Digital Audio Transcription & Typing Services
This post has not been written by the team at Virtu@dmin. Virtu@dmin have been given permission to publish this post by the Community Manager at blogging.com.
It is no secret that the attention span of your typical reader is getting shorter and shorter.
However, content marketing is king, and if one of the methods you use to provide information to users is the humble blog, how do you keep your users’ attention on your post?
The short answer: create visual interest.
It can be difficult to produce sufficient content to power your posts. Not only do you have to come up with the clever, creative ideas, but you also have to put in the work to bring your vision to reality.
While we can do only a bit to help you with the idea generation process, there are many tools that can help you create eye-catching visuals.
In this article, we will cover some of the apps and tools that we think you will find helpful for creating powerful visuals that will have your visitors coming back for more.
Infographics & Data Visualizations
If you are interested in creating infographics, there are many tools out there that can help you. The following are some good options to get you started.
Easelly is a tool for “creating and sharing visual ideas.” What makes this product stand out from its peers are the templates you can use to create your own infographics.
Easelly offers free templates that you can use, but if you do not see anything that would fit your needs, you can upgrade to gain access to the premium templates.
Another option for creating data-driven visuals is Infogram. In addition to infographics, Infogram allows you to create things like:
To create infographics in Infogram, you can use the included drag-and-drop editor. There are templates that you can use, but you have the flexibility to change as much (or as little) as you would like. If you do not have enough content to populate your infographics, your Infogram subscription includes access to a large library of stock images and icons.
Generally speaking, we think that Infogram has a steeper learning curve that Easelly, but if you are looking for something that offers infinite flexibility and powerful functionality, you cannot go wrong with Infogram. It may take some time for you to get up to speed with Infogram, but once you do, you will be able to create pretty much anything you would like.
Finally, we wanted to mention Piktochart, which we see as a middle ground between Easelly and Infogram. Piktochart’s feature set is closer to Infogram’s, but it is easier to use a la Easelly.
PicMonkey also comes with a robust community and in-depth documentation, so if you are new to working with images, there are lots of helpful resources available to you. You could go through a tutorial or see what others have done to get inspiration for your next project.
If you are working in multiple environments, PicMonkey offers solutions for desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
If PicMonkey is not the option for you, check out Pic Stitch (which is available for iOS and Android users).
Pic Stitch is more limited feature-wise than PicMonkey, but the upside to this is that there are fewer options to bog you down.
Pic Stitch offers (in addition to the basic photo editing tools you would expect):
Remember, images do not have to be pictures — if you have written content that you want to be emphasized, you can easily turn your quotations into images.
If you are looking for something that is supremely easy to use and comes with no hassle, check out Quozio.
You simply provide your quote and its attribution, and Quozio will take care of the rest. The background is not fancy, but it is still an image that you can use on your website.
Recite is another web-based tool that lets you turn your quotations into images. It is a step above Quozio in that you have to choose a background image in addition to providing your quotation.
When you are done, you can choose to:
People love videos; if there is anything people love more than pictures, it is videos.
However, creating videos, especially those that run a bit longer, can be difficult. Luckily, there are many tools out there that can be used to help you create and edit your video files.
When it comes to video creation, RenderForest is one of the most popular tools around. It is a flexible, full-featured, cloud-based tool that allows you to create videos both short and long (in addition to other visuals, such as infographics and presentations).
The biggest perk to using RenderForest is the templates — while you are ultimately responsible for providing content, you can use the templates to help guide you in creating your videos. Furthermore, RenderForest comes with stock slides and the like to help you fill in gaps (such as during transition periods).
For a light-weight alternative to RenderForest, consider Ripl.
Ripl is an app for iOS and Android devices used for creating videos specifically for social media (though there is nothing stopping you from also using this content on your blogs or websites). Ripl’s product is aimed at small business owners, but we think that more than just business people will find Ripl useful.
Rather than having you film your videos, you provide a series of pictures, which Ripl then stitches together to create a video. The entire creation process takes places in three steps:
Currently, you can export your Ripl creations to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you need your content elsewhere, many tools, apps, and services offer support for YouTube videos.
We mentioned above that you can turn text into images, but you might also consider turning text into videos. One easy way to do this is with Lumen5.
What’s really cool about Lumen5 is the automation feature — you provide a blog post or an RSS feed, and the Lumen5 AI system helps you:
If you do not have enough content as is, your subscription gets you access to Lumen5’s media, which contains millions of free-to-use media files.
If you have not been living under a rock, you know that Instagram is a popular Facebook-owned app that allows its users to share pictures and videos (either publicly or privately to a list of pre-approved viewers).
In addition to being useful as a stand-alone tool, Instagram allows you to do a lot of cool things to your photos and videos, and with the appropriate social media integrations, you can use the content you create on Instagram elsewhere.
There are many features built into the Instagram app itself, including its famous filters, but to help you create even more cool content, the company has released three stand-alone apps you might find useful:
Used correctly, these apps help you create content that offers a user experience more engaging than a single, still photo.
