When you see ads and offers for data entry work at home jobs, they’re often really teaching you about how to earn money doing ad posting. All you have to do is pay for a membership or to download the course, whatever it is the site cares to call it, and you’ll have a chance to make big money, honest! Or so they say. But is this really data entry?

In my opinion, no, not at all. I would consider data entry work to be when you’re entering data specified by your employer into a database. That’s not what you do when you post ads. Usually you have to write them yourself, although sometimes there are resources to help you. Ad posting, as suggested by most of these supposed data entry opportunities, is quite simply affiliate marketing.

Let’s take a look at some of the common things they say.

List of 10,000 companies available, and none will refuse to hire you.

This usually translates to them giving you a link to Clickbank. There are a lot of merchants on Clickbank, and most have open affiliate programs, so you won’t be declined by an employer because they aren’t employing you or offering any sort of a job. You’ll be an affiliate marketer through Clickbank, not directly associated with or paid by the company which created the product you’re marketing.

Note that they aren’t maintaining the database themselves. They may have the Clickbank marketplace all nicely listed on their site, but they aren’t the ones getting merchants interested or dealing with the issues involved in having a database of that sort.

You’ll never have to sell anything.

Define sell. If you mean persuade someone to buy a product, then yes, you’re selling. How else are you going to earn affiliate commissions?

But if you mean sell as in process the payment for the product, no, you aren’t going to do that. Not handling payments is one of the great parts about being an affiliate.

You’ll never have to contact customers.

Sort of true, sort of not. If you place an ad somewhere where there’s an option to contact you rather than click through the affiliate link, some people will do that instead. Yes, you can ignore them, but it’s smarter to have an email template you can edit for their specific needs and try again for the click. They’re interested enough to contact you, that bit of extra effort could be worth your time. But you don’t have to if it’s not your thing.

Submit short forms for the companies.

In other words, fill out the forms for the ads you’re going to place. It’s common for these opportunities to suggest pay per click sites such as AdWords, but as that has become more challenging, they may also suggest posting ads on classified ad websites, forums and so forth. Not all may be welcoming of affiliate advertising.

Once again, you’ll probably be writing your own ads. Some Clickbank merchants are kind enough to write some basic material for you, but many don’t. Besides, if you used the prepared material you won’t stand out so well, and that can be a disadvantage if you ad is one of many on the page, especially if someone else is advertising the same product.

They don’t care about your typing speed.

This is one of the big hints that you aren’t looking at a real data entry job for an employer. Anyone who is going to pay you to do this work as work will care about your typing speed, as they want to get a ton of productivity out for what they pay you. A real data entry job listing will mention typing speed.

These guys don’t care because they’re talking about affiliate marketing, and you only get paid a commission if you make a sale. Typing speed is your own problem.

Earn hundreds of dollars for 15-30 minutes of work.

Or similar claims, of course. Even most affiliate marketers work longer than that to earn their commissions. There’s a learning curve, for one thing. It takes time to figure out what works for each product.

Most of these products will offer proof of earnings that will confirm it’s affiliate marketing through Clickbank once you know what to look for. Easy thing is the earnings screenshot, which is usually a screenshot of a Clickbank account.

Faked Clickbank screenshot
Faking a Clickbank screenshot is ridiculously easy. This one took moments.

Trouble with that is you don’t know how those earnings came about. Clickbank has been working on that for products offered through their own marketplace, but in the past it has been common to use screenshots for sales unrelated to the method being discussed. Screenshots are also trivial to fake. They prove nothing. Videos can be faked as well.

What To Do If You Really Want to Do Data Entry or Online Typing

If you really and truly want to do data entry or a similar online typing job, it’s going to be kind of tough. These jobs aren’t entirely impossible to find, but they are difficult to find. There just aren’t that many companies out there hiring for these kinds of positions. I have a few listed on my data entry work at home jobs page, but it’s only a few because there are so few legit companies out there.

If you can cope with typing what you hear rather than what you see, consider general transcription as well. You may want to take a class on transcription just to get your skills built up, but general transcription doesn’t have the training requirements you see for medical or legal transcription in most cases, although many such positions still demand experience. You’ll be typing, it can be online and from home, and the pay rate isn’t bad if you have excellent speed.

What If You Don’t Mind the Idea of Ad Posting and Affiliate Marketing?

Done right, there’s nothing wrong with posting ads and doing affiliate marketing. It’s not the easy road to riches some imagine (how I wish it were otherwise!), but a good number of people do earn a living through affiliate marketing. It’s a part of my income I’d hate to give up, although I do affiliate marketing through my own websites, not ad posting. More fun to me.

Most important thing in this case is to find a legitimate resource to help you learn how to post ads… unless you’re up for the learning curve of puzzling it all out on your own. Even with help it gets expensive if you go the pay per click route, and the way things work with some sites now you may well have to set up your own website to link through, rather than linking directly to the product through your ad. That’s actually a good thing in the long run, but that’s another issue.

Don’t go for resources or programs that start talking it up as a data entry or home typing job. At that point they’ve already failed one important test, so why trust them to be up to date or honest about the actual work you’ll be doing, for yourself, no less. You want a resource that teaches you how to do the type of affiliate marketing you’re interested in because you want to do that kind of affiliate marketing, no data entry charade required.

The best resources are updated once in a while because rules change on the internet. That’s especially true if you do pay per click advertising such as through AdWords. You don’t want to have all your ads declined because you were given out of date advice on how to run your campaigns. Perry Marshall’s AdWords Guide has been a good choice for some time. Yes, that’s an affiliate link.

Whatever you do, don’t pick something that costs more than you can afford to spend. Keep it sensible, and when in doubt, start asking around.