Did you know you can get paid for your word skills?
If you have the knack to correct grammatical errors, you can make a full time living from home as a proofreader.
In today’s post, we are going to talk with Caitlin Pyle, a successful women entrepreneur who turned her passion for proofreading into a multimillion-dollar business.
Caitlin has been featured on Forbes, Fox News and Business Insider. She now helps people around the world with no experience or qualifications to earn money online.
Let’s get straight to the interview and see what she has to say.
*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read disclosure.
1. Hi Caitlin, can you please tell us how you got into proofreading?
I’ve been proofreading for what feels like forever now. When I was studying abroad in Germany, students there would ask me to proofread their theses. I loved helping them polish their words until they shone!
However, when I returned home, it didn’t occur to me that proofreading could be my full-time work-at-home job.
After college, I got a job as a receptionist at a court reporting agency and ended up proofreading court transcripts.
I continued proofreading for some of those court reporters while studying full-time to be a personal trainer.
EVENTUALLY, I realized that I could make a proper full-time income from proofreading, and the rest is history.
I wanted to share my passion for proofreading with others, so I started ProofreadAnywhere in 2014. Now I get to help others start and grow their freelance proofreading businesses.
2. What is proofreading?
Proofreading is the last stage in the game before a piece of content goes live.
A proofreader is looking for items that have been missed in previous editorial passes, i.e., the developmental and copyediting phases.
They check for typos, double words (“the the,” “and and,” etc.), grammar, punctuation, spelling, and formatting issues.
They do not rewrite sentences, make comments about sentence structure or word choices, move paragraphs around, or fact-check.
3. What are some of the skills needed to become a proofreader?
An excellent proofreader will have eagle eyes. They’ll be able to spot errors from a mile away.
They’ll have a natural ability for spotting errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
It’s possible to learn how to become a better proofreader, but if you don’t have some natural ability, you will find the work difficult. A proofreader should also have excellent communication skills and the ability to meet deadlines.
4. Do proofreaders require any previous degrees or qualifications?
You do NOT need an English degree (or any other kind of degree) to be a proofreader.
All you need is a pair of eagle eyes, the drive to succeed, and the proper training under your belt.
There is no official proofreading certification in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do any training.
Having a good reputation is critical for a proofreader, so you need to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing before you start working with clients.
You may think your grasp of punctuation and grammar rules is flawless, but you’d be surprised how language changes over the years and how many bad habits you may have picked up from social media.
Completing a training course that tests and increases your knowledge of grammar, punctuation, and spelling will ensure that you’re up to date with the rules.
5. What is the difference between proofreading and editing?
I’m so glad you asked this because a lot of people assume proofreading and editing are the same thing. And they’re not!
A proofreader is the final set of eyes on a project, rather than the first or even second set. By the time a proofreader receives the document, all the content should have been rewritten/restructured and should be almost ready to go. A proofreader double-checks to make sure no embarrassing grammatical and spelling errors slip through.
It’s always a good idea to have a copyeditor edit a document first and then have a proofreader double-check their work and catch any remaining errors.
A copyeditor can’t focus on copyediting AND proofreading simultaneously.
That’s why having both a copyeditor and a proofreader is so important… and why it’s crucial to separate those two roles.
6. Is this course flexible to complete for stay-at-home parents?
The course is a very flexible option for stay-at-home parents.
You get lifetime access to the course materials, so you can work through the material at your own pace.
I’m not a stay-at-home parent myself, but I have virtual assistants who work for me who are stay-at-home moms and many students in the same boat as well. They all say how much they love the freedom of being available to their kids while also having a career.
7. How much can one aim to earn as a beginner on course completion?
It’s very difficult for me to give an exact figure as it depends how actively you market your business, your speed, and how many hours you work.
Proofreading is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a put-in-the-work-and-reap-the-rewards kind of opportunity.
The amount of time and effort you put into this, along with the quality of the service you provide your clients, is directly linked to the amount of money you can make. And that’s why it’s hard to put a definite number on how much you can make.
To give you some idea of what’s possible, I earned around $43,000 a year as a proofreader working part-time hours.
8. How thorough is Proofread Anywhere?
Our courses are extremely thorough.
Both courses include a large number of practice essays/transcripts so you can learn the work by doing it.
Many proofreaders have no experience when they start out, but graduates of our courses have had hands-on training proofreading thousands of words before they start working with clients.
9. Are proofreaders still in demand?
Proofreaders are without a doubt still in demand.
Thanks to the rise in self-publishing, the demand for proofreaders is increasing! Not to mention the number of blog posts and websites that are published every single day. There’s an obvious demand for general proofreaders.
The great thing about being a proofreader is there are many markets where you can find work. None of these markets are oversaturated with quality proofreaders; I promise!
10. What support do PA students receive?
The course includes access to a private Facebook group where you can chat with and seek help from your fellow proofreading classmates.
11. Final thoughts for those who are still unsure about becoming a proofreader?
Proofreading is an awesome option for anyone who’s looking for work-at-home freedom and wishes to use their passion for reading to do that.
If you’re still not sure if proofreading is the right fit for you, check out my free Intro to Proofreading workshop.
In this workshop, I cover the five signs proofreading could be a perfect fit for you, how proofreading can be your ticket to lifestyle freedom and financial security and the surprisingly easy way to attract your ideal proofreading clients.
Click image to share on Pinterest!