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A couple years ago I ran a blog called She Builds A Business. It was similar to TDC in that I wrote about business ideas and ways for women to make money as their own boss.
One of the first interviews I did for that site was with Caitlin Pyle from Proofread Anywhere. I had seen an interview with her on another site where she talked about how she made $40,000 per year working 20 or so hours a week as her own boss.
Of course, that alone got my attention. But what really caught my eye was how niche specific her business was. She wasn’t just proofreading for anybody. She was proofreading for court reporters. Court reporters?
Who knew such a thing existed. I sure didn’t!
I was so intrigued that I reached out to Caitlin and asked if she would be willing to do an interview for my blog. She agreed and told me she was about to launch a course teaching others how to become a proofreader for court reporters.
Of course, being a course junkie, my ears perked up to that :).
When her course, Proofread Anywhere, launched a few months later, I watched all the video testimonials Caitlin posted on her website.
The Key Benefit of a Course Like Proofread Anywhere
What really convinced me to buy the course was the concept of a “business-in-a-box”. I love courses that teach a skill and how to get clients using that skill. Much like the Loan Signing System by Mark Wills. It’s a soup to nuts course.
You start the course knowing nothing, and end it with a marketable skill that you can use right away to make money.
I decided to enroll in Proofread Anywhere (paying full price) so I could see;
- If it could get me out of my 9-to-5 job that I had at the time, and,
- Would the course really help me get court reporter clients (as it promised to do)
- If I could, in good faith, recommend the course to my blog readers
The course was super easy to follow and taught me quite a bit about grammar, punctuation and how to look for those pesky typos that are often found in court reporter documents. After all, this is the job of a proofreader!
The course has evolved since I took it a couple years ago, but even back then it was extremely thorough and easy to follow. Caitlin had audios and videos that broke down the lessons into bite-sized chunks.
I love that there is a Final Exam that you have to take in the course and several actual court documents that Caitlin has you proofread. This is key because it’s actually what you would be doing for a real client.
I have no experience in the legal field so I had no idea how the industry worked, or what court reporters looked for in a proofreader. Turns out, court reporters do indeed hire proofreaders to make their transcriptions perfect.
Getting Proofreading Clients
The brilliant thing about this course is that Caitlin doesn’t just teach you the skill and let you figure out the marketing on your own.
She walks you through EXACTLY how to get clients, even giving you the email verbiage to use when reaching out to court reporters.
After I completed the course and took the final exam, I followed her marketing suggestions step-by-step. Guess what happened?
Within a couple weeks I got my first proofreading client. She was a court reporter (that was probably obvious), who had responded to one of my emails that I sent out.
You might be wondering how I got her email address. Don’t worry, Caitlin shows you how to find the court reporters in your state. I just followed her directions and created a list of court reporters and agencies by doing a little internet research.
The great thing is, once you get your foot in the door with a couple court reporters and show them how awesome you are at proofreading and meeting deadlines, you can become their “go-to” proofreader. That leads to a steady of stream of business for you.
How Much Money Can You Make?
When I took this course back in 2015, Caitlin had suggested charging around .40 per page for your proofreading services. Don’t quote me on this now because the going rate may have changed (it may be higher now). It also depends on your location and the going rate in the area.
I took her suggestion and charged my first client .40 per page. The court reporter sent over a transcript from a deposition that was around 285 pages. Yes, these legal documents can be loooong.
You can do the math and see that I made $114 from this job. She sent me a check in the mail. But here’s something you should keep in mind. If you are new to proofreading, expect to be slow in the beginning.
This particular job was quite painful for me. I took my time trying to catch every mistake I could find (being a newbie and all), so I probably worked on this job for over 8 hours. That shakes out to around $14 per hour. Not terrible.
Caitlin tells you to expect this in the beginning, but you will get faster with practice and confidence. She got to where she could proofread 100 pages per hour. That shakes out to a much nicer $40 per hour.
The Great Thing About Proofreading
Here is the biggest thing that attracted me to this particular business…
Sure you have clients, but those clients send you the work and then tell you when they need it back (usually in a few days or a week) and you do the work around your own schedule. You work for yourself!
There’s no phone work or meetings to attend. You don’t have to leave your house. It’s a truly work-from-home business. Can I get a hell yes to that!
Caitlin teaches you how to use an iPad and proofreading software to make your job more efficient and mobile. You can do this at the park while your kids are playing, or while lounging by the pool.
The Reality of Proofreading
Every job or business venture has it’s pros and cons. Proofreading isn’t a perfect fit for everyone.
After I completed my first client job, I started getting inquiries from other court reporters. I could definitely see the potential of growing this business into a part-time, or even full-time down the road.
But I ultimately decided not to pursue proofreading as a career. I’m not a super detailed-oriented person. I found the work to be a bit too tedious for my monkey brain. You need to have a good amount of focus and be comfortable going through hundreds of pages of legal transcripts to be happy and successful in this career.
If you think this would be a great fit for you, then my gosh, I think it’s absolutely doable. Caitlin made $40,000 a year doing this part-time. You could build up to that and more if you wanted to without ever leaving your house!
What a great career if you have kids at home, or love to travel and want that laptop lifestyle. If you do decide to pursue proofreading, then by all means, enroll in Proofread Anywhere and get started on the right foot. You will not be disappointed!
And you don’t have to niche yourself into legal proofreading if you want to look at other industries. Caitlin has broadened her scope and has courses for general proofreading as well.
Good luck and please let me know if you are pursing this! I’d love to hear about it!!