Do you have the ability to spot errors in written documents? If yes, then you can work from home doing proofreading and editing jobs online; and make a whole lot of money. You will learn how to do it below. Sometimes, businesses need an editor for just one or two projects in a long time. For such businesses with small editing needs, hiring an in-house editor would be unreasonable. And a much better option would be to hire an editor on contract.
Aside trying to cut costs, businesses also hire freelance editors because they (editors) offer a specialized service that cannot be rendered perfectly by other professionals. While secretaries and administrative assistants can edit documents, they lack the accuracy of professional editors.
The above statements drive home the fact that there is huge (and increasing) demand for freelance editors. If you have good grammar skills with a keen eye and zero tolerance for even the slightest errors, then starting an editing business might just be the right step to take.
So if you are interested in making extra income working from home as a freelance editor, then this post is for you. In this article, you will learn all you need to know to kick-start your freelance editing business. While there are no special qualifications for freelance editors, you need to do some learning, perfect your skills, and do some other homework before taking a plunge. The following are the right steps to take when starting out as a freelance editor:
How to Work From Home Doing Proofreading and Editing Jobs Online
Table of Content
1. Hone your skills
To sharpen your editing skills, you can start by enrolling in writing or editing classes. You can find them online, through colleges, and through local newspapers. Most of these classes focus on grammar alone, while others would teach you how to edit perfectly and how to sharpen your eyes to spot typographic and spelling errors.
After finding out that editing might be a good job for you and taking a training course, don’t start looking for customers yet. Rather, spend some time practicing and proofreading your own work as well as written works by other people. You can search the web for editing lessons that provide you with practice texts and appropriate solutions. These will help you check your own work against professionally edited copy.
You need to figure out whether you would like to work with publishers and writers who need editors or with commercial customers and businesses. You can specialize in working with a certain type of business or on a wide variety of projects. You must also ensure that you don’t streamline your focus too much so that you don’t cut out a large part of your potential client base.
4. Improve your relevance
Depending on the market you are looking to target, you will need to familiarize yourself with certain style guides. If you are looking at news sources and pieces rendered in journalistic style, you will need to study the Associated Press (AP) style guide.
If you are focusing on academic copy editing, then you will need to study the American Psychological Association (APA) style guide. If you are looking at targeting a wide range of editing assignments, then you should study several style guides.
5. Gather the necessary tools
To start an editing business, you need a personal computer, a word processing with a spellchecking package, a reliable internet connection, an active phone line, and a video calling application (such as Skype).
6. Build your portfolio
In order to land high-paying gigs and make your services highly preferred by clients, you need to build a portfolio that features relevant projects you have handled. You may need to work for free or for some meager pay in order to build your portfolio and improve your resume. Having a decent portfolio shows off your experience and convinces prospective clients that you have a solid background as an editor.
You can charge either by the hour or per page. If you need help on how to set your prices without low-balling your charges, you can consult with other professional editors. Alternatively, you can consult the website of any association of professional freelance editors to get an idea of what other professionals charge for their services.
On the average, most beginners charge between $25 – $50 per hour and $3 – $7 per page. Whatever prices you choose to fix for your services, you must ensure that you have the proportionate skills.
8. Market your services
There are many ways to go about this. You can make flyers and business cards. You can also advertise in your local newspaper. If you are looking at academic editing, a smart marketing idea is to advertise on college campuses and places where students hang out.
Because most editing jobs are done remotely from home, you can prospect for clients using the internet. Set up a small website advertising your editing services. Advertise on classified websites. Advertise on forums and online communities. And use social media to reach out to prospective clients.