Last Updated on June 16, 2020
Over the past few years, many people have continuously shown a profound interest in venturing into the gig economy. That’s primarily due to the independence and flexibility that comes with it.
A considerable segment of this economy comprises of the digital world. Indeed, the internet is a vast marketplace where anyone can check-in, source for gigs within their areas of expertise, and complete them on the go.
It’s almost impossible to discuss the gig economy without making reference to content creation. And content creation comes in various shades, including writing, blogging, vlogging, social media management, and transcription.
As a transcriber, your primary role entails converting audios and videos into texts. These texts are either used independently or along with the transcribed materials as subtitles and captions. Read on for more insights on what online transcription entails.
Advantages of Online Transcription
As is the case with most online gigs, transcription comes with immense flexibility and independence. Whether you’re working for a transcription website or directly with a pool of clients, you can comfortably determine your ideal working hours. That enables you to attend to your other equally-important tasks.
Transcription is also one of the few online jobs that require little-to-no prior experience. Only a few categories, such as legal and medical transcriptions, may need some familiarization with the relevant fields.
But in most cases, typing skills are all that you require to nail even the most challenging transcription assignments. Besides, there are numerous speech-converting software, such as Express Scribe, and state-of-the-art headphones that may come in handy for relatively inaudible audios and videos.
Another benefit of online transcription is that it doesn’t require intense marketing. As long as you have a reliable client base, they’ll always reach out to you whenever they need you to complete some transcription gigs.
How to Get Started
You can get started as a transcriptionist the same way you would with most other online gigs. At the very least, you’ll need a PC and a high-speed internet connection.
Apart from these basics, you’ll also require the following:
- A high-quality foot pedal to enable you to control audio playback, such as the Infinity USB pedal
- Great earphones or headphones
- Relevant transcription software
You can also make the job ten times easier by using transcription software such as “Transcribe“, you simply dictate, it records what you are saying and transcribes it into text. This is a great way to cut down on the time it takes, improve efficiency and therefore make more money.
How Long Does It Take To Transcribe An Audio?
According to industry standards, it should take you roughly four hours to transcribe one-hour clear audio. The ratio works out as 4:1, or one hour for every 15-minutes long audio.
However, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. As you shall find, there are numerous challenges to contend with. For instance, if you aren’t a native speaker of the language, you may find the speaker too fast or may not be conversant with the local dialects. And if you’re transcribing audio from an unfamiliar niche, you could also experience difficulties understanding the lingo and niche words used.
Generally, the following are some of the factors that affect transcription time:
- The audio recording quality
- Background noise
- Number of speakers
- Regional accents and local dialects
- Special terminologies as well as unique names and places
- Coherence of the speaker. For instance, whether the speaker spells out the full words or cut them short, whether they finish their thoughts or leave them halfway, how quickly the speaker talks, or if the speakers take turns as is the case with conference calls and focus groups
Special assignment requirements, such as transcription timestamps or true verbatim transcription
- The quality of equipment you use
The factors above shouldn’t only dictate your transcription time, but they should also determine how much you charge for the assignment.
Overall, remember that repetitions and monotony characterize typical transcription assignments.
So, even if you’re a seasoned transcriber, it’s prudent to take up tasks with reasonably longer turnarounds, regardless of how short or clear the audio may seem.
Top Companies to Start Off As a Beginner Transcriptionist
1. Transcribe Anywhere
On this site, you not only hone your skills as a transcriptionist, but you also learn about how to start your own freelance transcribing company.
The course features numerous resources, such as practice dictations, modules, and quizzes. You’ll even learn how to develop sample client contracts and how to negotiate better rates. Check out this free transcription mini course offered by Transcribe Anywhere.
Quicktate is one of the beginner-friendly transcription websites out there. The company pays between 1/4 and 1/2 cent per word transcribed, and payment is twice a month via PayPal. Upon signing up with the website, you’ll need to pass a short skills test.
Also, to be on-boarded, Quicktate may do a background check on your profile, due to the sensitive nature of some of the assignments you’ll be working on.
New applicants with TranscribeMe must take up a Transcriber Training Program as part of determining their eligibility.
One advantage of working with TranscribeMe is that the site doesn’t limit the number of hours you can work. Also, TranscribeMe doesn’t require you to possess any special transcription equipment besides a PC and stable internet connection. Pay rate per audio hour is $15, and payouts are weekly via PayPal.
To qualify, Rev will require you to pass a grammar quiz as well as submit a transcription template. After that, you have the freedom and flexibility to work as much as you like.
The pay rate is from 36 to 65 cents for every audio minute, paid weekly via PayPal. Like TranscribeMe, Rev doesn’t require you to have any special work equipment besides the basics.
Initially known as Call Graph, Scribie is another recommended transcription company you might want to take a short at. They’ll require you to complete a transcription test as part of the onboarding process.
In terms of payment, Scribie falls on the lower spectrum, offering a paltry $10 per audio hour. However, they have the lowest cash out threshold, with only $1 in your PayPal account.
Tigerfish is among the oldest transcription companies, with a history dating back to 1989. To join the company, you’ll need to pass a transcription skills test. The company allows its applicants to use relevant software like Express Scribe.
However, successful applicants are only allowed to use Power Play for Windows Media. Tigerfish divulges the pay rates, methods, and even job frequency only to successful applicants.
Transcription is one of the fastest-growing segments of the gig economy. Depending on your areas of expertise, skill level, and volume of work, you can easily make upwards of $300 monthly, pursuing it as a side job.