Boomerang lets you take photos that are then consolidated into a short, one-second-long video that plays in a back-and-forth loop. (Available in the Apple iStore and Google Play)
Hyperlapse allows you to create shots that track the subject and are then used to create time-lapse videos. (Available in iOS only.)
The Instagram app allows you to post multiple pictures as a single post, but if you want multiple pictures to display on the same image, you can use Layout to create a photo collage. (Available in iOS only.)
These apps do not fall into any of the above categories, but we think you will find them useful when it comes to creating an engaging piece.
Are you tired of memorizing lines or doing retakes because you’ve stumbled over something you were planning to say? BIGVU’s Teleprompter feature means that you can turn your smartphone into a tiny teleprompter for easy video making. Simply look at the camera on your phone and read the lines that scroll up on your screen for a natural-looking reading of your script!
BIGVU also comes with editing features that allow you to change the background or add captions.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but getting great photos is only part of the battle — you will need a great caption to provide context and clarity to your images.
A caption-less visual is a lost opportunity to hook your readers further.
However, writing captivating captions for your pictures and videos can be exhausting (have we mentioned how difficult it can be to be witty and clever all the time?), so you might consider going to Captiona for help.
Captiona is a search engine for social media captions. You can enter keywords relevant to your photo or video, such as “studying,” “on vacation,” or “family,” and Captiona returns with options you can either use as-is or modify to fit your needs better.
If you see something you do not want to use now (but could find useful later), you can swipe left on the caption to save it for later use.
Creating posts with visual impact — whether via images, videos, or something in between — is essential when it comes to capturing and keeping your visitors’ attention on your content.
Creating such content, however, is not easy, so in this article, we have rounded up a set of apps, tools, and solutions you can use to make your content creation processes faster and easier. Have a favourite tool or app we’re missing from this list? Leave a comment and let us know.
Whether you are sending a proposal or quote to a freelance job/task that meets your expert skills, or you’ve received a direct message from a person or business in relation to your skills and a possible long-term job opportunity, here are some tips, from experience, on how to stay safe and be sure that the job is actually genuine and not a scam in 2018 and beyond.
PeoplePerHour, the online freelance market, reckons self-employment in the UK and the US is currently growing at an average rate of more than 3 per cent. Based on official labour market statistics, PeoplePerHour predicts self-employment will grow at an annual rate of 3.5 per cent over the next five years in the UK and at 3.2 per cent in the US.
One of the things that is making freelancing more popular and attractive to people is the ease of doing it, possibly from home like so many do as self-employed remote workers/freelancers/entrepreneurs. If you have an internet connection, familiar with the internet and a computer, there’ll always be something you can do online for money.
But for some people becoming self-employed is scary, especially if you are quitting your regular job to freelance. Maybe you had a temporary position or you’ve been made redundant and need to find a new regular income, as soon as possible, but freelancing is growing rapidly.
The decline in jobs opportunities in the marketplace, with proper part or full-time contracts and not 0-Hour contracts popular here in the UK, people are having to resort to freelancing to a certain extent.
Having now been freelancing as Virtuadmin for nearly 5 years now, there are some things, as I said, from experience that I would like to share with you and help you to stay safe when freelancing, offering your skills and services through freelancing websites.
There are many jobs sites out there online today, where you can offer your skills and expertise at a fraction of the cost of your competitors, to businesses or those requiring that skill as a one-off. This again is due to the advancement of the internet; the ease of connectivity to the internet from within your own home enables you to network, chatting with people about what it is you do. Then gain contracts, either short or long-term and build up your online reputation.
Here are some tips to protect yourself, and to be sure that the job is genuine and that you are going to get paid for your professional services.
We are sharing these tips with you our fellow freelancers so that you do get paid for your hard work, and that you do not get scammed, or fall for jobs that seem entirely genuine, even as an attachment to a job. These tips are for you to take onboard, bear in mind, not just for 2018, but beyond and for always whilst you have a freelance career, whatever service you provide virtually, through freelance jobs websites.
Start the New Year 2018 with this thought; if you are a new start-up or freelancer and considering building your first website, unsure of which website hoster to use, here are some tips and advice from our experience.
A few years ago, Virtu@dmin as a combined husband and wife team, set-up to provide administration support, at an affordable rate, working from home. We founded Virtu@dmin to provide the best administration support possible from the knowledge, education but most importantly life experience we both had.
However, the one thing neither of us had, and we both knew a great deal about the internet, was how to build a website. It was something that we both wanted to do, from the moment we met. Discussing politics and the economy, the internet and social media, we both wanted to build a website.
In our very early existence, Virtu@dmin were Cyberspaceayuda on Fiverr. The first freelance platform back in 2013 that was relatively new in its infancy and has grown and changed a great deal in the 4 years. Doesn’t sound that long, but in social media and freelancing terms, it has changed a lot.
