Inside: One neat thing about editing work from home is that you can go in a few different directions. Find out how to get what you want here!
Do you have a strong opinion of the Oxford comma? Does a preferred writing style (like MLA, Chicago, or AP?) send shivers down your spine as you spot grammatical errors? Are you a constant source for copy editing the work of your colleagues and friends?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be a royal.
Grammar is king/queen! If you find copy editing fun, a remote or freelance editing job can be a great way to earn extra income or even a full-time job.
Some companies traditionally hire on-board work-at-home editors as employees, while others hire contract workers for remote work to do online proofreading and editing. And when it comes to editing, you have a huge chance of doing well as a freelancer if you’re willing to put in the work.
What to Expect as a Work-at-Home Editor
Editing is a bit of a funny thing. Most people tend to see things in black and white, with grammar rules and style guidelines and a right vs. wrong mentality. The truth, however, is that editing is largely subjective.
The way you edit a term paper is going to be very different from the way you edit a textbook, which is also going to be very different from the way you edit a memoir or fiction.
Some basics don’t change no matter what you’re editing, but you should also be aware that the grammar rules you learned in 7th grade English class aren’t necessarily the final rules of all grammar… they’re just a set of rules. Different authors, publications and publishers follow different rules.
If you’ve ever written a paper for an English class and also a paper for a science class, you’ve probably had to learn both MLA and APA style—two different but equally “correct” types of grammar and punctuation. Neither is wrong, but they are different.
As a freelance copy editor, you have to be prepared to be accused of making mistakes that aren’t mistakes. Editing is, after all, subjective, and that means readers will come to the table with their own opinions about what’s right and what’s not. It is entirely possible that both views may be technically correct. In other words, sometimes it gets a little fuzzy.
The key to your success as a working editor in the workplace is knowing the grammar rules (called in-house style guides) specific to the organization or person hiring you. If you’re working with someone who doesn’t have a preferred style guide, you need to be prepared with your own.
Editing vs. Proofreading
Although “editing” and “proofreading” are often used interchangeably, they are two different things. Arguably, online editing tasks should be further broken down, based on the type of editing being done, such as developmental editing.
In short, an editor is someone who works on a manuscript (or draft) and corrects things like word choice and punctuation, as well as recommends revisions and changes. (Click here for this Editing tips And strategy for Freelance copy editor.)
A freelance proofreader, on the other hand, acts as the “last eye” on any draft. It is the proofreader’s job to catch any errors, from page numbers to missing punctuation. In a proofreading task, you don’t suggest improving the text in any way – you just type. (If you want to learn more specifically about proofreading work, my friend Caitlin Pyle has a great proofreading workshop for you here!)
As you start scanning for work from home editing jobs, keep the difference in mind and keep in mind the type of work you want to do, whether it’s just one or both. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to use “editing” in this post, but these tips can apply to both editing and proofreading.
Find work editing jobs from home
If your goal is to work with a company that will send you editing jobs, you have plenty of options for remote editing jobs. Many times traditional publishers turn to in-house editors to work on their manuscripts.
Academic journals (i.e. research publications) also employ in-house editors, although they often require their editors to have specific training with a specific style guide (usually MLA or APA) and/or a master’s degree in some subject related to the journal’s topic.
Not all editing jobs require that level of education though! The following companies are known to hire editors at home, and not all of them require special education
Book in a Box is now Scribe Media. This is a ghostwriting company hiring freelancers to work from home. “Scribe” doesn’t just help with editing; They help co-write client books. Currently, the site offers a salary range of $60 to $70 per hour.
Domainite is looking for freelance editors and writers. The Freelance editor The position requires editing various types of text, mostly articles and blog posts. To apply, all you need to do is send some sample work!
If you enjoy editing and have a science background (or Ph.D.), Editor’s World may be the perfect work from home job for you! You don’t have to bid for jobs with this company or pitch to clients, and you get paid right away for your services.
Polished Paper is a new company that has developed a great reputation. It doesn’t require a specific level of education, so it’s a great option for those looking to get their foot in the door. The company requires you to fill out a profile, attach your resume, and complete a 35-question editing test to get started.
If you’re willing to work with proofreading pals, you can earn anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per month! This position requires a bachelor’s degree with five years of proofreading and editing experience.
Proofreading Services is a great company if you’re looking for a flexible part-time or full-time remote editing job. It offers competitive pay rates ranging from $19 to $46 per hour depending on the urgency of the online editing job. Jump into quick turnaround jobs to make the most of your time and earn a hefty paycheck!
Scribendi prefers applicants to have a university degree and professional experience. As a freelance editor, you can choose your favorite assignments and complete your work Schedule lets the company tell you up front how much an assignment will cost. No bidding or pitching! It does not rent in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, or Wyoming.
You can find great editing job leads on sites like Flexjobs. i love Flexjobs Because it brings such great job opportunities at your fingertips and many of them are for remote work.
Get a freelance copy editing job
If you’re the type who prefers to find your clients instead of editing work from home (and typically rates at a much higher hourly rate), you may want to consider moving into freelance copy editing.
Many freelancing principles that apply to other freelance jobs also apply to copy editing, including clarifying who your ideal client is, what you can offer, and how to price your services. My favorite place for information about the business and practice of being a freelance editor Editorial Freelancer Association website.
Join an association
If you want to dig deeper into your new editing gig, consider joining the Editorial Freelancer Association. When you join, you can add your name to its freelance directory, join its powerful email list, where you can meet colleagues from across the US and the world, learn more about the business of being a freelance editor, get valuable online training And (this is a great perk) get access to its job board, which often sends job leads.
Get the certificate
Getting certified isn’t the only way to become a freelance editor, though. You can set up a website for yourself and start marketing yourself as one. Tap into your usual network and let people know you’re a copy editor for hire! You never know who will come out of the woodwork.
If you want to get some experience under your belt, you can sometimes find paid editing gigs on sites like Upwork, although I’d recommend you avoid the “race to the bottom” and just get freelance editing work, you need a portfolio. create You may be able to find clients who are willing to pay decent rates on those sites, so it’s worth a shot at the start to see if you can get some traction there.
One last tip for at-home editors
If you want to be a home editor, here’s a tidbit I can’t recommend enough: Join the copyediting list survey here. It’s called CEL for short, and it’s going to be a goldmine of support, information, job leads, and more. Many at-home copy editors don’t know about this list, but if you subscribe and start learning from those who are already in the field, you’ll be able to get a jump on your competition.
Want to explore more options? Check out these online proofreading tasks. And don’t forget Caitlin’s free proofreading webinar.