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Are you a huge word nerd who loves finding spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in writing? Have you ever thought of working as a freelance proofreader? If so, and if you’re anything like me, you will want to feel like you’re properly trained before you set up your proofreading business. Here’s my honest review of Proofread Anywhere’s General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ course as a graduate of the course.
But first, let me explain why I chose to pursue proofreading as a work-from-home opportunity.
I started proofreading as part of my former day job. At first, I didn’t think I’d be any good at it, but it turned out to be a perfect fit. I get a real sense of satisfaction from being able to find and fix errors.
When I moved from Ireland to Canada in March 2017, I decided that I didn’t want to get an office job. The freedom of working from home was beckoning, but I wasn’t sure how to make that dream a reality.
I did some brainstorming about my skills to see what I could turn into a work-from-home opportunity. Proofreading and copyediting had been the highlight of my old job, so it was a no-brainer when it came to deciding what I wanted to do to earn a living in Canada.
Related reading: The Ultimate Guide to Setting Up a Freelance Proofreading Business
Why did I choose this course?
I’m one of those people who like to have training and qualifications behind them before claiming they can do something well. The Proofread Anywhere General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ course sounded perfect as it promised lots of proofreading practice, marketing information, and a graded exam to verify my skills.
I loved that the course was completely online and self-paced. Although I flew through it because I was so excited to get started on becoming a professional proofreader. It took me about 30 days to complete the course, but I worked on it almost every day during that time.
I was skeptical at first because I’d never done an online course before or a course not run by a traditional school or college. I worried it would be a scam. However, the course sounded so good that I decided to take a chance and go for it.
How is the course organized?
There are two levels of the course that you can purchase: Ignite and Ignite Plus.
Ignite includes lifetime access to the general proofreading course.
Ignite Plus includes lifetime access to the course as well as the following:
- a graded exam,
- a certificate of completion,
- a listing on the Self-Publishing School (SPS) Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex,
- and membership of a private graduate marketing mastermind Facebook group.
I highly recommend choosing Ignite Plus. The extra benefits are definitely worth the money!
The course itself is broken up into 9 modules:
- Module 1: Introduction to General Proofreading
- Module 2: Get into the proofreading mindset
- Module 3: Proofreading basics (includes 10 grammar and punctuation worksheets)
- Module 4: Proofreading methods + practice (includes 40 practice essays)
- Module 5: Turning proofreading into a business
- Module 6: Looking for jobs
- Module 7: Once you get the job
- Module 8: Getting the most out of the freelancing life
- Module 9: Ignite Plus exam
The real meat of the course is in the proofreading practice module. There are 40 practice essays for you to work through and apply the lessons you’ve learned from the course. There are annotated versions provided so you can see the changes another proofreader would have made and track your progress.
Another huge plus for the course is that it doesn’t just teach you how to proofread; you also learn how to start your proofreading business, how to create a website, how to set your rates, and how to market your business to find clients.
Bonuses included with the course
Both the Ignite and Ignite Plus options also come with several bonuses.
- Look Better in Writing Handbook of Commonly Misused (and Abused!) Words — a 57-page guide of commonly confused words plus a 100-question workbook to help you master how to use these words correctly.
- The Ultimate Freelancer Tax Guide — a guide to help you understand the tax implications of setting up your own business.
- The Mindset Mastery Guide — a guide to help you get into the right mindset by overcoming imposter syndrome, letting go of the past, and getting over your fear of getting clients.
- 5 Mindset Shifts for Goal-Crushing Confidence — more mindset shifts to help you get the confidence to go after your dreams.
- Free access to Level 1 Beginner Basecamp of the Transcript Proofreading course. This course teaches you how to proofread legal transcripts for court reporters.
- Free access to the Money Mindset Transformation workshop and workbook. This course is designed to change how you think about money so you can overcome your money blocks.
- A 30-day free trial of the Results Breakthrough Network’s accountability partner app. This app matches you with accountability partners so you can set and keep your study goals.
What are the benefits of this course?
