Transcript writing tips and tricks

A Quick Guide to Start a Career as a Transcript Writer

In the last few years, many people have shifted their focus from science fields towards fields that give them more creative freedom. Arts and literature are becoming increasingly popular. People willing to work hard enough can easily make a respectable living in these fields today. One of the biggest sources of earning for such people is through writing, specifically content writing. But many people might find it confusing as to which field of content writing they should pursue? Well, we’ve prepared guides for you so you can decide what to choose.

To see what academic writing is about, head over to a quick guide to becoming an academic writer, and for copywriting, go to a quick guide to become a copywriter

This guide is specifically for transcript writing to help you understand how to become a successful transcript writer.

What is Transcript Writing?

Transcript writing or transcription means turning audio or speech into a written document. There is no time frame in transcript writing and is written along with the audio.

Transcription writing

What is the Purpose of Transcript Writing?

Transcript writing is done to record what is being said word-by-word without any changes. Writing something that was said by memory might cause some changes in the speech, so transcript writing is done to make sure that a speech is written just as it was said.

What Makes Transcript Writing Different from other Writing Styles?

Transcript writing revolves around recording audio or speech in a written form. On the other hand, all other forms of content writing have little to no use of any audio or speech. Furthermore, transcript writing must be accurate. There should be no changes in what was originally said. Other forms of content writing are not bound by this rule and the writer usually has creative freedom to choose whichever words or vocabulary he/she wants to use.

Why is Transcript Writing Important?

Transcript writing is important because it makes things easier to understand. Especially if the one speaking is poor in a certain language, transcripts make it easier to understand. Also, transcripts hold proof of exactly what was said, and thus, can be used to make sure of what was originally said. This is widely helpful in business and legal areas where people can lie their way out of things they might’ve promised

Types of Transcript Writing:

There are 3 types of transcript writing:

1. Edited Transcription:

This form of transcription revolves around delivering quality documents. The writer has the option to exclude such sentences or phrases which are considered unnecessary. The main point of this form of transcription is to get the proper idea of the text across, even when certain words and phrases are omitted. This type of transcription is used in translating paragraphs to other languages and is usually informal language.

2. Intelligent transcription:

This type of transcription revolves around light editing of the text. Light editing means to exclude phrases like ‘umm’, ‘hmm’, ‘got it’ etc. Furthermore, slang, stutters, stammers, and such phrases are excluded which have no relation to the actual topic of discussion. Intelligent transcription is done with the expectation that even after the emotional aspect of the discussion is excluded, the original essence of the discussion is still present. This type of transcription is usually done in medical and business fields.

3. Verbatim Transcriptions:

This type of transcription included noting everything down that is being said. Both necessary and unnecessary parts of the conversation are written. Since more things need to be written in this type of transcription, it requires more work. This type of transcription not only includes the words being said but also changes in voice tone, any background disturbances, shifts in emotions, and interruptions in speech, everything is written down. This type of transcription is used in business or legal fields.

The Features of Transcript Writing:

1. Accurate:

Transcript writing must be accurate. There should be no add-ins or uncertain phrases. It must be written just as the speech was.

2. Readable:

The writing must be readable. Words should not be jumbled up and should be readable.

3. Precise:

The things being written should be according to what the client wants. Things should be omitted or kept according to the client.

Do’s and Don’ts of Transcript Writing:

When starting your career as a transcript writer, you must keep these things in mind to excel in your career:

                             Don’t                             Do
Paraphrase Write things just as they are said
Make decisions on your own. Ask the clients what kind of transcription they want
Make guesses about what was said Leave the space if you are unsure about what was said
Write in a jumbled way Write in a cleaned, easy-to-read way
Change the grammar to make it correct Write things just as they are being said, even with wrong grammar
Be sure that what you’ve written must be correct Proofread
Leave non-speech out in verbatim writing Write everything down. From laughter to a slight shift in voice.


Earning Prospect of Transcript Writing:

Transcript writers can easily find a good earning spot. A new transcript writer can earn around $15 per hour, while a professional writer earns around $25 to $30 per hour. With this in mind, $1,500 can be easily earned er month if working for 2.5 hours each day for a total of 24 days.

What You Need to Become a Transcript Writer:

  • Writing skills: You must have quick writing skills to be able to follow the speech and write accurately
  • Language skills:  you must have top-notch language skills to be able to write a transcript according to whatever your client demands
  • Listening skills: you must have the skills to be able to listen to even the slightest things being aid.
  • Tech skills: You must have proper tech skills to be a transcriptionist. the basics include a keyboard, headset, and stenography equipment.
  • Proofreading skills: You will need good proofreading skills to deliver a high-quality transcript content

Where can you Work as a Transcript Writer?

Usually, transcript writers work with a firm or a business but you can also find jobs online. You can pursue transcription writing as a proper career in the medical and legal fields. These also provide proper degrees of transcription writing. If not, then you can try your luck on these sites Speechpad, UpWork, Rev, Scribie and TranscribeMe

This was a short guide to help you start your career as a transcript writer. You just need to improve your skills and you are set to go.


If you want services in other fields of content writing, or want to see works of trained professionals, check out the research branch.

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