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Do you want to make money from home? Do you have a good grasp of the English language and enjoy watching movies? If so, then you may be interested in becoming a movie subtitle writer!

In this blog post, we will discuss how much money you can make from subtitling movies and provide some tips on how to get started with writing subtitles for money.

So if you’re looking for a new way to make some extra cash, keep reading!

man with headset working to make money writing subtitles

Can you make money by making subtitles?

Yes, there’s a lot of money to be made in the subtitle writing business! Movie studios and production companies are always looking for talented writers who can create accurate and error-free subtitles for their films. Smaller independent content makers also need subtitles so that they can reach a wider audience.

A subtitler is also known as a captioner, and subtitles may be added to video courses, TV shows, and other forms of audio/visual content to make it accessible to a wider audience. There are three main types of subtitles: open, closed, and burned-in.

Open captions are always visible and cannot be turned off by the viewer, while closed captions can be turned on and off as needed. Burned-in captions are hard-coded into the video and cannot be turned off.

As a subtitle writer, you will be responsible for creating accurate transcripts of dialogue and then formatting them so that they can be easily read on-screen. 

You will need to take into account factors such as timing, character limits, and placement on the screen. It’s important to note that subtitles should not interrupt the flow of dialogue or action on screen, and should be easy to read without being distracting.

Subtitles are a valuable trade because they help people who are hard of hearing, they provide translations in other languages, and they allow for the viewing of content with the sound off.

woman with eyeglasses working to make money writing subtitles

How much can you make from subtitling movies?

Generally speaking, you can expect to earn anywhere from $50 to $500 per video project, or $1.50 to $3.50 per audio minute. This depends on a few factors, such as the length of the video, the number of languages you can subtitle in, and your turnaround time.

The average full-time subtitler earns about $55,000 a year while top subtitles earn $97,000 per year. If you work with a company such as a job writing subtitles for Netflix, you can expect to earn a salaried position with great benefits.

However, if you choose to work as a freelancer, you may have higher earnings overall. This is because contracted companies often have to pay a flat rate per project, regardless of how many hours it takes you to complete it.

While having a freelance job has its perks, it’s important to remember that you won’t have the stability of a regular paycheck. You’ll need to be proactive about seeking out new clients and marketing your services.

If you know more than one language, you can substantially increase your earnings as a subtitle writer. This is because you’ll be able to take on projects that require multiple languages. For example, a project that requires both English and Spanish subtitles would pay more than a project that only needs English subtitles.

a woman holding a mug of coffee making money writing subtitles

How can I write subtitles for money?

If you’re ready to write subtitles for money, the first thing you should do is brush up on your grammar and punctuation for the language you want to write in. This is because accurate subtitles are crucial for ensuring that viewers understand the dialogue on screen.

If you’re planning on writing translations in another language, you will be officially training to be a subtitler. But if you just want to write subtitles in your native language, you’ll be known as a captioner or a transcriptionist. There’s good potential for a high-paying career no matter which lane you take, but in general, subtitlers make more money.

After brushing up on your grammar, you’ll want to take a course to learn the technical aspects of writing subtitles. This will teach you how to format your text so that it can be easily read on screen, and how to take into account factors such as character limits and timing.

Related: 16 Best Transcription Jobs From Home (No Experience Necessary!)

Once you’ve completed a course, you can start practicing by writing subtitles for practice videos. Simply find a video and open a word document, and start transcribing the dialogue as it appears on the screen. Remember to format your text correctly, and to make sure that your subtitles are easy to read without being distracting.

This will help you to gauge your speed and accuracy and will give you a feel for what it’s like to write subtitles for money. It will help you to apply for jobs with confidence and will make it easier for you to negotiate higher rates.

How can I write subtitles for money?

The best way to start writing subtitles for money is by starting with small manageable freelance jobs and work your way up to more challenging projects. This will help you to gain experience and confidence in your subtitle writing skills.

Here are some of the best places to find paid subtitle writing work:

1. Start subtitling on Vanan

This company has been around since 2013 and is one of the most popular places to find paid subtitle writing work. They have a lot of work available in a variety of languages, and you can work as a captioner as well.

Vanan is a great company to work for with great management and a positive attitude. Co-workers are great and supportive, developing new ideas is encouraged, and your manager will hold you accountable to your goals.

Not just anyone can join their team of translators and transcribers. Instead, each member has to go through a rigorous screening process to ensure they meet the cut. After passing language-specific multiple-choice tests, free answer tests, and timed translations/transcriptions, you’ll be ready to get to work.

