Here’s How to Get Started with an Editing and Proofreading Business
If you’re considering setting up editing and proofreading services, here are the top tips you need to be aware of before you set out as an English editor. Firstly, know the differences between proofreading and editing, as they are not exactly the same.
You surely need a strong grasp of the English language to begin with in proofreading services. You will also need a keen eye for details and spotting errors.
Editing business involves knowledge of different styles of writing, specializing in a specific subject area, reviewing and making changes to the text to enhance the flow and quality.
On the other hand, proofreading or copyediting is the final stage of correction. It involves going through the text, checking out grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors, typos, incorrect language etc.
Proof reading focuses on superficial errors, whereas editing takes a deeper look to make the article more organized and easy to understand.
(Source – ozessay.com.au)
Starting an Editing and Proofreading Business
It makes sense to start proofreading services:
- There’s no special certification or training required, though you must be familiar with different styles of writing for English proofreading.
- You don’t need a dedicated office, as you can work right from the comfort of your home.
- Wide range of clients available for English editing businesses.
- Startup costs are quite low for proofreading online businesses.
Target Clients for proofreading and Editing
There is generally an increase in the demand for proofreading and online editing services today. Your clients could be from different walks of life. The Internet has a staggering number of websites and that’s a lot of copies that needs to be proofread before they go live.
- Business websites that need freelance copy editing work
- Academic Papers/Essay Proofreader or Essay Editor/Dissertation editing
- Online blogs
- Novels/Book Editor
- Case briefs/ memorandums/legal documents
- Lease agreements, press releases
- Ecommerce sites if you have a marketing background
- Editing proofreading Transcripts, eBooks, contracts
- Your potential clients could be editors, publishers, business corporations, legal organizations, website owners, high school or college students, ad agencies amongst others.
License Requirements for Professional Proofreading Services
- If starting your own business, apply for the necessary license according to your state regulations for small businesses.
- Check with the local county office regarding permits/licenses
Honing Your Skills for Editing and Proofreading
If you’re naturally gifted with excellent language and grammatical skills, well and good! If not, you need to hone them. How to get started in proofreading?
- Take a language grammar course for starting writing services
- Read widely
- Learn practical skills/techniques by attending free online editing or proofreading skills courses
- Complete a specific certificate program for a particular editing field. For instance, you can acquire technical editing skills in some universities
- Develop skills of patience, precision and the eye of a hawk
- Become familiar with a few style guides to begin with
- Get digital skills. For instance, hyperlinking. Know your way around Microsoft Word thoroughly
- Start connecting with colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Start by reading college essays, term papers and resumes of friends
- Volunteer as editor for non-profit organizations in your specific niche or area of interest. You can then ask them to endorse your skills and include it in your website/resume
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Getting Experience in English Editing
- You can opt for joining a company that hires proofreaders/editors and work as a contractor
- Apply for entry level proofreading jobs online. Join sites like Upwork, or other freelance market places that offer a platform for clients to meet freelancers. However, you have to give a cut of your earnings to the site if you opt for this instead of starting an editing business of your own
Support and Networking for Editing Services
- How to start an editing and proofreading business? Create your portfolio for showcasing your work
- Apply for editorial jobs in a smaller publication house or a website
- Join membership organizations and associations for freelancers to get business tips and for networking
- Start a blog to display your proofreading/editing capabilities. Showcase your work with the permission of clients. Mention your niche, areas of interest, your proficiency and so on. For example, if you have a background in advertising, you can seek assignments from advertising agencies
- Connect with public relations companies, graphic designers or even printers in order that they can refer clients for you
- Attend conferences in your area of interest, such as technology or fiction and converse with people and build relationships. Connect with companies needing freelancers and send them your resume.
Picking Your Niche as a Professional Editor
I can do any type of proof reading – this attitude is not going to get you anywhere. Picking a niche helps you appear as an expert in your field. You can also charge more for such niche or expert services after checking out the average proofreading rates.
Of course, you might even have to take up specific tests in certain niches to satisfy clients before they assign work to you. So go find your niche!!!
Tip: You can later expand to other niches but start by sticking to any one.
The startup expenses for a proofreading and editing business are rather low. You could begin your work from your home or with your notebook in a nearby coffee house or library.
You will need a computer, a Wi-Fi access, Microsoft Office or some equivalent software. That’s it. You’re good to go!
If you are good at spelling, grammar, punctuation and so on, a proof reading business could be ideal for you.
You could proof read corporate annual reports, pamphlets, press releases, marketing material, student theses and so much more.
Most journals reject an article because of the poor language. There is a big market out there for correcting language errors, so why not cash on it?
- Find your niche to get more referrals, more profits and repeat clients in that specific industry
- Find mentors in your niche and keep learning
- Market yourself. No point in sitting around waiting for work to come to you.
- Strive for excellence.
Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to rocking an amazing freelancing life in Bali.