Proofreading for Beginners: How to Start a Proofreading Job

How to Start a Proofreading Job
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You have probably heard about online proofreading jobs in Kenya and wondered how to start proofreading jobs as a beginner. Be rest assured that it’s not as tiresome and complicated as you may think. Becoming an online proofreader is a job that is undeniably easy and flexible to do. The beauty of having such a job is that you can work at home and work on your own time. If you’ve been wondering how to get started in proofreading, then you are in the right place.

The increasing number of websites ensures that beginner proofreading jobs online are in no short supply. As a proofreader, your work is to spot mistakes such as typos and correct them to make sure that the grammar used is as good as it should be. Proofreading is easy, especially when you are an avid reader with a keen eye for grammatical and punctuation mistakes. Doesn’t have to be the case because you still can get to learn all this.

Proofreading for beginners can be difficult if you don’t have the right English language skills or if you are not strong on attention to detail.

The average pay for online beginner proofreading jobs in Kenya on most sites sits between $10-$70 an hour. The amount you make on freelance proofreading jobs depends on the platform you choose and your skill level. It exists in the world of freelancing, where the higher your skill levels are, the higher you are paid for.  Before you get to know all about proofreading, first, let’s have a look at freelancing and how you can become one.

how to start a proofreading job

Proofreading for Beginners: 5 Steps to Become a Top Freelancer 

Let’s dive into how to get started in proofreading. A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers services to a company, and they can take as much work from as many businesses as they please. They are most common in industries like graphic designs, copywriting, and photography.

Freelancing has become a major source of income or part-time income for many people because of its flexibility and the nice pay. There are diverse freelance proofreading jobs, and you can pick a freelancing job depending on whatever skills you have or skills you may choose to learn. Here are some of the steps to become one;

1:  Find a Platform to start a Proofreading Job

Thanks to the internet, the world of freelancing is as diverse as can be with over a thousand different platforms that you can sign up for work. The right platform helps you to find work by linking you to some of their clients. Channels like Linked In can be a great place to advertise your portfolio, but freelancing platforms are a great source for gigs.

When starting out with beginner proofreading jobs in Kenya, choosing a platform that fits your needs and salary expectations is important.  Most of the platforms have policies and offer protection both for freelance workers and those doing the hiring. On these platforms, every project you take on is a mini contract, and both you and the client are required to adhere to its terms.

2:  Build your Profile and Portfolio

Before you can start earning consistently from proofreading jobs in Kenya, you’ll need to create a profile that will inform potential clients about your skills, education, expertise, and experiences and why you are the best person for the job. On some platforms, getting jobs will require you to bid, while on others, you will have to write a proposal. Either way, stay on top of your game.

Make sure you provide a portfolio that illustrates your skills and experience, but if you are a beginner in a chosen field, take time to create a portfolio with sample works or accept several jobs at a discounted rate in exchange for experience. Added qualifications and achievements to your portfolio to make it better.

how to start a proofreading job

3:  Online Proofreading Jobs: How to Determine Your Rate

A projected price heavily depends on your skill set and experience and partly depends on the platform you choose. If you have a couple of years of experience, of course, you cannot charge the same as freelancers with a decade of work under their belts. As a beginner, focus much more on getting jobs to add to your portfolio and not necessarily the amount of money you are paid.

If you want to turn freelancing into a full-time job, the rate should cover your monthly expenses if you have steady work. No matter how experienced you are, consider a credit card processing solution to help process client payments easily or PayPal, which is accepted by all platforms.

4:  How to Find Online Proofreading Jobs

Apply for the jobs you are confident you can do. There’s no need to apply for a job you cannot complete on time with satisfactory results.  You are supposed to build your reputation from scratch and at the beginning for positive feedbacks. Also, you can look for some newbies job at. First, some platforms allow for this. These jobs you will later add to your portfolio, boosting it up.

