What does a transcriber do and what is audio transcription?

Outsource freelance transcriptionist

Recording interviews, conversations, meetings and such like is easier now than it ever has been.  Technology has advanced so far where now we can 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.

Foot pedal for audio or video transcription
Transcriber’s Best Friend the Foot Pedal

Producing a document or transcript can be very time-consuming, even for the quickest of typists, without specialist transcribing software and a foot pedal to avoid taking your hands off the keyboard, rewinding even for a few second to replay can be difficult and frustrating.

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.

The Transcriber’s Role

“A transcriber is someone who writes down what someone else is saying.” 

Initially, a transcriber was a person that wrote things down in shorthand, but this art is dying out.  Technology and the fact it isn’t taught anymore 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 insert the appropriate grammar for you, as a matter of course during typing.  This is certainly something here at Virtuadmin that I do for clients; it is a natural thing to do.  Without it, I cannot read if the transcript makes sense or not.

How long does transcription take?

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 hours 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 talking, no matter how fast they are.  People generally speak 4-5 times faster than what an experienced transcriber can type. 

How to hire a professional transcriber?

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 as service providers; they are specialist businesses that only provide the transcription.  The 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 a self-service type website, you upload your audio and either pay a deposit of invoice after the audio or video has been completed.

Another option is to contact 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 contact directly, saving yourself time and money from not using a 3rd party freelance website like People per Hour, for example, there are some questions you can ask them as tips as to how professional and experienced they are.  Someone may think they can type quickly, but listening to an interview, for example, can be very tricky to rewind a few seconds without a foot pedal and professional transcribing software, like NCH Software, something Virtuadmin has had for many years.  (When I downloaded the free version you couldn’t use a foot pedal with the software, you had to purchase the professional version!)

What rates do transcriptionists charge?

For audio transcription by an experienced transcriber, you would usually pay by the recorded audio minute.  The rates vary from company to company or transcribe to transcribe.  But, charging in this way helps you know the cost from the outset.  Here at Virtuadmin for example, my rate starts at 60p per audio minute for a single speaker audio that is of very good 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, 30-minutes or per hour for audios that contain background noise, or the speech clarity is difficult to hear, for example.  For these types of audio to be transcribed the transcriptionist must first get the audio to a quality that is suitable listening volume.  This can take sometimes a few hours for this, so don’t think if you have a difficult audio that they are just looking to increase the cost, it is genuinely time-consuming to repair a recording to suitable levels for a transcript.

Conclusion

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 necessary within the transcript.  A transcriber will touch type between 50-80 words per minute (WPM) and 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 the transcriptionists.  It is more usual 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.

Guest Posting and Link Building: My Warning

Warnings of who is asking to guest post

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.

Is Guest Posting What it Seems?

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.

My Shock

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 and Advice

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.

 

 

 

 

An easy account of how important transcripts are for videos

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.

Acronym of Transcripts
Transcripts are important for video marketing search engine optimization (Background image by Freepik the acronym was created by Virtuadmin.uk)

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Designed by Freepik

 

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How to Save Valuable Time When Looking For a Transcriber

How to save time for your audio transcription
Save Time when you need a transcriber

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: –

  1. Audio quality
  2. Number of speakers
  3. Length of the Audio
  4. Turnaround time/deadline

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.

What Is Not Helpful

This is a typical example that I see day after day when people are advertising to get their audios or videos transcribed into text.

Time saving tips when advertising for a transcription service

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.

Advice on Best Practices

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.

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What is a smartphone virtual assistant and how to use one

What is a Smartphone Virtual Assistant and how to use one
Image credit: http://wccftech.com

What is a smartphone virtual assistant?  This is the question that immediately popped into my mind when I started reading the article ‘How Do People Use Virtual Assistants on Their Smartphones?’

As a virtual assistant, I immediately presumed the worst, digital technology is automating more of the services I offer virtually.  I was relieved to read further and discover that actually, a smartphone virtual assistant, or defined on Wikipedia as an ‘Intelligent personal assistant’, are satisfying users in their search for information. 

Another key aspect of an intelligent personal assistant is its ability to organise and maintain information, making it quick and easy to access.

A search for information by text or voice command, answered by a software agent via your smartphone is a smartphone virtual assistant.  But they can also be used for other things, not just answering questions, listening to and downloading music, reading books. 

Google Now, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and Samsung S-voice are all virtual assistants that are currently being underutilised in the new technological world.  Digital virtual assistants on our desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones are there to instantly help and assist.

E-Marketer attributing this to the generation of the which the users come from and their reasons for using them are different.  Taken from E-Marketer’s post on the 17th February 2017 the reasons and generations are:-

Millennials were most likely to manage alarms, play music, play audiobooks and search for movie times.

Gen Xers were most likely to look up someone’s phone number, search for a song playing on the radio, create a shopping list and check news headlines.

Baby boomers tended to use smartphone virtual assistants to play voicemail messages, look up measurement conversions, search calendar events and discover recipes.

Although the statistics in the article, based on an American survey by Higher Visibility SEO company, found that 28.7% still do not use smartphone virtual assistants.

So the next time you get out your smartphone here are just a few of the more customary search queries conducted via these assistants that you can perform, including requests to play music, manage alarms, find a weather forecast, search for a contact’s phone number or ask a fun question, the era of smarter smartphones is upon us!

In the meantime, if you smartphone virtual assistant can’t help you with those laborious tasks such as typing, or replying to emails, get a human virtual assistant such as Virtuadmin, where you can chat directly with me to discuss your virtual assistant requirements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For Video Content Marketing Success You Need Transcription Services

For Video Content Marketing Success You Need Transcription Services

Video marketing, video viewing is the new content marketing, it is everywhere. What’s more is, it has evolved dramatically over the last 10 years.  From the age of desktops to laptops, viewing videos has become even more portable, where they can be viewed by anyone, anywhere, with a hand-held device or tablet.

As marketers are embracing these new ways of visually showing their potential customers what their service or product is about, it delivers what the customer wants to see, when they want to see it.

So where is the link between Video marketing and it’s bright big future in content marketing with transcription services? Transcripts.

Transcripts that are you produced from the speech content in your marketing video have tremendous value. When uploaded to YouTube, for example, it enables Google search engine bots to have more information about the content of your video. Also by uploading an additional transcript, your video will be indexed by Google more accurately due to the keyword rich text it can now read. Effectively, from the transcript text, they can read about your video content and will rank higher in Google SERPs (search engine results pages) as a result.

Here are some video marketing and it’s future in content marketing statistics that were published in an article on Forbes on the 3rd February 2017.

  • Video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019.
  • Adding a video to marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
  • Embedding videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80%.
  • 90% of customers report that product videos help them make purchasing decisions.
  • According to YouTube, mobile video consumption grows by 100% every year.
  • 64% of customers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video about it.
  • 87% of online marketers are currently using video content in their digital marketing strategies.
  • A third of all the time people spend online is dedicated to watching videos.
  • Video ads now account for more than 35% of all ad spending online.
  • 59% of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post.
  • Digital marketing expert James McQuivey estimates that a single minute of video content is the equivalent of 1.8 million words.

If these big number percentage predictions and the facts as they are stated in Forbes, as a freelance transcriptionist, I see the way forward for video content marketing as building and forming relationships with transcription services.

I approach many video marketers online regarding adding a transcript to their video, they claim they are happy with the automatically generated captions that their video hosting provider applies when they upload a video.

However, it’s not just about captions for the hearing-impaired, what they do not realise is that Google and all other search engines DO NOT index video’s.  The video hosting platform may automatically generate captions but search engines do not index them for search engine optimisation due to them not being reliable enough for indexing purposes.

