Ready to work as an editor but not sure where to find freelance editing jobs online?
This ultimate guide has everything you need to understand:
- what a freelance editor does
- how freelance editors get paid
- where to find legitimate remote editing jobs
So let’s begin.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. For more information read my disclosure.
Job description: What is a freelance editor?
Freelance editing is when an editor works for herself and is contracted by writers to review manuscripts prior to publication. Anyone with the right set of skills can be a freelance editor.
Freelance editors market and pitch to clients, talk to clients about the services you can provide, negotiate fees, then do the work. The better relationships you build with clients, the more consistent work you’ll have as an editor.
What Services Do Freelance Editors Provide?
Before you put yourself out there to find your first editing job, make sure you understand the different types of editing. To build a great freelance editing business, determine what editing services you are comfortable with and qualified to provide.
Some of the different editing services are:
- Developmental Editing
- Line Editing
- Copy Editing
- Fact Checking
- Format Editing
- Manuscript Review
How much does a freelance editor make?
According to Glassdoor, these are the average freelance editor salaries:
- Freelance editor: $51,104
- Freelance copy editor: $46,702
- Freelance medical editor: $81,000
- Freelance copywriter: $60,296
Freelance editors may charge per word, per hour, or a flat project fee. An editor’s rates vary based on experience and type of editing.
Freelance copy editors, proofreaders, and content editors earn a wide range. Those new in their freelance editing career may earn $15-$10 per hour, while those experienced and in-demand can earn $80 per hour.
As you gain experience, figure out how many words you can edit in an hour. Then use that to establish your pricing based on how much you want to earn per hour. The beauty of freelance editing is you can always change your editing rates later.
How do freelance editors get paid?
As a freelance editor or proofreader, you can use a variety of tools to invoice and get paid.
One of the most common methods is using PayPal to send invoices and collect payments. They will take a fee around 2.9%, so keep that in mind as you figure out what to charge as an editor.
Other options include electronic funds transfer (EFT), accepting payment by check, or using an accounting software like FreshBooks. Some freelance editors request full payment upfront, some wait until the work is complete, while others invoice 50% upfront and 50% at the end.
What materials do people hire freelance editors and proofreaders for?
Editors can get hired to edit any written content, including but not limited to:
- Books – fiction
- Books – nonfiction
- Academic thesis or journal articles
- Advertising, marketing, promotional material
- Manual, reference, or guidebook
- Newsletter or magazine content
- Reports – business or technical
- Short story or anthology
- Grant application
- Training or educational material
- Website or web pages
- Social media content
- Blog articles
- Business proposals
- YouTube notes
- Podcast notes
- Online course content
- Job applications
- Cover Letters
How to Start Working as an Editor
There are a few ways you can go about getting remote editing and proofreading jobs. You can:
- Apply for a part-time or full-time job. Established editing companies often hire editors and proofreaders. This is much like getting other jobs: apply with a killer resume, pass some editing tests, and prove you’re the best one for the job.
- Start your own freelance editing business. Most remote editing positions are freelancers who have their own business and work as a contractor. Freelancing often requires you to find clients but offers the most potential for financial growth. Plus, you have far more control over your rates, schedule, and the editing projects you accept.
- How to Become an Online Proofreader (Even if You’re a Beginner)
- How a Stay-at-Home Mom became a Super Successful Work-at-Home Mom as a Freelancer
- 25 Legit Ways to Make Money as a Stay at Home Mom
How to find online editing and proofreading jobs
Some common places to find remote editing job listings are established job boards for editors and places for freelancers:
Beyond job listings, however, you can think outside the box to find clients as a freelance editor online, locally, and at networking events.
I share some of my favorite creative places to land editing jobs in my Free Resource Library, which you can sign up for below.
Creative & Effective Places to Find Proofreading and Copy Editing Jobs
Bloggers – Many bloggers pay for someone to proof, edit, and manage their website content and blog posts, so anyone who runs a blog is a potential editing client.
Self-Published Authors – There are millions of books on Amazon now, many by self-published authors who have hired freelance editors to polish their work. If you want to be a freelance book editor, this is a great market to target.
Local Businesses – Even my small town local grocery stores has a presence online. They have a website, weekly emails, social media accounts and even Facebook ads. Someone needs to write and proof all that content. Why not you?
Universities – Professors, master’s, and doctoral students hire freelance editors to check major journal articles, dissertations, and theses. By hanging fliers and making connections around college campuses, you can open the door to more editing job opportunities.
Writers Conferences – Instead of going to a conference full of editors, go to a conference that’s full of writers instead. If you’re really bold, you can submit to speak at a conference and make yourself known as a professional editor. Or if you’re not that daring yet, simply attend and network. Be sure to bring your business cards!
Facebook Groups – Believe it or not, you can make connections and find legitimate editing work on Facebook if you hang out in the right places. Finding Facebook groups where authors and business owners who create content online is another place to find work.
PSSST! My 9 Favorite Creative Places to Find Freelance Editing Jobs
Do you want to see even more of my favorite creative places to find these editing jobs? You can access the list in my Freebie Library.
*– Sign up below to access and download the full list! –*
When you sign up, you’ll receive The Common Cents Club exclusive emails and you’ll have access to all the other freelancing and financial resources to help you grow your income.
What to Do So Clients Find Your Editing Service
You can show off your professional writing and editing skills on your own freelance editing website, LinkedIn Profile and Facebook Business Page. That way when someone see or hears your name and they want to “check you out” to see if you’re legit, they can learn more about you and your editing service.
You can also help clients find you by listing your name in places where people are searching for editors. Directories and lists of recommended editors are another place to include your website and contact information if you meet the membership requirements:
- Editorial Freelancers Association
- Editors’ Association of Canada
- Institute of Professional Editors (Australia)
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK)
- ACES Society for Editors
Summary of Finding Freelance Editing Jobs
There are three main ways you can go about finding remote editing jobs.
1. You can search job boards and freelance sites listed above to apply for current job listings. Just be cautious on free sites like Freelancer and Upwork. There are legit jobs on there but there are scams mixed in. That’s why I trust sites like FlexJobs who screen companies first.
2. You can set yourself apart by making it easier for others to find you with a website, LinkedIn Profile, and Facebook Business Page specifically for your editorial services.
3. You can think creatively and find people locally, in niche social media groups, and online marketplaces where people who need to hire editors hang out.
Where have you had luck finding freelance editing jobs?