Online proofreaders are in high demand nowadays. Whether you want to work for a company or start your very own proofreading business, there’ll always be a market.
I personally don’t do proofreading, but I know a super successful proofreader. Her name is Caitlin Pyle.
Caitlin is the founder of Proofread Anywhere. She earns over $43,000+ per year proofreading part-time, and she’ll teach us everything we need to know about proofreading.
In this interview, you’ll learn some of Caitlin’s best tips on how to become a proofreader.
Should You Take Proofreading Courses?
Taking courses is a must if you want to get a good online proofreader job. Caitlin says that getting proper training is super important!
She covers this and much more in the interview. Read to the end to find out more!
That’s why she created her signature course: General Proofreading: Theory & Practice to shorten your learning curve and help you improve your proofreading skills.
Feel free to check that out. But, if you can’t afford it now, that’s okay too. You can still get some great training for free.
This FREE 45-minute proofreading workshop is designed to help beginners decide if proofreading is the best career path for them.
Further Reading: 9 Work From Home Courses to Take in 2019
The Top Ten Questions to Ask a Professional Proofreader
In the interview, Caitlin shares with us some hot tips about her successful journey as a proofreader.
Let’s head straight to the interview!
1. Please, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started as an online proofreader?
I’ve been proofreading for a long time — since college! I studied abroad in Germany for a year, and students there would ask me to help them proofread their essays.
I loved using my eagle eyes to help them improve their writing, earn an income from anywhere, and be my own boss — a sign of things to come…
After I graduated, I worked for a court reporting agency proofreading transcripts for court reporters. While I enjoyed proofreading, working in an office environment wasn’t really for me.
Eventually, I was brutally fired from that job — I got my work done early and worked on my own projects when I had spare time, and they didn’t like it.
Although it was a huge shock, I’m glad it happened now. It forced me to think outside the box and realize I didn’t have to sit in a crappy office all day working for someone else’s dream.
After I got fired from that job, I kept working with some of those reporters as a part-time freelance proofreader. I grew that business to a full-time income, then into a full-blown company.
I started ProofreadAnywhere.com because I wanted to help more people break free from the crippling self-doubt that plagued them by equipping them with powerful skills they could use to generate their own income from anywhere.
2. What exactly do proofreaders do, and how to do they find work (jobs)?
Proofreaders are the final pair of eyes on a project rather than the first or even second pair. They double-check to make sure no embarrassing grammatical and spelling errors slip through in the author’s writing.
Thanks to the worldwide BOOM of self-publishing, millions of books are being written and published each year. Not to mention the huge number of active blogs, websites, and online businesses out there.
New content is published on the internet every second. So there’s an obvious demand for general proofreaders.
The great thing about being a proofreader is there are many markets where you can find work. None of these markets are over-saturated with quality proofreaders; I promise!
Not sure if proofreading is right for you? Sign up for Caitlin’s FREE 7-day proofreading e-course over here!
3. Is proofreading for everyone, and do you need proper training, or skills?
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but proofreading is not for everyone. And that’s okay!
You need to have a natural knack for spotting grammar errors and typos. It’s possible to learn all those nerdy grammar rules and improve your proofreading skills, but if you don’t have an eye for detail and don’t care about the nitty-gritty, then you might struggle with being a proofreader.
Getting proper training is super important! You would be surprised how many bad grammar and punctuation habits you pick up over the years.
Many folks think they already know what makes a great proofreader and that they don’t need any training to do this kind of work. They don’t believe the work is hard.
So they go looking for clients, find some unsuspecting client willing to give them a shot, do some work… but then they miss stuff. A lot of stuff.
This is good news for those who put time, effort and training into their proofreading work.
Can’t afford paid training? Get Caitlin’s FREE 45-minute proofreading workshop to get you started today!
4. How much does a proofreader make, on average?
This is a very valid question, but a tough question to answer because it depends on a lot of different factors. The biggest factor is how much time you have to devote to proofreading and how proactive you are with your marketing. Other factors include your reading speed, skill level, and the rates you set.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your income depends solely on you. The better you know your craft and the harder you work at marketing and providing excellence, the more money you’ll make. You reap the benefits of the work you put into it.
To give you some frame of reference, I earned around $43,000 a year proofreading legal transcripts. The most I ever made was over $5,500 in a single month.
