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AI Business Idea 3: Make Money From Automating Data Entry Tasks

This step-by-step guide offers tips and tools for making money through data entry, enabling you to work smarter and faster.

What is Data Entry?

Data entry involves transferring information from different sources into spreadsheets, databases, or programs. This includes online research, document conversion, and copy-pasting data. It demands attention to detail and basic computer skills, playing a key role in keeping records accurate and organized across industries.

Typical data entry tasks

 Data entry tasks include:

  • Building a list, such as potential customers, from the internet and entering it into a spreadsheet.
  • Updating bulk data in a document.
  • Extracting text from PDFs or images and converting it to Excel or Word format.
  • Inputting sales figures into databases.
  • Entering data from Excel into an online platform.

Why making money with Data entry?

Data entry, a popular category on UpWork and Freelancer.com where AI tools can automate much of this work. Data entry offers consistent demand, low entry requirements, work flexibility, and a chance to improve computer skills. 

Where to find jobs for data entry?

Data entry jobs are found primarily on freelancing sites like:

Step by Step Guide

For this guide we will use UpWork as it’s our preferred platform. However, you can use Fiverr, Freelancer or any other platfrom of your choice.

1. Register at UpWork

Go to the registration page and create your account.

2. Create a profile

The three most important things in your profile are:

  • The profile photo should be a clear image of yourself against a light background. It ought to be professional, inspiring trust in future clients.
    Good versus bad profile picture for freelancing sites
  • For the profile bio, we can use ChatGPT to help us write an effective one. 
    Here’s a prompt:
    “I’m a data entry specialist that works on UpWork.com. I frequently use AI tools to ensure higher quality and deliver work faster. Create a captivating headline and profile description of my profile. The description should start with 2 sentences focusing on my results from previous data entry jobs, like building lists, extracting data from PDFs and Images, and filling up spreadsheets. The headline should be descriptive, punchy and extremely short. Give me 5 versions of each.”

    Review the five variants and choose the one you like the most, or merge several into one. Go with whatever sounds best.
  • Portfolio – Provide 2-3 work examples that demonstrate results. These examples should include images and, ideally, numerical results.

Here’s a good video explaining how to set up your UpWork profile.

4. Use the following AI tools

We suggest two types of tools: free and paid. The free tools may have limitations or lack automation, but we recommend using them to get started. Once you have enough clients and work, you can invest in the paid ones to save more time.

Here are the most suitable tools to assist you with the following data entry tasks:

Writing Excel Formulas

  • GPT for Work – An AI assistant specialized in writing Google Sheets and Docs formulas is available for free. You just need to enter your OpenAI key to use it.
  • Formula bot – similar to GPT for Work, this tool is paid and can be used even without an OpenAI key. It costs $9 per month to use.

Take information from websites (Web Scraping)

For tasks like copying data from websites to Google Sheets, Bardeen and Browse.ai are top choices. Bardeen has more integrations, while Browse.ai is easier to use. Choose what suits you best!

  • Bardeen – this tool extracts data from websites and automatically inputs it into a Sheet or other tools, supporting numerous app integrations. A limited free plan is available, with paid plans starting at $15 per month.
  • Browse.ai extracts data from websites to spreadsheets with its easy browser extension, offering 50 free scrapes and paid plans from $19/month.

Scan images or PDFs and extract the information

  • Google Keep is a free tool that extracts text from images. It’s ideal for small tasks. Simply take a photo, and it converts the text in the image to text. Google Keep is completely free!
  • Nanonets Nanonets can read any PDF or image and automatically input the data into Google Sheets, HubSpot, Stripe, and many other apps, supporting work automation. However, it costs $0.3 per scanned page or image, and it takes some time to learn how to use the product.

Transcription of video or audio

  • Otter.ai, known for its accuracy and features, is our top choice for transcribing audio and video to text. It provides 300 free minutes monthly, with paid plans from $16.99/month.
  • Capcut, a free video editor installed on your computer, transcribes video or audio to text. While its transcription is entirely free, it requires manual copy-pasting to documents, as it doesn’t automatically send text to Google Sheets.

Video Tutorials

These additional tutorials will guide you through the steps necessary to become a successful data entry specialist using AI.


Data entry serves as an excellent side hustle that, with expertise and scaling, can evolve into a full-time business. Building your profile to attract more clients is crucial, just like in any other business, and this requires time and dedication.

The recommended AI tools in this guide are designed to streamline the data entry process, enabling you to complete more projects efficiently and save time. By leveraging these tools, you’ll gain a competitive advantage, making it easier to earn substantial side income through data entry tasks. Best of luck in your endeavors!

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