Three years ago, I wanted to learn how to become a freelance editor with no experience, as the idea of working from any location in the world from my laptop really appealed to me.
I had heard about freelance editors and how they got paid to correct grammar errors in written text, but I had no idea how to get started.
I didn’t have any experience in the editing industry (I worked in a bank for 8 years), and when I googled editing jobs, they all required experience.
Do not worry, I am here to share how to become a freelance editor with no experience. I did it, so you can too.
What Is Editing?
An editor refines and corrects the text of written material to ensure it is refined and polished.
The corrections may include amending the grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure and to ensure the written text flows properly and corresponds within in-house style guidelines.
Essentially, you spot typos and errors, correct them and then get paid for it!
This type of job requires you to be a bit of a grammar lover, have great attention to detail, as well as an ability to focus on written text for long periods.
What’s The Difference Between A Proofreader And An Editor?
This may be a question you may have when you are learning how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
A proofreader identifies more basic and surface-level errors such as misspellings, incorrect punctuation, etc.
An editor tackles more in-depth issues such as language, tone clarity, and sentence constructions.
Both are normally used interchangeably but you can charge more for editing work as it takes more time.
What Is A FREELANCE Editor?
A freelance editor does the same work but instead of being hired as an employee of a company and getting a monthly salary at the end, you can pick and choose editing projects and decide what to charge.
I started my remote working journey, as a freelance editor as I wanted to pick and choose WHEN I worked, from any location in the world.
How To Become A Freelance Editor With No Experience
1. Use Grammarly
I started learning how to become a freelance editor with no experience, without Grammarly. But I wished it existed when I started!
It’s a lifesaver!
Grammarly is a FREE editing tool that does light proofreading on any written text. It will spot the spelling errors and grammar mistakes, amazing eh!
Nowadays, whenever I write an article or I am commissioned for an editing job, I ALWAYS submit the text to Grammarly.
It’s FREE and will save you lots of time spotting errors.
2. Sign Up To A Freelance Editing Course
I always say the best investment you can make is in your brain.
The fastest way to learn how to become a freelance editor with no experience is to do a course,
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 editing is for you.
3. Get Some Work Samples
When you apply for jobs, many will specify that they need some work samples.
But how can you have work samples when you have never worked as an editor? It’s like the chicken before the egg argument!
Here is the solution:
Create free or discounted samples
When I started learning how to become a freelance editor with no experience, I offered to edit the documents of friends and family for free.
CVs, university theses, work reports, you name it. Just read through, and edit, then save it as a sample.
Tip- You need at least 3 samples before you apply for editing jobs
4. Use Microsoft Tracker And Comments
Here is an essential tip I learned when I wanted to know how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
When you start creating a work sample, MAKE SURE you use Microsoft Tracker and comments to show HOW you edit and the before and after result.
Microsoft Tracker allows you to show all the changes you have made to an edited document.
Here is a great video on how to use Microsoft tracker and comments.
5. Set Up A Portfolio Website
Once you have some work samples, now it’s time to look professional.
Create a portfolio website that describes who you are and displays your work samples is a great way to convince potential clients that you are experienced, credible and worth their money.
You can say: ‘You can review my editing samples on my professional website aishapreece.com’
If setting up a website scares you, here is a step by step tutorial on how you can set a website up for $3.95 a month.
6. Niche Down
Providing an editing service in a specific area will make it easier to find clients and you will get paid more (the same way a surgeon is paid more than a doctor).
Potential clients will google search terms like ‘book/ novel editing’, or ‘thesis/essay editing’, not general terms like ‘editing services’.
Focus on being an expert in one area.
But you may be thinking… I have no experience, I don’t know which area to specialize in!
That’s fine, what do you enjoy editing, and what are your work samples related to, start with that, you can always change your niche later.
So, as an example, you could niche down into academic editing, book editing, web editing, newspaper and magazine editing.
It’s the best way you can earn more when you are learning how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
7. Join Editing And Writing Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great way to learn from experts and search for other opportunities.
Here are some examples below but a simple search for ‘editing groups’, in your FB groups will share loads.
8. Join Freelance Work Platforms
You should join professional organizations to network with the editor community. For instance, Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). More contacts, means more quality referrals. Make hay while the sun shines.
By now, you should know how to become a freelance editor with no experience, so it’s time to start applying for jobs.
There are lots of freelance work platforms out there where you can input ‘editing jobs’, in the search term.
You can reach out to self-publishing groups to meet writers who may need an editor to review their work before getting it published.
