Where to Find Proofreading Jobs as a New Proofreader
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As someone who has extensively researched where to find proofreading jobs, I’m here to let you know about all your options. When I began my career as a proofreader, I wanted to know all the places I could encounter proofreading jobs, so I could find the ones I was best suited for.
Proofreading jobs can be found on freelance platforms, job boards, and the websites of proofreading and editing companies, editorial organizations, and publishing houses. You can also find opportunities by starting an online proofreading business, networking, and cold emailing potential clients.
Let’s take a closer look at the many choices available to you for finding your next proofreading job. We’ll discover some of the most popular options for each place mentioned above.
And if you need guidance on how to become a proofreader in the first place, I encourage you to read this article on Om Proofreading .
Table of Contents
Where to Find Proofreading Jobs
One of the easiest ways to find proofreading work is by creating a profile on a freelance platform. A freelance platform is an online space where buyers (clients) can connect with sellers (freelancers).
As a freelancer, you build a profile that lets clients learn about you and what you have to offer. On most of these sites, you need to write a sales pitch for each job post you’d like to pursue. With your sales pitch, you try to convince the client that you’d be the best person to take on the project.
Another common method of finding work as a proofreader is creating a profile on a job board site. Job boards are online platforms where businesses advertise job offers to potential employees.
Unlike freelance platforms, the opportunities you find on job boards are usually in-house positions. Instead of working from home, you’d be going to work at the company’s office or other physical location.
However, certain job boards (e.g., FlexJobs) cater to those looking for remote jobs.
Online Proofreading Companies
Many online proofreading companies hire proofreaders to work for them. Most of these jobs involve working on a freelance basis. If you’re hired by one of these companies, they usually have a running list of proofreading assignments available for the taking.
You can choose to work on the jobs that are most appealing to you. Some of these companies have lots of assignments to choose from, whereas others hire so many proofreaders at once that it can be challenging to find steady work from their list of jobs.
Another option is to go to work for a publishing house. Some proofreaders are only interested in proofreading books. They enjoy working on long-term projects. If this sounds like your cup of tea, working for a publishing company could be a fabulous fit for you.
Just keep in mind that the competition for these jobs is steep!
Your best bet to break into the publishing industry would probably be to find an internship or entry-level proofreading position at a local publishing company.
If you want to be a book proofreader but don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, you can find book projects from self-publishing authors. I wrote an article about how to find at-home book proofreading jobs .
Other Opportunities to Find Jobs
Other options for finding proofreading work require a bit more effort, but they can definitely be worth the reward. Being proactive can enable you to earn more money per job, even if you’re a beginner.
These options include the following: starting an online proofreading business, networking, and cold emailing.
Find Online Proofreading Jobs on Freelance Platforms
If you’re interested in working from home, joining freelance platforms is one of the most popular ways to get remote proofreading jobs.
The reason it’s so popular is that these platforms bring a multitude of clients your way via the advertising they do for you.
You’ll just need to set up a profile and write a brief sales pitch to the clients whose projects you’d like to work on.
Some of the most popular freelance platforms are the following:
Fiverr is the only one of the platforms listed above that doesn’t require you to pitch to potential clients.
You simply wait for clients to come to you to purchase the services you’re offering.
Jobs on freelance platforms usually aren’t the most lucrative opportunities because there’s a lot of competition, and the platform takes a cut of your pay. But if you’re just starting, it’s an excellent option to get experience and hone your skills.
Luckily, it’s free to post your profile on these platforms.
I started my proofreading career on Fiverr and landed a client within three weeks of posting my profile .
If you’d like to learn more about freelancing on this platform, I’ve written a comprehensive article geared toward proofreaders about how to be successful on Fiverr .
One advantage of these platforms is that you can find both short- and long-term projects to work on. For example, you can offer to proofread blog posts, or you can offer to proofread books. (Of course, you can do both if that’s what floats your boat.)
These assignments will help you get experience with a wide variety of documents and allow you to accumulate positive reviews so that you can eventually charge higher rates or obtain higher-paying jobs elsewhere.
Scout Out Proofreading Positions on Job Boards
You can search for proofreading work on numerous job boards. These job boards (except for FlexJobs) usually post in-house positions; however, you can find opportunities for remote work.