Therefore, creating a transcript, for a freelancer trying to build up their business, or marketer building up their video marketing business, anyone with a low budget, small business, start-ups, freelancers really do provide quality services at a much smaller cost proportionate to specialist transcription vendors and video captioning agencies.

The way forward to getting a quality service for a fraction of the price is using virtual assistants, and they are very versatile in their abilities and skills and many have grown and developed their experience in this new digital age.

For a fraction of the price, contracting a virtual assistant with transcription skills, or a freelance transcriptionist can be your best asset for your video content marketing strategy for the duration of the campaign.  To find a reputable typist or transcriptionist, from my experience, I can recommend People per Hour, Fivesquid and Fiverr.

If you know that you are planning a series of videos, no matter how short or long in length, or how frequently, building up a rapport with a transcriptionist, will create a rapport that builds trust.  You are assured of creating your video, while the transcriptionist, in the agreed timeframe, will deliver the transcript back to you.

A virtual assistant wth transcription experience, such as myself outsourcing under the brand of Virtuadmin, can be a big asset and contributor to the success of your video content marketing campaign.  I brand myself because I am not just a transcriptionist, I can copy type documents and recreate them quickly.  I can also compile Health & Safety Manuals for the completion of commercial buildings, but that was in another life in construction before freelancing.  You never know what hidden talents of a virtual assistant can help and assist you.

My qualifications are in Information Technology, Bookkeeping, Secretarial and Construction.  Since the advancement of technology and quick growth of the internet and social media in the last 10 years, my past experience is among things, copy-typing a unique authour’s book, captioning a series of juicing videos (one example can be viewed on my home page, select CC for the captions to appear), social media management  But in the last couple of years equally split equally between copy-typing and audio or video transcription.

A professional transcriptionist, if using professional software like myself, Express Scribe Professional software can play video via their software player, type into text and create your transcript a text format (.txt) document that will be uploaded to your video host hosting platform and gain higher quality recognition from search eng bots.

So videos future for content marketing?  Look at the bulleted facts and figures about video as the future of content marketing, then remember that the one advantage for your marketing video is to add a transcript.  It instantly boosts search engine optimisation and not only that, there are other valuable assets to a transcript  Take content from the transcript and create Tweets, Facebook posts, topics to go deep into in a blog post.

Being on a tight budget it’s always about cost, but the value of a transcript for your video marketing now and in the future has to be, has to be weighed against the initial investment, when you think of the alternatives that it can be used for, in conjunction with promotion and separate for blog posts.

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7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

 

Where to find a Virtual Assistant
7 Surprising Places to Find Your Virtual Assistant

Welcome to Whose Business Is This, Anyway? Where the tasks are unending and your stress level doesn’t matter: Sound familiar?

If it also sounds like your life as an entrepreneur, until this point every little milestone of that life has probably been a celebrated victory. But the novelty is probably starting to wear off.

Related: The Virtual Assistant: A Startup’s Secret Weapon

 There’s content to be edited and updates to be made to your website. You’ve missed two meetings and can’t remember who the contacts are to reschedule them. And your inbox count looks like the GDP of a small country.

There’s a lot to be said about optimizing your own daily routine to get the most out of your days, but that can only take you so far. While you may have aspirations of a tremendously profitable quarter, it’s probably time to compose yourself and admit that you’re not going to be able to do it all alone. You can’t continue growing a business if you’re tethered to your desk.

Traditional hiring processes take far too long when you need someone immediately who can take the load off your shoulders. Ideally, you want someone who can materialize, quickly get up to speed on what’s happening, handle the workload, and disappear until needed again.

I’m referring to a VA (virtual assistant).

This is where a lot of entrepreneurs will cringe. Sure, it’s hard to give up control, and you may find it a challenge to find someone who is reliable and whom you can trust with private company intel. But those someones are out there: You just have to know where to look.

Here are seven surprising places to start your search.

1. Twitter

I am absolutely advocating that you search social media to find a stranger to trust with your business. Start talking about the need for a virtual assistant on Twitter, and you’ll be surprised just how fast VA businesses will respond and start following you. Some of the best VA companies have listening posts set up with alerts to find people just like you.

The best part is that if you’ve got a social-savvy VA, Twitter is just one more task he or she can help you with.

2. Your network

If your contact list includes other business owners, mentors, influencers, professionals or any combination thereof, then it’s time to make calls and let them know you need help. Chances are, they know someone, or can recommend a service they may have used in the past. Don’t ever forget about the power of referrals and word of mouth.

Inspired by Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Workweek, New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt decided it was time to pick up a virtual assistant when he began to focus on his writing and saw his blog traffic (and workload) spike. He has had the same virtual assistant for years now and swears by her.

“I found that I was so much more productive that it was well worth the additional investment,” Hyatt says of his assistant. “She’s just one of my teammates — and a very valuable one at that.”

Related: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Startup Success

3. VANetworking

If you’ve never worked with a virtual assistant and you came up short on referrals, VANetworking is a good place to start. VAs often network and come together here as a means of finding work, as well as solutions. Not only do they provide information for clients who want to work with a virtual assistant, they also have a hiring section where you can post in search of a VA.

4. Craigslist

This one might be as surprising as Twitter. While the go-to classifieds site has its share of scammers, it’s very possible to find a top-notch virtual assistant on Craigslist. You can also look on Craigslist sites elsewhere in the world and choose your desired location, though the local aspect can be a huge benefit. Even though your assistant will be working remotely, you’ll have the advantage of setting up a face-to-face interview as if you were hiring an in-house employee.

Just make sure you do your legwork, like verifying work history and checking references.

5. Zirtual

Zirtual is a great choice for startups and entrepreneurs as the site specializes in providing dedicated virtual assistants to entrepreneurs, professionals and small teams. One of the biggest perks is that it works only with college-educated VAs who are based in the United States, so you don’t need to worry about the vetting process. Zirtual boasts that fewer than 2 percent of applicants get hired on to their service.

Pat Flynn, founder of Smart Passive Income, often shares the benefits of working with virtual assistants on his podcast. In his tutorial on delegation, he writes, “I know just how valuable my time is and where my time should be invested to give me the most return.”

6. Workshops and events

Hopefully, you’re consciously aware that you’ll need help down the road and that you have time to be on the lookout. If that’s the case, then always keep the VA search in the back of your mind as you travel to industry events, workshops, and lectures. Those are great places for industry professionals to gather. If you find a VA at an event like this, you know he or she already has at least one foot inside the door of your industry.

Related: Hiring a Virtual Assistant Grew My Business, and Changed My Life

7. College campuses

A local college, or any college for that matter, can be a great place to locate a VA. Talk with career counselors or professors, or post hiring ads on campus job boards to try to locate a student studying in your industry. You may find a student chomping at the bit for a paid internship, willing to act as a virtual assistant as a means of learning the industry and gaining experience in his or her chosen career track.

*  This post first appeared on Entrepreneur.com on 17th October 2016 and is written by SUJAN PATEL

**  Header Image courtesy of Pixabay.com and edited by Virtuadmin.uk

The Value of an Audio or Video Transcript

The Value of Audio and Video Transcripts

Today, in May 2016 advancements in technology have progressed very rapidly over the last 10 – 20 years.  Being from a time before computers and mobile phones, I am very glad for the progression of the internet.

For me it has meant I no longer travel out to work in an office transcribing, I can now freelance from home turning recorded audio into a digital Word document or Text file for videos.  It is not easy always writing proposals for transcription work on freelance sites like People Per Hour and Fivesquid.  It’s also not easy requiring to be paid in pounds and not dollars.  Audio or video transcription is usually charged by the audio minute or audio hour.  Some transcription companies charge by the line or page, but for me, it is easier for potential customers to know what they are going to be paying for their audio or video to be transcribed.  Charging by the line or page it is not possible to know what you are going to pay until the audio or video has been transcribed.

