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Getting Started in General Transcription

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 21, 2008 · 118 comments

Hopefully you've had a chance to read my post on working at home as a transcriptionist. As promised, I'm back to give you all some information on how you can get started working at home in the transcription industry!




So how do you get started? Explaining it all in one post is nearly impossible, but if you are interested in pursuing transcription as a career, here are the steps to get you headed in the right direction.

  • Find a pair of quality headphones.
  • Download Express Scribe and install Microsoft Word if it's not already on your computer.
  • Brush up on your grammar rules.
  • Learn how to research words, names and terms online.
  • Download audio from a variety of sources and begin practicing.
  • Create or brush up your résumé and cover letter.
  • Begin applying as an independent contractor.
  • Look for projects on Guru, Elance and/or Craigslist.
  • Continue developing your skills and looking for ways to increase productivity.

Posts on all of these aspects can be found interspersed on Transcription Talk. However, if you're one of those people that need things laid out in an orderly and step-by-step fashion, I recommend purchasing General Transcription 101.

When my partners and I started Transcription Talk, our mission was to help other moms not only get started working at home as transcriptionists but also to give them the tools to improve their skills and speed so that they can earn more in less time giving them more availability for their family. We made a commitment to blog daily towards this goal; however, we quickly realized that a daily blog of this sort in addition to our other obligations was taking too much time away from our own families.

We made the difficult decision to discontinue posting on Transcription Talk but not before we published our first transcription ebook, General Transcription 101: Your Complete Guide to Getting Started. We worked very hard to make sure that General Transcription 101 walks the reader through each of the steps to getting started as a work-at-home transcriptionist. We had it reviewed by people just getting started, those considering the industry, experienced transcriptionists, and even professional editors. We did rewrites, design changes, and tweaked it more times than we can count.

All three of us are very proud of the end result, and we've received nothing but positive feedback from those who have purchased it. I'm hoping to hear that it's helped some of you out as well!

{ 118 comments }

1 Patricia October 21, 2008 at 8:07 pm

I have the greatest difficulty with finding time, that is my biggest challenge. Between juggling my home responsiblities, running after a toddler, teenager and hard working husband. It takes alot of time...to do it halfway well.

I would love to have your book to see if this might be a realistic option for bringing in some additional income.

Thanks for the posting!

Patricia´s last blog post..Sales Cycles/Very Important Information!!!

2 Patricia October 21, 2008 at 4:07 pm

I have the greatest difficulty with finding time, that is my biggest challenge. Between juggling my home responsiblities, running after a toddler, teenager and hard working husband. It takes alot of time...to do it halfway well.

I would love to have your book to see if this might be a realistic option for bringing in some additional income.

Thanks for the posting!

Patricia´s last blog post..Sales Cycles/Very Important Information!!!

3 Kristen October 21, 2008 at 8:26 pm

My biggest barrier to working at home is my husband. I love him dearly, but he has a hard time "giving up" my accountant salary. We truly do not need my entire salary, but his worries about it, make me nervous to completely walk away from my career and start something new. He would have to be very sure that this is something I can do, and something that pays out in the end. Time is ticking away as my boys grow up without me spending the time with them I want and they deserve.

4 Kristen October 21, 2008 at 4:26 pm

My biggest barrier to working at home is my husband. I love him dearly, but he has a hard time "giving up" my accountant salary. We truly do not need my entire salary, but his worries about it, make me nervous to completely walk away from my career and start something new. He would have to be very sure that this is something I can do, and something that pays out in the end. Time is ticking away as my boys grow up without me spending the time with them I want and they deserve.

5 Marty October 21, 2008 at 8:31 pm

My biggest barrier to working at all is time. I homeschool my 3 children, 2 that are adopted with special needs. My parents are in a nursing home and I am their primary source of outside care. But I am a great typist and my husband's business is slow so this might be a possibility. Would love to win the book!

6 Marty October 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm

My biggest barrier to working at all is time. I homeschool my 3 children, 2 that are adopted with special needs. My parents are in a nursing home and I am their primary source of outside care. But I am a great typist and my husband's business is slow so this might be a possibility. Would love to win the book!