When applying for jobs, make sure you craft a relevant proposal that explains why you’re the best choice for it. Highlight skills and experience relevant to the requirements. You can add details regarding what you intend to do with the work you are asking for and how long it will take you. Be ever-present on your platform of choice, or at least set a time when you will be bidding and sending proposals until your get your first job.

5:  Freelance proofreading jobs: Focus on Client Relationships

By maintaining a good relationship and connection with your clients and providing quality work, you’ll be more likely to secure more consistent jobs in the future.  Ensure you meet deadlines, listen to instructions, make necessary edits, and communicate with clients efficiently. The best thing about maintaining great client relationships is that they will also tell their friends about you. This means more work and growth for you.

A good reputation is crucial as a freelancer, so make sure you deliver your best work and earning high ratings. Proofreading jobs in Kenya tend to follow freelancers who have great working relationships with existing clients. You can advertise your services on social media, which should be updated regularly.  A strong digital presence is critical, as clients want to feel they can trust you and your brand before working with you.


Proofreading for Beginners: How Do I Become A Proofreader With No Experience?

As fate may have it, proofreading is a skill that anyone can learn easily if they put their mind to it. It’s all bout having a good command of English and understanding what your client’s needs are. Get to learn about the best platforms that you could join to get beginner proofreading jobs in Kenya. These platforms include Upwork, Flexjobs, VIP Writers, and Wordy, among other platforms. These platforms are many, and all you need to do is create an account with the one you are most comfortable with.

  1. Learn What a Proofreader does

For instance, when proofreading, you may need to:

  • Correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.
  • Amend text for clarity and consistency.
  • Check for formation issues like missing page numbers.
  • Know the conventions of different writing styles and English dialects.

If you have never done a proofreading job before, you can look for online training that teaches freelance proofreading jobs online for beginners. Some of the platforms are beginner-friendly to the extent that they offer training for such. Just like any other skill, you can learn it in no time.

  1. Learn How to Use Common Editing Tools to Start a Proofreading Job

Having editing tools and grammar-related tools is vital for any proofreader out there. These tools can be found in the form of applications. For example, Microsoft word has its own set of editing tools, but you may need more advanced tools to help you carry out your work. This is where you get the need for services like the ones offered by Grammarly. They help you identify and change the grammar by highlighting where the grammar is not as it should be and giving you the needed suggestions.

What these tools do is that they help you track changes through recording and showing you the changes that you have made to your document. in turn, they help you compare two versions of a document, highlighting the difference in a new copy. You can also comment. The comment tool is great for leaving feedback, asking clients questions, and highlighting potential problems that require attention.

  1. Get to Know the Major style Guides you need to start a Proofreading Job

Most freelance proofreading jobs involve checking that style guidelines have been adhered to. Style guides set up rules for good writing.  Depending on the guide, there are general rules for writing in a specific dialect or language. Also, it means that the guides provide rules for writing in a particular field. A proofreader should master these guides to ensure that they can make their mark in the proofreading industry. Knowing the most common styles and when they are used is useful even for entry proofreaders.

  1. Volunteer your Services

One of the ways to have experienced until you have established is to volunteer your services.  The easiest option is to as friends. If you can look over their emails, resume, or any writing projects for them, this will help you practice your proofreading skills. Or you can join these proofreading platforms out there and start as a newbie as you work on your way to the top.

You can also sign up with distributed proofreaders. They take books in public demand, convert them to eBooks, and make them available online.