Below is a list of some of the most popular job boards on the internet. The ones in bold font allow you to search for freelance work by typing “remote” into the job location search bar.
- FlexJobs —some great remote opportunities, but you pay a fee to use their site
- LinkedIn—a networking site for professionals, also a great place to find work
Looking on job boards is a great way to go if you’re looking for long-term employment and all the benefits (e.g., health insurance, a 401(k) plan, paid vacation time) that go along with it. You can search for both part-time and full-time jobs on these sites.
Most job board sites allow you to upload your résumé for free. You’re able to do that on all the sites in the bulleted list above, except for FlexJobs.
FlexJobs charges for using their site since they scout out the best opportunities and screen each job they post to ensure it’s a legitimate opportunity.
Posting your résumé gives you the chance to be seen by hiring managers and recruiters who may decide to invite you to apply to an open position.
Finally, many sites have a feature that will let you know when opportunities meeting your job search criteria become available.
Look for Work at Online Proofreading Companies
You can also apply for jobs offered by online companies that provide proofreading services.
These companies usually offer their clients copyediting and editing services in addition to proofreading. They hire a pool of qualified workers who can perform the tasks needed by their clients.
The requirements to work for one of these businesses vary.
Some of these companies require you to have a degree to be eligible to apply. Others want you to have several years of proofreading experience under your belt before working for them.
However, not all these businesses require proofreaders to have experience.
I wrote an article about the best remote proofreading jobs for beginners (no experience required) if you’d like to check out some legitimate opportunities.
Consider Being a Proofreader for a Publishing House
When we think of publishing houses, we usually think of the “Big Five” book publishers:
- Harper Collins
- Penguin Random House
- Simon and Schuster
It used to be the “Big Six” until Penguin and Random House merged in 2013.
Breaking into the publishing industry is a challenge!
Starting at a small publishing company may help you get your foot in the door if you want to work for a well-known publishing house in the future. Also, getting an internship at a publishing company could be a way to get a leg up on the competition.
Furthermore, being a ninja networker has advantages.
Finally, it’s a good idea to do a lot of research about the publishing house you’d like to work for. This way, you can know the company’s ins and outs and the requirements to work there.
Start an online proofreading business.
We still have a few other marvelous methods of finding proofreading jobs to discuss.
One surefire way to be able to up your earnings is to create your own online proofreading business . If you have some money to pay for advertising, Google Ads is a sound option for attracting visitors to your new business.
Having your own proofreading business means you’ll keep 100% of the profit.
Om Proofreading has a post about the top resources to build a website if you’d like to learn more. In this article, I explain a few of the key terms involved with starting a website and tell you about free places where you can find images for your site.
Network with Other Proofreaders
One of the best ways to score your first job can be through networking.
Do you have family members, friends, or colleagues who need your services?
Could you work your magic with one of their documents and then have them pass the word along that you’re looking for more business?
A way to provide a friendly reminder that you’re available is to create and pass out business cards not only to people in your social network but also to companies who you think could benefit from your services.
Note: If you’d like to take this a step further, I recommend purchasing a mass-marketing machine. (It’s like a snow-making machine, but instead of putting out tons of snow, it rapidly fires your business cards into the open air, one after another.)
Just use it in a highly populated outdoor area, and repeatedly scream something like “You won!” or “Don’t miss out!” as your business cards slowly sail to the ground. First impressions are everything, so how could you possibly go wrong with this tactic? 😉
Lastly, creating a profile on LinkedIn that’s visible to recruiters is another way to put yourself out there.
You can also join proofreading-related groups on LinkedIn to get even more information about marketing and other proofreading-related topics.
Send Cold Emails to Land Your Next Proofreading Gig
Last but not least, you can send emails to potential clients. You may see that their website, for example, could benefit from having your hawkeyed help. Of course, this requires a heaping dose of tact. With persistence, you may have some luck.
Just make sure to customize each email you send.
If your target clients write about topics that interest you, you can let them know how much you enjoyed/learned from what they had to say and how you’d love to help them put that final polish on their work to make it shine even brighter.
If you’d like some guidance on identifying your target clients, please check out my post “How to Nestle into a Niche as a Proofreader.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I start as a proofreader?
