If you’re looking to earn some extra cash online, proofreading online can be an incredibly lucrative way for you to do so. Today, proofreading has become an exceedingly sought-after service for writers from all walks of life. So if you are considering trying your hand at proofreading online, scroll down to learn all about the job.
What does the job entail?
Whether you’re a journalist, blogger, student, or author, it is essential your writing showcases perfect grammar and contains no misspelled words. This is where online proofreaders come in. Unlike editors, proofreaders do not need to restructure sentences or paragraphs, they simply work on your writing’s spelling and grammar.
While some writers choose to proofread and edit their own work, many prefer to show it to a second pair of eyes in order to ensure their writing is immaculate and does not contain any errors. As an online proofreader, you can work on a number of different types of written content such as social media posts, newsletters, press releases, student essays, blog posts, and self-published novels.
How much money can you make?
Online proofreaders can get paid per word, per page, per project, or per hour for the work they put in. Since proofreading isn’t very time-consuming, the pay tends to be lesser than online writing and editing jobs. Your pay also depends on your past experience and your level of expertise.
Beginner proofreaders earn between $15 – $20 per hour and can progress to make around $30 per hour. Salary.com estimated online proofreaders make an average of $53,000 a year. Like with any type of career, salary increases with experience and expertise. It's possible to earn over $100k per year as a senior level proofreader.
Pros of working as an online proofreader
1. You make your own hours: Unlike traditional 9-to-5 jobs, you can choose to work at any time of the day you prefer, and also take as much or as little work as you want.
2. Work from home: Since this is an online job, you can work from the comfort of your own home.
3. Low start-up cost: Unlike other businesses, proofreading requires a relatively low start-up cost. You just need a computer and a good internet connection to get started.
4. You are your own boss: You are not constantly supervised and micromanaged by your boss, and can hence choose your own pace with your work.
Cons of working as an online proofreader
1. Deadlines can be hard: Even though you make your own hours, some projects can come with tighter deadlines and urge you to work at a pace faster than you are comfortable with.
2. It is easy to get distracted: When you’re working online, there are many distractions (such as scrolling through social media) that you will need to avoid. If you don’t do well without supervision, online jobs might not be for you.
3. Some jobs may require further education: If you’re looking to bag higher-paid proofreading jobs online, you may need to complete further/ higher education.
How to get started as an online proofreader?
If you’re looking to start a career in online proofreading, there is a wide variety of platforms to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of the 8 best websites for online proofreaders below. You may find success by simply signing up for one, but it is often recommended to start by joining a few in order to be able to access more opportunities. Once you find enough work on a single platform, you can concentrate your efforts on the given website and enjoy a healthy stream of high-paying jobs. The more you work, the more reviews and testimonials you will receive, allowing you to apply for better paid proofreading jobs in the future.
Fiverr is one of the best platforms for freelancers working in any field online. You can post offers (called ‘gigs’ on Fiverr) for your proofreading services, and get started quickly as a beginner. Once you have a few good reviews on your profile, you can increase the price of your offers and start to rake in more cash.
Beginner gigs tend to start at $5 on Fiverr. However, you make a lot more money by adding additional services to your offer for extra cash. For example, you can charge an additional $5 for one day delivery or for unlimited revisions.
Upwork is another great freelancing website for online proofreading work. The website updates its list of available jobs every minute, giving proofreaders ample opportunity to apply for a variety of jobs. Upwork also helps your find the most relevant jobs for your skillset. Make sure to add enough portfolio examples to your profile to bag the best paid jobs.
Similar to Upwork, Freelancer is a great freelancing job board for proofreaders, allowing you to bid on a number of projects that are updated by the minute. You can find a variety of short-term or long-term projects as a proofreader on this freelancing marketplace.
If you’re looking for a more permanent online proofreading job, Lionbridge might be the right platform for you. Unlike freelance job boards, you may require some experience as a proofreader to get started on Lionbridge, or else have to take a simple skill test to prove your expertise.
You can find jobs in a number of different countries and languages on Lionbridge, and begin to make some full-time earnings from the comfort of your own home.
Gramlee is ideal for any freelancer who has a knack for grammar and is looking for frequent proofreading work. In order to get started, you need to fill up the employee application form and wait to hear back from the website.
Once you’re accepted, you can find numerous assignments but you have to be available to work for at least a few hours a day, as Gramlee requires quick turnaround times for assignments.
CACTUS communications is a great platform for freelancers looking for more specialized proofreading work. A lot of their jobs require writers with a medical background, and in order to acquire these, you may need to have specific degrees sought after by the website.
Writers either need to have a Bachelor’s degree or proven prior experience in the realm of healthcare, surgery, medicine, social science, or life science. As an online proofreader on Cactus communications, you can rake in $2000 to $4000 a month.
Proofreadingservice.com is a great platform for freelancers looking for both part-time and full-time work online. You can make $19 to $46 on the website hourly depending on your level of expertise and the jobs you get. In order to get started on the website, all proofreaders need to take a 20-minute screening test to prove their abilities.
Wordvice is another great platform for experienced proofreaders as the website does ask if you’ve completed, or are enrolled in a graduate degree. In order to apply, freelancers need to submit their resume and even take an editing test to prove their skills. Once accepted via email, you can get started and work on a number of part-time proofreading opportunities for clients all around the world.
Working as an online proofreader is one of the best side hustles to get started with. The pay is a lot stronger than a lot of other online jobs out there, plus it has the potential to lead to a 6-figure career. You can work from home, set your own hours, and choose how much you want to work. Once you gain more experience, you'll have the ability to set higher rates and take on private clients. Until you reach that level, the best places to get started with online proofreading work is by using one of the websites we listed above. Good luck!