Get paid to write subtitles for YouTube videos

Get paid to write subtitles for youtube videos


Can you get paid to write subtitles for YouTube videos?

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Writing YouTube subtitles or captioning the videos pays. I know it sounds like an impossible thing, but you can make money typing subtitles or captions for YouTube videos from your home’s comfort.
You may be wondering how that’s possible and want to learn more. Here is everything you need to know about writing subtitles and captions, and getting started towards your first dollar.

A question we often get from beginners is, “Can I translate youtube videos and monetize them?” Today, we’re going to break down how you can get paid to write captions, whether you need to work for a creator, and what’s the best way to find subtitle jobs online

We’ll also cover the ins and outs of freelance captioning, translating foreign YouTuber’s content into your local language, and reposting their content on your channel. Beginners often wonder whether they need to follow specific processes to get permission from the content creators and how to go about it. 

This complete guide to caption writing jobs is going to answer all your questions.

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What are YouTube Subtitles?

YouTube subtitles are text derived from dialogue or video commentary in video games, TV programs, films, and other videos. According to The Verge, YouTube plans to end the community captions features where viewers were allowed to add subtitles to uncaptioned videos.

May YouTube fans didn’t use the feature, and those who did spam abused it. The feature will not be available after September 28, but users will be allowed to use automatic captions, their captions, or any third-party tools.

Removing the feature may leave the deaf and people with hearing problems with fewer options, but professional captioners and subtitle writers will step in and fill the void. That’s why you should see caption writing as a money-making opportunity and way to earn an extra skill.

Can I make money by adding and editing English subtitles in Youtube videos?

You can absolutely get paid to write subtitles in any language. English subtitles specifically have a huge market online because there are a lot of amazing foreign YouTubers and podcasters emerging on the scene. In fact, only 66 percent of Youtube content is in English. 

The next biggest category is Spanish and Portuguese, covering 22 percent of the available content on the site. So, if you’re a bilingual person who speaks either of these languages you can definitely become a captioner and make money.

Can I earn money for adding subtitles in my language on youtube videos?

Over 70 percent of Youtube visitors are from outside of the US and many are from non-English speaking countries. If your local language is one of the top spoken languages in the world you can make a lot of money adding subtitles to English videos. However, you will have to work with the creators of the content in order to do this. 

People often ask, “Can I monetize a youtube video if I translated it into my local language without permission from the original video creator?” Or, alternatively, “Can I download youtube videos, translate them and post them on my own channel?”And the answer is a resounding no. 

The only way you can monetize content on your Youtube page is if you own it completely. Reposting audio or visuals for another creator’s page is against Youtube’s terms and conditions so you won’t get any money for it. Additionally, the original creator will probably have a creative commons license on their content and can report you. 

However, if this is a route you want to go then you should simply reach out to the creator, tell them you think there is a local market for their content, and offer your services. That way you can get paid to transcribe youtube videos without risking copyright infringement.

Good basic equipment 1  

Can you get Paid for YouTube Captions?

Yes, indeed. YouTube supports most of the format’s broadcasters’ use. Tools like SCC, EBU-STL, CAP, etc. Those are some of the options you can use, and you can also create closed captions for TV or DVDs.

Another option is the MPEG-2 caption import. Here, you upload a video file that contains the closed captions, and they are imported with the video to create a YouTube video with captions.

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Can you Get Paid to Write Subtitles?-Write Subtitles For Money.

Yes, you can earn thousands of dollars every month by just setting up some time every day at home to write subtitles. But getting started as a subtitler can be challenging if you don’t follow the right formula. First, you need to have a computer and a pair of headphones. Here are the steps to follow.

• Decide if this job is appropriate or right for you.
• If yes, get proper training
• Apply for jobs on different platforms
• Communicate with potential clients
• Be available to work on their projects
• Work as hard as you can
• Get paid for your services

How do subtitle writers make money?

If you want to make money online you need to stay ahead of the curve. As soon as a bunch of people starts doing a particular job the market becomes saturated and it becomes impossible to gain a foothold. The good thing is that this is the best possible time for you to get into the subtitle business because Youtube recently changed its caption policies.

