Online transcriber

Online transcription is the act of transcribing audio or video recordings for clients. Clients normally pay per hour of audio rather than per hour of transcription.

A good transcriber can type an hour of audio in less than three hours. Someone new to transcription can take a lot longer. If they can type fast, it makes the job easier, but having a good ear is also helpful. Some of the audios or videos might not be as clear as they should be.

Downloading a good transcription software makes the process much easier. There are some sites which are dedicated to transcription, but here we’ll have a look at transcribing on Fiverr.

Fiverr vs Upworks: freelance sites

Getting started

As indicated in a previous blog on this site, the concept of Fiverr is to offer your services of $5. So if you’re interested in doing work on Fiverr, go to the site and register.

As with any beginner, you should start low and work your way up from there. As a newbie transcriber, I’d recommend starting out with, not more than, $5 for half an hour of work. Starting at this rate will grab the attention of many buyers who are looking for freelancers with the lowest rate.

Set the time in which you can deliver each job. Three days will give you enough time when you have multiple jobs. Fiverr starts counting down from the time your receive the gig. If you select three days as your delivery time, the site will give you 72 hours.

You may think you have adequate time to finish a transcription job in a day, but if you have several in a queue, it can take a few days to finish them in time. You do have the option, though, to put the gig on a holiday, if you have more jobs that you can deliver in time. Hopefully, you will reach that stage at some point.

Getting work

When the buyer (employer) selects you to work for him, he’ll contact you by messaging you on Fiverr. There you can agree with him the details of the job.

If the seller decides to go ahead with you, he’ll buy your gig and then the job will start. Don’t start the work unless the buyer has purchased the gig. I coached somebody who did this and they did the job and returned it to the buyer. Luckily, they complained to me that they hadn’t gotten paid, and I advised them to contact the buyer. The buyer then purchased the gig and subsequently signed off on it and the person was paid.

In the online world, there are dishonest people and freelance platforms do give you some protection, so follow the rules.

My experience with transcription on Fiverr

I have, personally, never done transcription on Fiverr, but I’ve attempted it on other platforms. It took me a whole day to type one hour of audio, so I guess transcription is not my kind of work. I do have two sons who are earning an income as transcribers on Fiverr. One of them consistently makes over $1,000 a month on the site.

Ramping up your income

I’ve always seen transcription as an inefficient way of working online. It takes hours to complete a job, however, there are a few ways Fiverr allows your gig to make extra money. They are called gig extras and you can offer them after your gig has started to take off.

Gig extras

As a transcriber, you can offer to deliver the work in less time for $5. If, for example, your delivery time is three days, you can do it in two days for $5 extra. If the buyer wants it in one day, you can do offer to do that for another $5.

Another gig extra is to offer it in a special format for an extra $5 or more (multiple of $5).

You can change your gig to where you’re doing 15 minutes or less for $5. This isn’t a gig extra, but a way of upgrading your gig over time. This is only if you’ve built up a steady following, or/and you have almost 100 percent positive reviews.

Hiring other transcribers

I’ve heard of other transcribers making thousands of dollars on Fiverr. It’s possible to do this, by hiring other transcribers to work with you. It’s like an agency relationship. The seller may outsource the work by buying a gig from other sellers on Fiverr. That way, they can earn more money on Fiverr.

Remember that they have to pay out some of that money to other sellers, so what they earn is net of what they pay out. It can work, just like any other sub-contractor arrangement. If you do this, eventually, you have to make sure the work is organized on a timely basis.


Doing transcription is an easy way to get started on Fiverr. I hope the tips I’ve given will help you get started with making money on Fiverr.