4 Signs You’d Make a Great Transcript Proofreader… and How to Get Started

transcript proofreader

Guest post from Caitlin of Proofread Anywhere

I’ve been earning a full-time income from home as a part-time transcript proofreader since 2012.

Over the past 3 years, I’ve been asked the following two questions hundreds of times: “How do I know if I’d make a good transcript proofreader?” and “How can I get started?” To help you decide whether building a career like mine is a possibility for you, I’ve compiled a list of four signs you’d make a great transcript proofreader!

1. If your family and/or friends always make you read their stuff.

If you have always been the go-to person for your friends, family and coworkers when it comes to proofreading important documents, then transcript proofreading could make an excellent income stream for you! If you are naturally skilled with the English language, and truly enjoy spotting those irritating grammar mistakes in other people’s writing, you’d probably be a natural at transcript proofreading.

2. If all the office marketing materials have to go through you first.

Lots of proofreaders get their very first “jobs” at their existing workplace. Someone finds out that you have a knack for proofreading and editing, and before you know it, you’re the final stop for all important documents, e-mails, advertisements, et cetera.

3. If you can spot errors a mile away on billboards, church bulletins, menus.

You name it, you’ve seen mistakes in it, and it drives you crazy. Your natural “eagle eye” goes to work when you’re driving around town and seeing all of the obnoxious grammatical and spelling errors on billboards, signs, office pamphlets, and the like. You can’t help but twitch a little whenever you see a simple mistake on the front door of a business. Why didn’t someone catch that before they paid to have it plastered on their storefront?

Have you ever been tempted to call and let the business know that their display has the wrong version of their/they’re/there? If so, it’s a good sign you’d make a superb proofreader.

4. If you are a motivated self-starter and ready to work hard to learn a new skill.

This is the most important one! If you are no stranger to hard work, you know that no new skills come without time and practice. If you’re willing to keep going when the going gets tough, then you can feel confident that you have what it takes to make it in the transcript proofreading world.

How to Get Started:

1. Spruce up your profile on LinkedIn — make sure you have a recent picture, example work, and no missing information or typos.

2. Start a blog and use it to promote your proofreading skills — especially if you enjoy writing along with proofreading.

3. Get yourself some business cards to hand out whenever the opportunity arises. I’ve even handed out business cards at a Super Bowl party!

4. Network with other proofreaders. Proofreaders sometimes get overloaded and need to refer work they can’t handle out to trustworthy peers. Use Google to find ways to meet other proofreaders (conventions, online groups, etc.) and create a business referral network among yourselves.

5. Sign up for my free 7-day intro course for proofreaders. This course will give you a solid overview of transcript proofreading, plus other avenues available in which you could make money proofreading. Any new skill takes effort to master, and if you’re game to make something of it, proofreading can become a career for you the same way it has for me.

6. If you feel proofreading is truly your calling, the next step is to enroll in Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice, my intensive, all-inclusive course designed to get you from beginner status to confident transcript proofreader in just 1-3 months.

If you’ve ever been interested in working from home (or anywhere else that fits your lifestyle) transcript proofreading just might be the perfect job for you!

Caitlin Pyle earns a full-time income from home by proofreading transcripts for court reporters. She blogs on Proofread Anywhere and teaches an intensive multimedia online course called Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice, designed to prepare other “eagle eyes” for a career in transcript proofreading.

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(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
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“I’m thinking of starting a blog for autistic families. Is this a good idea?”

Help! I'm Thinking of Starting a Blog

I live in the Indianapolis area and have a 10 year old autistic son. For a few years, I have been toying with the idea to start a blog or website that helps other families. I want to share my stories (good and bad) as well as let people know different resources, events, help find babysitter for special needs, give reviews and restaurants and shops and what not for special needs and have blogs from special needs teachers and professionals. I’m just wondering if this really is a good idea and do you think it’s possible? -Danielle

Yes, I think there is definitely a market for this!

As I thought through your question, I wanted to answer it in more of a broad manner — because I think there are many people like you who have a blog idea or topic they see there’s a need for a blog about and are wondering what they should do with the idea.

So here are two questions I encourage you to ask yourself:

1. Do you have a passion for this topic?

Now, it’s clear to me that this is a topic you know well–this is very real part of your every day life. It’s something that you’ve researched and learned a lot about.

However, knowledge is different than passion.

For instance, my 6-year-old has fairly severe asthma and has severe indoor and outdoor allergies. The asthma showed up when he was 18-months old and has been something that has resulted in many sleepless nights, many scary experiences, much fatigue, many prayers, tremendous amounts of research, and countless hours in doctor’s offices.

People often come to me with questions on asthma and pediatric allergies because they know it’s something that’s been a daily part of my life since the time Silas was little. I can share our experiences with different kinds of natural remedies, I can point you in the direction of good doctors, I can discuss medications and steroids and nebulizers and inhalers and the pros and cons and risks involved with each.

I’m happy to help people with the knowledge I’ve gleaned from walking through this journey with a child with severe asthma. I’m so grateful that we’ve found some different treatments that are allowing him to have relief from constant major episodes and relapses. I’m so thankful that the changes we’ve made in his life and our lives to remove as many triggers as possible and to be very proactive when he starts flaring up have resulted in him being healthier and sleeping through the night on a fairly consistent basis (instead of being up multiple times — or much of the night — because of coughing and inability to breathe well).

