5 Things You Should Know About Data Entry Online
Data entry online looks like an easy way to get started working at home; and to some degree, this is true. There are fewer barriers in terms of skills and education needed for those seeking work in this area. Companies are more concerned about you being able to perform the necessary tasks and being reliable than they are about what's on your resume. They prefer to incentivize the work instead, so if you are not fast enough and reliable, you will simply not make much money.
This makes data entry online a bit of a risky proposition for the worker. You could spend much time on it but never really earn much, so before you get started, take the time to read these five things you should know about data entry online.
Explaining Data Entry Online
Data entry can be many things, but it typically encompasses several occupations, including electronic data processors, typists, word processors, transcribers, coders, and clerks. The most common online types of data entry positions are those that use crowdsourcing technologies, allowing companies to parse out data entry into small tasks spread out across a much larger workforce.
In these jobs, which are often called microlabor, small tasks are put up for bid or out in an open call online to a disparate group of people, who then each do one piece of the data entry. More specialized forms of data entry include microjobs, home transcription, medical transcription, medical coding, and as a scopist.
Freelancers and Independent Contractors
The overwhelming majority of online data entry workers are freelancers or independent contractors. While there are companies that actually employ people to do data entry work, those companies are almost always brick-and-mortar outfits, not online data entry firms. As it becomes easier to parse out data entry tasks across a virtual network of freelancers, the number of brick-and-mortar data entry jobs will decrease.
If you are working as a freelancer or independent contractor, be aware that you are not covered by minimum wage laws, and often not paid an hourly wage, but a per-piece rate for an entire project. You are also responsible for paying your income, Medicare and Social Security taxes, and if you make more than $600 a year at a company in the United States, you should receive a 1099 tax form.
It Is Best for Supplemental Income
If you live in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, the cost of living is likely too high for the rates that online data entry pays to allow anyone to make a living solely doing it. In other areas of the world where the cost-of-living is cheaper, it may be possible, but competition for these jobs is fiercer. In the U.S. and similar countries, data entry online is best for supplementing income.
Where to Find Data Entry Work Online
Popular job sites like Indeed and Monster.com can be used to locate online data entry jobs, just be sure that the position is remote and not at a brick-and-mortar location. You can also use freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Upwork to advertise your data entry services, but this may be a slower approach because employers have to proactively look for you.
Here are some resources for where to find online data entry work:
Be Aware of Scams
Data entry tends to attract people desperate to earn some cash, so it also attracts those looking to take advantage of that desperation. Add to that the anonymity of the Internet, and it leaves room for scams. Your first step should be researching the firm; you should know their location, what they do, the number of employers, and other tangible information. If you can't find anything about the company, it's probably a scam. Another red flag is a position promising high wages and salaries—if it's too good to be true, it likely is.