Want to know how you can make money as a transcriptionist or doing transcriptions?
If you are searching “I can type 70 wpm, how can I make money online?” or something similar, then this post if definitely for you!!
A few questions?
Can you type fast? By fast, I mean approximately 70 words per minute
Are you dedicated? You need to be if you want to be a transcriptionist
Are you hard working? Another quality that can help you a lot when you want to transcribe
Are you excellent in English? (or the language you will transcribe) If you don’t know the difference between for example there, their and they’re, either you have to learn more about it or consider another job. If you want to learn more about it, read the rest of this article…..
Are you looking for ways to make money online? Doing transcriptions is one of them
When I started searching for ways to make money online in 2012, we were struggling financially. Obviously, this is the only time one starts searching for more options to try and survive.
I quickly learned that searching for making money online runs you into scams of unscrupulous people who just want to fill their pockets and don’t care about the person on the other side who’s money they are stealing.
I don’t want you to be that person and I always try to share as much honest information as I can with as many people as I can (that is why you should share this post too).
I even came across a guy calling himself Mister Phiri. You had to pay R500 into his bank account then he would send you information. PLEASE PLEASE if you have to pay someone for information on how to make money online – DON’T!!
I’ve learned that working online and making money online is the same as working in any other job. If you are an apprentice for instance in Woodworking, you can’t just step into the job without any skills. You are going to need skills to do the job you are qualified for. For those skills, you can pay. If you do a course in the skill you want to learn to do the job, that’s fine. You don’t go to University to learn the skills you need and not pay – the same in the online world. A great place to learn skills at affordable prices and you receive a certificate when you’re finished is Udemy. When you’re there, you can search for Transcription courses. (Or in whatever it is you’re really talented in)
Another thing I learned is that you have to go for what you are skilled in or love doing. Don’t go for something you have no clue about or hate doing. Like transcribing when you hate typing – won’t work.
Again, if you want to learn new skills, a great place to learn is Udemy but stick with what you love doing. Never sell your services as let’s say someone who can build websites if you did not learn the skills to do it or don’t even know where or how to. Same with Transcribing, learn first what it is all about. Check out if it is something you would be interested in doing. Then you start.
What is a transcriptionist or transcribing?
You get two types of transcriptions, audio transcriptions, and video transcriptions.
Transcribing is typing the audio or video into a document, normally Microsoft Word.
Transcribing is hard work and please don’t say I didn’t warn you. Your computer becomes your best friend because the two of you spend a lot of time together.
Depending on the quality of the audio, you can say if you type 70 words per minute, it will take you approximately 4 hours to transcribe 40 minutes of audio, but there are some things that will also affect this, for example, accents, number of speakers, subject of recording, Rate of speech, audio quality.
And then you can add to that 4 hours, if you are going through it again to make sure you did a good job, you will use another 40 minutes (or whatever the time of the audio is) and then you can also add some time to ensure that the word document is in the format that you client wants is and to do a spell check.
Factors that plays a role in the time it takes you to transcribe:
If you have to do a transcription of a speaker or speakers with very strong or uncommon accents, it will take you longer to transcribe because you have to listen again and again to be sure you either hear correctly or to figure out what they were saying.
2. Number of Speakers
If the recording has more than 3 speakers it will also take longer to transcribe.
Trying to figure out which speaker is which sometimes makes it difficult and then also speakers who speak almost at the same time.
The more the speakers the longer you will take to transcribe.ore than 3 speakers would take longer to transcribe, especially if the speakers are all talking at the same time.
3. Subject of the Recording
If you have to transcribe a recording with technical terminology and you know nothing about it, you will need to research the words and that means it will take you longer to transcribe.
But if you have a simple recording with lots of names of places, personalities, books and so forth, it can also take you longer to transcribe, also because you have to take time to research.
4. Rate of Speech
If there is one expression I keep throwing around when I transcribe it’s “This guy speak like a 100 words per minute!!”
In some recordings, the participants speak really fast and with very few pauses, this takes you longer because you have to listen and re-listen which means extra transcription time.
5. Audio Quality
Sadly, some people wants their work transcribed and they did not consider the person who has to do the transcribing at all.
Poor audio quality can play a huge role in the time it takes you to transcribe.
I’ve had some audios that were so bad that they make your ears hurt, you want to give up halfway through or just burst into tears because these people have the guts to ask someone to work with such bad audio.
