freelancer was able to change the course of her life

Proofreading for Beginners – Earn Up to $5K/month

Beginner proofreaders are in great demand. Period. No commas needed. Hard stop!

The internet has created an explosion of online content and much of it needs proofreading.

You should check out proofreading for beginners if:

  • You are concerned you won’t have enough money for retirement
  • You understand grammar and sentence structure
  • Your family needs more money every month to stay healthy and enjoy life
  • You can easily spot spelling and punctuation errors
  • You want to stay at home with the kids and work part time
  • You want to travel the world and have income
  • You want to leave your 9-5 job and build your own online business

That is a pretty wide list, but proofreading can be a great opportunity for so many people. There are tons of online proofreading for beginners’ opportunities. It can work for you whether you are interested in working full-time or part-time.

Best of luck and good fortune. Don’t forget to check out the excellent Proofreader Course at Proofreading Anywhere by clicking . 

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure for additional details.

Proofreaders make business better

The world is filled with bloggers, authors and businesses. They are looking for you to proofread their blogs, books, websites and tons of other online and offline content they are creating.

Nina and I have done a lot of writing in our lives. I’ve also done editing and proofreading for literally hundreds of clients in the course of my advertising and public relations career. 

We know firsthand how much value a good proofreader brings to help writers and businesses stand out from the crowd.   

Proofreading by someone who didn’t write the copy is always important. Not all writers and small businesses take that step, but don’t worry. 

There is more than enough work for beginner proofreaders out there from those who understand success requires attention to detail.

What’s needed for a beginner proofreader to be successful?

To start, there isn’t an official requirement for this job. You don’t need a license or degree to become a proofreader. You are officially a proofreader once you find someone willing to pay you to proofread.

That’s about it!   

You need to understand basic grammar and sentence structure. You also need to be able to spot spelling and punctuation errors.

Are you quick to pick up errors and misspellings in things you read? Do you know where to insert commas and where to leave them out?

That’s basically the job description. 

The most important proofreading skills for beginners

While most grammar and business skills can be taught, there are some things you need naturally in order to become a proofreader.

  • Strong knowledge of the English language
  • Excellent written and oral communication 
  • Good attention to detail
  • Ability to consistently meet deadlines
  • Familiar with Microsoft Word

If you are confident about these skills, becoming a freelance proofreader can easily be a great way to earn money.

Are there proofreading for beginners training courses?

There are several online courses to help you gain confidence and learn how to be successful. They can also teach you how beginning proofreaders can find paying customers.

We recommend Caitlyn Pyle’s Proofread Anywhere course.

She offers the best and most complete course available about proofreading for beginners.

Click here to go to the Proofread Anywhere course.

Caitlin is a savvy businesswoman. Her course teaches all the proofreading technical skills as well as important business skills. 

You’ll also learn how much to charge, how to write contracts, how to market yourself and where to find paying clients.

  • You’ll have access to the valuable Proofread Anywhere Facebook group
  • You’ll learn the skills required to become a successful proofreader online
  •  The course is online so you can learn anytime and anywhere
  • You’ll have lifetime membership with any updates and bonuses

>> Check out the FREE introductory course.

Transform Your Passion for Words & Reading into a Thriving Proofreading Business

It could be the best hour you’ve ever invested in yourself.

Why is proofreading for beginners a good business option?

Proofreading provides the flexibility and income many work-at-home professionals desire.

  • There is a growing demand for proofreaders
  • You can make between $3,000 to $5,000 per month easily.
  • You’ll have the flexibility to be home for the kids or travel more often
  • You’ll have very low startup costs. You can likely use your home office and expenses as tax deductions.
  • There are a wide variety of clients and jobs available. You may be asked to proofread everything from social media updates to emails, websites, sales pages, advertisements, blog posts and books.
  • A college degree or specialized certificate is not required

How much will proofreading jobs for beginners pay?

As with many online jobs, proofreading income runs between very little to very lucrative. It does tend to pay a little less than freelance writing jobs. Glassdoor has a salary range of $24,000-$59,000 a year for full-time proofreaders, with an average of $36,290.

You won’t typically have a guaranteed salary as an off-site freelance proofreader. That’s because proofreading is typically production-based pay.

This means you will rarely be offered an hourly wage. Instead, you will be paid by the number of pages proofed.

The amount of money a proofreader makes varies. From our experience and talking with other freelance proofreaders, you can expect to average between $20-$35 per hour as a freelance proofreader.

Many book proofreaders charge $.02 per word. Larger businesses may offer a higher per word rate or negotiate a complete project quote.

Freelance proofreaders can easily increase their rates and/or complete project bids faster after gaining experience.

How flexible is life really for a freelance beginner proofreader?

Flexibility is one of the biggest perks about proofreading. Yes, you face deadlines you agree to instead of being “on the clock” for a specific number of days and hours.

