How To Become a Proofreader As a Beginner (Ultimate Guide)

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You might wonder how to become a Proofreader?

What steps should I take to become a Proofreader?

Well, this guide is definitely for you if you have a little idea.

There are over a billion websites right now which produces content copies almost every week.

These copies need to be proofread before it goes live and that’s where Proofreaders can grab an opportunity to make a living online.

If you are someone who loves reading & catching errors in written documents, then you’d make a great proofreader.

All you need is proper guidance and practice which you can get if you read this guide till the end.

So, what are we waiting for? Let’s start with some basics.

Pinterestpin about Proofreading

What Is Proofreading?

A guy doing Proofreading

Proofreading is a process where Proofreaders check & fix grammatical, punctuation, spelling, typos errors from a written document.

Usually, this is the last step taken before any copy is published, printed or submitted. That is why it holds an important part in the revision process.

You can proofread novels, textbooks, children’s books, online or university course content, website pages, blog posts, presentations and slides, newspapers, magazines, ads, pamphlets, legal documents, transcripts, court reports, podcast pages, resumes, scholarship essays, and so on.

Difference Between Proofreading And Editing?

Chart showing difference between Editing & Proofreading

If you think Proofreading and Editing both are the same, then you are totally wrong.

Proofreading mainly deals with grammatical & typo errors whereas Editing deals with the overall quality of the written document.

It includes:

  • correcting the structure of a written document to improve its flow and quality.
  • improving the clarity of sentences.
  • quality of evidence and analysis.
  • enhancing language use.

Both of them are used in different stages of the revision process.

Editing provides an opportunity to improve your writing, whilst proofreading is a final check to ensure perfection before publication.

How Much Does A Proofreader Make?

Proofreader income

The income of a Proofreader  depends on

  • Experience
  • What kind of copy they are proofreading?

A common Proofreader charges from anywhere between $25-$45 per hour.

If they’re much experienced, then they can charge more which goes up to $50 per hour.

Greg Ioannou is an experienced Proofreader who makes a minimum of $50 per hour for proofreading 3000 words.

Quora comment related to Proofreading

If you are into proofreading court transcripts, you can even earn more per hour.

To conclude, your earning will depend on what type of copy you are proofreading & how experienced you are.

What Skills Does A Proofreader Needs?

I know proofreading sounds like an easy job but actually, it’s not that easy.

There are various skills you must have to do proofreading. Even if you lack these skills, you can still develop them easily with a little hard work.

Here are the skills you must really focus on:

  • You must have good focusing power and close attention to detail.
  • The ability to not get distracted easily.
  • A meticulous eye for details where you can spot errors quickly.
  • You must have excellent grammar knowledge, know when to use punctuation & capitalization rules.
  • You should know conventions in native languages and even another language. Like, an English proofreader must know the difference between British English, American English, Canadian English, Australian English, Indian English, and so on.
  • You must know to follow the rules of any style guide you’re working with.
  • Most importantly, you should enjoy proofreading and have an urge to always improve yourself.

Pros Of Proofreading Job

  • Work on your own schedule which gives you more flexibility.
  • Spend more time with your friends & families as it gives you a lot of freedom.
  • You can do it alongside your day job as an extra source of income.
  • Do it from any part of the world as it is also a remote job.

Cons Of Proofreading Job

I know, you got excited reading all the pros but wait for a second!

There is something you need to understand.

Even though there are lots of pros that may seem fancy but never avoid the cons.

Every job has a good and bad side. So, it’s very important to look at the bad side before deciding anything.

With that being said, here are some of them.

  • If you are working with Online Transcription companies, then there may be a time when you’ll not find enough jobs which directly affect your income. So, it’s better to join at least 3-5 companies to have a continuous flow of jobs.
  • If you are working as an Individual Freelancer, then you may face difficulty in finding clients. This is the most difficult part where you need to find clients & build a healthy relationship to get recurring work every month.
  • You won’t make enough money being a beginner and the only way to increase your earning is by gaining experience.

Invest In Training & Courses

There are many online training and courses you can take to learn all the tricks and trade of Proofreading.

And obviously, I also suggest the same because it is a much easier and faster way to learn.

You will learn everything step-by-step from experts who exactly know how to train people.

However, if you are a complete newbie who hasn’t done proofreading before, I suggest you take free courses at first.

In this way, you will get a complete idea of whether to further invest your money in paid courses or not.

The best way to know whether Proofreading is really your cup of tea is to take a free workshop which I will explain next.

1. 76-Minute Free Workshop On Proofreading

This is a free workshop created by Caitlin from She teaches you exactly how to transform your passion for words and reading into a thriving proofreading business in just 30 days.

When you join her workshop, you will learn:

  • 5 signs Proofreading could be a perfect fit for you
  • How proofreading can give you lifestyle freedom & financial security
  • An easy way to attract your ideal proofreading clients
  • & much more

If you are someone who’s confused regarding Proofreading & couldn’t decide whether it is your cup of tea?

Then you must definitely take this free workshop to have a clear picture in your mind.

Caitlin is a pro in proofreading who has made more than $33,000 in a year just by doing this.

So, I find no reason to avoid this workshop if I want to be a proofreader. Also, it’s free knowledge which isn’t bad. Right?

2. A Free Skillshare Course On Proofreading

Skillshare Proofreading Course

If you have been an avid reader of my blog, then you know that I always suggest Skillshare courses.

…Do you know why?

Because you can watch amazing video courses for free.

