January 2020 Update: I no longer proofread transcripts anymore since my business focus has changed, and it’s taken me on a new path, but I still firmly believe in proofreading for profit and believe it to be an excellent way to make extra income from home. The following post was originally published in July 2017.
Do you get annoyed by the sheer amount of words misspelled on the Internet? Some people just can’t tell the difference between “you’re” and “your.” If you’ve got an eye for spotting errors, you can use this skill to make money! Continue reading to find out how I became a freelance proofreader and how much I make.
This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure.
Hardships in 2016
My husband and I welcomed baby #3 in 2016, and despite loving this little bundle of joy with all our heart, we did not love the extra expenses: steep medical bills, baby gear, breastfeeding supplies, and more. We were diving into our savings to cover these costs.
Getting a part-time job away from by children and baby Brady was out of the question. I already had a regular job that took up a lot of time, so I could not imagine even more time away from my family.
I was already an overworked, exhausted mom; a regular part-time job did not sound appealing at all. I looked into an at-home customer service job, but all those restrictions and requirements were as bad as a regular job. I knew that secluding myself in a room free from noise for hours would not bode well for my children.
A Better Option
My husband introduced me to a website called Proofread Anywhere with the course Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™. This course teaches students to proofread transcripts for court reporters and thus start their own proofreading business.
I agonized for weeks on whether to enroll in the course. My husband will tell you that I am the most indecisive person when it comes to buying anything. He hates shopping with me because the simplest purchase will take me forever to decide. I often have buyer’s remorse, and this course was not in our budget — don’t get me wrong — it’s completely worth it but at the time, shelling out nearly $1000 for the course had me questioning my sanity. (Currently the course is broken up into four parts so you can get started for as little as $77).
I read everything on the website: FAQs, success stories, blog posts; you name it. If it was on the website, I devoured it. I read those success stories over and over again. I started to feel like if they could do it… I could too.
If you’re interested in proofreading, but not transcripts, Proofread Anywhere has an amazing General Proofreading course that’s less expensive overall!
Making the Leap
On April 12, 2016, I enrolled in the course, and four months later, after very rigorous coursework, I graduated.
After graduating, Maia Xiong Proofreading was born.
I marketed and gained regular work with six clients. I do 90% of the work on my iPad mini. Internet access is only required for receiving and sending the work (and minimal research). Because I literally can proofread from anywhere, I can do the work in between nap time and after the kids go to sleep at night. I’m a night owl anyway. There have been times where I’ve stayed up later than I’d like just to meet a deadline.
Nevertheless, I LOVE it! Now that I’m busy with other opportunities, I have scaled down proofreading and only work exclusively with two AMAZING clients, going on a few months now! They’re the hardest-working court reporters I know, and I love being able to lessen their workload by helping to proofread their work.
Show Me the Money
On average I make over $500 per month, and my best months have earned me nearly $900 — with just two clients (working just a few hours a week!) These figures include rush jobs.
So let’s do the math. I charge 90¢/page when my clients need the job completed within 24 hours. I’ve built up my speed and accuracy that I can read 40 pages an hour (sometimes more if it’s not too dense), which means I earn $36/hour — pretty awesome. 😀
Now I know that if I wanted and had time for it, I could easily make double or even triple my current income with more clients, but I am perfectly content with the amazing two I have.
The work ebbs and flows, so my income is not always a standard amount every month. There are times where I eat, breathe, and sleep transcripts and others where all I hear are crickets. But I don’t mind this because it’s not my only source of income, and the workflow jives well for my situation.
I bill twice a month, and my clients pay me through Google Wallet (love, love GW!) and here are some screenshots to show you my earnings from the last few months. The amounts are per invoice/client for that billing period, the 1st of the month and/or the 15th of the month.
Update: Google Wallet is now Google Pay
Please keep in mind that my first few months as a newbie proofreader, I only earned $100-$200 a month. My skills and speed have improved, and that comes with time.
The extra income has been fantastic, but my favorite part is being able to do this work wherever I want. There’s no driving anywhere, sitting in an office, waiting to be done and getting back to my family. I also love being my own boss.
A Better Life
I am forever grateful to Proofread Anywhere, and the beauty and brains behind the course: Caitlin Pyle. They’ve given me so much and helped to ignite the
entrepreneur mompreneur in me!
Caution: This course is a not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes A LOT of hard work and dedication. Again, if you’d prefer to read anything else besides court transcripts, I encourage you to check out the General Proofreading course! There’s a free workshop to give you more info.
And if you’d like more inspiration, check out these amazing success stories.
Did this pique your interest? Let me know in the comments!
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