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(updated with new resources Feb 2019)
Today you’re going to see how you can do online transcription and make a nice living from home.
First, I’ll show you how to get a feel for transcription.
After that, I’ll show you where to get some paid experience under your belt.
Then, I’ll show you how to amp it up so you can start making the big bucks you want.
The best part ? You should be able to accomplish all these things in a few weeks and go from making nothing to $50,000.00 doing work at home transcription.
Sound good ? Let’s get to it then.
First: Get A Feel For Transcription
Let’s get a few things out of the way:
- Zip Recruiter tells us that the average salary of a work at home transcriptionist is $59,000.00. The better you are, the more you’ll make.
- Transcription is a typed representation of an audio (recorded) file. You listen to an audio file and type out what you hear.
- Transcription companies typically pay per audio minute. How much you earn depends on the rate they set. BUT an audio minute can take several actual minutes to transcribe due to the necessity to rewind and play back the recording (because you did not understand what was said).
The #1 thing you want to do is know how accurately and fast you type.
Go to 10fastfingers.com. It’s a free online typing test.
Start typing. How did you do ? I sucked at first…40 words per minute with 76% accuracy.
Keep at it. Aim for 60 words a minute with 100% accuracy.
The next thing you want to do is brush up on your grammar and vocabulary.
Do this by going through the little test on examenglish.com.
All you have to do is answer about 15 multiple choice questions.
Here’s an example:
After you’ve answered all 15 questions, you’re graded on your performance. You might be surprised at how good you know English.
Do a few practice transcription files to get a feel of how it works.
I’m going to give you a few places where you can do some free practice transcription files. However, they’re non-paying…just practice…but I highly recommend trying them out.
The first one to check out is GoTranscript’s practice jobs. Even though this is a very simple form of transcription test, it is definitely worth trying.
The next transcription software to try is Express Scribe’s free software and downloadable files. And what’s better than free? Being able to use it later on, when you start working as a transcriber. For now, though you’ll use it for practice.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Download and install the software.
- Download some of the audio files to your computer
- Open your Express Scribe software and locate the audio files within the Dock icon
- Play the audio file and start transcribing
Second: Get Paid To Do Entry-Level Transcription
So now you know how to do online transcription, It’s time to get paid.
There are a lot of companies that hire beginners and those who have no transcription experience.
No doubt the pay is pretty low. In fact, all the “seasoned” transcriptionists will scoff, insisting you don’t bother with these companies.
I think differently.
After all, you’re just starting out and you need to build up some experience.
Go to Rev and apply to be a transcriber.
Then go to Go Transcript and apply there, too.
I picked these two companies because they ranked highest on my Best Entry Level Transcription Companies post
Lastly: Amp Up Your Transcription Abilities
If you really want to make MORE money doing online transcription, you need better training. No way around it.
Here’s what I’m talking about:
When you first start out doing online transcription, you’ll only make about $500.00 a month IF you’re working for at least two different beginner-level companies, and IF you’re working at least 20 hours a week.
As long as you stick with those entry-level jobs you’ll only get so far – NO MATTER HOW MUCH HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE YOU GAIN – because they’re just not good payers.
There’s plenty of work beyond those entry-level jobs.
Like bloggers who do a lot of interviews, videos, and podcasts and post them on their blog. They need their stuff transcribed for their readers who only like to read.
Here’s an example:
The guy at Pro Blogger.com does a lot of interviews on his blog, which all include a transcribed file for his fans who would rather read the interview. Check out one of his transcribed interviews here.
And another example:
Pat at Smart Passive Income. Same thing; he has his podcasts transcribed and included in his blog.
They’ve hired pro-level transcriptionists to do this for them.
Now, I can’t be certain, but these guys more than likely hired their transcribers through freelance platforms. And the freelance platforms showcased their awesome talents.
Take a look at this screenshot from Freelancer.com. You can make pretty good money once you ‘get out there’.
But then there’s the question:
How do you ‘get out there’ and get those high paying jobs ?
By going to Transcribe Anywhere.
