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The Basics Of Freelance Data Entry Work From Home

Are You Ready for Data Entry Work from Home

Doing freelance data entry work from home is a great way to earn good money using the skills you already have. But even if you know how to type or use the 10-key pad on your keyboard, you may not know what's required to succeed in freelance data entry work. Here are some things to consider as you evaluate whether this would be a good business for you or not.

The Skills

The first thing you need is to be able to type, or keyboard, as its sometimes called. Knowing where the keys are, how to lay your fingers on the home keys, and which fingers to use for each letter or number are all crucial to data entry operators.

More than just knowing how to type, you must be able to type accurately. You have to be able to type with only minimal errors. Even if you can correct your mistakes as quickly as you make them, which many typists can do, any error slows your speed. And accuracy is critical for data entry since the client must have the information they need typed in correctly.

You must also be able to type pretty fast, or if you'll be using the 10-key pad, you must be have a good speed for entering numbers. Many of the available freelance data entry jobs you can find to work at home will pay by the piece, meaning you earn for the number of items you enter. With that being the case, the more items you can enter in the allotted time, the better for your checkbook. It's a good idea to practice your typing and 10-key skills until they shine if you plan to move into this field.

Equipment

Get the Right Data Entry Equipment

Once you're sure your typing skills are up to par, you need to look at your computer equipment. Some data entry jobs will require you to have a specific operating system like Windows 7, or a specific software program like Microsoft Word or Excel. If you don't already have these systems in place, but decide you're willing to buy them, it's best to do so in advance of applying for a job so you can have everything in order before you're asked to start work.

Some jobs that require specific software other than industry standards like Word or Excel, may require you to download and install their programs on your computer.  There could also be a charge for some programs you need. So you'll want to take all of this into consideration as you begin looking at opportunities. Not all data entry jobs will require specific software or equipment, but it's best to be aware up front that some will.

You might also need a noise-reducing headset if you don't already have one. Especially if you plan to type from video or audio dictation. These cost anywhere from $25 and up for a decent one and will be required for transcription. Again, you may choose not to go with the jobs that ask for this special equipment, but it's best to know everything that may be required in advance.

Zero Distractions

No Distractions When Doing Data Entry

You'll certainly need a quiet place to work uninterrupted while you're doing data entry. Distractions like barking dogs, children yelling, and telephones ringing can cause you to make errors that can cost you money, and if they're too frequent, even cost you a job. If you're able to work while the children sleep or are in school, that's ideal. If not, perhaps you can make other arrangements so that you'll be able to enter the data you need in a quiet setting, if this is an issue for you.

Special Training

Some jobs will require you to have training as a data entry clerk or specific coursework in their business field. This is especially true for health care businesses, law firms and other professional offices. While the jobs in such firms are harder to come by, they typically pay better. So if this is something that interests you, it could be wise to take a few courses to ensure your eligibility for when something does become available.

In the same way, there are data entry jobs that require prior experience. This is most often true where you'd be doing numerical entry using the 10-key pad. But it can also apply to straight typing or transcription. Of course, in this case, your only option is to work the jobs that don't require experience and build your skills while waiting to move up as the opportunity arises.

Freelance Data Entry Work from Home Job Resources

Making money with data entry work will require you to know where to find the jobs. There are some reputable sites like eLance, Guru, Rent-aCoder and others that regularly post freelance work you can try. There are also companies like All Time Favorites, NTI, SpeakWrite, and Take 1 Transcription that specifically hire data entry workers on a regular basis. You can apply with any or all of them to be sure you have enough work to keep you busy. Or you can search online for "data entry workers wanted" and find even more opportunities.

Work Hours

Clock w/ Sticky Note Saying Back in Five Mins

To do data entry work from home or any other home business, you'll need the dedication and determination to make it work. While it may seem that a home business or freelance work of any kind is a lackadaisical task, that's far from the truth. You'll need to set your work hours just as if you were going to a 9-to-5 office job. And you'll need to work diligently to finish any tasks you accept. Doing any less will brand you as unprofessional and cause you to fail in your chosen career.

Get Started

Of course, with the skills mentioned, and even just a little determination to succeed, you're almost guaranteed to make a success of a data entry profession. The work is easy to do, the freedom of working at home is invigorating, and the money is good if your skills are adequate. If this sounds like something you'd enjoy, read over some of the other articles we've posted about where to find data entry work from home careers and get started right away on your road to success as a data entry operator!

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