How to Make Money Transcribing As a Beginner

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A very important question that always comes in our mind thinking about transcription is how to make money transcribing as a beginner?

Is it really possible for a beginner to make money just by transcribing files?

Well, the answer is Yes, you can make money, and I am the living proof here.

Back in 2016, I literally made a few bucks just by doing the online transcription work and honestly, I couldn’t believe it myself at first.

Though being a beginner it was time-consuming but I know if I would have continued to do so, I could transcribe much faster.

Here is my payment proof from GoTranscript.

GoTranscript income report

However, I didn’t just wake up & started transcribing files. I had problems initially, but most of them got sorted out just by practicing.

Practice makes you perfect and with Transcription, practice makes you feel more confident and comfortable.

If you’re confused about whether transcription is really your thing? You will definitely find the solution here.

If you’re confused regarding how to become a full-time professional transcriptionist? you will also find the solution here.

So ensure to read it till the end and I promise it will be much valuable.

How to make money transcribing Pinterest pin

Types of Transcription

When you are starting out with transcription, it’s very important to know which type of transcription you should go for.

Some of them pay more and others generally pay less. The one that pays more is often difficult and time-consuming.

So, considering all these things, you must choose which one will be best for you.

Here are the three transcriptions that I am talking about.

1. General Transcription

General Transcription is the simplest one where a transcriptionist can transcribe any type of audio file such as interviews, simple dictation, lecture, phone calls.

However, it doesn’t include medical and legal audios as they are more difficult and require a good knowledge of the field.

2. Legal Transcription

Legal Transcription is a bit more difficult than general transcription and it often includes audio recordings of court hearings, depositions or anything related to the law.

The accuracy needed for this transcription is around 98% and often times the documents will need to get certified with an affidavit.

But, the best thing about legal transcription is that the audios are professionally recorded which makes your job easier.

3. Medical Transcription

Medical Transcription is the most difficult but rewarding one.

Though you should be a HIPAA certified to get work from a direct care provider or a hospital to ensure the privacy of patients but you can still get work from other sources that don’t require any certification.

As it is high paying, your accuracy should be 99-100% to get paid.

You can get into medical transcription by taking professional training from a reliable source.

My Advice…

Being a complete beginner, it’s best to start with general transcription as it is less hectic and easier.

Your main goal should be to become comfortable with transcription and gain experience which is possible with the general one.

Once you know how to get the job done & feel more confident, you can try your hands on legal and medical transcription.

The best way I look to get into these transcriptions is by taking a good professional course.

Tools You Need As a Transcriptionist

Whatever job you do, there will be a bunch of tools that will help to ease your work and contribute to maximum productivity.

For Transcription, it’s essential to have a set of tools in your arsenal that will only help you get the job done faster.

There might be a few tools you can skip being a beginner but once you feel you are ready to invest a few bucks, you can definitely have them.

Tool No.1 – A Good Pair of Headphones

Headphones for transcription

Transcriptionist needs to have excellent listening skills and a pair of good headphones make this job quite easier.

If you live in an environment with a lot of background noises, then it’s really necessary to have them.

But before you purchase, check whether they are comfortable, sits in your budget and can adjust with your working environment.

Being a Transcriptionist, you have to work for a long duration and wearing a headphone for such a long duration can make you uncomfortable.

That is why light-weight headphones with ear cushion work well and if it has a noise cancellation feature, then it can muffle a lot of background noises good for a noisy environment.

However, if you are thinking of using only speakers, then it won’t give you a better result as compared to headphones. So, ensure to have one.

Tool No.2 – Express Scribe

Express Scribe is a transcription tool or an audio player designed for transcription work.

It offers a feature where you can control basic functions such as play, pause, stop, rewind using the keyboard hotkeys which makes your transcribing work quite easier.

Express Scribe offers a free and paid version of their software where you can do all the basic functions with the free one.

The free version offers home and small business license permits, foot pedal support (only AltoEdge foot pedal), DCT dictation and ability to play all major file formats.

On the other hand, the paid version has additional features. For a beginner, the free version is enough but ensure to upgrade when you feel it’s the right time.

Tool No.3 – Foot Pedal

Foot Pedal for transcription

Foot Pedal ends the problem of playing, pausing & rewinding audio/video files with your hand because you can control them with your foot instead.

Foot Pedal also known as WAV Pedal is designed in such a way that you can perform all the basic features with just your foot.

Because of this feature, your hands can only focus on typing which makes your transcribing work faster & easier.

All the professional Transcriptionists use this tool and being a beginner you won’t actually need it but if you can, it can save a lot of time.

You can get this from Amazon.

Tool No.4 – Audio Converter Tool

Sometimes, audio files don’t work on your device because of a certain format.

In such scenarios, you can convert them to your preferred format using an audio converter tool.

You can use Freemake Audio Converter for this purpose which converts your audio files to over 50 formats.

Tool No.5 – Video Converter Tool

Sometimes, you will receive video files for transcription and you would like to have an audio version of it.

In such cases, the Freemake Video converter tool can convert video files into different formats including audio format as well.

You can then use the audio to load it in your transcription software to proceed further.

Tool No.6 – Audio Enhancer Tool

There will be times when you will receive audio files with either a lot of background noise or low volume.

In such scenarios, you can use an audio enhancer tool such as the DFX tool or Adobe Audition to improve the quality of the audio.

Tool No.7 – Grammarly or Pro-Writing Aid

How could we end this section without a checker tool?

Grammarly or Pro-Writing Aid are the tools that detect grammatical, spelling & typo errors in real-time from a written document.

You can use them while transcribing files to ensure you are writing an error-free transcript which makes it more professional.