7 Rebecca C October 21, 2008 at 8:37 pm

My barrier is that I am afraid that they are all scams! I would love to bring in extra money other than what I make doing surveys (which is minimal) but I don't want to put us in a bad financial situation by risking being scammed. Also, finding time would be difficult, but if I was actually making money rather than just "playing around on the internet" I believe my husband will be likely to help with the kids during my set working hours.

Rebecca C´s last blog post..Giveaways 10/21

8 Rebecca C October 21, 2008 at 4:37 pm

My barrier is that I am afraid that they are all scams! I would love to bring in extra money other than what I make doing surveys (which is minimal) but I don't want to put us in a bad financial situation by risking being scammed. Also, finding time would be difficult, but if I was actually making money rather than just "playing around on the internet" I believe my husband will be likely to help with the kids during my set working hours.

Rebecca C´s last blog post..Giveaways 10/21

9 Alissa October 21, 2008 at 8:48 pm

My biggest barrier is my child. I want to stay home with her and be able to contribute some sort of income too. So, for me finding the time between taking care of my daughter and finding work that would accomadate my schedule.

10 Alissa October 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm

My biggest barrier is my child. I want to stay home with her and be able to contribute some sort of income too. So, for me finding the time between taking care of my daughter and finding work that would accomadate my schedule.

11 Diane October 21, 2008 at 8:49 pm

My biggest barrier is knowing what is a scam and wasn't isn't so I haven't even looked into any of these options. I think finding someone who does it and trusting them is what can open the doors for you.

Diane´s last blog post..Some Great Online Coupons Week of October 19-25

12 Diane October 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm

My biggest barrier is knowing what is a scam and wasn't isn't so I haven't even looked into any of these options. I think finding someone who does it and trusting them is what can open the doors for you.

Diane´s last blog post..Some Great Online Coupons Week of October 19-25

13 Jenn October 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm

My biggest barriers are not knowing what a realistic earning potential is and how to find an opportunity that is not a SCAM! I'd love to learn more from your book!

14 Jenn October 21, 2008 at 4:53 pm

My biggest barriers are not knowing what a realistic earning potential is and how to find an opportunity that is not a SCAM! I'd love to learn more from your book!

15 sara October 21, 2008 at 8:55 pm

my biggest barrier is time management. i can't seem to figure out how to balance my obligations to get them done AND have time for myself at the end of it all. so then i get burnt out. maybe that's my biggest barrier! :)

16 sara October 21, 2008 at 4:55 pm

my biggest barrier is time management. i can't seem to figure out how to balance my obligations to get them done AND have time for myself at the end of it all. so then i get burnt out. maybe that's my biggest barrier! :)

17 Amiyrah October 21, 2008 at 9:58 pm

any type of "work at home" businesses i've come across have wanted me to investa ridiculous amount of money into the company BEFORE they could even tell me how to start making money. I just want to contribute more to my household without having to give up my first born to do it. I have heard of transcribing before and thought that it was something that I could definitely do, but didn't know how to go at it. This book would be a life saver for me!

18 Amiyrah October 21, 2008 at 5:58 pm

any type of "work at home" businesses i've come across have wanted me to investa ridiculous amount of money into the company BEFORE they could even tell me how to start making money. I just want to contribute more to my household without having to give up my first born to do it. I have heard of transcribing before and thought that it was something that I could definitely do, but didn't know how to go at it. This book would be a life saver for me!

19 Tiffany October 21, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Hi! I would love to be included in the give away. My biggest barrier that I have came across when working from home is working too much taking and taking time away from my kids. When I realized this is happening I close it all up until bed time!

I work as an office manager from home, I sell on ebay, I blog, and I have worked for ChaCha as an internet guide. I think ChaCha is job that most anyone can do. I have been too busy with my office management job and starting my blog to work for ChaCha lately. My last check for them was right at $550. This was all earned working really hard for about 45 days.

I posted a blog about working from home about ChaCha and other opportunities if you are interested in reading further.

I will not post a link here, because that may be consider rude! :)

I love your new wordpress format. I have plans to transfer over to wp too one day.

Thanks for the give away!

Tiffany´s last blog post..Clearance Deals

20 Tiffany October 21, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hi! I would love to be included in the give away. My biggest barrier that I have came across when working from home is working too much taking and taking time away from my kids. When I realized this is happening I close it all up until bed time!

I work as an office manager from home, I sell on ebay, I blog, and I have worked for ChaCha as an internet guide. I think ChaCha is job that most anyone can do. I have been too busy with my office management job and starting my blog to work for ChaCha lately. My last check for them was right at $550. This was all earned working really hard for about 45 days.

I posted a blog about working from home about ChaCha and other opportunities if you are interested in reading further.

I will not post a link here, because that may be consider rude! :)

I love your new wordpress format. I have plans to transfer over to wp too one day.

Thanks for the give away!

Tiffany´s last blog post..Clearance Deals

21 AmyP October 21, 2008 at 10:13 pm

So far, the work from home opportunities I've had have been home-based businesses which have required buying product, buying ahead, buying large quantity, & all things 'money up front'.
The money up front part is what always got us.
Your gig sounds hopeful.

Fingers crossed!

AmyP´s last blog post..Opinions are like Backsides

22 AmyP October 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm

So far, the work from home opportunities I've had have been home-based businesses which have required buying product, buying ahead, buying large quantity, & all things 'money up front'.
The money up front part is what always got us.
Your gig sounds hopeful.

Fingers crossed!

AmyP´s last blog post..Opinions are like Backsides

23 Lacy Reyes October 21, 2008 at 10:32 pm

I have searched and searched the web for at home jobs! Most sites I come across expect you to pay to start working for them. I think that is the biggest scam of them all! I would never pay someone to let me work for them! I have a fun part time job as a guide for ChaCha.com researching and answering questions. It doesn't pay much, but it is a fun past time that pays!
I went to school and got a 'certificate of medical transcription" yet I do not have experience. I can not find work in transcription that will hire a newbie. I am really interested in this book! I really hope that I win!

Lacy Reyes´s last blog post..

24 Lacy Reyes October 21, 2008 at 6:32 pm

I have searched and searched the web for at home jobs! Most sites I come across expect you to pay to start working for them. I think that is the biggest scam of them all! I would never pay someone to let me work for them! I have a fun part time job as a guide for ChaCha.com researching and answering questions. It doesn't pay much, but it is a fun past time that pays!
I went to school and got a 'certificate of medical transcription" yet I do not have experience. I can not find work in transcription that will hire a newbie. I am really interested in this book! I really hope that I win!

Lacy Reyes´s last blog post..

25 Terri October 21, 2008 at 10:34 pm

Lots and lots of barriers. Mostly scams or things that are not worth the trouble. The legit things I am hesitant because I feel like I can't devote the time unless I am good at planning things for my kids to do while I am working because only 1 naps now and while "playing alone" and "room time" sound great my kids haven't mastered that yet and I fear I'd be dealing with "mom, mom, mom" while I'm trying to work and end up getting fired because the person I transcribed for would say "um, no one said MOM in this meeting, why is Mom typed here 40 times?" (ha) oh did I mention all the scams out there?

Terri´s last blog post..Silence

26 Terri October 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Lots and lots of barriers. Mostly scams or things that are not worth the trouble. The legit things I am hesitant because I feel like I can't devote the time unless I am good at planning things for my kids to do while I am working because only 1 naps now and while "playing alone" and "room time" sound great my kids haven't mastered that yet and I fear I'd be dealing with "mom, mom, mom" while I'm trying to work and end up getting fired because the person I transcribed for would say "um, no one said MOM in this meeting, why is Mom typed here 40 times?" (ha) oh did I mention all the scams out there?