Because of advancements in technology, it is there much easier to record speech, seminars, interviews…well just about anything really.  Anything that is recorded that contains speech, or videoed and contains speech can be now transcribed digitally.  It takes a matter of minutes for the transcriptionist to download an audio in mp3 format or a video even in mp4.  They will upload this digital file to their professional software and start producing your transcript.

The value of a transcript

One of the advantages of a transcript giving it value is that you then have a permanent digital record, or if you choose to print the transcript off, you have a permanent hard-copy of the recorded audio.  The audio may get corrupted or accidentally deleted for example, but by having a transcript you will always have the information from the content of that audio or video.

Another valuable aspect of a transcript is that you have something to refer to, make notes on, instead of trying playing and fast forwarding trying to find that certain part of the audio that you are looking for.

You can add a transcript produced in a .txt text file format to your video.  This is an especially economical “do-it-yourself” method of enhancing your video’s search engine optimisation.  Why?  Because the transcript will be keyword rich and full of content that is relevant to you niche because of the nature of the speech contained in that video.  Search engine bots and crawlers have a lot more information from the text transcript that has been uploaded to your video.  It doesn’t have to rely on just a headline and possibly sub-headline, it has a whole transcript to know what your niche subject area is.  Because of the transcript SEO bots will then rank your video higher in search results in your niche.

If you are a mentor or coach, a transcript is something that could be offered as an incentive for potential clients.  They would be able to build up the mentoring or coaching session transcripts as a course for themselves to have and always refer to, for whatever reason they hired your mentoring or coaching services in the first place.

A transcript is a great way to get new blog post ideas from or social media posts.  Say you listened to a great podcast, if you go that podcast transcribed you would always have that knowledge from the podcast to refer to.  It’s certainly easier visually to find a certain part of the audio than playing back and forth.

Meetings that are recorded and then transcribed are a fantastic way of ensuring that what was discussed in the meeting is carried out in full.  No excuses for the participants to say they didn’t make the notes correctly of what they were supposed to be doing.  Everything from that meeting would be in a transcript to enable the better efficiency of duties to be undertaken.

Transcripts are especially helpful for the partially or totally deaf community.  They are so valuable to be able to also understand what was in the webinar, podcast, interview along with everyone else.  A text file added to a video with then automatically produced closed captions.  These can be turned on during any part of the video; very helpful for deaf people.  You may have created a marketing video with a voice over, having the option to have closed captions not only gives the deaf or hard-of-hearing community the opportunity to read what your video has to say, but at the same time it will automatically rank high in Google’s search results because the information gives the crawlers more information, as I described earlier.

Conclusion

Those are just a few examples of the reason why getting your audio or video transcribed is so important and it shouldn’t cost you the earth.  See my infographic 7 questions to ask your prospective freelance transcriptionist.  It’s an infographic to help anyone out there considering using a freelancer.  The aim is to help you filter out the amateurs that could potentially cost you time and money, to hire a professional and get value for money.

Digital transcription is a growing industry, but there are people out there trying to make extra money typing and not really understanding that transcription is a professional skill and art.  It takes many years of touch typing practice to be able to type at the same time as what is being spoken.

Transcripts can take certain formats; a one speaker audio would be set-out in a Word document differently to say an interview with two or three people.  A professional will know from the start of the audio or video how to set out the document, whereas an amateur may not.  If you get a poor, inaccurate transcript then it is going to be pretty useless to you, it will also have been a waste of time and money.

As a freelance transcriptionist working as Virtuadmin Transcription service my rates start at 50p per audio minute for up to 2 speakers in the audio or video.  So an hour’s audio or video would cost you £30 to be transcribed.  What the freelancer charges per audio minute or audio hour is entirely up to them and how they value their skill.  I type at 70-80 words per minute with 98% accuracy and could charge more, but I’m here as a freelancer to be fair in my pricing whilst delivering the most accurate transcript in the best turnaround time possible.

One hour’s audio that is of good clear audio quality, no more than 2 speakers and no background with good speech clarity, would take me approximately 4 hours to transcribe.  So I would advise any potential customers that it would be delivered in 24 hours.  If I have queued audio’s I communicate this straight away to you so that you are not left wondering when to expect your transcript.

I love my job helping anyone and everyone either enhance their SEO for their video or producing a transcript from audio, I really do enjoy listening and typing.  If you would like to get a quote for an audio or video, or even hire my transcription skills directly please click here>>>http://bit.ly/1TqN9j1

Can you think of any other valuable uses for an audio or video transcript?  Please feel free to comment below this post.  Thanks for reading and hope it has helped put the value of a transcript into some sort of perspective.

 

Written by: Virtuadmin

Date: 10th May 2016

 

7 Tips to Outsource to The Best Freelance Transcriptionist [Infographic]

Outsourcing Transcription to a Freelancer

If you have never outsourced your recorded audio or video to a transcription service or hired a freelance transcriptionist before, this Infographic should be of some help.

Many people think they can type and it’s easy to listen and type what is being spoken, take it from a freelance professional transcriptionist, it’s not.  Transcriptionists also have to insert the correct grammar and spelling at the same time as intelligently paragraphing and making sure everything reads sensibly.

Equally, anybody that thinks they can type and that it’s going to be easy to earn extra money transcribing, either directly with clients or via freelancing websites, is probably going to end up costing their client requiring the audio or video transcription, time and money.

For entrepreneurs or small businesses, for example, that are on a tight budget, hiring a freelancer can be very attractive due to the economical costs.  Established transcription services have websites with reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable for entrepreneurs or small businesses.

Established transcription services have websites with their reviews from satisfied clients you have used their services.  These services can be expensive and not so easily affordable.

Freelancing to a professional freelancer can help you cut costs and retain the quality that you need and expect from your transcript.  By outsourcing your transcription requirements to a freelance transcriptionist, that is professional touch typist with experience in listening and typing and what is spoken, hopefully not someone that is trying to scam you.

To guide you through your journey of outsourcing your recorded audio, video, podcast or webinar for transcription, I have created this infographic to help you find the best freelance transcriptionist, for a budget you can afford.

I am a freelance transcriptionist outsourcing my skills and 20 years of experience, that also helped me create this infographic.

With the advancement of digital technology, audio and video transcription has grown in demand significantly.  If you need a transcriptionist that is reliable, fast and accurate then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Save

Save

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Mentoring or Coaching for Success with Audio Transcription

Benefits of Audio Transcription for Coaching and Mentoring

Are you an experienced and knowledgeable business mentor or coach?  This article is going to be very useful to you for your clients.

Mentoring or coaching start-ups or small business owners is about sharing and helping others with less knowledge than you to achieve their aims and goals for themselves or their business, right?

You advise from your wealth of knowledge and experience and help starts-ups choose the right routes for their new business and helping them gain success.  You share your business experience and knowledge with business owners less knowledgeable than yourself to help them achieve their goals, right?  So what form of communication do you use for coaching?

The communication of your knowledge in coaching

Mentoring or coaching can take place person-to-person, via email, video or voice chat on Skype, even a video call on Facebook.  But apart from email how is your client that you are coaching going to remember what advice and information you gave them?

If that conversation is not recorded what happens when it finishes?  They could have taken notes, but they don’t always make sense after the event!  How is your client going to accurately remember what was spoken about in the valuable advice you shared in that unique call or meeting you had with them?

This is where the answer is audio transcription.  Transcription is the skill of typing what is spoken into text.  A valuable service used by many industries such as medical, insurance, journalists to mention a few.

How impressive would it be to offer your client a copy of the entire meeting or conversation in the form of a transcript for a point of future reference?  If you yourself have a lot of clients it is an ideal way to recap before your next session.

