What Is Scribie
Scribie is the online transcription platform that you can look at as the internship program of home based transcription. My foray into online work began on the platform. It gave me a good grounding on general expectations when it comes to home based jobs. For better or worse, I learned a lot in the time that I diligently spent on Scribie. I will share the good and bad points and my overall opinion on their service in this review.
How do I become a transcriptionist at Scribie?
The requirements for working on Scribie are simple. You need a computer with an internet connection and a PayPal account. The PayPal account is a requirement in order to register. Once you sign up you will have access to their guidelines that explain how you must to do the transcription. You can sign up here.
To work from Scribie you need to pass a transcription test. Once you familiarize yourself with the guidelines you can apply for placement on the waiting list. I received the email to take the test after two days. The test is 3 to 6 minute file that you must transcribe according to what you learned from the guidelines. Once you have taken the test and submitted it, it will undergo the same grading process that all files do.
Transcribing for Scribie
Once you pass the test, you receive payment for the file you transcribed. You will subsequently have access to all the files submitted for transcribing. All the files that are available are 6 minute segments for which Scribie pays between $0.5 and $1 per audio minute.
Transcriptions are done in an editor on their website. The editor gives you instructions on how to transcribe. It also sets out keyboard shortcuts for pausing and rewinding the file. Each 6 minute file has an allocated time of two hours in which to complete. There is a 1-hour extension available if you cannot finish it, pushing that to a total of 3 hours per file.
Automated Transcript – A whole lot less work
Having been on Scribie for over a year, the absolute best change that has happened on the platform is the introduction of the automated transcript. Whereas previously you had to type everything yourself, you can now generate an automated transcript that will create a transcript that you then have to edit by making corrections and inserting things the autotranscript has missed.
This has reduced the amount of work that you have to do on a file by as much as 90%. The best thing about it is is that it greatly reduces one of the biggest barriers to online transcription, which was the requirement of a fast typing speed. I can now do a file that used to take me 40 minutes in around 10 minutes.
The image above is of a file that is classified as high difficulty. The automated transcription has has already done 73% of the work and also gives notes on what corrections need to be made before the file is submitted.
Choosing Which Files On Work On
You an sort the audio files that are available based on parameters like difficulty, payment rate or whether the file has speakers with an accent. When choosing files, I recommend that you look through the difficulty and choose the easiest files you can find, as these mean less typing work, thanks to the Automated Transcript feature. The difficult indicates the amount of words you will have to change (meaning more work), so the lower the amount the better.
- Low – Less than 10% of all words
- Medium – Around 10-20% of all words
- Difficult – More than 20% of all words
It is worth noting that the difficult files will tend to pay more. From my experience, even though they pay more they can end up leading to more work than the additional money that you earn for it. For that reason, I opt for medium or lower only files. You can experiment with the difficult files and determine for yourself which strategy is best.
When you are done transcribing the file and submit it, it goes through a review and proofreading process. After a full review, the file goes to the client and the money is credited to you account. The files that I did take took around 2 or 3 days to complete the process.
The Grading System
Each completed file gets a score on a 5 point system, based on the number of errors. The initial score is based on your first 10 files (1 audio hour) transcribed. You have to maintain a minimum grade of 2.5 in order to stay on the system and continue transcribing. If, at any point, your average drops below 2.5, Scribie will disable your account and you will no longer be able to transcribe.
Your score is based on how many changes the reviewer has to make to your transcript. You will have access to all versions of the transcript during the review process and compare your submission to the reviewer’s submission. If you don’t agree with parts of the reviewed transcript or your score then you can lodge a dispute.
For these first 10 files you want to take the utmost care to ensure that you submit the best quality possible. Even if you take an inordinate amount of time to complete each file, it is worth making this initial sacrifice in order to get the promotion the next level where the work will be a bit easier and more cost-effective.
Being a Reviewer at Scribie
If after the first audio hour your grade is 3 or above, you can move onto the second level on Scribie. As a reviewer you will be reviewing the files submitted by transcribers for errors. You will also be adding time stamps and speaker tracking.
The fee per file is the same. The advantage is that this is a much quicker job to do as you do not have to type the audio out. You listen to the audio against the transcript and insert time stamps and speaker tracking with the assistance of the editor tool. The promotion to reviewer is automatic so there is no waiting required. As soon as you have completed the first hour and achieved the requisite grade you can move on to reviewing.
You must maintain the running average of 3 for all review jobs. If your grade drops below 3, Scribie will permanently disable your account from reviewing. Conversely, if you maintain an averag above 3 for your first hour of reviewing you will be able to self-review. This means that you can transcribe a file, submit it and then review that file.
Proofreading is the third level on Scribie after 2 audio hours of review. It require that you maintain an average of over 3.5 and rejection rate below 4%. As a proofreader you will be reviewing a composite of the files previously broken up into the 6-minute segments. The payment will vary per file but the rate is slightly higher than for the previous levels. There is another level after Proofreading but this is as far as I got before moving on.