Terri´s last blog post..Silence

27 kim julian October 21, 2008 at 11:04 pm

I get to the part where they ask for money and then I think, "OK, how do I know this will work." and I stop. I just wish I knew which jobs are legitimate if I put the work in and which ones aren't.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Kim

akjulian at aol dot com

28 kim julian October 21, 2008 at 7:04 pm

I get to the part where they ask for money and then I think, "OK, how do I know this will work." and I stop. I just wish I knew which jobs are legitimate if I put the work in and which ones aren't.

Thanks again for all that you do.

Kim

akjulian at aol dot com

29 Trish October 21, 2008 at 11:09 pm

I've done general transcription before, but I worked part time in an insurance consulting office. I have always wanted to do it at home, but do not know where to begin. Plus, I know I need to get some equipment, such as a foot peddle if I want to be effective and get some work done in a timely manner.

I have a real hard time with discipline. It's hard for me to sit and work when I see a mess in my house or dishes still not done. When I have work to do, the laundry seems to call to me. I also struggle with procrastination; this is my biggest barrier. Yet, I realize it's self-imposed.

30 Trish October 21, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I've done general transcription before, but I worked part time in an insurance consulting office. I have always wanted to do it at home, but do not know where to begin. Plus, I know I need to get some equipment, such as a foot peddle if I want to be effective and get some work done in a timely manner.

I have a real hard time with discipline. It's hard for me to sit and work when I see a mess in my house or dishes still not done. When I have work to do, the laundry seems to call to me. I also struggle with procrastination; this is my biggest barrier. Yet, I realize it's self-imposed.

31 Elizabeth M. October 21, 2008 at 11:27 pm

The biggest barrier for me on getting a job outside the home is the expense of a new work wardrobe. I just don't have more than a few items that are appropriate. All of my old work clothes have been donated and I've been wearing sweatshirts and jeans ever since while raising kids.

32 Elizabeth M. October 21, 2008 at 7:27 pm

The biggest barrier for me on getting a job outside the home is the expense of a new work wardrobe. I just don't have more than a few items that are appropriate. All of my old work clothes have been donated and I've been wearing sweatshirts and jeans ever since while raising kids.

33 Erika Arciniega October 21, 2008 at 11:32 pm

My biggest barrier is not having the time to research good at home working opportunities so I can make the move from my regualr job. I don't want to give in to any scams, and that fear alos becomes a barrier.

34 Erika Arciniega October 21, 2008 at 7:32 pm

My biggest barrier is not having the time to research good at home working opportunities so I can make the move from my regualr job. I don't want to give in to any scams, and that fear alos becomes a barrier.

35 Stephanie October 22, 2008 at 12:54 am

I think the biggest barrier is finding something that is legit and worthwhile. I had a friend who thought she had found a great work-from-home deal where she put together little crafts for something ridiculous like a quarter each. It sounded fine on paper, but when the stuff came in the mail she realized that each one took over a half hour to do. I don't want to invest money into something that isn't likely to work out.

Stephanie´s last blog post..FREE (and even better) at CVS This Week (through 10/25)

36 Stephanie October 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm

I think the biggest barrier is finding something that is legit and worthwhile. I had a friend who thought she had found a great work-from-home deal where she put together little crafts for something ridiculous like a quarter each. It sounded fine on paper, but when the stuff came in the mail she realized that each one took over a half hour to do. I don't want to invest money into something that isn't likely to work out.

Stephanie´s last blog post..FREE (and even better) at CVS This Week (through 10/25)

37 Karen October 22, 2008 at 1:06 am

The biggest problem I have run into is finding legit companies that do not want a start up fee.

38 Karen October 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm

The biggest problem I have run into is finding legit companies that do not want a start up fee.

39 Jessica October 22, 2008 at 1:53 am

My biggest barrier, like many others' is finding a great work from home job that is not a scam. I've been searching desperately and haven't found a single thing yet besides medical transcription (and I didn't realize there was such a thing as general transcription - even better!). I can't afford to take the medical classes at this time (I was going to school for nursing, so I know some medical terminology...), so this may be what I need to do for now! I just don't even know where to begin... I'll have to ask my husband if I can buy the book - thanks!