They would receive it in digital form as you would from the transcriptionist, but it allows them to print off the transcript and make notes; refer to what advice was given at certain points of the challenge in their own business and probably the reason for hiring your expert services in the first place.

It would be very impressive for any new prospects clients that you converse with via Skype, or meet with in person for them to have a copy of the entire conversation in a transcript within a few days of that call or coaching session taking place.

If mentoring, you may not know the next time that you will be called upon by your client, but having a transcript of the last time you spoke or met is beneficial to refer to for a refresher with that particular client.

This would be a great incentive for any new prospective clients too.  To offer a transcript after the event that they can build the course up and always have it for future reference.  No worry for them to take notes when you have that call, or make notes during the meeting and maybe miss some important and valuable points.

I believe that all person-to-person meetings, video chats or voice calls on Skype, a landline telephone call, offering a full transcript of what was spoken, for them to always have to refer to so that nothing is forgotten, could well tip the balance to gaining new clients.  Of course, if you understand how useful transcription could be for your business by recording calls or meetings, this should be well discussed in the preliminary conversations.

Which route to take for your transcription service?

Specialist Transcription Companies

Specialised transcription companies can give you very good rates and turnaround time but the process is very impersonal and involves a self-process of which to upload your audio onto their site and pay for your audio transcription.

That’s fine if it’s a straight forward audio to be transcribed;  audio with two people recorded, an interview for example, with very good speech clarity and low to no background noise, but what if the audio is a bit more complex than your average straightforward transcription?  What if you want to speak directly to your transcriber with questions?

The is very much a “self-process”.  You upload and pay for your audio transcription digitally via their websites.  That’s great if you experienced at using transcription services from big organisations, but what if you have never used a transcriptionist before and would like to ask some questions?

Some of the specialist transcription companies offer a “live chat” to answer any questions or queries.  The problem is that person will not be the person transcribing your audio, they are in place to promote the company and answer your queries.  Why are they not the transcriber you ask?

Because specialist transcription companies that offer great rates and turnaround times break down your audio into five minute or so piece-meal bits for several transcriptionists to transcribe at once.

That is what enables them to offer a great turn-around-time, but not always the best price because they have higher overheads to consider than a freelance transcriptionist.

They have the transcriptionists to pay for the transcription work they have done for you.  They have very expensive websites that they have to maintain on an annual or monthly basis.  Website name registration costs; possibly office space as well to conduct the time-consuming digital delegation of audio’s to the transcriptionists they employ.

A Freelance Transcriptionist

A freelance transcriptionist will operate from home, but just because they do does not mean they are any less professional and will not produce any less quality transcript than a specialist transcription company.  Freelance transcriptionists are what professional companies are made off, but choose to offer their skills directs to those that need them.

You deal with them directly, they make the decision quickly as to whether they can or cannot transcribe your audio.  If they can and are willing to undertake the transcription for you, they will give you a quote for transcribing that audio or video.

A freelance transcriptionist with plenty of experience will not commit to an audio unless they are sure they can produce you the accurate and justified transcript for the quality of audio you give them.

Having a direct contact with your transcriber from the outset is a lot quicker than transcription companies themselves.  They have departments for this, departments for that, but at the end of the day, you want a professional, accurate reading transcript, quickly.

What if there’s background noise because the call was conducted via Skype or in a car?  Or it is a focus group meeting with a lot of cross-talking? A three-person interview; or a video where there is one clear speaker but music in the background?

These are all typical questions and more of the benefits of dealing with a freelance transcriptionist that will help you answer your questions quickly.  Specialist companies with their fancy websites want you to submit a support ticket, or even with live chat they may not be able to answer your query immediately.  This is all time consuming and not helping you get your transcript complete within a few days to get to your client as promised.

Ask Questions

Specialist companies as we have established will have a nice fancy website with all the information that you want.  Who they are, how long they have been established, where their transcribers are from, the experience they have and hopefully answer any questions you have if that is the route you are thinking of taking.  Seems a little safer, doesn’t it?  An established company with testimonials from previous happy clients; secure payment system etcetera.

If you choose the freelance transcriptionist route, there are things you can do to safeguard yourself from hiring a complete fraudster who thinks they can type and oh listening to someone speak and then type what they say, yes that’s easy I can do that! It’s not that easy so here a few tips to find a great freelance transcriptionist.

Ask questions.  Here is a brief list of the things you would want to ask your prospective transcriber:-

  • How many years have they been transcribing?
  • Are they a native English speaker?
  • Do they use professional transcribing software such as Express Scribe?
  • What is their touch-typing speed and accuracy?
  • Do they use a foot-pedal?
  • Do they use a specialist headset?
  • To prevent repetitive strain injury do they use an ergonomic keyboard?
  • What is the rate per minute or hour of audio?
  • What would be the prospective turnaround time for your audio?
  • Do they use and have an active Dropbox or Google Drive for sharing audios?
  • Is proofreading included in the price?
  • Can they add time-stamps to your transcript for you?

Asking questions of this nature will help you immediately indicate between a professional or amateur transcriptionist   If, they have never done this kind of work before, they just “think” they can type quick enough to meet the speed required to successfully complete an audio or video transcription they are wrong.  A professional will know immediately how to confidently answer your questions

If you think an experienced freelance transcriptionist will be more costly then you may well be pleasantly surprised.  They have far fewer overheads than the specialist companies that hire several transcribers to transcribe your audio piece-meal.

The freelance transcriptionist should be passionate about what they do, and this should come across when communicating with them.  They should want to deliver you the best accurate transcript possible.  They will gladly answer your questions and discuss finer details highly in the points above.  This will ensure you get the transcript that you paying for.

Some will operate through professional freelance websites: People Per Hour; Fivesquid; Guru; just to mention a few that I have or are currently available on for work on as Virtuadmin.

Cost

According to Transcriptionwave.com, their pricing starts at just $0.99 per audio minute.  At the time of writing and doing a direct exchange rate from United States Dollar to the United Kingdom British Pound (Sterling) that would be 68p per audio minute.

Another transcription company www.gmrtranscription.com (not a freelance transcriptionist) that I researched, their rates for a clear quality audio  general transcription audio for a 3-4 week turn around was $1.25 for up to a two-person audio and $1.50 per recorded audio minute for multiple speakers with the same turn around time.

Rates for a freelance transcriptionist can vary vastly depending on how valuable the transcriptionist thinks their individual skill is worth,  Their turn around times may vary also, so it is worth asking questions.

When I Googled "average freelance transcription rates UK" I found www.uktranscription.com a UK based transcription service.  Again, this is not for a freelance transcriptionist but it gives you a good idea of what the specialists companies are charging for their transcription services.  This is their pricing guide below.

RATES & PRICING

Each batch is quoted individually. Rates may vary between orders. Please upload your audio for a quick quote within one hour.

The table below provides approximate estimates only. Surcharges are applicable for quality issues, enhanced security options, complex requirements and faster turnaround times.

Turnaround Time Rate / Min (Simple) Rate / Min (Difficult) * Volume Limit (Mins)
2 Weeks £1.00 £1.25 15000
1 Week £1.10 £1.35 5000
3 Days £1.20 £1.45 1500
2 Days £1.30 £1.60 1000
1 Day £1.50 £1.80 500
Same Day £1.80 £2.00 150

* Estimated rate for 'difficult' audio, distortion, complex formatting, focus group, or multiple speaker ID. Files are assessed individually, and rates vary between orders.

** All rates are exclusive of VAT, payable at 20%. (Overseas customers may be exempt.)

So, for a two-week turn around on your clear audio that was recorded with your client would take 2 weeks to deliver back to you for you to forward to your client.  Not really what you want or need for your client when you are offering them an accurate transcript included in your fee to assist them with enhancing their skills.

