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Editing Copy

Projected Income Around $2,000-$6,000/ month
Costs to Start $50-$300
Time to Start 1-2 weeks
Category Freelance Editing,

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

Editing copy is the meticulous process of refining and perfecting written content. Ideal for those with an eagle eye for errors and a passion for the written word, copy editing ensures messages are clear, consistent, and error-free. As businesses and individuals continually seek to establish an online presence, the demand for skilled copy editors remains robust.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Detail-Oriented Work: Can be mentally draining as the tasks requires constant focus.
  • Varied Quality of Content: Some projects may require extensive revisions to make it readable and coherent.
  • Inconsistent Workflow: Freelancing often has feast or famine cycles, with no guarantees of income.

pros-icon Pros

  • High Demand: Many businesses and writers need polished content, giving rise to the demands of skilled copy editors.
  • Flexible Schedule: Work on your terms and choose projects that align with your interests.
  • Continuous Learning: Regular editing allows you to grow and refine your language skills.
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Do you often spot errors in articles and blog posts and feel slightly bothered by them? If the answer is yes, then you have a keen eye for detail and the perfectionistic tendencies needed for this job! 

The digital era has enabled fast content creation. However, all that content should first go through a copy editor to make sure it’s ready before publishing.

Editing copy is a fun side job that you can often do from home. So here’s all you need to know about the job and what becoming a copy editor entails.

An Overview of Editing Copy: A Primer

A copy editor’s job is to go over text written by copywriters, making sure it is accurate, doesn’t have grammatical errors, and strictly adheres to the stylistic guidelines proposed by the client. 

Unlike proofreaders, who only check for grammatical accuracy, copy editors perform substantive editing on books, advertisements, and articles. They perform line-by-line editing to improve flow, check for plagiarism, fix spelling and punctuation errors, and fact-check essential pieces of information.

They typically work for publishing houses, magazines, and online businesses. Many work remotely, but some larger businesses prefer having in-house copy editors and writers.

How Much Can Editing Copy Earn You?

You can make around $48,770 annually as a copy editor, which equals $23.45 per hour. 

This salary depends on several factors, such as your qualifications, place of employment, editing process, and whether it’s a remote position.

If you have a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, you can expect to earn above $25 per hour.

But the best salaries are in the advertising industry at well-established corporations. These copy editors earn an average of around $33 per hour.

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Side Hustle Editing Copy?

You don’t need much investment to become a professional copy editor. Many employers hire copy editors with no certifications or a degree if they have relevant experience.

If you worked as a copywriter and a prospective employer likes your portfolio, they will likely give you a shot in the editing game.

That said, getting hired at a reputable company might require getting an education in a relevant field. A bachelor’s degree in English, journalism, or creative writing is strongly preferred.

However, depending on the college, a bachelor’s degree can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so if that sounds like too much, you can opt for a copy editing course from an accredited university.

These are in the $500 to $2,000 range and will get you a copy editing and proofreading certificate. Both are often bundled together because of the similarity regarding mechanical editing.

And unless you intend to work on manuscript editing, which is done “offline,” you should also familiarize yourself with digital editing software, such as Google Docs, Grammarly, and Hemingway tool. 

Where Can You Find Copy Editing Gigs?

Here are some different ways of finding work in the copy editing niche:

Where to Independently Find Copy Editing Gigs

The best way to find work on your own is to research the best companies that hire copy editors online. If it’s an established business, it’ll likely have a job board with all kinds of work.

You can also contact smaller companies that often have a “Work for us” section on their websites. Or if you already know someone working in the company, you can ask them first.

Lastly, if you don’t have any luck with this method, you can try networking on social media platforms like LinkedIn.

Reach out to independent business owners, CEOs, and other copy editors and writers to ask if they have any openings. 

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Copy Editing Gigs

A faster and more reliable way to find full-time or freelance editing jobs is to check job platforms and freelance websites. You can find everything from odd jobs to serious employment on these websites.

Here are some of our favorite websites for finding copy editing work:

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is perfect for finding serious copy editing work in your area besides remote work.
  • Indeed: Indeed has one of the largest job databases of any platform, and there are plenty of editing projects in the book publishing industry on there, too.
  • Upwork: Upwork is made for people looking for editing jobs from home, as it’s aimed toward freelancers who can copy edit all types of texts.
  • ProBlogger: Although it’s a smaller website, the job quality is excellent, and the focus is exclusively on writing and editing.

Why You Should Consider Editing Copy As a Side Hustle

Here’s why you should start providing your editing and proofreading services:

  • Flexibility: Content marketing agencies typically operate remotely, and many allow for a flexible schedule. 
  • Growth opportunity: Editing someone else’s work can be an excellent way to improve your writing skills and “borrow” cool tricks from pro writers.
  • Exciting work: Spending all day reading and editing entertaining topics doesn’t even feel like a job.

Problems With Editing Copy for Money

Copy editing is a fun job for those who love to sit in front of a computer with a cup of coffee. Still, it has some significant drawbacks that we can’t ignore:

  • Pressure and stress: Employers hire copy editors to ensure all content they publish is 100% error-free. These high expectations can be hard to meet, especially when working with tight deadlines.
  • Desk job: The copy editing process inevitably involves working on your computer or laptop, which leads to eye strain and posture issues.
  • Lonely work environment: If you’re a social butterfly or feel more comfortable working with others, copy editing sometimes feels lonely and isolating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Anyone Be a Copy Editor?

Anyone can become a copy editor, especially if they have previous writing or editing experience. Many freelance gigs only require excellent attention to detail. 
However, you should pursue a relevant degree or editing certificate to maximize your chances of getting hired. 

Do Copy Editors Make Good Money?

Copy editors earn around $48,000 annually, which is below the $59,428 national average. Most copy editors don’t make good money, though some top earners make above $70,000 per year. The bright side is that they often work remotely, saving on commutes.

Ask a Question About Editing Copy?

Leave a Comment


Stacy Reid
13 Sep 2023
5.0 Compensation
5.0 Available Work
5.0 Startup Costs
5.0 Technology


Having delved into copy editing for a few years, I found it intellectually rewarding and a good earner. While it offers flexibility and enhances one's grammar and style skills, be prepared for long hours poring over text. Interestingly, it's honed my ability to read from an audience's perspective. A notable downside? Deadlines can occasionally overshadow personal time.

Brett Helling
13 Sep 2023
5.0 Compensation
5.0 Available Work
5.0 Startup Costs
5.0 Technology


Editing copy is a great way to earn money as a side hustle. I've been hiring editors for this website for years, paying them anywhere from $5-$30/hr depending on the type of editing they are doing. If you find the right client, it is a great way to earn money in the gig economy.

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