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If you’re looking for a part-time side hustle that pays off all your monthly expenses, helps you make money while traveling the world, and gives you the freedom to work for yourself without a boss, then becoming a freelance proofreader is the best way to grow.
That said, every job has pros and cons, which you need to know before you start learning proofreading skills.
I have worked as a proofreader in the past, and have some opinions about the upsides and downsides of being a proofreader.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into the 15 pros and cons of being a proofreader online.
Pros of Being A Proofreader
Let’s start this article by looking at the advantages of being an online proofreader. Here’s my list of the top 8 benefits of working as a freelance proofreader:
You Get to Be Your Own Boss
Being a proofreader allows you to be your boss! No more rigid office hierarchies, micro-management from peers, or demanding supervisors troubling you after work hours.
You do what makes you feel good at all times without having the pressure from your manager or the constant check-ins to make sure you’re performing to their expectations.
You can make crucial business decisions without asking for approval from anybody, which is surely a gift worth trying out.
You can decide how much workload you want, set your hours, work from anywhere, and wear anything you want (I’m wearing my shorts while writing this article :))
Easy To Get Started
Unlike professions (e.g. – accountants) that demand years of intensive education and training, proofreading is a skill that can be learned relatively quickly.
All you need is a laptop, a good internet connection, a basic understanding of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and Microsoft Word.
The best part is that you don’t even need to invest in any special proofreading software, just using Microsoft Word will do the work!
There’s no barrier to entry in this field! You can come and go and come back again and start making money as per your preferences.
Freedom Of Working From Anywhere
As a proofreader, you have the freedom to work from virtually anywhere on the globe.
Whether it’s your cozy home office, a bustling coffee shop, or even a tranquil beachside retreat, your office can be wherever you choose.
I can go on a vacation with my family and still manage to work a few hours every day. That’s the beauty of working from anywhere.
Flexible Work Hours
Being an online proofreader with no boss means you have the flexibility to set your hours and work when you want to.
The rigidity of a 9-5 job is not applicable here.
Maybe you’re a night owl or an early riser, or you’re a mom with a young kid, Not to worry, as you can tailor your work schedule to suit your needs.
Your friend wants to meet you on a Thursday afternoon for lunch, you can do that because you don’t have a boss, and have flexible working hours.
You can be a part-time proofreader, as a side hustle on Saturdays and Sundays, or a few hours every day.
High Demand For Proofreaders
The demand for skilled proofreaders is ever-increasing.
Businesses, authors, publishers, and individuals, all seek professional proofreaders to ensure their content is error-free, making proofreading a high-demand job.
Wide Range Of Job Opportunities
From academic papers to novels and websites to copywriting landing pages, the scope of proofreading projects is wide!
You can work on multiple projects to keep your work dynamic and reduce monotony.
I hate when I’m doing the same work again and again, so having a ton of variety makes work interesting!
Flexibility To Choose Clients
Being your boss gives you the freedom to select the clients and projects that resonate the most with you.
That means you’re not just working for the sake of work, you’re engaging with content that genuinely interests and fulfills your needs.
Experienced Proofreaders Make A Fortune
Being an established proofreader is not an overnighting thing!
Experienced proofreaders charge substantially more for their services.
That’s because they’re better than 99% of all proofreaders and can spot errors, and grammatical mistakes most proofreaders can’t.
These established proofreader also come with a hefty portfolio, and their reputation is well-known in the industry.
Once you’re there, you’ll also make a fortune.
Cons of Being A Proofreader
Now that you’ve thoroughly read why proofreading is good for you, let’s take a good look at the disadvantages of being an online freelance proofreader.
Here’s my list of the top 7 cons of working as a proofreader:
Proofreading Can Be Repetitive and Monotonous
The work of a proofreader can often be monotonous.
That’s because of the nature of work, which is reading and identifying errors in the documents.
That’s why having diverse sets of clients helps reduce repetitive work, keeping proofreading an interesting career option for you in the long term.
That said, every job you’ll do tends to get boring after a point, so find ways to keep your proofreading job interesting.
