If you can hear fairly well, Rev might be a way to bring in a little extra cash to hit your 2017 goals.
Rev is a company that has 3 subdivisions – captioning, transcribing and translation. I don’t know anything about the translation pool of freelancers, but for captioning and transcribing, you submit an application and take a test.
The application starts with a very simple Grammar test.
Then you’re asked to provide a writing sample based on a few prompts about your hometown. This is just to make sure you can string together coherent sentences and punctuate them correctly.
You’ll watch a 15-20 section of videos about how to caption and some Rev formatting basics.
After you complete a basic application, you’re taken to your first captioning video.
Take your time. Get it right.
After you submit the video, the company reviews it. Within 24 hours they let me know that I had passed the first test. You’re then taken to two more videos (each of the three videos I did were between 2-4 minutes).
Before these videos, they teach you a few more Rev formatting standards.
Take your time. Get it right.
Why do I keep writing that? Because there’s a Rev formatting thing where you’re supposed to mark the captions to go to the top of the screen when there’s writing on the bottom of the screen and I forgot it entirely.
And I failed the test.
So I am not a Rev Captioner.
This makes me sad because the videos were actually pretty easy to hear and understand, which makes typing go much quicker, which makes it a little easier to earn money.
You can read another review of Rev captioning here, the one that inspired me to check out the company. This woman successfully passed the tests and became a Captioner.
Fear not, if you fail the test, you can take it again in 6 months, in the meantime…
It turned out you could apply for transcribing without waiting 6 months, so I thought, what the heck?
You go through the exact same Grammar test and writing sample.
You also get a quick course on what they expect from their transcriptionists.
I then transcribed my first audio sample, which was nice and loud and easy to hear.
After passing that test successfully, I completed two more transcription samples and was accepted as a Rookie.
Rookies are basically apprentices, learning what the heck their doing. All of your work gets monitored and you get feedback on it. You only have shorter transcription assignments available to you and you are the lowest on the totem pole to get to select them.
Some people complain about the really low rates as a Rookie, but, to be honest, I’ve never done transcriptionist work before, so I was ok with it. I considered it paid training.
The feedback could be a little rough. My first submission came back with 3/5 and tore apart my work in the comments without even acknowledging that the audio quality was terrible (if I ever make it to being a Grader – a person above a Revver+ who can also grade Rookie work, I will at least acknowledge you were trying to do something difficult before crushing your dreams).
However, after that I got it up to 5/5 consistently.
You might think you hear just fine, but I’ve definitely found that my ears want to make certain things words that definitely aren’t. I’m hopeful that this is actually good training for hearing better at my regular job too.
I remained a Rookie for about 4 days and then was upgraded to a Revver.
I noticed an immediate change. I don’t qualify for the 25% increase for several more jobs, but even just not having to wait to pick last from the projects has made life a lot easier.
You can preview each project and access the comments from other transcribers, so when I was a Rookie, it was pretty much all terrible audio quality that would take me an hour and a half to transcribe for like 75 cents.
In general, I’ve picked up my speed a little, but a rough audio section is still going to take a long time to transcribe. At least if the recording is clear, I can do a 10 minute transcription in a little over an hour now.
Keep in mind that still just nets me $4 to $5, on average. Usually, if a project is worth more, it’s because it’s been sitting in the queue for a while and has terrible audio quality and everyone keeps rejecting it. That .90 cents/min project will take you 4 hours to transcribe 5 minutes probably.
Most of the projects I do now are between .50-.60 cents/min.
You’re not going to get rich transcribing or captioning for Rev. If I had to estimate, by the end of my first month, I think I’ll bring in about $50. I’m currently up to $30 a week in, but my available time is about to decrease.
This works for me right now, because I’ve been sitting at home between jobs, bored out of my mind, and $50 is better than nothing.
However, as far as return for your time investment, the only thing Rev has going for it is that I’m learning a new skill and transcription can actually be a well paying job once you’re good at it. If you find you like it, I’d recommend spending some time fine tuning your work with Rev and then applying to biggest companies.
I keep UserTesting running in the background and check on it whenever it dings. I’ve brought in $20 extra dollars with that this month by investing just 20 to 30 minutes of my time; however, there aren’t as many opportunities there as there are with Rev.
Overall, there are definitely easier ways to make money than Rev, but if you’re in a spot where every penny counts, look into it.