Digital Nomad Jobs – Proofreader
How to become a proofreader.
If you enjoy reading, the correct use of the English language and telling people when they are wrong why not try proofreading? A proofreader is someone who reads, checks and corrects written text before it is published or printed. In order to become a successful proofreader there are several skills you must posses with the main being the ability to read! More specifically you need to love reading and maintain a strong interest and attention to detail whilst doing it. You won’t get very far if you resort to skim reading and miss the mistakes you’ve been hired to fix. This job requires a strong knowledge of spelling and grammar so if you have these and can concentrate for long periods of time, this could be the ideal role for you.
Proofreaders have many tasks not just limited to finding spelling mistakes. Based on your experience and skill level you may be responsible for checking things such as page numbering, diagram and text positioning, correct contents listing, accessibility and that paragraphs are spaced and placed correctly, no run on words etc. Exciting stuff eh? As you are going to be a digital nomad proofreader it is essential that you have the necessary computer skills required in this role, basically this will be knowledge of word programs but also may involve specialist proofreading software. This will differ depending on the client you are working for so you may have to be willing to learn new software as you go.
Self motivation is key in this role, the work can be long and not particularly interesting to you but you need to get over that and still deliver high quality work for your clients. On the flip side to this, you may be working on something you find incredibly interesting or a subject you’ve had no prior interest in that you fall in love with. It seems to me that an advantage of proofreading is that everyday you may be working on something new, sounds quite exciting that way.
This is a solitary role so you are going to need to be comfortable with your own company and enjoy it! A methodical approach to work can be a massive advantage here as is the ability to work to strict deadlines, it may be a case of the faster you can turn the work around the more you will earn. So get your head down and read. The harder you work, the more you make.
As with all of these job profiles, self promotion is key, don’t be afraid to advertise your skills, create a website to show yourself off. You will need to build up a portfolio of work to impress clients, this can be difficult to do but consider volunteering your services to non-profit organisations or start-up businesses in exchange for recommendations and referrals. You need to eat, I get that, but you also need to get experience, it’s a fine line, don’t do everything for free, just enough to show you know what you are doing. Constantly practice, read everything with a critical eye, you might annoy people with your constant correcting of their work but you’ll soon get the hang of reading things with your work eyes.
If you are going to use upwork or other freelance sites in the hunt for clients be sure to complete as many of the tests available as possible. Never be afraid to show off what you can do, people are more likely to hire you if you and your scores stand out from the crowd.
For a more in-depth look at proofreading take a look at the Society for Editors and Proofreaders website.
None. Well, probably none. There are no set entry requirements needed however it is becoming common that new starters do have a degree of some kind. Relevant degrees for his role would include, English (obviously), publishing and media/digital media. If you have a specific degree and skill set that can be transferred across consider looking for work in that field, medical textbooks for instance.
There are courses available on-line however opinion is divided as to whether these are worth while or not. There are literally hundreds to choose from and if you decide to take one best of luck to you, personally I wouldn’t but should you feel the need, try not to spend too much! If you would like to take a closer look at proofreading and don’t mind laying out some money have a look at this book, it seems to be a comprehensive course that comes at a fraction of the cost of other courses out there. http://www.proofreading-course.com/
Other courses are available at http://www.train4publishing.co.uk/
Not a lot needed in the hardware department here, just a pc/laptop with a decent internet connection. Different clients may require you to use different software but that will be on a job to job basis.
Where to find work on-line?
The following sites offer opportunities for the freelance digital nomad proofreader:
As well as going to these sites consider going direct to websites offering your services. Look for text content heavy sites and go straight to the webmaster offering your services.
How much to charge?
On-line proofreading is a competitive profession, you can earn enough to live on but you probably won’t be flying first class around the world. If you are looking for work on freelance sites research the competition, how much they charge and how experienced they are. You will be able to compare your own skills to theirs and hopefully decide on a good rate to charge.
The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK) suggest an hourly rate of around £20 an hour but this is relevant to experience. That sounds very, very ambitious to me to be honest. Given the huge amount of competition out there you would be very lucky to find someone online willing to pay you that much but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.
How well does it suit the Digital Nomad lifestyle?
Proofreading, whilst difficult to get into, can ultimately be an ideal career for the digital nomad. As you are able to work from anywhere in the world the only real constraint on you earning potential (not including your skill level!) is your time and effort. Take in the world whilst maybe learning something new everyday, sounds great.
Feel free to proofread this and tell me where I have messed up.
Ps. Any mistakes made are intentional, made to help you practice. Honest….