How To Get Started As A Virtual Proofreader

how to get started as a virtual proofreader

Content Writing Requires Proofreading

Proofreaders are priceless, they check your articles for errors and work them into proper shape. Without proofreaders, most books and blogs would be a bundle of grammar mistakes. Every day, there are thousands of websites and blogs that need people to proofread their content before it goes live. No wonder virtual proofreading has become a hugely popular job on freelancing sites. Also, it a great job that you can do from home.

Are you interested in becoming a virtual proofreader? Here's how to get started.

You Need To Have Excellent Spelling and Grammar Skills

This one is kind of obvious but needs to be highlighted. This is in essence what it means to be a proofreader. You need to have excellent attention to detail and can’t miss a single error. You need to be the detective of spelling mistakes. If this is not really your thing, you will not like this career path at all.

Get An Online Credential

If you do not have an English degree or a degree in journalism, that is ok, you can still start your career as a virtual proofreader. That being said, even though it is not necessary, it helps to have some sort of documentation that states that you have what is required to be a proofreader. There are plenty of online courses that are available and it will give you some piece of mind too, knowing that you can complete the job required.

Setup Your Profile On Freelance Sites

If you are just starting out, the best place to start is in the freelance marketplace. Website like Upwork, Fiverr and Sage Groupy post jobs and freelancers bid or apply for them. There are thousands of proofreading jobs out there. It is competitive so you want to spend some time building up a good portfolio.

Start Small

The best way to get yourself hired quickly is to get a few jobs in for free or at a very low rate. Consider this part of your online education. The better paid jobs will look for proofreaders with experience, so you will need to get yourself some experience before you can start charging a decent rate (side note, this is best done as a side hustle).

Read As Much As You Can

Keep that brain sharp. A good reader is more likely a good proofreader. You must read as much as you can and get used to spending hours reading without missing any details. Read anything you come across; newspapers, magazines, web pages, anything.

Be Patient

As a proofreader who is just starting out, you must have a lot of patience. In the proofreading line of work, you must patiently pore over each word, you must see whether or not the thoughts flow perfectly into each other and make sure every error is found. Rushing through a job is not going to be helpful in this line of work.

Know Your Niche

Most virtual proofreaders use this line; ‘I will proofread anything’. Now that is a mistaken notion in that you cannot really proofread all types of documents that pass in front of you. You must know the niche you like to proof read the most. You must know what document type you love to proof read. You must know your niche in order to function effectively in it.


As a virtual proofreader, you have to actively network with people, not just with your prospective clients, but also with fellow proofreaders. This will ensure you are abreast of present practices, software’s and other information within the industry. You will be doing yourself a lot of good by networking.

Always Hit Your Deadline

Since it is such a competitive space, you do not want any clients to wait on you. The faster you can get a document proofread (perfectly) the more in demand you will be.

A proofreader is a great career that can offer wonderful work life balance, either as a freelancer or as a solopreneur. And now that you know what it takes to become one, you can get started whenever you want to.

For more tips on freelancing check out these blogs;

How To Collect Money As A Freelancer

20 Jobs You Can Do Virtually

How to Start Freelancing with No Experience

How To Make Your First Freelancing Portfolio

how to become a proofreader

Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Apr 25, 2018

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