So, how does this work and what do you need to know? Earlier Youtube subtitles were open to the community. Fans could use the feature to add captions to the videos they were watching. But, viewers rarely put in the effort and the ones that did often mislabeled or deliberately miswrote the content. 

As a result, Youtube decided to remove this feature on September 28. So, what now? Youtube has a larger collection of content, from TV shows and films to podcasts and video games. Many people rely on captions to help follow the content, especially those in informational videos. If users can’t use third-party tools or community recommendations to generate subtitles Youtube will need to provide an alternative caption generating system. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Professional subtitle writers will now take over the job. With community captions banned this opens up huge employment opportuning for people looking to make money captioning.

How to make money writing subtitles in 6 easy steps (click to view)

Finding out if that Work is Right for You

Your motivation to make money may be the reason you want to write subtitles. But it requires more than just the need for money, and here is what determines if you are right for the job.

Do you have a love for languages? If not, you should try to develop an interest in different accents.
You should have excellent grammar skills, and there’s no other way in this. Also, be patient and adaptable to the different tones and accents.

Self-motivation is also crucial, and you should be able to stick to deadlines. It would be best if you also had a qualification that is achievable through a course.

What do you need to get subtitling jobs from home? 

If you want to make money by subtitling videos on Youtube and don’t know where to start all you need to do is follow this process.    

1. Proper Training

Many people who are naturally skilled at languages, grammar, and writing think they can start a transcription career without any training. But that simply isn’t the case. While love for languages and an ear for accents give you an edge it isn’t enough if you want to become a professional.

For that, you need to get proper training, whether that’s by joining a course or watching tutorials online. A classroom setting is better for people who are interactive learners. However, if you want to save money and have enough self-motivation to get you through a series of online tutorials then sites like edX and Udemy will do the job just as well.

2. Choose a platform and get paid to write captions

Before you can start applying for subtitle transcription jobs<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> you need to research and decide on a platform. There are numerous online communities where people post transcription jobs that can get you started but you need to know where to look. The key is to diversify and conquer.

There are many platforms where you can find and apply for gigs. Sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Indeed, etc. work as links between clients and freelancers.
Apply to multiple companies to increase your chances of landing a good deal. If you get one client, look for more to ensure you have enough work all the time.

Apply on as many sites as you can find. That way you can explore the policies of each platform, the types of clients they get and work on getting the best deal possible. 


3. Communicate

When you’re talking to a potential client, always appear calm and confident. Firmly list your rates and what aspects of the task they’ll cover. Ask for details about the job and ask questions to make sure you understand what is required of you. If you did your research right you’ll have enough information to ask educated questions about closed caption file formats and protocols.

Be open, and don’t be afraid to mention your rates. Be clear on what you can do and what you can’t.
If there’s an area where you are familiar with let them know. Also, if a video is hard to understand, be open, and notify them of the same.

As a beginner, you’ll probably get rates around $1.5 to $2 per minute. However, you can expect this to increase as you improve your profile. Additionally, the more experience you get the faster your writing speed will become so you’ll be able to make more money faster.

4. Be Available

Most companies list available jobs on the dashboard. If you accept the job first, it’s all yours.
If you are late, someone else will grab the job. Be alert so that you can get a few jobs and build your reputation.
You can even have a smartphone app so that you can pick jobs when you are away from your computer. When the clients talk to you, respond to them fast.

Meet deadlines

Only take as much work as you can afford to do on any given day or week. Keeping a detailed schedule of your workweek will let you know how much time you have to spare on your online job. Missing deadlines gives off an extremely poor impression. 

Additionally, most of the platforms you use have systems for feedback and review so poor quality work or late submissions will make future clients vary and decrease your chances of getting hired.

5. Hustle

Work hard, meet deadlines, and pick another project after you finish the previous one. Missing a deadline is a serious issue, and you should inform the company or the client so that either of them can make some arrangements.
Try to build relationships with your clients and the company. Show both parties that you are committed to delivering high-quality work on time.