To get started as a proofreader, you need to understand a proofreader’s role and ensure the job matches your strengths and desired income. To compete in the market, you need to receive adequate training from a reputable proofreading course.
After developing the necessary skills, you can begin to advertise your services and look for jobs suited to beginners.
I created a step-by-step guide for becoming a proofreader if you’d like to explore this topic further.
What qualifications do I need to be a proofreader?
Fortunately, no qualifications are needed for most proofreading jobs. You’ll find jobs that require a degree (sometimes even a PhD). However, plenty of opportunities are available to those who don’t have a degree but have developed the skill set needed to be a successful proofreader.
I authored an article about the qualifications you need to work on error patrol if you’d like the lowdown.
Can I be a proofreader from home?
Yes, you can be a proofreader from home. In fact, most proofreaders do their job remotely. Thanks to the digital methods now available to mark up texts, many proofreading jobs that previously took place in offices can now be done from the comfort of your home.
I published a post about whether proofreaders can work remotely if you’d like to read more about this.
I hope this article has given you several useful options for finding proofreading jobs as a new proofreader.
Best wishes to you!
“Comparison kills creativity. There is room for you. Nobody can do it with your voice, with your experience, with your insight.” – Karen Walrond
Lindsay is the creator of Om Proofreading. She has a BA in psychology and earned a certificate in proofreading by passing the final exam in Proofread Anywhere’s general proofreading course. She shares what she’s learning in the field and through research to inform and inspire her readers.
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A thorough knowledge of spelling and grammar is essential in the world of publishing as is the ability to work to tight deadlines
As a copy-editor or proofreader you'll ensure that material is clear, consistent, complete and credible, and that text is well written, grammatically correct and accessible. You'll take the initial material, or the copy, and make it ready for publication.
You'll work on a range of publications, including:
- other electronic resources.
You'll be required to correct spelling, grammar and layout (proofreading), check content, use consistent styles and reword or rewrite (copy-editing). This depends on the project, the employer or the client and their own specialist experience. Many copy-editors/proofreaders perform both functions in tandem.
They're employed by publishers, businesses and public bodies but increasingly on a freelance basis, so it's common to have several clients at the same time. Many people retrain for editorial work as a second or third career.
Activities depend on experience and whether you work in-house or freelance. They may include:
- correcting spelling mistakes and grammatical errors
- sub-editing text written by a number of authors to ensure consistent house style
- working with IT-based publishing systems and databases, as well as via the internet or from paper manuscripts
- liaising regularly with authors and publishers by phone and email
- checking that authors have provided all the required materials and paperwork
- resolving queries directly with the author, such as style and text inconsistencies
- coding manuscripts for design features, such as hierarchy of headings, to instruct the production team
- creating artwork briefs to detail the content of illustrations
- ensuring that illustrations are correctly captioned and referred to in the text
- producing or working to a style checklist to ensure consistency in hyphenation, capitalisation, formatting of references, etc
- maintaining awareness of new words or phrases coming into popular usage with a view to ensuring they're appropriate for the readership
- discussing and resolving any potentially libellous sections with the commissioning editor and author
- retrieving articles from archives and rearranging within publications
- preparing preliminary pages for the title, contents and preface of a publication
- overseeing the work of indexers, typesetters and designers
- typesetting and designing layout (increasingly for freelancers)
- ensuring that publications are prepared on budget and to schedule
- managing marketing and business activities (for those who are self-employed).
Salaries vary widely according to the nature of the work and the employer. Larger corporate publishers generally pay higher rates than traditional publishers.
- The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading publishes suggested minimum hourly rates every year. The rates for 2021 were £25.70 an hour for proofreading, £29.90 for copy-editing, rising to around £34.40 for substantial editing or rewriting.
- Rates for the project management of the entire process of editing from first manuscripts through to production are usually much higher than for copy-editing, at over £35 per hour.
Some employers pay a flat rate per piece of work.
Income figures are intended as a guide only.
Working hours vary. Copy-editors based in-house generally work normal office hours but may need to work longer hours in busy periods. Deadlines are very tight due to the nature of the work.
Freelancers enjoy greater flexibility, as long as deadlines are met, although night-time work may be required if dealing with overseas clients.