As a guide to our rates at Virtuadmin Transcription Service, I am very fair on my pricing.  You get a low cost, a much quicker turnaround time but that does not deter from giving professional service and an accurate transcript.  I give you great value for the years’ experience that I have.

For transcription as myself offering my transcribing skills and experience as Virtuadmin, my rates start at just 50p per audio minute for a single person audio that is of very good audio and speech quality.  For a two-person interview or recorded audio that has two people, it is 60p per audio minute and for a three-person audio it would be 75p per audio minute.

Difficult quality audio I will consider, the professional software Express Scribe Professional from www.nch.com can very often clear up background noise and interference so enable me to transcribe the audio more accurately.

The cost then gets a bit more expensive the more speakers there are; the amount of cross-talking that is in the audio if more than two speakers because this slows the transcriptionist down.  A lot more replay is required to be able to transcribe accurately all of what is spoken by each participant to that audio.  A single speaker or two-person audio that is of clear clarity enables a flow of typing.  The mores speakers, or the poorer the audio quality, more time is required for the transcriptionist to produce an accurate transcript for you.

Adding timestamps, poor audio quality, background noise, cross talking, one person being clearer than the other are all aspects that are more time-consuming for the transcriptionist to type.  You should bear this in mind when asking for your audio to be transcribed into text.

At Virtuadmin I do use a foot pedal for transcription; professional transcribing software (Express Scribe); an ergonomic keyboard to prevent repetitive strain injury (needed after over 30 years of typing!) and a professional headset.

I have many years transcribing in an office setting before transcribing digitally recorded audio from home.  Passionate about what I do, I would really like to assist you with your recorded audio to assist you and your clients get the best out of your advice in your mentoring or coaching sessions.

Conclusion

As a very experienced transcriptionist, it is not easy to gain the skills and experience I have.  It is the same for you as a coach or mentor.  You want to help others succeed and I want to help you do that by providing you with an additional asset to for your clients.

Transcripts are so valuable in their entity.  The information that they contain will always be in that written format.  Notes taken by you and your client will never reflect what has been spoken as accurately as a transcript from the recorded audio or video.

To offer a full comprehensive coaching or mentoring relationship transcription is just an additional resource to assist you and your clients.  Your clients have a record of what was discussed and they have this to refer to at any point in time; digitally on a computer screen or print it off to read as a text document.

They have that information to hand, they can undertake more accurately, instead of trying to remember what you advised, or trying to figure out the notes that they took.  The expert advice that you have given them enables your client to achieve their goals and aims when they agreed to their coaching or mentoring with you in the first place!

Audio or Video Transcription is undoubtedly a valuable service to coaches and mentors.  It will be the most accurate way of retaining the information that resulted in your conversation.  It’s there to refer to for the next time you have a meeting if you have several clients this would be especially helpful.

In itself, audio transcription is a valuable service.  So many industries use this service; insurance; law courts; medical dictations; journalists; students.  Webinar and podcasts are also required transcribed.

So, why not get into the 21st century and start getting your coaching or mentoring calls transcribed.  Join all the other industries that have been using transcription even before the digital age.  Technology has come a long way and with the many different ways of recording audio these days, getting it transcribed should be the only next step to take to offer this as an incentive to your prospective clients.  A benefit to your existing clients, they would always have a copy of your expert advice and information given in each session that you had.  An accurate account of what was discussed is surely far better than notes? How have your survived without transcription?!

Contact Me / Hire Me

Are you interested in hiring me to transcribe your audio or video for you?  I freelance my transcription skills on www.peopleperhour.com and www.fivesquid.com.  These are two very reputable companies among many out there that offer professional freelance digital services.

To hire me on www.fivesquid.com the link is: http://bit.ly/1J3gxgE

To hire me on www.peopleperhour.com the link is: http://bit.ly/2ea88NK

My profiles on both of these established freelance websites have positive feedback from happy satisfied clients that are a testament to my skills and experience.  Any questions please do not hesitate to email me at cyberspaceayuda@gmail.com.  For more testimonials about my skills and experience please visit www.virtuadmin.uk/testimonials.  This hasn’t been updated for some time but it does testify to my excellent skills and experience as a transcriptionist.

References

Header images: www.ficde.org

Edited with text by www.virtuadmin.uk

 

Audio Transcription Time Guidelines [Infographic]

When people ask what I do and I reply a Transcriptionist their face goes blank for a second. I then explain that I produce transcripts from recorded audio, video, podcasts or webinars.  Ah, typing people think, typing what people are saying yes that’s easy once you can type. Contrary to popular belief audio transcription is a skill and takes years of touch typing practice and experience to be able to turn around an hour’s audio in four.

The Infographic created by Virtuadmin I hope puts into perspective that even the most professional and quickest of touch typists cannot type at the average spoken rate. I have used 15 minutes of recorded audio for simplicity but hope that it illustrates that typing at the spoken word rate is virtually impossible.

There are also other factors to be taken into consideration:

  • Number of Speakers
  • Audio quality
  • Speech clarity
  • Is there any background noise
  • Is this an intelligent or strict verbatim transcription?
  • Is the transcript to be time-stamped?

All these affect the average turnaround time of your transcript.  Taking these things into account when hiring a transcription service will help you understand the complexities of what goes into producing an accurate transcript.

To conclude that with just one speaker, with good audio quality professional transcriptionist that types 80 words per minute (that’s fast but that’s our average typing speed) would take approximate 30 minutes to transcribe and a professional that types 50 words per minute would take 45 minutes.  That therefore on these statistics would mean than an hour’s audio that was just one speaker and straight forward intelligent paragraphing would take the professional 4 hours.  For 2 speakers because each time a speaker changes a new line is started, therefore that takes extra time.

Audio transcription is a skill, you must love typing and a love of hearing people speak.  If you love what you do, have a passion like we do, you will want to produce the best transcript possible.  This isn’t always possible but I always aim to never insert an “inaudible”.  Again, that is time-consuming replaying a part of the audio that you just cannot hear.  You’ll probably get it in the end, but that’s another 5 minutes or so added to the completion time.

Hope the Infographic helps put things in perspective for audio transcribing and putting into text the spoken word is just not as easy as you think!

Transcription - Is it as easy as you think?
Transcription – Is it as easy as you think?

Freelancing – Two Popular Freelance Sites Analysed

Freelancing and procuring work on a regular basis to keep the cash-flow circulating in on the context of submitting proposals, quotes, or setting up gigs or services is hard to do. I’ve been freelancing as Virtuadmin on a variety of sites for the past few years but work has suddenly come to a halt and wondering why.  I’ve been marketing Virtuadmin regularly the best way I know how; posting to our website by sharing great tools and information and generally being active on Social Media platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ to name a few.

The most success I had was on Fiverr.com, unfortunately, the exchange rate of ‘$’ to ‘£’ doesn’t make working in a professional niche viable sometimes. To explain further, my success was transcription and was getting regular orders. It takes the average transcriptionist with touch typing speeds in excess of 70 words per minute 4 hours to transcribe one hour of good quality clear audio. To transcribe say 30 minutes for ‘$5’ would give the freelancer, me, ‘$4’. At the time of writing the exchange rate would convert that $4 into approximately £2.82. Break that down even further and it works out to £2.82 divided by the 30 minutes of audio is 0.09 per audio minute.

After discovering Fivesquid.com and the British equivalent to Fiverr.com in as much that it is working in £’s and not $’s suited me better. This would make £4 and not $4 for 30 minutes of audio to be transcribed (An example for ease of explaining and this would then make the audio 0.13p per audio minute. Other freelance sites offer multiple currencies to pay or receive payment in.

