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Projected Income $50/hr
Costs to Start $500-$1,000
Time to Start 1 Month
Category Freelance Editing

Our Side Hustles Breakdown

With the surge of content online and in print, there’s a continuous demand for error-free text. Because of that, we recommend this as a side hustle. Key concern: It’s crucial to stay updated with style guides and to carve a niche to stand out in this competitive field.

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cons-icon Cons

  • Attention to Detail Needed: A single overlooked error can damage a client’s trust.
  • Can Be Monotonous: Reviewing text for hours can be repetitive and require breaks for clarity.
  • Competitive Field: There are many proofreaders, so finding a niche or specialization can be

pros-icon Pros

  • Always in Demand: Writers, bloggers, and businesses are always on the hunt for a second set of eyes.
  • Work from Anywhere: Proofreading is a digital-friendly job, allowing for remote work.
  • Varied Opportunities: From academic papers to blog posts, the types of content needing proofreading are vast.
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Many people are looking to learn a skill like proofreading that offers the flexibility to work from anywhere at any time and still get paid to read. Yet, finding a resource that shows them how to start can be a pain. 

You’ll probably appreciate this guide if you’re one of those people. 

In 5 minutes or less, you’ll learn about proofreading and what it takes to be a proofreader. You’ll also find hints on the best places to get proofreading gigs. 

An Overview of Proofreading: A Primer

Proofreading is a practice that involves reviewing a finished text. 

After writing, there are chances that the writer’s eyes might miss capitalization mistakes, punctuation errors, spelling errors, and grammar mistakes. These errors, though an oversight, reduce the quality of written content. 

According to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), “Proofreading is the process of reading a text and scrutinizing all of its components to find errors and mark them for correction.” 

There are several other definitions of proofreading, including the popular one in publishing, where it’s said to be an act of “reading proof”. Yet in all, it involves quality control and attention to detail. 

How Much Can You Make by Proofreading Text?

The top 1% of proofreaders earn up to a $90,000 annual salary. These top guns work for Fortune 500 firms, especially in professional industries like health, technology, and law. Low earners (the lowest 10%), according to this Bureau of Labor Statistics report, make between $24,000 and $26,000 yearly. 

In all, these reports are just numbers; you can earn more or less than what’s on the books. It all depends on your expertise, personal branding, and environment (to some extent). 

For instance, a professional proofreader with a niche portfolio could charge more for a proofreading service compared to a newbie. 

How Much Does it Cost to Start a Proofreading Side Hustle?

For newbies with limited funding: less than $1000 should be enough to get the wheels rolling. Here’s a breakdown: 

Proofreading Starter Course/Mentorship 

The first and best investment in the process of becoming an editor or proofreader is enrolling in courses or mentorship programs. While it’s easier to pass proofreading as just spotting grammatical errors in text, you still need to learn other things like the proofreading process and industry best practices. 

You don’t have to run down your account for this cause. You can learn proofreading online through a free course like this Basics of Proofreading course on Alison or watch a training video on YouTube.

Cost: $0 to $300 

Work Computer 

You might already have one of these, but just in case you don’t, a laptop is preferable to a desktop. There are no specific technical requirements; just choose one with good storage and processor (at least 500 GB of storage should be enough for a start). 

Most people often ask if it’s okay to use a phone or tablet to proofread. Well, first, it depends on how smart your smartphone is. If you’re using a device with the latest operating system, it should suffice for basic tasks. However, you’ll still need a PC to access most editing software. 

Cost: Around $400

Editing Tools

Several editing tools are needed to make your work easier and better. Some of these tools check grammar, tone consistency, and other flaws you might ordinarily miss out on when proofreading. 

A perfect example is the Grammarly tool. Quill Bot is a free online proofreading tool you can also try out.

Cost: Up to$200

Keep in mind that these costs don’t include advertising, website design, branding, and other business expenses. 

Where Can You Find Proofreading Gigs?

These are some ways and places to find proofreading gigs: 

Where to Independently Find Proofreading Gigs 

LinkedIn Search

LinkedIn has gradually become a community for businesses and organizations of all sizes. 

Thanks to its advanced search feature, you can search for proofreading jobs under posts. More effectively, you can search the job section; and you’ll get tons of openings.

Google Search

A simple Google search can link you to your dream proofreading job; you just have to write the correct search query. For instance, entering “proofreaders we are hiring” in the Google search bar will bring up several results, including firms currently hiring. 

Gig Economy Companies That Offer Proofreading

Upwork and Fiverr are popular freelance websites for proofreading jobs, especially for beginners. People who require proofreading services upload their job ads on these platforms and call for pitches from proofreaders. 

Keep in mind that you probably won’t get premium pay on those platforms. Plus, they charge a fee for every successful gig. But at least you’ll get the experience and possibly some tasks for your portfolio. 

Why You Should Consider Proofreading As a Side Hustle

As a proofreader, you stand to enjoy several benefits, including: 

  • Flexible work schedule: Freelance proofreaders, who undertake editing jobs from home, have better control of their time. 
  • Skill Enhancement: There are several skills that proofreaders pick up on the job. For instance, proofreading requires you to learn to focus. It also helps improve your attention to detail.
  • Steady Income: While you can work a regular 9 to 5 job, taking on proofreading as a side hustle improves your income and ensures money keeps coming in from multiple sources. 

Problems With Proofreading

There are a few challenges that proofreaders might face. Some include: 

  • Fatigue: Proofreading requires staring at texts for long hours, usually on screen. This continuous contact between the eyes and the screen can lead to tiredness or headache in some cases
  • Subjectivity: This isn’t much of a challenge, but it’s worth noting that proofreaders are bound to make errors due to interpretation variations. 
  • Monotony: Proofreading isn’t much of a fun job. Its repetitive nature can be mentally draining. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Editing and Proofreading?

Proofreading focuses on errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. However, the editing process goes beyond this. It looks into a content’s style, structure, and intent.
Editing improves the quality of a piece, while proofreading is a final check for errors.

What are the Two Types of Proofreading?

Hard copy and electronic proofreading are the two types.

The difference is based on the medium used. While hard copy proofreading involves reviewing a physical printout, electronic proofreading is done on a digital screen.

Wrapping Up

If you have an eye for detail and can see yourself working with text, then proofreading might be the side hustle for you. 

Let us know what other gigs you want to know more about in the comments below, and share this with your friend who corrects everyone’s grammar!

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6 Sep 2023
5.0 Compensation
5.0 Available Work
5.0 Startup Costs
5.0 Technology


I've been proofreading part-time for over a year now, and it's been fantastic. It allows me to use my love for grammar and details, all while earning on the side. Just make sure to keep honing your skills and maybe focus on a particular field.

Marcielly karolyne da silva
27 Jul 2023
5.0 Compensation
5.0 Available Work
5.0 Startup Costs
5.0 Technology

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