In this day and age, professionals are starting to value the importance of a work-from-home lifestyle that revolves around technology and its capacity to stay connected from anywhere at any time. Having the opportunity to avoid time-wasters such as rush hour traffic or long commute hours gives individuals the freedom to use their newly gained time not only for doing the activities they enjoy but also for picking up an extra source of income.
As our e-book The Secret Sauce to Freelance Writing on the Side discovered, many writers freelance while also holding down a full-time job. This means that these writers may not have sufficient time to look over their written works. In turn, for every freelance writer that emerges in the industry, a paid proofreading role is also born.
Like many freelance jobs, proofreading gives people the flexibility and financial freedom to work from wherever, and whenever, at a decent rate. Although there are many ways to start when becoming a paid proofreader, Suzanne Gilad’s Paid to Proofread is a personable guide that covers every and all topics associated with proofreading as a career. Below is a three-step guide on how to start your proofreading career that will give you a taste on what Paid to Proofread can do for your proofreading career.
1: HOW to do the job
You may be thinking, “Where do I even learn how to become a paid proofreader? Where do I begin?” The best answer to this is to just start. You can spend money on classes and read endless “how-to” books, but you won’t get the practice you need until you just start proofreading. As my favorite teacher once said, “the best way to learn is to do.”
Not everyone gets the best proofreading jobs right off the bat. Your first few proofreading gigs may not be as prestigious or lucrative as you’d like. Although this may be the case in for you, it is always best to remember that it’s expected and normal to be in this starting level. Believe it or not, these small gigs are there to add valuable experience and worth to your resume so that those big paying/incredibly interesting proofreading gigs can come to you later on.
2: WHO can get you the job
Reaching out to friends and family is the place to begin in any experience-building adventure. To put this in simple terms, it’s all about networking. This is the most productive and successful form of spreading your name in order to land opportunities that’ll inch you closer to getting that dream proofreading gig.
It’s also important to focus on lending a hand to people that work within fields that require any form of writing. Even the simplest task of looking over a business card can take you a long way. This act exercises your skills and adds to the strong portfolio you are trying to build.
One skill that is crucial for the development of your proofreading work is knowing how to implement SEO keywords when reviewing a written work. By lending a hand, you can also exercise your SEO abilities while also gaining knowledge from other resources such as this.
3: WHERE to get the jobs
Reaching out to friends and strangers isn’t the only way to network. Put yourself on blast by using social networking apps. Post Instagram stories that focus on telling your followers that you are now pursuing a career in proofreading. Screenshot and share that post so that your proofreading services get spread around. Write up a nifty Facebook status or Tweet on Twitter that highlights the proofreading services you are willing to provide. Even a goofy TikTok that showcases your proofreading skills can go a long way!
Profile building on job-networking sites is also a good free advertisement. LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Handshake, you name it! Apply, apply, apply. Send a warm email to the company in order to inform them of your interest in proofreading for them. Make sure you are aware of current events, such as having COVID-19 etiquette during the current pandemic. Make sure you are both friendly and professional. Don’t be afraid to cold call/email companies even if they aren’t hiring. Don’t hear back? Email or call again. This is a standard business convention.
Building experiences means building referrals which results in more proofreading gigs. Before you know it, you’ll be getting paid to sit on a beach and proofread a piece from your favorite genre.
There ya have it! Suzanne Guilad’s three-step guide in ensuring a proper start to your proofreading career. Paid to Proofread and FWJ by your side, your proofreading career is bound to take flight in the right direction. Feel free to reach out to Paid To Proofread for any questions, comments, or just to inform us of your success!
Suzanne Gilad is a living example that you can have full-time income without having a full-time job. Gilad began freelance proofreading to subsidize her acting career and has proofread over 1,200 books. Gilad’s proofreading endeavors evolved into copyediting and content editing, eventually becoming a full-service editing company. Her client roster of book publishers includes Random House, Simon & Schuster, John Wiley & Sons, St. Martin’s Press, Oxford University Press, Workman Publishing, and Kensington Publishing, among others. Gilad’s seminar, Make Six Figures Reading Books, was the most popular non-celebrity Learning Annex class in both Los Angeles and San Diego. She is the author of COPYEDITING AND PROOFREADING FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, April 2007). Illustrating firsthand that proofreading can be profitable while allowing additional pursuits, Gilad is also a successful Tony Award-winning Broadway producer based in New York. Some of her theatre credits include Moulin Rouge!, Jagged Little Pill, The Other Josh Cohen, Angels in America, and The Great Comet. Sue Gilad is also the co-author of THE REAL ESTATE MILLIONAIRE (McGraw-Hill, 2006).