Are you good at spotting grammatical errors and misspellings? Do you know where to insert commas and where to leave them out? If yes, proofreading could be a perfect fit for you! Keep reading to discover how to become a proofreader in as little as 30 days.
Bloggers, authors, and website designers need awesome proofreaders to help polish their content. And if you have a good eye for errors in text and know your grammar, you could earn good money doing this.
So, in this post, I decided to interview a super successful proofreading expert who knows all it takes to start and grow a thriving proofreading business. Her name is Caitlin Pyle.
Caitlin is the founder of Proofread Anywhere, where she helps proofreaders earn extra income from anywhere in the world. She’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to become a successful proofreader who brings in over $43, 000 per year.
Caitlin has been a proofreader since 2007 and has helped over 4800 students start their proofreading careers. If you have a passion for words and reading and want to turn that into a thriving proofreading business, Caitlin is the person you want to go to.
She has created a comprehensive course, General Proofreading: Theory & Practice, to teach others how to start a profitable proofreading hustle in as a little as 30 days. Be sure to check that out.
But if you don’t have the budget to enroll in the course at this time, don’t worry. You can still get her completely FREE proofreading workshop designed to help beginners gain the skills needed to get started.
How to become a proofreader and create a lifestyle of freedom and financial security
In this interview, Caitlin offers some valuable insights on making money as a proofreader and what exactly she did to reach where she is today. Keep reading to learn how to become a proofreader and leverage your word skills.
Let’s jump straight in!
1.) Hi, Caitlin, could you please give a little background on yourself and how you got started as a proofreader?
My passion for proofreading started when I studied abroad in Germany for a year in college and would help students proofread their college essays. I loved using my grammar talent to catch errors and help others turn their writing into masterpieces.
I took my general proofreading skills to the next level when I got into proofreading transcripts for court reporters back in 2012. I was so good at spotting errors, I became known as “Eagle Eyes.” In fact, proofreading transcripts became my primary source of income.
People kept asking more questions about how I was earning money from proofreading, so I created Proofread Anywhere to answer those questions and help other people make money through proofreading too.
2.) What exactly does a proofreader do?
Proofreading is the last stage of the process before a piece of content goes live. A proofreader is looking for items that have been missed in previous editorial passes. They check for typos, double words (“the the,” “and and,” etc.), grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting issues. They do not rewrite sentences.
3.) What kind of person is a good fit for proofreading work, and do you need formal training?
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, but proofreading is not for everyone. And that’s okay!
You need to have an eagle eye for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. This means errors tend to pop off the page at you as you’re reading. It’s possible to learn all those nerdy grammar rules and improve your proofreading skills, but if you don’t care about the little details, then you might struggle with the work.
Getting proper training is super important! Learning on the job is a great way to get experience, but it can also mean making lots of mistakes. In the proofreading industry, mistakes are forgiven much less easily! Practicing your craft within the safety of a course means you’ll weed out bad habits and hone your eagle eyes before you work with real clients.
Can’t afford paid training? Get Caitlin’s FREE 45-minute proofreading workshop to get you started today!
4.) How does a proofreader go about getting clients?
I get asked this question ALL THE TIME by prospective students. So much so that I dedicated an entire module to how to get clients in each of my courses.
I teach you both the skills you need to do the job AND how to find clients. So if you follow the guidelines I include in the course, you should have no issues finding clients. How long it takes to get your first client is different for everyone, but if you put in the effort and market your business authentically, you will see the rewards.
Further reading: 17+ Websites To Find Online Proofreading Jobs From Home
5.) How much money can a proofreader expect to earn?
I hate to give you a cop-out answer, but it depends! It depends on how many hours you work, your level of experience, and how fast you can complete the work. To give you some idea of what’s possible, I earned around $40K a year working part-time hours.
The important thing to remember is this: YOU are in charge of your success and how much money you make! The amount of time and effort you put into this, along with the quality of the service you provide your clients, is directly linked to the amount of money you can make. And that’s why it’s hard to put a definite number on how much you can make.
6.) What is your favorite thing about being a proofreader?
The freedom! Throughout my proofreading career, I’ve been able to proofread literally anywhere, including a whole year I spent in South America! You can create your own schedule and work from home (or wherever you want!).
7.) What kind of challenges does a proofreader face?
Poor mindset is the biggest issue a lot of aspiring proofreaders face. They may have “failed” in the past and don’t think they’re capable of being successful. Starting your own business is scary, and it takes a lot of hard work, but if you master a skill and consistently market your business, there’s every chance you can succeed.
8.) Can one do proofreading as a full-time job?
Yes, many graduates of my course proofread full-time. Work-from-home proofreading jobs are super flexible. You can work as much or as little as you want. Since you are your own boss, you can decide which clients to work with and what projects you want to work on.
9.) You have an amazing training program for proofreaders, please tell us a little bit about it.
Absolutely! General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ is a detailed training program wherein you’ll learn everything you need to know about proofreading general texts like books and blogs, for example. 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’ll 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.
Most courses focus on only the mechanics of proofreading, but we take you step by step. You get training on both how to proofread and how to market your services to find clients.
10.) Who is the course for? Can anyone with no previous experience take it?
This course is for anyone who wants to use their word skills to create a life they love.
It’s for anyone who wants to quit their day job, be their own boss, and work from home doing work they enjoy. Proofreading can also be a good fit for people who need to earn a little extra money to pay down debt or save for something specific.
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.
You don’t need previous experience as a proofreader to take the General Proofreading course, but you do need a natural ability to spot errors. If you don’t, you may find the course — and the work — too difficult.
11.) After taking your course, what kind of results can one expect? (Provided they’ve put their 100% into it).
I cannot offer any guarantees you will get any clients simply by completing the course. I give you all the tools, practice, resources, and support you need, but I don’t do any of the work for you.
If you do the work it takes to get good at proofreading, then follow my instructions to find clients (no shortcuts), you will have no problems getting clients.
The only ways you can fail are:
- if you are not actually good at spotting errors
- you don’t follow the instructions to do things right/hurry through just ’cause you want to make money, or
- you give up. The more you hone your craft and the harder you work at marketing and providing excellence, the more money you’ll make.
12.) Lastly, what is your number one piece of advice for someone who wants to become a proofreader?
Just keep trucking! 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. If you give up, you’ll never reap the benefits.
Thank you, Caitlin, for this amazing interview!
Ready To Make Money As A Freelance Proofreader?
Proofreading is a flexible and reliable way to make money online both on the side or full-time.
If you want to learn how to become a proofreader and create a lifestyle of freedom and financial security, then I highly recommend enrolling in Caitlin’s General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course.
But if you currently don’t have the funds for the course, Caitlin has created a FREE workshop for beginners. This can be a great place to start as well; so check it out.