How to find proofreading work

When it comes to how to find proofreading work, you have two options: through a company or on your own.

Through a company 

The first option is finding work through a company. It is worth making the distinction that there are two types of company, ones with a physical office that you will go to and the online-based (mainly) academic proofreading companies.

Finding work with academic proofreading companies

How to search Google for vacancies with academic proofreading companies

Here we show you one search query that you can use to find companies with current vacancies. The full list of 10 search queries is revealed in our course on how to become a proofreader. See the “our course” page.

Go to and copy and paste the entire search query, then click search. 

“proofreading” jobs intitle:jobs -cwjobs -indeed -adzuna -monster -reed -glassdoor -jobsite

This search query will remove results from online job boards and find only UK based companies that have a jobs page that you can pitch.

Finding work with publishers

To find work with publishers a very useful tactic, is to contact independent publishers who can’t afford in-house freelance services. They would thus look to outsource the work. That way you can get some experience, and an editorial references, all of which will help you in the longer term.

Ways to find your own proofreading work

Through online platforms.

There are several such as:


Bear in mind that with these you have to compete on price against hundreds or more wannabe editors who will charge next to nothing.

Other methods include:

  • Personal contacts are an easy but ineffective way to get work. Ask friends and family if they know of anyone who needs proofreading services. 
  • Networking. Go to business networking events like the BNI and other business networking groups. 
  • Directories – There is a directory we recommend that allows you to list your proofreading services for a small yearly fee. Requests for proofreading are sent to everyone listed in the directory which you then reply to with a quote. It can be quite competitive and generally the faster you respond the more likely you are to get the work. 
  • Business cards –. Business cards are one obvious way to promote yourself; 
  • Your own website. It is easy to make one using wix or squarespace but the marketing can be tricky.
  • Advertising in the trade press (The Bookseller, Publishing News) may be expensive.  
  • Collaborate with complementary freelancers (e.g. designers, typesetters, translators) to offer a one-stop shop. 

Finding your own academic proofreading clients

Posters at universities

A website and Google Adwords

Finding your own business proofreading clients

Certain companies like translation agencies and law firms are more likely to outsource proofreading

Finding your own self-publishing author clients


We hope you have found this brief overview of how to find proofreading work useful. This is just a taster of what we offer on our Become a Proofreader course.