What to expect
- Publishers are based in towns and cities throughout the UK, although there are higher numbers in London, the South East and Edinburgh. Geographical proximity to publishers is not always relevant. Freelancers, for example, can receive work from all over the UK and overseas.
- Getting freelance work can be challenging, particularly at the start of your career. Freelancers who progress from working in-house for publishers to independent work may find the transition easier, having built up useful contacts and gained support from more experienced colleagues.
- Working from home on a freelance basis in a job where most contact with others is by phone or email can leave you feeling isolated. On the flip side, benefits of working from home include a high level of control over your environment and greater flexibility in working hours. Some freelancers work in cooperatives or for agencies to increase their personal support network.
- Absence from home overnight and overseas work or travel is rare.
Although this area of work is open to all graduates, a degree in the following subjects may increase your chances:
- media or electronic media
- publishing or publishing studies.
Graduates with a technical or science-based degree may find it easier to obtain freelance work for specialist publishers and society journals, particularly in the early stages of their career.
Entry with an HND or foundation degree only is unlikely, unless you can demonstrate an aptitude for the work or some highly relevant experience.
A relevant postgraduate qualification in publishing can increase your chances. There is a range of publishing qualifications available and it's important to choose one that is relevant to your interests and career plans.
Graduates hoping to enter this career may find it difficult to gain an in-house role immediately. It may, however, be possible to start as an editorial assistant and to get involved in proofreading and working on editing texts, in order to progress to copy-editing after one or two years.
Identify smaller and perhaps less well-known publishers to begin with who may be more likely, or able, to offer work. This can help develop a network of contacts and will enable you to build up a strong portfolio when making applications to larger companies later on.
Generally, the way to get freelance work is by sending a CV and speculative application directly to potential employers and by making and maintaining contacts in the industry. Take a look in appropriate directories, for example the CIEP directory , for contact details. Attend trade fairs, read trade publications and get to know the key players in the field. Also, try to focus on a particular specialist area, as this will help you identify companies and publishers to target.
It's also advisable to get involved with relevant professional organisations such as:
- Publishers Association (PA)
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP)
- The Society of Young Publishers (SYP)
- Women in Publishing
You'll need to show evidence of the following:
- a thorough knowledge of the English language (or the language the publication is written in)
- a methodical working style
- concentration, accuracy and great attention to detail
- the ability to multitask
- tact and diplomacy for negotiating changes with authors
- the ability to work to tight deadlines
If working on a self-employed basis, business skills in areas such as tax, marketing and cash flow are vital.
Pre-entry experience is advisable, preferably within a publishing environment, although gaining this type of experience in an editorial role may be difficult.
Try to find work on university magazines, websites or publications or spend some time working in a bookshop or library. Think of creative ways to gain the relevant experience of editing and proofreading as early as possible.
The vast majority of copy-editors and proofreaders are self-employed and work on a freelance basis. There is a limited number of in-house positions, particularly with very large publishers, and competition can be fierce.
Employers within the book publishing sector include companies that produce general or consumer books. These include best-selling fiction and non-fiction. However, it's more difficult to obtain editing work in fiction. Other areas are more likely to provide work, such as:
- children's books
- educational publications
- reference works
- scientific, medical and technical publications
- academic publications.
The market in corporate publishing is developing. Large, commercial organisations produce their own staff magazines, newsletters and publicity materials and may employ freelancers for all, or part, of the production process.
Look for job vacancies at:
- The Bookseller
- Publishing Scotland
- The Society of Young Publishers (SYP) - vacancies are available for members to view.
You can also look to the national press, such as Guardian Jobs, for opportunities.
Specialist recruitment agencies tend to advertise senior-level vacancies. For example, see:
- Atwood Tate
- Career Moves
- Inspired Selection
If based in-house you're likely to undergo some basic training while working, which usually includes shadowing and receiving support from more experienced colleagues.
A variety of training courses are provided by professional organisations, such as:
- Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP)
- Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading
- Imago Training
- The Publishing Training Centre (PTC)
Technical skills are a key part of this career and need to be updated on an ongoing basis, particularly in response to developments in technology. These organisations provide a range of technical courses, available on a seminar or distance-learning basis, covering areas such as:
- copy-editing and on-screen editing skills
- editing an in-house production.
