The gig economy is bigger than freelance writing and coding.
And if you've waited on the sides for too long to join in the freelancer movement, but find the most touted work at home opportunities to be out of your passion zone, you'll want to stop and read this.
You don't have to backslide to coding and writing projects to earn from the comfort of your remote location.
You can make your mark in transcription, captioning and virtual assistance - and earn a full-time income online.
If you have some typing experience, you can begin right away, but it is not a strict requirement if you are willing to learn.
If you are starting from scratch, there's little barrier to entry too. You can start right now, spruce your skillset along the way, and start earning in no time.
Let's break it down for each freelance gig.
Transcribers convert audio to text files. Expect to transcribe audio and video files for several different industries.
As a transcriber, you'll be responsible for playing back pre-recorded marketing, religious, motivational, and all manner of audio and video files - and typing out what you hear into a word processor.
Most transcription jobs require you use transcription software such as Express Scribe as well as other transcription tools for maximum productivity. Express Scribe helps you to adjust playback speed, so you can punch the keyboard, at a speed you are most comfortable and productive at.
Online transcription jobs for beginners start at $20 per audio hour (per every 60 minutes), topping beyond $60 for experienced transcribers.
Companies hiring transcriptionists to work from home include:
Rev, TranscribeMe, Speechpad and Scribie.
You've probably wondered how the entertainment industry, TV commercials, and news channels get those subtitles, captions, and real-time translations right.
There are actually real people; real professionals cranking every word.
Captioning is vital for these industries for several reasons, depending on the type of captioning job.
Let's talk about offline captioning and real-time captioning.
As an offline captioning expert, you will transcribe pre-recorded files for use in cases where the audience comprises of the hard-of-hearing and hearing-impaired.
In recent times though, more webmasters are hiring captioning freelancers to craft text accompaniments for use in online video tutorials.
While tons of startup experience, is not demanded right out the gate, you'll need to demonstrate a good understanding of time codes and harmonizing captions to matching frames.
You have to ensure each caption syncs with what is said in say, the video you are working on. So you'll need to practice that to top up your transcription skill set.
If you are bilingual, have some experience in transcription and above average translation skills, you might want to scoop up an opportunity to earn a freelance income as a subtitling expert.
The global nature of web content has triggered a wave of freelance subtitling jobs online with decent pay for the right subtitler.
If it's live and direct, as opposed to offline captioning, you'd be dealing with real-time captioning. This is also the most demanding type of captioning, requiring exceptional transcription and typing skills.
Real-time closed captioners are especially valued by broadcast TV, cable news stations, law courts, and practitioners, as well as organizers of live events for the hearing impaired.
With real-time closed captioning, it's about speed and precision.
The average hourly rate of an experienced captioner ranges between $50/per hour and $75/per hour.
Where to find captioning jobs online:
Sfera, Rev, Speechpad.
3. Virtual Assistant Work
By far one of the most current in-demand freelance jobs, VA work is sometimes mind-boggling to define.
If you've had past experience working as a personal assistant or secretary, VA gigs are right up your alley. However, again, it's not just about secretarial work.
A client may request you have experience in transcription, offline captioning and subtitling.
Then they may request that you use your expertise dealing with YouTube, WordPress administration, and copywriting, to craft and weave together a decent marketing campaign to bolster conversion rates for their business blog.
Becoming a VA allows you to run your own business, offering a range of freelance services. That comes with the demands of being entrepreneurial.
Clearly, there is more to the freelance marketplace and the laptop lifestyle than freelance writing alone.
Whether you are just starting out, or have acres of portfolio items to show for your veteran exploits, freelance transcription, captioning and virtual assistance jobs are decent ways to earn a living.
As in any business, you get to schedule your work and choose clients and projects that you're passionate about.
So go on. Try out any of the above freelance gigs to kickstart your freelance career.