9. Apply For Editing Jobs On Job Boards
Specific editing job boards will advertise editing jobs for you to apply to. Below are some editing job boards:
10. Apply for Editing Jobs On Editing Websites
A really good way of finding jobs when you want to know how to become a freelance editor with no experience, is to apply for jobs on editing websites.
You can also apply to specific editing websites below:
- Proofreading Malaysia
- Proofreading Services
- Sibia Proofreading
- Polished Paper
Alternatively, you can also check out this article which shares 15 more editing sites you can apply to.
11. Join Editing Societies
Having a group of likeminded people, you can learn from and share problems with is crucial on your journey of how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
The ACES Society for Editing costs $75/year, and it provides you with a fantastic community of fellow editors and tips on how to improve your work.
You can also join the Editorial Freelancers Association(EFA) which costs much more ($180 annually), but you get additional perks such as group health insurance.
Well there you have it, hopefully you have learned how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
If you want a more in-depth detailed guide on what to charge and how to deal with common issues, please read:
22 Essential Gadgets, Tech and Tools For Freelance Editors That You Must Have
- Gosirm lined journal notebook
- Dingbats wildlife line medium notebook
- Amazon basic professional journal
2. Computer Reading Glasses
- Livho blue light blocking computer glasses
- Henotin blue light blocking computer glasses
- LifeArt blue light blocking computer glasses
4. Portable Wireless Router
- TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR802N)
- GL.iNet GL-AR300M16-Ext Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket Router
- TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR902AC)
5. External Hard Drive
- Seagate Portable 2TB External Hard Drive HDD (STGX2000400)
- WD 2TB Elements Portable HDD, External Hard Drive (WDBU6Y0020BBK-WESN)
- Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB Portable External Hard Drive (HDTB420XK3AA)
- Anker Portable Charger, 313 Power Bank (PowerCore Slim 10K) 10000mAh
- INIU Portable Charger, Slimmest 10000mAh 5V/3A Power Bank
- Anker Portable Charger, 325 Power Bank (PowerCore Essential 20K) 20000mAh
7. Noise-cancelling Wireless Headphones
- Soundcore Anker Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Sony WH-1000XM4 Wireless Premium Noise Canceling Overhead Headphones with Alexa Voice Control
- Beats Studio3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Over-Ear Headphones
8. Portable Speaker
- JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker Includes Noise-Cancelling Speakerphone, Voice Assistant & JBL Connect+
- Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker with IPX5 Waterproof, Stereo Sound
- Bluetooth Speakers with 15W Stereo Sound, IPX6 Waterproof
9. Desk Lamp
- Dott Arts LED Desk Lamp, Touch Control Desk Lamp with 3 Levels Brightness
- Poukaran LED Desk Lamp with Wireless Charger, USB Charging Port with Clock, Alarm, Date, Temperature
- AmazLit Desk Lamp with Clamp, Adjustable Color Temperature with Memory & Timing Function
10. Standing Desk [Recommended!]
- Klvied Mobile Standing Desk with Cup Holder, Adjustable Height, Rolling Desk with Wheels
- TechOrbits Computer Desk, Height Adjustable, Sit-to-Stand Riser
- FEZIBO Height Adjustable Electric Standing Desk with Double Drawer, 55 x 24 Inch Table with Storage Shelf and Rustic Brown Top
11. Laptop Desk Stand
- SOUNDANCE Laptop Stand, Compatible with 10 to 15.6 Inches Notebook Computer
- Urmust Laptop Notebook Stand, Compatible with All 10-15.6″ Laptops
- Nulaxy Laptop Stand, Compatible with 10-16” Laptops
12. Ergonomic Chair
- Hbada Home Office Chair with Flip-up Arms and Adjustable Height
- Dowinx Gaming Chair Office Desk Chair with Massage Lumbar Support, and Retractable Footrest
- PC Gaming Chair Office Chair Recliner with Lumbar Support and Footrest
13. Tea Strainer With Lid
- Tea Forte Kati Cup Cherry Blossoms, Ceramic Tea Infuser Cup with Infuser Basket and Lid
- K Kitcherish 2 Pack Tea Infuser, Tea Strainer for Loose Leaf Tea & Cooking Infuser
- Tea Infuser Basket Stainless Steel Tea Strainer And Lid
- Love Mug: World’s Best Boss Mug (I personally love this mug!)