5. Can proofreading become a full-time job?
It can be whatever you need it to be! Some of the graduates of my courses work full-time; some work part-time. It all depends on their goals, how many hours they can devote to proofreading each week, and how actively they market their businesses to find work.
Proofreading is very flexible. You can increase your working hours if you want to make more money, or you can work just a few hours a day if you want a little extra money to cover bills.
6. Do proofreaders face any challenges?
Self-doubt — it’s a newbie’s curse. We can see that other people have succeeded, but we have a hard time believing we can succeed too. We get caught in a “research loop,” trying to figure out how everyone else is making it work, but that often leads to paralysis and not taking any action at all.
The fear never goes away, but you can turn it into a positive. Use this fear to gauge your potential for growth. If the thing you want to do doesn’t scare you, then you’re probably not going to grow from it.
Good things happen when you act in spite of fear.
Facing fear always makes us stronger.
7. Please, tell us more about your course – General Proofreading: Theory & Practice
Of course! General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ is a detailed training program wherein you’ll learn everything you need to know about proofreading general texts — think books, blogs, and the like.
It’s got everything you need to help you on your proofreading journey from grammar lessons to practice essays to marketing tips.
The course includes 40+ lessons in 8 modules, including 10 grammar and punctuation worksheets and 40 practice essays so you can test your skills. The course is available at two levels — Ignite and Ignite Plus.
With Ignite, you get lifetime access to the course. With Ignite Plus, you get lifetime access to the course and the opportunity to take a hand-graded exam to verify your skills.
If you pass the exam, you get a certificate of completion, access to an exclusive marketing mastermind group for graduates, and a listing on Self-Publishing School’s Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.
If you’re a word nerd and you want to make an income from home (or anywhere in the world), proofreading could be the right fit for you — whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a retiree, a millennial, or an employee who hates their 9-to-5 job.
Virginia’s Notes: Caitlin’s courses are among the best proofreading courses out there today! But, if you don’t have the funds for them, I highly encourage you to check out her free workshop.
8. Do you have any success stories or testimonials from students who have taken the course?
Yes! You can check out our student success stories on the website. I love hearing about and sharing how our students are creating the lives they want by starting a freelance proofreading business!
9. What do you like most about being a professional proofreader?
The freedom! You can create your own schedule and work from home (or wherever you want!).
10. What advice would you give someone searching for proofreading jobs, or someone who wants to start a proofreading business?
Just do it! Don’t let fear or self-doubt stop you from creating the life you want. If you work hard and commit to providing excellent service to your clients, there’s no reason you can’t succeed.
Thank you, Caitlin, for this awesome interview!
Want to test your proofreading prowess before you start working as a professional proofreader? Take this simple proofreading quiz!
Where to Find Your First Proofreading Gig
To get started, I encourage you to enroll in the free proofreading workshop. I will emphasize the importance of proper training just like Caitlin did. Then, after taking the training you can look for proofreading jobs online.
1. Proofreading Services
Proofreading Services has both full-time and part-time jobs. To work for the company, you must pass a 20-minute screening test before getting any work assigned.
I love this at-home proofreading position because they offer flexible working hours and you get to earn more than the U.S average hourly wage for proofreaders.
Another benefit is that you get a chance to connect with some of the world’s top English proofreaders around the globe. You absolutely have got to give this proofreading company a chance.
Related: Proofreading Services Review
2. Proofreading Pal
Proofreading Pal has proofreading and editing career opportunities for you if you are a professional proofreader. They are very strict and use a two-proofreader model where every document is proofread and edited by two professional proofreaders.
If you decide to join this company, expect to earn $500 to $3,000 per month.
When joining the company, you have to answer a short independent contractor questionnaire and wait to hear from their representative within 5 to 10 business days.
Just like Caitlin said, don’t second-guess yourself. Just do it!
3. Proofread Now
Proofread Now normally hires proofreaders and editors from time to time. If you find that they are not hiring now, just bookmark the website and be checking for open proofreading positions.
I just want to point out that Proofread Now has extensive tests that proofreaders must undergo before getting hired. But, once you get in, the return on investment will be worth the effort.
Related: Amazon proofreading jobs
Are you a proofreader or know someone who is? I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below!