Imagine turning your hobby or skill into a business that could bring in extra income, give you personal fulfillment, and grow your expertise in a specific field. Not only that, but imagine also doing it on a flexible schedule, so you can work when, how and where you want?
I’ve helped many people turn a love of reading, or a skill, into profitable proofreading and editing side hustles. Freelancing is one of the best ways to make extra money because you can work online, work 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
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, High-Level Proofreading Pro. 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.”
CASE STUDY #2
Use Social Media To Find Clients
Mary Cantor, Proofreading By Mary
You don’t have to be a social media manager or an extrovert to use platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to find clients. Social media is an excellent tool to connect with your ideal clients, and you can decide how much or little you want to share. I regularly tell my students that you also don’t need to have a lot of followers to find clients through social media.
In this next case study, I break down how Mary Cantor found her first proofreading client through Instagram.
When Mary Cantor first discovered that she could get paid to read and work with words as a proofreader and copy editor, she was curious. Was it for real or just clickbait? She loved reading, and the idea of making money from doing something that came naturally to her, and that brought her a lot of joy, sounded too good to be true.
She researched, and discovered that proofreading and copyediting were legitimate skills that are in demand. Mary wanted a side hustle that was flexible and enjoyable. She was already busy working in administration at a university, and wanted to make her time outside of her day job worthwhile. While she didn’t know too much about the editorial industry, she decided to take a chance and invest in a skill that was aligned with her hobbies.
Mary enrolled in High-Level Proofreading Pro, and learned so much about content, the publishing industry, writing, and what proofreaders and copy editors do. She enjoyed the program so much that she went through the program and received her certificate in proofreading and copyediting quickly, in less than 30 days.
Her editorial side hustle was Mary’s first time starting a business, and fortunately, her training had equipped her with the skills and industry know-how to be confident in starting. Feeling confident and having the motivation to start is key. About her side hustle, Mary says, “It’s helped me tap into this different part of my identity and skill set that I didn’t even know I had. I never would have called myself entrepreneurial before or identified as being business minded, and it turns out that I am.”
Mary knew that social media was not only the fastest and best way to reach clients, but that it was free too. So she took the plunge and opened an Instagram account for her business, Proofreading By Mary. It didn’t take long for Mary to be connected with a small publishing house. They sent her a proofreading test, which is standard if you want to work for publishing houses, and she passed.
In fact, it was her training in High-Level Proofreading Pro that made the test feel effortless since the exercises and final assignment are based on what I have worked with in my 20+ years as a proofreader and editor. I wanted to make sure students graduate fully prepared to work with publishing houses, businesses, and writers.
Since she was so confident in her abilities and skills, Mary asked for a higher rate of pay, which the publisher agreed to. Pretty amazing for your first proofreading job! Now Mary works with publishers, writers, and small businesses to refine their content.
“It’s really been fun to expand my knowledge and skill set by reading, which is a thing I already love to do, and that already comes naturally to me.”
How To Start Your Proofreading Side Hustle
What do you think? Eucharia’s and Mary’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.