Skip to main content
6 answers
6
Asked 824 views

How do you establish yourself as a freelance editor/proofreader? How do you build credibility with potential clients?

I am a university student with little to no work experience. # #job #student #college #proofreading #editor #first-job

+25 Karma if successful
From: You
To: Friend
Subject: Career question for you

6

6 answers


1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Olivia’s Answer

Pro bono work honestly and great social media marketing. Invest in yourself as you develop your brand and keep a consistent image. Follow brand consultants on instagram for free tips or contact someone like Dash of Social. A blog would help you find readers and people who like your expertise and style of writing. Online websites to work as freelancers often have specialty tests you can take on your profile to show your skill level and your clients can rate you.
1
1
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Jaime’s Answer

Try to work at your school newspaper, yearbook or newsletter. This is such a great place to be exposed to numerous types of writing and also to be able to test out your editing skills. I'm not sure what grade level you are in, but junior and senior years in college instructors of large classes usually enjoy having graders to help with editing and the like.


Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. John
1
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Kiran’s Answer

Create a portfolio and keep your resume updated. I have a Master's in English that I completed 5 years ago. Just last week, I used my portfolio from high school senior year to do a freelance project. Your portfolio and the samples in there will change as you gain more experience. The experience can come from school work, college classes, volunteer writing, internships, consulting projects, or samples you created yourself (you can Google how to do that). The point is if you're new or even later in your freelance career, your clients will appreciate samples and that will bring credibility to you. You can ask your teachers and clients you have worked for to write recommendations and reviews on your LinkedIn profile or your freelance profiles (like Upwork).
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Kiran for the advice. John
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Janice’s Answer

The best way to learn to edit is to work with an experienced editor. If your school has any good student newspapers or other publications, that's a good place to start. You also get experience working on deadline, which is crucial for a freelancer.

Most people won't want an editor without experience, so though I hate to say it, doing editing on a volunteer basis is also extremely helpful. If you have the time while you're in school or in the summers, that's a good time to do it. Talk to local charities/non-profits; a lot of them are on extremely tight budgets and can't pay people to edit their printed material. Even some businesses might be willing to take you on for free.

There are professional groups for editors, such as ACES (https://aceseditors.org) and EFA (www.the-efa.org), that offer resources, links, and webinars and other educational opportunities, as well as networking. Poynter News University (https://www.poynter.org/newsu/) offers online classes and even a certificate program. Also check out free resources such as EditTeach.org and the Purdue Online Writing Lab (https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html).

You can help friends edit papers (but make sure you don't fall afoul of your school's rules about cheating, and *don't* write the papers for them). If you help enough people, you can start charging. Even if you don't earn money, the experience will be good.

Social media can be a trap, but also a tool. Look for editing-related hashtags on Twitter and follow accounts for editing and writing organizations. This is an opportunity for learning as well as networking. Every few weeks ACES (@copyeditors) runs a chat with experts on different editing-related topics under the hashtag ACESchat.

As a freelancer, I've been told a website is essential, but I've been too busy editing to get to creating one. One of these days ...

In terms of preparation for editing:

• Read, read, read! The more good writing you absorb, the more you'll internalize what good writing looks like. When you like—or, maybe even more important, don't like—something you're reading, try to figure out why.
• Make sure your own grammar, spelling, and diction are impeccable. Take a look at books such as Garner's Modern English Usage. This page has a great list of books: https://www.readitforward.com/essay/article/grammar-books/
• Learn the tools of the trade, by which I mean style guides. There are a number of different style guides you might need to be familiar with, depending on the kind of material you're editing. Some of the most common are The Chicago Manual of Style, the AP Stylebook, the MLA Handbook, and the APA Publication Manual. The more you internalize the basics of a style guide, the less time you'll have to spend looking things up. OWL offers free online courses to help you learn some of these styles.
• The best way to improve at editing is by doing it. School publications and volunteer work are the best ways to start.
• Online communities of editors are a good place for advice and support.

Feel free to add a comment if you have any more specific questions, and good luck!

Janice recommends the following next steps:

Perfect your own English usage.
Read, and think about why what you're reading works or doesn't.
Familiarize yourself with common style guides.
Look for opportunities to learn by doing, at school publications or local organizations.
Network online with working editors.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

David’s Answer

As with any project, do what you've been asked to do. Do it in a timely fashion. Do it well. That builds more credibility than anything else.
0
0
Updated
Share a link to this answer
Share a link to this answer

Yael’s Answer

Hello!
First, I recommend taking some free online proofreading tests. See how you do but more importantly, see if you enjoy doing the edits. Build some experience on your own. Perhaps you can edit a friends blog post. Basically, ask people you know are writing things for permission to edit for free. If you still feel passionately about pursuing editing, at least now you have some examples as a basis to share as you will most likely be asked to share some examples of your editing work. To build credibility and a portfolio, consider reaching out to small editing companies via their contact page on their websites. Be honest about your earnestness to gain experience and inquire if they would be willing to take you on to learn their industry.
All the best!
0