After initially creating every social media account possible, Twitter first, Linkedin, Tumblr, Goodgle+, Pinterest a bit later on, and eventually Facebook. (I knew Facebook prior to these platforms and was a social, family-friendly site.)
We were on Twitter for a few weeks and kindly approached by CryptoCloudHosting as they too were new to their niche, Website hosting.
They offered a fantastic deal, and I must say, 4 years on, their support for hosting WordPress, of which we knew nothing about, is absolutely fantastic. We hadn’t even investigated WordPress.com let alone WordPress.org or what was involved, we didn’t know where to start.
The differences between the two different WordPress websites? In simple terms,www.wordpress.com is a WordPress hosted website, with the same free options as WordPress.org (self-hosted website) but fewer options.
We had to quickly find a name, logo, website name within a few days. Not that CryptoCloudHost would have withdrawn their offer, no way, we had an opportunity to quickly set things up and get going, way hey we’re off!
We quickly found a website name, Virtuadmin (Virtual administration) but it was my better half that designed a logo, set-up freelancer accounts, like Fiverr, Fiversquid (But avoid Truelancer see the post “Are freelancers the new prey for money laundering scammers?”) created a business Paypal account.
With clear guidelines and step-by-step instructions from CryptoCloudHost in our “C-panel”, we successfully downloaded and installed www.wordpress.org. Now what? Choosing themes, exploring plugins and seeing what they all did. Gosh, that was a few months work for both of us!
Our brand and joint venture as freelancers was born, article writing, testing mobile phone apps and writing professional reviews, every time we got an order or ‘gig’ we were singing around the flat “we’ve got an order” (albeit worth about £2.40, which was $5 on Fiverr.com back then, but every penny counted!). Thank you CryptoCloudHosting, without you we wouldn’t be Virtu@admin today.
Years down the line we’ve done a fair few upgrades on the versions of WordPress downloaded a few plugins that also come with updates. When updating your installed Plugins sometimes things go awry, plugins don’t update like they should. I have only ever had in our 4 years with them had 3-4 bad “crash-outs”, as I call ’em anyway!
Sometimes you get an error code, sometimes you don’t. Either way, generally this is down to a plugin, not your website hoster. The same as your website speed, this isn’t always down to your website hoster either, possibly it is your Internet Service Provider, so this is always something to bear in mind.
Because, whenever we have had a plugin in update “crash-out” I’ve tweeted to them the problem. I Direct Message them here, and literally within a few hours, they are in touch, asking what happened and when I’d like the site rolled back to, and all is restored, very quickly.
In the entire time, our website has been live, there has been no time at all their our website couldn’t be accessed because of downtime and it was a problem with their servers. They host in the cloud, and for a great fee, accepting multiple ranges of currencies, you get a fantastic web hosting service with wonderful and quick customer support, with no downtime unless you have a problem with a plugin or two, as with our website in the past.
We knew nothing about website building, the different types or website hosting. CryptoCloudHosting saw us through right from the very beginning. I was running from where my computer was, messaging them live while shouting instructions to my other half in the front room!
Just take a look at these great hosting deals for all types of currencies, where ever you are in the world, these guys are the ones to choose for any size website.
They were brilliant, totally understood how novice we were at this, we’d never downloaded or installed WordPress before, let alone use their .com site! They took us through it all, if any start-up, partnership by freelancing or anything else were clueless, we were!
We were totally blind and in the dark about all this web hosting malarkey, and they taught us a lot in the time they spent with us, albeit talking live, being patient and waiting for us to grasp what was going on! They were amazing, brilliant and do not forget that they take such a variety of cryptocurrency these days, how can you not afford to get the best hosting?
When, a seemingly great opportunity comes your way, with nothing to lose you are going to follow it through aren’t you? This is what happened to us at Virtu@dmin; read on for all the details and how to NOT let it happen to you, a freelancer or not.
Freelancing as Virtu@dmin for a few years now, predominantly transcribing, I was very excited to receive a message on the freelance platform Truelancer, on the 4th October 2017. A person by the name of ‘Catlin Tracey’ claiming to be on the hiring board of a very well know global insurance company sent me a direct message me to inform me that my profile had been thoroughly reviewed and selected for an interview via Google Hangouts. (I have been invited to send a proposal for many jobs, but either they are for silly money or the job is awarded to someone else.)
I duly was on Hangouts at the time they wanted me to be, which was approximately 15-20 minutes later, of the mind I had nothing to lose. My partner said to me just end the conversation if they want you to pay out any money. In fact, after being interviewed on Hangouts, I was successful, earning $20 an hour whilst training, $35 an hour once the training was complete. I wasn’t to pay out any money, they were, in fact, to pay me, for software.
Having spent a lot of time researching this, the pay and type of questions they asked, there was nothing on Google (where I did my research) to suggest this was a potential money laundering scam.