There are numerous benefits and that’s why I wrote this general proofreading course review! I have gotten so much more out of it than I thought possible.
One of the most valuable things I learned is how many amazing resources there are to help you get started. The course pointed me in the right direction toward the best books, reference guides, and software to use. Without this and tips from other students in the Facebook group, it would have taken me so much longer to figure out difficult grammar or punctuation issues or to figure out how to set up my website.
Another great thing about the course is that you get lifetime access. Since I completed the course, the content has tripled! I went back and worked through the new material and learned even more.
The benefits don’t end with the course material. If you pass the exam, you can list on the Self-Publishing School’s Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex. I’ve gotten so many amazing jobs from the rolodex. Although I suppose as more people graduate from the course it will become harder to get work from this directory.
A word of warning: If you’re thinking of signing up for the general proofreading course you need to be clear about how much work you want to put into it. It isn’t going to teach you every grammar rule ever written. You have to be willing to do your own research as well. What the course will do is provide enough proofreading practice to allow you to become an excellent proofreader. Getting access to this level of practice would be very difficult on your own.
Sometimes it can feel like the annotated versions of the essays provided are a bit inconsistent. It seems like they might have been corrected by different people. I suppose it’s important to remember that what one person might apply as a rule another person might follow as a guideline.
Has the Proofread Anywhere General Proofreading course changed my life?
Changed my life might be a bit strong, but I did get a lot out of it! (Update November 2018: I want to revise that statement. The course did change my life. It was the start of my work-at-home journey and directly led to so many opportunities for me to grow my business and earn a full-time income from home.)
I adore working from home and setting my own hours. Don’t get me wrong; when I’m working on a project for a client, it can be very hard work. I have to remind myself to take breaks, but I can’t tell you how happy not spending two hours a day commuting or going to unnecessary meetings makes me. My time is definitely my own. I can sit outside in the sun and proofread if I want to (and if the weather is cooperating!). I wouldn’t be able to do that at an office job!
I’ve proofread nonfiction books, online course material, website content, blog posts, email newsletters, college essays, and job-hunting documents. I love the variety that comes with proofreading for different people!
Completing this course has also made me want to continue learning new things and gaining new skills. I haven’t felt like doing that for years. I’m devouring grammar books and blogs just for fun to try to learn as much as I can. (Yes, I’m a word nerd and proud of it!)
And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve made my money back from the course and then some.
What about the course creator?
Caitlin Pyle, the course creator, started out as a proofreader for court reporters. After people kept asking her to show them how to earn money as proofreaders, she decided to create her first course, Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice. This course has helped a lot of people earn money from proofreading as a side hustle or full-time freelance business. A couple of years later, Caitlin created a course for general proofreaders for people who would prefer to proofread books and blogs.
Caitlin goes above and beyond to create opportunities for her students. What I like most about her is that she doesn’t take any shit. If you’re willing to put the work in and take action, she’ll do her best to make sure that you get the most out of any of her courses. She takes her students’ feedback into account as well and is always adding new content.
At the very least you need to get yourself onto her mailing list because her emails always give me the kick to face my struggles head-on and solve them. Her words are very motivating.
As a student of the General Proofreading course, I often get asked if Proofread Anywhere is legit. I’m always happy to give my opinion on the course, but I also thought it would be a good idea for me to interview Caitlin Pyle to get some of those questions answered. Check out the interview here.
Deciding to do the General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ course is the best decision I’ve made in a long, long time! Doing the course and starting a proofreading business were only the first steps in my journey. I’ve since added copyediting to my list of services. I’m also a virtual assistant, blogger, and freelance writer. Taking the first step by doing the course opened up so many doors for me and gave me the confidence to put myself out there as a business owner.
Thanks for reading my Proofread Anywhere review. I hope it helps you decide if the course is the right choice for you. If you’re still not quite sure if it’s for you, then check out Proofread Anywhere’s free workshop to learn more about proofreading for a living.
If you’re curious about what it’s like to be a freelance proofreader, then check out my day in the life of a freelance proofreader post!
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