Have you ever received an email from a company that you subscribe to, asking you to fill a survey out? I recently received an email from one of my favorite magazines, asking me to fill their annual survey out. The incentive was that my details would be automatically added to a lucky draw that boasted many attractive prizes. I took the survey, and spent 40 minutes of my day painstakingly answering every question. I did not win anything, and I will admit I took the same survey last year and did not win anything then either. So what if I had spent those 80 minutes of my time completing a survey that actually gave me something in return? Turns out, you can take surveys on multiple online websites and get paid for it. It may not be a lot of money, but it sure is more than nothing.
If you are planning on getting into taking surveys online to make some extra cash, this guide will help you get started.
Can You Really Get Paid For Taking Online Surveys?
These days everyone is looking for a way to make an extra buck. If you have scoured the Internet looking for ways to earn some extra pocket money, you have probably come across many different websites offering up surveys in exchange for money or gift cards. It may seem to easy to be able to just answer some questions in order to make money, but the fact is that every company needs feedback and input from their customers. Every person is a customer in one way or another and that makes you (the potential survey taker) an important aspect of how markets work. Companies want to know your opinion because you are the one who is going to be using or buying their product or service. Companies hire survey platforms to get them the data they need in order to make good business decisions. These same survey websites will then pay you for your opinion and time. So in short, yes you can in fact make money just from taking a few online surveys.
How Much Money Can I Expect To Earn?
Taking surveys online will never make you rich. At best, the money you earn from taking surveys will let you get some groceries, fill your car with fuel, or give you some fun gift cards. Some survey sites pay as little as 25 cents for a questionnaire that could take you 20 minutes to fill out, other sites can offer you up to $3. Many of the higher paying sites can be joined by invitation only, and will send you fewer surveys because they concentrate on streamlined topics. Taking surveys online will never help you with big payments, so do not expect to pay your rent with the money earned.
If you are not in it for the cash, and are just looking to spend your free time, most survey sites offer fun gift cards from a variety of stores such as Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy, Walmart and many others.
If you are feeling particularly charitable, you can even donate the money you earn directly to a charity, as many survey sites have this option set up as well.
Do fill your profile out correctly: This is an important step that can potentially save you a whole lot of time. Once you start taking surveys, you will notice that you need to qualify for surveys. Sometimes after having spent 20 minutes on a certain survey answering questions, you will be told that you did not qualify for that survey. This is because your profile did not match the demographic needed. The more complete your profile is, the easier it will be for survey platforms to find you matches. A complete profile will also ensure that all the surveys that fit you will be sent your way.
Do be Alert: When surveys are emailed out, the more popular surveys (the ones that pay more or are quick and easy to fill out) meet their quota of people needed fast. Respond to survey requests quickly in order to stay on top of it. Basically, if you snooze, you lose.
Do have a separate survey email: Once you are a part of many survey sites, you will be bombarded with emails and oftentimes spam. To avoid your survey life taking over your regular email, make a separate email just for taking surveys. This is also a safer option (in case your details get stolen), and it will help you organize your life better – so you never miss a survey.
Do protect your privacy: Make sure not to join any survey sites that sell information to third party organizations. A good way to check this is to see if a survey company shares your personal information with their ‘partners’. Ideally, a survey company will scrub all personal information off data before sending it to their clients.
Do stay engaged: Some survey companies will send additional surveys and even surveys with higher payouts to users who are more active than others. It is a simple question of commitment, the more committed you are to them, the more committed they will be to you.
Do sign up on multiple survey websites: Some websites will only send you a few surveys per month, and some do not have features you may want like a mobile app. The best way to maximize profits is to sign up to a few different survey websites.
Do figure out your tax situation: If you are taking surveys on a regular bases, you may end up needing to pay some tax on that income.
Do remember you will not get rich: No one ever became a millionaire just by filling out online surveys. The reason for this is they do not pay that much, and there is not really scope for exponential growth (you only have so many hours in a day). Remember the reasons why you are taking surveys, and appreciate the extra spending money.
Do use social media to complain: Some survey sites have notably bad customer service teams. If you have a problem and the customer services team have been rude or unhelpful, take your woes to social media. Bad publicity usually makes people listen, plus other users will be warned.
