"So... How's That Editing Business Going?"

Posted on April 12, 2024

“Great! I’m ready for clients…”

Let’s look at our accomplishments so far: training, check; social media, check; website, check; keep Imposter Syndrome at bay; check and check. 

Have you arranged a business email, a client questionnaire, a service contract, and a payment process to bill and receive payments from clients?

You know what that means …Research! (If you don’t love it, editing may not be your thing … just sayin’) Time to Google! The proofreading and editing training I learned through had resources to help me, but definitely check out Louise Harnby’s website. https://www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/ She and Denise Cowle have an outstanding podcast, and they answer tons of editing questions. Plus, you’ll find plenty of excellent service contract templates as you search online. I have a PayPal account, and it’s perfect for customizing invoices, setting up payments, and even sending reminders. It’s a cinch to set up and use, but other options are available.

Show Me The Money. Yikes! I dislike talking “money,” but—sorry to say—it’s a part of doing business. So let’s talk this through. You’ll find several places offering average editing and proofreading fees, but there are way too many variables to say these are the “rules” to set your rates. (cue Geoffrey Rush in Pirates of the Caribbean.) “They’re more like guidelines.” 

It’s totally up to you what you wish to charge, within reason. You may want to set a lower, more affordable rate to gain clients initially, but are you selling yourself and your skills short? Not necessarily. You can gradually raise as your experience increases. But should you set your rates as high as a professional who’s been editing for years? Probably not.

It helps to determine your rates by figuring out your cost of living and considering your beginner status. Don’t worry. You’ll find boatloads of information that will contradict, compare, agree, and disagree with every bit of information you can find on rates! (Sorry. That didn’t really help, did it.) The bottom line is freelancers will have varying rates. Do your research and set yours according to your experience and the value you offer your clients. You’ll be tweaking it as you go, but you have to start somewhere.

Before I end today, I want to bring up your ideal client. What do I mean? The person who benefits the most from your specific skills, knowledge, training, and the value you bring. Think in specifics with as many details as possible. This can be difficult, but be prepared to know yourself and your ideal client as clearly as you possibly can so your skills, experience, written content, and advertising speak directly to them.

If you have a niche, that can mean asking for a higher rate because of your expertise. But you don’t need one. Just know that finding the ideal rates for your editing business may take time and a few adjustments. If you’ve come this far with your new business adventure, you’re doing great!

See you in a couple of weeks for: That First Client



Susan will be the first to admit… she’s a nerd. 

Whether tending her garden, fearlessly experimenting with flavors in the kitchen, or putting the first brush to a blank canvas, she’s constantly immersed in creative/nerdy pursuits.  

When an opportunity to leave her 9 to 5 arrived, she didn’t hesitate to pursue her love for language. Her goal was to become an editor and motivate writers to share their stories with the world. Ironically, it was in the world of words and children’s literature where her creative spirit truly blossomed. Drawing from memories of the barn she grew up in, her stories for young readers beautifully capture the essence of farm life and family values, along with kindness, caring, friendship, and acceptance.

She and her hubby live on a small farm in Princeton, Illinois. As her kids grew up and left home, she became caretaker to a flock of escape-artist chickens, her daughter’s lovely Saddlebred horse, and a cantankerous goose who became a beloved character in her children’s stories.


Find more about her and her books at www.finelineproofs.com