You won’t be able to achieve the goals you set for yourself as a newbie proofreader if you don’t focus on planning. If you think you’ve got a knack for proofreading, you must create a proper plan to help you find more clients and recognition.
Keep reading to find thirteen simple yet actionable tips that will help you boost your confidence and enable you to achieve more in a short time!
1. Find Good Jobs
Working for pennies at a toxic workplace is not your only option as a newbie proofreader. Instead of forcing yourself to work on jobs you don’t love, you should consider finding jobs that suit your preferences and pay you well.
Going online is the easiest way to find better gigs as a newbie proofreader. You can explore remote proofreading jobs that enable you to work on flexible schedules and enable you to sharpen your skills in a short time.
2. Improve Your Craft
As a proofreader, the most important thing you need to focus on is your proofreading skills. Remember that you will present your proofreading work as a portfolio to find new clients. You will only be able to have a strong portfolio to land better gigs if you are a strong proofreader.
Consider taking online or in-person courses to help you sharpen your proofreading skills quickly. Write more so you can internalize good writing practices and spot mistakes immediately.
3. Read More Books
Reading great books can help you learn what differentiates good writing from bad writing. The more you read, the easier it will be to identify a writer’s voice and ensure you can proofread their work carefully.
You don’t need to spend much money to read more books. You can consider borrowing books from a digital or local library if you have a tight budget.
Make sure you allocate some time in your daily routine to read books without compromising on other activities you need to perform.
4. Get Active on Socials
A strong presence on social media channels can help you showcase your proofreading skills and find new clients easily.
The best thing about getting active on social media is that it helps you strengthen your “personal brand” to help you differentiate yourself from other proofreaders.
Getting active on socials doesn’t require you to spend a lot of time and money. First, you need to identify the social channels where most people from your target audience spend their time. After that, you need to create your social accounts and explore famous topics to create a proper social calendar.
5. Build Your Website
A website is a great way to have a positive first impression on potential clients. An attractive website that showcases your skills and proofreading portfolio makes you more recognizable and allows you to command higher rates.
Building your website isn’t costly if you learn how to develop a website yourself. There is no shortage of online tutorials to help you quickly develop your website. If you get stuck on something when developing your website, reach out for help to fix that problem in time.
6. Grow Your Network
Adding more writers, proofreaders, editors, and publishing professionals to your network will help you connect with potential clients easily. A strong network helps you with client acquisition and lets you get actionable advice whenever you want.
Building your network doesn’t require you to spend much time daily. If you cannot join in-person networking events due to your strict routine, you should consider participating in online events to grow your network faster.
7. Focus on Getting Quality Sleep
Completing your clients’ projects on time and investing your energy in growing your network can affect your creativity and body. To ensure you can keep providing the best to your clients, you must sleep for 7-8 hours daily.
Try getting your work done during allocated hours, so you don’t have to stay awake till late at night. Avoid having a heavy meal or exercising before bed so you can fall asleep easily.
8. Follow a Style Guide
Styling practices like APA Guidelines can be difficult to follow when proofreading a writer’s work. It’s better to keep a Style Guide handy to ensure you don’t break any guidelines when proofreading. Make sure you buy a physical copy of a style guide to refer to it whenever you want.
9. Don’t Rush Through the Process
Proofreading is time-consuming, requiring you to check everything a writer does with great focus and precision. To ensure you don’t ignore any mistakes when proofreading, you should consider keeping things slow and smooth.
10. Check the Facts
Copyediting is not the only thing you will do for your client. You will also have to check if they’ve used the right quotes, mentioned the right dates, cited the right sources, etc., to ensure that their writing is factually correct.
Boost your online research skills to ensure your client’s writing is free from factual/logical mistakes.
11. Remove Jargon
The usage of technical terms can never help a writer engage their readers. When proofreading a client’s work, you must replace jargon with simple terms to ensure the writing sounds natural and encourages the reader to read from start to end.
12. Keep the Sentences Short
Many writers tend to write longer sentences to get their message across. However, super-long sentences that stretch to infinity can never make writing persuasive. You need to replace complex, long sentences with short sentences that engage the readers.
13. Read Books about Proofreading
A great way of improving your proofreading craft is by reading books on proofreading. The guidance of skilled proofreaders can help you avoid making mistakes when proofreading the works of your clients. Some of the famous books on proofreading are:
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- The best punctuation book, period
- The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation