How to Start a Transcription Business in 2023 (6 Best Ways)




how to start a transcription business - 6 best ways and approaches

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Organizations generate an enormous amount of data to efficiently analyze business scenarios and gain valuable insights. In fact, the U.S. transcription market size was valued at USD 25.98 billion in 2022 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2023 to 2030.

So, how can you take advantage of this ever-growing industry and make a living transforming audio files into text, from anywhere in the world?

Luckily, in this article, I will be sharing with you all the 6 different ways and approaches that you can leverage to start a profitable transcription business in 2023 and beyond.

Before we dive in, if you find this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

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How to Start a Transcription Business?

Starting a transcription side hustle can take different forms and approaches depending on your goals, skills, and passion.

For instance, if you’re an entrepreneur at heart, you could consider building your own speech-to-text subscription SaaS business. On the other hand, if you’re among those who see stability in a job, you could look for transcription positions with established companies, or even opt to work as a freelance transcriptionist from the comfort of your home, if you value flexibility.

Regardless of which path you choose when starting your transcription business online, following this 6-point checklist will be key to your success in the world of transcription. It will give you a clear vision of your business and allow you to succeed faster online.

1. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Identifying your strengths and weaknesses is crucial not only when starting an online transcription business, but for succeeding in any form of business, be it online or brick and mortar.

Furthermore, a personal SWOT analysis, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is a tried and tested method of evaluating one’s capabilities and expanding upon them to improve their personal and career growth.

In other words, understanding what you are good at and passionate about will allow you to pick the right transcription business model or even land your dream job and unlock your full potential!

2. Analyze Your Opportunity Cost

This is a finance and economics term that usually helps people to decide between different investment options. It’s simply the act of quantifying the impact of choosing one investment over another, and it can be expressed in terms of a return or profit on investment by subtracting the potential return of one investment from another.

In other words, the opportunity cost is the value of the next best alternative that you give up when making a choice!

3. Choose Between an Employee or Self-Employed

Richard Paul Evans once said that some people were born to work for others. Not in a mindless, servile way, rather they simply work better in a set regimen of daily tasks and functions. Others were born of the entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy the demands of self-determination and the roll of the dice.

So, before starting a transcription business, you should assess yourself and see what you’re better at, being an employee or a business owner. Just remember, always be true to yourself!

4. Understand the Costs and Be Prepared to Invest Your Time and Money

Time and money are both valuable resources that we can use to achieve our goals and objectives. Time is a unique and finite resource that we cannot create more of, while money can be earned, invested, or borrowed.

When it comes to achieving success or making progress toward our goals, time and money are often interchangeable resources. For example, we can invest money to save time, such as hiring an animation expert on Fiverr, or we can invest time to save money, such as by creating a logo on Canva for free!

What I’m trying to say here is that most people who are just getting started online dream of making money faster than the speed of light, and most importantly, for free!

What proves my statement is that when you go to Google and just start typing “How to make money online”, the first 3 autocomplete results are “for free”, “fast”, and “with no money”…

Being said, no matter what you’re doing in life, without investing your time or money, or even both, things will be tough and challenging. Do you have plenty of time? Learn a new skill that will make you more money. Do you have plenty of money? Invest to save time and succeed faster in what you do.

5. Decide Your Business Model

A business model is your framework that describes the key aspects of how a business creates, delivers, and captures value. It simply helps you identify your target audience, develop a unique value proposition, and establish a sustainable revenue stream.

You simply need a well-defined business model, and for that, you need to be aware of all the available options out there so you can only choose what works best for you. To help you with that, I’ve prepared for you 6 of the best ways of starting an online transcription business, which I’ll be sharing in the next section of this article to help you pick one fast and save hours of research!

6. Outsource What You’re Not Good At

The most common mistake that amateurs usually do is that they try to do everything by themselves hoping to make money online for free! In fact, when I first started the eComDimes blog (the website that you’re currently on), I wanted to save every penny and thought that I can handle it all by myself.

