Let's stay in touch!

Close Search

Proofreader Business Idea

If your wondering how to become a proofreader, but this sentence bothers you all ready, this may be the write field for you!

Proofreaders read material and check it for mechanical, structural and grammatical errors.

Many times, proofreaders will find errors that a computer’s spell check will miss.

Did you catch the three errors in the first sentence that spell check didn’t? (Hint: “your” should be “you are”, “all ready” should be “already” and “write” should be “right.”)

Establishing proofreading as a legitimate home business can give you flexibility, a steady income, and access to as much reading material as you desire.

How to Become a Proofreader

Proofreaders by nature have a love of words and a keen eye for noticing mistakes. Still, more preparation is needed before seeking proofreading employment. As a proofreader, you will need to have a solid understanding of grammar and sentence mechanics.

It helps tremendously to be a native of the language you are proofreading. In addition, you’ll need to be well versed in proofreading methods and symbols.

If you’re interested in learning how to become a proofreader, consider taking a class at a local college or online. and are two organizations that offer proofreading classes.

In the meantime, proofread everything you can—books, newspapers, websites—to train yourself to spot errors. Read stylebooks for a refresher on language usage.

What You Will Need To Become a Proofreader

Once you are ready to open your business, you’ll need a computer with high speed Internet (and spell check!), e-mail and a printer, a fax machine, and a phone.

In addition, you’ll need to set up a reference library with essentials including a dictionary, thesaurus and style books (The Chicago Manual of Style, New York Times Manual of Style, AP Stylebook are the major ones).You may also need specialized reference books such as a dictionary of medical or financial terms.

How to Market Your Business

As a proofreader, you can build your business locally, or online, or both. If you’re new to proofreading, the first step is to get experience. One way to do this is to volunteer to proofread documents for an organization or business. Often, that second pair of eyes are welcomed. You might also see if you can assist an editor of a local publication.

If you come across a brochure or magazine with errors, contact the writer/editor and delicately offer your services. You may be just the person they’re (not their!) looking for.

For online work, you may consider an online job site, such as Some companies may ask you to take a test to check your proofreading ability.

Growing Your Business

As you gain experience, you may want to specialize in a specific type of proofreading, such as legal or financial. This usually requires a little more training on technical terms, but the financial rewards may be worth it.

Another option to consider is to begin copyediting along with proofreading. While a proofreader looks specifically for mistakes, a copyeditor also looks for issues such as appropriateness of language and cohesiveness of the layout.

In all of your work, your attention to detail, knowledge of language and quick turnaround time will help you build a good reputation.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment