House of Afrodite “Thought I Wanted To Be” Mini-Series is where I document my progress to find a side hustle that will turn into a location independent gig. DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this post are purely my own and should in no way influence your decision to enroll in this course.
As you know, I’m on a journey to find a side hustle that will allow me to eventually leave my corporate job. If you didn’t know, feel free to read all about it here. I do have to warn you that this was not my one and only attempt to find something.
This was not the one and only time I plunked down money for a program that captured my interest. At the time.
This isn’t called a mini-series for nothing.
In this post about Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ (TPTP) by Proofread Anywhere, you’ll find out what I liked about this course and my results. It’s currently the only structured training program in transcript proofreading available, and it’s the first-ever online course designed specifically to train proofreaders. Proofreaders for court reporters, that is. It also provides a Certification of Completion upon receiving a score of 90% or higher on the cumulative final exams.
SIDE NOTE: At the time I enrolled, the price of this program was $897. It’s now $1174. Additionally, the layout of the course may be different, but from what I can tell, it’s still hosted on the Proofread Anywhere site.
If, like me, you’re looking for a side hustle and want to know if shelling out $1174 is right for you, I’ll get to that down below. But first, who the hell is Caitlin Pyle why should you trust her to help you earn extra income?
MEET YOUR HOST: Caitlin Pyle, Creator and Founder of Proofread Anywhere
In her own words: My passion for proofreading started when I studied abroad in Germany for a year in college and would help students proofread their college essays. I loved using my grammar talent to catch errors and help others turn their writing into masterpieces.
That love for proofreading continued to grow. I took my general proofreading skills to the next level when I got into proofreading transcripts for court reporters back in 2012. I was so good at spotting errors, I became known as “Eagle Eyes”. In fact, proofreading transcripts became my primary source of income in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
Because I was so passionate about proofreading, I started Proofread Anywhere.com as a blog back in 2014, and it’s exploded since then. Through my proofreading career, I’ve been able to proofread literally anywhere, including a whole year I spent in South America!
Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ (TPTP) is hosted on the Proofread Anywhere website. It’s clean, very easy to navigate, and makes the learning process stress-free and even enjoyable. It easily tracks your progress in the course, not letting you move forward until you’ve completed each section, and allows you to seamlessly move back and forth between lessons by clicking the buttons at the bottom of your screen.
Once your payment goes through, the course kicks off with some administrative stuff such as an introduction to the course, a video tour of the course, and how to join their private support group on Facebook. A full course Resource Library is also avail for students to download the printouts, worksheets, and tools found within the course units.
Here are all the individual sections you’ll find in this course:
Module 1 Introduction to Transcript Proofreading
Unit 1 Introduction + Course Tour
Unit 2 Skills Needed to Proofread Transcripts
Unit 3 Court Reporters, Steno, & Transcripts … Defined
Unit 4 How a Transcript Becomes a Transcript
Unit 5 Depositions vs. EUOs, Guidelines for Interpreted Proceedings, and Things Typically Included in Various Types of Transcripts
Unit 6 The Anatomy of a Transcript + QUIZ
Unit 7 Additional Introductory Resources
Module 2 The Nuts & Bolts of Transcripts
Unit 1 Types of Errors
Unit 2 Transcript Format
Unit 3 Commonly Misused Words
Unit 4 List of Common Legal Terms + Looking Up Medical Terms
Unit 5 American vs. British Spellings & Other Notes on Spelling
Unit 6 4 Most Violated Comma Rules in Transcripts
Unit 7 A [Short] Lesson on Apostrophes + Worksheet
Unit 8 More Punctuation Rules + PRACTICE
Unit 9 18 Transcript-Relevant Capitalization Rules + The Word Skills Test
Unit 10 Moving on to Level 3: NextSteps
Module 3 Marking Up Transcripts
Unit 1 Method 1: Marking Up a Transcript on Paper
Unit 2 Methods 2 & 3: Marking Up on a Computer and Writing an Errata Sheet
Unit 3 Method 4: Marking Up With an iPad
Unit 4 Method 5: Proofreading to Audio – Added 8/7/17
Unit 5 Method 6: Using CAT Software
Module 4 Getting Comfortable Using iAnnotate for iPad
Unit 1 Setting Up the Toolbar
Unit 2 Using the Tools and Creating Stamps
Module 5 Practice Transcripts
Unit 1 Rules vs. Preferences and How to Avoid Death by Commas
Unit 2 Practice Transcripts
Unit 3 Practice Transcripts — ANNOTATED VERSIONS
Unit 4 Module 5 Midterm Test
Unit 5 Module 5 Midterm Transcript
Unit 6 Moving on to Level 4: Launch & Earn
Module 6 Corresponding Within the Court Reporting Profession
Unit 1 New Client Guidelines for Smooth Sailing
Unit 2 Receiving Jobs — My Process
Unit 3 Teaching Clients to Print a PDF (IMPORTANT for iAnnotate Users)
Unit 4 Turnaround Time
Unit 5 When You Need Time Off
Unit 6 When to Fire a Client
Unit 7 When You Make a Mistake
Module 7 Billing and Accounting Procedures + Final Exam
Unit 1 How to Set Your Rate
Unit 2 How to Bill Clients
Unit 3 When to Bill Clients
Unit 4 [VIDEO] Taxes and Incorporation
Unit 5 Final Exam
Unit 6 Exam Transcript + Application for Certificate of Completion
Module 8 Connecting with Potential Clients
Unit 1 Marketing Authentically on LinkedIn
Unit 2 Social Media Training Videos
Unit 3 How to Get Clients — and How to Royally Screw It Up
Unit 4 “DO NOT CONTACT” LIST
Unit 5 IMPORTANT WARNING on Sending Emails to Clients
Unit 6 Marketing Techniques Quiz
Unit 7 3 Ways to Find Clients
Unit 8 Active vs. Passive Marketing
Unit 9 Kelley’s Day in Court
Unit 10 Things to Be Careful About + Importance of Protecting Your Reputation
Unit 11 Building a Website
Unit 12 Student Q&A
Module 9 Concluding Lessons
Unit 1 Commencement
Unit 2 Know Thyself … and Be Cool With Who That Is
Unit 3 Dealing With How the Past Has Affected Our Present
Unit 4 Impostor Syndrome
Unit 5 The Graduate Directory + Retake the Word Skills Test
WHY I THOUGHT I WANTED TO PROOFREAD TRANSCRIPTS FOR COURT REPORTERS
I honestly don’t remember how I came across Caitlin’s program. I was probably reading a blog post somewhere and saw her company, Proofread Anywhere, mentioned in it. I clicked on the link, went to the website and did what I do best.