Fiverr.com and Fivesquid.com are two very similar sites with the same objectives of providing quality low-cost freelance services. This got me thinking why I’m not getting the views of my services on Fivesquid as I was getting on Fiverr.com (my account is closed on Fiverr). My ‘gigs’ are active on Fivesqid.com but even after cross promotion on various platforms, Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Digg, Flipboard some days I am just not getting the views or orders.

A quick search on Google to see if there was a website out there that would show traffic rates and comparisons of traffic; hey presto I found www.similarweb.com. These two graphs have been generated by this wonderful website and show the difference in volumes in traffic and their sources.These two graphs are a comparison of estimated monthly visits website traffic between fivesquid.com and fiverr.com. To clarify this is the estimated number of internet users who visited fivesquid.com compared to its American competitor fiverr.com.

Estimated Monthly Visits

The reason for my comparison is to ascertain if Fivesquid as a freelancing website is actually growing in popularity or are regular users maintaining it? Are more people actually looking for and hiring freelance services via Fivesquid?

To look at the graph above for the last 3 months looking at the first two indicators, ‘Direct’ and ‘Referrals’ the answer would seem to be no. However looking at the results of ‘Search’ which is Search engine traffic is that traffic that comes from visitors clicking on links on a search results page this would change my opinion a little. There is a significant number of more clicks from search results for Fivesquid as opposed to Fiverr.

Engagement

Fiverr has a much higher engagement rate to that of Fivesquid, it would appear that Fivesquid is remaining steady in popularity and Fiverr is decreasing in popularity. Certainly, over October, November and December their visits have fallen by approximately 10 million. In referrals, they are much pretty neck and neck but with the decrease in visits and referrals staying the same Fiversquid is getting a more trustworthy site to hire freelancers on. Their rate of conversion at roughly 9.58% compared to Fiverr shows that Fivesquid has a much stronger email marketing strategy and therefore better conversion rates.

 

Conclusion

This is only my opinion as an experienced Professional offering digital services as Virtuadmin Services working with years of experience working in an office and freelancing.  Our conclusion and belief are that Fivesquid has a lot to offer small businesses and organisations or businesses or anyone looking for cost-effective digital solutions.  Fivesquid has an awful lot to offer where benefits are to be gained outsourcing in the currency Great British Pound but unfortunately are not promoting.

It is encouraging that ‘Search’ results and ‘Mail’ initiatives provide much higher traffic sources and conversions hoping that one day they will increase their hundreds of thousands of visitors to millions like Fiverr.

Entrepreneurs, Solopreneurs, Small and medium sized businesses, organisations, self-employed are turning more using the professional services offered by freelancers that ever before.  Outsourcing to a freelancer is a cost-effective solution and hiring freelancers via freelance websites ensure security for both parties in the buying and selling of a service, flexible that you can hire them to do a one-off job or long-term pretty much hassle free. The only drawback to a site like Fiverr for freelancers where the exchange rate is not favourable to their native country’s currency they cannot work for any decent amount of money without severely dropping their working rates of what they are willing to accept for a certain task. Many, many freelance professionals produce high-quality work and this alternative of compromising working rates does not seem at all fair.

I hope in the future that contractors using freelance sites will consider the currency aspect and appreciate that the digital world operates in different types of currency values and unfortunately, therefore, some parts of the world can outsource their quality services cheaply and work happily on sites like Fiverr whereas others like myself have to remain on less popular websites like Fivesquid.com that haven’t got anywhere near the same volume of visitors or traffic but the buying and selling of services are conducted in the native country’s currency.  The quality of services is not to be doubted in any way, they are absolutely top quality and professional.  It needs is recognition in countries that can operate on a sensible valuable level to the contractor and freelancer operating from their habitual residence.  What would you want for £5?  What would you do for £5?  Visit www.fivesquid.com or visit fiverr.com for the alternative and see for yourself what works best for you, your wallet and your business!

If you are interested in hiring our professional freelance services please feel free to drop me an email or visit our profile on https://www.fivesquid.com/freelancer/Virtuadmin. Quality low-cost transcription service and Construction (CnDM Manual compilation.

What’s your experience of working on Fiverr.com or Fivesquid.com?  Let us know your experiences as a buyer of freelance services or seller of skills and knowledge, we’d love to hear from you.  Thanks for reading. – Virtuadmin

2016 Forecast: Top 12 Great-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs

2016 Forecast: Make a living writing
Top 12 Freelance Writing Gigs for 2016

If you think there are no great-paying freelance writing gigs out there anymore and it’s all $5 blog posts, I’m here to spread some sunshine.

I have the advantage of chatting with hundreds of freelance writers on a regular basis in Freelance Writers Den. That’s allowed me to get a strong sense of what the trends are, and where writers are finding opportunities.

I’m hearing more and more reports of rising rates in some specific writing niches, and of growing demand for some emerging assignments.

If you’re hoping to up your game and find great-paying freelance writing gigs this year, check out my list of a dozen top niches.

All of these niches have two things in common, so let me call out those two key items first:

Look for complex topics

This one cuts across all the categories below. If you want to earn well, stop writing about parenting/travel/yourself/pets/books and all the other things everyone on earth can easily write about, and tackle difficult topics few writers can manage.

That continues to be where all the money is. If you can write about surety bonds, advanced washing machine technology, trends in shower-curtain materials, new energy efficiency technology, that sort of thing? You can name your price.

Bigger is better

Most starving writers I know write for solopreneurs, local publications, small nonprofits, or local small businesses in their town.

Want to earn more? You need to start pitching bigger clients who have bigger budgets. Yes, I know you’re scared. But writing for bigger clients is actually easier and more fun. Successful enterprises tend to be less dysfunctional, better planners, and more focused — and they’ve got experience working with freelancers that can make your job easier.

Start going after bigger fish to bring home bigger paychecks.

Now that I’ve got you thinking niche topics and bigger prospects, what types of writing are set to earn well this year? Here are my predictions (in no particular order), and a break-in tip for how to get going in each market:

1. Case studies

Wherever companies sell a complex product or service, they need customer success stories to help describe why their solution is the best one in the marketplace.

I’ve seen writers get $1,000 for their first paid case study, after writing a single sample.

Break-in Tip: Nonprofits and small businesses would always love to have case studies, but can’t afford to hire a writer — volunteer to do one to get a sample.

2. White papers

Anywhere you find a business with a complex product or service they sell to other businesses, there are white papers. A study conducted by The Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reported 68 percent of B2B marketers used white papers last year.

If you’re not familiar with this format, which often runs 5-10 pages or more, it’s worth learning how white papers give buyers useful info while positioning the sponsoring business as the go-to source for a particular solution. Rates range from $.50 a word to $500 a page and up. (Steve Slaunwhite taught a nifty bootcamp we’ve got stashed in Freelance Writers Den on this topic.)

Break-In Tip: Look for tech startups that couldn’t afford a pro, and propose a brief white paper to help them gain visibility. Then, you’re set with a white paper sample.

3. Longform blogging 

Have you noticed blog posts are getting longer and more detailed? Yes, marketers have learned Google hates short posts, and rewards sites that have more in-depth information.

Fortunately, that means a great opportunity for writers to earn more in blogging, as blog posts increasingly become more like articles.

Google hastes short posts and rewards sites that have more in-depth information.

The secret of good longform blogging is not to simply take longer to say the same thing (which I’m seeing a lot of). Great long posts are packed with useful information, and often use screenshots, infographics, fresh interviews, and unique research. I’m seeing $200-$400 and more for these, and I believe we’ll see many more markets up their game in the coming year.

My biggest blogging prediction for 2016 is that it’s the year that recycling stuff you found on other sites will simply no longer cut it. To win these clients, start digging for the new angle that will get their blog noticed.

Break-In Tip: You can write a longform blog post on your own blog or as a guest post to show what you’ve got.