2. Work as a freelancer for Rev

If you’re looking for a way to dip your toes into the world of freelance subtitle writing, Rev is a great place to start. You can sign up for free and start working on short transcription and translation projects.

Most of the work available on Rev is English to Spanish or vice versa, but there are also projects available in other languages. The pay isn’t amazing, but it’s a good way to get started and build up your portfolio.

Transcribing audio files for Rev is a simple way to make some extra cash from home or, say, if you’re looking to make extra money while in the military. You can work as little or as much as you want, and all you need is a computer and headphones. To start transcribing for Rev, sign up for free and take their transcription test. Once you’ve passed the test, you’ll be able to start working on short audio files.

You may also be interested in: 24 Best Part Time Online Jobs to Make Money From Home

3. Use Fiverr to write subtitles

Fiverr is a popular freelancing platform that you can use to sell your subtitle writing services. You can set your own rates and work as little or as much as you want. It’s a great place to learn how to negotiate with your clients since you’ll be working directly with them.

It will also allow you to form your brand and learn the basics of marketing. To get started, create a gig and include information about your services, prices, and turnaround time. Once you’ve created your gig, start promoting it on social media and other platforms. 

That’s it! There are no tests or applications, as you can start working as soon as you’ve created your gig.

Fiverr was based on the premise that you can find a variety of jobs for only $5. While this isn’t enough money for serious subtitling or captioning projects, you can advertise a $5 trial to give people a taste of your services and hire you for more work.

a woman applying online to make money writing subtitles

4. Find subtitling jobs on Upwork

Upwork, formally known as oDesk, is a freelancing platform where you can find all sorts of work, including subtitle writing jobs. You can search for jobs that fit your skill set and apply for them directly on the site.

A fantastic perk of utilizing Upwork is that you can set email alerts. This allows you to be promptly notified when new jobs are posted and closely match your skillset and preferences. To do so, go to your UpWork account and select the Jobs tab.

These days you need to pay a fee to bid on a job, and if you get the job, you’ll have to pay a hefty commission fee. Because of this, many subtitle freelancers set their rates a bit higher on Upwork to make up for the fees.

Related: 38 Legit Sites To Get Paid to Type Online From Home

5. Join the 3Play Media team

3Play Media, formally known as Caption Max has been around since 1992, and they are partnered with some big names like NBC, Peloton, Sony, and Warner Bros. You can work on closed captioning, live captioning, audio descriptions, translation, and subtitling through their platform.

FYI: If you’re a beginner and looking for an entry-level job in subtitling, most freelancers make around $14-$23 per hour. You will need to have a resume and some samples on hand, but the application process is fairly simple.

6. Reach out to content creators

You actually don’t need a platform to find work as a subtitle writer. You can reach out to content creators directly and offer your services. This is especially effective if you’re looking for long-term or recurring work.

To find content creators, start by searching YouTube for channels that produce videos in languages other than English or with subtitles. Then, send the channel owner an email inquiring about your services.

It’s important to be professional and include information about your experience, rates, and turnaround time. You can also offer a discount for your first project to make it more enticing for the channel owner. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and build a portfolio.

a man listening to the audio of a video to make money writing subtitles

7. Caption on Happy Scribe

Happy Scribe is another great agency for beginner subtitlers. They pay an average of $450 a month and top earners can make about $3,000 each month.

You’ll start out by filling out an application, which includes a test and questionnaire. If you pass, Happy Scribe will send you a test file for you to show your subtitling skills. If you’re hired, you’ll be able to begin working immediately.

Subtitlers love Happy Scribe because it has its own customer tool that makes it easy to use shortcuts, add punctuation, and format your subtitles.

They also have a global community, which is a great way for people who work from home to connect with other like-minded individuals and get professional help. 

Related: 24 Best Online Jobs for Pregnant Women to Work From Home

8. Keep an eye out on People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a site where you can find one-time projects or recurring work as a subtitle writer. You can search for jobs that match your skills and apply directly on the site.

When applying, make sure to include information about your experience, rates, and turnaround time. You can also offer a discount for your first project to make it more enticing for the client.

