How to Become a Freelance Proofreader UK
Proofreading is a very precise line of work that requires patience and a good eye for detail. This type of work also requires a good command of the English language. The whole point of this job is to make sure that printed material is free from grammatical errors and that it makes sense for its intended audience. Online freelance proofreaders must be able to recognize bad sentences, catch misspelled words, and make sure that the material is properly punctuated. If you’re interested in becoming a proofreader, then keep reading this material. It will tell you everything you need to know about getting started within this line of work.
A Proofreader’s Job Description
Proofreaders are normally hired by publishing companies. They are also used by other types of businesses that deal with some form of print media. Radio stations, marketing, and ad companies, television media, and retail businesses typically use proofreaders. There are also proofreaders in professions such as politics, journalism, and the medical field. These individuals must make sure that all printed material and dialogue is free from language-related. This job isn’t for everyone but suited for people who like to read and understand the finer points of the language.
What skills should a proofreader possess?
Proofreaders must have a good set of eyes and they must have the ability to work alone. They also must be able to communicate well with peers and clients. Proofreaders are required to know the message their material is trying to convey, and they must know their client’s purpose for the information they’re presenting. Being detail-oriented and having the ability to concentrate for extended periods of time is also an important part of this job. You will also need to know how to see mistakes and problems.
Education and Training for this Job
Proofreaders must be knowledgeable in the area of language. They should know the technical side of any language. They should know classic literature and be exposed to journalism to help improve their skills. Proofreaders will also have an advantage if they read technical information and books. Anyone wanting to become a proofreader should go to school to earn a bachelor’s degree in communication, journalism, or English.
Develop your Computer Skills for this Job
All proofreaders should know how the technical side of their job to be skilled enough to edit material without any aid. However, computer programs make this part of the job easier to accomplish. There are plenty of programs and online software that will help with the editing process. Having computer skills is also important for collaboration projects. Video sharing sites can also help proofreaders to check their material against other sources and proofreaders. Grammarly, Drop Box, and Zoom are essential programs for proofreaders. Having a good PC, laptop, and tablet is important for this line of work.
Enroll in a Proofreading Course
A proofreader that continues to learn will grow in this business. Even though you might have received training for being a proofreader, that doesn’t mean you don’t need more education. You can (and should) sign up for a proofreading class. This course can teach you the latest trends, tips, and tricks to help improve your job. A full-time proofreader by the name of Caitlin Pyle came up with the General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course. This is just an example of how a proofreading course (or class) can improve a proofreader’s skill and job knowledge.
Know all of the Different Writing Styles
There are many different types of professional writing styles and many clients use at least one of them for their work. Proofreading requires that you know these different styles. These styles include (but are not limited to) Oxford Guide to Style, The Telegraph Style Guide, Copy-Editing: The Cambridge Handbook for Editors, Authors and Publishers, and the AP Stylebook. Knowing these styles will help you to be proficient and employable with this job.
Develop a Focus or Niche for your Proofreading Work
Once you develop a focus on a niche for our proofreading skills, you can specialize within a certain area of this field. You could focus in areas such as blog posts, student essays, medical transcriptions, or self-published novels. Having a niche focus will improve your skills in one area and help you to become a better proofreader.
Practice will Improve your Proofreading Skills
Practice is an important part of the proofreading profession. The more you do it, the better you will get. Practice your proofreading skills as often as you can. When you do, you will start to see an improvement over time.
Figure Out if you will work for a Company or as a Freelance Employee
You can perform this type of work for a company and as a freelancer. A freelancer will probably make more money, but an employee will definitely have work. Also, freelancers must work harder to gain clients and to build their reputation within this line of work. Freelancers take more risks with this line of work but their payoff will probably be more rewarding and fulfilling.
You Should use Flexjobs to Find Proofreading Work
You should use Flexjobs to find proofreading work. This site posts vetted proofreading positions for clients.
Market your Services to Online Business Owners
You should also market your services to online business and website owners. People can use the services of a good proofreader to make their site more compelling.
Create a Website and a Resume to Highlight your Services
When you offer your services to potential clients, make sure you have created a website that showcases your skills. Make sure you show off your skills and services to clients so they can see what you’re about. Highlight your work history and important projects you worked on. You should also list your education training (if applicable) for this line of work. Finally, make sure that you have the ability to complete projects on time. Remember, proofreading can be a time-consuming job because of the nature of the work. The life of an online proofreader can be rewarding for people who enjoy this line of work.