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Old 24.07.2015, 14:21
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Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Hi dear community!

I've just moved to Bern and wish to leverage my native English writing/editing/proofreading skills to earn a freelance income.
I am proficient in both academic and business English.
Where/how/whom should I contact/advertise with to get a foot into the market?
I seek to do this while I investigate undertaking my PhD at a Swiss University, and before I have secured funding.
Moreover, I would enjoy such an opportunity as opposed to taking up any job just to make ends meet.

Thanks for any advice!
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  #2  
Old 24.07.2015, 14:40
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Just to add: I would also consider teaching English privately.
Is there call for this? If so, how could I best access the market?

Thanks again!
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  #3  
Old 24.07.2015, 15:04
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Lots of threads on here about teaching English privately. Look through them for tips.
Odd that your native English doesn't sound like my native English though.
Wish to leverage...?
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Old 24.07.2015, 20:15
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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Hi dear community!

I've just moved to Bern and wish to leverage my native English writing/editing/proofreading skills to earn a freelance income.
I am proficient in both academic and business English.
Where/how/whom should I contact/advertise with to get a foot into the market?
I seek to do this while I investigate undertaking my PhD at a Swiss University, and before I have secured funding.
Moreover, I would enjoy such an opportunity as opposed to taking up any job just to make ends meet.

Thanks for any advice!
There's no easy way of putting this, but I don't think this is something you're well suited to. I just skimmed through some of your previous messages, and there are mistakes in all of them, including howlers like using an apostrophe in a plural.

I wouldn't normally be rude enough to point out errors, but if you want to 'earn a freelance income' as a writer/editor/proofreader, you need something more than the ability to speak English. As part of my job, I occasionally try to hire freelancers to write/review/proofread. It's a particular skill that many people sincerely think they have (particularly in a non-English-speaking nation), but few actually do possess.

One test that's worth asking yourself is this: back in England (or wherever you're from) would you regard yourself, and be regarded by others, as a professional-standard writer/editor/proofreader?

Most people admit that they wouldn't. Weirdly, when we move to another country, we think we've become experts at something we weren't that good at in our old lives.

You may have other writing skills for all I know, like creating advertising slogans or songwriting or teaching EFL, but good editing and proofreading are less about creativity and more about having an obsessive eye for detail, a hobbyist's depth of technical knowledge, and an awareness of different cultural norms based on plenty of experience.
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  #5  
Old 09.09.2015, 02:33
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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There's no easy way of putting this, but I don't think this is something you're well suited to. I just skimmed through some of your previous messages, and there are mistakes in all of them, including howlers like using an apostrophe in a plural.

I wouldn't normally be rude enough to point out errors, but if you want to 'earn a freelance income' as a writer/editor/proofreader, you need something more than the ability to speak English. As part of my job, I occasionally try to hire freelancers to write/review/proofread. It's a particular skill that many people sincerely think they have (particularly in a non-English-speaking nation), but few actually do possess.

One test that's worth asking yourself is this: back in England (or wherever you're from) would you regard yourself, and be regarded by others, as a professional-standard writer/editor/proofreader?

Most people admit that they wouldn't. Weirdly, when we move to another country, we think we've become experts at something we weren't that good at in our old lives.

You may have other writing skills for all I know, like creating advertising slogans or songwriting or teaching EFL, but good editing and proofreading are less about creativity and more about having an obsessive eye for detail, a hobbyist's depth of technical knowledge, and an awareness of different cultural norms based on plenty of experience.
Hi Pachyderm,

Sorry for bumping/hijacking this thread for my own purposes! I was googling for writing jobs in Switzerland and came across this post...and decided to (finally) sign up.
I would actually be interested in what the OP wrote about, with the added bonus that my answer to your queries is a resounding "yes!".
I come across so many websites with badly written copy, typos, awful style, etc., and it drives me up the wall! I was just looking at a translating/copywriting company that requires you to have 5 years of experience before applying, yet has a glaring gallicism on the application page.
This invariably irks my obsessive compulsive correcting disorder, and I often come close to emailing the offending company (though I usually don't because they should be hiring competent people, and also because it would probably be considered rude on my part).

I currently write copy and blog for an American company, and I'm looking for more freelance work, preferably editing or proofreading (as I do quite a lot of writing already). I travel often so it would need to be something that isn't geographically binding.
(I'm also exploring translating options, but that's not really relevant here.)

I have a couple of places in mind that I'd like to apply to, but if you have any suggestions I would be grateful!
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Old 09.09.2015, 02:38
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Well that is a terrible choice of font and it looks like I can't edit my post.
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Old 09.09.2015, 09:37
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

1:1 repost of #5, but with a more eye-friendly font

===============================

Hi Pachyderm,

Sorry for bumping/hijacking this thread for my own purposes! I was googling for writing jobs in Switzerland and came across this post...and decided to (finally) sign up.
I would actually be interested in what the OP wrote about, with the added bonus that my answer to your queries is a resounding "yes!".
I come across so many websites with badly written copy, typos, awful style, etc., and it drives me up the wall! I was just looking at a translating/copywriting company that requires you to have 5 years of experience before applying, yet has a glaring gallicism on the application page.
This invariably irks my obsessive compulsive correcting disorder, and I often come close to emailing the offending company (though I usually don't because they should be hiring competent people, and also because it would probably be considered rude on my part).

I currently write copy and blog for an American company, and I'm looking for more freelance work, preferably editing or proofreading (as I do quite a lot of writing already). I travel often so it would need to be something that isn't geographically binding.
(I'm also exploring translating options, but that's not really relevant here.)

I have a couple of places in mind that I'd like to apply to, but if you have any suggestions I would be grateful!
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  #8  
Old 09.09.2015, 10:00
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Is the font that bad? Looks readable to me Didn't even know one could choose fonts here.
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Old 09.09.2015, 10:18
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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Is the font that bad? Looks readable to me Didn't even know one could choose fonts here.
Generally you want non-serif fonts like this one for screens and serif ones like this for print.

It makes it easier to read based on the media you are using. Serif fonts describe the extra "bits" on the letters that can make it easier to read, but can clutter a screen. But it is also a matter of taste and may be changing as screens get better resolution.

Link here.
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Old 09.09.2015, 10:50
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

Agree that the letter spacing is somewhat better with this font. I was on my phone earlier and didn't see much of a difference.
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Old 09.09.2015, 10:59
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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1:1 repost of #5, but with a more eye-friendly font
Thanks! Haha
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Old 09.09.2015, 11:29
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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Agree that the letter spacing is somewhat better with this font. I was on my phone earlier and didn't see much of a difference.
Letter spacing is not part of the font. You can space letters however you want if the software allows it, or if you can hack the css of the website.

The default font is normally set up to look OK and be readable but if you start customzing stuff you've got to be careful.
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Old 18.09.2015, 01:26
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

uh oh I do copywriting and editing but tend to be lazy for forums and and not important stuff. I should be more careful in future
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Old 18.09.2015, 12:47
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Re: Professional English writing/editing/proofreading

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uh oh I do copywriting and editing but tend to be lazy for forums and and not important stuff. I should be more careful in future
Haha, I know exactly what you mean. I tend to be very slang-y in forums
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