Do create a Paypal account: Signing up to Paypal is quick and easy and will save you a lot of hassle when it is time to get paid. Most survey sites will offer you the option to get paid either through Paypal or via a cheque or gift cards. If you are planning on being paid money, Paypal is the simplest way, and will ensure that your cheques do not get misplaced.
Do read the survey: Or at least skim through it. Basically do not blindly answer questions because A) survey companies know how long it should take to finish a certain survey (that is why the amount of time is always mentioned). If you are way off that time you may be disqualified. B) Some surveys have trick questions to make sure you are reading everything. For example, a question could just say “Please tick the first box”, then if you tick box five, it is clear you have not read the question and you will be disqualified.
Do check out RoboForm: RoboForm is an online tool that will help automate some of the answers you find yourself filling in over and over again. Such as, your name, address and gender. Using this tool can help save a lot of time in the long run.
Do read the FAQs on each site: It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of each site (especially if you are on multiple sites at the same time). You don’t want to miss out just because you didn’t know your points could expire.
Do be patient and consistent: Remember that taking surveys online is not quick money. It can take a long time for websites to send you surveys, and sometimes just the surveys themselves can be time consuming and pay very little. If you are consistent and patient, chances are you will be able to make some extra spending money. Having unrealistic goals in the beginning will just make you feel frustrated.
Do manage your time: I have found that the happiest survey takers are the ones who are using their free time to make some extra cash. In this way, you won’t end up grudging the amount of time you have spent taking surveys.
Do not forget to confirm your email: First things first, don’t forget that you will have to confirm your account after registering on a survey site. If you miss this step, the survey site will assume you do not want to join and will not send you any survey emails.
Do not make a survey site your bank: Keeping money stagnant in a survey site is a big no. You don’t have any security, because anything could happen to a survey site (for example it could shut down). And your money would do much better either safe in a bank, earning you interest, or just being spent!
Do not ever pay to sign up: No good survey site will make you pay a fee to sign up. If a website is asking you for money to join (and promising a high return) it is a scam. Sometimes, it may not be a scam, but be aware that you will need to read the fine print in order to make sure you get the best deal if you are paying money first.
Do not lie: Don’t bluff answers just to fit a certain demographic. Survey sites are very apt at catching people who do this, and you can be disqualified, banned or your account balance could be wiped. In the long run it is much better to be truthful and stick to surveys that fit your demographic. If you are not a housewife over the age of sixty with bad arthritis, do not pretend to be.
Do not fall prey to spyware: Some survey companies will ask you to download a program in order to participate. This is just how they are able to keep track of your behavior patterns on the Internet. If that sounds creepy to you, note that there are a many survey sites that do not ask you to do this.
Do not lose track of your completed surveys: Keep track of which surveys you are doing (perhaps with a Google spreadsheet?) in order to know when a site has A) not paid you for a survey, B) sends you a survey you have already completed by accident (this happens sometimes and is just a waste of time.)
Ready To Start?
If you are ready to get started, here are a few legit survey sites you could check out, they have all been highly rated in 2016:
Draw: There are a tonne of things you can do on Swagbucks apart from surveys, including play games and watch videos. All for cash or gift cards!
Sign up here.
We did a comprehensive review on Swagbucks, check it out here.
Draw: It has an Android version, so you can use it on the go!
Sign up here.
Draw: They have sweepstakes and a product testing scheme too, so you could end up with lottery money or with a cool new product to try out.
Sign up here.
Draw: They stay true to their name and will pay out quickly once you have reached the cash out threshold.
Sign up here.
American Consumer Opinion
Draw: This website has time on its side. Set up in 1986, they are one of the oldest and most consistently reliable survey websites out there. Having been around for so long, they must be doing something right!
Sign up here.
Draw: This is one of the most exclusive survey companies around, so if you manage to get an invite you could be looking at earning $3 to $5 per survey plus tonnes of other benefits.
Sign up: you will need an invite to sign up to this platform. Get an invite either from other PineCone Research members or watch out for the banner ads this company places on unsolicited websites.
Here are the top 20 paid survey websites where you can try your luck.