Day 1 — How To Transcribe Interviews Like A Boss

I’m self-publishing a magazine in 30 days. Yes, I’m crazy.

Tom Kuegler
4 min readAug 1, 2017

Welcome to Day 1 of the insanity — let’s hop to it. Below is a link to my podcast if you want to listen.

If you haven’t already heard, I’m creating another Post-Grad Survival Guide Magazine in 30 days and stringing you along with me whether you like it or not.

“Why Do I Need This, Tom?”

Well, if you’re into the content writing game, creating a Magazine is probably one of the best lead magnets ever. That’s beside the point though, because there’s four better reasons:

  • You’re creating extremely valuable content for your audience.
  • You’re making something beautiful that you can put in your portfolio.
  • You’re connecting with experts via interviews.
  • If you do it right, you could get a ton of email subscribers.

Speaking of emails, sign up for daily updates here so you don’t miss a beat on where I’m at over the next 30 days.

What Do You Have Done So Far?

I have most of the interviews done and recorded. That’s it.

I still have to write the articles, design the magazine, market the crap out of it, and try to get a couple advertisers in the process.

30 days really isn’t that long guys, especially when you’re designing a magazine with 50+ pages. If anything, this will be entertaining.

What Did You Do Today?

Ah, there’s the rub. I did a lot today, actually. In fact, I go over it in my YouTube video below:

So I really just transcribed pre-recorded audio today. Tomorrow I’ll show you how I prep for interviews and actually conduct them, but today is for transcribing.

Google Docs and Quicktime

So I record my interviews via Quicktime. When it’s time to transcribe them, I open up a Google Doc, name it after the person I interviewed, and put the Quicktime box above the Doc.

After that I find the “play/pause” button on my keyboard and get going.

If my subject gets a little too far ahead of my tired fingers, I pause with the hotkey and complete their thought before moving on again.

1 Recorded Minute = 2 Transcribing Minutes

For every minute your subject talks, it’ll take you two minutes to transcribe it. At least, that’s how it works out for me and my lightning fast fingers (except when they’re tired).

That’s a nice rule of thumb to keep in mind.

So if your subject talks for 25 minutes of a 40 minute call, it should take you 50 minutes to get their words down on paper.

Space Accordingly

Don’t just write out one big block of text. Space that shit up!

For every separate response to a question, hit the “Enter” button three or four times to let yourself know this is a different thought entirely.

Why It’s Nice To Transcribe Yourself

It’s good to transcribe audio yourself (and not outsource it) because then you kind of re-examine everything your subject said.

This puts things back in perspective so your subsconscious can then work on an angle for the piece you want to write.

I don’t think I’ll ever outsource transcribing duties, even though I really, really hate it.

I did a couple other things today, but you can watch the YouTube video above to get the rest of the scoop if need be.

How To Follow Me On My Journey

Instagram Stories — Follow me on Instagram to get access to my stories. I’ll drop tons of real-time video for you to watch every day.

Anchor Channel — Download Anchor, it’s one of the coolest podcast apps I’ve come across in a long time and it’s still in its infancy. If you don’t want to do that, just listen to my podcast on iTunes.

Get Daily Email Updates — Every weekday I’ll send an email documenting the previous day’s exploits. Goes out at 11 AM.

Twitter Account — Another way to follow me in real time — 140 characters or less.

YouTube Channel — Daily videos dropping late at night. Subscribe to my channel or just get the email updates — I’ll embed every new edition there.

Summary Page With Posts From Day 1 Until Now — If you’re reading this late (past August 1st), I’ve included a page on my personal blog so you can catch up on past days. Got you!

Background On The Magazine

The Post-Grad Survival Guide Magazine is a spin off of my Medium Publication, and is made for recent graduates who:

A. Want a better career.

B. Want to start their own business.

C. Like their career, but also want to side-hustle during their down time.

Because of this, I interview recruiters, hiring managers, career experts, entrepreneurs, and people who do cool shit. This go round has a lot of people that fit the bill.

Once again, if you want to get the Magazine one day before it releases on September 1, 2017, then sign up for my email updates here. Through there I’ll be sending out emails EVERY WEEKDAY showing you my process complete with videos, tweets, and my latest podcast episodes.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy!



Tom Kuegler

Travel blogger. 30 years old. Currently in Mexico. Subscribe to my Substack: