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Transcription Services News, Issue #005
January 06, 2014


Welcome to the Transcription Services Newsletter. Welcome to a new edition of our newsletter. We appreciate that you take the time to subscribe and read our newsletter. We hope that you find some useful tips and ideas to use as you perform transcription services for your own clients.

Transcription Tip of the Month

This month I would like to talk a little bit about what it takes to make a great transcriptionist. Those of us who provide transcription services know that it takes more than being a fast typist to be a good transcriptionist. Many people do not seem to understand that it takes special skills to perform the job we do. Most people outside the business think you only need to be a fast typist. I have had many want-to-be transcriptionists say to me, “Oh, I can type like the wind. Over a million words per minute.” Well, maybe not quite that many words per minute, but you get the idea.

My personal feeling is I would rather have a transcriptionist who only types 40 words per minute, but who has the ear for transcription, plus the grammar and punctuation skills that are a requirement for this job. Besides impeccable grammar and punctuation, and an excellent ear to catch every word, the best transcriptionists also know how to research using the internet to find spellings of names, places and things. It goes beyond just putting a phonetic sound into Google to get some potential results. It is about context and giving Google clues to help it as it helps you get the correct spelling. You can read more about using Google search in creative and powerful ways in an article I wrote that is posted on our website. It can be found on our Transcription Services Articles page and it is the second article on the page.

Now what is a person to do who doesn’t have the experience that years of doing transcription gives you? My first advice would be to practice, practice, practice. There is so much audio and video online these days that you can easily get a lot of practice. We have some practice audio all ready for you on our website as well on our practice tape transcription page.

Brush up on your grammar and punctuation skills at one of the multitude of sites out there such as Grammar Monster.

If you are really serious about providing transcription services, consider taking a course such as the Zoom Transcription Course. This is an amazing course that includes a very thorough manual with so much information on the ins and outs of providing transcription services, plus tons and tons of practice audio files and sample formatting documents with which to compare your own work. It is simply very solid training for this field.

Transcription Jobs

One of the best ways to get started in the transcription services industry is to work for a company offering transcription. We will bring you a couple each month that hire subcontractors. We do not personally work for these companies or know much about them except that they do hire subcontractors. Make sure to see our Tips When Testing With a Transcription Services article for some help when applying for jobs online!

Rivercrest Business Services is located in Valley Mills, Texas. You can e-mail them at Rivercrest Business Services.

GMR Transcription seems to be hiring once again. You can contact them through their website at GMR Transcription

Transcriptionist Spotlight

Each issue we are going to spotlight somebody who is working as a transcriptionist by conducting a short interview with them. This month’s interview is with Joanne Diest. Joanne has worked for Pioneer Transcription Services for quite a while now and it is our honor to interview her this month.

How long have you been a transcriptionist?

Joanne: Not counting the year I was at the City of Miami, I have been doing freelance transcription since roughly 2006.

How did you get started as a transcriptionist?

Joanne: My first job as a transcriptionist was for the City of Miami, transcribing City Commission meeting minutes. I love to type anyway and found I really enjoyed transcription, even making it a challenge by trying to increase my speed with every audio I transcribe.

What type of training do you have as a transcriptionist?

Joanne: No formal training; self taught.

Why did you start working at home?

Joanne: To earn extra money and to keep busy on evenings and weekends when I had no plans.

What is your biggest reason for working at home?

Joanne: Right now, the extra money. It definitely comes in handy in this uncertain economy and since I recently struck out on my own.

Do you work for transcription companies, have your own clients or both?

Joanne: Since I do work a full time job, I just freelance at this time. I only work for Pioneer right now.

What is a typical workday like for you?

Joanne: My typical workday involves going to my day job and then coming home, working out and getting some transcription in.

What is your favorite piece of transcription equipment?

Joanne: Not in the least a narcissist, but I am my favorite piece of transcription equipment. Without me, the rest doesn’t matter. :-)

What is the best thing about your job?

Joanne: I assume you mean transcribing … for the most part, the audio is usually interesting. There are very few audio files I have transcribed that I have not learned something.

What is the worst thing about your job?

Joanne: Bad audio.

What advice would you give to somebody trying to break into the transcription field?

Joanne: First and foremost, you have to be able to focus on what you’re doing when you’re doing it, you must be capable of following direction and, besides being a good typist, you must love doing it. Otherwise, you’re not going to enjoy transcription. Think of it as a learning experience because you will most likely learn something from what you’re transcribing.

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