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More and more people are making either a full-time or supplementary income from home, and data entry is one of the most common remote working opportunities. If you’re ready to start earning money on your own schedule, from the comfort of your home, read on.
Data Entry Can Mean Many Things
Data entry is a broad term that encompasses a variety of tasks. A quick review of a few job sites found the following types of data entry tasks:
- Transcribing audio and video files.
- Formatting raw data into a spreadsheet.
- Adding information from a survey to a spreadsheet.
- Pulling customer information from forms and adding it to a database.
- Researching a topic and compiling the information in a specific format.
As a data entry specialist you make take on a wide variety of tasks, for a wide variety of employers, in a wide variety of industries.
As you start looking for remote data entry opportunities, there are three sources of work you should consult: freelancing websites, traditional job search websites, and your personal network.
There are several website you should familiarize yourself with if you’re getting into freelancing. These are sites designed to pair freelancers with clients looking for their services.
More than a third of the workforce in the United States is freelancing.
- Upwork: Create a profile and browse a wide variety of opportunities. Earn good feedback ratings to bolster your standing as an expert within your niche.
- Freelancer: Similar to Upwork, with more of an international flair, and a highly competitive proposal system.
- Fiverr: Post a specific task to perform for $5, such as transcribing 10 minutes of audio, and then increase your earnings with add-ons such as next-day delivery and special formatting.
- Guru: A freelancing site aimed at tasks that require a higher degree of expertise, and including some higher-paying opportunities as a result.
If you’re looking for work to do on your own schedule, and not for a traditional clock-bound full-time job, freelancing might be just what you’re looking for. However, freelancing comes with no guarantee of a steady income, and if you do want a stable full-time income from a traditional job, these sites won’t provide that.
Traditional Job Search Websites
Search traditional job sites such as Indeed, Simplyhired, CareerBuilder, and even Craigslist. The number of remote data entry roles that you will find on these sites will be limited, but those that you do find will typically be regular employee positions. If what you need is a traditional full-time job, with set hours and a steady paycheck, searching these sites for jobs that include the keywords “remote” and “data entry” will yield some interesting opportunities.
Your Professional Network
With more than 380 million members, LinkedIn is the number one place to make professional connections online.
One of the best places to find work is through your professional network. Make sure your professional contacts know of your availability to perform data entry tasks. Brush up your LinkedIn profile, track down one of the many free LinkedIn guides, and use those connections to find new opportunities. Present yourself as a professional by creating a simple attractive website, and printing business cards for your work as a data entry specialist. Attend local networking events, such as those organized by Business Network International (BNI), and make new connections with local business people in need of your services.
Avoid Work-At-Home Scams
As remote working opportunities have increased, so have the number of scams aimed at cheating remote workers out of their well-earned income. There are a number of articles on the web exposing different types of scams and how to avoid them. One good article from Forbes suggests the following red flags to watch out for:
- Fake URLs: Some scammers pretend to come from well-known organizations, and will provide you with a website URL that is close to, but not a perfect match for, the real company’s website. Always compare the URL you are provided against the URL you find when you search the Web for the company.
- Unsolicited opportunities: While it’s possible a client may reach out to you on LinkedIn or through your personal site, be extra cautious when you receive unsolicited work offers.
- Interviews conducted over chat: While some legitimate companies do interview over chat, if you find yourself communicating with a potential employer who uses chat exclusively, be extra watchful for other tip-offs that you might be dealing with a scammer.
- Lack of verifiable contact information: If the person you’re speaking with claims to work for a certain company, but uses generic contact forms and public email addresses, you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t actually work for the company they claim to represent.
- Being asked for personal banking information: Be extremely wary of anyone who asks for your bank account information. Unless you’ve already established a good working relationship with a particular client, insist on receiving payment by a safer method, such as PayPal or a printed check.
Legitimate clients sometimes do some of the things on this list. So it’s important not to run as soon as a single red flag appears, but don’t divulge sensitive data, such as your bank account information, until you’re certain you’re dealing with a person and a company you can trust.
Making Ends Meet as a Freelancer
If you do find yourself working as a freelance data entry specialist, there are four rules for making money that you should keep in mind:
- Produce quality work quickly: To earn a reasonable rate as a data entry freelancer you will need to work very quickly while still producing high quality work because your best prospect for future work is the customer you’re working for today.
- Work for multiple customers: Develop multiple sources of income. This will allow you to be more selective in the projects you take on, meaning you can pick projects that pay more, and fit you better.
- Take on different types of projects: Find ways to get into more lucrative fields. If you begin by working in data entry, you can also look for personal assistant opportunities, or you could move into longer-form writing, both of which typically pay more than data entry opportunities.
- Specialize: If you have a skill set that makes you uniquely qualified don’t be shy about letting potential employers know. Not only will you be more likely to land the work, but you may also be able to charge a premium for the expertise you bring to the project.
Wrapping it Up
The workplace is changing rapidly. Every day more employers allow remote working, more clients search for freelancers, and more workers transition to remote working. If you’re ready to join the movement, there are many opportunities out there, and the remote workforce is growing rapidly. So if you want to make money from home by performing data entry tasks, there has never been a better time to get started than right now.