How to Earn a Living as a Transcriptionist

If you like working from home, working based on your own schedule, and not having to deal with colleagues, you may find that earning a living as a transcriptionist is desirable. 

Transcriptionists are in high demand these days, but the job is a lot harder than it looks. Here are some tips to help you if you want to make a living through transcribing.

What is Transcription?

First of all, what even is transcription? Transcribing involves listening to audio or verbal pieces and converting them into text. To do this, you will need a good grasp of grammar and punctuation. 

Earning a Living as a Transcriptionist

It may sound surprising that some people can receive an equivalent to a full-time income simply by transcribing, but it’s true. You can earn around $20 to $50 an hour at the start, and this can continue to increase as you grow more skilled.

Here are some ways you can make yourself competitive in this industry. 

Receive Transcriptionist Training

If all you need to do is listen and then type, surely there’s no training that’s required? This is the way that a lot of people would think, but it couldn’t be more wrong.

As a transcriptionist, you have to learn how to capture the details and do so quickly. You will also need to be able to focus well in less-than-ideal work settings (namely, your own home) and make sure they finish their work according to the deadlines that have been set. 

Training will provide you with the skills necessary to differentiate yourself from every other person looking to break into the industry. For instance, you can learn about the different formats used for different transcripts, and how to perfect your punctuation. It will also allow you to have faster turnaround times, which helps with increasing productivity and ensuring that you earn more. 

Learn How to Market Yourself Well

When you work as a transcriptionist, you are essentially your own boss. This is great because it means you will work based on your own schedule, but it also means that you have to be skilled at – well, everything. One of those things is marketing.

If you don’t sell yourself, you won’t find any clients. Simple as that. To earn a good amount as a transcriptionist, you will have to market yourself well. 

This can involve having a website where you showcase your portfolio, promoting your work on social media and actively reaching out to prospective clients, and applying to different companies consistently. 

Know Where to Go for High-Paying Gigs

There are so many stories of people who end up trapped with low-paying transcribing gigs when they could have chosen something that was really worth their time. To truly succeed as a transcriptionist, you have to get good at finding places to apply to that will pay you as much as you’re worth. 

You can look for transcription jobs on freelancer job boards, or by approaching clients on social media. There is also the possibility of becoming a legal transcriptionist for legal courts around you. These are likely to pay well, too.

Don’t Be Afraid to Invest

You may worry whether you’ll ever be able to drive a profit if you spend money in the beginning to build sites and get training. However, not investing will likely prevent you from being as profitable as you can be. 

Treat your transcription work like a business. There will be some things that you have to pay upfront just to get things going, and this will include risk. However, the returns are likely going to be larger now than before. 

Know Whether to Narrow Down or Generalize

You can also choose to specify your focus and choose a direction for your career. Will you become a legal transcriptionist or a general transcriptionist? 

Some people will choose to narrow down their focus and grow their expertise in one certain area, while others will choose to offer both services. Offering both will possibly give you a range of different clients and ensure that the work will not get boring. 

Organize Your Time Well

As a person who will likely be working from home for a majority of your days, you will have to get good at managing your time to accomplish all the different tasks. You will also have to learn how to divide your normal life from your working life, and the key to this is to ensure you create a schedule that doesn’t allow for your work to interfere with your personal time.

This can mean something like taking Fridays to Sundays off or working only until 5 p.m. If you’ve already decided on these boundaries, make sure you break down your working hours so you can properly finish all the tasks you have. 

Find a Community

Freelancing or working from home as a transcriptionist can get lonely. Find a community online that also does the same work, both to feel a sense of support and also to share ideas and grow together. 

Succeeding as a Transcriptionist

There is so much online work out there, and becoming a transcriptionist is one of them. Working as a transcriptionist can be a great alternative to having a nine-to-five job stuck in a dull office somewhere. You get to choose your own projects, learn new things, and have a more flexible schedule based on your own needs. 

To truly earn a good income, you will need to have training, a suitable marketing strategy, and a mindset that treats this job as an actual career that will require investments. 

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