If you’re thinking about starting your own general proofreading business, you already know it can seem overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. But don’t let that stop you! If you have a natural gift for catching grammar errors and typos everywhere, you love reading, and you feel passionate about making the written word look perfect, you are already off to a great start to becoming a general proofreader.

Here are the three must-do steps to take to start your general proofreading business.  

1. Know how to proofread like a pro

Professional proofreading is more than just catching typos and grammar errors when you’re reading. It’s also knowing

  • Which resources to use when proofing, such as dictionaries, grammar manuals, and online references;
  • How to research accurately (so you know if a word is being used correctly, for example);
  • How to use a variety of proofreading software depending on what type of file your client wants you to proof in;
  • How to work with client preferences. Even if they like to fudge some grammar rules, the client’s writing style always comes first and you should know how to work with those preferences.

2️. Set up your proofreading business

No matter how good your proofreading skills are, you won’t be able to put them to good use without a rock-solid business! This means before you start advertising your services as a general proofreader, you should 

  • Set up your rates, turnaround time, and terms of service. This way you’re prepared when someone asks your rates and is ready to book with you.
  • Know how to create contracts and invoices. This way your client and you can sign a contract agreeing on your rates and then you can bill them when your work is done.
  • Keep your business organized. This way you can keep track of all your proofreading work, contracts, invoices, and emails so nothing gets lost, forgotten, or turned in late.

3️. Get clients

To some this is the most intimidating part – but it doesn’t have to be! You can learn awesome ways to market yourself and go get clients in a genuine, non-spammy way. You shouldn’t have to feel icky when you advertise your skills. You’re providing a valuable service to your clients and helping them feel confident and prepared before they publish their writing to the world! 

Bonus step: Get started!

I talk to a lot of people who dream about starting their own general proofreading business! They’re excellent at grammar and spelling and are always catching errors. But they never get started! You can have all the skills but until you put them to work inside your business, you’ll never start making money as a proofreader. 

So what are you waiting for? Time to start your general proofreading business

If would like help with knowing how to proofread, how to set up your business, and how to get clients, you’re in the perfect spot! I cover all three steps in detail inside The Ultimate Proofreading Bundle!

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Text: 3 Steps to Start Your General Proofreading Business, You can do this! Photo of desk with coffee cup and notebook and laptop.

Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth Wiegner is a work-from-home proofreader, business coach, and freedomprenuer who teaches other readers and typo fixers how to build a life of freedom as a proofreader. Her energy, love, and personalized support are second to none in the proofreading world.