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Most data entry positions do not require any post-secondary education or specific credentials, and this can be a good thing. 

But, it also means that anyone with basic computer skills can take a shot at it — making work-from-home data entry work very competitive.

In addition, the flexibility that work-at-home jobs provide makes them attractive to most people. This survey results from Statista proves it: 

Online data entry
Image source: Statista

However, the high competition in the field doesn’t mean you can’t give it a try and succeed. 

You can stand above the crowd by working smart in two ways:

  • Having skills that distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Boosting your productivity and completing tasks on time, which may increase your chances of being rehired.

Let’s look at some of the work-at-home data entry positions that you can apply for online.  

Types of Data Entry Jobs

Data entry needs may vary between clients, but there are plenty of common data entry jobs that you can perform.

Regular Data Entry Jobs

These online data entry tasks mainly involve typing into text processing software, such as Google Docs. An example may be retyping a PDF document into a Word document.

Microdata Management Data Entry Jobs

These are small, easy, and very repetitive online data entry jobs, like copy and pasting or other micro tasks.

Data Formatting Data Entry Jobs  

This online data entry position involves organizing data using tools like tables, and can also involve checking for errors in data.

File Conversion Data Entry Jobs

This data entry work can involve changing files from one format to another. You might be required to capture data from an image and audio file, and then turn it into text.

How Can You Excel in Remote Data Entry Jobs?

1. Get Professional Training

As a data entry employee working from home, internet skills and basic knowledge of the software used in data entry — such as Excel — are necessary. 

But, they are not enough to ensure that you have a consistent workflow of data entry jobs. 

Make sure to upgrade your resume by taking an online course. It should relate to data entry, as this will grab the attention of your target potential employers.    

Here’s some good news — we have you covered at Small Revolution. Becoming a proficient work-from-home data entry clerk is easy, with our virtual assistant course.

This won’t just make you an expert in data entry — you‘ll be capable of handling many other administrative tasks that may come your way, and so will make an indispensable asset to your employer, attracting better pay.  

While taking a course, increase your typing speed through practice. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, 10,000 hours of practice can make you an expert in any skill. 

The higher your typing speed, the larger the quantities of data entry jobs you will complete, and this means accumulating more pay. 

2. Have a Productive Work Space and Consistent Schedule

The flexibility of remote data entry jobs is both a curse and a blessing. Without a supervisor hovering over your shoulder, procrastinating can have you wasting precious time. 

Plus, the repetitive nature of most data entry jobs can also make it harder to stay focused every once in a while.

A work-from-home data entry job requires structuring your day for maximum productivity.

Start by picking a place to work — it should be far from distractions and have the equipment and tools you need.

Schedule your working hours at the times when you are most productive, and be sure to plan for regular coffee breaks so as to keep your concentration levels high.

Have a task list for each day — it should contain the number of data entry jobs you need to complete, and the estimated time for each task. This will keep you from spending two hours on a thirty minute task.  

Keep your workspace organized — have a well-labeled folder for each task. It should include the resources needed for the task, as well as any other related files.

3. Master Data Entry Productivity Hacks

Data entry jobs can be paid based on a per-hour or per-piece basis. When payment is based on the latter, you will want to strive to work quickly while also maintaining quality.

So, how can you finish your data entry job faster?

Master the keyboard shortcuts, also known as “hotkeys.” These will help you keep your fingers on the keyboard, and help you avoid losing precious seconds reaching for the mouse.  

Find a list of shortcuts by clicking on “Navigation Help” in your toolbar. It might be helpful for you to tape a list of the shortcuts you’ll frequently need next to your monitor for easy reference.

There are hotkeys for excel spreadsheets as well — for instance, Alt+N is a shortcut for Insert.

The computer’s default memory can only hold one string of characters at a time. This means you’ll have to flick back and forth multiple times to get a copy-paste data entry job done. 

This is a time-waster.

Adding a clipboard extension to the Chrome browser allows you to copy multiple things at once, and paste them all to your document.

You can also save time by refining your web search with Google Search Operators. For example, searching:

  • “Site:” — This restricts the results to the website you have specified. Here is an example of a search for the Small Revolution site: 
Google search result for data entry
  • Using quotation marks (i.e both “ ”) in your search — This gets you exact matches to your search term and eliminates synonyms 
  • Searching A OR B — This will refine your results related to either A or B, or anything relating to both A and B. 

4. Avoid Scammers

You need to be alert as you find work-from-home data entry jobs. A report by AARP indicates that there were over 58,000 complaints about fraudulent work-at-home job opportunities or business opportunities, between 2015 and 2019.

Trust your instincts — whenever a data entry job sounds too good to be true, it just might end up being a scam.

Scammers may offer a salary that is above the market rate of $18 per hour to entice work-at-home workers. They may then ask for payment for software or training, and some may request banking information even before any work is done.

Do a background check on the potential employer first. You can search for their details in your state’s Consumer Protection Agency or Better Business Bureau

Be wary when you are required to pay for training.

Here are some legitimate employers:

  • Axion Data Services — Here, you can get long-term work-at-home data entry work. Axion hires independent contractors with about two to three years of data entry experience and a typing speed of at least 50 words per minute.
  • Amazon Mechanical Turk — This is the crowdsourcing division of Amazon. It hires independent contractors for a variety of small tasks, and does not require any previous experience.
  • Clickworker — Here, you can get remote data entry jobs and a variety of other micro jobs. Independent contractors need to complete an online test to qualify.
  • TDEC (The Data Entry Company) — This is an outsourcing company, and is constantly hiring independent contractors for data entry work.

5. Be Communicative

An office setting means the management can keep tabs on the employees’ productivity. But in a work-from-home scenario, it’s your responsibility to give the management an update on your progress.  

You should communicate extensively with both inside and outside teams for efficient collaboration — inform them of your working hours so they know when to contact you.

Communicate promptly on any issues you encounter with the data. If the main mode of communication is email, as per the usual, have an open email window to respond to messages on time.

You need to develop sharp active listening skills, which means that you always understand the message being communicated. It will ensure that you sort and enter the data as per the instructions. 

Launch Your Career Today

Data entry is one of the easiest jobs you can do from home. It’s an entry-level position that can pay well if you are fast and accurate in typing.

But, just as it is easy for you, it can also be easy and pay well for anyone seeking entry-level work-at-home positions.

We recommend getting extensive training from our comprehensive Virtual Assistant course. It will upgrade your resume and show potential employers that you are a top tier data entry clerk.

Data entry is one of the tasks performed by virtual assistants. By taking the course, you’ll become a virtual assistant who specializes in data entry. This is sure to make you marketable.  

At Small Revolution, we equip online workers with the soft and hard skills needed to excel in a full-time or part-time remote career. 

We believe a remote job can be as rewarding as an office job, with the added advantage of working when and how you want. 

Whether you want to launch an online career or expand on your skills, our comprehensive courses will get you started.    

Photo by nakaridore / CC BY

Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.