How to Start a Proofreading Business as a Side Hustle

Last Updated on September 25, 2022 by HR Editorial Team


You’ve always had a knack for catching errors in other people’s work, but you’ve been reluctant to charge money for your proofreading services. Well, now is the time to put your skills to work and start a proofreading business! In this guide, we’ll provide tips on how to get started as a proofreader and what steps you need to take before launching your new venture. If you’re ready to turn your passion into profit, read on!

Who is Suitable to Start a Proofreading Business?

If you love reading and want to help others, proofreading is an excellent field. Proofreaders are often asked to review a writer’s work and make corrections. While this might seem simple, it requires technical skills and the ability to understand what the writer is trying to say.

You will often be required to communicate with the writer about their work and how they can improve it. Therefore, you need good communication skills so both parties can feel comfortable asking questions or giving suggestions while working together.

Finally, being a proofreader also means being flexible—after all, your job is only as good as your last project! Therefore, you must constantly learn new things for yourself (and others) to stay relevant and grow professionally!

How to Practice your proofreading skills?

Proofreading is a specialized skill, so the best way to learn it is by practicing the act of proofreading. Use your time in college or at work to read everything you can get your hands on (textbooks, newspapers, websites, etc.).

  • Use a thesaurus when you’re reading, and take note of similar words with different meanings.
  • Read as much as possible! The more practice you get, the better. If there’s someone who can proofread for you in exchange for something else—like money—that’s even better! Even if you don’t have them sit down with a piece of paper and ask them to mark up all their corrections on one document from start to finish (which is what editors do), just having someone else look over your work will help immensely. For example: If I’m writing an article about how my friend got into Harvard University and want him/her to edit it before submitting it somewhere else online; I could e-mail him/her my draft text first then he/she could send it back his/her version which contains only grammatical errors or spelling mistakes marked off in red ink or pencil lines drawn over certain parts using green pen…etcetera!

Learn the rules of grammar, punctuation, and style.

  • Learn the rules of grammar, punctuation, and style.
  • Know the difference between grammar, punctuation, and style.
  • Practice your proofreading skills.
  • Take a copy editing test.
  • Study any guidelines your clients will expect you to follow.

Take and pass a copy editing test.

Copy editing is a skill that can be learned. You don’t have to be a copy editor or journalist to understand it, but it certainly helps if you have a background in these fields.

There are several ways to take and pass a copy editing test. You can find them online, such as this one from Grammarly, which includes grammar and spelling questions:

Alternatively, you can pay for an online test at organizations like CopyeditingPro, which has tests ranging from $100-$500 (

Learn the difference between proofreading and copy editing.

It’s essential to understand the difference between proofreading and copy editing.

If you’re new to this business, it’s easy to confuse the two terms. The main difference is that proofreading focuses on spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, while copy editing also involves style and content changes. To put it simply: if a sentence makes no sense grammatically or stylistically (but there are no obvious spelling mistakes), then it needs to be edited—not just proofread over again!

The other main distinction between these two services is that they are time-consuming. However, proofreading takes much less time than copy editing because all you need to do is look for typos; you don’t have to rephrase any sentences or change word choices very often for everything to make sense grammatically or stylistically.

Study any guidelines your clients will expect you to follow

When starting a proofreading business, it’s important to know the typical guidelines for your clients. For example, if you’re working for a law firm or government agency, your work will be held to a higher standard than proofreading for an online magazine or blog. Additionally, each type of publication has its own specific rules and regulations regarding grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

To determine which documents are the best fit for your business, consider asking potential customers what kinds of documents they need to proofread. Also, look at any samples of their work they may provide—this will help give you an idea of what kind of standards they expect in terms of quality control over their published materials.

Deciding on a Proofreading Niche for your Business

Having a niche can also make things much easier for yourself once your business gets off the ground; having a niche allows people who are looking for proofreaders specifically within their industry (or even at all) to know exactly where they can find someone like them, so they don’t have to go through hours of searching different websites trying every possible variation until finally stumbling upon someone who specializes in what they need to be done!

Decide what proofreading and language services you’ll offer.

You should also decide what services you’ll offer. If you’re starting a proofreading business to make money, it’s important that your customers are satisfied with the work you do for them. To ensure this, ensure they know exactly what they’re paying for and how much each service costs before committing. This will help them feel confident in their decision to hire you and keep returning when they need more work done!

It’s also important that customers know how often they can expect to receive their services from you (for example: once per week) and how much each job will take (for example, three hours). Of course, pricing varies depending on these factors, so think about all of these things when deciding on pricing for different types of jobs!

Marketing your Proofreading Business – Find clients and Network.