I read about the in-depth program. And it really is in-depth and extremely intense.
Then I read the blog posts about students who had been through the program.
The more I read, the more intrigued I became. Here I am, looking for a side hustle, and this seemed to be a solution.
I. LOVE. To read <said in my best Oprah Winfrey voice a la her Jenny Craig commercial>. I think I’ve got a handle on spelling and grammar (hell, I’m a writer, after all). Court reporters was a unique niche that I’d never even considered.
So, in April 2016, I invested the program. Babendude even bought me a mini-iPad and I purchased some stylus pens and downloaded iAnnotate to my iPad.
WHAT I LIKED
- Caitlin’s quote: “Living the life you want is possible for anyone willing to do what it takes to get there. I’ve never met anyone who said it wasn’t worth it!” I think this needs to be on a plaque or something.
She doesn’t sugar coat it. In the intro to the course, she actually says “I can’t make you a good proofreader.” She adds: If you think you’re good, and you proof a job and the client is unhappy, that is not a result of this course, it is a result of you. That’s not me being mean or disrespectful, I’m just telling you like it is! So be good and ready to work, study, take constructive criticism, and make improvements where needed. Leave your ego at the door, understand you don’t know what you’re doing yet — but that you will — and be okay with being a beginner.”
Caitlin has had to defend her program because there have been naysayers talking shit. Some people are looking for a get-rich-quick scheme and this program is definitely. Not. That. You have to werk it, people! This is like a college course, complete with a Certificate of Certification.
- Another aspect of this program that I liked? It doesn’t allow you to skip ahead. You can try. You can blow through each unit and module, but Module 5, Unit 4 will be the first true test of your knowledge. At that point, the Proofread Anywhere team will know whether or not you’re serious.
- The Facebook support group was, well, very supportive. I never participated, but the few times I scrolled through, there was nothing but love, encouragement, and assistance from the all the members.
- I think the best aspect is that you actually have access to Caitlin. She responds to questions and emails more often than you might think for someone running these programs. I was really impressed with that (and you’ll see why when I talk about the other side hustles).
- As of 9/15/17, they offer one-on-one tutoring sessions. I’m positive I would’ve needed that.
Ahem...so you see the red highlighted modules above? Yeah, that’s as far as I got.
To be honest, I think it was 50% lost interest and 50% was just feeling self doubt and not feeling prepared enough.
You’re tested on grammar and spelling and while I did good on spelling, I scored low on grammar. I didn’t totally bomb it, but it was enough to set me back a little and allow the self-doubt to creep in.
“I’m a writer. How could I have scored low on fucking grammar, for fuck’s sake!”
I think that was part of my problem. I was thinking like a novel writer. But I wasn’t reading novels, I was reading transcripts. Big difference.
My other mistake was checking out the FB Group before starting on the practice sessions. I saw all the questions, the scenarios where “this” was right on that practice test, but wrong on that one…
And the self-doubt crept up higher like a stealthy ninja.
What made me eventually abandon the program was that it felt too much like schoolwork: documenting sources, names of places/titles and the like had to be written a certain way. That sort of thing.
I mean, shit! You take midterms!
You take a final exam!
You get a fuckin’ Certificate of Completion if you get a 90% or higher on that final exam.
It was just too technical for me.
I didn’t want my side hustle, something I eventually want to do full-time, to feel like was back in school getting my BA.
Start small. I should’ve started out with the Beginner’s level and worked up from there. But I didn’t.
I was still on board when I went through the free 7-Day Course thing. But I was thinking with my creative mind and my Gemini heart, and jumped into the full program.
THIS SIDE HUSTLE IS FOR YOU IF…
- You’re a little bit familiar with legal jargon (you don’t have to be, but it might help)
- Your friends refer to you as the Punctuation Police
- You want to work in a unique niche
Next week: Side Hustle Idea #2