Would you like the opportunity to work from home, running your business? Would you like to take on work as a proofreader but do not have the experience? Have you spent ages searching for online proofreading jobs from home with any experience needed? Are you wondering if it is possible to find work-from-home jobs without prior experience?
There are plenty of online jobs for entry-level proofreaders that allow you to work from home. When it comes to setting up your online proofreader business, it has never been easier. This is one of the best work-from-home online jobs you can get without any previous experience needed.
As you will soon discover, there are plenty of online proofreading jobs to get your business up and running. This article will explain what you need to do to begin working as a remote proofreader. It will also answer some essential questions you may have.
Working as a freelance proofreader is a brilliant job if you want to make money from home. It will also give you the flexibility to set your hours. But before we show you how to set up such a business as a beginner proofreader, let us explain what they do.
What Does A Proofreader Do?
The main task that a proofreader carries out is to read through a document. They will need to check for improper grammar, misspellings, and incorrect punctuation. If they identify any of these, they will need to correct them.
The task proofreaders will not have to do is reword sentences or move paragraphs around. An editor will carry out these particular tasks.
This will be the last step before the document is published. This will take place after the work has been edited.
It is important to remember that a proofreader’s work is very different from an editor’s.
The editor will carry out some proofreading. Their main tasks include changing sentence structures and rearranging paragraphs. This will make sure that the document flows better.
As for a proofreader, they will be the last person to review the document to make sure that there are not any errors.
So now let’s get started.
Tips To Help You Get Your Freelance Proofreading Business Up And Running
Are you thinking about working as a full time proofreader? You might be concerned that you do not have proofreading skills or experience. But there is no need to worry. You can begin your journey and work as an online proofreader without any experience. Here is what you need to do.
1. Need To Learn What A Proofreader Does
You do not need to have a degree to apply for proofreading positions these days. However, what you do need is a strong understanding of the English language.
This is important as when asked to carry out any work for proofreading services. You may be required to do the following:
- Check the document for any spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes
- You may have to amend the text for consistency and clarity
- You will need to check the tone and vocabulary of the document to ensure that it is appropriate
- You will have to address any other usage errors. These include making sure numbers and dates are written in the correct format
- Check the copy for formatting issues. These can include inconsistent fonts and if page numbers are missing
- It is important to know not only the conventions of different styles of writing but also different English dialects
It is crucial to research what successful proofreaders do. But it was also vital to hone your grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills. There are plenty of books you can read and places online that will allow you to do this.
2. Learn How To Use Common Editing Tools In Microsoft Word
The majority of documents written today are created using Microsoft Word. To apply for remote proofreading jobs, you must learn to use the various editing tools in Word.
You need to know three to help you get your freelance proofreading career off to a good start.
This tool helps you to record any changes made to the text in a document
With this tool, you can compare two versions of the same document simultaneously. This will allow you to highlight any differences in the new composition. This will provide you with another way to highlight edits to potential clients.
This tool allows you to leave feedback, allowing you to ask your clients questions. It also allows you to highlight any potential problems that will need the author’s attention.
There are also some other programs you may want to learn about, such as Adobe Acrobat. But the most crucial one you need to know when applying for any proofreading gig is Microsoft Word.
3. Learn More About The Major Style Guides
These are what set out the rules about what good writing is. But it all depends on what the guide revolves around. That will decide the writing style you will be proofreading.
The main styles are:
- General Rules For Formal Writing In A Specific Dialect
- Whether the client would like you to proofread content written for British English speakers or US English speakers.
- Rules For Writing In A Particular Field
- This relates to writing content that you would typically see in academic guides. It is also used for business or journalism writing.
You will not need to read every writing style guide there is to get your first online proofreading job. But you must understand the most common writing styles and when they are used.
4. Be Prepared To Volunteer Your Online Proofreading Jobs from Home Services
Even if you do not have any experience after setting up your remote proofreading business, you can still start gaining experience. One of the best ways to achieve this is by volunteering your services for free to help you get established.
You can start initially by asking family and friends if they would help you look over any resumes or emails they have written. By doing this, you will be able to practice and hone your core proofreading skills. And you will not have to feel any pressure being placed on you.
You may also consider contacting local non profit organizations or charities near you or online.
These tips should prove helpful for you. Now we will go more into depth about what is needed to apply for proofreading jobs with no experience.
What Do You Need To Start Your Freelance Proofreading Journey?
When you apply for specific freelance proofreading jobs, they might ask for you to have a degree. But of course this is not always the situation.
There are plenty of online proofreading jobs for beginners that you can apply for.
If you are looking for freelance proofreading jobs, you need an excellent understanding of the English language. This includes its grammar and punctuation.
So before you do start applying for any job postings, you should practice and hone your skills. Also, create a portfolio that clearly shows your abilities for proofreading.
9 Steps To Help You To Become A Proofreader Without Any Experience
Step 1 – Undertake The Right Training
To begin with, it is a good idea to take some online proofreading courses. Plus, search advice, information, and tips for getting freelance proofreading jobs for beginners.
