The world is constantly changing. For those of us around long enough to have noticed, the past decade has seen a massive rise in the popularity of online services. In addition, there have been enormous improvements in the availability and speed of super-fast fiber and broadband services and developments in technology and e-commerce have shaped the way we live our lives. Consequently, more and more, writers are looking for self employment, searching out freelance writing jobs online.
Freelancers are allowed flexibility in how they arrange their time and responsibilities. Many employees are able to work remotely from home in order to spend more time on personal commitments, resulting in a better work-life balance. For many, it seems like a great time to jump on the bandwagon: to ‘go it alone’ and venture into a freelance career.
Writing services including freelance transcription, translation and subtitling are the first choice for many and can be seen as the easiest option to owning the way you work…
Freelance Transcription Jobs
If you’re new to freelance writing work, transcription is probably the best place to start. Transcription services are pretty straightforward and typically involve listening to audio or watching video and typing out dialogue. Subject matter is broad, with market research and interview transcription at the lower level and medical transcription and legal transcription requiring the highest levels of skill and expertise. There are some key requirements to making it as a top notch freelance transcriptionist:
- Excellent grammar, punctuation and spelling
- Fast typing speed (minimum 65wpm)
- Good hearing / ability to decipher accents and speech over background noise
- Research skills or searching out key terms
- Word and Microsoft Office proficiency
- Possess transcription software (notably a foot pedal)
- Good internet connection and fast broadband speed
Freelance Translation Jobs
If you are able to speak a second or third language, you might consider entering into work as a translator. Translation work, similarly to transcription, can be highly varied in terms of subject matter and complexity. Translation work can involve documents, contracts, audio, video or subtitling. There are some key requirements to making it as a top level freelance translator online:
- Advanced Fluency in at least two languages
- Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office software and Adobe
- Impeccable grammar, spelling and punctuation
- Multilingual experience and knowledge in a given translation specialism (e.g. medical, legal, financial)
- Fast broadband and reliable internet connection
Freelance Subtitling Jobs
Closed captioning and subtitling services generally involve all-round skills: translation, transcription and software. Similarly, freelance writing jobs, writing and formatting captions can involve English writing, working with templates, or alternatively, subtitle translations. First, the source video transcription is required in the source language; next, the writing needs to be timed and synced to the video. Styles, line lengths and reading speeds are optimised according to the subtitle specifications and finally, as required, the subtitles are translated and formatted as a language. Working as a freelance subtitler requires the following skills:
- Fast typing speeds (minimum 75wpm)
- Excellent punctuation, spelling and grammar
- Ability to keep to strict guidelines, working on your own initiative to make tough editing decisions
- Possession and knowledge of professional video editing and subtitling software
- A good eye for aesthetics for video editing and subtitle placements and styles
- Excellent organisation and time keeping
Choosing a Work Sector: Translation, Transcription and Subtitling Services
So now we know the basics about freelance writing jobs online, it’s time to compare, contrast and weigh up the pros and cons. In the below table, we look at subtitling, translation and transcription services to see how they stack up in terms of salary, hours, difficulty, expenses and career prospects. Check it out, and see which sector best suits you!
So that’s it; what we would consider the most important things to know before applying and moving into freelance writing jobs in transcription, translation or subtitling services. Whichever you choose, be sure to research subtitling companies, translation companies and transcription companies thoroughly beforehand to make sure you share the same values and working goals.
If you are interested in pursuing a freelance writing career, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, take a look at our requirements to work for us. Because we are always looking to expand our team of subtitlers, transcriptionists and translators, if you have the relevant skills and experience, we would love to hear from you.