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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 JenC October 22, 2008 at 2:33 am

My biggest barrier to working at home is finding my niche. Unfortunately I'm the "breadwinner" in my family. My husband is a musician, so his income is extremely variable.

I've often thought of looking into transcription, so if I don't win, I'll most likely be purchasing. Thanks for making this available to us.

2 JenC October 21, 2008 at 10:33 pm

My biggest barrier to working at home is finding my niche. Unfortunately I'm the "breadwinner" in my family. My husband is a musician, so his income is extremely variable.

I've often thought of looking into transcription, so if I don't win, I'll most likely be purchasing. Thanks for making this available to us.

3 Jen October 22, 2008 at 2:57 am

It seems that we all share the same common barriers; time and fear of getting burned by a scam. Since seeing your guest post at moneysavingmom on working at home, I've been considering the transcriptionist idea as the best one I've come across so far. It seems like a great opportunity. I homeschool my kids, so finding the time to prepare myself would be my first challenge. Then comes the challenge of finding work for a beginning transcriptionist. Then, I'm back to the challenge of having time to actually get the job done. And, to be honest, there's also a fear of failure there too for me. I suppose it is probably better to try and fail than to never try at all!

4 Jen October 21, 2008 at 10:57 pm

It seems that we all share the same common barriers; time and fear of getting burned by a scam. Since seeing your guest post at moneysavingmom on working at home, I've been considering the transcriptionist idea as the best one I've come across so far. It seems like a great opportunity. I homeschool my kids, so finding the time to prepare myself would be my first challenge. Then comes the challenge of finding work for a beginning transcriptionist. Then, I'm back to the challenge of having time to actually get the job done. And, to be honest, there's also a fear of failure there too for me. I suppose it is probably better to try and fail than to never try at all!

5 Heather October 22, 2008 at 4:21 am

Like everyone else I am scared of the scams. I want so much to work from home as I am a night person so working in the evening after the kids are in bed is not a problem. I just would love to find out how and where to do it so I don't get caught in a scam.

It is my dream to work from home and help with the finances.

Thanks for the opportunity.

6 Heather October 22, 2008 at 12:21 am

Like everyone else I am scared of the scams. I want so much to work from home as I am a night person so working in the evening after the kids are in bed is not a problem. I just would love to find out how and where to do it so I don't get caught in a scam.

It is my dream to work from home and help with the finances.

Thanks for the opportunity.

7 Amanda October 22, 2008 at 10:38 am

My biggest barrier to working at home has been making enough money to make it seem worthwhile! I've tried a couple things here and there but rarely made enough money to stick to it long term.

Amanda´s last blog post..October One

8 Amanda October 22, 2008 at 6:38 am

My biggest barrier to working at home has been making enough money to make it seem worthwhile! I've tried a couple things here and there but rarely made enough money to stick to it long term.

Amanda´s last blog post..October One

9 Gretchen October 22, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I'm interested - - sign me up!!

Gretchen´s last blog post..Surprised by God

10 Gretchen October 22, 2008 at 8:40 am

I'm interested - - sign me up!!

Gretchen´s last blog post..Surprised by God

11 Heather Bailey October 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

My biggest barriers are not knowing the realistic earning potential and how to find an opportunity that is not a SCAM! How do I know this is not a scam?

12 Heather Bailey October 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

My biggest barriers are not knowing the realistic earning potential and how to find an opportunity that is not a SCAM! How do I know this is not a scam?

13 Susan October 22, 2008 at 12:45 pm

I find it difficult to work from home with the kids running around everywhere. I haven't figured out how to set boundaries for "work time" and not to have it interfere with "family time". I would love to be able to add some income for our family while staying at home.

Susan´s last blog post..Ally’s Alphabet

14 Susan October 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

I find it difficult to work from home with the kids running around everywhere. I haven't figured out how to set boundaries for "work time" and not to have it interfere with "family time". I would love to be able to add some income for our family while staying at home.

Susan´s last blog post..Ally’s Alphabet

15 Leanne October 22, 2008 at 2:03 pm

My biggest barrier would have to be my confidence. Right now I am a licensed daycare provider, but with the economy the way it is, people are having to adjust their expenses, and unfortunately daycare is one of them. I think more people are having family members help out and right I'm having a hard time filling my spaces.
But I don't always like to make change in my life, so stepping outside my confort zone and trying something new is hard. I would like to find something in addition to my daycare where I am still able to be at home for my own children. So maybe this would be an avenue I should think about exploring.
Thanks for offering this generous giveaway...and if I'm not the lucky one I'll have to order the book!!