40 Jessica October 21, 2008 at 9:53 pm

My biggest barrier, like many others' is finding a great work from home job that is not a scam. I've been searching desperately and haven't found a single thing yet besides medical transcription (and I didn't realize there was such a thing as general transcription - even better!). I can't afford to take the medical classes at this time (I was going to school for nursing, so I know some medical terminology...), so this may be what I need to do for now! I just don't even know where to begin... I'll have to ask my husband if I can buy the book - thanks!

41 Laurie October 22, 2008 at 1:54 am

My biggest barrier is my fear of starting something and then finding it takes too much time away from my kids. I tried selling Pampered Chef for a couple of years, but ended up missing too many of my kids' activities because I scheduled a show before I would get their schedules. And it took up way more time than I thought it would during the day as well. I may as well have had a regular job outside the home. I'd love to win the book to hopefully help me get started in a job from home that I can manage around the kids' schedules.

Laurie´s last blog post..The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ 10/20/08

42 Laurie October 21, 2008 at 9:54 pm

My biggest barrier is my fear of starting something and then finding it takes too much time away from my kids. I tried selling Pampered Chef for a couple of years, but ended up missing too many of my kids' activities because I scheduled a show before I would get their schedules. And it took up way more time than I thought it would during the day as well. I may as well have had a regular job outside the home. I'd love to win the book to hopefully help me get started in a job from home that I can manage around the kids' schedules.

Laurie´s last blog post..The Simple Woman's Daybook ~ 10/20/08

43 Melissa October 22, 2008 at 2:00 am

I have 3 boys, 2 who are in school and one still home.
My husband is away half the year and me being home is a need as well as a want.
I have no luck in a job that allows me to be home with my kids and help my husband out financially.
I must stay home with my kids so they have a stable life.
Having a great job at home would be a blessing and a relief for my husband.

Melissa´s last blog post..Borders Halloween Spooktacular October 25

44 Melissa October 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm

I have 3 boys, 2 who are in school and one still home.
My husband is away half the year and me being home is a need as well as a want.
I have no luck in a job that allows me to be home with my kids and help my husband out financially.
I must stay home with my kids so they have a stable life.
Having a great job at home would be a blessing and a relief for my husband.

Melissa´s last blog post..Borders Halloween Spooktacular October 25

45 Alana Jo October 22, 2008 at 2:04 am

Staying at home with my kids is so hard. Id love this!!!! I just can not leave my kids with someone besides family. At this point family cant do babysit, so I stay home.

Alana Jo´s last blog post..Dont Forget!!!

46 Alana Jo October 21, 2008 at 10:04 pm

Staying at home with my kids is so hard. Id love this!!!! I just can not leave my kids with someone besides family. At this point family cant do babysit, so I stay home.

Alana Jo´s last blog post..Dont Forget!!!

47 Melissa October 22, 2008 at 2:19 am

I am a professional freelance editor, but I work very part-time as I have a preschooler at home and an adopted child on the way. I've thought about doing transcription as a fill-in between editing jobs. Freelance editing is feast-or-famine, so I think transcription would be a nice supplement. And I already have some of the equipment!

48 Melissa October 21, 2008 at 10:19 pm

I am a professional freelance editor, but I work very part-time as I have a preschooler at home and an adopted child on the way. I've thought about doing transcription as a fill-in between editing jobs. Freelance editing is feast-or-famine, so I think transcription would be a nice supplement. And I already have some of the equipment!

49 Sarah October 22, 2008 at 2:21 am

I used to be a Legal Transcriptionist. I quit to be a stay at home mother when I had my first child over 2 years ago. Money is extremely tight right now so I have been doing a few surveys here and there, but don't really make but a few dollars a month. I would really like to start working on something like this in order to help with our financial struggles.

50 Sarah October 21, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I used to be a Legal Transcriptionist. I quit to be a stay at home mother when I had my first child over 2 years ago. Money is extremely tight right now so I have been doing a few surveys here and there, but don't really make but a few dollars a month. I would really like to start working on something like this in order to help with our financial struggles.

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