The CIEP also provides courses on developing a successful career as a freelancer and offers several levels of membership: entry-level, intermediate, professional and advanced professional.
There are a variety of courses so it is important to be selective and strategic in your choice.
You'll generally begin by editing text at a fairly basic level before progressing to more complex editing and restructuring, which is more highly paid.
With experience, freelance copy-editors and proofreaders begin to focus on a preferred area of work and on a particular subject area, such as science, medicine or food writing.
It's also possible to move into a project management role if you're working freelance or a managing/desk editor role if you're based in-house. These roles involve managing a publication over a longer period of time and subcontracting or allocating work to copy-editors and indexers. Within the largest publishing houses this can be a natural progression, though it is not always the chosen route. Other experienced copy-editors have progressed into offering a complete package of editing, typesetting and on-screen layout.
If working in-house as a copy-editor you'll move between jobs frequently during the early years of your career to develop the widest range of experience and contacts. This is especially important for those considering freelance work in the future.
Whichever route you take, it's advisable to join either CIEP or SYP. Membership offers support and opportunities for professional networking in what can often be an isolated role, such as CIEP's local groups which meet up regularly.
Making and maintaining contacts in the industry is vital for developing a successful career as a copy-editor or proofreader. While well-targeted speculative applications may lead to work, being known to editors and commissioning editors within publishing companies is an equally common way of securing work and moving up the career ladder.
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5 Little-Known Places to Get Online Proofreading Jobs
Whether you’re a beginner just starting out or an old-hand trying to level it up, finding online proofreading jobs can be a hard task if you don’t know where to start.
For starters, all the popular freelancing platforms out there are crowded with individuals willing to take bottom dollar just to get by.
But, we both know how time-consuming and mentally draining this line of work can be. Therefore you must find proofreading jobs in places where your value will be felt, appreciated, and most importantly handsomely rewarded.
Today, we’ll reveal to you 5 Little-Known Places to Get Online Proofreading Jobs without breaking a sweat.
In essence, we are sharing with you the exact blueprint we’ve used to earn multiple six-figure incomes over the past few years all while working remotely and being present for our children’s most memorable milestones.
Let’s dig in.
Proofreading for Translation Companies
Proofreading is a key element when it comes to turning a decent translation into a truly excellent one.
That’s why translation companies hire professional proofreaders to ensure that the final deliverable meets the clients’ expectations.
The pay rate varies from agency to agency depending on your level of expertise and experience.
Whether you are a junior proofreader or an expert proofreader, there are opportunities for native proofreaders with excellent skills at various translation companies.
Here is a list of little-known translation companies where you can find online proofreading jobs:
- Big Translation
- Universal Translation Services
Note: For information about the recruitment and hiring process at Protranslate, you need to write an email to the HR Department via [email protected]
Always remember to state in your application that you’re seeking a position as a proofreader and not a translator.
Amazon Proofreading Jobs
Amazon is a global retailer with sellers from diverse backgrounds and multiple languages. As such, sellers invest large sums of money in proofreading services.
If you wish to become an Amazon proofreader these are the kinds of proofreading jobs you’ll be doing:
- Amazon Kindly Proofreading Jobs
- Amazon Product Listing Proofreading Jobs
- Amazon Affiliate Blogs Proofreading Jobs
Your day-to-day job will include:
- Ensuring that the texts do not have obvious errors
- Ensuring there’s flow in the sentence structure
- Correcting syntax and punctuation errors, etc.
Amazon proofreading jobs are ideal for beginners and experienced proofreaders alike. Payment varies based on whether you’re proofreading a product listing or a kindle ebook.
Payment arrangements vary from per word, per project, or hourly basis.
To become an Amazon proofreader, here are the little-known places you should visit:
- Facebook Proofreaders Group
Proofreading Jobs in Publishing Houses
According to data from Bowker’s annual study, “ Self-Publishing in the United States, 2013-2018 ,” the combined number of self-published print and e-books grew from 1.2 million in 2017 up to 1.6 million in 2018.
A significant number of these books came from the three biggest independent publishing houses.
