When I first started working as a freelance editor, I honestly thought that the work would be very limited. I saw it as “extra income” to help make ends meet. Boy was I wrong. Five years later, my “side hustle” is a full-time job that I absolutely love. There are plenty of work from home editor jobs out there if you know where to look.
If you enjoy reading, find that you naturally spot errors, and get a great sense of satisfaction in helping others improve their writing, then looking to do editing work from home might be a great option for you even if you have no experience.
By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a much better understanding of
Equipped with the above information, you’ll soon be on your way to become a successful editor either in a remote editing job or as a freelancer.
PS “Work from home editor” should be hyphenated. But we really want to make it super easy for Google to read and share this value-packed article, so we’ve removed the hyphens for the purpose of this article.
If you’re looking for jobs in editing. you’ll soon find that the term “editor” is quite broad. It covers everything from written content to sound and video content. In the end, it’s all up to your field of choice, but freelance editing jobs are widely available no matter your niche.
For the sake of this article, we’ll be focusing on work from home editor jobs in the realm of written content.
In the world of written content, “editing” is an umbrella term that covers everything involved in refining a piece of content until it’s ready to be published or presented.
Depending on who you speak to, you’ll come across the following terms: content editing, developmental editing, line editing, copy editing, and proofreading.
If you’re a freelance editor, you’ll probably cover all these areas and sometimes, like the pic above, you’ll need to change hats from a “content editor” to a “copy editor” and everything in between. There is a huge overlap in the different fields of editing and keeping the “hat analogy” in mind is a good way to make sure you cover all the aspects of editing.
In a nutshell, here’s what they are:
Content editing — This form of editing focuses on, you’ve got it, the content of a piece. It can also be called substantive editing. It looks at things like the flow of an article, if the theme is carried through, and if it makes logical sense, etc. For example, if a content editor was checking an article about coffee and the writer veers off into the mysteries of tea halfway through, he/she would most likely advise them to stick to the topic of coffee.
Under content editing, you’ll also encounter developmental editing and line editing.
Developmental editing focuses on the development of the piece. Things like the evolution of characters, the plot… the big picture, and how everything is connected. Developmental editors will say things like: “Remember the golden thread, let’s weave it in here” which means the theme that’s carried throughout a book or a story. They might also pick up inconsistencies in characters such as: “Bob had blonde hair at the beginning of the book, but now he has black hair…”
Line editing zones in on… yip, you’re correct… the lines. A line editor will look at sentences and wonder things like, “Is this the best way to describe the situation?” and “Is this sentence ambiguous?” Line editors love finding the perfect way to string together words to set the scene or convey an idea.
Copy editing focuses on the copy itself. A copy editor will ponder over things like, “Is this the correct place to put a comma?” and will check spelling, grammar, tense, redundancy, and more. Copy editors love style guides. They also check facts, references, and more and will give suggestions on how to improve the content.
Proofreading — This is the final check of a piece of content. The “last set of eyes” that checks an article or manuscript before it’s published.
Back in the day, before tech took the world of publishing by storm, the copy editor would be the last set of eyes to go over a manuscript before it was sent to the printer.
Once the first draft was printed, it was then sent to the proofreader who would comb it with his/her eagle eyes and catch any typos, printing errors, etc before the final print. Old-school proofreaders used “markups” in the manuscript. It’s a bit like a secret code to indicate missing letters, spacing, and more. Needless to say, it was a long process which was why it took so long to get a book published.
In today’s world of freelance editing, proofreading and copy editing overlap quite a bit. If a customer asks you for a proofread — it usually means a final check to catch any errors or typos. If a client asks you to do a “proofread” , always check if they would like you to give some input on the content as well. A copy edit means a slightly heavier edit where the freelancer would also give input from a content side to improve clarity in a piece.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s head into the type of work from home editor jobs that you can expect to find as a freelance editor.
From catching errors to managing writers, a blog editor’s role can expand to all things that are blog and website-related. The role can vary depending on the requirements of the client but can include setting up a content plan, creating article structures, sending them to writers, and checking the written articles. All these tasks can easily be done remotely.
It can also expand to working with designers for images, uploading the article onto the relevant platform, and publishing the article. If you can learn all of these skills as well as basic SEO, you’ll find that you’re always in demand and can be of great assistance to most blog and website owners.
