This is an interview with Caitlin Pyle from Proofread Anywhere.
Hey, Caitlin. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
After working as a freelance proofreader, I now teach others how to learn marketable skills they can use as they start their own businesses.
I became a multimillionaire in four years and have been featured in publications such as Forbes.com, Business Insider, Fast Company, and more.
I live in Florida and want all people to know that living the life you want is possible for anyone willing to do what it takes to get there.
How did your career in proofreading begin?
My passion for proofreading started when I studied abroad in Germany for a year in college and would help students proofread their college essays. I loved using my grammar talent to catch errors and help others turn their writing into masterpieces.
That love for proofreading continued to grow. I took my general proofreading skills to the next level when I got into proofreading transcripts for court reporters back in 2012.
I was so good at spotting errors, I became known as “Eagle Eyes.” In fact, proofreading transcripts became my primary source of income in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Because I was so passionate about proofreading, I started ProofreadAnywhere.com as a blog back in 2014, and it’s exploded since then.
How long did it take you to make your first $1,000 proofreading?
It’s really hard to say how long it took, because I had been doing it for quite a while without even realizing that’s what I was doing 😉
On average, my students take a month to get through the course, so you can guess at least a month or two before some money will be made.
I have a free 76-minute workshop, where I go into detail on what the course includes and how it will benefit you immediately after graduating.
And while asking how long it takes to make money is a valid question, the more important question that should be asked is, “What skills do I need to master first in order to make money?”
And because we all learn at different speeds, I really can’t say how long it will take or how quick it can be. The important thing to remember is this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a learn-the-skills-and-reap-the-rewards opportunity!
What does it take to become a proofreader today?
Just like being a proofreader requires working hard and learning new skills — something some people aren’t willing to do — there are some other qualities that can indicate if proofreading is a good fit or not.
Successful proofreaders have an eagle eye for errors, know grammar and spelling, and are flexible.
Does passion play a big role in succeeding as a proofreader?
Well of course! If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’re probably not going to do a very good job at it!
When and why did you start Proofread Anywhere?
In 2012, I started proofreading transcripts for court reporters from home. One client became two, two became even more!
As a proofreader, I made up to $4,000 a month. Soon enough, people started asking me how I was able to proofread from home and be successful, so I wrote a little eBook to lead people through the process.
The popularity of it grew and people wanted even more detail, so in 2014 I started proofreadanywhere.com as a blog, which eventually became what it is today!
Read also: How to Start a Blog That Makes $1,000/Month
How did you grow the blog in the first year?
Honestly, that first year I didn’t have high hopes for it. In fact, when I first started my blog, I only bought the domain for the year because I didn’t think it’d make it past a year.
Having a message that resonates with people will bring people to you without much effort.
How much are you currently earning from your blog and business?
We currently bring in over 2 million a year between our various courses, blog, and other streams of income.
What was your first product?
The first product was Proofread Anywhere, which I talked about above 🙂
What percentage of the revenue is coming from your courses?
I don’t have the numbers for each course (since I have 3 of them!) but the largest percentage is from the courses!
What strategies helped you grow your proofreading business to 6- and 7-figures?
There are three strategies I use to attract and retain customers.
First, I actually care about them. I want them to succeed. I want them to use my courses as a way out.
But I’m very clear before they purchase that my course is going to be challenging and they’re going to have to work hard for it. I tell them that because I actually care about them.
A lot of energy goes into emailing my students and future students, responding to their comments, and responding to their emails.
Second, we run ads. Because we’re profitable, we can run ads on Pinterest, Facebook, and a few other places. This helps us to reach new customers that might not know about us otherwise.
Third, I email them pretty frequently with helpful information.
I touched on it earlier but reaching out to our soon-to-be new students is so important in attracting and retaining our customers. It gives us a chance to bond with them and let them know we care about them.
We have a good amount of traffic that comes from the Proofread Anywhere blog. It’s been up for a few years now and we’ve worked really hard to make sure it has quality content that will help our readers.
Finally, we use affiliates to get the word out there about Proofread Anywhere and how it’s helping people succeed.
Most of our traffic comes through paid ads and our affiliates.
Read also: How Caroline Used Pinterest and Affiliate Marketing to Build a $100K Parenting Blog
What were the biggest challenges on the way to growing your business?
One of my biggest challenges was the fear itself of launching my business! I had quit so many things in the past — I figured this wouldn’t be any different.
Turns out I was wrong. 😉
The biggest lesson I learned from that is that you never know exactly what will take off — and it’s always a good idea to take a chance on yourself. 🙂
How many hours do you work per week?
My business started with me working 16-hour days on my blog and today I’m semi-retired while my team of 8 runs much of the day-to-day.
I love having the freedom to still help people without having to work all the time. In fact, I now work because I want to, not because I have to.
What are your top tips for aspiring proofreaders who want to earn money from home?
The biggest thing I could share is to get out of your own head and focus on who you are helping instead of your own problems.
I know it’s kind of difficult if you’re drowning, so the first thing would be to stop drowning and then focus on solving problems.
You can read more about my journey from working for someone else to building my own company in my book Work At Home.
I’m actually giving it away for free — I just ask you cover shipping and handling.
You can also join my free workshop to kick off your proofreading career.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- What a successful proofreader does (and doesn’t do!)
- How to elevate your skills to become a GREAT proofreader
- How to use one of the most popular proofreading tools out there… and learn a few places to find clients!
- Learn more about the proofreading profession
If you want to learn more, you can get free access here.
What’s next for you and Proofread Anywhere?
This is an interesting question. So much has changed in my personal and business life over the past year that it’s difficult to know what the future will look like.
I can say this, though:
Because I built an excellent product that focuses on helping people, my profit margins are pretty high, we are constantly gaining new customers, and we have systems in place. Now it’s just a matter of tweaking what we already have.