Proofreading Copyediting Finding and correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors

Since you can proofread part time, a proofreading position can make for one of many popular weekend side jobs. You may also choose to proofread full time by getting a day job or freelancing for a number of clients.


Proofreading vs. copyediting

Proofreading and copyediting are similar, but they aren’t exactly the same thing. The primary difference between the two is that proofreading is often the final step in the editing process. And if proofreading isn’t the final step, it’s typically still after the copyediting step.


Proofreading Copyediting

Finding and correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting errors

Done after copyediting and before publishing

Often done by the author, editor, or a professional proofreader

Improving the overall quality and clarity of the text, checking for grammar, spelling, clarity, style, and structure

Done before proofreading as an in-depth check

Often done by a professional copy editor or an experienced editor

Here’s an example of how a publishing or marketing company may implement its editing process:


Structural and developmental editing: Fixing the overall structure and flow.

Line editing: Fixing the style and tone of a piece.

Copyediting: Fixing grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Proofreading: Fixing any final issues before publication.

Possible callout box: Note that this isn’t a formal structure you need to follow as a writer, copyeditor, or proofreader. Every stage may overlap with other stages.


How to make money proofreading

Proofreading is one way to learn how to make money as a side hustle or potentially as a career. You may start proofreading on a part-time basis, and it turns into a full-time venture. Let’s explore how to get started.


1. Have the right skills

There are several ways to acquire the skills necessary for proofreading. You don’t have to start as a fantastic writer or editor to become a proofreader. But you’ll need to learn some applicable skills to get more proofreading opportunities.


For example, you typically need to know how to make something easily readable, which requires good attention to detail. You should also have a solid grasp of grammar and punctuation and an ability to be objective. You can learn these general proofreading skills at certain jobs, in school, or on your own.


Keep in mind that some in-office and online proofreading jobs may require a bachelor’s degree. But many proofreading positions won’t require a more advanced degree, such as a graduate degree or master’s degree.

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