Respond promptly

When you want a captioning videos job your goal should never be to search for new clients after every task. A regular Youtube creator will post content once or even twice a week at a minimum. 


During the initial communication ask the potential client what their posting schedule is like. Then, when you’re writing their scripts make sure you’re building a good working relationship and submitting high-quality work so they keep hiring you for repeat tasks.

6. Get Paid to Caption Videos

Here’s come the best part, you get paid to caption videos. Expect a range of $1.50 per minute if you are starting, and with time, as you gain experience, you get paid more.

How to write captions for money?

If you’re confused about how you can caption videos for money don’t worry, the process is extremely simple. Youtube is extremely user-friendly and supports most closed caption formats. Some of the popular options include:

  • SCC or Scenarist Closed Captions – mostly used in the US
  • EBU.STL or European Broadcasting Union Subtitles- mostly used in Europe
  • CAP – best for foreign languages because of their character range
  • SAMI or Synchronized Accessible Media Interchange for Windows Media audio and video

When you start writing closed captions you should look up all the caption files that are compatible with Youtube. Apart from the above-mentioned options, there is also TTML (Timed Text Markup Language) and DFXP (Distribution Format Exchange Profile).

These terms are nothing to stress over. They are simply tools you can use to write your captions. Then, you upload them to the video selecting the caption file option under the “Subtitle” heading in the drop-down menu on the left-hand side of Youtube.

Meet Deadline

How to Get a Job and Get Paid Writing Subtitles

How to get a job writing subtitles

Believe it or not but getting a job writing subtitles follows the same process like any other job application process. First, you need to research the field. Read up on all the popular terms and categories so you can present yourself as a professional. Next, try uploading a subtitles file onto Youtube as a trial run.

Once you understand the process apply for youtube captioning jobs on multiple platforms. Eventually, clients will respond to your applications and you can build your profile as a capable subtitle writer. 

Often people ask, “How can you make money on making subtitles or translating online?” Well, getting a job writing closed captions for a content creator is the simplest way. However, it is not the only method.

Most people wonder where they can find freelance work, but it’s easy if you find a trustworthy company with a lot of gigs and pays reasonable rates. Some of the most popular places to find a job writing subtitles are Upwork, Fiverr, Flexjobs, Indeed, and many more others. Let’s break down the list of trustworthy sites offering those kinds of gigs.

Subtitle writer jobs sites

1. Fiverr


One of the best places to find subtitle jobs at home is on Fiverr.

Fiverr is one of the best platforms for freelancers of all categories, especially when you’re starting out. The site caters to customers looking to get jobs done on a budget. Projects are generally low-cost; however, they will let you build your profile and skills as a beginner caption writer.

To get a job writing subtitles you set up an account, create a gig with your skillset, and wait for clients to approach you. Since clients have to sort through dozens of freelancers to find one with an appropriate skill set make sure you accurately represent everything you have to offer.

All you need to do is create an account, make a gig, and wait for a client to hire you. You can check their guide to learn how to create the gigs.

2. Indeed


You can always find online subtitle writing jobs on Indeed. It’s one of the most popular job search sites with hundreds of your preferred gigs.

You can find dozens of subtitle transcription jobs on Indeed. The popular site receives new applicants by the day. Similar to Upwork clients post jobs that freelancers can apply for. As a new subtitle writer, you should apply for jobs on various platforms. 

However, make sure you’re not spreading yourself too thin. It’s better to submit 10 well-written cover letters than 20 poorly written ones. Focus on jobs that are looking to hire beginners and you’ll have a better chance of getting work.

3. Rev

Rev is a speech-to-text service that specifically caters to transcription, caption, and subtitle writers. So, unlike the other services on this list that offer a variety of jobs Rev is targeted to fulfilling your needs. This makes it a top option because you have a lot of clients in one place.

Rev pays $0.45 to $0.75 per video minute. You can earn an average of $240 per month or up to $1570 if you become a top captioner.

4. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is a remote working site that has been well-established since it began in 2007. There is an initial payment of around $15 which gives you one month’s access to the job options. Since they screen and vet every posting you don’t have to worry about scams. The safety factor is a huge plus for many freelancers.

