Monday, January 23, 2017

How Can I Find #Proofreading Jobs? Here are 9 Places to Get You Started!


I'm going to freak you out here.

If my kids were in school and I didn't care how my house looked or what anyone ate, I could easily make $5,000 per month proofreading (don't forget to take taxes out of that at the end of the year and it's not as much as it seems like but still a lovely income from home).

I have had INSANE months where I was able to make close to $2,000 proofreading in a month but I wanted to die at the end, only because I have other things going on for income and managing everything gets difficult. I like to have other income streams because proofreading can be feast or famine, usually feast once you get going and get some good reviews and recs. Here's my income report for September, for example.

Here's what I have come up with so far so maybe you can do what I'm doing! The first two I am not familiar with because I just haven't had the time to dive into them. They are reputable sites that ask for a proofreading test or sample, but I hear competition can be fierce, and I'm not about underbidding my services!

1. Elance

2. Upwork (formerly Odesk)

3. Scripted is a great way to find proofreading work but you have to BE ON TOP OF YOUR GAME, as in full-on GRAMMAR NAZI MODE. I did some writing for them and also some proofreading. I was shocked at the great money I was making and had the down payment on my yacht (just kidding!) when they canned me. They seriously culled their proofing pool and I did not make the cut. I was entirely bummed. If you are a better proofer than I am, GO FOR IT!

4. Hunt down people when you see things written wrong! Is your doctor's website WHACK (not in a good way)??? Offer to proofread it for cheap. Did you get a piece of direct mail that had errors? Figure out who to contact and offer your services.

5. Tenrr is a place I gave a shot and got some work but it trickled in. I haven't promoted my proofing there or anything. Knockoff of Fiverr, which I talk about later.

6. Gigbucks is akin to Tenrr. I am only signed up at all of these places because I like putting my chocolate proofreading eggs in lots of different baskets.

7. PeoplePerHour is another place I signed up at for free but nothing came of it. Some of these sites are flooded so you just have to sign up all over the place and wait and promote your services.

8. Remote.com is a place I tried for a hot second but didn't have the patience to keep at it. (It used to be called Outsource.com so if you are looking for info on it, look for that name). I had to pay for credits so I could bid jobs. I did have plenty of credits in the end and the jobs to bid on were picking up, but the competition was fierce. I did get chosen for one job and it went well and I made back what I spent in credits. I was up for another job but they had a zillion and one requirements instead of just the simple proofing and editing I do and I can't focus on jumping through hoops. I like to fix documents and get out. I don't want to get wrangled into trying to write copy or critique what they've done because those things get touchy and subjective. You might have a better experience. I broke my own rule of paying to get jobs so I could basically get the experience to share here!

9. Fiverr is my go-to place since I signed up in April 2013 and the jobs started flooding in. I have a separate post for it because I have so much to say on the topic!

As far as signing up and getting jobs right away, I don't know if I just got lucky or what but people gave a newbie a try and soon I had good reviews coming in and more jobs. I was so busy at one point in 2013 that I was outsourcing, which was a total shit show (I'm going with two words for shit show instead of making it one ... haha!).

I shut down my outsourcing situation and tried to keep up with the work on my own but soon had no life and my kids were eating too much fast food all summer. I got a bad review because I was hurrying through my work and it all went to hell for a while. It picked back up and then I overused Vacation Mode. Just in the last few months have I gotten back on and made a decent income again.

I've done many different gigs on Fiverr besides proofreading so poke around to see what else you can offer. I put my delivery on at least 3 days so that keeps my orders low enough to manage. The main guy who does 24-hour delivery basically works full-time all day long doing small jobs. The client is charged $5 and you receive $4. At first I thought that was robbery but now I realize THEY are finding the clients for me pretty much so I will happily take my $4 for proofreading 1,500 words. I got more orders when my gig was for 2,000 words but it was taking too long to proofread that for $4 with so many non-native English speakers sending projects my way. Those projects just take longer because they require more time and reworking.