I’m just going to come right out and say it:
The Transcribe Anywhere course helped me get jobs transcribing stuff for a few blogs.
It’s the online course for new transcribers that goes into great detail on moving up from beginner to pro.
Now, this is pretty awesome because I know first hand that Transcribe Anywhere is a really good online course. And really good courses to learn general transcription are few and far between. I’ve looked.
To be honest, I cannot stand spending money on online courses. On the other hand, when it comes to transcription, and making A LOT OF MONEY, training is essential.
I checked out a highly-rated, easy-to-comprehend CHEAP course (this one) but it fell just a little bit short of getting me over the hump from knowing how to do transcription from home to actually doing it for a living.
So I want to encourage you to take further training because the information you gain is invaluable.
For example, the Transcribe Anywhere course has two major advantages over free online information:
#1 The courses are pretty thorough.
I was given well thought-out suggestions on the right tools, like:
- Headsets and foot pedals and where to get the best deals. There are a ton of options out there but Transcribe Anywhere turned me in the right direction for getting the best ones within my budget.
- Transcription software. I had no idea that there were a lot of options here, too.
My tools recommendation ?
This is the best transcription headset. It’s inexpensive and reliable.
And I’m sticking with Express Scribe transcription software, but the pro version. It comes with a foot pedal.
Then there are the training modules, which cover things like:
- Shortcuts and simplified key strokes. Wow ! Talk about speeding up my typing !
- Proper punctuation
- Transcription style. Yes, there really is a “style”
And there is after-the-class care, too like:
- Lifetime access to course material
- Lifetime access to future updates, which means whenever Janet updates, or changes, some of the learning material, I don’t have to pay for it. A big win, if you ask me.
- Lifetime access to the student support Facebook group which is awesome because people share their little mistakes so you can learn from them
#2 How to transfer what is learned into making money.
This is a biggie. Probably the biggest obstacle you’ll come across…it was for me.
Like: who’s hiring ?
The course covers that. For instance, a lot of bloggers and business owners are a little “shy” when it comes to looking for work at home transcribers. The fear of over saturation and too many crappy resumes are forefront in their minds so they are reluctant to advertise.
There are many companies out there looking for online transcribers, too. And not just the ones that hire beginners that are outlined here. Police departments, doctor’s offices, lawyers…they all need transcribers. In fact, transcription outsourcing companies, like this one, frequently have openings for experienced transcriptionists.
And: where to find the paying gigs ?
In the long run I wanted to go the Independent Contractor route. I devoured the transcription templates, sample client contracts, lessons, and worksheets to make sure my fanny was covered.
Freelance platforms are still the #1 place to get paying transcription gigs, however, you have to really “sell” your experience and skills. The more you know, the better, right ? Freelancer and Upwork are the most popular platforms, so go ahead and get yourself up on them. Transcribe Anywhere gets into this and goes over more specialized platforms.
Also: how much to charge ?
Another sticky subject that people don’t like to share. Should you charge by the audio minute, audio hour, or audio file ? And how much ? This is when it’s nice to have a pro course like Transcribe Anywhere because there are worksheets that go over how to calculate rates.
So, Is Transcription A Good Work From Home Job ?
Yep, I definitely think so.
Just make sure you don’t settle too long for one of the entry-level transcription jobs. To put it another way, they’re good enough to get your feet wet, but not good enough to make a living.
Transcription is the kind of job that requires concentration and a steady block of time. Not only will you be wearing a headset and won’t be able to acknowledge others in the home, the stopping and starting to deal with household things will result in losing track of where you were
But no matter how little or often you work, you’ll have the skills and potential to make $50,000.00 a year.
So yes, doing online transcription is definitely worth it.
Are You Ready To Go From Zero To $50,000.00 ?
What do you think, is this a career you’re ready to get into ?
Hesitant to get started ?
Check out the practice resources I listed in this post. Then, head on over to Transcribe Anywhere and check out the free (as in zero cost or commitment) intro courses – one for general transcription and one for legal transcription.
Feel free to comment below on your decision – or indecision – of going forward as a well-learned transcriber.