FlexJobs specializes in remote, flexible work. They promise 100% scam-free gigs meaning all the posts are legit.
They ask for a membership fee of $14.95 to access the listings, but you can try in the first month to see if it’s worth paying for again.

5. Crowdsurf

When you first join crowdsurf you get to sign up for the work market which is their main user base. Once you’re on there you can join the amazing, interactive community of writers and find quality transcription work. It specifically targets second language speakers so if you’re someone looking to transcribe English videos into your local language this is a great platform to work on.

To get started, you must sign up for Work Market; a platform Crowdsurf uses to hire their freelancers. Once you do, go ahead and register on Crowdsurf, and you will get many employers.

6. Vanan


Founded in 2013, Vanan is open to anyone who wishes to join. They offer subtitle services to some of the most famous names in the US.
Their dashboard never runs out of gigs, and you can apply there as well. You can register on-site or send them an email.

Vanan is a transcription-based service that caters to people who want a job writing subtitles. The best part about the platform is that there is no barrier to entry so beginners can find a lot of success on the platform. Their client base is broad and established so you can continually apply to new gigs as they pop up.

7. Upwork

Upwork is a freelance platform where clients post jobs for freelancers to secure and work on them. You can find all types of projects to work on, including subtitle writing on Upwork.
Registering on Upwork is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is have enough connections, and if they run out, buy more.

The Upwork community consists of over 10 million highly skilled freelancers. You get to set your area of expertise and skill level under three categories, beginner, intermediate, and expert. Here the application system works in the opposite direction. So, employers put up posts listing the details of the job, their budget, and requirements.

Freelancers then bid on specific jobs by sending an individualized application and cover letter. This process gives you more control over the process so you can apply specifically for the jobs you want.

8. works the same way as Upwork. You have to bid for subtitle projects, work on them, and get paid.
The process of starting is simple. Sign up and start bidding.

Similar to Upwork, clients on Freelancer post jobs with their requirements and budget. Then available freelancers can bid on the gigs and go through an interview process to get selected. The initial sign-up is simple and free. Additionally, the longer you work on the platform and build your reputation the more you can improve your profile.

Overall, each of these platforms has a lot to offer and while you shouldn’t restrict yourself to one in the beginning you also don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Because if you want success in the online market you need to establish yourself as a capable and skilled writer. That comes with work history, reviews, and time spent on the platform.

get paid to write captions

Closed Captioning and Subtitling Typing Jobs at Home

Many people search for online jobs to work from home. The problem is, most of the work-from-home labeled as “typing jobs” are scams. However, some work-at-home jobs are genuine and closed captioning, and subtitling is some of those. Here are closed captioning and subtitling jobs you can do at home.

YouTube Captioning Jobs

Writing YouTube captions is easy. Quality should be your priority. The more accurate you are, the better you become, and the more you get paid. It would help if you aimed at 99% accuracy.
Most projects you can find are for YouTube vlogs, e-learning videos, how-to tutorials, and listings. You can also do the same for Vimeo videos.
Always try to keep time. Punctuality and meeting deadlines will raise your rating and give you a better advantage.

Types of youtube captioning jobs 

When it comes to subtitle writer jobs there are two main types, offline and real-time captioning. And if you want to get paid to write subtitles you need to understand the ins and outs of how it works.

Offline Captioning

Offline is when you get to write captions for a video that has already been filmed, edited, and put together. Pre-recorded films and shows fall under this category. With a task like this the specific skill, you need as a subtitle writer is an information about how time codes work so you can sync your transcribed text with the spoken words. If there is a time lag of a few seconds it can ruin the overall effect of the video and that will not reflect well on your skills as a transcriber.

Real-time Captioning

The second category involves working in real-time and for live events. So if you’re a fan of esports tournaments or other online matches this is a solid niche to work in. However, the specific skill set you need here is a fast typing speed. The goal is to get the caption to sync to the words of the speaker within a 2 second reaction time. Overall, real-time captioning pay more simply because of the technical skill it requires.