- YETI Rambler 20 oz Travel Mug, Vacuum Insulated with Stronghold Lid
- Lysenn Iridescent Glass Coffee Mug with Lid
15. Desk Cable Clips
- Shintop Desk Cable Clips (Colorful, 6 pieces)
- INCHOR White Cable Clips, Cord Organizer, 2 Packs (5, 3 Slots)
- OHill Cable Clips, 16 Pack Black Adhesive Cord Holders
16. Wrist Tainer
- Wrist Strengthener, Forearm Exerciser, Arm Grip Workout
- Hand Grip Strengthener, Finger Exerciser, Forearm grip workout, Relieve Wrist & Thumb Pain, Carpal tunnel (6 pieces)
- FitBeast Hand Grip Strengthener, Forearm Grip, Finger Exerciser (5 packs)
17. Large Water Bottle
- UNDER ARMOUR 64oz Playmaker Jug
- AQUAFIT Half Gallon Water Bottle With Straw and Time To Drink – 64 oz
- Fidus Large 1 Gallon Water Bottle with Paracord Handle & Removable Straw – BPA Free with Time Marker
18. Wrist Rest
- Gimars Upgrade Enlarge Gel Memory Foam Set Keyboard Wrist Rest Pad, Mouse Wrist Cushion Support
- BRILA Ergonomic Memory Foam Mouse Wrist Rest Support Pad Cushion
- Dapesuom Enlarge Keyboard Wrist Rest Pad, Wrist Cushion Support for Easy Typing & Pain Relief, Mouse Wrist Pad
19. Neck Pillow
- napfun Neck Pillow 100% Pure Memory Foam
- RESTCLOUD Neck and Shoulder Relaxer, Cervical Pain Relief and Spine Alignment, Chiropractic Pillow
- World’s Best Feather Soft Microfiber Neck Pillow
- Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow, Contour Pillows for Neck and Shoulder Pain, Orthopedic
20. Laptop Bag
- Targus Classic Slim Business Professional Bag for 16-Inch Laptop (TCT027US)
- Moonster Rustic Buffalo Leather Messenger Bag for 16 Inch Laptop
- SwissGear 1900 Scansmart TSA 17-Inch Laptop Backpack
21. Neck Massager
- Shiatsu Electric Neck Back Massager with Heat, for Neck, Shoulder, Lower Back, Foot, Leg Muscles Pain Relief
- DDVWU Electric Massage Gun for Deep Tissue, Percussion Massage Gun
- Neck And Shoulder Massager Roller, for Deep Tissue in Neck, Back, Shoulder, Waist, and Legs
- Neck Massager Device, Acupoints Lymphatic Drainage Machine, 12 Modes Neck Massager for Pain Relief
22. Travel Extension Cord
- Anker 5-feet Extension Cord, with 2 Outlets and 2 USB-A Ports
- TESSAN 5-feet Extension Cord with 3 USB Wall Charger (1 USB C Port), and 4 Outlets Slim Desk Charging Station
- Power Strip Surge Protector – 6 Outlets with 3 USB Ports (1 USB C), 3-Side Outlet Extender Strip with 5-Feet Extension Cord
FAQs on How To Become A Freelance Editor With No Experience
How Do I Start Freelancing As An Editor?
10 Steps On How To Become A Successful Freelance Editor.
- Read more to gain more knowledge.
- Build editing experience on freelance editing gigs on freelancing platforms.
- Determine what type of editor you want to be and decide on your niche.
- Provides editing services to writers that you know.
- Practice your editing skills to level up.
How Much Do Beginner Freelance Editors Make?
Beginner freelance editors usually earn on the average between USD0.015 to USD0.028 per word based on Reedsy’s 2022 marketplace data. The more skilled the editors are, the faster they get the job done so they charge per word. Their freelance editing rates depend on the types of editing and genre of the writing.
How Do I Get Into Editing With No Experience?
How To Become An Editor In 6 Steps
- Choose your type and style of editing.
- Get a degree or editing certificate.
- Gain experience through internships and freelancing.
- Apply for entry-level publishing and editorial positions.
- Network with clients and publishing professionals.
- Earn promotion to senior editor.
What Skills Does An Editor Need?
- knowledge of English language.
- knowledge of media production and communication.
- the ability to read English.
- excellent verbal communication skills.
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail.
- excellent written communication skills.
- the ability to work well with others.
- to be flexible and open to change.
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. I hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
Related articles on Proofreading:
- How to Become an Online Proofreader (9 Easy Steps)
- 11 Proofreading Courses That Will Increase Your Skills And Profit
- 27 Best Online Proofreading Jobs Hiring Now
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