You can install them as your browser add-on that will automatically highlight and suggest correct words, spellings, and sentences.

How to Make Money Transcribing?

Till now, we have seen what type of transcription you can go for and which tools you can use to get the job done.

Now, let’s see how you should start your transcription journey step-by-step so you won’t waste your time.

1. Decide Whether Transcription is Really For You?

This is the first question you should ask yourself when you are excited about this job.

Though it appears super easy where you just have to jot down what you hear in the audio, but it’s not that easy.

The reason I said so is that it depends on how good your listening skills are, how good the audio quality is and how quickly you can learn about the topic.

Professional Transcriptionist is good in researching new terms, taking words in context & identifying referring words while they are transcribing. That’s what makes them different from a beginner.

But you don’t have to worry about this because over time, you will also develop these skills. All you need is proper guidance and practice.

From what I have seen, if the audio quality is nice with proper and clear diction, it will only take 1-2 times of audio duration for transcribing.

For example, if you are transcribing 5-minute audio having clear diction, you will take 10-15 minutes depending on your typing speed.

However, if it is bad audio with a unique accent, technical terms, loud background noise, voices are indistinct, and some may even have a hiss or a humming sound, it will probably take 4-5 times of audio duration or even 6 times.

I know it sounds a bit difficult but you don’t have to worry much as things will get easier for you when you have transcribed multiple files.

To help you further, I highly recommend a free mini-course that will let you know what it takes to be a Transcriptionist so you can make your final call.

Enroll in Free 7-Day Mini General Transcription Course

Transcription Mini Course

It’s an e-mail course by Professional Transcriptionist Janet Shaughnessy where she introduces you to Transcription in 7 days.

Each day, you get a new lesson via e-mail that answers all your major questions.

At the end of this mini-course, you will have a proper idea about Transcription & you can clearly decide whether you want to jump on it.

The following are the lessons you are getting for free.

  • Day 1 – Lesson 1 –  What transcription is and why it’s an invaluable skill in today’s digital world?
  • Day 2 – Lesson 2 – Who hires transcriptionists, what it takes to become one, and the two keys to success as a transcriptionist.
  • Day 3 – Lesson 3 – Revealing the biggest myth about Transcription
  • Day 4 – Lesson 4 – 10 signs you’re not a good fit for Transcription
  • Day 5 – Lesson 5 – How much can you earn as a Transcriptionist & what affects your earnings?
  • Day 6 – Lesson 6 – Where does transcription work come from?
  • Day 7 – Lesson 7 – What do you need to get started?

I myself have taken this course earlier, and it’s really an eye-opener with lots of valuable information.

If you take this course, I am pretty sure things will get easier for you & you can easily make your final decision. That’s the only reason I am recommending it.

I myself have taken this course earlier, and it’s really an eye-opener with lots of valuable information.

Whatever she teaches in those 7 days is definitely crucial for getting into this job.

Once you’re determined to become a part-time or even full-time Transcriptionist, you have 2 options to proceed further.

One is free but time-consuming and another one is paid but more legit.

However, if you are not interested and don’t see yourself as a future Transcriptionist, you can check out other money-making opportunities.

2. Free & Paid Method To Learn Transcription

This is where you have to decide which one is appropriate for you.

If you don’t want to spend any dime, go for the free method and if you are willing to spend some money, go for the paid method.

You can also use both of them at the same time which I think is the best way.

A) Free Method

Being a beginner with no prior experience, it’s very important to practice transcription & gain experience.

And what’s the best way to do so?

Obviously, join online Transcription companies.

There are many of them like Scribe, GoTranscript that will hire you even if you don’t have any experience but you must pass their English assessment & transcription test.

While taking the transcription test, you need to download and read their style guide before proceeding.

A style guide is basically a rule book that should be followed while transcribing so you can produce professional transcripts that meet the standard.

Once you pass the test and get hired, you will have a great platform to gain experience and earn money at the same time.

Though you won’t make much, but it’s ok because we are more interested in getting experience.

You can check out these Online transcription companies that are currently hiring. Ensure to join at least 2-3 of them especially Scribie & GoTranscript.

The only negative side it has is you need to figure out on your own & there is no one to guide you.

The only way you can make this work for you is by transcribing as many files as you can until you gain confidence.

B) Paid Method

This is by far the best method but yeah, you have to spend some money.

But even if you are spending money, it won’t go waste and you can eventually earn it back within a few weeks once you become a Professional Transcriptionist.

If you are wondering what I am talking about, then it’s a course from Janet Shaughnessy. Yes, the creator of the earlier mentioned mini-course.

She is offering a full-blown course on General & Legal Transcription where she promises to get you from newbie to a polished professional in as little as 2-4 months.​

You will make more money faster in comparison with other newbies & you’ll feel more confident like a professional. Plus, you’ll have a support team with you the entire time whenever you need any help.

You can check out both the courses from the below links.

Before making up your mind to buy any one of them, I want you to read everything about it and watch the video tour before deciding anything.

If you see yourself doing this job for a long time and you feel that your investment is worthy, then go for it.

Ending Note…

Well, we have seen how to make money transcribing as a beginner when you are new to this.

As a beginner, I did made some side income with this job but it was time-consuming and I was already planning for blogging, so I officially retired.

However, last month, when I took Jannet’s mini Transcription course, I feel like I should again give it a try. But honestly, I don’t see that coming any soon. (lots of blogging work)

Nevertheless, it’s a great online job that you can do to make extra money or even full-time income but it just boils down to your personal interest.

If you can spend 2-3 hours every day or 5 days a week, I will definitely suggest it.

So, now it’s your turn to tell me whether you are eager to give it a shot or want to pass it on?

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