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Re: having a smattering of attention issues these days...

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Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
1 of 22

Just curious about how hard the transcribing field is? 

Not giving up my original plan, just thought this looked interesting. 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 22

I wouldn't be afraid to expand your horizons. I think it's good to be diverse on these platforms if you rely on them. It's kinda popular now since search engines can't "read" videos. People transcribe videos to add content for search engines. 

 

Maybe find a small project and try it out?

 

Luckily, I don't think you could totally botch a transcription job, so you could test the waters pretty safely.  

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Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
3 of 22

Ya, Jennifer, expanding horizons is a good thing, especially if there's a slump in the types of jobs you really are keen in. 

I guess it would be hard to totally botch a job like that if it's in English and if the person working on it speaks Native English. 

When I get my fancy Sennheiser headset (recommended by Nikhil) and my Dell laptop (Nikhil gave me his stamp of approval on this model), I will see what I can do with it in this area. I don't know if someone suggested this to me or if I read it while googling, but I will take a you tube vid (a short one) and transcribe it and see how long it takes and how I take to it. Who knows, could be a whole new career!! Or not. Could just be a new adventure that didn't fly. It's a chance I'm willing to take because my whole life has been spent taking chances and I'm still alive to tell the tales!!! Smiley Happy 

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Community Leader
Carlton D Member Since: Aug 5, 2015
4 of 22

This looks like a job query for... "Tess the Typist." Smiley Tongue

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Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
5 of 22
If you have good ears and you are a speedy typist, transcription's not a bad way to go, although the rate of pay can be abysmal. It takes me an hour to (accurately) transcribe about 7 minutes of audio (more or less depending on the quality of the recording, any accents, dialoque or jargon being used, speed of speech etc)., and many times companies try to offer you one dollar per audio minute. I do not know what the expert transcriptionists have to say about that, but at least for my transcripting speed, it is a rather poor rate - and if you do translation as well, most of these companies try to include it in the price...
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Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
6 of 22

'... although the rate of pay can be abysmal...' 

 

Hannah, I couldn't agree more with you. Most clients with transcription jobs are too tight on the purse. In fact, the only time I seem to have been offered something reasonable was a time I took up a job from a client who was entirely new to the site.

 

They were very happy with the result but when they had another gig they asked: Will you still charge the same rate this time round? I said yes. Of course I didn't get the job. And I guess it's because there are too many low offers competing. I only do my rounds in this area when the season is really dry for me...

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Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
7 of 22

You know Mercy, Upwork is responsible for this because of the $3 minimum and it's why clients will try to cheap out on projects..well other than the people that are inheritantly 'frugal'. lol

If Upwork wasn't so hesitant to raise that rate considerably, like to minimum $7 or more, and show clients that you can't get a quality contractor for pennies and you'll have to cough up reasonable dough, this client of yours might have hired you again at the same rate. It's like how we go to the department store to buy kitchen utensils by betty crocker. The spoon we buy there could be $5, but then we see it at the dollar store for $1 even though it might be a substandard quality. Same product, so why spend more money on it? 

Online, I've seen rates by experts at $49 an hour. That seems high, but then you have to figure the amount of time you spend on the work per minute so it's not that unreasonable. I read in a forum that people were wondering how much to charge and I saw how the experts say don't charge cheap because that's what ruins the industry for transcribers and it also doesn't make sense money-wise for the transcribers to charge so little (for instance $1 per minute). 

Good on you that you did took that work though! Smiley Happy Was this your first time doing this? 

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Community Guru
Hanna N Member Since: Jun 17, 2015
8 of 22

I sincerely agree with you about raising the lowest possible bid to guide the platform towards better quality jobs and out of the "let's exploit workers from India and Philippines" -mindset which is rampant here, as proven by job titles which specify these countries and then go on to say "bids above x$ won't be considered. But then again, as Preston (at least I think it was him) said in another thread, many people only become ready to pay decent wages after they try out one of the low bidders and it doesn't work out so awesome. So I don't know, maybe we would shoot ourselves in the leg at the end. *shrugs*

 

As for ruining prices for taking on jobs for too low rates, that is exactly right. Translations are already ruined by huge agencies that can always find someone to work for 0,03 cents per word, even 0,01, when the median of the going rate is actually 0,11 per word (or at least it is for my target language in my home country). Now I am a fast translator, but I still would not take on a job that pays only 25% of the going rate - not after trying it once and having such a ridiculous time with it that I realized one of my ultimate lessons;

 

Cheap clients rarely are grateful. 

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Community Guru
MERCY N Member Since: May 6, 2015
9 of 22

'...Was this your first time doing this?' 

 

No, Mariska, it wasn't my first time. I think the first time I tried transcription I was so new on the site I didn't even have an idea how long such work would take. And I think it was piece work/fixed not hourly. And I can tell you I did break my back (say shoulders). After that I ended up turning down many other direct offers. Others I've done was more because I was interested in the topic - like reading a free book or attending a free seminar.

 

And you are right. We can be protected if Upwork put a reasonable bottom.

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Community Guru
Mariska P Member Since: Apr 27, 2015
10 of 22

okay, thanks for that info. 

I used to think that it would be so easy to listen and type what others say, and I certainly can type whatever someone's saying while I'm at home and watching tv. It's a parlor trick I guess. lol. What I've read online makes it less easy sounding because of the amount of time it does take to transcribe properly. It's not a job for the feint of heart! 

 

I do like the easy jobs, I won't lie. At some point though, I have to step it up a bit and get serious about my ongoing education and training so that I don't have to rely on one niche. I used to rely on my dating site work but that's fizzled out. Writing is very cool but then I want something else to exercise my brain. It's like physical exercise, the more you repeat a certain move the less benefit your muscles will get in the long run, and that's how I think the brain operates as well. Transcribing would definitely work my brain out! 

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