I made notes, looked up the software I would be using and still nothing. (Although at the time of writing, Monday 13th November 2017, Truelancer have now deleted all the messages and a note to say, “Note: Kindly do not reply to this client. It was a Spam message”.) Shame they were not quick enough to do that back at the beginning of October when I was contacted. The profile had been active on there for approximately 3-4 months at the time of being approached.
After being successful in my interview, I was sent an offer letter by email the next day, for what I thought was one of the biggest leading global insurance companies. I signed and emailed back to this guy, as requested.
So, if you are a freelancer and registered on freelancing platforms like Truelancer, and you get approached by a message directly, offering you this fantastic job opportunity, it is a money lanundering scam.
How do I know this? Well, as advised by the guy on Hangouts, (all of our conversations were on Hangouts, so another thing to watch out for) he said they would be paying money into my bank account for me to download software from a vendor they deal with directly.
He/they paid the money into the bank account as advised, but it all changed from downloading software to collecting office equipment and I had better have enough office space. The instructions were to withdraw a large sum IN CASH and pay into their vendor’s bank account. This is when alarm bells were rining loudly.
Upon advising him that we would have to order this sort of money he/they began to panic, and then requested we do it online, into a different bank account because this vendor was not accepting online payments at this time!
My partner (and partner of Virtu@dmin) and I knew then that this was indeed what appeared to be money laundering, and as I did a lot of research into the insurance company he ‘so-called’ represented, phone calls confirming they did have not that person working for them, the email addresses did not exist we have gone to the authorities.
As the jobs for life have virtually gone now, and in the UK having zero-hour contracts, and many part-time positions, that do not pay a living wage, more and more people are turning what skills they have to freelancing.
As a freelancer, getting work is hard, I/we have been freelancing enough years now to know how up and down it can be. Obviously, the more skills you have, the more freelance opportunities you can apply for.
Because of the insecurity in freelancing, the ‘not knowing’ of how much you will earn from one month to the next, I believe now that criminals and fraudsters are targeting freelancers to ‘clean’ their dirty criminal money. From one vendor not accepting online payments at the moment, to another bank account with all the details,including BIC and IBAN details, it became obvious what was going on. We simply do not want anyone, freelancer or not, to get stung by this new trick of theirs.
* For more information about money transfer scams please see this post from the Financial Conduct Authority.
Podcasting is becoming a rapidly increasing multi-media communication tool, especially for business as a marketing strategy. It is reported by Edison Research that podcast listeners are rising at a rate of 21%-24% year on year, probably due to its ease of consumption; in the home or driving and the top 2 ways to listen.
This is a great way to market your products or services, social media management tips as an agency, and other gems of information.
If you are already podcasting are you optimising it and understand your audiences’ needs and requirements and fulfilling them? In this post, I am going to explain how to easily get the most out of your podcast and why.
It was while I was doing my usual Twitter search in relation to transcription a few days back, the main freelance job I undertake daily when I came across a tweet from Lev Mirov @theonlinemachine. The screenshot below has contributed to the writing of this blog post.
As you can read, his reply to a valid question from Se’mana @SamanaThompson who originally asked, “Questions for #disability podcasters: in what ways do you make your podcast accessible? Do you release transcripts same time as podcast?”
The response from Lev Mirov stating that he would listen to more podcasts if he could read the transcripts. This immediately says how to increase your podcast listeners, make a transcript available as soon as possible after your show!
He went on to explain in a separate tweet that he prefers a transcript because of migraines and that mumbling is a huge issue.
For listeners that want a documented transcript of your podcast, they shouldn’t have to incur the cost themselves for the transcription. As you can read in the screenshot above, “asking disabled people to fund their own participation is basically telling us that we are too expensive to be included by creators”.
This is because your potential listeners are of the opinion transcripts are expensive to obtain. (Also stated by anther ‘Twitterer’ in the screenshot) For someone who is disabled their budget may not expend to audio transcription, and nor should it have to.
For podcast hosts there are cheaper ways for you to create a script for your podcast:
As a podcast creator, although you would have the additional cost of audio transcription, it is not just Virtu@dmin that is advising you add a script to easily get the most out of your podcast Business 2 Community, the website that covers all Social Media, Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Selling, Social Business and more, they recently posted “Getting Inbound Mileage from Your Company Podcast“.
In their post podcasting, they also recommend to add a transcript and post content. All of which is so easy to do, copy and pasting from your script from your freelance transcriber or transcription service. By an additional transcription there are also these benefits from just one investment of a digital transcription service:
Expert or beginner in podcasting, maybe even considering starting a podcast for your business, one thing that you will need, moving forward in the new age of digital technology, is a transcript. This is one of the ways you are making your podcast more accessible to your listeners. Think back to the tweet, Lev Mirov, “he would listen to more podcasts if he could read them as well”.
It doesn’t have to be an expensive process for you, and the cost will give you a good return on your investment. Having a script that you can use yourself can save you heaps of time too. I’ve written a post on this too, and created an Infographic, “9 Top Ways to Use Your Audio Transcript”.
