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Transcription – All That You Need to Know to Start Earning

My name is Nelson Samoei. A young, ambitious, and hardworking Kenyan. I am the founder of I spend most of my time freelancing and earning online. I also assist other people to do the same.

In this piece, I will try to help you understand what transcription is all about. I will also answer some transcription FAQs.

What is Transcription?

In linguistics, transcription is the systematic presentation of language in a written format. For me, this is one of the easiest jobs that I have ever engaged in.

Transcription basically involves listening to an audio clip and then typing the contents into text. The audio clips can be in the form of seminars, speeches, podcasts, interviews, webinars, church sermons, etc. After the conversion from audio to text, you then submit the text file to the client.

That’s it! Sit back and wait to get paid!

Armed with a computer and a pair of good headphones, you can work from anywhere and for anyone in the world as a transcriptionist.


Transcription is not a get-rich-quick scheme. This is a job like any other where you have to put in some effort and you have to be ready for some up and downs.

Frequently Asked Questions on Transcription

Is transcription hard?

My response is Yes and No. To begin with, if you already have this thought that transcription is tough, trust me, it is going to be quite difficult for you.

You need to drop that mentality and you’ll find transcription very easy and straightforward.

What do I need to be a transcriber?

For you to be able to transcribe, you need to have a laptop or computer, good internet connection, noise-canceling headphones and a good ear.

  • By a good ear, I mean that you should be able to pick the words in an audio recording. You should be able to handle different accents or articulations in audio files from different parts of the world.
  • The noise cancellation headphones enable you to listen to the audio without external distractions.
  • You also need basic English writing skills especially spelling skills. A decent typing speed is also important as the jobs have deadlines that should be met.

How and Where to get Transcription Jobs.

  • If you are looking for bulk transcription jobs, you can get them from credible virtual platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, People per Hour, Rev, Scribie, Speechpad, and Gotranscript. There are many others but I am confident vouching for these.
  • Please note that there are fraudulent sites or sites where you are not guaranteed payment after work or sites that will fleece you. Avoid platforms that are not credible.
  • Among the examples of credible sites mentioned above, you will get to see that Upwork, Fiverr and People Per Hour are “bidding accounts” while the others are “take accounts”.
  • In simple terms, the “bidding accounts” call you to apply and send your application for the job while with the “take accounts”, you only do a test that comprises of English grammar and Audio to transcribe and once you pass you are eligible for transcription jobs.
  • Normally, these sites offer the guidelines that you need for transcription, so you have no need to worry about that.
  • Apart from these online freelancing platforms, you can also contract private clients. I would, however, advice newbies to start with the freelancing platforms.

Does transcription pay?

Yes, transcription pays. You can choose to do transcription part-time or full-time. Many people around the world are living luxurious lives from full-time transcription.

How Do I get paid?

In most cases, the sites pay through PayPal. Clients may choose to pay you through other means of online payment including bank transfers, or services such as Payoneer and Skrill. Mpesa is now also a viable option and you can get paid directly through Mpesa into your phone!

Am I guaranteed pay after work?

Yes, if you do a good job. Please note that online website platforms that provide transcription jobs vary. Some demand very high-quality work and poor-quality work will not be paid for. Some sites are not very strict. This is also the case with private clients. Choose a client or a website depending on your skills.

How much money can I make in a week or a month?

  • In transcription, you can make anything between $0 to $1000 or even more. You are the determinant of how much you get. Good quality attracts good pay. Hard work also leads to more earnings.
  • If you laze around, you will get nothing. If your quality is mediocre you will also get paid less. If you are starting out and your quality is still not very good you can make up by doing more.
  • The pay for a transcription job will often depend on the accounts that you are working from. For the “take accounts”, you will get an average of around $15 to $45 per audio hour.
  • If you dedicate around 16 hours in a day working on transcription, that’s close to $30 for a day which is not bad considering that you are working from the comfort of your home.
  • If you deal with “bidding accounts”, you can get paid higher rates as you deal directly with the client


  • The transcription learning process might take some time but once you hack through the first phase of the whole process, you will find it much easier.
  • Sometimes your transcripts will be rejected, or you will get poor ratings which might lead to losing clients or having your online work account closed.
  • Power outages, just like any online work, are a major issue. Power might go off when you are in the middle of your work or when you need to submit your work to the client.
  • Your computer can also decide to crash when you are in the middle of your work
  • Erratic internet connection.
  • Stubborn and inconsistent clients
  • Just like in any business, in transcription, we also experience dry spells when jobs are scarce
  • Tough audio files, e.g. you might be asked to transcribe a conversation amongst two people in a bar room!

These are some of the challenges that you might encounter along the way and so you need to brace yourself.

When you get a bad rating or your account is closed due to bad rating, never say “This is not my thing.” Instead trudge on and do your best in the next projects. We all learn from our mistakes.

Tips and Tricks in Transcription

Everyone has some tricks that they apply to make their work easier and more favorable for them. In transcription, you can use transcription software to help you work easier and faster. I would recommend express scribe, a product of NCH suite.


Transcription is an awesome income generating opportunity for any Kenyan with basic spelling and computer skills. It is a very economical venture to get into as compared to other income generating ventures. The rewards therein and the chances for growth are immense!

Are you interested in Transcription? visit my site and enroll for the transcription course and more insight on transcription.

Wishing you financial freedom and all the best as you set out on freelancing.