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Top Reasons You’d Love to Become a Freelance Editor

  • 31 May, 2021
Top Reasons You’d Love to Become a Freelance Editor

"No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft."H.G. Wells 

Editing has gone to the top of the most in-demand talents in this age of unparalleled content production. Since content has become an important aspect of branding, around 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing.

If you enjoy reading and editing written words and instinctively pinpoint typos and grammatical errors, becoming a freelance editor can be a great career choice for you. 

As a freelance editor, you may pick and choose your favorite editing niche, when and where you want to work, and what projects you would like to work on. 

In today's digital information economy, freelance editors have a lot of opportunities at their disposal. 

However, being a freelance editor requires a certain level of expertise. You ought to have a thorough understanding of your role and how it can be utilized in the contemporary digital world. 

This article will walk you through the process of becoming a freelance editor, how much do freelance editors make, and the importance of freelance editor jobs in 2021 and beyond. 

What is a Freelance Editor?

becoming a freelance editor

A freelance editor’s job is to correct, fix, and enhance the written text to ensure its accuracy and perfection. 

Corrections may include adjusting grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure, as well as ensuring that the written text flows smoothly and adheres to guidelines. 

Simply put, as a freelance editor, you find typos, contextual errors, structural and grammatical errors, correct them, and then get paid!

To be a freelance editor, you need to be a language lover, detail-oriented, have excellent writing, problem-solving skills, and creative thinking skills.

What Does Freelance Editor Jobs Look Like?

freelance copy editor

As a freelance editor, you may spend most of your day working for clients, but you'll also need to devote time to promoting yourself as a freelancer, obtaining new customers, and overseeing client and project management that comes with being an independent worker. 

You'll collaborate closely with clients to craft a polished and refined final written piece, ranging from fiction or nonfiction writers and website content managers to magazine editorial teams and in-house publishing companies. 

Having said that, we can infer that almost every business needs the services of a professional freelance editor. 

And that's great news for you! With the internet's lightning-fast growth and the emergence of new websites every day, the need for freelance editors will only multiply.

But, keep in mind that being a freelance editor is not all peaches and cream and may require excessive editing and long working hours at times, particularly when a deadline is due.

4 Most Demanded Types of Freelance Editor Jobs

freelance editor jobs

The freelance editor job is determined by what type of editor they are. Let’s discuss the different types of editing.

  1. Freelance Developmental Editor

A freelance developmental editor collaborates with authors to revise a book from beginning to end, including plot design, thematic and character development, and dialogue formation. 

This is a very intricate type of editing and you may only be able to offer it if you have experience writing books and creating story arcs, structure, and flow.

An example of developmental editing is book editing. A freelance book editor is someone who edits a manuscript's language, punctuation, general plot, and formatting. They must be adept at fact-checking and paying close attention to the smallest of details.

Depending on the type of editor, book editors may collaborate with the author from the start, providing broad recommendations to enhance the content or story.

They may also be the last pair of eyes to check at a manuscript before it is published.

A freelance book editor typically has a solid understanding of sentence structure and word choice, as well as years of experience in the literary or publishing profession (as a copy editor, at publishing companies, or freelance editing).

  1. Freelance Copy Editor

Freelance copy editors are the grammatical guardians of the media industry. They proofread stories for anything from typos to incomprehensible phrases to misplaced commas. 

They sink into the mechanics of the text, recheck grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling mistakes while ensuring style consistency.

Their job is to ensure that the copy is as effective and persuasive as possible because it is the copy that engages potential readers and converts them into paying clients.

You may be interested in: How You Can Become a Freelance Copy Editor in 2021

  1. Freelance Line Editor

Line editing, which is more of an art than a science, guarantees that the sentences in a book or article are as effective as possible. 

A freelance line editor pays close attention to the writer's own style and tightens sentence structure line by line, ensuring that the language is crisp and unambiguous. 

They examine how a writer's word choice and syntax affect the tone and mood of a piece of literature. In short, a freelance line editor is responsible for a piece's overall pace and logical flow.

  1. Freelance Proofreader

Proofreading, often known as final edits or proofing, is the last edit before a copy is sent to print. 

Freelance proofreaders examine for any residual typos, tenses, grammatical, spelling, or punctuation issues.

They may also check for uniformity in design elements including correcting page numbers, indexing, reviewing the table of contents, and checking consistency across headers and design components.

How Much Do Freelance Editors Make?

freelance editor rate

Let’s talk about the freelance editor rates. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual pay for a freelance editor in the United States is $69,599/year as of May 20, 2021.