Affiliate and Referral Commissions
Scribie has an affiliate program that allows you to earn commissions for referring customers to use their transcription service. As an affiliate you will earn a 5% for the business that you generatte for the Scribie. The referral program earns you commission for referring contractors to Scribie and the commission rate is 2.5% of what your referral earns.
How Much Does Scribe Pay?
Scribie pays only through PayPal and you can with draw as soon as you have earned $1. Withdrawals of $30 or higher are free, and for withdrawals of that are under $30 a fee of 2% is charged. Funds are transferred into your account within 8-20 hours. You only get credited for work you have done after it has gone through the review process and is returned to the client. So how quickly you effectively get paid from the time you complete a file is dependent on how long it takes to complete the process.
How much you can make on Scribie will differ from person to person. My estimation is that most people will earn $400 per month if they work full-time hours. This is very low, but for those who can’t qualify for better platforms, it is an option.
Transcription in general does not may much. It is great for beginners to start and then move on to other platforms to earn a full time salary.
On top of the fee for work performed on files, Scribie also pays bonuses to those who work more frequently. For each of the different task, they pay a bonus of $5 for every 3 hours of audio that is credited over the period of a calendar month.
Availability Of Work At Scribie
For the past year that I have been on Scribie, I have never logged in and found a shortage of files so you don’t have to worry about the availability of work. Near the weekend there is even more work available. When I log on during the week I usually find 100-200 files and on weekends there can be in excess of 500. You can also sign up to have Scribie notify you by email when new files are uploaded but that is really not necessary. The only reason i see to do that could be if you are targeting low difficult files. These are always the ones that get claimed by transcribers the quickest so you can sign up for the notifications if you want to get a jump on those.
My Experience and Tips
Scribie was my first online job and the only option open to me at the time so I went into it with an open mind (with a dash of desperation). After reading the horror story reviews online, I was prepared for whatever would come as long as I got some money out of it. Surprisingly, the quality of a lot of the files I did were not that terrible. Even then, if a file sounds like it will be troublesome to you after previewing, simply skip it and find a better one.
Oddly, immediately after I passed the test, the files started at $1 per audio minute, but halfway through the compilation of this review, all the new files were at $5. I didn’t know if this was for the time-being due to an excess of files available, but $0.5 for what could take someone up to an hour or more to do egregiously low. I did not touch any files at that rate. It is only after the auto transcript was introduced that I started transcribing again. What I noticed is that for the review files, people tend to not do them either. When the price is bumped up to $1 ( as the customer deadline approaches) the files get taken up very quickly.
Take the Easy Route
Another thing I did is to stay away from verbatim files. The slightly higher pay rate will not compensate for the additional time it will take to complete and the greater risk to grading. Do the easiest files you can find in order to make your per hour rate of earning more reasonable.
Doing it for the “EXPOSURE”
All in all Scribie you can do a lot better than Scribie when it comes to online transcription jobs. There are several better paying alternatives, and if you have done this type of work before and have access to other options, you can give Scribie a wide berth.
For those starting out with transcription or online work as a whole, however, I would recommend starting at Scribie before anywhere else. It is the most lenient of all the transcription programs I have come across. Do it for a week in order to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of online transcription. It will allow you to gain the confidence to leave you better prepared for the other transcription programs. It will also lighten the pressure of knowing that even if other tests don’t go well the first time, you are not stuck for three to six months waiting for the next opportunity.
It’s a Start
The grounds on which I recommend Scribie is if you are completely new to transcription and online work. Use it as a test if you are unsure and skeptical as to whether you can really get paid to work online. Doing it and then getting even one dollar in your PayPal account can be that proof that not everything online is a scam.
If you are anything like me, you like to do mini-tests on everything that is new to you before investing yourself in it. Scribie is will suffice as an experiment that you can discard after you get your result.
- Easiest transcription program to get into
- Allowed to take test multiple times
- Ability to earn referral commissions
- Lower pay than other platforms
- The grading system can be harsh depending on your reviewer
- Unstable as a side job due sudden unannounced changes
Long Term Perspective on Scribie
My experience with Scribie has been a roller coaster ride because of the various platform changes that have happened in my time there.
I have changed my opinion on the platform several times because there were some changes that affected transcribers negatively. With the introduction of the automated transcript which takes out 90% of the work as compared to before, a lot of the negatives have been offset by the huge reduction of the amount of work and time that transcribing a file requires.
The Final Verdict
As things stand now, I recommend Scribie for those who are new to transcription, looking for a way in. This is because of the leniency of entry into their program, and the fact that it is a lot less work now, thanks for to the introduction of the automated transcript. You will have a lot of headaches there, but you will make some money. For some people that is all that matters, and that was the case with me when I signed up. But if you want a
It is sufficient as a short term solution while you learn more about online work and up-skill yourself to be able to do other other jobs. When I started out with this I wanted any money I can get and it provided me with just that. I have moved onto better opportunities to earn a full-time salary but Scribie was the stepping stone that led me to where I am. If you want to earn a full-time salary then you will not find that at Scribie. If you want to earn a full-time, then check out my number 1 recommendation which I use to make around $2000 a month.