4. Brand journalism

What smells like a sophisticated, online magazine but is run by a company — and pays like copywriting? Brand journalism projects. These articles are usually overseen by an experienced editor, and you report the story like you would for any magazine or newspaper. The catch is the ezine content is there to get the brand name in front of consumers.

I’ve earned $2,000 an article writing these, and was able to pitch my own topics and write some fun stories.

Break-In Tip: Watch for brands that feature article-quality content. Many blue-chip brands are into this — I’ve worked on projects for SunTrust Bank, Dun & Bradstreet, American Express, and was recently approached by Intuit.

You may need to sleuth a little, because many outsource the editorial management to an agency. Try searching on LinkedIn or Twitter to see who’s connected to their content project, and reach out.

5. Annual reports

Along with their cousin the corporate social responsibility report, annual reports continue to be fat projects that can pay $5,000-$10,000. I’ve seen annual reports that easily top 100 pages — and if they like your work, this can be a nice repeat gig, every year.

More and more companies are feeling the need to do social responsibility reports to document their sustainability, human rights record, and more, particularly at public companies, so this is a growing niche.

Break-In Tip: Small nonprofits need annual reports, too — volunteer and claim a sample.

6. Big national consumer magazines

Reports of the demise of print have been widely exaggerated. Yes, there’s a lot of change going on, but some magazines are still going great guns and paying over $1 a word. I did a 1,200-word feature assignment this summer that paid $2,800 plus every dime of my travel expenses, for instance.

New magazines also continue to be born, though fewer than in the past — there were nearly 100 launches last year, and closures slowed — and new pubs are often more open to new writers than established rags. Crack that Writer’s Market online, dial their search tool up to five dollar signs (signifying highest paying markets), and see who you could pitch!

Break-In Tip: Start with those newer magazines, or your local ones, but don’t get stuck there. Keep pitching up to the next rung — and if you’re not getting responses, learn more about how to write queries and perfect your pitch.

7. Trade publications

These low-glamour industry-news pubs don’t get pitched a lot, and are usually desperate to find someone who can help pharmacists, restaurant operators, or convenience store owners wring another dollar of profit from their business.

As a result, pay tends to be good — $.30-$.50 a word at the low end, up to $1 a word or so. Trade pubs have survived the magazine fallout fairly well, as each has a niche audience advertisers who sell into that industry are dying to reach.

Go to tradepub.com and browse for topics you know or are interested in, scan some issues, and write a strong introduction letter that plays up your knowledge of the sector.

Break-In Tip: Play on your life experience here. Used to be a lawyer? Try one of the state lawyer magazines put out by the state Bar Association. This is a real use-what-you-know situation.

8. Video scripts

You’ve probably noticed that video is booming, from internal company announcements to welcome videos on blogs to video sales letters. It’s a great opportunity for you former TV and radio journalists, playwrights, screenwriters, and anyone else who writes for aural media to cash in.

Break in tip: Make a video for your website that shows your writing skill, or perhaps find a nonprofit that needs to promote one of their programs, write a script, and collaborate with a videographer.

9. Web content

If you can write an online sales page that gets your clients more revenue, you will earn well. I know writers who charge $2,000 for a long sales page.

But if salesy stuff isn’t for you, no worries — there’s plenty of earning opportunity in other static Web content.

Some of the best projects out there are revamps of big websites with 35-100 informational Web pages or more. I once worked on one of these projects for well over two years, billing $2,000 a month and up, every month.

As online presence becomes ever more important for companies, and changes like mobile require rethinking, I expect to see steady demand for Web content writing and rewriting. Remember my caveat about complex information — things like writing up hotel descriptions continue to pay poorly, but if you need to explain something like insurance consulting services or environmental engineering projects, pay should be at professional rates (at least $100 a page for under 300 words of copy, $300 and more for longer pages).

Break-In Tip: Finding starter clients for your Web content writing services is like shooting fish in a barrel. Get a list of prospects together in a particular industry, and then take a look at their websites. Contact the ones that look dated or lack basic info like a strong About page, team bios, or testimonials.

10. Marketing emails

All those people who predicted email would die are looking dumb about now, because email marketing continues to be one of the top ways blogs and brands reach customers and sell products and services.

Maybe at some point they’ll project these messages straight into our brains, but for now, building an email list and sending marketing emails continues to be a key marketing strategy. As with writing online sales pages, if your writing is connected directly to sales, you are golden.

I know writers getting $250 per email and more for autoresponder sequences or marketing campaigns.

Break-In Tip: Subscribe to a bunch of email newsletters in niches that interest you. Watch for brands where news turns up only sporadically, or sales angles seem weak — then reach out and offer to help.

11. Book ghosting for CEOs

Forget the regular folks who’re hoping you’ll write their life story, or the people advertising on Craigslist that they want an e-book written for $200. There’s real money in ghostwriting for busy, successful CEOs, coaches, motivational speakers, and other thought leaders.

I auditioned in the past year for several projects in the $15,000-$35,000 range, and $50,000 is not uncommon. If anything, the drumbeat of marketers telling thought leaders they need to build their authority by putting out a book under their byline is only growing — which means the audience that might pay well for a book is, too.

Break-in tip: Write an e-book yourself, so you’ve got a sample! Then start networking and connecting with the kind of coaches/CEOs who might do a major book.

12. Online Courses / E-Learning

This niche is huge — $107 billion globally, plus another $50 billion in self-paced e-learning courses, according to an elearningIndustry.com report. And talk about a global opportunity in every language — the three fastest-growing country markets for online education are India, China, and Malaysia. Much of this work is done by agencies or freelanced directly to writers and designers.

We’re not just talking online, universities, either — most clients are major corporations with the budgets to pay handsomely. From how to fill out your time sheet on up, companies are saving money and (wo)man-hours by turning trainings into online modules.

There’s a bottom line that putting training online instead of teaching it in person saves travel expenses for companies, standardizes learning, and creates convenience for learners. Interactivity is making online ed ever more efficient and valuable. Online ed is going to keep growing, as more companies discover the benefits — estimated growth is over 9 percent annually.

The opportunity for freelance writers in this niche, as Donald Trump would say, is huuuge.

Break-In Tip: There are a few moving parts to getting into this niche — but it’s easier to get started than you might think. If you’re interested, it’s worth taking the time to find out more about writing for e-learning.

To sum up, don’t believe the negativity out there, that all freelance rates are through the floor. There are still great-paying freelance writing gigs — if you know the types of writing that are in demand, and the clients that want you.

What writing niches do you think will pay well this year?  Leave a comment and add it to my list.

Source: 2016 Forecast: Top 12 Great-Paying Freelance Writing Gigs

30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

www.virtuadmin.uk
30 Content Marketing Tools You Need to Reach Your Persona by Bob Ruffolo

Do you ever wonder how the best content marketers get so much done in such little time?

Sure, they have a team of people helping out, but that’s not all.

They use tools that help them plan content, manage content, and improve the performance of their websites.

These tools save content marketers hours of time and provide valuable information that you just can’t find with a Google search.

The following are 30 of the best content marketing tools available, including the tools we use for our business and our clients.

Content Planning Tools

1. SEMRush

semrush

 

What it does: SEMRush tracks over 95,000,000 keywords and over 56,000,000 domains to provide a complete competitive analysis of websites in your industry. You can find out how they rank for keywords and get an estimate of their traffic.

What it costs: Starts at $69.95 per month.

2. Ahrefs Content Explorer

Ahrefs_Content_Explorer

What it does: A simple tool that helps you find the most shared content for any topic.

What it costs: Free with limited searches; plans start at $79 per month.

3. Google Trends

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What it does: Helps you find trends based on topics, location, and other variables. You can see historical trends and trends happening in real-time.

What it costs: Free

4. Content Strategy Helper Tool

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What it does: This tool consolidates trending news from across the internet to provide inspiration for content topics.

