Friday, February 01, 2019

How to calculate your rates

 Hi all and a Happy 2019 to you! I know, I haven't blogged for a long time.. the truth is, we have been busy with a number of things including working on our mentorship programme for TAVASA.

Anyway, as some of you probably know, TAVASA (Transcriptionists and VAs of South Africa forum) has moved to a WhatsApp group and is now very active and busy. (Click this link to join!)

Recently we had an interesting discussion regarding rates, and what to charge, pertaining to transcription and typing.

It's never an easy question to answer.

With all this in mind, I have this basic formula (I must be more sciencey than I thought!)

1) Figure out what you need to earn in an hour. I think R250 is a fair hourly rate.
2) Figure out how long you're going to need to do the job. (It's worth asking the client for samples, timelines, etc, etc).
3) Decide if you are going to outsource your work or do it all yourself.
4) Does the job COST you anything - ie are you paying a lot for data, petrol, rental, etc.

So, loosely, a good quality audio of one hour should take about 3 hours to transcribe. All things being equal, R750 per audio hour is then a fair rate to charge.  The same applies to typing. If you get a job in, calculate how long it's going to take you. You can even type out a page to see how long it takes. Then work out how many pages you can do in an hour. Say you can do 8 in an hour, and given you need to make R200 in an hour, R25 per page is a good rate to charge. You can also keep these as your set rates and have a rate card so that you're prepared when a client contacts you.

Don't overcharge or under charge. Neither is good for the industry.

Hope this is helpful.

Image result for how much is it

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Reviews and advertising

Hi all. If you'd like me to try out your transcription software or industry related products or services and review it here on my site, please drop me a line here. I've been in the industry since 2005, and worked in related positions since 1996, so I'm quite experienced and qualified for this.

Please put 'product/service' review in the subject line.

I'm looking for any sorts of services or products like headphones, keyboards, chairs, software, you name it.

I also offer advertising on all my sites (this one, Typewrite Transcription and Popspeaking and my audience is transcribers, students, and those interested in our industry as a whole. Please get in touch because this is beneficial to you.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


A clear recording is vitally important when obtaining transcripts as it impacts on the quality of the transcript. Quality, speed, and accuracy of audio transcription depend hugely on the clarity of the audio used for transcription.
Here are some tips which will help you achieve this result.

1.     Background Noise
Record in a quiet place. Try to be alone a quiet place while recording; and if you are at work ask your staff and colleagues not to disturb you. Coffee shops are NOT great places to record.  Try to keep away from traffic sounds which generally add to the background noise. A soundproof room is a good idea; but if this is not available you can place things like heavy curtains, furniture and carpets to absorb noise. If, however, a noise DOES occur, please repeat what was said during the interview.  Please record one minute of silence before the interview begins. This will allow the transcriber to identify and cut out ambient sound using their software.

2.     Multiple Voices
If there is more than one person in the room while recording,  make sure that they stay calm while you are recording. Do not let people speak at once, and ask people to identify themselves before they speak. It's also important to make sure that the listener understands what is being said. If everyone talks at once, the transcript will suffer.

3.     External Microphones
Use good quality microphones, preferably, external microphones for better recording quality. These microphones are good at recording even very small sounds so keep away from external noise and chatter.

4.     Pace of speech
Ensure that you speak steadily and comfortably and in a consistent tone. So, if you have a habit of speaking quickly, please speak slowly.

5.     Trial Recordings
It’s a great idea to do a trial run before the actual interview. Go to the place where you’re going to record and make a recording of about five minutes. Have a listen to it and if there is any major noise or interference you can make plans to correct this. You can also send it to your transcriptionist for comment.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Doggie Journal | AMF Typing Services (Est 2001)

Doggie Journal | AMF Typing Services (Est 2001)

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gaynor Paynter - a short bio

Who is the person behind Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC?
Gran and I (1975)

Gaynor Paynter – a short bio

I was born on the 21st of March 1975 in Kensington, South Africa, and, with the exception of a few years after I was married in 1996, I’ve lived here my whole life.
I went to school at Leicester Road Primary School and Jeppe Girls High where I matriculated in 1992 with a university exemption and half colours for chess (I was the captain of the chess team and was on the tennis team too).

After studying graphic design for a year, I decided it wasn’t for me and did a secretarial diploma at the then Germiston Technical College (in which I obtained a distinction in Information Processing, a fancy name for typing).

 I always had an entrepreneurial flair. During school I sold artwork through advertising in the Top 40 Music Magazine, for R5 a piece! (Lots of drawings of Michael Jackson were done at the time!) I also worked part time in the local Checkers.

At Rhodes Park in Kensington about 1988A lot of firsts

My first full time job was at a company called KMI in Heriotdale in 1995 where I did reception and admin – and where I was exposed to transcribing for the very first time, transcribing notes made by one of my bosses on a small microcassette recorder!

Damian and I 2012

In 1996 I married my first, only, and still current husband, Damian, and my first son, Andrew, came along in 1998. During this time the development of technology was moving fast. Our first cellphone was the Nokia 2110 and it was an amazing phone which we shared. The very first time I went on the internet was in KMI’s showroom, during a lunch break (I surreptitiously snuck in to go on to say I’d been on!)

Getting older and getting experience

My babies Andrew and  Brandon about 2002The company ran into some difficulty and I was retrenched in the year 2000. I advertised to do typing work and did some temp jobs. I then fell pregnant with my second son, Brandon – but one employer took me on ‘semi permanently which became permanent’ – at a recruitment company, where I prepared CVs and interviewed candidates.

 The birth of Typewrite

By 2005, the internet had progressed enough for me to ‘birth’ Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC. For three months, I worked at the recruitment company during the day, and on Typewrite by night, all the while with a husband and two little boys.

The 1st of April 2005 was the first ‘official’ day of Typewrite, although it didn’t come to be registered at CIPRO (now CIPC) until 2009.


Brandon and I 2016Various milestones flag this journey. When I started I still had dial up internet. I had to soldier on with this for about a month until our ADSL was installed. You also have to have a back up internet and I’ve been through various of those, until my current ‘back up’ – my MTN cellphone. (I’ve had the same number since 1995, by the way!) Services provided have also grown and diversified – starting out with typing, adding transcribing, adding proofreading – and just recently, adding sub-titling.

Becoming an author
In 2009 I wrote my e -book  “Working From Home as a Transcriptionist in South Africa” which is a great resource for those starting out today – as I found when I started out, there wasn’t much if anything in the way of support!

The same year my friend and colleague Alison Fourie and I founded TAVASA – the Transcriptionists and Virtual Assistants of South Africa.

The future

Today, going into 2018, the company is still in existence – we’ve been married 21 years, and those little boys are now 17 and 19.  I’ve had the support of my husband, parents, children – and my two dogs, Scooter and Shadow.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds.