Freelancer of the Month February 2013 – Julia Bodie


Welcome to ourFreelancer of the Month feature. This month we chatted with Julia Bodie, a proofreader and copy-editor who runs

Hi Julia! Can you tell us a bit about your business?

I offer a proofreading and copy-editing service to both individuals and companies. I have worked across a very diverse range of industries and have edited everything from Terms of Business, insurance newsletters, blogs, menus, property brochures, to all manner of marketing material and novels.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a freelancer.

I worked as a recruitment consultant for years and was a bit of a frustrated proofreader even then – there were plenty of opportunities to use my red pen on applicants’ CVs and all of the agency’s marketing material was proofread by me, prior to being sent out. I knew the agency was in trouble in 2009 and, fearing redundancy, decided I would finally go it alone as a proofreader. I signed up to do a professional proofreading/editing course and when I left the agency in Oct 2009, I set up Copy-proof.

What do you enjoy most about running your own business?

I enjoy the flexibility and freedom that working for yourself provides. You can choose when to work and for whom and on what. Even now, I get a kick out of generating an invoice for Copy-proof and knowing that everything I earn is mine (minus the government’s share).

Have you got any advice for aspiring freelancers?

You need to really think about whether you want/need a regular income or whether you can cope with the fluctuations of workload. Freelance work can be likened to waiting for buses – none for ages and then they all come at once! You can have super months when you have earned a lot and then there are others when it is much quieter. Be aware of this before you start.

What are the downsides to working for yourself, if any, and how do you overcome them?

One downside can be loneliness if you are working from home by yourself. I did miss the camaraderie of the office environment at first, but you do get used to it. You need to make sure that you meet with friends and family regularly to counteract this. Of course, the upside is that you have a quiet and peaceful environment which helps when you need to concentrate.

Another potential downside is that the buck stops with you. You alone, are responsible for marketing yourself to get new business on.

How has the current economic downturn affected your business, if at all?

Up until 2 years ago I was proofreading for an examining board and they decided to move all of the proofreading in-house, which was probably as a result of the recession. In addition, I have a client in Estonia that used to regularly send me documents to edit (Estonian to English translations that needed tidying up) and the work has certainly become more sporadic in the past year and a half.

I believe that more and more, clients are deciding to proofread their work themselves and regard using a proofreader as a luxury!

How do you go about promoting your business/finding clients?

I have my own website – – and am fairly prolific on social media websites. I am on Facebook –, Twitter – @juliabod and LinkedIn –

In addition, I email potential clients and have dropped off leaflets to companies in the past. I am also a member of PPH and of course findaproofreader.

What is your most treasured work-related possession?

Two things – my laptop and my Concise Oxford English Dictionary. Standard things, but essential tools of the trade!

What do you enjoy reading when you’re not working with words?

I read everything and anything. I am never without a book and have always got my head stuck in that, or a newspaper, article or online news item.

What’s your favourite book?

I don’t really have one favourite book – I have so many. I have a very eclectic taste in reading; from thrillers to romances and chick flicks to historical novels. I have recently read Ken Follett’s epic Pillars of the Earth, along with the next book World Without End and was genuinely very sorry to have finished them.

Julia BodieJulia Bodie is a freelance proofreader based in Hampshire, UK.  She provides proofreading and copy-editing services and runs

25/02/2013 |

Freelancer of the Month January 2013 – Stephanie Hitch


Welcome to the new Freelancer of the Month feature. This month we caught up with Stephanie Hitch, a legal proofreading specialist and owner of

Hi Steph. Can you tell us a bit about the nature of your business?

I trained as a general proofreader but my specialist area is legal proofreading. I practised as a solicitor for over ten years before training as a proofreader. I own, a specialist legal proofreading service for businesses, translators and law students.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a freelancer.

I graduated in Law and French in 1992 and went on to qualify and practise as a solicitor in private law firms in the South East. I took a break from law in 2000 to take my CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) qualification and taught English as a foreign language abroad and in the UK until 2003. I then returned to law. While on maternity leave in 2007 with my first child I decided to change career and become a proofreader. I completed the Basic Proofreading by Distance Learning with the Publishing Training Centre in 2009 and went freelance thereafter.

What do you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides to working for yourself, if any, and how do you overcome them?

Without a doubt, the best things are the complete autonomy and freedom that you have as a self-employed homeworker. The downsides are a tendency to work longer hours than you would if you were self-employed as it is very hard to get away from ‘the office’. You also have to get used to your earnings fluctuating from month to month. There are also health aspects – when you are sat in your warm office it can be hard to motivate yourself to get active or do exercise, so you have to try to eat healthily and get out each day. But for me the pros of homeworking outweigh the cons.

Have you got any advice for aspiring freelancers?

The first few years as a freelance proofreader can be hard. It’s very competitive nowadays; you have to sell yourself and be flexible in terms of work and working hours. It helps to have a particular area in which you specialise. It can also be a lonely profession so I would advise would-be freelancers to connect with other freelancers.

How do you go about promoting your business/finding clients? 

I have my website,, and I have Facebook and LinkedIn pages as well as listings on FreeIndex and, of course, Find a Proofreader. I always try to go the extra mile for clients so that they recommend me to their business contacts, fellow students, etc.

Have any particular developments occurred within your business sector that have affected the way you work or the way in which you are taking your business forward?

I think that the growth of social media in the past couple of years has changed the way businesses are targeting and reaching their potential audience. My aim this year is to increase my knowledge and use of social media.

What is your most treasured work-related possession?

I would have to say all of my reference books – my hardback dictionaries (general and legal ones), New Hart’s Rules, Butcher’s Copy-editing and various grammar books. I frequently use online language resources (particularly as modern language is continually evolving and published works can’t always keep pace), but there’s nothing like leafing through a book and finding the answer.

What do you enjoy reading when you’re not working with words?

After proofreading all day, I tend to go for something ‘light’. I am currently reading Derren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind.

What’s your favourite book?

The book that really blew me away the first time I read it was Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. There have been many film versions, but the book is infinitely more intricate and the pace really builds as the main character exacts his revenge on each person who wronged him.

photo (2)Stephanie Hitch is a freelance proofreader based in Hastings, UK.  She specialises in legal proofreading and runs

30/01/2013 |

Add a Find a Proofreader button to your website!


If you’re a freelancer, you probably have a website. And if you advertise with Find a Proofreader, you may wish to link your website to your Find a Proofreader listing. For instance,  you may want to forward your site visitors to your  listing so that they can read your positive customer reviews. Or you might want to encourage your existing customers to write a positive review for your business.  Of course, you may just like the look of our shiny buttons! Whatever the reason, it’s very easy to add a Find a Proofreader button to your site. Read on to find out exactly how!

At present there are four buttons for you to choose from. Each one is coloured differently and has a different call to action on. Once you’ve decided which button best suits the look of your website, just copy and paste the code into your site or blog.

Please note: To make the button link directly from your website to your Find a Proofreader page, you’ll need to insert your listing URL in place of the bold text.  If you encounter any technical issues, let us know and we’ll endeavour to help!

For the above badge, add this code to your site: 

<a href=”INSERT YOUR LISTING URL” title=”Click to rate my service on Find a Proofreader” target=”_blank”><img src=”” alt=”Link to Find a Proofreader” border=”0″ width=”250″ height=”55″></a>

To see our other badges, click on the Link to Us tab in the navigation bar,  or click here. Alternatively, if you would prefer to link to us with a text link, you can insert this code on your site instead (remember to insert the full URL of your listing where instructed):

<a href=”INSERT YOUR LISTING URL/” title=”Link to Find a Proofreader” target=”_blank”>Check out my listing on the Find a Proofreader directory</a>

The link should look like this on your website:

Check out my listing on the Find a Proofreader directory

These buttons are proving to be a real hit and many of our advertisers have already adopted them. Don’t be left behind – follow the instructions above and add your button today!

28/01/2013 |
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