How To Start Proofreading And Copyediting

Have you ever settled down with a book or ebook, ready to relax and get lost in a story, only to find yourself getting annoyed by all the errors you come across? You’re not alone. If you can spot mistakes while reading for fun, then you might have what it takes to start proofreading and copyediting professionally. Trust me — your eagle eyes are valuable!

Proofreading and copyediting are great ways to earn money because they’re skills that can be done as a full-time business or part-time as a side hustle. They also don’t require an English degree and can be applied to almost any industry. Basically, they’re attainable, flexible skills that you can use throughout your lifetime on a professional and personal basis.

If you want to start proofreading and copyediting, I’ve compiled some of my best blog posts for you. They’re full of essential lessons and advice, and will give you an idea of what it takes to start and maintain a freelance business. If you want to take your training further, remember to sign up for my free training masterclass!

How to start proofreading and copyediting

To start proofreading and copyediting, read these posts for some essential information…


To start, let’s take a look at what proofreading and copyediting each involve and how they’re different. Make sure you read the following post because it has foundational knowledge you must know before working in editorial!

Read: The Differences Between Proofreading And Copyediting

Next, discover what it really takes to become a proofreader or copy editor in these two posts that break down essential skills you need. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting from zero or you have some previous experience.

Read: What It Takes To Be A Professional Proofreader AND Copyediting Skills You Need To Master

In this next post, I answer some frequently asked questions about proofreading.

Read: Frequently Asked Questions About Proofreading

Did you know that proofreading for fun (and free) is very different from reading for money as a proofreader or copy editor? Discover how they’re different and learn some tips to help you shift into the reading habits of a professional.

Read: Want To Get Paid To Read? Here’s What You Should Know

One hot topic when working in editorial is whether or not to use an Oxford comma, also known as a serial comma. There’s the side that believes in it at all costs, and there’s the other side that doesn’t find it necessary. Read this blog post for guidance on how to work with one.

Read: How To Use The Oxford Comma

Now it’s time to look at the business side of proofreading and copyediting. Editorial work is as much a business as it is a process, and there are business skills every freelance proofreader and copy editor must know.

Read: Business Skills Every Freelance Proofreader And Copy Editor Must Know

Self-published authors are lone players in the publishing world, as they typically work on their own without the backing of a team. Proofreaders and copy editors are vital to an indie writer’s success, and in this post, I share why self-published ebooks aren’t a fad, and how to work with self-published writers.

Read: How To Proofread For Self-Published Writers

When you need some extra money, or you want an exit plan from a job you don’t like, having a side hustle could be for you. Find out how to start a side hustle proofreading and copyediting in this blog post.

Read: Start A Side Hustle From Your Love Of Reading

Proofreading and copyediting are skills that are transferable to any industry. What makes each project different is the content type and any specific knowledge or expertise you need to work on that content. That takes us into finding a niche, and why you should consider finding one (or a few) for yourself.

Read: How To Choose A Niche As A Proofreader Or Copy Editor

When it comes to freelancing, knowing what steps to take are important to your success. The process does take a lot of hard work, but it is worthwhile. Follow the general process outlined in this post, and you can get to where you want to be.

Read: 10 Steps That Will Launch Your Freelance Career

You may be thinking: Wouldn’t it be a lot easier if potential clients reached out to me, instead of me having to reach out to them? Well, that’s possible! And the way to do that is shared in this post written by an expert at client acquisition.

Read: How To Attract Freelance Clients

FREE TRAINING


If you want to learn how YOU can start freelance proofreading and copyediting, I have a FREE masterclass that’s available on demand. Click here to watch now!

 

What It’s Like To Be A Freelance Proofreader And Copy Editor


It’s important to get an idea of what it’s like to be a proofreader and copy editor so you can decide if it’s a lifestyle you want to have. Remember, these are skills that require a lot of reading, so you’re not interacting with people while you work (hello, introverts!).

Take a look at what proofreading and copyediting full time or as a side hustle is like in these interviews with editorial professionals. They share tips and experiences, how they started, and you’ll get a peek at what a day in the life of a proofreader and copy editor is like.

Christine balances her full-time career as a director at a medical lab with her side hustle proofreading romance books. Read her interview here.

Andrea left a corporate job she was unhappy at so she could work from home doing something that fulfilled her and let her set her own schedule. Read Andrea’s story here.

Chris started his book editing business — with zero prior experience — after falling ill. Read on to get his tips for those interested in starting.

Bori is a digital nomad who left a career in IT to pursue her dreams of working in editorial. It was a decision that has led to her working with other non-native English speakers. Read Bori’s interview here.

After prioritizing her family for many years, Margaret took the leap and pursued her goal of working in editorial. She even landed her first copyediting contract before finishing her training! Catch Margaret’s story here.

Ever since Callie transitioned to full-time proofreading and copyediting, she has been kept busy with clients, marketing herself on Instagram, and writing her novel. Read her interview for some tips!

Writers make excellent proofreaders and copy editors, and Brianna is an example of someone who strives to serve her market. Aside from being a proofreader, copy editor, editor, and writing coach for indie writers like herself, she is also an author and playwright. Read more about Brianna here.

Erin proofreads and copyedits when it’s convenient for her. As a mother, Erin stays balanced by making sure work revolves around her life and not the other way around. I like the sound of that! Read how Erin does it here.

Conclusion


For a long time there was the misconception that you have to go to an elite school or have connections in the publishing industry in order to become a proofreader or copy editor. The truth is far from that. I know because I’ve been in the industry for over 17 years.

The need for content in its many forms is always increasing as people use their devices to consume more content. As a result, the demand for skilled proofreaders and copy editors has risen. So if you’re seriously considering earning an income from proofreading and copyediting, now is the perfect time to start. If you haven’t already, you can sign up for our free training masterclass here.

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