Have you ever wondered, how the articles published by bloggers or any other websites are so perfect without any errors? Indeed it’s the job of the writer and editor but sometimes the minute details are even missed by them also. This is why one needs a proofreader or proofreading services to cross-check articles for quality assurance. Proofreaders mostly make money from home. Subsequently, it’s one of the best sources of side income.
So what exactly proofreading is?
Proofreading is the final stage of the editing process, focusing on surface errors such as misspellings and mistakes in grammar and punctuation. You should proofread only after you have finished all of your other editing revisions. In Layman’s Language, proofreading can be simply described as reading a copy and checking errors, spelling mistakes, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary errors. Editing is commonly mistaken with proofreading. Editing begins from the first draft of the document and continues until the draft is finalized. And once the draft is finalized, proofreading is done just to make it error-free. Generally speaking, one needs to be attentive enough to spot the mistakes after reading the copy. So if you’re a Grammar Nazi then don’t waste your time correcting other’s mistakes while they are speaking. In contrast, use your talent to earn money. Because, why not!
How to Become a Proofreader and Work From Home
Working from home can’t get any better than working as a proofreader. You can initially start it as a source of side income and later on make a potential full-time business out of it. There is more in it than it seems. However, there are no specific guidelines or rules upon how to become a proofreader but there are certain tips and strategies which would help you out. So, before starting your work as a proofreader, you must take into consideration the following things –
1. Decide if you have the skills to become a proofreader
Always remember, proofreading is not everyone’s cup of tea. It might seem easy but is the total opposite in real life. For being an efficient proofreader one must possess the very important skill of being exceptionally attentive. Detailed attention must be given while proofreading and also you must be able to work fast. You must also meet the deadlines. Along with this, you must also possess the ability to stay focused for a longer period of time because the articles are really long and reading them can turn out to be monotonous. Additionally, you need to be a multi-tasker, which requires you to look at multiple facets at one time. For instance, along with recognizing grammar and punctuation errors you need to also look at spelling errors. Also, a proofreader needs to check that the pages as a whole are logically arranged and look pleasing. Some of the clients also look for a proofreader with a higher degree in English, Journalism or Mass Communication. While skills vary across different types of proofreading, some of the universal qualities required for all proofreaders are –
- Reliability – A proofreader must be expeditious enough to meet with the deadlines and respond to client emails promptly.
- Flexibility– A proofreader must be flexible enough to work with both, printed and digital materials.
- Perfectionism -A Proofreader must be meticulous and detail-oriented.
If you think you possess all of these characteristics and skills, then proofreading is a good deal for you.
The answer to your question ‘how to become a proofreader’ turns out to be more-easy after you recognize your skills and potentiality.
2. Get Training On How To Become A Proofreader
Want to excel in proofreading then you must consider taking an online course or a master class before starting. You might consider yourself quite good at this work but maybe taking an online course might make you aware of your mistakes. You will find a number of online courses easily for proofreading, if only you search. Furthermore, there are various websites offering tests and quizzes to check your proofreading skills.
Various online courses and articles would help you towards excelling your work at being a proofreader. Always make sure to know everything about a specific job, work or even a business before starting it. Hence, this complete online guidance about ‘How to Become a Proofreader’ will surely help you in a long run.
3. Determine Your Niche
After you’re done understanding your skills and learning the do’s and don’ts of proofreading, then you must settle down on your niche. Whatever work you’re planning to start, it’s always beneficial to determine your niche at the beginning only. If you want to know ‘How to Become a Proofreader’ then selecting your niche should be your first task to understand the remaining process. Determining your niche will help you determine your direction of work. You can choose from the different types of proofreading niches depending on your strengths and time availability.
Print Media Proofreading
The most traditional type of proofreading, where one needs to check for grammar, spelling and formatting issues in newspapers, books and other printed or online publications.
Most of the companies spend millions of dollars on marketing strategies and advertising. However, one mistake can cost them a lot. A marketing proofreader checks spelling, grammar and formatting of ads, press releases, and emails.
Beyond grammar and spellings, academic proofreader also check references, citations, and style in assignments, dissertations and course materials.
Not necessary that always you must require language proficiency. These proofreaders specifically make sure that the meaning and the context of the translation are accurate
Many YouTube and Podcast hosts will transcribe their audio for use on their website. Proofreaders here make sure the automated transcription makes sense and is formatted correctly.
Legal Transcript Proofreading
Checking for accuracy of court reporter transcripts. Rather than checking for grammar and spelling mistakes, these proofreaders are checking for accuracy between audio and transcript and correction punctuation.
4. Set Your Proofreading Rates
Individuals offering freelance proofreading services, who vary widely in skill level and background, may charge by the hour. Generally, their prices range from $10 to $45 per hour. Professional services that offer by-the-hour proofreading can charge up to $95 per hour. Many of the proofreaders decide their charges based upon words and pages they proofread in an hour. You can calculate it this way. Consider that the average page contains 250 words, and a proofreader should average 6-8 pages per hour. At $40 per hour, this works out to $0.02 to $0.03 per. The initial fees you would get might be quite less just because it’s your starting , don’t be disappointed on it. The more skilled you become along with time, the more it will show from your work. Subsequently, you can charge more based upon your expertise. While deciding your proofreading charges you can also contact other proofreaders through online forums.
5. Look For Online Proofreading Jobs For Beginners
Decide whether you want to start your own business and search for clients or else want to take a job. In case of a job, you can find proofreading jobs from sites like Indeed and ZipRecruiter. All you need to do is be consistent and do a tad bit of searching.
Fiverr , Upwork and Linkedin are also great platforms to put forth your resume and piece of work to get opportunities in the future. You can also take help of online forums like FaceBook which would help you out in looking for information and jobs. Furthermore, you can also post your services in the English building or library on college campuses. Additionally , if you’re aware of your niche in which you want to work in , join industry-specific groups and reach out to people who might be in charge of finding proofreaders.
Top 5 Proofreading Resources
Along with your sharp eyes and attentive mind, you might also require certain other tools and services to help you do your work faster.
It’s a free app for Google Chrome and macOS that detects grammar , punctuation and spelling errors and allows you to fix them with one click. It’s premium version also helps to detect overused words, unclear sentence structure, and plagiarism.
The Associated Press publishes and updates the AP Stylebook, the primary style reference for news and public relations. You can purchase a physical or digital copy to reference when proofreading or download style-checking tools for Microsoft Word and more.
3.Chicago Manual Of Style
It’s much more in-depth than the AP stylebook so having a copy to reference will be far easier than trying to memorize the complete 950 pages guide.
4.Dryer’s English By Benjamin Dryer
Dryer’s English is a book on grammar that will teach you lessons from Dreyer’s 20 years in copyediting for Random House and will entertain you to no end. This book is essential reading for anyone who works with the English language.
5.The Elements Of Style By Willaim Struck Jr.
The Elements of Styles is an American English Writing Style guide focusing on telling good stories with as few words as possible. It will serve as a guide to you upon “How to Become A Proofreader”.
Mentioned above can be the answers to your question ‘ How to Become A Proofreader’. However, the success rate of Proofreading as a career depends upon your dedication.
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