Online surveys are an excellent way to make some extra money on the side, but they can be confusing to newbies who aren’t sure how to qualify or even what questions to answer. So if you’re interested in doing online surveys, there are five things you should know before getting started with them.
Here’s how much you can expect to earn from each of the different types of online surveys available today.
Think about your time value
When you’re answering online surveys, you’re choosing to take time out of your day to participate in market research. You aren’t getting paid for your time—but you are being compensated with other forms of value (like gift cards, coupons, etc.). However, when it comes to surveys specifically (and not just generic market research), there are two types of rewards: cash and points. Cash is self-explanatory; you give someone some money and they send it back via PayPal or another service. This tends to be how a lot of companies compensate customers for survey participation—and rightfully so. Incentives like that help boost response rates and get people excited about taking part in your survey.
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Do the math on what you are making per hour
If you’re considering participating in any survey panel that claims to pay $10 per hour, ask yourself if you would take any other job that paid $2 an hour. If it doesn’t pass that test, move on. If a company says their survey will only take 20 minutes and pays $40, are they really going to compensate you fairly for your time? (Hint: they aren’t.) Lastly, if a website wants to offer you incentives or rewards for taking their surveys, look out: they may be scams designed to trick you into giving up your personal information in exchange for free prizes. Remember – your time is valuable; don’t give it away for pennies.
Only take online surveys that pay at least $2 per survey
Online survey opportunities are not all created equal. Some offer extremely competitive payout rates, while others may pay as little as $0.25 for a few minutes of your time. It is important to evaluate each opportunity carefully before dedicating too much time to it. Take just a few minutes at a time to see how long it takes you to complete each survey, and consider how long it takes you to earn enough money from that survey opportunity to cover your time commitment (and then some). For example, if you take an online survey that pays $2 per survey but only takes 10 minutes of your time, that’s $10 an hour—which is pretty good.
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Avoid spending more than an hour completing any survey
The more time you spend on a survey, typically, the higher your earning potential. Though it’s not uncommon to take longer than an hour to finish a survey (and some paid surveys don’t ask that you finish all in one sitting), you shouldn’t feel like it’s taking forever. If a survey is getting tedious and not providing you with useful information for what it asks of you, move on! The best thing to do when looking for legitimate work at home is avoiding sites that require endless tasks with no real redeeming value, or signing up for prizes offered by shady companies. Always make sure there’s an actual product or service involved before spending your valuable time filling out surveys.
Treat your time as valuable
Don’t waste your time on sites that will not reward you for completing their quizzes. In most cases, it’s best to stick with more reputable and well-known survey sites so you have a better chance of success. Make sure you have relevant information in your profile, including demographics (income level, age, profession, etc.), education history and personal interests. The more details you provide about yourself and your family situation (if applicable), generally speaking the more opportunities there are available to take high-paying surveys. It may take a little bit of time to set up everything initially but once done, it will be worth it in spades.
Create an entire profile with pictures, etc.
Sometimes, survey sites will offer you reward points that you can then redeem for cash or other prizes. In some cases, signing up for these referral programs will also land you additional entries into prize drawings. To do a giveaway on your site, choose a prize that your audience would like and then inform them about it in your survey invitation (you’ll have to contact your panel administrator if you want to give away physical prizes or gift cards). Just remember not to promise any kind of reward unless it’s guaranteed—and always follow through when you make a promise! There are plenty of survey companies around that offer rewards without requiring many points. We recommend using Survey Junkie. It’s not extremely popular with our readers but has a good reputation and offers nice features.
Take advantage of referral programs when available
If you’re already taking paid surveys, check to see if your survey provider offers a referral program. If so, sign up and get your friends, family and co-workers involved too. As you build up your referrals (and they build up theirs), you will start earning free stuff as well as cash in exchange for taking paid surveys. Take advantage of any rewards programs or cash back options you might qualify for when it comes time to redeem. You might even be eligible for free products or rebates after taking paid surveys, just make sure to read all fine print before signing up!
First off, it’s good to know that you can’t get rich quick with online surveys. While it’s true that companies pay for valuable information, that doesn’t mean you’ll make thousands of dollars within hours or days of signing up. Remember – as is often stated on many survey panels – there’s no such thing as a free lunch! It takes time and effort to complete each survey, so expect to spend anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours before you get your first check in the mail. As well, there are plenty of scams out there just waiting for naive people who think they’re going to make money without doing any work (for a fee). So how much do you stand to make from taking online surveys?