Imagine turning your love for reading into a proofreading side hustle that could bring in extra income, give you personal fulfillment, and grow your expertise in the editorial field. Not only that, but imagine also doing it on your own schedule, so you can work when, how and where you want?
I’ve helped thousands of people all over the world make money online as skilled proofreaders and editors. Freelancing is one of the best ways to make extra money because you can work remotely and independently, and have flexibility.
Proofreading and editing make such great side gigs because they are skills that can be applied to any industry. Once you’ve learned how to do them, you can work for clients like publishing houses, magazines, newspapers, businesses, agencies, start-ups, and writers.
In the following two case studies, I go in-depth into a couple of different ways to start an editorial side hustle. One is about using the skills and experience you already have, and the other is about transforming your love of reading and using social media to find clients quickly.
CASE STUDY #1
Creating A Balanced Schedule
Melissa Bradford, Melissa Proofreads
Our first proofreading side hustle case study is Melissa Bradford. Melissa is a busy woman who discovered that the trick to managing a side hustle with a full-time job is to create a realistic, balanced schedule.
During the day, Melissa is a high-school language teacher who is passionate about education. When she’s not teaching or running extra-curricular activities, she spends time with her husband, family, friends, and her many hobbies.
Even with all of that on her plate, Melissa wanted to start a side hustle to fill in some spare time and to earn extra income. However, she knew that it had to be something that allowed her to still enjoy her life. The idea of working in publishing came to her when she attended a book club meeting.
At her book club, Melissa had her first peek at the publishing process when she got an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of a book to read. ARCs are unpolished books given out to people for feedback on the story before the final production steps. They contain typos and other errors.
This led Melissa to wonder how books are polished for print, and who is involved in the process. Melissa has always been a bookworm, and was obsessed with books growing up. With her linguistics background and love of reading, it was like a lightbulb going off when she discovered proofreading and editing.
That led her to join our program, The Editorial Business Bundle. Proofreading and editing are excellent skills for teachers to learn because they already work with language in various capacities, and understand the diversity of writing styles.
For Melissa, she was also able to use her organizational, time and project management skills to help her balance her side hustle business, Melissa Proofreads.
Since she is so busy with a career, hobbies, and her proofreading side hustle, Melissa created a realistic schedule that is easy to stick to. She didn’t want her life to be all about work, so she makes sure she has time in the evenings and weekends to relax and spend how she wishes.
The ability to work in small chunks of time also fits into Melissa’s lifestyle perfectly. She is able to schedule in a half hour of work between activities, and still meet her project deadlines.
It didn’t take long for Melissa to land her first client (she found them through a writer’s group). That first project helped her establish a workflow, gain more confidence, and get a testimonial for her website.
Her proofreading side hustle also allows Melissa to indulge in fiction she enjoys reading. She works with indie writers in romance, YA, and women’s fiction. She also proofreads and copyedits lifestyle content like food, travel, culture, and language.
It’s obvious that Melissa is motivated and finds running Melissa Proofreads fulfilling. She’s proud of what she has accomplished in such a short amount of time. She says, “Proofreading is just me, solo. What I have done with just me and my laptop. And that’s been really cool to feel that sense of pride.”
If you’d like to watch our interview with Melissa, where she goes into greater detail about her proofreading side hustle, you can catch it here.
CASE STUDY #2
Leveraging Your Experience And Skills
Eucharia Remy-Kingsley, Loupe Editorial Services
One of the quickest ways to find clients for your proofreading side hustle is to leverage your current skill set, experience, or knowledge. Think of it this way: If you are already being paid to do something, can you do it as a side gig for someone else? Chances are, yes, you can.
That is why I recommend having a niche or niches for your side hustle so you become profitable faster. Having a niche will help you reach a specific audience, especially if you use social media to market your services. Of course, if you don’t know what kind of niche you want to focus on, and want to work on general content, that is okay too. As time goes on, you’ll likely discover what kind of content you like and don’t like, which will help you hone in on a niche.
Our first case study showcases a proofreader and copy editor who focused on a niche based on her experience.
Eucharia Remy-Kingsley leveraged her career as a registered nurse to start a side hustle. As a registered nurse, she realized she could combine her medical experience with her love of reading and grammar to start a freelance business.
The medical industry is one of the highest paying niches for proofreaders and editors. Eucharia knew that there was a demand for knowledgeable editors who could work with medical and health content.
According to Eucharia, “Being a registered nurse with a master’s degree in public health, I understand how catastrophic errors from unclear written medical communications can be, so I aim to marry my medical expertise and my meticulousness as an editor to make medical communications as clear as they can be by using appropriate language for the intended audience.”
To work with such important content, Eucharia knew she needed to receive professional training. She wanted to have the editorial skills that would elevate her clients’ writing, as well as the skills to market her services to those who need her help most.
Eucharia’s side hustle began when she enrolled in our editorial coaching and training program, The Editorial Business Bundle. She learned how to proofread and copyedit for clients in the B2B and B2C space, and how to work with nonfiction content. Additionally, she discovered how to find her ideal clientele and market to them, as well as how to communicate. In the medical field, client expectations are high, and her background in nursing and public health more than prepared her.
Since the editorial training program was flexible and self-paced, Eucharia was able to learn when it was convenient for her. She balanced learning with her nursing career and with raising three young children. After receiving her certification in proofreading and copyediting, she launched her business, Loupe Editorial Services.
Eucharia now works with writers, businesses, and publishers in the medical field. She is also contributing editor to an online women’s magazine. It’s safe to say she is motivated and busy! How does she manage her time between her side hustle, nursing, and family?
“I have found Bonsai and Trello extremely helpful for project management. I work at odd hours, and steal moments when my kids are in school and my newborn is asleep. I just make it work. Every win is a win.”
How To Start Your Proofreading Side Hustle
What do you think? Melissa’s and Eucharia’s stories are incredible, and what they achieved is within your reach, too. If you love to read and you want to gain skills that you can profit from, how about starting your own proofreading and editing side hustle?
Your first step is to watch our free training masterclass, which I consider essential. In it I share my 4-part framework to start and grow your own editorial business. There is also a special bonus waiting at the end, so make sure you sign up to watch the masterclass now.