If you have solid typing skills and are looking for a side hustle, transcription could be a good gig for you. There are numerous platforms offering transcription jobs, but not all offer the same level of reassurance for freelancers. In this Babbletype review, we’ll take a look at the platform to help you decide if it could be a good choice for you.
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A Brief Overview of Babbletype
Babbletype aims to focus on being exceptionally good at a few things. Rather than offering a variety of clerical services, the company specializes in audio to text services. Babbletype has a history dating back over two decades, which has added up to more than 10 million minutes of transcriptions to date.
The company only uses native speakers for its transcription projects rather than relying on machines or lower cost freelancers. This creates a great opportunity for native English speakers to find regular work.
Babbletype Review: How it Works
Babbletype offers transcription services to a variety of companies across different industries. The client submits its audio to Babbletype and then Babbletype will assign that audio to one of its transcriptionists to turn it into a written document.
Babbletype allows companies to send audio files by any method, but it does have a cloud based storage system. Companies can upload files directly to the system to save time and avoid any potential delays.
This also allows Babbletype to create a shared folder, so the team can send everything related to the project including original and converted files, supporting materials, and the complete transcripts, so the client has access to all related materials.
The Job Requirements
Since Babbletype aims to offer top level service to its clients, it does have several requirements for freelancers to join the platform. These include:
- Native English speaker
- Have a solid understanding of English grammar and typography rules
- Possess excellent communication skills
- Have focus and commitment to deliver under deadline pressures
- Be detail oriented.
Babbletype will also prioritize applicants that have several years of proofreading experience and a Bachelor’s degree.
As with most transcription platforms, you’ll also need access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection and a comfortable headset. If you’re serious about making transcription your side hustle or a new career, it’s also a good idea to invest in a foot pedal that will allow you to stop and start the audio without needing to take your hands from the keyboard. You can see our recommendations for transcription equipment.
How Much Does Babbletype Pay?
Babbletype payments work on a per audio minute basis. The specific rates depend on the expertise and skill required. Generally, the rate is $0.40 to $0.80 per audio minute, with an average of $0.45.
However, it’s important to note that these rates are per audio minute. So, your speed and accuracy will determine your specific hourly rate. Experienced transcriptionists typically work for three to four minutes per audio minute. This would work out at approximately $9 or $10 per working hour.
If you have less transcription experience, it may take you up to eight or nine minutes to transcribe one minute of audio. This would have a dramatic impact on your earnings. At the average rate of $0.45 per audio minute, you would only be earning approximately $3 per hour.
So, if you can increase your speed while maintaining a high standard of accuracy, you’ll start to earn more money.
You’ll receive payment for your completed work weekly via PayPal. You will be paid as an independent contractor, so you’re responsible for your own earning reporting, but if you earn over $600, Babbletype will send you a 1099.
The majority of the negative reviews are related to low pay, which we’ve covered above. However, there are some complaints about the customer service, or lack thereof, offered to the transcriptionists. Some people have reported a lack of support when they had queries or questions.
Babbletype is continually looking for “talented, capable” independent contractors to join its team. You can start the recruitment process on the Babbletype website. There’s a video on its “apply” page that explains the requirements in full and the benefits offered.
If you are interested in applying, you’ll need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
The response will include the full details about how to apply along with details on the testing process.
As with most transcription platforms, you’ll need to complete an application and pass a transcription test. This is fairly standard to check if you’re a good fit for the company and the type of work they typically receive.
There’s no set time frame for when you should receive a response to your application. However, since Babbletype does state that all inquiries should be done via email and not phone, it suggests the company typically receives a large volume of applications, so you may be waiting a while for a response.
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The Potential Drawbacks
No company is perfect, so it is important to be aware of the positives and negatives before you sign up. The potential drawbacks of Babbletype include:
Audio Quality Varies: While Babbletype typically pays more for the more complex pieces of audio, you do need to be prepared for audio files that are very difficult to hear. This type of audio will take far longer to transcribe and is more likely to have mistakes.
Lack of Training: Apart from a short instructional video, once your application is approved, you’re expected to get started working on your own. This issue is compounded by the interface which is not very intuitive.
Work Can Be Rejected: There is the possibility that you may spend hours working on a transcription only for the Babbletype team to deny it due to errors. Some review complaints highlight this issue and report that errors always seem to be in Babbletype’s favor.
Low Pay: As we’ve covered above, Babbletype works on a per audio minute pay rate. So, unless you are very fast and accurate with your transcription, you will struggle to earn a decent hourly rate.
Babbletype is a well-established transcription platform that specializes in transcription, translation, and proofreading. This means the company aims to deliver the highest possible standard of work for their clients in these services since they do not offer other admin support. Therefore, Babbletype has some stringent requirements for its transcriptionists.
If you have some transcription experience, are very detail oriented, and have good communication skills, you may find Babbletype a good option. If you can manage a good speed while maintaining a high level of accuracy, there is the potential to earn a decent hourly rate.
However, if you’re a complete newbie and may be prone to making mistakes, Babbletype is likely to be incompatible with your skillset. The Babbletype team checks all transcription projects and if there are too many errors, the work may be rejected. Not only will you not receive payment for rejected work, but you may also be penalized and not receive future work.
Hopefully, this Babbletype review has been helpful for you. If you’re looking to make money with your typing skills, we highly recommend the Free Transcription Mini Course from Transcribe Anywhere.