Be it anything, a quick search on Skillshare and BAM, you will most likely find a course.

You know, while writing this article, I did a quick search and found a good course on Proofreading.

I have gone through the full course which took me an hour and all I can say it is a great course for beginners.

There is a lot of information that will surely help to develop proofreading skills.

Now, the course is actually not free. It is actually a paid course for those people who are already a free member of Skillshare.

However, if you haven’t registered with Skillshare yet?

You can use my link to sign-up to get a 2-months free subscription that will eventually make this course free for you.

This means along with this course, you can also take unlimited courses straight for 2 months absolutely for free.

If you don’t know how to join? Click here and follow the steps.

Practice, Practice & Practice

You have heard that “Practice makes a man perfect” & that’s exactly what you need to do.

Nobody becomes a great proofreader just by taking a course. I mean courses are there to share knowledge and techniques. But, practice makes you a pro.

Even, if you take the best course out there, if you aren’t practicing then the course won’t make any sense.

It is like Football where you know all the rules of the game but you won’t be a good player until and unless you practice.

The same goes for Proofreading.

I hope, all this makes sense to you?

If yes, then I have good news for you.

I am sharing a few links where you can do your proofreading practice by taking tests. Just click the link, read the rules and begin.

If you want more, you can easily find them on Google.

So, keep practicing!

Tools For Proofreading

Proofreading tools are a must for proofreading documents because it makes your job quite easy and faster.

If you are not good at detecting grammatical errors & other typos, then you shouldn’t ignore them.

I have been using these tools for my writing work and, to be honest; it has helped me a lot. I have improved my grammatical knowledge which otherwise sucked.

I am not ashamed to admit that 2 years ago; I was terrible in English and completely sucked in writing.

But since using these tools, I can almost detect all the typos and grammatical errors in my post that helped me a lot.

I still use these tools for my post writing and you can use them for Proofreading.

If you are eager to know what they are? Then here are the tools I am talking about.

1. Pro Writing Aid

Pro Writing Aid tool

Pro Writing aid comprises a grammar checker, style editor and editing tool designed to correct English writing.

Using this tool, you don’t have to worry about your bad grammar as it will take care of everything and guide you for error-free writing.

There are many advantages of using this tool especially for those who are weak in English.

  • It automatically suggests 1000s of style improvements to make sentences short and concise.
  • This tool finds out repetitiveness, vague wording, sentence length variation, over-dependence on adverbs, passive voice, over-complicated sentence constructions, and so much more.
  • Fixes correct spelling and grammatical mistakes.
  • It has an in-built word explorer and contextual thesaurus that will help you find the perfect words for your sentences to make your point.

You can click here to try their free trial

2. Grammarly Free Grammar & Spell Checker

It is a browser add-on that detects grammatical errors in real-time. It is free to use and acts as a complimentary when used with Pro Writing aid.

The free version only supports spelling and grammatical correction. You won’t get the following features with the free one:

  • Advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure
  • Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
  • Genre-specific writing style checks
  • Plagiarism detector that checks over 16 billion web pages

So, try it & reduce your 50% problem related to Proofreading.

3. Some Additional Resources

Where To Find Freelance Proofreading Jobs?

Being a Proofreader, you can offer your service in three ways.

  • Register with freelance websites
  • Join Online Proofreading companies
  • Start your own Proofreading service

1. Register With Freelance Websites

If I talk about freelance websites, there are many of them where clients and customers are always looking for Proofreaders for their projects.

If you join & create an awesome profile where you share all your info and charges about your service, then there is a chance they will hire you.

However, most of the customers always hire experienced Proofreaders. So, if you are someone who has done Proofreading in the past, this is great news for you.

But if you are a complete newbie, you can offer your service at a cheaper price compared to others.

This gives you an advantage over others even though you will make less money but gaining experience is more important.

Here are some Freelance websites.

2. Join Online Proofreading Companies

This is the easiest way to get Proofreading offers and I prefer this one as a beginner because it will help you gain experience.

Many customers who want to proofread their documents submit their files to Online Proofreading companies.

These companies have a lot of Proofreaders who are looking to proofread such documents.

As a member, you can choose & proofread any copies in exchange for money.

But to join them, you need to first clear their assessment test before getting hired.

Here is a list of 15 websites where you can apply for Proofreading jobs.

3. Start Your Own Proofreading Service

This is the most difficult one but the most rewarding.

I prefer you to implement this method only if you have become an experienced Proofreader because there is a chance you will fail as a beginner.

All you have to do is open your own website from where you can offer your proofreading service.

It seems like a difficult task but trusts me, creating a website is so easy.

You just need a domain name, web host & WordPress. If you don’t know how to create one? Ensure to read my blogging guide.

Once you have your own website, you can promote your service on social media to attract clients.

If you are willing to invest more, you can run Google, Facebook & Instagram ads to reach a wider audience.

Having your own service website is the best thing because you don’t have to share your commission with companies which means more money.

Ending Note – How To Become A Proofreader

So, what do you think?

Do you look at yourself as an upcoming proofreader?

I know it may be difficult for you to answer right now. But, don’t worry, just try the courses I mentioned here especially the 76-minute free workshop.

You’ll definitely find out if it is really your cup of tea.

However, if your English is great and you have a habit of pointing out grammatical & typo errors, I recommend you to go for it because you’ll definitely become a good proofreader after getting trained.

Now, let me know what do you think about proofreading? You can comment down below.

If you liked this guide and want to support me, then please share and pin this article. 


Proofreading business
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