What it costs: Free

5. BuzzSumo

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What it does: BuzzSumo lets you find what content performs best for any topic or competitor website.

What it costs: Free with limited data; plans start at $99 per month

6. Tweak Your Biz Title Generator

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What it does: Type in your topic, hit enter, and then this tool spits out hundreds of share-worthy blog titles for you to choose from.

What it costs: Free

7. Inbound Now Blog Title Idea Generator

inbound_now_blog_title_idea_generator

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What it does: This tool is slightly different than the previous one. It randomly shows you a blog title idea where you can fill in your topic. You keep clicking to see more ideas, until you find the one that grabs your attention.

What it costs: Free

Content Management Tools

9. HubSpot

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What it does: HubSpot is the best end-to-end Inbound Marketing platform that allows you to manage your blog, social media, email marketing, list segmentation, lead generation and scoring, landing pages, and more.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $200 per month

8. DivvyHQ

divvy_hq

What it does: DivvyHQ is an entire platform that helps you plan, schedule, and publish content, as well as manage the entire workflow.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $1,000 per month

10. Kapost

kapost

What it does: Kapost is a content management framework that allows you to create content, distribute it on social media, and view analytics.

What it costs: Plans start at $1,000 per month

11. Siege Media Content Marketing Checklist

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What it does: This is a helpful checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create the best piece of content.

What it costs: Free

12. WordPress Editorial Calendar

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What it does: Allows you to easily manage your blog posts with a drag-and-drop interface and schedule publishing.

What it costs: Free

13. Trello

trello

What it does: Trello is a visual-based organization tool that allows you to manage separate projects or “boards” at once.

What it costs: Free

15. Google Drive

google_drive

What it does: Google drive is a cloud storage software that allows you to create and collaborate on word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, forms, and drawings.

What it costs: Free

14. Evernote

evernote

What it does: Evernote is like Trello and Google Drive combined.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $24.99 per year

Tools to Improve Your Content Marketing

16. Inkybee

inkybee

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What it does: Provides insights about websites to help you identify influencers for outreach and PR.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $79 per month

17. BuzzStream

buzzstream

What it does: Research influencers, manage your relationships, and conduct outreach that’s personalized and efficient.

What it costs: 14-day free trial; plans start at $29 per month

18. SocialOomph

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What it does: Allows you to schedule social media posts, track keywords, manage multiple accounts, and more.

What it costs: 7-day free trial; plans start at $6.97 every two weeks

19. Outbrain

outbrain

What it does: A service that lists your blog posts under “relevant articles” or “promoted stories” on major websites such as CNN, TechCrunch, and ESPN.

What it costs: Minimum daily budget of $10

20. GetResponse

getresponse

What it does: It’s a more advanced version of Aweber or MailChimp for email marketing.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $12.75 per month

Measuring Progress and Tracking Metrics

21. Google Analytics

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What it does: Measures your web traffic and provides insights into traffic sources, demographics, user behavior, and more.

What it costs: Free with premium options for big websites

22. Advanced Web Ranking

advanced_web_ranking

What it does: Provides SEO audits, tracks rankings, keyword research, content optimization, and more.

What it costs: Licenses start at $199

23. Moz

moz

What it does: Moz is a comprehensive tool that provides analytics, competitor research, and tracking for a variety of metrics.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $99 per month

24. Share Tally

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What it does: You type in a URL and this tool shows you where it’s been shared and how many times.

What it costs: Free

25. ShareMetric Chrome Extension

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What it does: A Chrome extension that compiles link data and organic search visibility from several popular marketing tools.

What it costs: Free on Google Chrome

Tools to Increase Conversions

26. OptimizePress

optimizepress

What it does: Allows you to easily build landing pages to drive sales of your product or service.

What it costs: Packages start at $97

27. Visual Website Optimizer

visual_website_optimizer

What it does: Run split tests, track user behavior, and optimize pages with minimal technical knowledge.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $49 per month

28. Optimizely

optimizely

What it does: A simple tool for running A/B tests and tracking user behavior without using code.

What it costs: Free with limited features; plans start at $17 per month

29. Crazy Egg

Crazy-Egg-Heatmap

What it does: Creates heat maps of your website that let you visually analyze user behavior.

What it costs: 30-day free trial; plans start at $9 per month

30. Leadin

leadin

What it does: A free tool from HubSpot that lets you track user behaviors, convert visitors into email subscribers or leads, and provides detailed contact information.

What it costs: Free

Bob Ruffolo

Bob Ruffolo

Bob is the founder and CEO of IMPACT, an agency he formed in 2009 to help people and their organizations succeed by changing the way they market themselves online. Since its founding, IMPACT has achieved its status as one of HubSpot’s first Platinum Partners in less than 2 years, and secured its place as one of the top inbound marketing agencies in the country.

Follow Bob: Bob Ruffolo on Twitter Bob Ruffolo on Linkedin Bob Ruffolo on Google+

What challenges do I face as a transcriptionist?

I love being a transcriptionist and the challenges of keeping up with who is speaking and typing what is being spoken.  I always aim to give as accurate a transcript as possible when listening to people or someone to speaking.  I dislike using inaudible’s and a time-stamp to indicate where I just couldn’t hear what the person said, or there was unexpected sudden background noise.

When I agree to transcribe an audio I try to get a listen first but at the same time I have to keep in mind the client wants a quick decision and try to gather as much information and make a quick decision as quick as possible.  This involves downloading the files, transferring the file to my transcription software player to use in conjunction with my foot pedal, headset and ergonomic keyboard.  This is time-consuming and not really covered in the overall amount that I would probably earn.

If there is interference in the background then my software player does have processes that can help minimise this and enhance the speech.  Nearly always this helps to clear the audio to enable a more accurate transcript to be delivered back to you.

So for me, the challenge is better when the audio is clear and good speech clarity because I enjoy the audio’s much more.

Video’s where I can add the captions to them to enhance Search Engine Optimisation for a relatively small fee compared to large organisations that wish to take a whole lot more for pretty much the same job regarding SEO and using transcripts as a better, more efficient organic way of getting higher results in searches nearly always have good audio and much quicker to transcribe.

The client may also require research into the topic around the recording subject matter and it is always helpful to know if this is the case in advance.  I can then account for the extra time when giving a delivery date as I really do not like missing a deadline for an audio and not having the full information may result in this.  Give as much information including the nature of the audio, interview, video, as possible it does help.

So the audio quality and as much information as possible are just two of the challenges I face.  If the processes on my software player do not work I have to try and figure out another way to clear up the audio and I go to great lengths to do this first before I ever turn down an audio.  All again in my own time before I decide if I can give you a good quality accurate transcript for your hard earned cash!

If I can clear up the audio I’m on a buzz before I start as I know then that it will be as accurate is it possibly can be by anybody that hears the same audio, trying at all times to make it as perfect as possible.  A challenge overcome and feeling good to get that transcript delivered back to you on or before the agreed time.

Time-stamping may not seem time-consuming but it can add extra time to your transcript but a service that is available.  Every 15 minutes or so is not too bad but every 2 minutes or five minutes does not enable an even flow of transcription to begin because the transcriptionist is watching the time clock of the audio to see when to place the next time stamp.  It is just something that because we have to stop and start continually no rhythm is gained and why an extra cost is sometimes involved and time added to the delivery date.

Please do not hesitate to leave me your experiences or challenges as a transcriptionist or typist at the bottom of this post, or if you are interested in my service, would like to see the templates I use for transcripts, please do email me at transcription.service.vts@gmail.com and I will be in touch right away.

If you are thinking of learning touch-typing or a typist already but may wish to try diversifying into transcription again please get in touch either at transcription.service.vts@gmail.com and I will send you links and give you all the help I can to assist you in starting your new career.