But never give up, keep moving forward, you will get to the end. Later in this article, there are some helpful tools.
Some things that lead to bad recordings are outdoor recordings or recordings made without using microphones. These usually have background noise or echo.
And because you are dedicated and want to give the best work, it will take longer to transcribe because you have to listen and re-listen once again, which makes you take longer.
6. Typing Speed
This is not set in stone because of the other factors playing a role as well, but you can say at a typing speed of around 80 wpm it can take you around 4-9 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of recording.
So if you don’t make a lot of mistakes, don’t have to re-listen and don’t have any other interruptions or problems, an hour of recorded audio can take about 4 hours to transcribe. But please note, this is very rare!!
One thing that plays a big role in transcription time is experience. By this, I mean knowledge or a subject for example software or finance.
If you know a lot about the subject that you have to transcribe you don’t have to do so much research and that will improve your transcription speed.
If you are familiar with a speaker’s style and the words they commonly use it also helps improve your transcription time and accuracy.
That is the same reason people like to stick to a certain transcription service once they found a good one.
How much will you get paid?
This is a tough one, but what I would like to mention here is I wonder who is the dumb person (I so wanted to swear here 😈 ) that started paying transcriptionist $0.cents per audio minute of the recorded audio.
Transcribing is hard work and you have to have skills: Great typing speed and excellent English.
You have to concentrate for hours on end and you jeopardize your health to do the work (because you sit all the time) and you can not make a lot of money in a month’s time, because there are only 24 hours in a day, you have to sleep some, eat some, take care of the household or family for some hours which leaves you only with a few hours.
So, lets assume you get work from a transcription service, you get paid $o.20 per recorded audio.
The recorded audio is 60 minutes long and lets’s assume the quality of the recording is not too good, but you manage to do it in 7 hours.
Now in that 7 hours, you only go to the toilet when really needed and you don’t even get up from your seat to get something to eat.
You only get paid $12 for that 7 hours of work!!!
Talk about cheap labor.
But the choice is yours:
Always remember in the end, the choice is yours!!
If you want to work for that amount of money and to you, it is better than nothing, feel free to do it.
But if you don’t want to you might have a job every so now and then and hopefully get some money in through a month.
And then also if you receive a job and the audio is so extremely awful that it will take you a lot longer to transcribe – you have the right to say NO!
You have the right to choose not to do it or say you want to get paid more.
If the person who wanted you to transcribe it is mad at you – too bad so sad – it’s his loss. And I hope for his sake he will get someone willing to waste their precious time on his bad audio and get paid peanuts for it.
Speaking of peanuts, here’s a thought:
You know the saying if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, sadly with transcriptions you get paid peanuts, but don’t be like a monkey, give your best work. Use the opportunity to build up a reputation and use it to practice your transcription skills to the point where you are so popular that people will pay what you ask just because they want you (and no one else) to do the job.
Where to find jobs:
In the article about 5 methods of making money online, look Under method number 3: FREELANCE MARKET PLACES.
Another company you can apply is Go Transcript. Do the grammar test and then the transcriber test. Be sure you understand the style guide before you write the transcriber test.
These are some of the places where you can register as a freelancer and say there that you are a transcriptionist and typist.
This is also where you will find jobs and depending on which site you use, either bid on jobs or advertise your service.
Let everyone know you are doing transcriptions, advertise it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and wherever you want to.
Remember also that you must have the confidence to promote yourself, work through the blogs, insights and wisdom you find on the Freelance sites, remember – this is going to be your business, you must make it the best.
Please note that on these Freelancer sites are transcription services that post jobs. If they contact you, you will have to submit a demo for them to see if you are going to be a good transcriber. (Normally 5 minutes out of the audio – which you normally don’t get paid for)
There are some transcription services that will cheat you, even if it’s with a cent here and there, adding up to a few dollars in a month. Again the choice is yours whether you want to work for them or not.
Another thing you can consider is doing jobs outside of Freelancer sites, like receiving files through Skype and getting paid through PayPal, but remember, then you are not protected if a person does not pay and the only record you have as evidence of the jobs you did is the files on you PC.
Tools to use to be the best transcriptionist
Finally, we’re getting to the real juice, the tools that will help you to be the best transcriptionist.
So you read up to here and you still want to be a transcriptionist.
This list is in no particular order and click on links to go to them:
Click on the link above for a free PDF report with key points you can use as a transcriber.
