This is the first feature in the Self-Employment Series!
I’m interviewing myself because I’m a successful graduate of the Proofread Anywhere course, and proofreading for court reporters changed my life.
What is court transcript proofreading?
Most proceedings in a courthouse are typed up verbatim by a court reporter.
The result is a transcript that can look a lot like a film script.
A proofreader’s job is to go through that transcript looking for errors in grammar, punctuation, and other things.
Because it’s a verbatim record of what was said in court, incorrect usage is not corrected.
For instance, if the line says, “I cooked a egg” instead of “I cooked an egg,” you can highlight it for the court reporter to double-check with audio, but if the speaker really said “a egg,” it stays in that way.
That makes our job easier than a normal proofreader.
Why and how did you decide to pursue this career?
I was living in Hollywood trying to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
Rather than take the stereotypical job of waitress, I decided I wanted to try to find a job where I could work from home.
My search led me to the Proofread Anywhere course and the rest is history.
I have no regrets.
Why did you choose “Proofread Anywhere”?
Proofread Anywhere is the only course of its kind. No other course teaches you how to proofread specifically for court reporters.
Proofread Anywhere is an online, self-paced course that teaches you how to be a proofreader for court reporters. I discovered Proofread Anywhere because I went hunting online for at-home business ideas.
It immediately caught my attention for a few reasons:
- You could work from home…You could work from wherever you wanted, actually.
- You could make your own hours.
- You’d be your own boss.
- The job would be the same but the work would always be different.
- Pay ranges from $18/hour to $70/hour.
- You can do it all from an iPad.
Personally, this idea appealed to me for a few reasons:
- I was always good at grammar and punctuation; I often proofread the papers of my classmates in school.
- I found the idea of proofreading court transcripts exciting! In fact, my first client gave me a transcript about a pharmaceutical company who knowingly sold a harmful drug…crazy stuff!
- The pay was way higher than any other job I could find while still in college.
Before I was ready to jump in and make the investment, I needed to do my research. I soon discovered that proofreading court transcripts was a different ballgame than usual proofreading.
There’s a reason why this niche is so unknown: It requires a skill set which has to be learned. If I wanted to do this, I needed to make the investment and learn exactly how to do it.
My gut was telling me that if I made the jump, it could change my life.
And I sensed that Caitlin (the course creator) was very sincere and transparent about everything. I trusted her and trusted that her course was worth it.
I was right.
The Pros of Proofread Anywhere:
Upon starting the course, I realized my instincts were right. I could see how thorough the course was just from the syllabus. The course is comprised of nine modules containing a total of 54 lessons.
I learned everything I needed to; my first client emailed me after the first few transcripts I proofread for her, and she said, “Just wanted to say, Damn, you’re good. So impressed with your work.”
She said that only because I knew what I was doing, and I knew what I was doing because I took the time to learn.
The course covers everything. And I mean everything. You can check out the syllabus to see for yourself.
I got to join the Proofread Anywhere Facebook group and later the Graduate group. I was expecting competitiveness, an unwillingness to help, no friendships to be made. I was dead wrong. I have never encountered a group so willing to help and so encouraging. No matter how many times I asked a grammar question, no matter how many times I pestered, someone was always there to virtually lend a hand. When I succeeded, I had the group cheering me on. I’ve made friends, and we refer each other to our clients when we’re swamped with work.
Caitlin, the course creator, is very active in the groups, and she’s there to encourage us and answer our questions. She really cares, and that matters to me so much.
The Cons of Proofread Anywhere:
It wasn’t easy. In fact, I felt pretty humbled after doing my first practice transcript. I thought since I was naturally pretty good at grammar and punctuation, this would be a breeze. It wasn’t. It took me about three months to complete the course.
In all honesty, I think the practice transcripts module needs some fine-tuning. In the course, you have access to over 3,000 real transcript practice pages. But checking your work can be a little muddled because (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you see it) court reporters can have different preferences. This means that you might catch an error, but that reporter won’t see it as an error. Another reporter will. So checking your work can be a little frustrating.
Happily, you’ll make a preference page to give to your clients; this way, you’ll have their preferences written down and you’ll be sure to catch what they need caught and pass what they want left alone.
How much does Proofread Anywhere cost?
The course is $997. It was less when I signed up, but that’s because there was less than half of the content there is now. What I think is pretty cool is that I got all that extra content free once it was released. Once you’re a member, you get all course content updates and additions free of charge. That doesn’t happen often.
Considering I made $3,200 in my first month, I’d say the course is worth it. In fact, I’d pay a higher amount for it. It’s worth every penny I spent on it and more.
You don’t have to pay it all at once either. You can buy the course piece by piece and you end up paying the same price.
How much do you make a month? Do you work part time or full time?
I made $3,200 in my first month as a proofreader and averaged about $2,600/month after that. I worked no more than 20 hours a week.
I’ve recently decreased my hours even more and let go of a few clients so I can focus on Fruitfully Alive, and now I average about $1,400/month.
What are your business-related expenses?
No more than $30/month.
What are your duties? Can you describe a day in your life?
When I receive a transcript, I respond to confirm receipt.
Then I’ll plan out my day and decide when I’ll proofread.
I’ll proofread no more than 4 hours a day.
I send out invoices once a week or once every two weeks for certain clients.
I proofread everything from medical depositions to criminal trials.
What is your favorite part of being a transcript proofreader for court reporters?
I’m going to have to give more than one answer.
I like saving the court reporter.
Sometimes they make embarrassing errors and it makes me the hero when I catch them.
Pre-me the transcript might say, “Did you snow?”
Post-me it *might say, “Did you know?”
*see my first note at the beginning of the transcript about it being a verbatim record*
I love the independence and flexibility I have being able to support myself from home.
I like reading interesting cases!
Do you have any advice for someone considering this as a career?
Take the free 7-day intro! It’ll give you a better sense of whether or not this is right for you.
Reach out! Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
How did Proofread Anywhere change my life?
I finished the course a year ago, and I’m currently living the happily ever after. It’s given me a part-time job that gives me a full-time income; I’ve earned $32,000 in my first year. It’s the springboard I needed to embrace independence and start pursuing my dreams. I can do this because I know I’m financially stable with this job.
When I need a refresher, I log back into the course.
When I have a question, or I’m celebrating a win, or feel like venting, I go to the Facebook group. It’s my virtual family over there, no joke.
There are a lot of reporters that have come to know the Proofread Anywhere course. Many of them esteem it and are eager to work with its graduates.
What if I pay for all of it and realize it’s not for me? Caitlin has put some options in place to help ensure that that won’t happen. For starters, take the free 7-day course; it’ll help you gauge whether this is a good option for you. Second, you don’t have to buy the whole course at once. You can buy the first two modules as part of the 30-Day Jumpstart course for only $197.
Will the course help me find a job? Yeah, it will. It’ll teach you everything you need to know on finding clients and it’ll help you create all the marketing tools you need. Most importantly, it’ll teach you the skills you need to keep the client. But success depends on you. How hard are you willing to work for this? Are you willing to put in the effort?
Is it a boring job? Sometimes. I read two transcripts in one day; one of them was a murder trial that read more like a thriller screenplay. The other was an insurance case about a toilet that overflowed and damaged the bathroom rug (mind-numbingly boring). It just depends. At least I always learn something new!
If you’ve been searching for an at-home job where you make your own hours, this might really be the thing for you. I so encourage you to take the free 7-day course. It’s free so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
If you want to be a proofreader for court reporters, Proofread Anywhere is the only course in existence which will get you there.
Any other questions? Feel free to comment or shoot me an email!