Well, I was wrong, and I’ve learned my lesson the hard way! In the past few years, I’ve hired hundreds of professional freelancers in different sectors, including development, designing, writing, email marketing, SEO, and more, across different freelance marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and many others!

The truth must be told, this is how I was able to scale my business to the level it is today. You just need to know when to outsource, who to outsource the work to, and where to find qualified specialists and virtual assistants that can help you take your business to the next level!

The 6 Approaches and Ideas of Starting a Transcription Business

Understanding your opportunity cost is key to succeeding in any business. Therefore, I’ve come up with this transcription business ideas list to help you figure out what fits your capabilities best and pick the right transcription venture faster.

1. Start an AI Text-to-Speech SaaS Platform

According to Exploding Topics, as of 2023, the SaaS industry has increased in size by around 500% over the past seven years and it’s worth over $195 billion today.

SaaS stands for software-as-a-service, and some great examples are businesses that work on a subscription model, such as Netflix, Zoom, Slack, Shopify, and many more!

What’s interesting here is that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and build something from scratch. You can leverage other people’s skills and buy their done-for-you PHP scripts for under $100.

2. Work as a Transcriptionist For Companies

Working as a transcriptionist can be a very challenging yet rewarding career path, and there are many companies that offer lucrative transcription jobs that pay up to $20 per hour. There are many different types of transcription jobs available, depending on your interests and skill set.

While there are general transcription companies, some companies specialize in medical transcription, which requires a strong knowledge of medical terminology and a keen attention to detail. Other companies also focus on legal transcription, which involves transcribing court hearings and other legal proceedings.

In fact, working as a transcriptionist for another company will allow you to reap the rewards of working from the comfort of your home, setting your own schedule, and working whenever it’s most convenient for you. This can be extremely beneficial, especially for those with children or other responsibilities.

Overall, working as a transcriptionist for a company can be a great option for those who are looking for a flexible, low-stress job that allows them to work from home, and many transcriptionists find it to be a rewarding and fulfilling career, especially since it has many opportunities for growth and learning.

Related: Boost your CV and take your transcription career to the next level with these resources:

When I first started my online journey, I almost tried everything that generates money online, including transcription. Two of the many transcription companies that I worked with were Rev and TranscribeMe, but without putting myself to the test, I wouldn’t have figured out that this is not the right business for me!

Do you like the idea of working from the comfort of your home and at your own pace, but are not interested in being associated with one single company? Maybe the next transcription business idea would be ideal for you!

3. Sell Transcription Gigs On Freelance Marketplaces

Freelance marketplaces tend to be the best place for finding freelance jobs online, as they act as a bridge between service providers and people who are looking to hire talented developers to either start or scale their businesses online.

There are many freelance marketplaces that will allow you to list your services (For Free) and get in front of thousands of individuals, business owners, or companies that are regularly hiring professional transcriptionists online. Some of the many well-known options are Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer.

4. Start a Transcription Blog, Shop, Directory, or Hub

Blogging is one of the best ways to make money online and it can have multiple streams of income. From ad revenue, and sponsorships, to affiliate commissions and selling courses, and everything in between, you can create a unique ecosystem by writing useful content online.

How to Start a Transcription Blog, Shop, Directory, or Hub?

It all depends on what you’ll be doing as different objectives require different approaches and platforms:

  • Starting a shop: Shopify is the leading eCommerce platform that has everything you need to start selling online. If you’re planning to sell transcription-centric products such as headphones, keyboards, transcription foot pedals, monitors, or printers, then it’s the right platform for you and it offers a totally free 14-day free trial.
  • Starting a directory or hub: Chances are, you’ll be looking to create a custom PHP website, directory, or hub that targets the transcription community. If that’s the case, you can find a ChatGPT an AI developer on Fiverr to help you out with what you need for as low as $50.

5. Start a Faceless YouTube Channel

With this artificial intelligence craze that we are witnessing nowadays, even complete beginners can leverage a set of AI tools to create YouTube videos with no hassle.