Read More >>> How to improve your proofreading skills (2024)
Building a Client Base Can Be Challenging
As a beginner proofreader, you’ll often face challenges along the way, the biggest one being to find potential clients.
Securing your first client is often the most difficult aspect of any business. It requires a ton of networking, following up, negotiating, and 10 other things.
Once you land your first client, things get a tad bit easier.
Over time, with a few existing clients and glowing recommendations, charging more for your services and finding new clients get easier.
No Job Security
As any freelancer would say, there’s no job security in this field.
The money you earn is solely dependent on how many projects you’ve worked on, how many clients you currently have, and how much money you’re making out of this (after all your expenses).
That said, unlike jobs where you’ll get a set percentage increment, as a proofreader, there’s no limit to how much money you can earn.
As long as you grow your proofreading business, the sky is the limit.
Proofreading Can Cause Eye Strain & Fatigue
Staring at screens and reading documents carefully to find grammar or spelling mistakes for extended periods can easily strain your eyes and cause fatigue.
Take regular breaks to reduce eye stress and long-term health problems.
Also having a good chair, and a table for your back is quite important so invest in this equipment to ensure you can make money as a proofreader and ensure your well-being in the long term.
Clients Are Not Always Forthcoming
Communicating what your clients need from you and how you plan to deliver it is crucial for working together. But not all clients are easy to get along with.
Maybe your client isn’t transparent about their expectations or doesn’t provide timely feedback.
Due to this, there can be misunderstandings leading to work not being done as per your client’s expectations.
Being your Own Boss means you have the option to drop your clients if you’re in a good financial position. You could do that, as clients who aren’t forthcoming usually tend to always cause issues.
You May Have Tight Deadlines
Meeting tight deadlines is a common challenge for proofreaders, especially when multiple clients require quick turnarounds.
Learn to Effectively manage your time and focus on working efficiently to meet these deadlines and reduce friction between the client and you.
If you know some project deadlines are overlapping, consider talking to a few of your clients and asking if they can be a bit flexible about their deadlines.
You’ll be surprised to see how good clients understand your difficulties and cut you some slack.
You May Experience Loneliness
Proofreaders, transcribers, bloggers (that’s me!), basically freelancers often work independently from their homes, which can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness.
In the long run, these issues can seriously impact your health and work ethic.
So take some time out each day to go for a walk, shop at the local groceries, and meet some friends or join neighborhood groups that meet in the evenings.
Do something to ensure you get rid of loneliness and find happiness.
Trust me, it’s boring, and if you don’t do something about this, you’ll hate working and slowly get into extreme loneliness.
Reconnect with old friends or make new ones, and do something to get rid of loneliness fast.
How to Be An Online Proofreader: FAQs
How to Learn Proofreading Skills Fast?
Proofreading is an easier skill to learn than accounting or finance, and today almost anyone can be a proofreader.
But, you need to be a professional proofreader with expert-level knowledge that most proofreaders online simply don’t have.
Here are a few things to do:
- Learn the fundamentals of Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation
- Read Extensively
- Attend Free Workshops, read blog posts online on how to become a proofreader
- Develop a Keen Eye for Detail
- Practice and then Practice some more
- Be Consistent and learn something every day
This is the approach most proofreaders follow, and there’s nothing wrong with this, but information available on Google/YouTube is something everyone can access.
Meaning, you’ll make some money out of it, but not a lot!
To 10X your income and be an expert proofreader, you need to invest in courses from industry experts that teach you exactly how the top 5% of proofreaders make money and how you can emulate their process.
Note: Don’t enroll in courses where the proofreaders don’t practice proofreading or aren’t in the top 5% of freelance proofreaders online.
If you’re interested in proofreading courses, I recommend reading my article, on the best proofreading courses on the planet.
How to Find Proofreading Jobs Online?
Here are the best ways to Find Online Proofreading Jobs:
- Through a Proofreading Course – The best general proofreading course that offers a work guarantee post completing their course is Knowadays Becoming a Proofreader Course (Use code “Knowadays40” for 40% Off).
