If you’re new to general transcription and would like to get some paid practice in, CastingWords is a company to consider. They are a US based company that has existed since 2005. CastingWords usually posts their jobs on Amazon Mturk and there are almost always some there to do when I check. They also have a website where you can sign up directly and work if you would prefer not to go through Mturk, although there are advantages to using Mturk which we will discuss a bit later.
If you are completely unfamiliar with general transcription, you may want to read this post first.
The pay varies depending on the file you’re transcribing. If you browse the jobs either directly through Mturk or on the CastingWords site, you’ll see that the rates are all over the place with most paying way less than $1 per audio minute, although some pay more. However, one thing to keep in mind is that CastingWords offers bonuses for good quality work, and lots of times these bonuses do put you over the $1 per audio minute. They also have some transcription editing jobs you can work on in addition to transcribing.
Frequency of Pay
If you’re working through the CastingWords site, payments are made to Paypal on Fridays. You have to have at least $1 to request a transfer. If you’re working through Mturk, you can request your earnings at any time provided you have at least $1 in your Mturk account. But the Mturk earnings will have to be direct deposited to your bank account — you can’t do Paypal there.
So the main advantage to working through the Mturk platform is that you can get paid several times per week, but if you don’t have a bank account or don’t want to get paid through your bank account for some reason, you may be better off to work directly through the CastingWords site and get Paypal payments on Fridays.
You do not need prior transcription experience to start and you don’t have to take a test to get going, either. You can just dive in and start working.
When you browse the CastingWords transcription jobs either on Mturk or their site, you’ll notice you don’t have access to the higher paying ones as a new transcriber. It seems everyone has to start at the bottom of the totem pole and work their way up. CastingWords will grade every transcription job you do and you can “rank up” over time if you continually turn in excellent quality files. They do have other workers grade your work and leave you feedback so you can improve.
Transcription is almost always very flexible work. When you claim a file, it will have a deadline attached to it, but apart from that you can work whenever you want provided there is work available to do.
Tips For Success
Transcription isn’t as easy as it might seem if you’ve never done it before. Every company that hires for it has a style guide you need to familiarize yourself with to ensure you’re doing everything correctly. Be sure to read through CastingWord’s style guide before you start and keep it open as you work so you can refer to it when you need to — and you might need to refer to it often in the beginning. Also, don’t give up immediately. Transcription can be frustrating, but you can get good at it if you just keep going with it.
Most of what I’ve read about CastingWords on the work from home forums is fairly positive, but there is also a lot of mixed feedback here on the Mturk Forums. I also found a post at WAHM.com where the owner of CastingWords explained a little about the company, so you might want to read that, too, just to get an understanding of the company straight from the owner. It is the second post down on that page.
You can go here to sign up directly at the CastingWords site or here to browse their HITs on Mturk. You’ll have to create an account at Mturk if you don’t already have one to do the work there.
P.S. – Want to be taught how to do general transcription? Then you might want to check out this reputable eCourse that teaches you exactly how to do the work (increasing your chances of getting hired by just about any company) and how to begin making money. The self-paced intro course lasts for seven days and is free!