We’ve all wondered how we can make a few extra dollars, while juggling child-care and running a home. Sometimes, we just want to feel useful again, keep the gray matter working and keep our hand in the workforce, but without having to go out and commute to a full-time job. And some of us, if poorly or housebound, may need a job that can be done from the comfort of home.
Providing a typing service from home is one option you may be considering. Or you may have already tried it.
The problem is how to detect a legitimate job with fair pay, from the many scams that are out there.
Where to look for home typing jobs
You only have to type into Google the phrase ‘typing jobs at home’ and you will be presented with pages of results from recruitment agencies, job boards and companies with listings for typing and data entry jobs you can do at home.
Scam alert: If the company is using a mobile number rather than a landline, a webmail email address, and has no registered company details, beware.
Take a look through some of results and do your research on the companies. Look through their websites, their credentials, company registration details, and check they have a valid physical presence. A landline telephone number is also a good sign, as is a company email address on their contact preferences.
- Job boards
There will be a whole bunch of jobs advertised on these job aggregators, from private individuals to established recruitment agencies. But a word of caution. The scam listings will need weeding out from here. If the job or assignment is not transparent at first glance, then it’s likely they are trying to hook you in further before you find out what’s really on the table. They won’t all be from reputable companies or recruitment agencies.
- Freelancing websites
You may also want to try registering with some freelancing websites, like Freelancer, Elance and Upwork. Again, there are some good and bad listings here, and it takes a little research, and some communication with the job poster, to get to know if it’s legit or not.
- Job Shops
If you have a job shop local to you, make an appointment and drop by to discuss your working requirements. This way, you can be sure the job agency has already vetted prospective employers, which takes away the worry of you having to detect unscrupulous companies.
- Local advertisements
Check the windows or advertising boards in your local store as some smaller companies may advertise there. Likewise, your local newspaper or community newsletters may need some office help which they’d be happy for you to do at home.
What to expect from home typing jobs
- Signing up
One big thing to remember. When you sign up to anything that involves you doing typing or data entry jobs from home, do not, we repeat, do not pay out any money to sign up with anyone in exchange for work. Neither should you be asked to pay for any licenses to use their systems or software. There should be no start-up fees. In fact, there should be no out-of-pocket expenses for you. After all, you’re using your own energy supply, equipment and premises.
Scam alert: If a prospective employer asks you for money to sign-up, join, register or by whatever term they wish to refer to it, then stay clear. No reputable company or employer will ask you for money to work for them. That’s just a little crazy, and is certainly a red light warning of a scam.
- Tests and vetting
A reputable agency or outsourcing company will want to vet you and your credentials, they will care about its own reputation and, it follows, will care about the caliber of its workers. You may be asked to take some straightforward tests. This is perfectly normal, so do so with good grace and to the best of your ability. Look upon it is an interview assessment task for a regular office job.
- Delivering work
Check on deadlines and delivery methods for your work and how you should send these back to your employer.
- Checking the work brief
Make sure you know exactly what the brief of the assignment is before you take it on so that you know the complexity and the expected length of time it will take you.
So…Is It a Scam?
The answer is, not necessary. There are legit typing jobs (also called Data Entry). Keep in mind the pay is usually low though and you will likely be competing with people who live outside of the US (India, Philippians, etc)
Types of Typing Jobs:
Here are a few of the major typing job categories. There are more, but these four are some of the more popular legit jobs.
Data Entry: taking data given to you in some form and entering it into a specified format (into a database, spreadsheet, etc). This could be something like entering payroll information into a database, compiling marketing research, or some other information gathering and entry job.
Transcription: covers a lot of different topics, but basically involves recording into digital format another format (such as transcribing audio recording into digital notes say).
Micro Typing: this is basically a special kind of ‘per piece’ job where you take type short entries that take only a few minutes each. You are usually given a big batch of items to do and you just work your way through it.
Capatcha Solving: this is another ‘typing job’ but one where you spend all day entering CAPTaCHA’s using special software. The pay is very low though so we don’t recommend this as a viable income unless you live in a third world country.
Rates of pay for typing and data entry
Whatever you think your hourly rate is, or should be, you may need to lower expectations but without under-valuing yourself. Yes, this is a tricky one and it may take some trial and error to get the balance right. Pitch too high, you’re out of the running, pitch too low, you undersell yourself.
Rates of pay tend to be very low, and this is not helped by a flood of cheap labor from overseas, often from Asia Pacific and African countries, so you’ll be competing with them. On the other hand, a good command of English and often Spanish for US companies puts you head and shoulders above cheap overseas labor.
Clarify the payment method, timings and process that they work to and make sure you submit your work and hours in good time to get paid when it’s due.
Scam alert: If the advertiser promises you the world, with a maximum amount of pay you could reach, be cautious. It’s common to see advertisements offering a range of pay, like between $15 to $200 per day. How many of their workers actually achieve that upper limit and at what cost? What does it take to earn the maximum amount? By all means, do ask the prospective employer these questions. It’s your right to do so.
Rates may be paid either by the page, or word count, or by the hour. You could be paid as little as $5 per hour or piece of work.
Does the final brief match the original advertisement you applied for? It’s not uncommon to apply for a simple data entry typing job for a certain amount of records per piece, or per hour, to only find that they are expecting thousands of records, additional research, reformatting, etc, etc and all for a pittance. Don’t get trapped into going with the flow on these. Scam alert! They have been dishonest with you from the start, so what are the odds that they will conduct a trustworthy and honorable business relationship with you?
Another thing to check out is the territory of paying company. If they are a reputable US, Canada, Australia or UK based you can pretty much be certain that the rates of pay will be about right for the job in question. If, however, they are Asia Pacific countries, because of the cheaper labor rates in those parts, you’ll find a corresponding low rate of pay offered.
Also, make sure you take into account any currency conversion rates or fees as it will affect the end rate of pay.
Equipment you will need
It’s not a scam just because they ask you to provide or use your own equipment. It’s expected. With home typing jobs, it’s very unusual to be provided with any equipment or supplies. You’ll need to ensure you have the correct set up to provide the service expected, to the quality expected.
Here’s a list of some of the fundamental things you will need:
- PC or laptop
- Microsoft Office or similar – you will need to be able to work on Word, Excel, Powerpoint and perhaps even Access database files.
- Reliable internet connection
- Electronic file storage and back-up
- Email account
As well as all the other usual things you may need, or feel comfortable using in an office environments, like a notepad, writing implements, filing boxes for your own records and papers.
Where to Find Typing Jobs
Besides the general sites that you can hung for work, there are a few specialty typing job / data entry sites you can look for specific typing work.
Scribie – transcribe audio files into written word
Aberdeen – jobs given out for captioning and transcribing
Quicktate – transcribe voice messages
Dion Data Solutions – various data entry tasks
Amazon MTuk – a site to find small micro typing jobs that vary in nature
Click Worker – a site that gives out small typing job and pays a couple dollars per job
Fiverr.com – a site where you can sell services for $5 dollars a piece. You can advertise data entry services directly to people looking for such workers.
What about flying solo?
Of course, you could go it alone. Sound scary? You bet it does. But not as scary as getting caught up in the many scams that are taking advantage of moms who just want to earn a few bucks to give the kids a better life.
You can start by placing that ad in your local store. Or maybe place an ad in the church newsletter. Make up some of your own flyers and take a walk round local small businesses that may need an extra pair of hands occasionally.
By building up your own reputation locally, with a service-orientated approach, word of mouth soon gets round and it could lead to more work coming your way.