Help! I Want to Start a Blog!

But I don’t have a passion for the topic of asthma. Talking about it and researching it is not something that gets me excited. I have no desire to write about it or blog about it or speak on it. And if I saw that there was a huge need for a blog or book on the topic, I wouldn’t be the one to write the book or start the blog.

Why? Because I’d burn out very quickly.

I share all of this to encourage you to step back and really consider: Is your blog idea something you are fiercely passionate about? Does talking about it light a fire under your belly? Do your friends see you as the go-to person for the topic?

Could you talk about this topic for hours and hours without getting tired? Could you write 5,000 posts on the topic? Could you get excited about getting up and writing about this topic every single day for years to come?

2. Do you have time to devote to blogging?

Blogging successfully requires a big commitment of time. It will take time and effort to set up the blog, to learn basic HTML, to get the hang of how to upload links and pictures, and how to format your posts. You’ll probably also want to learn how to use social media well, how to set up an email newsletter, how to design graphics, and maybe even how to update your header or sidebar.

It requires commitment to continue to blog and answer emails. To continue to find fresh content and perspective. To deal with site issues that come up. To learn new skills and adapt as the market changes.

Step back and really consider if your schedule would allow for this commitment. Would blogging be a blessing or a burden to your family? Would it drag you down, frustrate you, make you feel stressed and guilty, or take over your life in a negative way?

Help! I want to start a blog!

You don’t have to blog regularly. There is no rule book, after all, and you are the boss. However, if you want to be successful as a blogger, you have to put some priority on blogging.

Posts don’t just write themselves. Pictures don’t just take and crop themselves. And social media doesn’t just post automatically.

You have to make that happen — and it’s a LOT more work than most people realize. It can also be a LOT more frustrating than it might seem like at face value. If you’re like me and you’re not naturally a techie person, you are going to have a steep learning curve ahead of you.

Minor tweaks might end up turning into major headaches. Simple changes might make you want to pull your hair out. And almost everything to do with blogging typically takes longer than you think it will.

The most successful bloggers and those who stick with it for the long-haul are those who go into blogging treating it like a business or real job: something that you have to show up for daily or at least multiple times per week.

Do you have the space in your calendar to make regular blogging happen? Do you have the desire to learn the skills necessary to successfully set up and run a blog? Do you love new challenges and experimentation?

Did You Answer “Yes” To Both Questions?

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then I think you should definitely strongly consider moving ahead with the blog idea. There is a lot of potential for this idea and a lot of need for encouragement in this area.

I think you could consider expanding beyond your local area — maybe even making your blog a resource for those nationwide or even worldwide, with a special emphasis on your local area?

And if you do start your blog, I will be cheering you on all the way!

For more helpful ideas, read my post on How to Make Money Blogging.

What advice & thoughts do the rest of you have for Danielle? I’d love for you to chime in in the comments!

photo credit; photo credit; photo credit

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We Paid Cash: Starting A Blog

We paid cash!
A testimony from Abby from Winstead Wandering

I’ve been blogging off and on since May of 2011. And in January of 2015, I decided to finally start the new blog I’d been brainstorming for months.

I had just suffered a miscarriage and I needed something to take me out of my own head. I knew, though, that I wanted to be serious and intentional in how I went about starting the new site; I wanted to buy my domain, I wanted to be self-hosted, and I didn’t want a free cookie cutter blog design.

After crunching numbers and spending a good portion of my Christmas break doing research, I decided I needed $200 to buy the things I wanted: my domain name, 36 months of hosting, and a blog design.

I know it’s completely possible to start a blog without spending a penny, but it was important to me to treat my new site seriously — like the business I eventually hoped it would be — right from the beginning.

I also hoped that working hard to earn the money would make the commitment more real to me.

Here’s how I earned $200:

Selling Textbooks

I took four college classes in the summer of 2014, and while I’d always intended to sell my used textbooks, I never got around to it. Needing blog money was the motivation I needed to finally list them on ebay. My timing aligned with colleges resuming classes after winter break, so my books sold quickly, earning me $125.

Teachers Pay Teachers Store

As a high school teacher, I have a Teachers Pay Teachers store where I sell the random forms, worksheets, and activities I prepare for my classes. I typically bring in $30-$40 in passive income each month, but seeing as January was the beginning of a new semester, I was able to set aside my entire $75 paycheck from that month.

Ibotta

I’ve used Ibotta to earn cash back on groceries since the app was first introduced, but I rarely cash out. I prefer to allow my savings to build up and then cash out when I have a specific purchase in mind. Because it had been a while since I’d done that, I was able to deposit $40 from Ibotta into my PayPal account.

It took me less than one month to earn the cash I needed to start my blog. I used the extra — and I continue to use the cash generated from my TpT account — to participate in giveaways and buy odds and ends like pretty dishes to photograph my recipes in.

My goal, of course, is that my blog will eventually bring in a small part-time income to supplement what my husband and I make as teachers. For now though, I love knowing that I started this adventure without tapping into my family’s monthly budget!

new blog

Abby is an Oregonian-turned-Mississippian, teaching high school Business and Technology. When she isn’t learning cool new slang at school, she likes to hang out at the golf course with her husband and aspiring (L)PGA toddlers. Abby blogs at Winstead Wandering.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? Submit your story for possible publication here.

 

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