When you have a talent or skill, finding side hustle opportunities is easy. However, not everyone has programming skills or the creativity to be a writer. Even if you do, you may feel mentally drained after doing this for work at your 9-5. If you’re wondering what you can do instead, consider a transcription side hustle.
We did our research and in this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about a transcription side hustle.
I explain what transcription is, what equipment you’ll need, and what it takes to be successful. The post also includes a training program offered by a reputable company.
What Is a Transcriptionist?
When companies need to change audio content into text, they rely on professionals to listen and write out this information. These professionals are known as transcriptionists. Companies hire transcriptionists for many different reasons. For example, video marketers may need someone to create captions for their videos. Similarly, journalists who record interviews may need text copies to use for writing their articles.
Think You’ve Got What It Takes?
Turning audio into text sounds like an easy enough homebased transcription business, but it takes skill and patience. One reason for this is that the quality of the audio files you receive may vary. Sometimes, you will have sections of the audio file where hearing what the person says is next to impossible because of multiple people talking at once, background noise or the sound cutting out.
Having the best transcription equipment can simplify your work process and drastically improve productivity. Even so, it’s important to start small and determine if transcription is right for you before splurging. You might also need to test a few brands to determine what is most compatible with your existing setup. Here are some key pieces of equipment to look for:
- Reliable computer
- Noise-canceling headset
- Foot pedal
Aside from physical equipment, you also need high-speed internet and access to the right software. These include a good media player, word processor, text expander and transcription software.
All the equipment in the world cannot compensate for attempting to complete transcription work in the wrong environment. You need a quiet space where you can work without interruptions. Unless you live alone, this might require creating a designated office space. Some transcriptionists go the extra mile of soundproofing the room to make it easier to focus on the task at hand.
As a transcriptionist, it is important to listen well, type quickly and make as few typos as possible. Having a strong grasp of the language you type in is important, especially when clients want polished pieces instead of word-for-word transcriptions. Technical know-how is also crucial when transcribing some topic areas, such as medicine, IT and law.
As a transcriptionist and business owner, you need patience. You won’t always be able to make out what someone says on the first, second or fifth listen. This can be incredibly frustrating as clients dislike too many pauses in transcriptions. Perseverance and self-motivation will also play crucial roles in your ability to move on from setbacks and disappointments, so you can build a thriving side hustle.
Would I Make a Good Transcriptionist?
To become a good transcriptionist, you need the opportunity to gain experience and hone your skills. The good news is that there are many different options you can take advantage of.
If your focus is building a portfolio and you can afford to take the initial pay cut, consider offering your services for free. Finding free work is relatively easy. You can offer to type up captions for YouTube videos or create transcripts of podcasts. Post an ad on Craigslist or social media and people are sure to offer up free assignments. However, the best free option is volunteering to do unpaid work for existing transcriptionist services that might not want to take a chance on hiring you without experience.
Once you have some experience and feel comfortable tackling transcription, use your portfolio to secure clients. You can usually find people looking for freelance transcribers on Craigslist and freelance platforms, such as Upwork. The downside to using services like Upwork is that your real-life portfolio does not matter as much as your on-site performance and it’s hard to take that reputation with you when you leave the platform. Transcription companies mostly hire independent contractors. Many of these will quote hourly pay estimates, but they generally pay by assignment.
Most of the full-time assignments involve working as a live transcriptionist. This means that you are present in the room when transcribing conversations or taking dictated reports. You might write for disabled students at a university or transcribe reports for doctors and lawyers. These jobs are usually salaried and can pay good middle-income salaries above $50,000 per year. Naturally, you need several years of experience to land these jobs. The downside is that these are full-time positions and you miss out on the experience of running your own business.
How Do I Get Transcription Training?
If you believe you have what it takes to side hustle from home as a transcriptionist, jumping into the field shouldn’t be your first step. To ensure you start off on the right foot, sign up for training.
Transcribe Anywhere is a reputable company that has a free 7 lesson mini-course that smart entrepreneurs are taking advantage of. This company provides all the information you need to either build a transcription side hustle business or start a brand-new career.
Are You Ready To Start Your Transcription Side Hustle?
Transcription is a practical field. Because of this, you require practical lessons to discover how to get started in the field and how to succeed. Instead of reading eBooks or browsing through tips online, it’s better to learn from experts that you can reach out to. You never know whether transcription will be your calling in the beginning, so take advantage of free resources. After this, you can decide how much more training you need to improve your earnings.
There’s a lot of information to process in this post. But, now that you’ve covered most of what you’ll need as a transcriptionist, you’re now better prepared than ever to start your transcription side hustle and build a successful business.
Is there anything we missed? Let us know below.