Offline Captioning 1

How to Write Subtitles for YouTube

Get paid to write subtitles for youtube videos

If you choose to create your own content and captions you’ll need to know the process of uploading them on Youtube. And even if you’re working for someone else there’s still a chance they’ll ask you to upload the subtitles directly to their video. 

You don’t want to appear incompetent by not knowing how which is why we suggest running through the process at least once on your own. Don’t worry, the process is extremely simple and only takes a few minutes. Once you’re done compiling your text in the file format of your choice you can move to this next step.

  • Upload or find the video you want 
  • Go to the “more options” button that is on the left side of the screen
  • Look under “Subtitles and CC”
  • Click the dots next to the text “English for Youtube”
  • You’ll get to choose between three options that are “Download”, “Delete”, and “Edit on Classic Studio”
  • Click the edit button and you will find yourself redirected to the Youtube Editor
  • Now you can write or edit your subtitles as you see fit
  • Learning the keyboard shortcuts will definitely help increase your speed especially if you’re doing live transcription
  • When you’re done just click publish.






How to Become a Closed Captioner

Before you start captioning, you need to get some things in order. It would help if you had a computer, headset, pedal, specialized software, and high-speed internet. With these, you will be a step away from making money as a closed captioner.

Find where your strengths lie. You can work as a real-time transcriptionist or medical transcriptionist, or legal transcriber, or find typing and data entry jobs.

Once you find what you are good at, find companies that offer transcription jobs. Companies like Rev, Upwork, Fiverr, TranscribeMe, and GoTranscript are always open for new talents, and you can try your luck with them.

The trick to writing closed captions

Good basic equipment

Getting the right equipment is the first step in becoming a professional caption writer. That can include a reliable laptop, a headset with good sound quality, a high-speed internal connection, specialized transcription tools, and a pedal. 

Finding your niche

The second step is in finding your niche. If you want to become a highly paid transcriber you need to find a specific skill set. When it comes to a regular job where you’re working directly for a company or person you can choose between real-time transcription, medical or legal transcription, video subtitles, second language captioning, and even high volume data entry jobs. 

If you want something more casual there are always Youtube vlogs and podcasts you can work for, how-to videos, and other listicles. And for people who are already fans of specific channels that lack this essential feature don’t be afraid to reach out to the content creator and offer your services.

Choosing your platform

The third step is in finding a reliable agency based on your chosen niche, the types of clients you want, and the community you most fit into. It may take a while to find your place in the beginning so definitely start out with two or three different platforms.

Alternatively, you can also start by writing captions for your own channel. In this route, you use AdSense to make money from youtube contributions play. However, this does require creating original content which is a plus if you’re a creator but a con if you just want to get paid to write captions. 

Writing Your Own YouTube Captions and Subtitles

Risks that comes with subtitling jobs from home

While you can have a lot of success and make money captioning there are some things to look out for. If you’re going for jobs labeled “typing jobs” you need to ensure it’s actually a genuine posting and not a scam. 

You can avoid this problem by using a reliable site that verifies and runs checks on all their clients. Keep in mind however that while sites like Upwork offer safety and security they also ask for a fee in exchange, usually around 20 percent of your earnings. 


Overall, subtitles add a lot of value to a video. They allow a broader audience to consume content. With captions in multiple languages, people from all over the world can view and enjoy a creator’s content. In fact, when you add subtitles to a video Youtube indexes it as metadata. This increases a video’s reach and allows it to gain more traffic online.

While captioning videos does help members of the deaf community and second language speakers it also has a direct impact on the monetization potential of a video. When you add quality captions to a video the owner of said video is making more money because of it. Hence, you deserve fair compensation for the service you have provided.

Don’t be afraid to set your caption writing rate and stick to it. If you want to write captions for money our best advice is simply to start because that’s the hardest part. Once you find that first client and start improving your skills you’ll slowly build momentum. 

As time goes on and you become more experienced you’ll be able to improve your speed and work quality because it is an acquired skill. You’ll also be able to increase your base rate once you establish yourself as an expert caption writer. The more work you put into your craft the more success you’ll see.  

So, start today and get paid to write subtitles for Youtube videos.



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