  1. Sign up with Proofreading academy

Proofreading academies exist to make proofreading for beginners easy. So, if you feel like you will need some help, consider signing up. This will help you learn more about proofreading jobs online for beginners and how to start your career. They offer training, and at the end of the day, you will be given a mentor and either an account or be linked to several clients who will help you JumpStart your career in proofreading.

start a proofreading business

Freelance Proofreading Jobs: How to Build a Proofreading Portfolio

  1. Find Some Sub-Par Work. You can ask your friends who are not writers to come up with some articles. You could also go do volunteer proofreading work for someone and use their work. Alternatively, you can write bad articles yourself, including mistakes that people commonly make.
  2. Edit the Work. Edit the sub-par work and turn it into top-notch work. Give this your best shot. Ensure you haven’t missed anything. Go over the work multiple times to make it as polished as possible. Potetial clients will use this to determine whether they want your services.
  3. Include the Edited Work in Your Portfolio (Show Before and After Editing). You should include samples of edited, mistake-free work in your portfolio. To show prospective clients just how much value you are bringing to the table, you can include a before and after comparison.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Proofreader?

Now that we’ve covered how to get started in proofreading, you probably want to know how long it will take before you start earning money as a proofreader. It depends on how good you are already, but if you are a beginner, you’ll need time to learn what it takes to be one.

As a complete beginner in the field, you only need to take time to master your English commanding skills, the grammar part, and you will be good to go. If you think you would rather begin in a training camp or school for proofreaders, this would most likely take you around three months to start a proofreading job. Overall, it’ll approximately take less than six months to be a good proofreader.

Proofreading Jobs in Kenya: How Much Money Can You Make?

This will depend on who you work for, how experienced you are, working in a specific subject area, and what skills you have. The level of an individual determines platforms’ pay rate stands. Beginners will be paid anything from $5-$20 an hour, and the rate increase as you advance in your profession. Full-fledged proofreaders who are the pros in the sector earn a minimum of $30 and can go as high as $85 an hour.


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Qualities of a Proofreader

Still wondering how to start a proofreading jobs? Well, excellent proofreaders often possess many same qualities such as;

1. Great Attention to Detail

Attention to detail is probably the most important among the qualities of a proofreader. Meticulous people make great proofreaders. People with eagle eyes and abilities to spot errors. If you tend to spot poor grammar in emails, incorrect punctuation in news reports, or misspellings in social media posts, then proofreading may be your cup of tea.

2. Ability to Focus

You’ll be reading and checking a lot of documents for errors, and that requires maximum concentration. If you get distracted easily, you’ll need to train yourself to focus.

3. An Excellent Grasp of Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation

You need to know the ins and outs of grammar. You can, of course, learn the rules of grammar in many ways, but you need an analytical mind to spot errors. Excellent proofreaders understand the difference between there, they’re, and their, and they don’t hang on outdated or plain wrong grammar myths. Of course, good grammar is one of the most important qualities of a proofreader.

4. Persistence

It’s not easy learning a new skill and start a business. It comes hand in hand with a lot of self-doubts. Everyone starts their business with zero clients, and they deal with rejection too.  It’s the ones who keep going even when it feels like they’re getting nowhere who eventually get what they want.

5. Willing to Step out of your Comfort Zone and Start a Proofreading Job

It would help if you were willing to do hard things. It’s scary to step out of your comfort zones, but if you let all these fears stop you, you’ll be restricting yourself to a certain life.  Terrified of marketing? That’s normal, but the more you do it, the less scary it will feel. It starts with building your confidence, and the best way is to master your proofreading skills.

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Is There Demand For Proofreaders?

There’s a demand for good proofreaders in many fields. Pretty much anywhere there is written work, there is someone interested in having it proofread. The growing number of websites, which now stands at over 1 billion, has ensured that these jobs are in plenty.

The market is certainly flooded at this point, but if you are committed enough, it’s only a matter of time until you start picking up from where professionals have left it. Every writer needs a second eye on the write-up and that makes it easy to get proofreading jobs online for beginners.

Final Take on How to How to Start a Proofreading Job

Proofreading is among some of the most luxurious online work-from-home jobs that you could get. As much as the pay matters, be careful with the terms and conditions offered on every site because they may end up taking advantage of you. We’ve shown you how to get started in proofreading. Now go out there and make that money! Best of luck.

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