Working from Home as Proofreader Can Be Extremely Rewarding
Good proofreaders are in demand – they’re a hot commodity. If you enjoy working for yourself, you like to read and you have a great attention to detail then this may be the job for you.
Proofreaders are needed in many areas and by many other folks; I personally use proofreaders in my transcription business, writers use proofreaders for their articles and manuscripts, bloggers use proofreaders on occasion, there are just countless places you can get your foot in the door to do proofreading. As they say, two sets of eyes on any document is always better than one.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the skills you may need and some of the things to take into consideration before diving into this type of work from home career path.
Is proofreading right for you?
Are you the type of person who notices typos or grammatical errors every time you pick up a book or magazine?
Do you cringe when you see mistakes all over a web page?
If so, you may want to consider starting a business in proofreading or editing.
Who hires proofreaders?
The first step in getting jobs is understanding who needs your services.
As I mentioned earlier on, I use proofreaders in my transcription business all the time and they are very important part of what I do for my clients. Other business need proofreaders too …
In order to attract search engines and visitors, smart website owners and bloggers fill their sites with informative articles and other content. They may do the writing themselves, hire ghostwriters, or purchase the articles through a private label rights service.
If they are doing the writing themselves or hiring a ghostwriter, the articles may not be proofread or edited before they are published. Even great writers can make grammatical errors. Unfortunately, many private labels rights services that offer cheap articles hire writers who do not speak English as a first language; these articles are often poorly written and need lots of editing.
This is why website owners and bloggers are in need of proofreaders and editors. As more and more people turn to the internet for business, more websites will be created. More jobs for proofreaders and editors will be created. This opens up a lot of opportunity for people interested in this type of career.
Proofreading and editing can be a great career for people that love words and want to work from home.
If you don’t have a writing or journalism education, you’re going to want to establish your credibility. There are a number of people who want to be proofreaders, making the competition seem like it might be stiff. However, if you have some education and experience behind you, you’re leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.
Proofreading is a skill and it takes not only a good attention to detail but also a solid grasp of the English language, both written and oral. To establish credibility if you don’t already have an education in a related field, consider taking a proofreading course. These courses will generally require you to pass a test at the end, and that credibility will help you get the job you want.
Tip: Become a prolific reader, if you’re not already.
Being knowledgeable about the topic you’re proofreading will help you understand the lingo and you’ll get through the project(s) more efficiently – meaning you’ll make more money in less time. Of course, you can’t be knowledgeable about every topic but being a prolific reader will help.
Someone interested in seeking work as a proofreader or editor will need to have a love for reading, as that is a primary job function.
It is also helpful to have a good understanding of language and vocabulary. Proofreaders use special symbols, and if you don’t already know them, you should be willing to learn them.
You may find entry level jobs that do not require much experience, and they can be a great training ground for you to learn these skills.
Decide how you want to approach your career.
Do you want to be a freelancer? Do you want to work for a publisher or business?
Do you want to proofread a specific type of document? For example, do you only want to proofread textbooks?
Alternatively, do you want to stick to a specific topic like the home renovation industry?
Sometimes specializing in a specific niche can be more lucrative however, some people, especially when they’re getting started, do not want to limit their job opportunities.
Your Home Office
When it comes to your home office set-up, you don’t need very much for proofreading work, but you’ll want a reliable computer and high speed internet access. You’ll be sending files back and forth to clients and that can be a slow process if you have slow as mud internet service.
You will definitely want good word processing software, such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer, and you can even Google’s free document tools. You’ll probably also want a plain text editor such as Wordpad or Notepad, and one of those programs probably came already installed on your computer.
Put yourself out there to get jobs.
If you want to work as a freelancer and start working from home as a proofreader right away, then the best first step is to create a website to market your services. Learn a bit about internet marketing and begin to create a name for yourself. You may also want to consider visiting job-posting sites like elance or freelancer.com to pick up a few jobs until your freelance business really takes off.
If you’re looking to work for a company then draft your resume and start sending it to companies you’d like to work for. It may also pay to connect with these companies and their representatives via social networking. Sometimes a personal/professional connection can take you straight to the career of your dreams.
There are many ways to locate online proofreading jobs. You could seek out telecommuting job boards as well as traditional online job boards such as monster.com. There are many websites dedicated to helping people in freelance writing, and those could also be a source of job leads. Another option is to work with an online staffing agency. You may also want to consider contacting a website that publishes a lot of content directly and offering your services.