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Is Proofreading A Real Job? Caitlyn Pyles Work From Home Interview
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you guys about how to work from home as a proofreader. So, today I sat down with my mommy friend, Caitlyn Pyles who is a professional proofreader. She has turned her love for finding errors into a six-figure business. She also teaches others how to work from home as a proofreader. Keep reading to see if this will be a great fit for you. Caitlyn Pyles work from home interview
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey?
My passion for general proofreading started when I studied abroad in Germany for a year in college and would help students proofread their college essays. I loved using my eagle eyes to catch errors and help others turn their writing into masterpieces. Because I am so passionate about proofreading, I started Proofread Anywhere as a blog back in 2014, and it’s exploded since then.
DO YOU HAVE A DEGREE OR SPECIAL TRAINING IN PROOFREADING?
I do not have a special proofreading degree. I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida in December of 2009 with a degree in Interpersonal and Organizational Communication, and I have a minor in German.
In 2007, I took two semesters off from my degree program to live abroad in Germany where I took German-English translation classes and traveled to 13 different countries. This is where I got my start as a proofreader working remotely. I proofread college papers for German students and got paid online. I think this experience was also when I subconsciously made the resolution I wanted a flexible life. I wanted to work for myself.
WHO WOULD BE A GOOD FIT FOR PROOFREADING?
You need to have an eagle eye for error. This means errors tend to pop off the page at you as you’re reading. If you don’t have this already, I need to be upfront with you: it’s not something that can be cultivated.
Know your grammar and spelling. It doesn’t need to be perfect, because there are tools to help you quickly while doing the work, but if you have no clue about how to use apostrophes or create plurals, etc., it might not be a good fit for you.
ON AVERAGE, HOW MUCH MONEY CAN SOMEONE MAKE BEING A TRANSCRIPT PROOFREADER?
Let me start off by being 100% honest with you: You are not going to become a millionaire solely from proofreading. Proofreading is a great place to start and build your skills, but it is not going to enable you to buy a yacht or your own private island. (For the record, I haven’t bought these things either. But you get my point. :-))
Now, can you make decent money? You bet! But “decent” is going to be different for everyone. Some people might only need to make $200/month to help pay down some debt. Other people might want to make this their full-time career. The amount of time and effort you put into this, along with the quality of the service you provide your clients, is directly linked to the amount of money you can make. And that’s why it’s hard to put a definite number on how much you can make.
All that being said, I can give you a very, VERY general idea of what you can earn proofreading a book. This is from my good friend Chandler over at Self-Publishing School. For a nonfiction novel that’s anywhere from 15,000 – 35,000 words, a proofreader can earn between $100 – $500 for that project. Yes, that’s a bit of a range, but it gives you some idea as to what to expect for that particular type of project.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PROOFREADER LOOK LIKE?
A proofreader’s day can definitely vary depending on the projects she has in her queue. But typically, it would start with waking up in the morning, having breakfast, getting settled, and then taking time to work on her proofreading projects. She can take breaks as needed and attend to other obligations. After that, she’ll continue with her proofreading projects.
If her projects require a faster turnaround time, then she’ll have to plan accordingly. If not, she can be more flexible with her time.
Since proofreading provides so much flexibility, you’re not beholden to a strict schedule to get things done.
As long as you can meet your clients’ deadlines, everyone’s happy.
HOW DID YOU START TEACHING PEOPLE HOW TO BECOME A PROOFREADER?
When I was fired from my job, I started proofreading on the side, and I started making good money that led to a full-time income. Pretty soon more and more people started asking me to teach them. I created an eBook to teach people, and from that eBook came the creation of my first proofreading course Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™.
You offer a FREE Proofreading 7-Day Mini-Course, What will people learn in this course?
My free 7-day intro course provides a glimpse into the world of transcript proofreading. People will learn the real truth about how much money they can make as a transcript proofreader, how to tell if it’ll be a good fit, how to start marketing as a newbie, the critical mistakes new freelancers make, and so much more.
You also offer a FREE 45-minutes Proofreading workshop as well, what can people expect to learn?
My workshop provides a lot of great info about the world of general proofreading. People will learn to spot the five signs showing why proofreading could be a perfect fit for them, how proofreading can be their ticket to lifestyle freedom and financial security, and how to easily attract your ideal proofreading clients. I also dish about my favorite (and inexpensive) way to proofread documents. Sign up for the free workshop here!
What are some of the benefits of being a proofreader?
- Proofreading is remote. You can do it from anywhere.
- It’s inexpensive to get started. Compare the cost of this course to going back to school for an MBA, or even court reporting school (average of $25,000 to $57,000 for a two-year program).
- It’s flexible. As long as you manage your time to meet deadlines, you can work when it fits into your schedule. There’s also no need to request time off either since you’re your own boss.
What’s your best tip you will give to a new proofreader?
Focus on mastering the proofreading skill first. Don’t rush through mastering the proofreading basics just so you can start making money. Clients are smart and will be able to spot a proofreader who doesn’t know what he/she is doing.
With mastery comes confidence, and once you have that, you can do anything.