Thinking about becoming a WAHM? Ever consider a career as a freelance proofreader? As a graduate of Proofread Anywhere, the intensive multimedia online proofreading course, here’s what I have to say about the course everyone is talking about.
In 2015, I found myself stuck in a HUGE rut feeling drained, burnt out, and just overall empty. I knew I needed something more than the daily grind of motherhood, but I wasn’t sure what it was or where to even look.
I tried a ton of different side hustles over the last couple years, like consignment sales; selling on craigslist, eBay, and OfferUp; and I even got into painting old furniture. I had a lot of fun, but after having to move (yet again) into a small apartment with my family, I just didn’t have the space to keep the inventory up. (Have you ever tried to paint a dresser on your small apartment porch? Yeah. Not fun.) I wanted — needed — something different.
Trying to find creative ways to obtain some kind of training and make some extra cash, I decided to look into distance education. Most college courses were very expensive, and SO many things online are big fat scams. But I kept my radar up for anything I thought would be a good fit. Then one day, while perusing one of my favorite blogs, I came across an article about becoming a court transcript proofreader. I was immediately intrigued, but HIGHLY skeptical. I had never heard of anything like this before. Being the compulsive researcher I am, I decided to do some snooping to find out what Proofread Anywhere was all about.
And I’m SO glad I did!
After some careful thought and consideration, my hubs and I decided that this was a fantastic opportunity because 1) it was a LOT cheaper than enrolling in a local college, 2) it was completely remote, and 3) it was entirely self-paced — all of which were necessary for me as a SAHM.
I was still super worried that it was a scam (It’s hard not to be as a consumer in the digital world.), so I hammered the course creator, Caitlin Pyle, with very lengthy emails being super candid about my skepticism. God bless her! She answered each and every email (and concern!) I threw at her. I decided to bite the bullet and enrolled.
Here are a few details about Proofread Anywhere and the career as a whole:
What is Proofread Anywhere? Proofread Anywhere is a blog owned by Caitlin Pyle, master entrepreneur, proofreader extraordinaire, and creator of Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™, the first and only multimedia training program for transcript proofreading.
What is transcript proofreading? Court reporters, sometimes called court stenographers, create verbatim transcripts of different legal proceedings, such as hearings, trials, depositions, arbitrations, examinations under oath, jury selections, and many others. After these transcripts are created and edited, they are sent off to a proofreader to verify that the transcript is free of errors.
What kind of errors do transcript proofreaders look for? Transcripts can have many different types of errors. Proofreaders must have an excellent command of English grammar and punctuation, as well as court transcript formatting — something that varies between the different states and districts. Transcript errors can include incorrect punctuation, mistranslated steno (the language court reporters use to create the transcripts), formatting errors, incorrectly spelled witness names, incorrect dates and times, etc. It’s WAY more than just dotting I’s an crossing T’s. (<–Yes, those apostrophes are correct. I promise. 🙂 )
How do proofreaders do the work? Proofreading can be done entirely from an iPad at home. Some choose to do it on paper or on a computer screen, but the course teaches — and I totally agree based on my own experience — that it is a million times more efficient to do it from an iPad.
Here’s a peek inside what the course offers:
- 9 modules (60 units) of multimedia lessons including worksheets, video tutorials, 3,000+ pages of practice transcripts (Seriously. It’s a LOT.), quizzes, a hand-graded final exam, AND (wait for it …) a complete module dedicated to help you build your business and find clients. (Check out this post about why I think the marketing module makes this entire course better than traditional college courses.)
- Exclusive access to the student community Facebook group. This is hands down the most encouraging, educational social media group I’ve ever been a part of. The collaboration in the student group easily beats any college course I’ve ever taken. As an introvert, I’ve always hated group activities. I mean, I like people, but I’ve always had social anxiety around people I don’t know. Working with other students remotely really eliminated the anxiety for me — a winning course attribute in my book!
- Drum roll please … LIFETIME ACCESS to all course content AND upgrades!! Why is this so awesome? This is why: When I started the course, there were half as many practice transcripts, half as much marketing instruction, and fewer tutorials. This means that from the time I enrolled until today, the course has doubled in size in the content and resources it has to offer, and I have had access to EVERYTHING. It’s like guaranteed continuing education for life — for FREE! Not a lot of people see the value in this, but I do. It means I never have to pay another dime to stay up to speed on the latest and greatest in this industry. I think we’ll all be hard-pressed to find a traditional school that offers that kind of access to their students.
Looking back, I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I hadn’t taken the chance on Proofread Anywhere.
After completing the course in 2015, I was able to gain my first client almost immediately. My goal was to be able to afford health insurance for me and my family. My first month working, I exceeded my goal and made enough money to pay for our health insurance AND enroll in another course for legal transcription (for real!) to add to my skill set and widen my reach as a mompreneur.
The doors Proofread Anywhere opened for me allowed me to make $2,000 in February of 2016, and I have consistently made about $1,500/mo since — working part time from home! I don’t exclusively proofread for court reporters anymore, but I can say without a doubt that this niche is a GODSEND for moms looking to bring in some cash while staying home with their kiddos.
What’s amazing is because of the doors that were opened to me after graduating PA, I have been able to take my proofreading career and mold it to my interests and passions — becoming a virtual assistant, copy writer, and blogger!
Find out more about my journey from burnout to work-at-home success in my exclusive video interview below:
Not interested in proofreading legal transcripts? Proofread Anywhere also offers a general proofreading course as well.
Disclaimer: I’ve heard mixed reviews about the general proofreading course. Some love it, while some are very underwhelmed. Since I haven’t personally taken the general proofreading course, I recommend doing your due diligence before enrolling to make sure this course is right for you.
Another great proofreading program that I’ve heard some excellent feedback about is Art of Proofreading, a course created by a proofreader and copyeditor with over 16 years of experience and over 1600 fiction and non-fiction books (copyedited and/or proofread) under her belt!