If you are interested in working as an online proofreader or editor, it's important to know where to look for these kinds of opportunities. You will need to be diligent in your search and be prepared to provide documentation of your relevant experience and credentials, as well as pass tests to indicate your skill level.
Apply With Online Editing Services
It is a good idea to apply directly with companies that look for proofreaders or editors on an ongoing basis. Keep in mind that some of these companies may contract with freelancers while others may hire individuals to work with them as employees. No legitimate employer, including the ones listed here, will ever charge a fee to apply for work.
ProofreadingServices.com hires people to work from home providing proofreading and editing services. They employ both full-time and part-time workers for these positions, and they seek individuals "who demonstrate superlative proofreading and editing skills."
They do not publicize specific compensation figures, though the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) indicates that their compensation varies by "word count and complexity of the documents edited."
In order to be considered, you will first need to complete their "preliminary applicant test," which is a 20-question screening quiz designed to assess whether candidates have the basic knowledge and skills essential to work as a proofreader. Quiz performance and hiring need determines if you will be invited to move forward with the application process.
Scribendi describes itself as "one of the world's oldest and biggest online editing and proofreading companies." They promote their services as fast, affordable and available around the clock. They provide online editing and proofreading services to a variety of different types of clients, including authors, businesses, students, academics and those who speak English as a second language (ESL).
Scribendi has over 250 editors and is accepting applications from qualified individuals who want to work remotely as editors and proofreaders. They only consider applicants who have at least a Bachelor's degree but prefer candidates with a Master's degree or higher. Additionally, they only work with editors with English skills at the level of native speakers of the language. Three years of editing or related experience are also required.
You must complete their online application to be considered. They will contact you only if you are selected for consideration based on your initial application. They do not publish their compensation rates, but reviews on GlassDoor.com indicate that editors earn between $15 and $20 per hour.
Wordy is "a professional copy-editing and proofreading service" that focuses on improving "the accuracy and readability of content" for its clients. They specialize in providing quick turnarounds, indicating that most jobs can be completed within 20 minutes of order. Not surprisingly, they have a large pool of editors, with people working in just about every time zone at all hours of the day and night.
If you would like to be considered to work with Wordy as an editor, you will need to sign up and complete the application process. This involves completing a profile for yourself, providing two references (including contact details), and taking a computer-based editing test in the language(s) you want to edit. Set aside approximately 50 minutes per selected language for testing.
If you are accepted, you will be able to view and claim open jobs. Payment varies by project, but is posted along with other key details you can view prior to claiming work. The company indicates that pay averages between EUR 20 and 26 per hour, which is equivalent to a range of $21 to $28 per hour in U.S. dollars.
Gramlee is an online editing service that charges clients two cents per word to edit for structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, brevity, and overall readability. They guarantee a 24-hour turnaround on editing projects of 3,000 words or less. According to the Jobs page on Gramlee's website, they are "always looking for exceptional editors" to add to their team. Gramlee doesn't publicize its compensation rates for editors.
Gramlee's application process is less structured than the other sites. You must email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with written responses that address four particular areas specified on the Jobs page:
- Reason you are interested in working for the site
- Why you are "an outstanding candidate" to be an editor for the company
- Suggested edits for part of the page
- What you'd put on a billboard about yourself
Search for Proofing and Editing Gigs
When you are seeking web-based proofreading or editing opportunities, it is a good idea to utilize reputable job search sites and freelancer/client matching services like the ones listed here to look for opportunities.
Editing services are not the only options for finding this type of work, so you may find other types of editing opportunities using these sites, such as positions with magazines, media outlets, web content sites, publishing companies and more. New positions are added all the time, so you will want to review key sites regularly for new work opportunities.
It is very common to find listings for opportunities to provide editing and proofreading services to companies looking to hire or contract with remote workers on FlexJobs. This site provides pre-screened, validated job postings for members to search. You can subscribe for $14.95 per month or $49.95 per year.
Employers are not charged to list openings here, but they do have to apply for approval and are verified prior to being included. Once you join, you will be able to see full details of currently available positions and apply directly with the employer through your FlexJobs account.
If selected for a position that you apply for, your work and payments will be handled directly with the employer. FlexJobs is not involved in the payment process.
Companies and individuals seeking proofreading or editing assistance often post their needs on UpWork. In order to be considered, you will need to create a freelancer account on the site and submit a proposal for each gig that you are interested in.
Pay varies, though estimated compensation information is generally included with each posting. You do not have to pay a fee to sign up with UpWork, though they do deduct a service fee from payments to freelancers ranging from 5 to 20% (based on total earnings; the more you earn through the site, the lower the fee is). This fee covers the site's role in connecting freelancers and clients and managing the payment system, which is designed to protect both the freelancers and clients who use the site. A 2.75% processing fee is charged to clients when they deposit funds for payment of projects.
If you are interested in bidding on proofreading or editing projects, you may want to sign up with Freelancer.com. You will be able to bid on up to eight projects per month without incurring a fee after you register, though paid bid upgrades are available.
The site charges freelancers ten percent (or a minimum of $5) on fixed rate and hourly projects. Clients are also charged a fee, which is three percent. Many of the projects listed on this site are from individuals rather than companies, including some school homework assignments and book editing projects.
When you want to cast as wide a net as possible in your quest to find online proofreading or editing work, turn to Indeed.com. This site is a job search aggregator that provides a convenient way to search for online opportunities based on keywords.
There is no fee to use this site to search for work. Jobs listed via the site include a combination of paid listings and positions that are posted on company career pages and other online resources. Vary the keywords you use to look for work opportunities, trying search phrases like "online proofreader," "online editor," and other similar word groupings.
Leave the location ("where") blank, since you are searching for remote work opportunities. Review each listing that interests you closely, to verify if it is truly online work, due to the nature of keyword searches. Apply directly to any position that interests you.
Searching for Proofreading and Editing Work
There are definitely opportunities out there for people who want to earn a living using their proofreading and editing skills. Be diligent in searching for opportunities and take each application and proposal seriously.
Create a quality resume and LinkedIn profile that highlights your skills and experience and keep them updated. You may even want to set up a website to promote your services as a proofreader and editor. You can link to it from your applications and proposals - and you just might find that prospective clients will discover your site and start coming to you with opportunities to work for them.