16 Leanne October 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

My biggest barrier would have to be my confidence. Right now I am a licensed daycare provider, but with the economy the way it is, people are having to adjust their expenses, and unfortunately daycare is one of them. I think more people are having family members help out and right I'm having a hard time filling my spaces.
But I don't always like to make change in my life, so stepping outside my confort zone and trying something new is hard. I would like to find something in addition to my daycare where I am still able to be at home for my own children. So maybe this would be an avenue I should think about exploring.
Thanks for offering this generous giveaway...and if I'm not the lucky one I'll have to order the book!!

17 Wanda October 22, 2008 at 2:28 pm

My biggest barrier is thinking they are all scams and not having the cash to start. We are relocating and I would love to work from home and save myself the 2 hour commute. This would help!

18 Wanda October 22, 2008 at 10:28 am

My biggest barrier is thinking they are all scams and not having the cash to start. We are relocating and I would love to work from home and save myself the 2 hour commute. This would help!

19 Kris October 22, 2008 at 2:57 pm

My biggest barrier is finding time - in that I could carve out time everyday for something worthwhile, but time spent with peanut-payers and dead-end leads is not worth the sacrifice of time with my girls. I would love to find out more about transcription because it seems so doable.

20 Kris October 22, 2008 at 10:57 am

My biggest barrier is finding time - in that I could carve out time everyday for something worthwhile, but time spent with peanut-payers and dead-end leads is not worth the sacrifice of time with my girls. I would love to find out more about transcription because it seems so doable.

21 Misty October 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm

I work but have often wanted to find something like this to do for extra income. Everything I find I feel like it is a big scam! I would love to win this and know more about it because I love writing and using the computer. Maybe I could earn enough money to finally build on to my house like we so desperately need to do!

Misty´s last blog post..More Beach Pics!

22 Misty October 22, 2008 at 11:59 am

I work but have often wanted to find something like this to do for extra income. Everything I find I feel like it is a big scam! I would love to win this and know more about it because I love writing and using the computer. Maybe I could earn enough money to finally build on to my house like we so desperately need to do!

Misty´s last blog post..More Beach Pics!

23 Kathleen October 22, 2008 at 4:28 pm

My biggest barrier to working at home is ME - it's going to require a lot of initiative and persistence to find the right job and sometimes, I just don't know if I have it in me. I want the perfect job to fall in my lap! I am a superb and fast typist, however, so this may be just the thing to give me the push I need!

24 Kathleen October 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

My biggest barrier to working at home is ME - it's going to require a lot of initiative and persistence to find the right job and sometimes, I just don't know if I have it in me. I want the perfect job to fall in my lap! I am a superb and fast typist, however, so this may be just the thing to give me the push I need!

25 Stephanie October 22, 2008 at 5:20 pm

The biggest barrier has been finding work that will add to our income and not drain away with child care fees. I've found some work that has added 'egg money' to our income because I can take the kids with me occasionally if I don't have someone else to watch them for free but I've been thinking about transcription since finding your blog this summer. My next stop is to hit the 'buy now' button and get the ebook. thanks.

26 Stephanie October 22, 2008 at 1:20 pm

The biggest barrier has been finding work that will add to our income and not drain away with child care fees. I've found some work that has added 'egg money' to our income because I can take the kids with me occasionally if I don't have someone else to watch them for free but I've been thinking about transcription since finding your blog this summer. My next stop is to hit the 'buy now' button and get the ebook. thanks.

27 jamie October 22, 2008 at 5:23 pm

I tried teaching online through several international ESL programs. It was tricky to decipher some of the international "contracts" I was sent. So one barrier for me was transacting basic business stuff - deposits, etc.
Now, the barrier is simply my own insecurities - knowing how to budget and predict income, etc. I guess I just want a "sure thing" from any home business I commit to!

28 jamie October 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm

I tried teaching online through several international ESL programs. It was tricky to decipher some of the international "contracts" I was sent. So one barrier for me was transacting basic business stuff - deposits, etc.
Now, the barrier is simply my own insecurities - knowing how to budget and predict income, etc. I guess I just want a "sure thing" from any home business I commit to!

29 Chris Haynes October 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm

I have been looking something I can do from home in my spare time to give my family some extra cash . I have sold Amway and now I sell Avon but now I want something else with a better income. I would love your book and info my barrier is that I work away from home during the day and at night I at home with my family

30 Chris Haynes October 22, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I have been looking something I can do from home in my spare time to give my family some extra cash . I have sold Amway and now I sell Avon but now I want something else with a better income. I would love your book and info my barrier is that I work away from home during the day and at night I at home with my family

31 Adrienne October 22, 2008 at 7:02 pm

My biggest barrier is my 9 month old son. He's my fourth and is the only one that I breastfed. He is extremely attached to me. He was like that since he was born. He wouldn't even let my husband hold him without screaming. He cries all the time, in the car, in the store. He really stresses me out!