One of the ways you can use your document is to use it for social media status updates. Highlight the text you wish to use, right click copy, paste, edit and post! No typing as such, just find the text, copy and paste and it’s done.
You could use it to write a complete blog post, an edit here and there, another easy way to use your transcript. It could even be a Q & A style blog post or this in itself another type of blog post.
Once you have the editable document it has so many uses, for you and for your listeners. SEO being of a high benefit, being accessible for everyone is another. Your business needs to be seen as user-friendly and all times. You need to be demonstrating consideration for your listeners and potential new listeners, subscribers, and hopefully buyers of your product, or contractors of your services.
*This is a guest post and infographic written by Erik Bullen of MageMail.
Email programs are becoming more automated, more personal and more efficient than ever before. With 4 billion email accounts worldwide and counting, smart marketers are using new strategies and tools to enable businesses to utilize the full power of email marketing.
People are more savvy than ever and know how to identify spam or irrelevant emails, making personalized emails more important than ever. More than simply including a person’s name, personalized email considers consumers interests, age, location andbuying behavior.
The majority of account holders now open emails on a mobile device, be it a phone or a tablet. Ensure your emails are mobile friendly. A poorly designed email on mobile will lose the interest of your target audience and have a negative effect on the brand.
This is a great way to ensure the efficiency of your email campaigns. There are tools that can test the full range of email content from the subject heading to the contact details. The results can be very useful in boosting your open and click through rates and revenue generated per email.
We’ve compiled this ‘Email Cheat Sheet’ infographic to help you get the most out of your email programs. Remember, the average ROI on email marketing is $44 for every $1 spent - unrivalled by all other marketing methods.
Recording interviews, conversations, meetings and such like is easier now than it ever has been. Technology has advanced so far we can now record on our smartphones at the touch of a button.
Using modern technology in this way, as a back-up for detail discussed in a meeting, for example, or interviewing someone for academic study or a journalist interview. Most of these recordings are made with the intention of converting them into text, and this is what’s known as audio transcription. Audio and Video Transcription is the skilled art and process of converting recorded speech into written documents, commonly called transcripts.
Producing a document or transcript can be very time-consuming. Even for the quickest of typists, without specialist transcribing software and a foot pedal (see left picture) to avoid taking your hands off the keyboard, rewinding even for a few seconds to replay what was spoken can be difficult and frustrating when using the keyboard.
This is where outsourcing your recorded audio or video to a general transcriptionist (depending on the subject area) can be very beneficial. The time it saves you, against the cost of a freelance transcriptionist will be to your benefit. You will, in an agreed time, receive an accurate transcript that has been transcribed manually, directly from your recording.
“A transcriber is someone who writes down what someone else is saying.”
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Initially, a transcriber was a person that wrote things down in shorthand, but this art is dying out. Technological advancements combined with the fact it isn’t taught any more means, unfortunately, this art of note-taking is no-longer used.
Instead, recordings made on your laptop or tablet, for example, can then immediately be uploaded to your transcriptionist, via email or a sharing application like DropBox or Google Drive. They then download the audio, upload to their professional software player and begin to type what they hear in the speech content into a transcript for you.
As part of the transcriber’s role, unlike years ago where commas, full-stops and new paragraphs were dictated, in today’s advanced world, an experienced transcriber will be required to insert the appropriate grammar for you, as a matter of course during typing. This is certainly something here at Virtuadmin that we do for clients; it is a natural thing to do as a native English-speaking transcriber. Without it, I cannot read if the transcript makes sense or not.
A professional touch typist should be able to type in the region of 75 words per minute. At this speed, the industry standard states a minimum of 4-5 hours to transcribe 1 hour of recorded audio or video. However, there are other factors that the client and transcriptionist need to consider regarding the audio for transcription. They are:-
– The speed at which the participants of the audio are talking
– The number of participants in the audio talking (cross talking)
– The clarity of the recording (background noise, phone interview, interference)
– The speech clarity of the participating speakers (accents, speaking English as a second language, mumbling, no close enough to the microphone)
These are the variables that will add time to transcribing an hour’s recorded audio. It is difficult to say how much time should be allowed for these variables, so it is worth keeping in mind that a professional transcriptionist cannot type at the same rate as the average person is talking, no matter how fast they are. People generally speak 4-5 times faster than what an experienced transcriber can type. For more information see our Infographic “Audio Transcription Guidelines” that illustrates the times quoted to help you understand audio transcription transcribing times.
Professional transcribers can commonly be found on freelance websites, People Per Hour, Fivesquid, UpWork, are examples of these. Using these types of websites gives you the ability to see the service provider’s feedback, as well as protecting your money against a poor job, or no delivery at all.
There are transcription companies that are solely a transcription service provider, these are specialist businesses that only provide audio or video transcription. They employ teams of transcribers, either remotely on in-house. (You don’t get the same direct contact with your transcriptionist as compared to using a freelancer.) These are self-service type websites, you upload your audio and either pay a deposit of invoice after the audio or video has been completed.
Another option is to contract a professional transcriber directly. Search on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram to mention a few social networks as a source to find a transcriptionist. Search by a hashtag #transcriber or #transcriptionist and up will pop the latest tweets, on Twitter for example.
If you choose to contract directly, saving yourself time and money by not using a 3rd party freelance website like People per Hour, for example, there are some questions you can ask them as tips for you to ascertain how professional and experienced they are. Someone may think they can type quickly, listen to an interview and type what is being said, for example. However, this method can be very tricky to rewind even for just a few seconds without a foot pedal and professional transcribing software, like NCH Software, something Virtuadmin has been using for many years.
For audio transcription by an experienced transcriber, you would usually pay by the recorded audio minute. The rates vary from company to company or transcriber to transcriber. But, charging in this way helps you know the cost from the outset of hiring your transcriber. Here at Virtuadmin for example, rates start at 60p per audio minute for a single speaker audio that is of clear audio quality. It is 70p per audio minute for a 2-speaker clear clarity recording.
It is usual for a speech-to-text service, either company or freelancer to add on per minute basis, 30-minutes or per hour for example, for poorer quality audios that contain background noise, or the speech is difficult to hear, for example. For these types of audio to be transcribed the transcriptionist must first convert the audio into a quality that is suitable listening quality. This can take sometimes a few hours for this, so don’t think if you have a difficult audio that the transcriptionists are just looking to increase the cost to get more money, it is genuinely time-consuming to repair a poor recording to a suitable level for transcription purposes.
A transcriber is a professional touch typist that listens to recorded speech and types what they hear. A professional will insert the necessary grammar, and intelligently paragraph where applicable within the transcript. A transcriber that can touch type between 50-80 words per minute (WPM) would usually take 4-5 hours to transcribe one hour of recorded audio, as an approximate guide.
A transcription company that hires typists either remotely or in-house will probably have a higher fee, due to their overheads and profit before paying their transcriptionists. It is more common for a professional freelance transcriptionist to be more affordable due to their fewer overheads.
Dealing with a transcription company you don’t always get the direct communication or personalisation as with using a freelancer. An independent transcriber, either working with them directly or through a freelancing website and working with them, you can expect more flexibility.
Most freelance transcribers will accommodate a template if you have one, or use their own if you don’t. If there is noise interference, you can discuss with them. For another example, let’s say you only wanted a certain part of the audio transcribed, or a certain part time-stamped for ease of reference.
Using a freelance transcription service, like Virtuadmin for example, is the quickest and most affordable way to go. Work is usually turned around as soon as it is received, therefore, approaching a freelancer offering a transcription service, they are most likely in a position to start it immediately, rather than wait in a queue for one to become available with a transcription service company.
On Thursday 25th May 2017 Matt G Southern a well-known and respected writer at the Search Engine Journal published the article “Google Issues a Warning About Guest Posting to Build Links“.
I began to read the article hoping that an issue that happened to me recently would be mentioned, but it wasn’t. This article is also a warning, but of a different kind when accepting guests posts onto your website for the purpose of forming genuine, respectful links.
However, as already stated in the published post by Matt Southern, the posts can be misleading and the links are in fact spammy. This was what was quoted yesterday directly from Google.
Google has issued a warning to remind site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links.
The company doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.
Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.
But what if there is another reason that people are approaching small businesses to guest post? I, from experience, can tell you there is.
I have been approached by email on several occasions over the years I have had my website asking if I accept guest posts. Surprised at this as Virtuadmin.uk to be perfectly honest doesn’t have a tremendous amount of traffic, so together with other SEO (search engine optimisation) publishing guests posts is an ideal way to gain genuine backlinks to improve my SERPs results myself.
The person that contacted me introduced themselves to me as a “Content Writer & Editor” full of praise for my website and to quote in their opening statement “I am a business content writer and I chanced upon virtuadmin.uk“.
I am no website designer, personally, I feel that my website is somewhat amateurish but enjoy the challenges of attempting to improve it to what I consider a professional standard (not there yet but trying!); I am not a website designer but an experienced touch typist and transcriptionist!
Emails were sent back and forth, not very frequently, once every two weeks or so. They would send an email to say they were working on my article and would email once it was ready for review and any edits I would like.
When the final article came back, I read through it very impressed, suggested some edits to the post, which were duly done.
In the meantime of waiting for the finished article to come back and then be published on this website, I decided to do a bit of research into the person that had contacted me. I usually do this when I get requests to accept guest posts or infographics.
I was horrified to discover the person that had initially contacted, maintained communications with me so professionally, written such a brilliant post I couldn’t wait to publish it, was my biggest competitor.
Just to be sure of my facts, I looked for information on the person on the professional alternative to Facebook, LinkedIn and Tweeted the company directly to ask if they had a content writer of that name, to which they replied they had and gave me their email address!
