How much do freelance proofreaders make is probably the very first question (or first few) as you think about being one.
Freelance life can be very flexible.
But for someone who hasn’t freelanced before, you might be worried about how much does proofreading pay, about finding clients and about whether you’ll be good enough.
To cut to the chase, freelance proofreaders can earn approximately $18 to $35 an hour.
Of course, how much you make can depend on a variety of factors, such as what type of proofreading you are doing, the frequency of your work and the niche you have decided to proofread in. (I share with from personal experience!)
When I first started my journey into freelancing, the first two jobs I tried were writing and proofreading. I can safely say that these two skills are still very much useful in my daily life, helping me bring in a high income.
I am forever grateful for learning about this side hustle as it put me on a journey to acheiving financial freedom!
Curious to find out more after becoming a proofreader online?
Read on to learn the different pay types proofreaders can expect to deal with, how to set and increase your rates and how to get better at proofreading!
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If you want to know how to become a proofreader online but need some training, the Proofread Anywhere course helps you transition into a full-time proofreader/editor and run it as a well-paid business.
The Proofread Anywhere course begins with proofreading basics and then goes on to share advanced proofreading methods, how and where to find jobs, what rate to set, and common mistakes to avoid.
Caitlin is the lady who runs the course and she has been a proofreader since 2007. She turned her love for proofreading into a full-time job and now helps others do the same.
The Proofread Anywhere course is packed with 40+ lessons in 8 modules, grammar-specific worksheets, and real-life example jobs.
After passing with 90% or higher on the final exam you will receive a Certificate of Completion and access to the Self-Publishing School Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.
Ps; Caitlin is offering a FREE Proofreading workshop that will help you learn the basic skills and decide on whether freelance proofreading is for you. Perfect if you want to know how to become a proofreader with no experience and if you are looking for proofreading courses online for free.
How Much Do Freelance Proofreaders Make?
If you want to know how much does a freelance proofreader make, you can gauge this using three different ways of calculating:
- Per Hour
- Per Word
- Per Page
Most freelance proofreaders are paid about $18 to $35 per hour, though this can increase if you’re more experienced.
On a per-word basis, the average could be about $0.013 to $0.016 per word, though this can potentially increase if you offer other services or hustle hard enough.
Per page isn’t a commonly used metric since clients could vary their font sizes and margins to get a lower rate for more words, but it does get used sometimes!
Annually, if you proofread online for money, you should expect to earn about $50,000, though this can obviously go up to $90,000 or drop to as low as $20,000 if you don’t put in the work.
How To Set Your Freelance Proofreading Rates?
There are many factors that can play a part in affecting your proofreading rate. These factors include:
- Level Of Proofreading Experience
- Is Your Subject Matter Very Niche? – If the area you are proofreading for is very niche, you could afford to charge more.
- Type Of Document
- Client’s Deadline – sometimes, the client may need it urgently, and you can charge a rush fee
- Type of Client– Corporate clients tend to pay more than individual clients
Sometimes clients will come to you and ask you for your per-word or per-hour rate before they decide to engage you.
One simple way of setting a baseline hourly rate is to take how much you want to earn in a year and divide it by 52 (weeks in a year), followed by 40 (hours in a day).
For example, if I decide I want to earn approximately $60,000 a year, I’ll do the following calculation:
60,000 divided by 52 divided by 40 = $28.85 per hour approximately (I would probably round this up to $29 because who doesn’t want to make more money!)
Before setting your final, final rate with the client, however, I would personally ask for a sample extract of the document you are expected to proofread.
In reading the sample extract, you can get a sense of the writing style (and whether there are a lot of errors!).
Additionally, if the client is rushing for it to be returned to them, definitely add a percentage of your total fee as a rush fee.
Don’t just give a rate without getting the full details!
Tips To Succeed As A Freelance Proofreader
Here are some quick tips on how to succeed after you become a proofreader online.
1. Ask For And Adhere To The Client’s Brief
Knowing what you need to do is half the battle won. If the client doesn’t have a brief, then request for them to do one.
Establishing what you need to do before you work on a new proofreading assignment is important to prevent things like last-minute changes.
2. Have A Proofreading Checklist
Proofreading may come easily to some, but if you’re a fresh freelance proofreader, it can be overwhelming knowing what to do and where to start.
On this note, to prevent yourself from visually skipping words, always proofread for one error at a time.
3. Keep Communicating
When proofreading, if you encounter a word, you may be unfamiliar with or unfamiliar with the context that the word has been used, leave a comment and check with the client instead of editing the word out.
Always clarify, always communicate, and make sure you don’t leave the questions right before you need to submit the piece!
4. Proofread With Breaks In Between
It might be tempting to proofread the entire document assigned to you in one shot, complete the work quickly, and get paid.
But by rushing, you might make mistakes and affect the results of your end product.
Always schedule regular breaks during your proofreading to ensure that your eyes and brain get sufficient rest so you remain alert in spotting errors.
5. Proofread Backwards
Sometimes, after reading a text multiple times, your brain might get used to the words and start skipping them.
Switch things up by reading the text backward. You might spot some errors that you somehow missed earlier.
How To Get Clients As A Freelance Proofreader?
Here are five quick ways that you can get clients:
1. Networking In Your Niche
For example, if you’re looking to proofread academic work, make sure you are not just networking with other proofreaders.
You should also network with prospective clients like academic staff, such as professors, students, and so on.
Go to networking events where you might meet such people and make it known that you are a proofreader looking for work.
