, or financial terminology.

You also need to familiarize yourself with bookmark reference websites like; however, it might be faster at times or more useful to look something up in a book than online.

Understanding the Pros and Cons Of Freelance Proofreading

Just like everything else in this world, proofreading has its advantages and disadvantages.

Before considering becoming a proofreader, you need to embrace both the pros and cons of this side hustle. These include the following:

Freelance proofreading pros

  • Freedom: You are free to work from home and at the particular time that you want to
  • Flexibility: Work when it best fits your schedule at your own pace
  • Financial security: Side hustles are an excellent way of ensuring you stop living paycheck to paycheck and earn extra fun money

Freelance Proofreading Cons

  • Finding retainer clients could be a challenge as a proofreader.
  • There seems to be a cap on the hourly rate a person is willing to pay for proofreading, it is hard to find a person exceeding $ 50 an hour, not unless you include additional services such as writing.
  • Like anything in life, it requires training and practice to reach good levels.

There’s a lot to go through and you may need to consider enrolling in a comprehensive training course as this tends to shortcuts your way and allow eliminate the guesswork.

Is Proofreading For Everyone?

Not necessarily, proofreading is not for everyone. It is okay not to force yourself into another job that you do not love.

You should possess a natural knack to spot grammar errors and typos. It is possible to learn nerdy grammar rules; however, it is easier to get into proofreading if you can spot mistakes naturally and have an irresistible urge to make them right.

How to Find Online Proofreading Jobs?

The cool thing about Proofread Anywhere is that it not only trains you how to proofread, but it also shows you exactly how you can turn this into a lucrative career, where you can search for proofreading jobs and how to land your first job as an online proofreader.

However, if you want to figure things out on your own and cannot commit to any paid courses at the moment, here are things you need to consider when searching for a proofreading job:

1. Choose The Area In Which You Would Wish To Specialize

If you have specific areas that interest you, for example, proofreading legal, financial, or medical websites, you might want to concentrate your efforts on your particular area of interest.

It will also be easier to find training in one specific area of specialty than having no specialization.

2. Use The Internet

There are a lot of websites that offer online proofreading jobs. You can find them by simply typing “online proofreading jobs” or “proofreading assignments” into an Internet search engine like Google.

You can register with websites specializing in offering proofreading and editing services including Wordfirm, Mulberry Studio, and ProofreadNow.

Various services specialize in areas like business communications, while others provide additional services such as indexing, transcription, or proofreading in different languages. You might need to have to take a test to qualify for working with them.

3. Approaching Website Owners Directly

Search for websites that have a lot of written content and approach the webmaster or the owner of the site.

Look in the “Contact Us” section of the website to get an email address. Look for the email address that has a person’s name or at least ‘webmaster’ other than a generic term like ‘info.’

4. Join Job Boards and List Your Services on Freelance Marketplaces

Job boards include Jobs, Monster, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and Flexjobs. Here, you post a resume that includes your experience and set up a keyword search for jobs you are interested in.

Job boards have a primary devotion to job seekers looking for part-time or full-time work as company employee. However, they might also offer contract work or telecommuting positions as well.

Freelance marketplaces include Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Guru. These sites list clients with jobs; you then get a chance to bid competitively with other freelancers to get the job.

Freelancers are listed on these sites by experience level. There are specific sites that offer enhanced listings at a fee.

5. Build Your Own Website

Having a website allows you to advertise your online proofreading services and show your professionalism to the target clients.

You will need to develop your skills in SEO (search engine optimization) to help clients find your search easily in an Internet search, and you will also have to ensure that your site is free of spelling and grammatical errors.

Creating a website or a blog has never been easier nowadays, all that you need is a hosting plan along with a domain name. This usually costs way less than $100 with companies like Bluehost.

6. Consider Volunteering Your Services Initially

You can approach a non-profit organization and startup businesses that have offers to proofread their websites for free. In exchange, they would offer you referrals to other paying clients, or at least give you a solid review that can improve your reputation.

You need to be upfront about your purpose at the beginning, so that you can receive the type of references that you want, instead of other volunteer assignments.

Some Proofreading Tips

  • Take into consideration joining a group of proofreaders, editors, and writers. These groups will offer representation for and advice to those who work with words, and also forums in which you can share experiences.
  • A lot of online proofreading jobs are low-paying. Therefore, you might want to consider offering additional services such as writing and copy-editing, to provide a more considerable income.
  • Invest in a comprehensive course like this to acquire the needed skill that you’re going to sell for people. Please note that this is your biggest investment because you should know what you’re doing and learn the basic fundamentals of Proofreading.


Proofreading is among the most lucrative side hustles that allow you to replace your job, and make money online while traveling the world, sitting on the beach, or just chilling at home.

Although there’s a lot of money in this industry, learning from experts like Caitlin Pyle who had made over 40k USD in her first her as a proofreader while studying abroad is literally a no-brainer.

Once she realized the demand for the skill was high — far too high for one proofreader to fill — she created an online course to help others start their own proofreading business.

She also has free workshops almost every day. In her workshops, you’ll learn

  • How to elevate your skills to become a successful proofreader.
  • Where to find high-paying proofreading clients.
  • What a successful proofreader does (and doesn’t do).

Working from home is not a dream anymore. With all that the internet is offering nowadays, we have endless opportunities right under our fingerprints.

You can set your own hours, work anytime from anywhere in the world, and most importantly, you will be setting your own rates. It’s hard to beat a lifestyle that you have full control over.

Looking To Start Your Online Business But Are Not Sure Where To Start?

What if you could join a multimillionaire’s 8-figure ecosystem, have him teach you everything step by step, and make money when he makes money? Sounds crazy right? Click here to attend the free training and reserve your seat in the program for as low as $7.

Thanks for going this far and reading my article all the way through! If you found this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

Odeh Ahwal

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Odeh Ahwal

So behind every great blog is usually someone who runs it all. That would be me, Odeh Ahwal. I’ve created the eComDimes blog with a mission to help people provide well for their families by starting online businesses, share my experience, and just introduce you to different ways of making money online! At eComDimes, we help you turn your dimes into dollars!

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