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An Introduction to Freelance Proofreading Jobs


If you have the right skills, freelance proofreading jobs can be a great source of income for work at home moms. It requires a good vocabulary, perfect spelling skills and attention to detail. Here's what you need to know about launching a freelance proofreading career.

Where to Find Proofreading Work

There's never a shortage of online proofreading jobs. Hundreds of new websites are created every day, and businesses need proofreaders to go over every line of copy to make it look professional. Websites that produce a lot of written content need proofreaders and editors. You can even land clients by editing the errors in a piece of junk mail and sending it back to the company with a business card. You might want to gain professional certification as a proofreader, and it's a good idea to become proficient in different professional writing and proofreading styles, such as AP and Chicago style.

Typical Pay Rates

Pay for proofreading projects starts at about ten cents per page. With more certification and skills, you can expect pay in the range of $1 per page or more. Proofreading pays considerably less per page than freelance writing jobs, but you make up for this by proofing many more pages per hour. Depending on your speed as a proofreader and the volume of work, you can make up to $20 an hour or more as a professional proofreader.

How the Process Works

The editor or employer sends you the document or pages to be proofed. You can receive these by fax or email. If the document is faxed, you'll need to know the editing/proofing marks that the employer expects. Once you proof the document and mark any errors, you fax it back to the employer. If the document is sent to you through email, you can edit it as a word document using the "Track Changes" feature. Any changes you make are marked in red and explained in the margins. This allows the employer to easily see the changes and approve them on their end. Some companies that rely on proofreaders even have their own online system, where proofers can log in and directly work on their assigned documents. This system eliminates the need for an email or fax exchange entirely.

Pros of Freelance Proofreading Jobs

The benefits of being a freelance proofreader include the ability to work from home and set your own work hours. You can take on as much work as you want, and select only clients you're comfortable working for. You get to be your own boss and you get the satisfaction of making your client's copy look as professional as possible.

Cons of Freelance Proofreading Jobs

Being a freelance proofreader does have its downsides. You have to actively pursue clients and market your skills as a proofreader. You have to provide your own benefits and health insurance, and you have to do all the bookkeeping. You're not just a freelance proofreader; you're also a small business owner, and you have to do all the extra work that goes along with that. When there's an economic recession, you'll be competing with proofreaders who will take jobs for considerably less pay.

Freelance proofreading jobs aren't for everyone. However, if you have the right skills and certifications, you can turn your proofreading skills into a profitable home business.


Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.

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