*Originally posted 11/8/15

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tips for Setting 2017 Realistic Writing Goals

What do you think about goals?

Check out the graphic below. This picture was taken of the wall in the kitchen where my "corner office" is located and was probably taken 2 years ago. I soon realized I could not diversify my life into SIX income areas like this. Two of them took up way too much time and saw little return (Younique and Jamberry direct sales), plus I felt like I was alienating friends and family. 



I stopped posting all the time about makeup and nail wraps and spent more time focusing on posting about my books and -- guess what? -- I sold more books. Plus that time I was spending on direct sales, something that I'm not even good at or that I love, took away from writing time ... blogging, magazine articles, books. I don't know about you, but my time is extremely limited. Seems like I sit down to write and someone needs me to come sit outside the bathroom with them so the monsters don't get them.

What's my point? I have a few.

GET REAL
If you're going to set goals, make them real. You won't ever hear me saying, "I'm going to write 10 books this year and homeschool my kids so they can all recite every piece of literature ever written by the end of this year plus weekly dates with my husband and soup kitchen volunteering every day. Oh, and I'm going to get 6-pack abs and lose 30 pounds." No, my goals are more like write an article a month at this point. Part of the reason for my limited time is that my family lately needs my proofreading income for anything fun or extra we might want to do, including any sports or Scouts or camps or movies.

PURGE
My other point is that you need to get rid of a bunch of mental stuff before you can set those goals. You have to take a hard look at your calendar. You have to sometimes ask for help in carpooling and playdates and sleepovers for kids. If you are beyond the little kid stage or don't have any, you have to block out Netflix, Facebook, friends thinking your writing time is not sacred, family members asking for favors constantly. I am telling you right now that it's okay to say NO. And get used to that pouty look on your teen's face when you say no, you are not driving him/her to yet another location this week and they can just hang out for ONE DAY! Boredom breeds creativity, kid.

*Check out my post on Time Management for Writers here
*And my post about putting your butt in your seat here

TRY A 100-DAY GOAL
A goal doesn't have to be set on January 1st or forget it. You can start on April 17th and set a 100-day goal to finish something. Or just set a goal that you are going to write 200 words every single day for 100 days then revisit. Check out my review post here of The Nifty 15, where the author talks about just sitting down for 15 minutes a day to work on your goal. You can set income goals (I'll make $1,000 this month), writing goals (I'll write 1 article per week), or time goals (I'll write for one hour a day). Slow progress is still progress.

TRY DICTATION
Also, use any tools you can find to help you out! For instance, in order to get in some FitBit steps while also grabbing a library book or returning a Redbox or paying my house payment or grabbing some milk, I take along my iPhone and I use the dictation feature in Notes. I dictate article ideas and book sections as I walk. I call it triple-tasking. If you don't have an iPhone, or even if you do, there are great free apps for dictation. I come home and upload my note to email, then copy it to a new document or to the book I'm working on currently.

Okay, so it's time for my goals. It's going to be an insane year once again as I check out my calendar, and also my husband might be gone for weeks at a time overseas for work, so that always throws a wrench into life and sends the pizza delivery person a callin'.

KERRIE'S 2017 WRITING GOALS

  1. Write and submit one original regional parenting article per month for a total of 12 for the year.
  2. Blog when an idea hits me that I think would benefit other writers (this blog) and other parents (The Kerrie Show) and homeschoolers (Homeschooling Mommybot).
  3. Publish 3 books this year on Kindle (ebook) and CreateSpace (print). This will include the 7th edition of Make Money to Write About Your Kids, as well as The Ultimate Busy Parents on the Go Cookbook, plus one other that I can decide later.

Please share your goals with me, big and small, in the comments section! Do you set income goals or writing goals or time goals? I'd love to see how we all do at the end of the year! And come and see us here, in the Regional Parenting Magazine Writers Facebook group. Please join and converse with us!
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