When I started freelancing and working remotely, I was willing to take anything. That included doing menial, mind-numbing tasks. If it made me money. Writing content made sense: even though I initially made relatively little, it still added up to a pretty alright hourly wage.
Then, I stumbled across a range of different data entry jobs that could be done from home. I was intrigued, so I investigated further.
But wait… What is data entry?
Data entry is simply a task. Data entry, in essence, is simply a task. It’s a part of the general work day for a number of professions: copywriters, programmers, virtual assistants and many more. In the olden days, it was a typical “basic” office job. Of course, nowadays it is entirely possible to do this job remotely. After all, only a computer is necessary (and you have to communicate with your superiors… but you don’t need to be physically present to do that!).
…typing various forms of data into electronic formats. This can be Excel sheets, Word documents, etc.
As a fresh-faced freelancer, I thought this would be an excellent way to earn some money. Possible even develop new skills or introduce me to new concepts. There were both full-time and part-time remote positions advertised: naturally, these seemed perfect to me.
After some investigation, I saw what data entry jobs from home really look like
I’m not saying all data entry jobs from home aren’t worthwhile. What I am saying though is: don’t get your hopes up. In this type of remote job, your role is to follow instructions down to a mark. Often all you need is a basic laptop with a good Internet connection. The specifics of what you do is down to the client/company you’re working for.
Tasks could simply include organizing or transferring data. Typically, there are really only two types of legit data entry jobs people do from home. They can be…
- Small, micro-tasks (such as with platforms like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk) which don’t pay very much. Maybe a couple of dollars here and there.
- Then the “full-time” variety… Which is often part of a much larger job description, which you will also need other skills for. Virtual assistants, for example.
If you avoid the scams and are looking for something genuine, you need to expand your skillset or look for more specialized jobs. No matter what the Internet promises you, most of these jobs are basic, grunt labor. You’re never going to make thousands of dollars by simply pressing a few buttons. Not legally, anyway.
So what should I really be looking for?
You shouldn’t be specifically for data entry. Remote job positions that often require ‘menial’ tasks are very common… These days, they’re known as VA roles. However, these roles also require a much broader range of skills! The more skills you have, the better pay you’ll command and the better the quality of remote job you’ll find.
Virtual assistants are essentially there to assist others in any time-consuming tasks that need to get done. The creative department needs a few images/videos quickly edited, SEOs need a few articles uploaded quickly, the CEO needs his next trip to be booked… That’s what the VA is for.
VA positions also pay better than a lot of data entry jobs… And they can be done from home!