Here are a few examples of remote editing jobs from Flexjobs and Upwork.
Online editing jobs on Flexjobs
Freelance editing jobs on Upwork
The Internet has completely turned book writing upside down. In the past, potential authors could only publish their books if a publisher accepted them.
Most authors will be on the lookout for book editors or proofreaders.
From helping an author refine his or her content to catching errors, a book editor can help authors in endless ways.
As a freelance editor who specializes in books, no project will be the same. So if you enjoy variety and love reading, then this might be a good option for you.
Once more, learn as much as you can about this profession so that you can offer a great service as a freelance editor.
Examples of the type remote editing jobs for book editors on Upwork
Remote editing jobs as a book editor on Flexjobs
If you’re looking for part-time editing jobs to bring in extra income, then being a freelance copy editor and a proofreader is a great option.
For example, you might find a once-off project to improve someone’s LinkedIn profile or update their resume. Other times, you might find someone who needs a second set of eyes to go through their social media posts to catch any typos or errors.
A copy editor can do all those tasks and more depending on the requirements.
From blog posts to emails, to articles, and everything in between, the scope is literally limitless for general freelance editing jobs and you’ll be constantly learning.
If you’re just beginning as a freelance editor, it’s also a great way to build up your work history and profile on freelancing websites such as Upwork or Fiverr.
Freelance copy editing jobs can also include:
As you can see, doing editing work from home is entirely possible. As long as you are willing to learn, and offer a great service, your skills will be in demand.
Of course, no matter your area of expertise, you’ll also be required to write, and often the two will overlap quite a bit. So if you enjoy writing, it might be worth your while to look for remote writing and editing jobs as well.
Since you’re here because you’re curious about work from home editor jobs, you’ll probably want to know: “How much do editors make?” I would want to be sure of my chances of putting bread on the table, too!
And the answer is: you’ll be fine. Of course, asking for enormous rates when you’re at the beginning of this path might not work out too well. Slowly increasing them as you go, while building a successful portfolio, won’t make you regret choosing to be a work from home editor.
For example, according to salary.com, as of July 2021, the salary range for an editor in the United States is between $61,750 and $81,086. This will vary depending on your qualification and the number of years you’ve been editing.
Freelance editors have a base salary of $23.68 an hour, which according to Indeed.com, equates to $55,186 per year. Keep in mind that when you are a freelance editor, you can control how much or how little you want to work and your rate can steadily increase as you gain more experience and skill.
It’s entirely possible to become a freelance editor with no experience and land remote editing jobs. If you tend to spot mistakes in books and react in the same way as the little guy above, then you’re already on your way to finding editing work from home.
You’ve probably figured out by now the type of editing that sparks your interest. Here’s how to become a freelance editor with no experience.
The first step is pretty obvious, get editing/proofreading experience. Even if it means proofreading for friends or family members… start building up your skillset.
Sometimes, you can even offer to be a beta reader for an author and use that to build your “proofreading” experience which can then grow to “editing.”
You’ll be surprised at how many rules you’ve forgotten or maybe just didn’t understand at school. Khan Academy has a fantastic course on Grammar and it’s completely free!
Some online dictionaries also offer free “word of the day” emails or weekly newsletters about English rules that will also help, especially if it’s not your first language.
Also, keep in mind that spelling and grammar rules can change as a language develops so it’s good to stay up to date. Ironically the word “copy edit” is a great example. Currently, there are two factions in the world of editing, those who spell it “copy edit” and those who spell it as “copyedit” and both sides have equally strong arguments.
English can be a tricky subject, so it’s always best to check if the error you have picked up is, in fact, an error. Keep in mind that spelling and rules will differ depending on the country and the style guide.
Here are a few great resources:
You can literally immerse yourself in the world of editing thanks to the Internet. From listening to podcasts to reading university editing guidelines, there are many resources freely available to you.
When I first started editing, I couldn’t afford to take an online course so I used blog articles and YouTube to help me. As my income improved, I invested in a few editing courses to help me hone my skills.
I encourage you to become an expert in your niche so that you can offer a great service to your clients.
Fortunately, with editing work from home, you won’t need to make any huge investments. However, based on my experience, it’s worth investing in a laptop or computer with adequate capability that helps you get your work done.
If you can afford it, I highly recommend a second screen. When it comes to editing, it’s useful to have the document open on one screen and your resources on the other. You’ll find an extra screen or two will help you be much more productive.