32 Adrienne October 22, 2008 at 3:02 pm

My biggest barrier is my 9 month old son. He's my fourth and is the only one that I breastfed. He is extremely attached to me. He was like that since he was born. He wouldn't even let my husband hold him without screaming. He cries all the time, in the car, in the store. He really stresses me out!

33 Vickie October 22, 2008 at 7:40 pm

My biggest barrier is losing the income from my full-time job until I get going well with the at-home business.

34 Vickie October 22, 2008 at 3:40 pm

My biggest barrier is losing the income from my full-time job until I get going well with the at-home business.

35 Jenni October 22, 2008 at 8:56 pm

Biggest barrier: effective time management! (a lack thereof, obviously)
Also, finding something that would pay what I could make out in the big bad world........... ugh.

36 Jenni October 22, 2008 at 4:56 pm

Biggest barrier: effective time management! (a lack thereof, obviously)
Also, finding something that would pay what I could make out in the big bad world........... ugh.

37 Rachel October 22, 2008 at 10:10 pm

My barrier has been lack of know-how and being afraid they're all scams. I like step-by-step instructions, which is why your e-book would be great.

Rachel´s last blog post..A Misunderstanding of Epic Proportions

38 Rachel October 22, 2008 at 6:10 pm

My barrier has been lack of know-how and being afraid they're all scams. I like step-by-step instructions, which is why your e-book would be great.

Rachel´s last blog post..A Misunderstanding of Epic Proportions

39 Jennifer October 22, 2008 at 10:48 pm

The biggest barrier to working at home that I feel I have is giving up the security of a dependable job working for the government/dependable paycheck and benefits. I have always wanted to "be my own boss"/work from home but have never felt I could as I have a child and need the guarentee of income.

thanks for the chance to win!

40 Jennifer October 22, 2008 at 6:48 pm

The biggest barrier to working at home that I feel I have is giving up the security of a dependable job working for the government/dependable paycheck and benefits. I have always wanted to "be my own boss"/work from home but have never felt I could as I have a child and need the guarentee of income.

thanks for the chance to win!

41 Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland October 22, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I really want to get into working from home but haven't found anything really worth it yet. I have tried 'mystery shopping' , but they were all scams. Great giveaway, thanks!

Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland´s last blog post..CVS Photo Book and Picture Movie DVD Review

42 Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland October 22, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I really want to get into working from home but haven't found anything really worth it yet. I have tried 'mystery shopping' , but they were all scams. Great giveaway, thanks!

Mary @ Adventures in Mommyland´s last blog post..CVS Photo Book and Picture Movie DVD Review

43 Annette October 23, 2008 at 1:00 am

It seems that many of us view a real barrier in not knowing if a program or job is legitimate and what the earning potential would be. I hope your book would alleviate some of this concern.

44 Annette October 22, 2008 at 9:00 pm

It seems that many of us view a real barrier in not knowing if a program or job is legitimate and what the earning potential would be. I hope your book would alleviate some of this concern.

45 Jesabella October 23, 2008 at 1:22 am

I had no choice but to become a stay at home mom. I needed to get my son better. So, we sacrificed my income and we have been struggling ever since to try and find a source of additional funds ever since. I would love the oppotunity to get us out of debt and I belive this could very well be the ticket. Thanks for the great info even if I don't win.

46 Jesabella October 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I had no choice but to become a stay at home mom. I needed to get my son better. So, we sacrificed my income and we have been struggling ever since to try and find a source of additional funds ever since. I would love the oppotunity to get us out of debt and I belive this could very well be the ticket. Thanks for the great info even if I don't win.

47 Julie October 23, 2008 at 2:45 am

I want to continue being a SAHM, but also want to increase our income. But, so many of the home opportunities are not really worth the effort in what you are able to bring in. Would love to learn about something that has some earning potential.

48 Julie October 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I want to continue being a SAHM, but also want to increase our income. But, so many of the home opportunities are not really worth the effort in what you are able to bring in. Would love to learn about something that has some earning potential.

49 Anonymous October 23, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I am a stay at home Mom of 4 little girls and I love my full-time job!
I was a licensed realtor until my 4th daughter was born last year.
While working from home as a part time assistant to my Brother in law , who is a broker, I struggled to find time between showing homes and meeting with clients. I was spending less time as a work from home Mom and more time trying to find childcare. The housing market took a nose dive and so did our income, then we added our fourth blessing.

I would love to find a legitimate job that I can work into our family life.

Tanya

50 Anonymous October 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

I am a stay at home Mom of 4 little girls and I love my full-time job!
I was a licensed realtor until my 4th daughter was born last year.
While working from home as a part time assistant to my Brother in law , who is a broker, I struggled to find time between showing homes and meeting with clients. I was spending less time as a work from home Mom and more time trying to find childcare. The housing market took a nose dive and so did our income, then we added our fourth blessing.

I would love to find a legitimate job that I can work into our family life.

Tanya

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