Hello! Today, I have an amazing interview to share with you that will show you how to become a transcriptionist, so that you can transcribe online and earn a living. I recently had the chance to interview Janet Shaughnessy of Transcribe Anywhere, who explains how this may be a possibility for you.
In 2007, Janet started working from home as a medical transcriptionist for others. Shortly after that, she started a successful general and legal transcription business.
While running her business, the idea of a course popped up. Janet now teaches others in her online course how to transcribe online and work from home as a transcriptionist.
If you are looking for a new job or even just a side hustle, this may be something that you want to look into.
Check out the interview below for more information on how to make money transcribing.
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How did you get started as a transcriptionist?
I actually learned how to transcribe in high school. Of course, that was a LONG time ago and we used shorthand and typewriters.
Later, through the course of my career, I learned to transcribe using tapes and computers. I became a CMT (certified medical transcriptionist) while working at an HMO.
Fast forward several years, and my husband became disabled and no longer able to work.
At that point, I was working a high-level, high-paying job at an insurance brokerage. I was having an extremely difficult time juggling my work and home life. I needed and wanted to be home to take care of my husband.
So…I quit my job.
I, then, had to decide what I could do from home to earn an income. I realized that my transcription skills would transfer very well to a work-from-home position. I applied to a few transcription companies, got hired, and here I am today ☺
What exactly is a transcriptionist?
I’m so glad you asked that question. So many people don’t know what it is!
I usually get a confused look from people when I tell them what I do. Or, they automatically assume that I’m a medical transcriptionist, which I am NOT. I started as an MT (medical transcriptionist), but soon realized that area of transcription is quickly fading out due to the advent of the electronic medical record and voice recognition technology.
General transcription and legal transcription are the areas that I focus on now and business is booming.
Transcription is the art of turning any audio or video content into a text document.
Note: You can read more about what a general transcriptionist is on Janet's website.
What kind of money can be made as a transcriptionist?
It’s a wide range actually, dependent upon things like skill level, demographic area, and the type of transcription.
Beginning transcriptionists should expect to earn in the $15 an hour range to start. I make much more than that, but I’ve built my business up over ten years.
Related: 17 Online Jobs That Pay Well
Can anyone become a transcriptionist and transcribe online?
No. You need to be proficient in typing, grammar, punctuation, spelling, working with specialized software, and be comfortable with working with files via the internet, among other things.
Training is required. It’s not “listen and type.”
Why do you need training to do this type of work?
Without the proper training in all of the areas mentioned, as well as how to market your services, how could you possibly succeed?
What if you're not sure if this is a good fit?
The truth is, transcription isn’t a good fit for everybody. That’s why we offer a free mini-course to help people make an informed decision as to whether or not transcription is a good fit for them.
Is it hard to find work?
No, it’s not hard to find work if you’re an EXCELLENT transcriptionist and know how to market yourself.
It has to be stressed that you need to become really proficient first and then try to find work. Again, transcription involves much more than the ability to listen and type.
Who are the typical clients for transcriptionists?
Since general transcriptionists convert audio and video to text for virtually any industry, there really isn't a typical client. However, some of the heaviest users of GT services include marketers, authors, filmmakers, academicians, speakers, and conferences of all types.
What steps does a person need to take to make this a successful side hustle?
- Learn the basics of transcription.
- Practice, practice, practice!
- Market your services.
How much does it cost to start this side hustle and how much on a monthly basis to maintain it?
The cost to start is less than $100 if you train with TranscribeAnywhere.com.
There are some software and hardware needed that can be had for around $80.
That’s all you need.
You might decide to get a domain name and basic website (recommended) which only costs $10 (or less). It’s got to be the least expensive way to start a home-based business. And, you’re investing in your education, which will give you the skills needed for a lifelong career working from home.
Related: If you are interested in starting a website, I created a tutorial that will help you start a blog of your own for cheap, starting at only $3.49 per month (this low price is only through my link) for blog hosting. In addition to the low pricing, you will receive a free website domain (a $15 value) through my Bluehost link if you purchase at least 12 months of blog hosting.
What do you love about being able to transcribe online? What has it helped you do (travel, reach a certain dream, pay off debt, etc.)?
The flexibility in my daily schedule is absolutely the thing I love most about my transcription business.
In addition to caring for my husband, my mother is elderly now and needs me to take her to doctors’ appointments and other things. How in the world would I do any of this if I had a 9:00 to 5:00 job? Bosses don’t take kindly to an employee who asks for too much time off.
I don’t answer to anyone but myself.
I work a lot and I’m very busy, but when I work is entirely up to me. I’m leaving as soon as I finish this interview to go pick up my new car. ☺
This really is a dream come true for me.
It’s been a blessing.
Are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to get into this?
Train first, then try to get work. Too often, people think they can “wing it” and go after work before they know what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, that method is frustrating for the worker and irritating to clients when they turn in sub-par work. It’s just not going to work.
But, luckily, the needed skills can be taught to anyone with a sincere desire to learn and succeed.
Can you tell me more about your course?
I’m really excited about the e-learning platform that we’ve moved my courses to recently.
It allows our students to have a multi-media approach to learning with a step-by-step methodology designed to take them from newbie to pro in a very short period of time.
We cover every aspect of transcription from English grammar and punctuation to marketing. There are over 60 practice dictations in the course.
It’s a lot of practice and a very comprehensive course.
Are you interested in working from home? Does becoming a transcriptionist interest you?
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