To find clients, you can:

  • Ask friends and family to tell others about your services.
  • Post on social media. You can start with Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to reach a broader audience and get feedback from current customers.
  • Advertise in local newspapers or online. Be sure to include your contact information so people can get in touch with you for more information about the service you provide and what it entails (e.g., proofreading content for websites and blogs).
  • Networking is essential to starting any business, but it’s essential when starting a proofreading business. The more people you meet working in your field or have experience doing what you want to do, the more likely it is that they’ll be able to help you out and give advice on how best to proceed with your career path.

Develop a business plan

Before starting your proofreading business, developing a business plan is essential. A business plan is an important tool that can help you get started on the right track and keep you moving in the right direction. It will give you a clear idea of what needs to be done to successfully establish and grow your new business.

A good business plan should include:

  • A description of the product or service being offered
  • Identification of target markets for this product or service
  • Marketing strategies for reaching those customers, including pricing and distribution plans
  • Financial information (including profit forecasts)

Qualifications and experience as a proofreader.

Even if you’ve never worked as a proofreader, you can start your own business in this field. Starting small is the best way to get started and test your skills before taking on larger projects. Offer your services to friends and family first, or do something like proofreading an old manuscript they want to self-publish. You’ll learn how to do the work while getting a feel for whether or not proofreading is right for you.

The other great thing about starting small is that it allows you to learn what type of business works best for you (and what doesn’t). Then, once you’ve done smaller projects like this one, move on to bigger things like magazine articles or books!

Suppose you have no formal qualifications or experience as a proofreader. Many people work full-time as proofreaders without any education or experience at all. Proofreading is an area where it’s possible to make good money without having any qualifications or experience—you can always learn the skills needed through on-the-job training and practice (which will also help when searching for work).

Pros of starting a proofreading business

The pros of starting a proofreading business are numerous and include:

  • You can work from home.
  • You can work at your own pace.
  • You will be doing something you love, which means this job will likely be more enjoyable than other jobs (like working in an office).
  • You will be your boss, so if you ever want to take time off or hire help, it’s all up to you!
  • The income potential is high—you could make money doing what you love!

You can work from anywhere. This is a huge benefit to starting your own business. You don’t have to be tied to an office; you can work from home or wherever you want as long as there’s internet access. You can travel and take your laptop with you, and place yourself in front of a computer at coffee shops, cafes, restaurants—anywhere!

It also means that if your child gets sick or needs something at school during the day, it’s not an issue because there’s no commute time required by anyone in the household (including pets!).

Cons of starting a proofreading business

The downside to starting a proofreading business is finding full-time clients at first can be challenging. While you might hope that clients will come knocking on your door, it’s more likely that they’ll have to be wooed and won over. That requires time and effort, which can be tricky when you’re still getting set up.

Of course, there are other downsides as well: keeping track of your finances can be tricky (especially if you don’t have any money coming in yet), figuring out how best to market yourself can take some experimentation, and there may be periods where nothing works—and those periods tend to stress people out!

Start your proofreading business as a side Hustle

There are many benefits to starting a proofreading business from home. First, you can continue to work at your day job while launching your proofreading business. You can also work at your own pace and when you have time. Finally, taking on as many clients as you wish is possible without having the stress of working full-time hours in an office environment.

You can also work from anywhere in the world with access to the internet, meaning that there is no need for costly office space or equipment! You could even start writing articles on topics that interest you for extra income if needed (while still doing the day job).

Give yourself and your business sometime to take off

It’s important to remember that most businesses go through periods where they don’t have much work coming in. The key is to be patient and wait for the work to come back. In the meantime, you can start marketing yourself by doing some research on your competitors and finding ways to stand out from them. If there are no other proofreading companies in your area or industry, consider expanding outside your region or even country until you find a place where there is enough competition to compete with them effectively.

If these options do not seem feasible for you at this point, consider other ways of making money while waiting for the business side of things to pick up again: contract work (such as writing blog posts), freelance writing jobs (like copywriting), tutoring students who need help with their homework—whatever it takes!

It’s worth it to start your own proofreading business!

Proofreading can be a great business. It’s a good way to make money and work from home, especially if you have time constraints or need flexibility in your schedule. In addition, you can learn a lot about self-employment by starting your own proofreading business!

It’s not easy to find full-time work, but it’s worth it if you can find something at least part-time. Even if you don’t get hired for an interview, there are other ways that people look for employees: job fairs and networking events are just two examples of places where employers might post job openings (and, therefore, where you could apply).


We hope you enjoyed this article and feel inspired to start your own proofreading business. You’ll need to be very familiar with English grammar, spelling, and punctuation conventions before you can begin offering proofreading services for money. It’s also vital that you know what services will be expected by clients who hire you so that they don’t end up disappointed when they get their work back!