We are all human, meaning that most of us make mistakes when writing. With this in mind, many people try to proofread everything that they write about before being submitted or published in order to ensure that all of it makes sense and that whatever they’ve written is free from any spelling or grammatical mistakes.
If you’re trying to become a professional proof-reader and do these tasks for someone that has written a novel, homework or an article, here are some tips which are sure to take you a step closer.
1. Improve your attention skills
Proof-reading is all about making sure that you spot each mistake that a person may have made. In texts, mistakes are generally of all kinds, including grammatical and spelling mistakes, but also errors related to the formatting of a text or phrases which don’t make much sense. To improve your attention skills, you can:
Practice makes perfect, so before beginning to sell your services for money make sure that you’ve practiced enough and are capable of reading texts which also identifying any mistakes which might come up.
- Read as much as you can
Regardless of whether you’re proofreading a document or reading it for fun, another important step is to read as much as possible. This is certainly sure to improve your reading speed while also making you be more attentive to details and notice small things that you may have otherwise missed.
2. Learn how to format texts and how to edit mistakes
Proof-readers usually do not work directly on the original text, but instead they use another version in which anything that has been corrected is marked. With this in mind, your customer will be sure to see everything that you’ve changed while also being able to apply the changes efficiently.
Additionally, learning how to format is an equally important step. Most of the times, proof-readers will be given texts that aren’t formatted, so having a medium to advanced knowledge in Word or other document processing application can be a great thing for anyone who is aspiring to become a proof-reader.
3. Sell your services
Becoming known in the world of those seeking proofreading services is not a very easy task, but it is not hard either. With this in mind, make sure to choose whether you’d like to have an offline or online approach to the business. There are certain tips which can be followed whatever your choice is, these being:
- For online workers
Start low on sites that people use in order to sell services and do not expect to get sales from the first day. Once a sale does come in, try your absolute best to communicate well with your buyer while also delivering high quality work. Chances are that you’ll be referred to somebody else who needs proofreading, so keep the quality high and your expectations low when you start out.
- For offline workers
It is thought that proofreading jobs are easier to find online, but those which are found in the offline environment can also pay higher. With this in mind, make sure you stick to the basic rules which include providing great quality work on time, while also communicating well with the buyer. Additionally, you can go ahead and post ads in different newspapers and hand people your business card. After some time of trying, clients will eventually come, and when they do, make sure not to forget how to treat them properly to ensure that they come back.
In conclusion, proofreading doesn’t only require extensive knowledge in the language that you’re proofreading in, but it also requires good attention and communication abilities in order to make sure that everything goes according to plan. One of the most important tips is to not lose faith, as there are always people looking for proofreading services.