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proofreading and copyediting legitimate work from home job

Is Copyediting a Legitimate Work-from-Home Job?

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Have you been looking for a way to earn money from home? Are you overwhelmed by how many options there are available? Does it feel like there are only complicated options available to get started working from home? 

We hear you.

Many of the common methods to work from home feel spammy or actually end up harder than you think. Getting traffic to a new blog isn’t as easy as it looks and filling out surveys for pennies doesn’t get you far.

Fortunately, copyediting is legitimate work-from-home job that gives people an opportunity to learn a new skill set (or two!) and generate their own income. It’s a flexible career that can be location independent. Not only that, but it’s a great skill that’s needed in almost every aspect of life since digital content is constantly being churned out by companies, blogs, and authors.

Let’s take a look at what legitimate work-from-home jobs are like for people interested in being a copyeditor.

What are legitimate work-from-home jobs like as a copyeditor?

Copyediting is the art of knowing how to make sure a document of any kind is free of grammatical errors. It’s the critical step that helps to ensure readers have a smooth experience without being confused by incorrect words, verb tenses, or even inconsistent details.

Clients provide copyeditors with a manuscript, article, essay, or any other document that has not been edited for grammar yet. The copyeditor will follow an industry-standard style guide and any house rules to make sure all grammar and punctuation is corrected. They may even work on fact checking details or checking SEO information. Once they finish checking the document, payment is made for the work completed.

The great thing about copyediting is that you can choose your favorite genre to work in. If you love fantasy or historical fiction, then you can work with clients in those favorite niches. If you’re well-versed in technology or medicine, there’s a huge need for expert copyeditors in those fields as well.

As long as you have an internet connection at regular intervals to communicate with clients, you can copyedit anywhere: your bed, your couch, the park, the hotel lobby, a secluded alpine lake, or even the beach. There is no shortage of potential clients who could come from anywhere in the world. That means it’s just as easy for you to work from home or copyedit anywhere!

Who can be a work-at-home copyeditor?

Anyone who has a native or fluent understanding of English can become a copyeditor or proofreader. You don’t need to have a degree in English, though it can be helpful. Most importantly, a copyeditor needs to be trained how to review documents by following industry-standard style guides to ensure high-quality editing happens with consistency.

Many proofreaders and copyeditors have a knack for finding small errors in everyday life, and if you don’t already have that, you will by the time you’re trained to be a copyeditor! Copyeditors are naturally detail-oriented since they are searching for even the smallest of inconsistencies. Readers don’t want to be confused about where an important event occurs if the author mistakenly wrote it as two places. Professional copyeditors make sure all the details remain consistent throughout the book.

It takes dedication and a desire for excellence to be a great copyeditor. Best of all, there’s no age limit to being a copyeditor. You can become a copyeditor and find legitimate work-from-home jobs online whether you’re a millennial, a stay-at-home mom, or a retired empty nester!

legitimate work-from-home job

Is being a professional proofreader better than being a copyeditor?

Not necessarily. Since proofreading is a lower level of editing, you’ll find there is a lot of competition and the pay is lower. Having said that, there are plenty of people who earn part- or full-time income as proofreaders. But many of them have actually branched out into other areas of editing like copyediting to supplement their income.

Copyediting is the next highest editing skill, and it’s the most important skill of all. Copyeditors make sure that the document is completely grammatically correct by using advanced grammar editing skills to ensure syntax is corrected and the document is factual and consistent.

Most importantly, copyediting is a higher skill set, which means you earn more when you take on copyediting jobs. It’s what sets you apart from the proofreading competition. Legitimate work-from-home jobs are even more plentiful when you add copyediting to your resume.

A great way to set yourself apart from the competition is to offer both proofreading and copyediting skills. This puts you in a better position when you come across a manuscript that needs more help than just proofreading can provide. With two skill sets, you can make money copyediting and proofreading for more clients.

This is especially helpful since many jobs ask for a proofreader without understanding that they need a copyeditor first. In addition, a proofreader isn’t qualified to apply for jobs listed as “Content Editor,” “Copyeditor,” or “Editor Needed.” But with the addition of copyediting skills, you’re in a much better position to apply for more jobs.

How many legitimate work-from-home copyediting and proofreading jobs are there?

So many. Why? Consider these questions.

  • How many companies send you emails each week?
  • How many of them have blogs?
  • How many books have you read?
  • How many more books do you never have time to read?
  • How many students write dissertations each year?
  • How many writing groups exist under the radar?

Now take those answers and multiply it by. . .ten. Or twenty. That’s just a fraction of how many people need legitimate proofreaders and copyeditors. 

The written word has never been in higher demand than now. Companies seek qualified proofreaders and copyeditors who can make sure their emails and articles are polished before they’re published. And self-publishing authors seem to be around every corner.

Not only that, but the world is literally at your fingertips now. You can help a client in any country at the click of a button. There are endless, legitimate, work-from-home jobs online for truly qualified proofreaders and copyeditors.

How do I find legitimate copyediting jobs online?

First, make sure that you’re qualified to be a copyeditor. There are industry standards and style guides you need to follow to make sure you’re copyediting correctly. For instance, you need to know how to treat numbers, em dashes, quotes, parallelism problems, and sometimes references. 

Getting certified as a professional copyeditor is the best way to make sure you’re qualified for work-from-home proofreading jobs. Most companies do not require it, but it sets you apart from others who are less qualified. It also demonstrates that you have knowledge about industry-standard practices and style guides that companies and publishers prefer to follow. They’re counting on you to be able to produce polished copy, so proving your qualifications is helpful.

Once you’re certified, there are several freelance platforms where you can search for jobs, as well as traditional job boards like Indeed and Monster. Many jobs also come through word-of-mouth networking as well.

If you’re interested in getting certified, sign up for the Editing Made Easy master course. It includes several lessons about how to launch your freelance proofreading and copyediting business—including how to land your first client.

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