Proofreading can be a great money-making side hustle if you’ve got an eye for detail and a solid grasp of the English language. As an online proofreader, you get paid to polish written content to ensure that it’s free of grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors.
But how do you become an online proofreader? The shortest route might be completing an online course to learn the ins and outs of proofreading for money. Caitlin Pyle, founder of Proofread Anywhere, teaches the necessary skills to make money proofreading in her popular online courses.
Is Proofread Anywhere’s online proofreading training worth your time and money? We spoke with Tori Gellino, a former student earning over $1,000 a month as an online proofreader, to learn more.
How Tori Became an Online Proofreader
Tori’s journey into online proofreading began the way many side hustles do. It was sparked by a desire for something more than a typical 9-to-5 job.
“I’d worked a lot of customer service jobs and was looking to start a real career, something I could be proud of,” Gellino said.
In 2016, Gellino enrolled in Caitlin Pyle’s Transcript Proofreading course, which teaches students how to master legal transcript proofreading. She signed up for the course in September of that year and by November, she’d launched her online proofreading business.
These days, Gellino maintains a steady roster of 5 to 10 clients each month, working with freelance and official court reporters. Her proofreading income averages $1,200 a month consistently.
How to Succeed With Online Proofreading
Running an online proofreading business or side hustle takes planning if you want to be successful. If you’re interested in making a career or just a high-paying side gig out of online proofreading, these tips can help with reaching your goals.
Make sure it’s a good fit.
When choosing a side hustle or business idea to try, it’s important to set some realistic expectations and goals. Money-making potential might be the first thing you focus on with your online proofreading side hustle, but you should also consider how it fits with your skills, personality, and interests.
“If you have the motivation to market yourself, an eye for detail, and if you can sit for hours poring over words that may or may not be interesting, then this job is great,” Gellino said.
On the other hand, making $1,000 a month or more as an online proofreader could be more of a struggle if you get distracted easily or feel shy about promoting your business. Before diving in, consider what you want out of a proofreading side hustle and if it seems like a good fit.
Proofread Anywhere offers a free workshop that includes the five signs proofreading could be a good fit for you.
Invest in developing your skills.
Online proofreading jobs typically require some combination of experience and/or skills to land. If you don’t know the basics of proofreading, it’s helpful to spend some time and money learning them first.
Gellino credits the Transcript Proofreading course she took through Caitlin Pyle with helping her to specialize and niche down in her business. Beyond learning how to proofread legal transcripts, she was able to connect with and learn from more experienced proofreaders through the course’s private Facebook group.
“Having access to other working proofreaders to help answer questions regarding marketing, client relations, or even just grammar and punctuation has been absolutely invaluable,” Gellino said.
As far as what she didn’t care for about the class, she said some of the practice exercises included in the course were a little frustrating since they’re drawn from real-life work completed by different professional proofreaders.
But overall, she said they’re still valuable for honing your skills, speed, and personal proofreading style.
Commit to the hustle.
Starting an online proofreading business or any type of business takes a certain amount of determination. Though Gellino has achieved success as a proofreader, she encountered the typical struggles that often go along with starting a side hustle.
When she first started, for instance, she spent six weeks focusing heavily on marketing without turning up a single lead. She was on the verge of giving up when a fortune cookie gave her the motivation to keep going.
“I got a fortune that said, ‘Be patient. Good things come to those who wait,’” Gellino said.
Just a few days later, she landed three new clients, all of whom she still works with today.
Her best tip? Be willing to put yourself out there and do the hard work of marketing yourself to clients. It can take time for your business or hustle to blossom.
For example, you may be taking different approaches to finding clients, such as:
- Applying to gigs through job boards
- Cold pitching companies that hire freelance proofreaders
- Getting referrals from your professional network
Building an online proofreading business can be something of a numbers game. The more pitches or queries you send out and the more people you connect with, the better your odds of landing paying gigs.
Online Proofreading Can Be a Profitable Side Hustle
If you’re looking for a work from home job, online proofreading can be a great option. Like other types of freelance work, there’s great earning potential and you can work a flexible schedule while growing a business.
Taking a course through Proofread Anywhere can help with building the foundation you need to start a successful virtual proofreading side hustle. And as Gellino’s story shows, it’s definitely possible to earn back your investment in the course and more with a $1,000+ monthly income.