It goes without saying that you’ll need to learn to use Google docs or Microsoft Word to do online editing. Each client will have their preferred platform, so it’s useful to learn how to use both.
However, there are also many other resources that can help you with online editing jobs and working remotely.
You can start with a plain, free, blog-based one, but purchasing your own domain is affordable and could prove worthy in the long run.
Also, learn how to take advantage of everything social media has to offer. Write articles on your LinkedIn profile, Facebook posts and more.
As you’ll see later on in this article, there are a number of websites that you can use to find work from home editing jobs. Update your resume, set up accounts on freelance websites or go directly to the websites of publishing companies. Work from home editing jobs are fairly easy to find and I’ll give a few hints on that too, later.
I recommend creating a profile on a few freelance websites. Make sure you describe everything you know how to do, both in your profile and when sending offers over to clients. If you have a favorite type of editing, focus on that one. Setting up a portfolio is also useful, as you can share your best work samples there.
Lastly, you should know that sometimes offering a tiny piece of free service will take your credibility up a notch. Especially in the beginning, while building experience, you can offer to edit a couple of pages for free, to check your compatibility with a client.
(Just a note – check if you can do this if you are working with a client on a freelance platform like Upwork. As a freelancer, you are not allowed to “work for free” but can do a brief “sample.”)
Flexjobs is a great site because it offers work from home editing jobs for all skill levels. As a beginner, that’s good news. You’ll have control over your time, with their part-time and full-time options. They have a small subscription fee, but they connect you with trusted employers, offer CV reviews, skill tests, and other benefits.
Virtual Vocations remote writing and editing jobs as well as freelance editing jobs. Although most of their clients are based in the USA, you do have the option to find remote jobs that are available anywhere.
Upwork is a reliable freelancer website, where you can also find freelance editing jobs. I started my freelance career on Upwork and although it took a year or two to build up a good profile, I’ve found plenty of online editing jobs. You can choose to work hourly or at a fixed price. To build up your work history, it’s a good idea to take few “cheaper” fixed price projects at first.
Fiverr is another great place for freelance editing jobs. Fiverr is more like a freelance market place where you can advertise your editing services from an online “store.” It’s good to have a few editing samples and establish a portfolio of work to showcase your skills. Fiverr veterans also recommend that you use social media to advertise your services as the marketplace is highly competitive.
Indeed is a huge job market, although not entirely focused on home based jobs. Even so, it’s highly likely to find remote work there as well. You might even have employers from a different continent, it could be fun.
Freelancer is what its name suggests, and you’ll definitely find online editing jobs there. Usually, the competition is pretty high, but, once you’ve built a reputation, things start running pretty smoothly.
Enago offers editing services to authors who are wanting to publish academic papers and books. If you’re an expert editor and are looking to become a freelance editor, then Enago could be the platform for you.
Scribbr is a company which focuses on work from home editing jobs, related to the academic field, for helping students. It offers a choice for a few other languages besides English too. If you’ve worked in the field of academic editing before, then this will be a good option for you.
Just a note, if you’re just starting out as an editor and want to branch into academic editing, you’ll need to immerse yourself into the ins and outs of academic style guides as it’s a totally different world to “normal” editing.
TCK gives you the chance to work with books! Either fiction or nonfiction, you’ll regularly find online editing jobs on their website. It could be satisfactory to take on bigger projects and play a role in publishing someone’s amazing manuscript.
Jobs for Editors offers writing services to business customers and individuals from English-speaking countries. They use non-English speaking writers at times and therefore require editing and proofreading services. They also offer free training, the option to select your field of editing, free registration and, of course, remote editing work.
Guru, our last entry on this list, at least for today, is yet another website filled with freelance editing jobs. It’s easy to use and you can take on projects paid by the hour, by milestone, by task or even recurrent.
Applicants will need to submit a resume, complete a sample editing test and assessment, and submit documentation.
As you can see, it’s entirely possible to be an editor and to celebrate the freedom of working from home. Whether you are looking to become a remote editor or would like to grow as a freelancer, there are plenty of work from home editor jobs out there.
Remember, patience is the key to success and if you keep learning, you’ll be an expert in next to no time.
We hope this article has helped inspire you. If you know of anyone who is looking for work from home editor jobs, we’d be ever so grateful if you shared this article with them.