According to Salary.com, the average Freelance Editor pay in the United States is $60,965, with a pay range of $52,576 to $69,040.

A new editor might expect to make between $30 and $50 thousand a year, depending on the quality and the number of projects they take on. 

If you prefer freelancing, you may set your own freelance editing rates, which range from $0.014 to $0.020 per word on average. 

The cost varies based on the sort of editing, the manuscript's genre and length, and your degree of skill. 

Take a look at some concrete statistics gathered from various sources. Here are some common freelance editor rates to give you a ballpark sense of how much to charge as a beginner freelance editor.

Work Type

Price Per Word


Editorial Review

$0.014


Copy Editing 

$0.017


Content or Developmental Editing

$0.024


Proofreading

$0.012

Copy Editing + Proofreading 

$0.019


By using this data, you can calculate and set your per-project rates for freelance editing services.

How Do You Become a Freelance Editor?

to be a freelance editor

  1. Reading Is the Key

 “If you want to be a writer, you need to read a lot.” It's something you've heard a lot. Similarly, for being a freelance editor, the most generic yet important thing is to make reading your habit.

Reading sharpens your creative abilities. You picture the scenes as you read and even portray the characters according to the provided description. 

It aids cognitive development by assisting you in critically analyzing diverse circumstances, comprehending, and justifying the answers provided.

As you read a variety of genres, works by numerous classic and contemporary writers, and a wide range of publications. you will progressively begin to identify and comprehend distinct writing styles.

In particular, you should begin reading more articles in your chosen niche.

It's also okay if you're not sure what you want to specialize in. The essential aim is to hone your editorial receptivity and any piece of writing can do that.

  1. Explore The Industry and Pick Your Editing Niche

Without any doubt, freelance editors are required whenever written words are published. You may start with a certain media platform, medium, or newspaper if you love it. 

If you prefer romance novels, for example, you may dig into what it takes to become a romance book editor.

Different editing positions will need different levels of experience and expertise. Furthermore, some industries and specialties may be tougher to break into than others. 

For instance, editing scientific publications and medical literature often requires a higher degree and a large amount of expertise than editing web blogs and articles. 

So, be smart and confident in your choice. 

  1. Get The Required Degree/ Training

You'll need a bachelor's degree at the very least for being a freelance editor as the market is already swamped with ambitious editors. 

Some freelance editors could get their foot in the door with only their skills, but it’s good if you have a degree for even a freelance editing job.

Despite the fact that most copy editors specialize in English, Journalism, or Communications, there are no formal academic requirements to work as a freelance copy editor.

To familiarize yourself with the editing process and learn the skills you need, enroll in editing courses at a local college or attend a writer's workshop.

  1. Create a Portfolio 

If you're just starting out as a freelance editor and don't have a lot of material to put in your portfolio, offer your services to people who may require an additional pair of eyes to check over their papers.

You may also look around your vicinity for help, such as volunteering to edit a monthly newsletter for your neighborhood association. 

You may also hunt for online internships or volunteer opportunities to obtain editing experience. And don't forget to request testimonials and customer feedback.

Another effective way is to sign up to a freelance marketplace to start gaining the required freelance editing experience. 

Create an engaging profile and begin marketing your editing skills. With such a large market, you're likely to find someone who would need your freelance editing services. 

  1. Start Networking

Networking is crucial for your success as a freelance editor. You should start networking while you're refining your editing skills and establishing your portfolio. 

Utilize social media tools like Facebook and Instagram to maintain an active online presence and it’s better to create a professional profile where you don’t share your personal stuff.

LinkedIn and Twitter are also excellent places to meet other freelance editors and writers. Do not judge other freelancers as merely your competitors, but rather as colleagues with whom you may share your experiences. 

Your fellow freelance editors might give you a much-needed leg-up to introduce you to your first customer.

Are Freelance Editors in Demand?

freelance editor

It's no secret that freelancing has a bright future.

After all, freelancers now make 35% of the workforce in the United States, and this percentage is only anticipated to rise in the coming years.

And, if you're a freelance writer or editor, the news gets even more rewarding: content marketing generated a $300 billion business in 2020 and is expected to grow in the future, according to Marketing Mag.

So, if you’re muddled by whether freelance editors are in demand or not, the quick answer to this is “yes they are.”

The Bottom Line

Freelancing has helped many survive the disaster brought upon by the pandemic. Therefore, if you are a writer, ghostwriter, or copywriter with good skills, might as well add editing to your portfolio and earn steady revenue as a freelance editor.