Transcribing for Crowdsurf


Crowdsurf are an American company that pays you to transcribe audio and video clips for them. They aren’t the highest paying company out there, partly because the exchange rate of dollars into pounds is so bad at the moment. However, despite their low pay they are my favourite of the three companies I transcribe for. This is probably because the work is so varied and interesting.

How do you join Crowdsurf?

The process of joining Crowdsurf is a bit strange but once you’ve signed up it’s simple. To start with you need to sign up to another site called Work Market. From here you will sit the usual tests required for audio typing. This will test your typing speed and accuracy, your grasp of the English language and your spelling and grammar.

The test itself isn’t too difficult. I’ve done quite a few tests for various audio typing companies now and the one for Crowdsurf was probably the easiest. The hardest part was remembering that they are American so I need to ensure I spell words the American way (color not colour etc). Once I’d figured this I sailed through the test.

Work Market tell you that it can take up to a week to hear from them and to get set up with a Work Market ID and Crowdsurf login. In reality it took them four working days to get back to me and the evening I received my email with my login details I was working for Crowdsurf and earning money.

What does the work involve?

The work for Crowdsurf involves typing what you can hear on a very short video clip or audio file. Most of the files are video clips. No file is ever longer than 30 seconds and the rate you get paid depends on the length of the file. There are also bonuses for those files that are difficult to transcribe.

You simply listen to the file and choose whether to accept it or not. If you accept the file then you type up what you hear, according to the Crowdsurf guidelines. For example you type [MUSIC] when music is playing. Once you are happy that you have typed the file to an acceptable standard you can then submit it. It will flash up any spelling errors for you to review before you submit it at this point. Once it is submitted it will show on your dashboard almost immediately. It will show as either being pending, where it is being monitored and checked for quality assurance purposes, or as approved. When I first started out I found that most tasks were checked first but now it’s about 1 in 10 that gets checked. I’ve never, ever had a task refused or declined with this company.

Is it enjoyable?

Sometimes it can be boring, other times I really enjoy it. It depends a lot on what sort of files you are typing up. I hate typing up lectures on Maths, or Business Studies because I really don’t enjoy this sort of thing. Some of the political meetings and some of the other university lectures can be really interesting. I know that my knowledge of the American political system has grown a lot in the time I’ve been working for Crowdsurf. I’ve also learned a lot about sports as well. My husband is American Football mad and I actually know more about it than him now! Overall though, I really enjoy working for Crowdsurf, probably because each file is so short it takes no more than 2 minutes to type, meaning that I can do this work here and there around other things.

What is the pay like?

This is the one downside of Crowdsurf. The pay is shocking. It’s the lowest paid work I have ever done in my life, being even lower than my first Saturday job as a teenager (something I didn’t think possible). It probably averages at between £2-4 an hour, depending on how hard the clip is to type up. It certainly wouldn’t earn enough to pay my bills or justify giving up my job for. However, it does pay, and it pays quickly. I know it’s in my Paypal account the same day if I check out before 9pm on a work day. If you are desperate for money then it’s there, and easy to get it quickly, but there are quicker ways of doing it. There are also companies that allow you to audio type and pay a LOT better than them.

I can only really keep Crowdsurf going because I use it as a time filler when I have 10-15 minutes to spare here and there. I can early about 50-75p in that time, which is better than the nothing I would earn if I played a game on my phone or scrolled through Facebook. I’m leaving all the money I earn from this is my Work Market wallet until I either really need it or we go to Florida. I would be reluctant to give it up as well because I do enjoy it, a lot more than I enjoy some of the other things I do to earn money, and that I enjoy typing for other companies. I just wish they would increase their pay a bit!


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