Become A Freelance Editor

While you don’t need special qualifications to become a freelance editor, there are some important things to keep in mind. This job is especially good for people who love reading and have an eye for detail. While it may sound glamorous to read for a living, the work may become exhausting, just as with any other job.


1. Take business writing or editing classes. They are available through colleges, online workshops and adult-education venues. Most of them focus on grammar alone while others will teach you use the proper editing symbols (essential if you want to freelance for publishers or magazines) and sharpen your eye to spot typos and spelling mistakes.

2. Develop a good eye for grammar. This can be done through reading, practicing and proofreading your own work. You can also practice by downloading texts from the Internet. You can get editing samples that provide you with practice texts, along with the appropriate solutions, so you can check your own work against one that was professionally edited.

3. Get a job as a publishing editor to gain experience and improve your resume. Since there are no official credentials needed to become a freelance editor, showing prospective clients that you have a background in the business may improve your chances of landing the job.

4. Set up your own website. A freelance editor usually works at a distance, polishing up manuscripts for writers who are located around the country or overseas. Having a website to promote your services and showcase examples of your past work is one way to promote your services from a distance.

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5. Learn set up and price your services. Some freelance editors charge by the hour while others prefer to charge by the page. Your fee depends not only on personal preference, but also on the type of work you take on (books, technical manuals, magazine editing). If you need help setting up a price list, consult the Editorial Freelancers Association’s website to get an idea of what other professionals in the field are charging (see Resources below).