The Real Deal On Freelance Proofreading Jobs

by WorkFromHome on September 20, 2011

Working from home has long been a great way for new mothers, caretakers and anyone who values time with their family over time spent commuting to make money. Thanks to the Internet, today professionals who work from home can focus on a wide variety of career paths. Proofreading is an easy service for publishing houses, newspapers, businesses and others to outsource, since it can be done from anywhere. Each business has its own specific set of needs, however there are some commonalities to most, if not all, proofreading jobs.

Basic Types Of Freelance Proofreading Jobs

While working from home, proofreaders generally focus their time on editing large volumes of content of various types for punctuation, spelling, grammar and even style. You may also be asked as a proofreader to also edit the work for clarity, ease of reading and effectiveness. Some proofreaders may be asked to focus on cleaning up an author’s writing, while others will be asked to fact check highly technical scientific journal articles or instructional manuals. Many publishers need an author’s work to be edited to meet a specific word count, while others need proofreaders to ensure that a fictional storyline does not have conflicting elements, such as a single character who later mentions a spouse, but not a wedding.

Experience And Education Matter

A desire to work from home is not all it takes to get hired as a freelance proofreader. Publishers and other businesses want to know that you have the technical knowledge of grammar and other areas of writing before they are willing to rely on you to effectively proofread their materials. This means that having a bachelor’s degree in a related field is almost mandatory in order to get hired. While later jobs may be won based on your having experience, getting your first position as a freelance proofreader will require you to have a degree that backs up your desire to work at home as a freelance proofreader.

Generally, a related degree area for proofreading services means having at least a bachelor’s degree in English. If you are working in a specialized niche of freelance proofreading, though, such as proofreading business articles or instructional manuals, then having a degree in business, engineering or another field may also aid in proving your skills. Past experience may also be leveraged depending on the client. If you have a professional background in marketing, for example, then you may be able to parlay that experience into working from home proofreading marketing materials, such as website content, brochures and other documents.

Freelance Means More Than Just Making Money From Home

Working as a freelance proofreader means more than just working from home. Freelance professionals are independent contractors who are free to work for a number of different clients rather than being employed by just one business. While this means that you will be able to arrange your schedule to fit your life and your family’s needs, it also means that finding clients, setting prices for your work and staying competitive are all your responsibility.

It is also your responsibility as a freelance proofreader to use some of the money that you make from proofreading to pay for your own benefits, rather than receiving them from an employer. This means that you will have to research, choose, and then pay for your own health insurance and dental insurance premiums unless you receive that coverage from your spouse’s job at another company.

Planning for your retirement can be challenging if you are a freelancer just starting out, but as you build a steady client base, it will become easier to regularly fund retirement accounts like an IRA or a Roth IRA. If taking on the responsibility of financial planning seems overwhelming, though, take a deep breath. There are many financial professionals who are qualified to help you and your family to use your income from freelance proofreading to achieve goals like retirement, saving to buy a house or even just having a comfortable amount of emergency cash tucked away for a rainy day. Look for financial planners and accountants who have experience working with freelance professionals and small business owners in order to get the most value from their consulting on your financial needs.

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