How to Make Money as a Proofreader – Top 4 Tips

Do you find that you notice spelling mistakes when chatting with friends via text or when you have read your social media feeds? Does incorrect grammar make you back off or are you often tempted to correct people’s speech when they use words incorrectly?

I certainily catch myself doing this from time to time, then I think to myself, how do you make money as a proofreader?

How do you make money as a proofreader?

You make money by providing good, fast service, that is the key to success; Because satisfied customers are likely to refer others to you, it will help you increase your online proofreading income/business over time. Time planning is of utmost importance.

You also need to budget your time well and keep order to ensure that you have completed assignments on time and leave yourself enough time to work carefully to ensure that you do not miss typos, spelling errors and grammatical errors.

How much money can you make as a proofreader?

An inexperienced proofreader should be able to achieve at least $10-$20 per hour before tax in a fairly short time. A more experienced proofreader with a good reputation and serious customers should be able to achieve at least double that. Of course, there are proofreaders who earn more than that, but these levels are within what is reasonable to expect.

But as a freelancer, it varies quite a bit from assignment to assignment how much you can earn. If you pay per word, some jobs can result in a low hourly wage if they are more time consuming than you expected, while others go really fast and become profitable if, for example, they are in an industry you are familiar with.

Tips for success as an online proofreader

The following tips can help you improve your chances of succeeding in working for yourself as an online proofreader:

1. Keep communication routes open as a proofreader

You will probably encounter problems at some point that will keep you from delivering work on schedule or discover that you are unsure of an assignment.

When these problems occur, it is important to discuss the issue with your client as soon as possible.

Most people will understand if you need to delay the delivery of a job or will be willing to answer questions because you need to make sure they get the best possible results.

2. Take a course to become a better proofreader

Before you start working as an online proofreader, it is a good idea to complete a proofreading course for beginners.

This will refresh the memory of rules that you may have forgotten and prepare you for success.

3. Be realistic about the time it takes as a proofreader

When you work as a proofreader yourself, it can be easy to take on more than you can accomplish. It is important to think practically and not be blinded by the idea of making more money.

Set up a work schedule and take only as many jobs as you can fill your designated working hours with.

Make sure to leave time for fun, relaxation and family to avoid getting burned out.

4. Invest in the right tools and technology when working as a proofreader

Using a Tablet PC with a proofreading app like iAnnotate allows you to work faster than a regular computer.

You will also probably want to invest in some type of accounting software for small businesses to keep track of your income, invoice customers and keep track of costs.

What kind of educational background and competence do you need as a proofreader?

Freelance proofreaders can come from a variety of backgrounds.

The most important thing is that you are well acquainted with the rules of correct grammar and spelling, have a good vocabulary, are detail-oriented and be able to detect errors.

Some employers place higher demands on you as a writer and want you to have experience and some special knowledge in various areas to hire you.

But many freelance platforms, for example, do not require anything special, but it is up to the customers to decide if they want to hire you.

What actually matters as a proofreader is customer satisfaction

The more satisfied customers you have, the more jobs you will see you get, so it’s important to make sure you deliver well to increase your chances of making money as a freelancer.

Also having a degree in an area related to communication, writing, journalism or English can be beneficial, especially when you have first started trying to build a clientele with just your resume to establish yourself as a professional.

The Benefits of Being a proofreader online

One of the most important benefits of being an online proofreader is the ability to charge a higher hourly rate than you can with many other jobs from home conducted through the Internet.

Proofreaders are professionals, so their skills are highly valued. People need the services of a proofreader to ensure that they communicate effectively and clearly and most are willing to pay a lot of money provided the end product is clean and free from errors.

Trying to get some writing jobs is the best way to find out if it’s something for you. A fun thing about the job is that you learn a lot along the way.

Being a proofreader means being your own boss

Being an online proofreader allows you to be your own boss, and provided you meet the deadlines for submitting the work agreed between you and your customers, you have the freedom to decide your own working hours and work whenever you want.

As a proofreader, should you be paid per hour or a fixed sum for your work?

In the case of freelancers who make a living writing texts, it is relatively common for the payment to consist of a fixed price per word, but hourly salary also occurs.

There are both advantages and disadvantages with both of these payment models, for both the writer and the customer who orders the job.

A price based on the number of words provides an incentive for you as a writer to be effective.

You focus on your mission and do your best to get the job done as quickly as possible. The disadvantage from the customer’s perspective is that it also provides an incentive for you to fill in the text with more words, even though they do not increase the value of the content.

If it’s instead paid per hour as a proofreader

If the price is instead paid per hour, you as a writer have an incentive to fill the text with quality and carefully go through your text to see that it is correct, relevant and has good content.

From the customer’s perspective, there is instead an obvious risk that the time required for proofreading/writing will be longer and the price will be more expensive calculated per word.

When it comes to the quality of the text, it is up to you as a writer to live up to the customer’s expectations, regardless of which payment model you use.

It’s a matter of taste which way you want to charge and it can be good to be flexible according to the customer’s wishes.

With experience, you then learn which model suits you best and what pays off for you.

Salary levels for proofreaders

Most proofreaders charge per page to make pricing fair, simple and transparent. The average ongoing rate per page for online reviewers is about $ 0.35.

Many proofreaders can read and correct up to 50 pages per hour, resulting in an hourly wage of about $ 17.50. In high-tech or scientific fields, you may be able to charge more per page; however, it may take a little longer to read these types of documents, so your hourly wage may remain roughly the same.

As you gain more experience, you may be able to increase your price per page.

You can also charge for fast delivery.

Pro tip when working as a proofreader

Another way to increase your work capacity is to offer supplements. For example, you can upload web content to websites for your customers for an additional cost or take extra to properly compile works, quoted pages or bibliography pages.

Keep in mind that if you offer your services through an agency or third party website, you will likely have to pay some form or fee to them.


Whether you are looking for a new career, or just want an extra income in addition to another job, a proofreader job may be for you. It costs nothing to try, so give it a try if you think it sounds interesting! Good luck!




This article has been reviewed by our editorial board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policies.

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