Review: Is a Worthy Freelancing Find?

In my freelancing travels, I’ve seen a good amount of transcription jobs advertised, as well as the occasional captioning opportunity. Sometimes, I decide to continue on with the application process. Other times, I make a mental note to “walk on by” due to lofty requirements that are decidedly incongruous with the pay that’s being offered.

Then, there’s Rev, a modern company that offers both freelance transcription and captioning jobs. Rev also offers subtitling translation jobs; however, I have no familiarity with that aspect.

So, yes, for a while I used Rev as a side earner, and quite liked having it as an option even if I didn’t really work on the platform much. Perhaps it was due to that, or maybe there was a restructuring of sorts, because one day, I logged in and found that was literally all I could do – my transcription and captioning permissions were a thing of the past. No advance notice, nothing, and they weren’t (re)hiring freelancers in my location, either.

This all being said, I figured I’d review this company just the same, because they still seem to be actively hiring freelancers in other locations. As I go about researching job opportunities for my Fabulous Freelancer Friday posts, I regularly see them advertising for transcriptionists, especially. Keep in mind, too, that the process I share here might be a little different now than from when I freelanced for them.

Getting Started as a Transcriber

After my account was activated, I received a link to a great tutorial that I had to complete before I could start claiming work. Next, it was off to my user dashboard to claim projects that coincided with my level, “Rookie.” There can be no more efficient way to determine whether or not to take a project; type, length, payment amount, and time due are just some of the information that’s provided. Clicking on the project name even gives a sample of the audio.

I noted that certain metrics/criteria such as accuracy, formatting, and on-time submission would be calculated to maintain high standards. Target accuracies for all the criteria are clearly displayed. As a “Rookie,” all of my completed transcripts have been sent to Quality Control (QC). I’m then sent an email with the QC comments and my rating. The comments have been very helpful – whoever has checked my work clearly cares about helping “Rookies” do their best work.

After transcribing 60 minutes that meet the standards, “Rookies” can then become “Revvers,” who earn 25% more per video minute, and have access to more projects. It’s all very reasonable, and I think that this structure should work well to keep freelancers focused.

Apply to be a Rev transcriber here.

Getting Started as a Captioner

This process was a little bit more involved than applying to be a transcriber. There’s an incredibly comprehensive tutorial that prospective captioners are given, and it’s necessary to refer back to all of those guidelines while completing the test videos. Each submitted test video is evaluated, and if all are satisfactory, then access is given to the captioning user dashboard. It should be noted that they’re more selective about captioners; when I got accepted into the captioning aspect of Rev, the email stated that they accept less than 10% of applicants.

Like transcription, the first level is “Rookie.” However, to reach the “Revver” level as a captioner, 150 minutes have to be captioned according to metrics such as accuracy, formatting, and alignment. In addition to a greater variety of projects, “Revvers” earn 20% more per video minute.

Apply to be a Rev captioner here.

What Works, and What Doesn’t

Rev prides itself on being technologically advanced – and it really should! My favorite thing about Rev is how advanced their software is for both transcription and captioning; timecoding isn’t an issue! It’s more about identifying the correct speaker/audio accuracy/sentence structure and, for captioning, alignment.

However, because of things like crosstalk, projects can be tricky to complete, particularly for those without previous transcription or captioning experience. Projects are generally due within a few hours after being claimed, which might be an issue for those who type at a moderate to slower speed.

Lastly, the pay (via PayPal) is considered average to low. For example, a “Rookie” transcriber would earn around $4.00 for a 10-minute video. Despite this, some earnings are better than no earnings, so it’s still probably worth (no pun intended) giving Rev a try for the sake of it being a freelancing filler, at the very least.

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