Work-from-Home Business Editing + Proofreading

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting a Freelance Editing Business

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So you’ve been thinking about starting a freelance editing business…

I love being able to teach people how to make editing into a profitable side hustle—or full-time gig—but I know it can be completely overwhelming.

When I first started, I was editing manuscripts and wasn’t getting paid for it! But it was a foot in the door that led me to where I am today: copyediting and proofreading from home so I’m not missing out on raising my 3-year-old, all while teaching other women how to do the same!

If you’re wanting to get started, here are 10 things I wish I knew before I became a freelance copyeditor.

Pros to Starting a Freelance Editing Business:

1) How incredibly rewarding it is

It’s no secret I love to read, but what I didn’t realize is just how much I love helping writers make their manuscripts even better. It’s so rewarding to see your name in the acknowledgments of a book as an editor!

2) How much I crave a flexible schedule

I started my career out of college in the corporate world, working your typical 9-to-5 job. While the structure of a 9-to-5 is awesome, there’s just something about having the flexibility to work when I want and where I want that I love so much. I never have to worry about missing out on time with my daughter or friends!

3) Being my own boss is THE best

Not having anyone to answer to might just be the best part about being a freelance editor! I’m my own boss and only have to answer to myself.

4) I 100% control how much money I make

I know it can be scary to make the leap from a steady paycheck into a land of not knowing how you’re going to make it, but you are 100% in control of how much money you make. As you get better as an editor, you can start to charge more, and the sky is the limit.

5) I 100% decide who I get to work with

You get to decide what clients and projects you take on. If you don’t like nonfiction books, you don’t have to edit them! If you’re in a busy season, you can say yes to fewer projects so you have more time in your schedule. You get to choose what you take on.

6) I get to work with some truly talented people

The books and projects I get to edit and the people I get to work with are simply amazing. I’ve met so many incredibly talented writers and business owners through this career that I never would have met working a corporate job.

Cons to Starting a Freelance Editing Business:

7) Taxes are 100% your responsibility

It was nice having someone do my payroll and take out my taxes automatically for me at my 9-to-5 job. Now I’m solely responsible for those expenses, and if you’re not great with money or taxes, it can feel extremely overwhelming.

8) Work can be feast or famine

Some months you might be swamped with work, while others you’re sitting around twiddling your thumbs. It can be scary when you’re not editing as much stuff (and pretty boring too), but there are always seasons when work will pick back up and you’ll be busy again.

9) Budgeting as a freelancer

Again, if you’re not great with money, this can be difficult. It’s really easy to want to grab the latest course or think everything can be written off on your taxes, but when you’re going through a season where you’re not picking up as many jobs, this can be a little more difficult.

10) Not knowing who to ask for help

When I first started freelance editing, I had so many questions and wasn’t sure who could actually answer them for me. Especially when business is brand new to you, there are several things you probably don’t know (like email marketing, sales funnels, social media, etc.).

That’s part of why I started the Freelance Editors Club. I had so many questions and didn’t know who to ask for help. Now I have the answers so you know exactly where you can go when you’re first starting your business.

11) It can be lonely

Working from home as a freelance editor is so rewarding, but it can be extremely lonely at times. If you’re looking for a community of freelance editors from all backgrounds, join the Freelance Editors Club. You’ll never feel alone!

If you’re ready to learn how to become a freelance editor, here are a few different ways I can help you get started:⁠
⁠⁠
– Invest in the Freelance Editors Club
– Book a 1:1 coaching session

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