NO email address required, nothing, just click and print or save to your computer. (My gift to you)
The software I use when I do transcriptions. Click on the link above to download a free trial and see if it works for you.
It is compatible with a foot pedal (link for entire package -software, foot pedal and head set), but you don’t have to buy one until you’re ready because you can use shortcut keys on your keyboard.
For example: F4 is pause, F9 is play, F11 play slower and F7 rewind. – But don’t worry they give them to you.
One thing I would suggest and what works great for me is to change the following settings:
(Please note this is not set in stone, you have a choice to set it differently, but this is the way I like it)
Click on options and playback:
If you want to slow down the speaker while you type, the default slow speed setting is 50 which is far too slow to hear properly. If you make it 80, it’s a good speed. The short key to play at that speed is F11.
The next one if very important: Auto backstep on stop. When you stop to type what the person said, you want the recording to start a bit back (rewind). Setting this to 4000 (remember it is in milliseconds) is a good place or even 3000. I like 4000 then I can check to see if what I typed was correct too.
Here’s the link again to download your free trial of Express Scribe:
Another transcription software you can use, but please note that it is still in Beta (testing phase)
It’s awesome and works well and does not cost you anything, but please do save your work in your document.
When I still used it before I bought Express scribe, I had a few times where I lost hours of work because I did not copy and paste the transcription into my Word Document. Please save regularly!!!
In the beginning, you will still have the file you’re working on, but when they start saving space for you – gone, all gone 😥
And if you accidently close it – gone!!
You can also use it without being connected – just go to the page in google while you’re offline and you will see you can stil upload your audio and everything.
Another downside is when you copy and paste your work into your word document, the formats are all wrong, where with express scribe it’s mostly the same as the format of your document.
Here’s your link agian for O’Transcribe:
Grammarly, oh how I love thee. I use Grammarly for my blog posts and other writings too, you won’t believe my errors without it 😳
And when you leave comments or type something in Facebook, Grammarly saves you the embarrassment of misspelling or mistyping.
But here’s the bad part, Grammarly works in OTranscribe (when you’re online and not offline), but not in Express scribe. But then the bad news can turn to good news again if you use Microsoft Word because you can use Grammarly in Microsoft Word too 😆
But sadly not Open Office 😥
Another great advantage of using Grammarly when transcribing is that it also helps you eliminate those wrong commas and punctuation marks.
Here’s your link again for Grammarly. Sign up now and receive a free week of premium:
Do yourself a favor and click on the link above and download the free trial DFX audio enhancer. Not just for transcribing, but also for your music that you listen on your PC – you won’t believe the difference.
Just with the free trial you get such a massive difference in your audio that it is unbelievable.
I did buy it because some transcriptions are just super soft and with the free trial you can’t set it to headphones, but you will get very far riding on the free trial.
Try DFX audio for Free, you won’t believe the change it makes to your sound:
Just a place for you to learn more about grammar in case you need it.
We are never too old to learn and this is an amazing place to sharpen your English Grammar skills:
A final thought on being the best transcriptionist:
I do feel that I want to share something here with you, I’ve been doing it for years now and I can tell you honestly, it is hard work.
And then, I’ve done proofreading or editing of transcriptions done by other transcriptionists that will make your hair raise.
If you can’t do it – DON’T!! Otherwise, you will just cheat people and that is dishonest.
If I get transcriptions to proof read that is bad, I tell the company straight away to fire that transcriptionist because they are stealing their money!!
Although even express scribe has something like speech to text – don’t use it, just maybe if you want to laugh with your friends about the funny stuff that comes our of there, but not for your transcription business.
If you are really and truly dedicated, you can make some money online as a transcriptionist.
From the start, keep your files neatly and in order, sometimes you will get jobs from the same person and if you keep all the files in their own folders, you won’t get confused.
Also if you create a main folder either on your desktop or where you can easily access it that you call something like transcriptions, you will file everything there and find it easier.
Don’t forget to share
Was this post on How to be the best transcriptionist helpful?
Well, chances are your friends will find it helpful too and that is why you must not forget to share.
Join my mailing list:
For even more advice, where to find more consistent jobs and some tips on things to watch out for, sign up below:
Looking forward to meeting you.
Blogging your way to profit
Want to know how you can start blogging your way to profit?
Great news, buy now Blogging 101: Blogging your way to profit.
Also available: Emotional hot buttons that will turn your customers into buyers
Don’t delay, order today.