The truth is, transcription is one of the many faceless YouTube channel ideas that I’ve discussed in my other article, thanks to the internet and to ChatGPT. But the real question remains…

How to Start a Faceless YouTube Channel In 10 Steps

Starting a faceless YouTube channel is fairly easy. Here are the exact 10 steps that you need to go follow:

  • Create a new Gmail account or use your current existing one
  • Go to YouTube, log in to your Google account, and create a channel
  • Find a unique brand name on Namelix or Shopify brand name generator
  • Use ChatGPT to come up with a unique matching slogan
  • Create a logo design on Canva or hire someone from Fiverr of 99Designs
  • Use VidIQ for bio, SEO-optimized video titles, and video ideas
  • Use drag-and-drop software like InVideo or Canva to create videos
  • Use Runwayml to generate images from text
  • Record your voice or use realistic voice-over services like Murf or Resemble
  • Use Strofe or Soundraw for background music

6. Sell Transcription Courses Online

Are you an experienced transcriptionist who’s been in the industry for a while now and wants to spread the knowledge? Good for you, because you can actually get paid to teach people how to start an online transcription business from the comfort of their homes.

In fact, selling transcriptions courses online can be a lucrative additional stream of income to boost your finances, if only done right.

How to Make Money Online Selling Transcription Courses?

Here are the exact steps that you need to follow when selling transcription courses online:

  • Identify your target audience: Determine who you want to sell your transcription courses to. Are they beginners or advanced students? What industries or niches are you targeting; general, legal, or medical?
  • Develop a course curriculum: Create a course curriculum that covers the basics of transcription, advanced transcription techniques, tools and software used in transcription, and other relevant topics. The tools and resources page can contain affiliate offers to boost your potential earning.
  • Create engaging content: Make sure your course content is engaging and easy to understand. Use a mix of written materials, videos, and interactive exercises to keep your students engaged. For this, you can use a free tool called Canva to create an endless amount of data visualizations, images, videos, graphics, and more!
  • Choose a platform: Decide on a platform to host your course. Some popular options include Udemy, Teachable, Coursera, SkillUp, Skillshare, and Kajabi. Alternatively, you can create your own self-hosted WordPress website. Bluehost is one of the most popular hosting solutions, and it costs $2.75 a month.
  • Promote your course: You can leverage social media, email marketing, and other channels to promote your course. Ultimately, having a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel will allow you to attract more students. Even if you don’t wish to show up on a camera, you can still make it! Here’s how to create a faceless YouTube channel.
  • Have a strong value ladder: As an online seller, business owner, or marketer, your ultimate goal should be collecting as many leads as possible. Building a tribe online is the biggest asset of any business. So, consider offering a totally free course to attract more students and build trust, then you can either upsell an ultimate blueprint or even recommend an already existing course like this.
  • Collect feedback: It’s called social proof, and it’s essential in every business, be it online or brick and mortar type of business. Collect feedback from your students and use it to improve your course. Consider offering a survey or questionnaire after each lesson to gather feedback. You can even offer your students a decent discount on their next purchase if they leave you their honest reviews.


Starting a transcription business can be an exciting and rewarding venture, but it’s important to approach it with a clear strategy and vision.

In today’s post, we discussed the exact step-by-step process of starting a transcription business, including identifying strengths and weaknesses, analyzing the opportunity cost, choosing the right business model, and more!

So, by the time you finish reading this article, you will understand the different ways and approaches for starting an online transcription business and reap the rewards of working for your own self.

Transcription is great, but do want to learn how my friend Anthony Morrison made millions of dollars online as an affiliate marketer? Click below to learn how you can join his 8-figure ecosystem!

Thanks for going this far and reading my article all the way through! If you found this post inspiring and useful, share it with your friends, please! (Virtual high fives and hugs to all my sharers out there!)

Odeh Ahwal

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So behind every great blog is usually someone who runs it all. That would be me, Odeh Ahwal. I’ve created the eComDimes blog with a mission to help people provide well for their families by starting online businesses, share my experience, and just introduce you to different ways of making money online! At eComDimes, we help you turn your dimes into dollars!

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