Posts tagged as:

work at home

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!

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Working from Home in General Transcription

by Tara Kuczykowski on October 21, 2008 · 67 comments

I mentioned recently that I was an accidental stay-at-home mom and found myself in the situation of trying to find a flexible, child-friendly work-at-home position.

Through much trial and error, I finally settled on general transcription as a means for providing supplemental income for our family. I've had several people email me about how they could find out more information about becoming a transcriptionist, so I wanted to share a little bit about the industry with you all.

General transcription is a wonderful opportunity for moms to look into.  Whereas many of the traditional home-based business opportunities require significant cash to start, you can get started doing general transcription for a very minimal investment.

In the three years that I've been doing this, I've been able to grow my income beyond what I ever thought was possible for an at-home position. The downturn in the economy directly impacted my family long before recent developments, and transcription allowed me to support my family on my income alone through my husband's intermittent layoffs over the past two years.  While it’s a lot of hard work and definitely not a “get rich quick scheme,” I feel so blessed to have this wonderful source of income that provides me with the opportunity to stay at home with my five children.

Being a work-at-home mom is difficult at times; however, the benefits far outweigh any drawbacks for me.  Staying home to raise my children is only one of a number of benefits that transcription can afford.

Others include:

  • The hours and workload are flexible.
  • There is good – if not great – earnings potential.
  • I'm always learning something new.
  • It is a growing field that is not showing signs of slowing down.

While the benefits are many, success in this career will require hard work and perseverance on your part. The most common misconception that a lot of people have about transcription is that the only skill you need is the ability to type. The truth is that there’s a lot more than that involved. In order to have a successful career as a transcriptionist, you need to be able to listen, think and type at the same time. Additionally, one of the most important skills needed is to be able to actually take the spoken word and transcribe it in a way that fits grammar rules for written language so that it actually makes sense to the person reading it.

Questions to ask yourself if you’re considering transcription:

  • Do you enjoy reading, and do you keep up with current events?
  • Do you have a good grasp of basic grammar and spelling, or if not, are you willing to work hard to hone these skills?
  • Are you detail-oriented, and do you have the ability to follow instructions well?
  • Are you a self-starter, and do you have the drive to work independently with minimal supervision?
  • Do you take pride in your sense of professionalism and meeting your commitments in full?

If you’re just starting to consider transcription as a career, this may seem overwhelming to you, and that is not my intention.  It’s important to know that while you can make a decent living doing this work, it is not “easy money.” It takes a lot of hard work to develop the skills needed to succeed, and you must be committed to developing those skills or you will most likely give up before you reach the point where you are happy with your earnings.

Is transcription right for you? I can’t determine that for you. I can only tell you that after much research, this is the career that works best for me. But the benefits of this career are plentiful, and with dedication and hard work, there’s a good chance it’s the opportunity you’re looking for.

Getting started is fairly easy. Check out these action steps and/or consider purchasing our General Transcription 101: Your Complete Guide to Getting Started ebook package!

This article was adapted from a prior article written by the founders of Transcription Talk, Mandi Ehman, Tara Kuczykowski, and Shaina Olmanson.

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Want to Make a Few Extra Bucks?

by Tara Kuczykowski on June 15, 2008 · 18 comments

No, I'm not talking CVS ExtraBucks here. We're talking about actual cash. If you're interested, you should look into being a mail tracking agent. No, you won't get rich doing it, but it's a little extra pocket money, and you'll probably get some great free magazine subscriptions along with other interesting mail, too.

Basically what happens is you receive test pieces of mail sent to you. You'll be able to distinguish it from your actual mail by the names that are used on it. The company will provide you with a website where you will key in details about the mail, and then you will be asked to store it for a short period of time in case the company needs additional details. Occasionally you may be asked to return a piece of mail back to the company, and you will be reimbursed for this. They only need a handful of people in each zip code, so it may take some time to hear from them.

I know of two companies that do this:

I don't have any experience with U.S. Monitor, but I've been doing this for Hauser for about five years now. They pay 25 cents per entry, and it takes 30 seconds at the most to key in a piece of mail. I get approximately $30 a quarter, but I also get some really great high-priced magazine subscriptions, like Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, and Sports Illustrated. It started out pretty slowly, but as you prove your reliability, they start to send more mail. I've actually had a fairly significant increase since my last check, so I'm anxious to see how much my earnings have increased.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I'll do my best to answer them!

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