How to become a freelance proofreader and get paid to read

How To Become a Freelance Proofreader and Make Great Money

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Are you a grammar nerd?  Here’s how to become a freelance proofreader and make great money working from home.

Want to make money as a proofreader?

A couple years ago I started hearing about how to make money proofreading. As a HUGE reader, I thought this sounded like an amazing work-from-home job. Today I’ll share with you all about how to become a freelance proofreader in this interview with Caitlin Pyle.

I am very excited to share with you my Entrepreneur Series called Money Moms.  I interview successful mompreneurs from many different fields who are juggling mom life with bringing in the dolla dolla bills (y’all).  These moms have diverse jobs and businesses…some of these jobs you might never even have heard of before.

Many of these jobs are online or work-from-home jobs, and these ladies will share how they started up and grew these flexible businesses so they could make a great income while having more time at home with their kids.  They break it all down so you can learn how to make this happen for you too!

Here are the other interviews in this entrepreneur series:

Also if you want to make money with freelance work, check out these 15 Best freelance websites to start making extra money now.

So sit back with a cup of coffee and get inspired by Caitlin!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info. 

1. Tell us a bit about you and your journey to becoming a freelance 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. Turns out I was so good at spotting errors, I became known as “Eagle Eyes.” In fact, proofreading transcripts became my primary source of income. When I worked as a full-time proofreader, I worked about 20–25 hours a week.

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 proofreading too.

2. I understand if you don’t want to share exact numbers about your income, but IF this is something you share, we would love to hear what your average income is as a freelance proofreader.

In my first full year working from home as a proofreader, I earned $47,000. The year after, I worked a little less and earned $43,000. And even though it was less, it was still ~ $11k more per year than my former day job.

Don’t miss Caitlin’s free training here!

3. How do you balance work as a freelancer proofreader with family?

As someone who works from home, it’s tempting to simply work, work, work all the time. I strongly believe that making time for family, for fun, for rest, and for personal pursuits is an essential part of creating a positive, healthy work-life balance.

I close my office door when I’m done working for the day to better focus on non-work time. Separating work from home is harder for freelancers, but it’s an essential part of avoiding burnout.

Psst…for all the writing YOU do, make sure it is well edited by using The World’s Best Automated Proofreader (it’s free).

4. What was the hardest thing about figuring out how to make money as a proofreader?

For me, the hardest thing was changing my mindset. For a long time, I had the mindset that I would never earn more than $400 per month as a proofreader. Because no one *actually* makes a healthy full-time living freelancing, do they? But here’s the thing: people were making a great living from home, it was just that *I* decided I couldn’t… So I didn’t.

For whatever reason, I believed that making money doing something I enjoyed wasn’t possible for me. When I was growing up, I was taught that money doesn’t grow on trees. So I felt I had to struggle for money. But I didn’t have to struggle to make decent money from home, and you don’t have to either.

Over time, I got better and better at proofreading, and I built systems to do it faster.

That extra $400 per month was taking me less time to earn, so I decided to see if I could pick up another client and double what I made. Within six months, I’d picked up so many “extra clients” that I’d grown my proofreading income from $400 per month to $4,000 per month. Sometimes I even hit $5K a month.

The systems I used to make this happen are simple and repeatable. Since then thousands of people have taken action with my guidance and changed their world.

5. Why do you think you have been able to make money proofreading where other people haven’t?

I believe I was a successful proofreader because I switched my focus from my own needs to the needs of my clients. When I started, I focused only on my own need to make money. When I started focusing on other people and what they needed from me, I grew my work-at-home income to $40,000+ per year and scaled it year after year from there.

The lesson? Help others achieve their dreams, and you will achieve yours.

Suchot’s note: When you’re ready to apply for jobs, here are 15 websites that have postings for proofreading jobs.

6. What is your best advice for how to make money as a freelance proofreader?

To be successful as a proofreader, you need to take these three steps:

Improve your freelance proofreader skills:

Excellent proofreaders need to have eagle eyes and a solid grasp of grammar. They have to be willing to do their own research and be willing to learn. Even if you were really good at English in school, you need to put time and effort into honing your skills before you start looking for clients.

Determine the most effective ways to get proofreading clients:

Most proofreaders never get off the ground because they wait for clients to come to them. Your clients are busy people. The last thing they have time for is to hunt down a proofreader. So make it easy for them to find you.

KEEP those proofreading clients coming back for more:

Your reputation is what keeps you alive in the freelance proofreader world. If you consistently miss deadlines, misquote rates, and return sloppy work, you’ll quickly become the proofreader nobody wants to hire. On the other hand, if you keep your word, do excellent work, and stick to deadlines, you’ll be head and shoulders above the meh-level proofreaders out there.

Proofreading training: take the best online proofreading course

If you would love to get paid to read like Caitlin, she teaches an amazing online proofreading course that will teach you absolutely EVERYTHING you need to know to make money proofreading.

And because she’s awesome, she offers a free 76-minute workshop so you can learn more about how to get started as a freelance proofreader.

Don’t miss her proofreading training HERE so you can get started on your new work-from-home job as a freelance proofreader  🙂

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How to become a freelance proofreader and get paid to read
How to become a freelance proofreader and get paid to read

Are you interested in making money as a freelance proofreader?


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10 thoughts on “How To Become a Freelance Proofreader and Make Great Money”

  1. Proof reading has always interested me – I’ve pinned your post to refer back to when the time comes to seriously start considering an income from home. There seems to be a lot of proof readers out there who earn very small amounts so it was interesting to read that it’s possible to earn a lot more than the usual pay rate.

    1. Freelance proofreading sounds like a really cool job or side hustle to me too! I was happy to find out more about it and pass along the info 🙂

  2. very interesting and an surely gives hope to many who would want to start a freelance carrier – Thanks for joining us in bloggers pit stop – pit stop crew

    1. Freelance proofreading sounds like an interesting career to me too! Thanks for stopping by Menaka!

  3. I see that the course if free but there has to be something you pay for somewhere. Otherwise I would sign up in a minute.

    1. Hi Lauren! Yes that course is free. It’s to teach you how to begin to be a freelance proofreader, and see if it’s right for you. Freelance proofreading would mean that you’re self employed, so you would need to be able to find your own clients. There are further courses where people can choose to pay if they would like help setting up their proofreading business. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. This job looks awesome! Very informative. I am dabbling in proofreading a bit right now through volunteer work at Distributed Proofreaders Foundation. I will look more into how to do this for a living. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Hey! Cool that you’re doing some freelance proofreading! It sounds like such a fun online job 🙂 Caitlin really knows her stuff, she’s a great teacher of everything you need to know to become a professional proofreader.

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