People Per Hour is a great website to be hired as a virtual assistant or as subtitle writers because it’s free to sign up and there are no commission fees. It’s also a good platform for entry-level freelancers, so people are more likely to be open to working with you if you’re just starting out.

a mother working from home to make money writing subtitles

9. Edit and run quality control on captions

If you have a good eye for detail and an impeccable understanding of grammar, you can make money by editing and running quality control on captions.

There are hundreds of hours of subtitle content produced every day, and all of it needs to be edited. This creates a lot of opportunities for people who are willing to put in the work.

Pro tip: To get started, take a look at job boards or freelancer platforms such as Upwork or People Per Hour to find actively recruiting companies. You can also reach out to companies directly and inquire about opportunities.

10. Try writing subtitles for YouTube

YouTube is one of the biggest video platforms in the world, and it’s a great place to find work as a subtitle writer. You can search for job openings on YouTube or reach out to content creators directly to inquire about your services.

Include data regarding your experience, rates, and turnaround time to make the application process simpler for you and the client. Consider offering a price reduction on the first job to sweeten the deal for them even further.

11. Get a job writing subtitles for Netflix

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming platforms, and it’s a great place to find work as a subtitle writer. You can search for job openings on the Netflix Preferred Fulfilment Partners page by selecting the region you want to work in.

Visit the websites of the companies that subtitle your language(s) in your region, fill out an application, and get started. You’ll most likely be asked to take a test, and if you pass it, you’ll be able to work with them on subtitling.

Pro tip: I suggest that you apply to more than one company. Once you get accepted by at least one, it’s often best to work for a few simultaneously so that you can have as much control over the amount of work you take on.

Of course, you can work as little as you want too – such as, for example, if you’re looking for a less stressful  job after retirement

Is it hard to be a subtitler?

Accuracy is key when it comes to writing subtitles, as even a small mistake can change the meaning of what is being said. For this reason, it’s important to proofread your work carefully before submitting it. So don’t rush and take your time to build up the necessary skills.

If you properly educate yourself on the conventions of writing subtitles and familiarize yourself with the software, you’ll be well on your way to finding a writing subtitles job. You’ll eventually memorize the rules and be able to write them without thinking too much about it.

How long does it take to subtitle a 10-minute video?

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, it generally takes about two hours to subtitle a ten-minute video. This includes time spent watching the video, transcribing the dialogue, and creating the subtitles themselves.

The amount of time it takes to subtitle a video will vary depending on its length, complexity, and the languages involved. However, with practice, you’ll be able to subtitle videos more quickly and efficiently. It is an excellent opportunity to make money in one hour.

a college student make money writing subtitiles

What makes a good subtitler?

Good subtitlers understand the meaning, timing, sound, punctuation, and capitalization of the dialogue in a video, and they use this knowledge to create subtitles that are accurate, clear, and easy to read. The best subtitlers also have an ear for natural-sounding dialogue and an understanding of how people speak in real life.

This helps them create subtitles that flow smoothly and make sense to the viewer.

Subtitling is more than simply typing a sentence. You’ll need to learn the rules of the trade to be successful. For example, italics are used when a person is thinking, dreaming, or there is a voice-over. Knowing these conventions will go a long way in making your subtitles look professional.

How do you become a YouTube subtitler?

Becoming a YouTube subtitler requires reaching out to content creators directly and inquiring about your services. You can also search for job openings on job boards or freelancer platforms. Different content creators have different budgets, so make sure to discuss rates before getting started.

Some YouTube channels need to subtitle their videos in multiple languages. If you’re bilingual or multilingual, this can be a great opportunity to make some extra money. Others may be looking for editors or proofreaders to help make sure their subtitles are error-free.

You may want to consider working in a specific niche when applying to get paid to write subtitles for YouTube. For example, if you’re passionate about cooking, you could look for channels that produce cooking videos and offer your services to them. This will make you more competitive when applying for work and make it easier to find clients that are a good fit for you.

a woman typing to make money writing subtitles

How do I become a Netflix subtitler?

If you want to write subtitles for Netflix, you can search for job openings on the Netflix Preferred Fulfilment Partners page by selecting the region you want to work in. Several vendors will be listed, so visit the websites of the companies that subtitle your language(s) in your region and fill out an application.

The Netflix Preferred Fulfilment Partners page will show you the current delivery metrics, awards, and primary contact person for the company, which can be helpful if you want some information about the organization beforehand.

You’ll most likely be asked to take a test, and if you pass it, you’ll be able to work with them on subtitling. You can work with several different companies simultaneously to have more control over the amount of work you take on, as well as your earnings.

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