As long as you meet your deadlines, it doesn’t matter when or where you do the work.

Here’s the thing though; you might need to turn your projects around quickly. Each client is different, but it is not unusual to be asked to proofread a document and return it a day or two later.

This isn’t always the case and larger projects will be given much more time.

Being able to manage your time well is essential. You will, however, have more time to walk the dog, exercise, take yoga lessons, hang out with the kids, see friends and even travel more often.

Some tools you need to be a successful beginner proofreader.

Proofreading for beginners is one of the great online jobs. It can be done from just about anywhere and on just about any device.

You generally work on your tablet, laptop or desk computer. There are a few additional tools needed to make your life easier and more productive..

Google Docs - Many online proofreading jobs are handled via Google Docs. It allows for markups and adding comments to an original document, then it can be shared easily online.

Dropbox is another great option for sharing documents with clients who prefer to use Word or another document form.

Grammarly is a great online tool for spotting grammar and spelling mistakes. The free version lets you proof WordPress and social media. You will need to upgrade for Microsoft Word and Google Docs. It helps a lot, but it doesn’t replace a proofreader’s sharp eyes.

McGraw-Hill’s Proofreading Handbook is valuable for a beginner proofreader. It offers great tips and tools to make your process and business run more efficiently.

Style Guidelines - Many professional organizations follow Associated Press Stylebook guidelines. The Chicago Manual of Style is another popular style. You will want to have these nearby for reference when you start your proofreading career.

To play it safe, a reliable smartphone will help you to keep in touch with clients wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Finding Work as a Beginner Proofreader

There are a few ways to search for proofreading work. Where you search will be determined by the type of work you want to do.

If you want to freelance, you’ll be actively marketing yourself.

If you want to work for a company, you’ll mostly be responding to positions posted on various job boards. You can also discover companies that work with remote proofreaders by searching on the internet or visiting sites like LinkedIn. 

There are a few different search terms and keywords you can use to find proofreading jobs. Here are some of the common ones:

  • proofreader
  • proofreading for beginners
  • copy editor (though it is important to remember that most editor jobs require a more detailed skill set)

You’ll also want to include the typical keywords that are used for at-home or location independent positions:

  • remote work
  • home office jobs
  • telecommuter jobs
  • freelance work
  • contract/contractor
  • off-site jobs  

There are a number of online platforms dedicated to connecting freelance proofreaders with interested businesses. We offer a blog post that specifically covers these options for you.

You will also learn about these online platforms if you take the Proofread Anywhere course shared on this post.

When looking for full-time work, potential customers will likely include a short editing test as part of your interview process.

If you go the freelance route, you’ll probably come up against fewer editing tests. You’ll need to be ready to prove yourself in other ways. The best way to prove yourself is with testimonials from happy clients.

Be prepared to do a couple of low-paid or even free jobs (usually with people you know or in your community) in exchange for some starter testimonials.

There are two schools of thought about this, but it is generally a good idea to capture these early testimonials.

Don’t post this low-priced offer wide on the internet and do limit the number of businesses where you pitch this offer. You don’t want to reduce your future income opportunities.

Copy editing and proofreading are not the same thing

This is a good place to talk about the differences between copy editing and proofreading. They are similar but have slightly different responsibilities. Both are needed for a high-quality finished product.

As a proofreader, you are the final pair of eyes looking at a project. By the time you get the project, it should have had all the content rewritten and ready to go. You are the one who double-checks to make sure there are no embarrassing grammatical and spelling errors.

The Proofread Anywhere course helps beginners become professional proofreaders.

Proofread Anywhere is a very popular course – and offers a free introduction video just over an hour long. It will help you get started on creating your successful proofreading business from scratch.


Proofreading provides a solid foundation for future editorial skills, so you should practice your talents here before moving into copy editing.

Always remember it’s best for you to focus specifically on the proofreading work you’ve been hired to do and leave the rest for others. 

Proofreading Can Change Your Life for the Better

At the end of the day, what you need to make it as a proofreader is a passion for writing, an eye for detail, and the willingness to learn and practice your craft.

You should also give some thought about marketing once you get up and running. Building your own website is always a great place to start.

Another good thing about a proofreading business is you can market it locally AND across the country online. The technology for building a simple website hasn’t been easier. You can find design themes for free and little or no training is required.

You might even turn your new skill into a trade-out opportunity and offer a small agency your services in exchange for a nice website design.

You can easily meet and capture clients from all over the world without ever leaving the comfort of your laptop.

Going to business networking meetings, luncheons, and mixers can also be an awesome way to meet new clients and build relationships. This is especially true when you are just getting started.

At the end of the day, selling your services as a proofreader is not all that different from any other kind of opportunity. The best way to get it going is to expand your social circles and build relationships.

You might also begin by reaching clients through platforms like Upwork.com. Once you get some successful work under your belt, there will be opportunities waiting in every direction.  


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