One way for writers to make consistent, stable money is by offering proofreading services. Even if you have no formal experience in the field, you can find freelance proofreading projects that you can do from home, or while you travel. It’s also an ideal job for introverts! This article explains everything you need to know about how to get proofreading jobs online with no experience.
What Does a Proofreader Do?
A proofreader reviews a piece of writing for correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. While many people proofread their own work, a professional proofreader is an extra set of expert eyes verifying that the content is accurate, correct, and polished.
Is a Proofreader the Same as an Editor?
Technically, proofreaders and editors serve different roles. An editor or copyeditor is responsible for looking at the big picture of a text. They evaluate and correct style, tone, structure, and the effect of the whole piece. A proofreader is responsible for ensuring the grammar and spelling are impeccable. If the editor is in charge of the forest, the proofreader manages the trees. However, some jobs will require you to serve both roles.
What Skills Should a Proofreader Have?
Even if you have no experience proofreading, jobs that require a skills test allow you to demonstrate your abilities. These tests will evaluate you on any number of factors, including:
Great proofreaders have an excellent command of the written language, regardless of what language they speak. Being multilingual is a bonus because it opens up translating jobs that also require proofreading. If you find yourself mentally (or verbally) correcting mistakes in everything you read, you could have a career as a proofreader.
Where to Find Proofreading Jobs Online – No Experience Needed
There are plenty of proofreading jobs online for beginners. As long as you’ve got the skills required to do the work, you can start making a living as a proofreader. There are two ways to get started. You can work as a freelancer with a proofreading company or agency or go directly to the client using a job board.
Dedicated writing and editing agencies often hire independent contractors with little to no experience to do proofreading jobs. Some agencies also have a team of writers, and the proofreaders review the copy they’ve produced, while others work with outside clients. The agency acts as the middleman, saving you from dealing with fussy clients.
Scribbr provides academic proofreading services to help students graduate. Freelance proofreaders for Scribbr review term papers, essays, and even doctoral theses to improve clarity, structure, and language.
During the busy months of May and August, you can have a full-time stream of proofreading jobs. The Scribbr team assigns jobs as they come in, and you can choose to accept or decline the job based on availability.
You’ll have a great network of support with Scribbr, too. The freelancer Slack channel connects proofreaders from all over the world to help and encourage one another. The only downside is that you have to have a bachelor’s degree to qualify.
- Requirements: Bachelor’s degree, 10+ hours per week availability, Microsoft Office
- Skills Test: Yes
- Pay: Up to €25.00 ($28.59) per hour
As a freelancer at Proofreading Services, you’ll proofread a wide range of professional documents. This company works with authors, students, and businesses to provide a variety of proofreading, editing, and revising solutions.
Proofreading Services offers full- and part-time work to its freelancers on their schedule. You can be a Proofreading Services freelancer wherever you are in the world. This company welcomes applicants from any country.
The application includes a 20-minute skills test which demonstrates your aptitude for proofreading. The pay is competitive, and once accepted, you’ll have a great support system of writers to help you learn the ropes.
- Requirements: None listed
- Skills Test: Yes
- Pay: $19.00 to $46.00 per hour
ClickWorker is looking for freelance proofreaders with an excellent command of their native language to join its team. There are ClickWorkers worldwide, and the company invites applicants from any country in any language.
Proofreading jobs include city descriptions, software and product information, and other web copy. ClickWorkers will work on pieces on a range of topics, and you get to choose your own assignments, so there’s a lot of variety in this role.
Pay is per word and determined based on the required quality level of the job. ClickWorkers with a longer track record of quality have access to higher tiers of pay. The company pays weekly via PayPal.
The application includes a skills test, and once accepted, you’ll be expected to do at least a couple of content creation jobs to get a feel for the writing style.
- Requirements: Initial content creation period
- Skills Test: Yes
- Pay: Varies by job
Gramlee is always on the hunt for new proofreaders to join its talented team of freelancers. At Gramlee, you’ll proofread a variety of types of documents. You’ll polish and perfect dissertations, essays, and more as a proofreader.
There’s no minimum number of hours or experience required to work for Gramlee. Contractors choose their schedules based on their availability. Pay information is not publicly available, but Gramlee charges clients three cents per word for pieces less than 3,000 words.
The hiring team at Gramlee receives hundreds of applications a week, so be aware that you’ll probably only receive a response if you’ve been selected to move forward.
- Requirements: Not stated
- Skills test: Not stated
- Pay: Not stated
Job boards and gigs connect match proofreaders directly with clients. Getting no experience proofreading jobs from sites like these requires more hustle than working with an agency because you constantly have to look for new clients and jobs. However, it is possible to find full-time, long-term work through these sites if you look hard enough.
Problogger is a job board for freelance writers, including proofreaders, copyeditors, and more. Employers post job listings in search of qualified writers for a particular task or topic. Meanwhile, freelancers can search through the job board for jobs that meet their interests, experience, and skills.
There are fewer proofreading jobs than other types of writing jobs on Problogger, so you’re unlikely to find a full-time stream of jobs there. But if you have other writing skills, the Problogger board is perfect for finding all kinds of writing jobs. Between proofreading and writing, you could have a pretty full schedule.
What began as a simple task-based side hustle platform has evolved into a central location for freelancers of all sorts. Fiverr freelancers start by creating a profile and at least one gig to show off their skills. As a proofreader, you can choose your rate and offer premium upgrades for a higher price. Employers search for the task they need done and choose a freelancer to do it.
The downside of this is that Fiverr doesn’t do much to promote you as a freelancer. The market is pretty flooded, and there are lots of independent proofreaders looking for work. To stand out from the crowd, you’ll probably want to do some outside promotion of your Fiverr profile.
Upwork is one of the original freelancer job boards and still one of the most popular. Though not exclusive to proofreaders or even writers, Upwork has one of the largest boards of freelance gigs of all types where workers bid on gigs.
To start, you’ll create a freelancer profile that shows off your skills and abilities. Then, start searching the job board for employer gigs that match your skills. When you find a gig that feels like a match, submit a bid that describes how you’ll complete the gig and at what price.
Unfortunately, the bidding system on Upwork means the freelancer chosen is often the one with the lowest rate. This so-called race to the bottom turns off some freelancers, but it can be a good opportunity to expand your portfolio, even if you have to take below-market rates at first.
FlexJobs is the number one job board for workers looking for something other than the standard nine-to-five job. The FlexJobs team curates a list of legitimate freelance, contract, part-time, remote, and flexible jobs for its subscribers.
At FlexJobs, you’ll find jobs in just about any industry you can think of, but there are tons of proofreading jobs available. Every single job on the FlexJobs board has been vetted for your security, and is guaranteed to be a legitimate opportunity to earn income from a reputable employer.
The FlexJobs job board does have a monthly membership fee, which covers the cost of vetting each unique job opportunity. This may turn off some freelancers, but rest assured that FlexJobs is a legitimate job board that’s definitely worth the money.
Conclusion – How To Get Proofreading Jobs Online With No Experience
The hardest part of being a new freelancer is developing the experience and portfolio necessary to demonstrate your skills. Finding legitimate proofreading jobs online can be hard at first, but choosing the right job board or agency can make it a lot easier to get started.