Digital Nomad Jobs – How to ‘Excel’ in the world of Data Entry.

No, honestly, it sounds great, just let me get another drink first.
Digital Nomad Jobs – Data enterer

Growing up as a child I often dreamed of the day I’d be able to eagerly wake up, shower, shave and suit up before heading off to my dream job in the city. Entering data. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to live that dream (yet) but maybe if I can help someone else get there, that’s as good as.

Data entry is so much more than just entering data, it’s er, um….


Wait, I got one! it can also be realising that you’ve made a mistake, deleting the mistake and then RE-entering the data.

Of course, that’s not really true, whilst data entry might not be the most exciting prospect out there it’s quite a large field to become involved in and you probably will at some point, maybe, get to work on a project that interests you. Different employers will require different things from their employees and the tasks cover almost anything you can think of which involves data and entering. There is the preparing of the data, transcribing of data, deleting of data and even, according to some research I have undertaken on your behalf, general clerical duties!

It’s a quite tough sell this. OK, let’s assume that you’re here either because you really like the idea of data entry (unlikely) or you are desperate to start a life as a digital nomad and are willing to look at anything to support you on that trail (more likely). As a professional enterer (I’ll be using that from now on) you’re going to need a few skills to get you started, hopefully, you’ll be pretty great at typing, speed and accuracy are key strings to the enterer’s bow. Never fear though, if you’re not quite up to scratch it is always possible to learn and there are plenty of tools online that you can use for free you can use to up your game. A rough guide at typing speed is 60 WPM but obviously the faster you go the more appealing you’ll be to employers. Alongside typing you’ll need excellent attention to detail, inaccuracy is an enterer’s nemesis. If you can’t correctly enter the data then you’re a fairly useless data enterer. I’m not entirely sure how you ‘learn’ attention to detail but I imagine I make hundreds of mistakes here, so if you notice any, your** welcome.
**That one’s for free.

Many companies employing you as a data entry clerk, information processing worker, data specialist or a data donkey***, will use different software for their entry work. It would be quite time-consuming to learn all of the software ever so maybe just make sure you fully understand the staples. Microsoft Office, PowerPoint, Excel and the like. It’s time-consuming for sure but it’s useful in loads of other jobs and you can almost certainly find a library or internet cafe you can practice in for free.
***If someone really wants to employ you as a data donkey you are probably looking in the wrong place.

I might be wrong but it seems to me that data entry isn’t the most exciting profession out there, if that’s the case I’d imagine that as a freelance data entry specialist you’re going to need to be very motivated to reach your targets and not just knock off after 30 minutes. You’ll need to be organised, thorough in your work and have high energy levels to keep your fingers going, word after word, hour after hour, day after day after day……

Now you have all of the skills you need you can start looking for work online, there are obviously a few go-to websites that are well-known in the digital nomad landscape like Freelancer, upwork, Guru etc, etc. You can find a much more comprehensive, and occasionally added to list here and a shorter, less comprehensive and never added to one here.

I would like to think that all of the websites listed in the links above reputable places of business, out to make money for sure but not at your expense, not everyone will be so kind. Be wary of the scam sites out there, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. One website offered me the chance to earn $350 dollars in 30 minutes, I’m not sure why they took the time to set up a website really, should have just spent the 7 minutes it took them to design the site and made $81.66 instead. However, if you do happen to own that particular website and I’m doing you a disservice, please let me know.

To find gainful employment you’re going to need a CV to show off your skills, keep it concise, no-one has time these days. Focus on your main attributes relating to the specific role you are applying for and most importantly, ensure all your data is correctly entered. Having looked at quite a few job listings whilst writing this there is actually a much broader range of work listed underneath data entry. The hours and wages vary dramatically but if you’re just looking to do a few hours here and there it looks quite good and might be a useful way to supplement any residual income you have coming in or to top up any other work you do.

Once you’ve successfully found that gainful employment the hard/fun work starts. You’ll need to absolutely dedicate your working hours solely to the job, distractions lead to mistakes lead to getting sacked. You’ll need to find yourself a quiet space to work and something to work on, it’s probably less than ideal trying to enter data in a crowded cafe on a tiny table. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it as much as you can, this job can be a slog but you can get through it knowing when you’ll finish and how much fun you can have afterwards.

What do I need skill wise?

Everything mentioned above. Maybe a sense of humour.

What do I need hardware wise?

A decent laptop is essential, it doesn’t have to be a world beater but something that runs quickly, has a decent screen and a full-sized keyboard for comfort reasons. It goes without saying that an internet connection is a must but you can get them almost everywhere so it’s probably not something you have to overly worry about.

It’s not exactly hardware but you will need somewhere quiet and suitable to work from, it will probably be a bit difficult planning this ahead of time but I’m sure you’ll manage.

Where do I find work?

All of the big guns that offer freelance work have positions in data entry so have a look there and at the other links above for some ideas and tips.

How much can I earn?

Theoretically, you can earn as much or as little as you like. Data entry is a relatively unskilled employment area and the wages reflect that, but if you’re an amazing enterer you can burn through the jobs quickly and take more on. The more jobs you complete, the better your reputation becomes and the easier it should be for you to find work. It’s unlikely that you’ll be retiring anytime soon but you should easily be able to fund yourself on your travels.

How well does it suit the digital nomad lifestyle?

It’s a tough one really, on the one hand, the equipment you need to work is minimal so on the travelling side its ideal. The work is plentiful, everyone needs data entered, it’s unlikely (if you’re good) that you’ll struggle to find employers.

On the other hand, the work has a tendency to be tedious and the hours can easily become epically long as the wages aren’t fantastic, although if you are living somewhere cheap the wages could be fine I guess.

I don’t have a third hand but I’m not sure whether or not this is a positive or negative. Time zones need to be considered when applying for work. If you’re not much of a sleeper it might be great to get up at 5 am, bang out a few hours of work for someone whose at 2 pm somewhere and then have the day off. On the flip side, it’s not much fun getting up early, feeling awful, grinding the work out and then falling asleep for the rest of the day.

Overall I think that if I could type accurately and fast, had good attention to detail, knew anything about Excel or other software, didn’t get quite so bored so easily and was planning on visiting some price friendly destinations I would almost certainly give it a go, if only so I could tell the grandkids to always chase their dreams..

(Ps. If you are a data entry specialist and I’ve offended you and your profession in any way, I am truly sorry.)