Plenty of people online will teach you how to make money from home as freelance proofreaders. Caitlin Pyle runs one site worth looking at, which will teach you proofreading basics. So head to take a look at her site ProofreadAnywhere.com.
When you start, you will find getting even entry-level proofreading jobs is not going to be easy. Having a mentor like Caitlin Pyle will help you better understand what a job like this will require. This will help you end up with higher paying clients in the future.
But in the case that you do not have the funds available to participate in some of the courses that make up her Proofreading Academy, do not worry. She has a proofreading workshop available that will teach you the basics and is FREE of charge.
Step 2 – Take Proofreading Quizzes
Taking these types of quizzes before you even begin your journey of becoming a proofreader online is a good idea. This way, you will be able to quickly identify what it will take for you to become a successful proofreader.
With these quizzes, you will be able to test and measure your skills as a beginner. Then you will be able to identify any weaknesses you may have that you can then work on to improve.
You may even find that some potential clients require you to take a test first before they offer you the job.
There are plenty of online resources like Fiverr that have a section where you can take such tests.
Step 3 – Choose A Profitable Niche
Choosing the right kind of niche will help you run a more profitable business no matter what type you run.
Ideally, choose a niche that you have a particular interest in or find interesting. You will soon discover that there is a wide selection of different niches.
The kinds that seem to involve high-paying jobs include:
- Academic proofreading jobs
- Jobs where you need to look at Cryptocurrency technical documents and whitepapers
- Work on proofreading projects that revolve around romance, and sci-fi novels or manuscripts
- Go for remote proofreading jobs that involve court transcripts
- Some of the best freelance proofreading jobs where you look at any common mistakes in website, email, or social media copy
These are only a few of the niches you can get involved in when you look for proofreader jobs for beginners.
Step 4 – Create Your Own Website
Would you like to know the easiest and fastest way of making yourself look more professional when applying for any proofreader jobs? Well, the best way is by setting up your website.
If you have a website, any potential clients will view you the same way as they do other experienced proofreaders. These online platforms help make you look more professional, but they will allow you to charge more.
Step 5 – Treat It As A Business Not A Proofreading Side Hustle
You must treat any remote proofreading work you take on the same as you would an actual business.
But, just what does this mean?
Well, for starters, consistency is crucial.
You will be excited at the start of any new project, so keeping to a schedule and turning up to carry out the work is easy. But over time, you may find that the excitement starts to wear off. Suddenly, you will start to see what you are doing as a chore.
But to be successful and enjoy the benefits that other professional proofreaders enjoy, you need to show up for work every day.
You can do a couple of things that will help you see your new career as a business rather than as a proofreading side hustle.
Set up an onboarding process for new clients.
Do not lowball yourself by working for the least amount of money possible. You need to know what you are worth and if the client is not happy with what you want to charge, then walk away. If you change things, this can lead to your customer base being somewhat restricted.
Step 6 – Apply For Some Entry Level Proofreading Jobs Online
When it comes to getting your first proofreading job, there are specific sites you may want to visit where you will be able to apply for these types of jobs.
The kinds of sites you should consider visiting are some of the ones we list below:
- Visit a freelance marketplace such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer
- Go to job listing sites such as Flexjobs and Indeed
- You may also want to consider visiting academic sites such as Course Hero for publishing jobs for freelance proofreaders
- Also, take a look at editing job sites such as Editor World
- There are also other sites worth looking at not only for jobs but also for advice and resources for proofreaders, such as those we list below.
- Proofreading Services – Offering jobs suitable for both beginner and professional proofreaders
- Sigtrack – these sites are looking for freelancers for data entry companies
- Amazon Kindle – if you would like to get involved with book proofreading, then this is an excellent place to start
Step 7 – Offer Extra Services
Many professional proofreaders have found that offering additional services is financially rewarding.
If you offer extra services to your customer base, then it is essential that they go along with the work you are doing already. Ideally, the services you offer should be those you will enjoy doing.
The kinds of extra services you can consider offering include:
- Formatting and editing
- Checking any references included in the content
- You could offer your services as a content writer
- You may even want to consider offering to upload and publish articles to a website to enhance the customer’s online presence
Step 8 – You Need To Develop The Following Traits
You need to be aware that there may be hundreds of applications for the same position.
This is why you must develop certain traits that will help you stand out from the rest during the application process.
The main traits that you should work on developing are as follows:
You need to have a good eye for detail to quickly identify and then rectify any grammatical or spelling errors in the work.
You need to know the exact grammar rules that will have to be applied concerning spelling and punctuation.
You must have good communication skills so that you can sell yourself quickly to potential new clients.
It is vital that you keep up to date with the latest training that will help to enhance and improve your core proofreading skills. Plus, doing this will help you identify any new job opportunities you are suitable for.
Even though you can enjoy flexible working hours as a freelance proofreader, you still need to have good time management skills. This is because you will be required to meet specific deadlines for our customers. This will ensure your productivity.
Step 9 – Create A Comfortable Working Environment
If you create the right environment to work in, you will find that your productivity levels are much better.