This company did not just provide the service in the niche area that I am working solo as a transcriptionist and typist, but many other types of administration duties that can be outsourced and carried out online. They are very established, very large. In my mind, if someone chanced upon the article upon my website, I always reference guest post at the beginning, therefore technically I would have been sending business to them.
Personally, I just can’t help wondering for a company so large why are they trying to take out small-time work-from-home Mums like myself? It’s not just that, why the underhanded way in which they approached me, not even volunteering the information of who they worked for as a Content Writer and Editor!
My warning to anyone that is trying to genuine improve their website rankings without the budget of hiring SEO experts or other tactical ways of achieving page one on Google SERPs, if you are approached out of the blue, just like I was, be polite, the might be genuine but check them out.
How? Firstly, Google or Bing is a great start. If it is a common name like the person I was researching, narrow the results down with the details you have. Location, their job, email address, alternatively LinkedIn.
Even with minimal information, I only had a name, email address and job title, for example, but believe me, you can research the person concerned, you can find out who they are that has contacted you to make this request it.
Hopefully, unlike my unfortunate experience, they are equally a small-time business or stay-at-home Mum or Entrepreneur looking to make genuine backlinks because you share a common niche area.
Using video in your content marketing strategy is being talked about everywhere today. People are not searching for a product or service online via their desktops or laptops as much as they once were, mobile phones, phablets and tablets have advanced so much these are quickly becoming the most popular devices to view videos, especially via social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.
Videos can be used in a variety of ways; short explainer videos, adding one in an email, embedding one on your website's landing page. They are a great way of driving traffic to your website where potential buyers of your product or service get to explore what you have to offer even more.
With video broadcasting becoming more and more popular it is projected to claim more than 80% of website traffic in 2019, so the question is how do you get your video to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) above everyone else's?
The answer is a transcript.
To help everyone who is considering the use of video in their marketing plan, or maybe just starting out, for remembering how important it is to add an accurate transcript, I have designed and created an infographic acronym please see it below.
Hiring a professional and affordable transcription service like Virtuadmin will give you a valuable transcript for your video providing accessibility, indexing and higher search engine results.
Thank you to Start Blogging Online for their guest post/infographic on Virtuadmin.
A lot of successful business owners would suggest that running your business while far from your actual business location is effective. Even if you are far away, you can still keep things running. It is just a matter of time management and division of tasks.
As the owner, you can make major decisions or think of creative ways to boost your business. You can leave someone to manage the day to day activities in your store. The point is for you to not get burnt out. If you are affected by the pressure of running the business well, everything else could fall apart.
Making the business work while you are away is easy. The difficult part is being away from your family. Of course, you can’t bring them with you. They also have to go to school or work. To solve this problem, divide your time within the year.
Perhaps, you can spend 6 months away from home and 6 months at home. This also helps you manage the business in different locations. While you are home, make the most of your time and spend it with the people you love. Make up for the time that you are away from home.
Just be positive. It can be done. It is even easier than running the business on location at all times. For more tips on how to make it possible, check out the infographic below. It provides useful information that you can also try.
Do you regularly use freelance portals like People Per Hour, Fivesquid and Fiverr to name a few of the platforms out there, to economically outsource your audio or video transcription requirements? Then read on there is important information inside!
As a freelancer offering very reasonably priced professional typing and transcription services, I visit daily the freelance platforms that I have active profiles on to search for assignments with potential clients that I can assist with in their typing or transcription projects.
It takes up a lot of my time, but frequently time after time that frustrates the hell out of me, to be honest, is the fact that businesses, entrepreneurs, students, or anyone that requires outsourcing to a transcription service, fail to put four important things that matter most to a transcriptionist: –
Quite often people needing audio or video transcribed are under the impression that touch typists can type at the rate of speech, and therefore as an example, a 20-minute audio recording would take a professionally trained transcriptionist, like me, 20 minutes to transcribe into text. This is in fact not the case, please see my post and Infographic Audio Transcription Time Guidelines for more insight on this.
This is a typical example that I see day after day when people are advertising to get their audios or videos transcribed into text.
This example is better than some, it describes the length of the audio which is a good start, the format they would like the transcript in, which is generally Word anyway unless the transcript it being used for video captioning.
But, this example does not state how many speakers the audio contains, or the quality of the audio. These two factors will determine combined with the other two points highlighted above, the time it will take to listen and type the recorded speech into text. There are other factors also, for instance, if it is a two-speaker audio is there a lot of cross-talking? Are there any additional requirements within the transcript required, time-stamping for example.
When advertising for a transcription service vendor, or freelance transcriptionist, it is always best practice to give as much information as possible about the audio. To get the best transcriber for the job, it would be very helpful attach a sample, or the audio itself, but this isn’t always possible for confidentiality reasons.
By doing this it saves the transcription provider time from having to contact you asking these basic transcription questions that they need to ascertain whether they wish to submit a proposal for the work or not. Advertising the basic details, audio quality, the number of speakers, length and desired deadline, transcription service providers know what they are applying for.