2. Adding It To Your LinkedIn Profile
You’ll be surprised how much work comes in just by putting that you’re a freelance-something in your title.
Put it in your profile because you’ll never know if a connection or a connection of a connection might be seeking a freelance proofreader!
3. Niche Down
Finding clients can be easier if you proofread in a particular niche, instead of a generic one that might already have a big pool of ready proofreaders.
4. Cold Emails
Sending Cold emails may not be very appealing, but it is still a plausible outreach strategy that could get you work.
When writing the cold email, ensure you don’t just copy and paste it to every potential client.
Personalize each email by writing a customized opener.
If you saw a recent post from them on LinkedIn that you liked, mention it in the email. If they got promoted recently, congratulate them on it too.
5. Reach Out To Your Family, Friends And Former Clients To Let Them Know You Have Gone Freelance
A lot of times, those around you may not know that you’re even doing freelance proofreading.
Get the word out, and tell your family, friends, and former clients.
They might be looking for something to be proofread quickly, and because they know and trust you, they’ll be more likely to engage you.
Even if they don’t need proofreading help, they can get the word out to their friends or bring you up when they hear of suitable opportunities.
FAQs On How Much Do Freelance Proofreaders Make
How Do You Become A Proofreader?
Keen to know how do you become a proofreader? Here are the steps:
1. Take On A Proofreading Course – You’ll want to know proofreading techniques, tips and common mistakes. I personally took this course by Caitlin Pyle which covers proofreading basics.
2. Create Work Samples – Ask your family members if they need anything to proofread. Edit their document with tracked changes on Microsoft Word.
TADAH, you have a work sample!
3. Market Your Services – Create a physical flyer or a social media post advertising your services!
4. Create A Profile On Freelancing Sites Like Upwork – Put yourself out there and let potential clients know you’re open to work.
5. Decide On Your Proofreading Rate – You can set this dependent on the type of work you get after or decide on this upfront.
Whatever your choice, make sure you have applied my tips over, and don’t underestimate your rates!
Are Freelance Proofreaders In Demand?
Not sure whether are freelance proofreaders in demand? Yes they very much are, both corporate and freelance, even if you are a beginner and just starting out.
You needn’t be too afraid of finding work or getting decent pay if you’re worried about how much proofreaders make.
Wherever there is written work, there will be proofreading or editing services required.
If you’re afraid to start, I’m here to tell you, don’t be!
Do Proofreaders Make Good Money?
Wondering do proofreaders make good money? They do! On average, fresh proofreaders will likely earn anywhere from $12 to $16 per hour.
As they progress, it could increase to $18 to $35 per hour, as seen from Upwork’s average rates.
It is not uncommon for experienced proofreaders to command more.
So yes, proofreaders definitely make good money!
Can You Make A Living As A Freelance Proofreader?
Not sure if can you make a living as a freelance proofreader? You could, depending on what your living needs are, and how much work you intend to put in.
The best thing about freelance work is that you don’t have a fixed income and can earn as much or as little as you like.
If you want to travel for one month and work less, you can always buckle down and work a little more than the previous month.
That’s what I tend to do when I have big trips planned – I just love the flexibility of freelance work!
How Much Does It Cost To Proofread 1,000 Words?
Thinking how much does it cost to proofread 1,000 words? It depends on the per-word rate.
For example, proofreading 1000 words can cost anywhere between $13 to $16.
You can charge more or less depending on the complexity of the work assigned, how experienced you are, and how soon the client requires the work.
If the client promises more recurring work, you could offer to lower your rate in return for more work.
How Much Should A Freelance Proofreader Charge?
A freelance proofreader should aim to charge about 1-3 cents a word when starting for the first time.
You can choose to charge more if the content you are proofreading is considered more niched and more specialized.
You can also charge more if the client requires you to turn around quickly and charge them a rush fee. Usually, this is a percentage of the total fee.
How Much Do Freelance Proofreaders Make A Month
Keen to know how much do freelancer proofreaders make a month?
Depending on how much work you decide to take on as a proofreader, you could earn $2,880 to $7,000 if you have an hourly rate of $18 to $35 per hour.
This rate could increase if you gain more experience, value-add with additional services, or take on more projects.
You could also take proofreading courses to improve your proofreading skills to make yourself more marketable and provide more value to your clients.
With more refined skills, you can command a higher proofreading rate.
How Much Do Freelance Proofreaders Make A Year
Wondering how much do freelance proofreaders make a year? They could make $50,000 annually as an entry-level proofreader salary, but this number can vary depending on many factors.
While the number is a gauge, you can make a lot more as a proofreader if you’re willing to put in the hours and clock more projects and also have more experience and skills to value-add.
You can also niche down and proofread for industries that are more specialized, so you can command a higher rate.
If you’re not quite sure how to niche down, there are courses like Proofread Anywhere by Caitlin Pyle that will teach you about such methods to increase your rate.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make Per Page
Want to know how much do proofreaders make per page? There are many different rates for proofreaders per page.
In general, the assumption is that a page should have about 250 words to 300 words if you are assuming a 12-point Times New Roman font.
If you have a per-word rate of 1 cent, then your per-page rate is 250 cents or $2.50.
Most proofreaders shy away from per page rates as some clients might try to take advantage of this by decreasing their font sizes to squeeze in more words or changing the page margins.
It is common to get worried with questions like how much freelance proofreaders make early on in your proofreading career.
But as you go on, you’ll realize that much of your worries are unfounded, as proofreading is a very much in-demand skill that will pay.