When working from home, make sure that you have the right kind of desk and chair. Plus, make sure that you are using the right tools. These include a reliable internet connection and a good computer or laptop.
You may even want to consider if you have the space available at home to set one room aside to make it into a home office. That way, you can keep your business and personal life separate.
Things To Consider Before You Begin Working As A Freelance Proofreader
After reading the above, you are still keen on becoming a freelance proofreader. There are certain things that you need to look out for.
Avoid The Low Balling Clients
In the beginning, you may find that you have to apply for a few low-paying jobs, as these will help you to gain valuable proofreading experience. Plus, you can use these to help you get testimonials. This is all perfectly normal.
You do not want to end up like so many others and continue to work for low-paying clients.
It may seem counterintuitive when starting to decline a few low-paying jobs. It is better to have no job than to work so many low-paid freelance jobs that you are overwhelmed.
Avoid The Scams
Unfortunately, you need to be careful when working online as it is rife with scams.
The kinds of scams that you need to be aware of when it comes to applying for any freelance jobs are as follows:
For example, the ones where the client is asking you to pay them a registration fee.
When the deal in the job marketplace seems to be too good to be true and you are thinking twice as to whether you should take it or not.
When you find your client is trying to trick you into doing additional work for them without getting paid for it. For example, you could have a client who includes an extra few paragraphs into the writing piece and then send it back to you to edit.
Also, make sure that you avoid any clients who, after each job you do for them, then ask for a refund.
Keep On Learning
One of the best pieces of advice we can give you like someone new to freelancing is always to keep on learning.
This additional learning will help you hone your proofreading skills. Further, it will also provide you with a great reason to be able to increase your fees.
Plus, it will also help you stand out when you are looking to apply for any high-paying proofreading jobs you see advertised.
Make Sure You Have The Right Tools
If you intend to work full-time as a proofreader online, it is worth investing in specific tools and technology. As you will soon discover, there is a wide range of tools you can use to help you, especially when starting. The main ones that we feel you should use are as follows:
This is available both as a free or paid version. The main difference is that you have access to a lot more features to be found inside this tool than the paid version. Not only does it help you to identify any grammatical errors within the content, but also any spelling mistakes.
You can easily change between reviewing the content using UK English, US English, and Australian English.
The great thing about this tool is that it is a free extension that you can download onto your computer. Anything you are proofreading will automatically be placed through it. You can even upload any work you are proofreading to it.
When it comes to proofreading any content, we often forget about the spell checker feature with the word processing program we are using. Even the most basic version of this tool will help you to identify some if not all spelling mistakes made.
This tool can help you identify the more advanced grammar errors, punctuation errors, and spelling errors. This is the same feature that you would get if you were to invest in the paid version of Grammarly.
This has now become the easiest and more popular way for people to be able to share documents online. To use this feature from Google, you simply need to set up a free Google Drive account.
Once set up, clients can send a link to the document they want their freelance proofreaders to go through. Along with looking at the document, you can also make changes to it, which will be identified to the client.
If some of the clients you work for who have given you high paying proofreading jobs do not use Google Docs, then you may find that they use Dropbox instead. This is also a very popular tool that allows you to share documents with others quickly and easily online.
There is a paid version of this tool you can get. But in the beginning, when you are starting, you will find that the free version is more than enough for your needs.
How To Go About Choosing The Best Proofreading Job For You
When it comes to applying for any jobs you see advertised on any online marketplace, you need to be asking specific questions. This way, you can identify which of the tons of jobs available are right for you.
These are some of the main questions you need to be asking.
How Much Does It Pay?
Of course, you will want to apply for high paying jobs to get the most value for the number of hours per day you will be working.
Are The Business Owners Hiring Now?
Those jobs where they are hiring straightaway provide you with the best options as you can be confident that the position is available. Plus, you will be able to begin work on any project for them once they have hired you.
What Are Your Skills?
Earlier in this article, we talked about choosing a particular niche to concentrate on. It is vital that you choose from jobs that align with the skills you have.
Our Final Thoughts about Proofreading Work From Home
The right proofreading jobs from home will provide you with an excellent opportunity to set up a business from home.
Also, these types of freelance jobs are very flexible and will allow you to choose when you work. As well as helping you to achieve financial freedom.
The great thing about this job opportunity is that very little skill is needed in the beginning. You only need to have a knack for identifying mistakes in grammar and spelling.
With some additional training, you will be able to become an experienced proofreader in no time at all. You do not even need an English degree.
As someone just starting, you may find it difficult when looking for proofreading jobs from home with no experience required.
However, it is pretty easy to find such positions these days compared to just a few years ago. Running your freelance proofreading business will still be challenging and demanding.
But if you have the right tools and guide like this post, you will be able to get your business off on the right footing. You will then be able to find the perfect proofreading job that you have always been looking for.
It is always a good idea when looking for work-from-home opportunities to keep an open mind. This way, you will not limit yourself to taking on jobs that do not pay well or do not excite you.
We wish you all the luck in the world with your new venture. Why not let us know what you think of this guide here.