Short Guide on How to Become a Freelance Editor
Many people dream of a prestigious profession. And one of the options for meeting your ambitions is to be a freelance editor. It is creative, interesting, but also difficult to work for willful people with an organizational vein. Of course, you will not be able to find a good freelance editor work without proper education. Therefore, you must have a higher degree. Is it possible to become an editor from scratch and what you need to know about your future work?
Several steps to become a freelance editor
- Decide which editor you want to become. Also, decide which industry you want to work in and what literature to edit. Once you decide what you want, you will understand what to do next. And do not be afraid - you can decide with a fair amount of probability! You have to like the books you want to edit, moreover, you have to love and have a good understanding of the direction in which books or magazines are written.
- Sign up for spelling courses. A good editor should have spelling skills. Come up with a topic that you would like to speculate on and write about it. You must have a good command of the language, grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It is difficult to be a good freelance editor if you have problems with the language.
- Start collaborating with a local newspaper. Even if you do not have much free time, talk to someone from the newspaper. Suddenly they need a remote editor, at least for half a day. It would be great to get practice with some good professional editor to at least find out exactly what his work is. You will learn a lot and understand for sure whether you want to do this or not.
- Think clearer. To become a freelance editor, your mind must combine creativity, constancy (to endure long hours of work on the text) and the ability to think analytically (to quickly decide how the text meets its requirements). Communicate with those who are smarter than you, and you’ll see things from new angles and get new perspectives on the current state of affairs. If you make mistakes, then always treat them later; analyze what went wrong and how it can be corrected. And don't make the same mistake twice.
- Read as much as you can. It always amazed me how many mistakes were made in various publications. You can see them in advertisements, newspapers, and sometimes even novels. To become a freelance editor, you need to read a lot of books. The more you read, the better you will see errors, and it’s not at all easy when you check a huge number of articles and headings per day.
- Search a freelance editor work at the magazines. Depending on the magazine, you may choose to work full-time and part-time. Some of the magazines break the jackpot only on advertising, so you will only have a couple of columns under your control. But if you want to become a professional in this activity, you will have to work hard and devote more time to practice.
- Show everyone your interest in this work. You will have to show a lot of enthusiasm for you to be hired. If you already have experience in this area, tell the employer as emotionally as possible, show him that you love this business and will not let him down. The likelihood of hiring will increase if both he and you understand that you need each other.
- Your education should be in journalism, literature, and languages. Having an education in these areas, it will be easier for you to start working as a freelance editor. You must identify errors and know exactly how to fix them. If you have any problems with this, you should do it before you begin.
- Try yourself as a writer. The best way to become a competent and good editor is to try to take the place of the one you will check and edit. As with reading, you will accumulate knowledge about the language and how to better build sentences, paragraphs, and the articles themselves. For example, start your blog.
Some tips for the future freelance editor:
- A print editor may have experience as a journalist. That would be a plus for such an employee. It is important for the editor of an online publication to know the principles of SEO and sign a freelance editor contract. And a book editor should better start his career with an assistant.
- Develop print speeds and general computer skills, including all major applications (from Excel and Word to Photoshop, etc.).
- Get experience in the author's freelance editor work. Try yourself in different genres; focus on the target audience, choosing the language and style according to the tasks of the texts.
- Learn to handle serious amounts of information and check facts quickly.
- Learn the basics of spelling. The editor has no right of error (in every sense).
- Find a job in your local newspaper. Even if you’ll get “pennies" there, this experience (whether even remotely or south) will be useful to you.
- Read a lot. Do not miss the opportunity to expand your horizons and look for mistakes. The more you read, the more mistakes you notice, the sharper your eyes are.
- Learning on the internet is real! Find helpful resources where you can get or continue your education for free.
When you find a freelance editor work and go all the way, you will learn how to work with materials of different types in difficult conditions. You will no longer be afraid to write to a wide audience. And the experience gained will guarantee future demand, even in difficult times in terms of economy. So look for customers on the freelance exchange and gain experience.