They offer a work guarantee with an esteemed proofreader service company Proofed. Knowadays offers top-notch proofreading courses backed by industry experts and proofreaders.
This course is best suited for beginners who wish to understand proofreading and make a full-time 6 figure income like professional proofreaders do!
- Freelancing Job Platforms – Using freelance job platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Scribendi, and Scribbr is the second best way to find clients willing to pay you for your proofreading services.
Companies constantly use freelance platforms to find proofreaders to manage their work. You’re quite likely to get a few clients.
Once you have a pool of clients, don’t forget to meet expectations by providing quality service. Ask them to refer someone they know who needs proofreading services.
- Networking – To build your portfolio from scratch, using your local network to find remote proofreading jobs is the smartest thing to do.
Not all contacts will require a proofreader, so use platforms like LinkedIn, and Instagram, to connect with new individuals, and companies to pitch them your proofreading services.
Read More >>> 5 Most Common Proofreading Mistakes To Avoid!
Is Proofreading a Stressful Job?
If you don’t have a boss and you’re running a proofreading business yourself, you won’t have too much stress unless you’re juggling tight deadlines, finding it challenging to deal with the client’s expectations, and procrastinating on upcoming projects.
The best short-term solution I’ve learned to deal with work stress is to complete the work and call it a day.
The long-term solution is to only accept jobs that you can manage easily without being too stressful, or if you’re into expanding and making more money, hire proofreaders to work for you and delegate projects, thus reducing your workload.
Learn to manage your time and try maintaining a good work-life balance to avoid hectic long-hour days.
Can You Make A Full-Time Income As A Proofreader?
Yes, you can easily make a full-time income as a proofreader online. Due to the high demand for quality proofreading services, it’s easier to find jobs that pay you well.
All you need to do is learn proofreading, either from someone you know and trust or Google or from professionals.
Knowadays is one such proofreading course that teaches you how to be a skilled proofreader and make a full-time income freelance proofreading.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make?
On average, proofreaders with some experience can make $20-25 per hour, whereas beginner proofreaders make $12 -$15 per hour, and experienced proofreaders earn $30+ an hour.
These hourly rates depend on various factors like:
- Proofreaders Education & Expertise
- Proofreading Niche (Specialization)
- Experience level
- Project complexity (Quality of writing, Document’s complexity)
- How quickly does the client want the job done
To increase your hourly rates, I recommend using digital marketing to promote yourself better and create graphic images using Canva or other tools.
Apart from this, learn closely related services like freelance editing and copywriting to further boost your hourly rates.
Proofreaders with Editing as an additional skill generally earn 30-50% more than general proofreaders.
That’s why Knowadays created their new Bundle Course, which includes Proofreading and editing.
Learning two skills will give you the edge very few proofreaders in the freelance space have. They’re currently running a 15% off on their Bundle course, If interested, grab the Knowadays Bundle Course Today!
Is Proofreading a Good Side Hustle Idea?
Proofreading can be an excellent side hustle due to its flexibility, the option to work from anywhere, and being your boss.
If you’re a mom, you can take care of your kids while working part-time or full-time as a freelance proofreader.
The hourly rates of proofreading are quite good, and the costs involved in starting a proofreading business are low.
If you don’t have the skills and are a complete beginner, you can learn how to proofread with the Knowadays Proofreading Course.
Is Being A Proofreader Worth It?
Now that we’ve gone through all the pros and cons of being a proofreader, I believe that proofreading can be a great side hustle to make money or earn a full-time income, provided you learn the skills professional proofreaders possess.
Most beginner proofreaders have a day job and manage proofreading on the side.
Being an online proofreader full-time boils down to whether you like proofreading, or not.
If you enjoy finding grammatical errors, and correcting documents and have a good knack for it, Proofreading can be a rewarding career for you.
If you’re comfortable managing your day job with proofreading, it’s a good choice.
Irrespective, the best way to know if proofreading is a career option for you is by giving proofreading a try and making money.
Attend the Free Workshop by Proofread Anywhere and learn how to make money proofreading.
Check out this page where I’ve compiled all articles I’ve written related to proofreading – Best Proofreading Articles.
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