Have you ever wanted to know what it would be like to show up at work in your pajamas at 1 in the afternoon and not have to answer to anyone about why you are just getting there? Well, now you can. With the turn of the 21st century came a welcomed spike in home based job opportunities and, contrary to popular belief, it can be very profitable with little to no initial financial investment. In fact, there are many options available to you and today we are going to explore two of them; namely – freelance editing and freelance sub-editing. So let’s explore what these two jobs entail exactly and the differences between them.

Copyediting or Sub-Editing

Copyediting or Sub-Editing, can be said to be ‘one step up’ from proofreading. When a person copyedits a document, their sole task is to reread the document to identify and correct all grammatical and style consistency errors, along with the errors that the proof-reader should have picked up on – spelling errors, punctuation errors, typos and other obvious unintended errors.  This is usually done after the document is proofread, if the person copyediting is not the same person proofreading the document.

It is important to recognise the difference between the two skill sets, as not all proof-readers provide copyediting services. It takes an additional measure of expertise to correctly edit your document in terms of the style of writing. As such, it generally takes more time than proofreading.

Having the same writing style throughout your document displays a certain level of uniformity and professionalism. It is extremely vital that the person employed to do this task is competent in copyediting.  A prime example of this is can be seen in documents written with names of states, section separators, abbreviations and various ideas that can be written differently. Believe it or not, how these names are treated throughout the document makes all the difference. You must ensure that they are expressed the same way throughout the document and it sometimes requires rereading the document multiple times to pick up on these style errors.


To edit a document is to critically examine the document in an attempt to improve the flow and quality of the text. An editor is generally given the ‘go ahead’ from a client to go through, omit and rewrite entire sentences and paragraphs if thought to be out of context or structured incorrectly.  Editing can also involve error identification and correction, but should never be confused as the general responsibility of an editor. In fact, although not usually recommended, it is possible to edit a document without proofreading or even copyediting. We believe that a good editor should correct any obvious error that they come across while editing a document. They should also edit any unnecessary wordiness, as well as highlight any potential issues with the document and bring it to the attention of the publisher or writer, so that it can be discussed and corrected accordingly.

Both these jobs, as simple as they may seem, can earn you anywhere between £5 and £5000, depending on the workload, the hiring company’s budget and how competent you are as an editor. Enrolling on a few business writing courses will help you understand more about editing and how to get ahead.

About the author: Lee is a freelance writer and blogger currently living and working in London, England.