With such numbers, it’s no wonder that proofreading jobs in publishing houses has become a lucrative career for many.
Publishing houses prefer proofreaders with a bachelor’s degree in either journalism or English.
However, if you have the relevant background experience and an impressive track record then you should place your application for consideration even if you don’t have a university degree.
According to figures from ZipRecruiter , a book proofreader can expect to earn between $33K-$100K per year depending on experience and level of expertise.
To become a proofreader for a publishing house, here are the little-known places your should visit:
- Indeed Publishing Proofreader Jobs
- ZipRecruiter Book Proofreading Jobs
- Naukri Book Proofreading Jobs
Academic Proofreading Jobs
Students are often brilliant when it comes to their subjects of expertise. They can produce several thousand words effortlessly about the most technical of subjects.
Students are often brilliant when it comes to their subjects of expertise. They can produce several thousand words effortlessly about the most technical subjects.
Proofreading? Not so much. And that’s exactly where you come in as a professional academic proofreader.
You tasks will include counter-checking students’ essays, dissertations, and term papers for grammar errors, spelling mistakes, citation styles, and missing or misplaced punctuations.
Academic proofreading is ideal for people with relevant technical expertise and an academic background in the field they seek to offer their proofreading services, and those with the ability to maintain the students’ flow of ideas without distorting the meaning.
According to figures from ZipRecruiter , academic proofreaders on their platform can expect to earn anywhere between $35K-$93K per year based on technical expertise and experience level.
Here is a list of little-known places where you can find academic proofreading jobs:
- ZipRecruiter Academic Proofreading Jobs
Romance Novel Proofreader Jobs
Romance fiction is big business. But don’t just take our word for it. According to figures from the Romance Writers of America , romance fiction is a billion-dollar-a-year industry.
Romance novels are among the best-selling genre of books on Amazon and other majors bestsellers such as USA Today, New York Times, and Publishers Weekly.
Unfortunately, most proofreaders seeking online proofreading jobs aren’t aware that proofreading romance novels is a thing.
The lack of knowledge and information about this niche means that it remains untapped with lots of opportunities for people with the right skillset.
We’ll share with you some of the places you can go to to find romance novel proofreading jobs.
But first, to break into this billion-dollar industry. You’ll need to know a few things.
First , to make the transition to romance novels proofreading, you’ve got to be an avid reader of romance novels.
Second , contrary to popular belief, there are dozens of subgenres within the romance niche. These include fantasy, thriller, supernatural, LGBTQ, wars, politics, religion, among others.
That means you can choose to specialize in the subgenre you’re most passionate about and switch things up whenever you’re bored or need a new challenge.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are little-known places you’ll find romance proofreading jobs:
- Proofreader Romance Novel Jobs, Freelancer
- Romance Jobs , Upwork
- Fiction Book Publishers
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Hired as a Proofreader
The age-old advice of having a keen eye and attention to detail just doesn’t cut it anymore when it comes to the competitive landscape that is online proofreading.
The fact that you are here looking for “ little-known places to get online proofreading jobs ” tells you everything there is to know.
To enhance your chances of getting hired as a proofreader you need to stand out. Here are seven suggestions on how to do that:
- Have a clear understanding of the scope of work of a proofreader.
- Find your niche and master it.
- Consider getting a certification from a reputable online learning platform.
- Constantly level up your skills by following these Proofreading Career Tips.
- Volunteer when starting out to gain experience.
- Develop a professional resume that highlights your expertise and experience. If you need help with resume writing you can enroll in the Anatomy of a Winning Resume Course by Small Revolution.
- Be aggressive in your quest to finding an online proofreading job.
Start Your Online Proofreading Journey Today
There you have it, five little-known places to get your first or next online proofreading job. Based on your interests and skillsets pick a platform that suits you and set yourself up to becoming a successful online proofreader.
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I'm Katrina McKinnon, the author behind Small Revolution . With two decades of hands-on experience in online work, running eCommerce stores, web agency and job boards, I'm now on a mission to empower you to work from home and achieve work-life balance. My passion lies in crafting insightful, education content. I have taught thousands of students and employees how to write, do SEO, manage eCommerce stores and work as Virtual Assistants. Join our most popular course: SEO Article Masterclass