You, as the contractor of transcription services then do not get delayed with your transcription, especially important when you have a deadline to meet. It will prevent your service provider telling you they cannot fulfil their part of the agreement because of incorrect or missing details about your specifications. It saves time for both parties concerned and speeds up the whole process with the transcriptionist having a clear understanding of the audio content from the outset.
Market research, as defined by students from the Student Enterprise Programme as “the process of collecting valuable information to help you find out if there is a market for your proposed product or service. To have a successful business you need to know what your customers want and provide them with that solution and make a profit.“
The definition by Entrepreneur.com is “The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business’s target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face.”
So establishing that market research is very much needed for any budding entrepreneur or business that is considering introducing a new product or service. By undertaking this kind of research it gives much-needed data to enable an informed decision to be made, then incorporated into the business planning process.
It highlights how your potential customers are thinking, buying behaviours and location as well as being able to observe market trends and see what your competitors are doing.
There are two types of Market Research for the desired data to be collected. Usually, if there are statistics that already exist, primary research will identify key areas to question that will assist with the evaluation and decision-making process.
After reviewing the analytics that already exists from secondary research, you can then begin compiling your own fresh primary data to analyse to meet your own unique requirements. Gathering the figures and intelligence that you need can be carried out using questionnaires and surveys or interviews with individuals / small groups.
There are two types of Primary research, exploratory or specific. Exploratory is more open-ended and there is no particular end result or data point, it helps you define a particular issue. Specific is very targeted to investigate a certain area or topic, and interviews usually follow quite a structured nature when gathering information by this method.
As mentioned above, secondary research studies that have already been carried out and are publically available. Already organised into specific topics, these can include government agencies, trade associations, medical councils, or businesses in the same industry. The good thing is this type of research can be free or low-cost, helpful when starting out with your business.services or product.
When starting a new business or you have an idea and want to build on that, funds are not necessarily readily available for investment, therefore you may decide to do the primary research yourself, rather than to outsource it to a professional independent researcher or market research company.
Conducting interviews that you have tailored to your own specific requirements can be a great way of gathering the information and data you want You can conduct these meetings either via telephone, Internet, in person or hold a focus group meeting.
To get the best results when conducting your interviews, record them. Do a dummy run to make sure that you can clearly hear what was spoken about in the dialogue. You are investing your time in this fact-finding mission, the last thing you want is not to be able to review the content due to poor quality.
Then you have to get the recorded audio typed into text for your analysis when you have successfully completed all your inquiries, and although that sounds easy, replaying the interview and typing everything into Word, but have you tried typing at the same rate of the speech? Even for the quickest of typists, if you need to keep looking at the keyboard whilst typing, your concentration will soon get lost with what was said. Then you will need to rewind to catch what you just misheard if you’re not using a professional transcription software player.
Sounds a lot of work doesn’t it? Hire a freelance transcriptionist, like me, outsourcing my touch typing / transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, to create your transcripts from the recorded audios for your market research.
There are many skilled transcribers outsourcing their professional, qualified skills on Freelance websites like People Per Hour and Fivesquid. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, they are a safe-haven to find lower-cost talent. You are secure in the knowledge that if the work is not delivered or satisfactory you have support to assist you. It can be a daunting prospect hiring someone directly with no security for your money, I understand that.
Getting your completed interviews transcribed by a professional will undoubtedly pay-off in the long-run. You have the speed of the turnaround time, compared to that of which you could complete them. And the accuracy of the content, as transcriptionists have the specific software to replay audio at their desired speed, an expenditure for the software you do not have to worry about due to hiring a freelance transcriptionist or transcription service.
If you have been convinced to use an independent contractor, either through a freelancing platform or directly, see my Infographic ‘7 Questions to Ask Your Potential Freelance Transcriptionist‘. Some useful tips and tricks to help you get the best transcriber suited to your needs and not get scammed by potential ‘typists’ that think it’s an easy job, only to find the rate of speech is too fast for their typing skills! This can easily result in lost revenue, something I personally, as a professional freelance transcriptionist, do not want to see happen to you.
Grammar rules can seem like a nuisance. Honestly, do you really need to check every single document for appropriate hyphenation?
According to CUNY Journalism Press editor and writing coach Timothy Harper, the answer is a resounding “YES.”
“The whole point of grammar and punctuation is clarity,” he told Business Insider. If you write that a woman has “dirty-blonde hair,” for example, people know that you’re referring to the colour. “It doesn’t mean that she needs a shampoo,” Harper said, which it would if you’d written “dirty blonde hair.”
We asked Harper about the most common grammar mistakes he sees and added some that drive us crazy on a daily basis. Read on for a list of tricky – but super important – rules that get broken way too often.
If you’re having trouble with this rule, Harper suggested taking away the “and.” For example, you can probably tell that the sentence “He gave it to I” sounds weird, so you can figure out that “He gave it to she and I” is also incorrect.