(Updated November 2017)
A phrase that is getting more and more widespread use is the “internet of things.” This is the process by which more of the things we use every day—from refrigerators to televisions—are now “smart” and equipped with data collection and sending capabilities that give us access to so much more data about the world than ever before. One of the things that businesses have learned as the whirlwind of the internet has continued to change how we work, play, interact, and take part in the activities of everyday life, is the importance of data.
Data is king. Like the old adage “knowledge is power,” for the marketing or business professional, data is power. It is data that tells you who your customer base is, what they like about your products, basic demographic information, questions, comments, and more. All of this information is invaluable when it comes to tailoring product or service lines, as well as in strengthening marketing campaigns and the effectiveness of their efforts.
This continual need for consumer data presents a unique opportunity for consumers as well. Now, it is possible to leverage your valuable opinion and demographic information as a way to earn a little money. Businesses are willing to pay for your opinion, your information, and your participation, which not only gives you the chance to earn a bit of extra cash on the side, but your opinions will help to guide the future of business and industry.
Focus groups and other ways of collecting consumer data have been around for a long time, but in the past, you actually had to go to some physical location in order to participate, or you had to be available at a particular time for the researcher to call you at your home. Today, you can partake in these activities while in your pajamas in your bedroom if you want. The internet has allowed us to take part in these efforts any time, day or night, regardless of where we are.
There are tons of legitimate places on the internet that will pay or otherwise reward you for taking the time to share your information and opinion. However, there are also sites that are scams or data mines that do not actually provide the rewards they claim. This is why it helps to proceed with caution and to do a little research about any potential site you might work with so you don’t waste your time on a scam or an offer that really is too good to be true.
Things to consider when filling out surveys online
We touched on the need to make sure that the site you are working with is reputable in the introduction, and now we are going to go into a little more detail. This truly is a unique and fun way to earn a bit of extra income or get rewards for answering a few questions in your free time. However, while this is a legitimate industry, there are people who try to take advantage of those who may be unsuspecting. What follows are some of the things you will need to consider before deciding whether or not to work with a particular site.
Paid survey sites can also be a bit vague on the payment and compensation structure, leaving people to think they are earning real cash for their efforts when they aren’t. Sites have a range of different ways that they compensate people who take part in the surveys, but how this actually works is not always the most straightforward way you can imagine.
Don’t assume that you will get actual cash for your efforts. Some sites do pay a cash dollar amount per survey, paid out by way of Pay Pal, Bitcoin, or a direct deposit to your bank account. It should be noted that these sites are the exception. Most sites work off a points system or pay by way of pre-paid gift cards. On many sites, you get a certain number of points for every question you answer or every survey you participate in. These points will accumulate and can later be exchanged for certain products or services, or be put towards gift cards.
Another element associated with compensation is the minimum requirement for access to your earnings. A lot of the time, a tiny fee is associated with the disbursement of funds from a site to a user, so they will have a minimum you must meet before you can access your earnings. This is often a low amount like $20. Be sure that you check the details of payments and find out if there is a withdrawal minimum and if so, how much you have to accumulate before you can access the rewards.
YouGov is a time-honored and trusted site that gathers international data from people from different social, political, and economic backgrounds. The idea is that the more people participate in a research project, the more representative and valuable the resulting data will be.
YouGov literally has tens of thousands of participants from all walks of life and provides invaluable data to researchers from a range of different fields, while also rewarding respondents for their time and participation.
If you are a business, there is no limit to the amount of utility you can obtain from the information and resources at your disposal on this site. Survey participants can leverage their opinions in a way that also provides them a real world benefit.
The site is comprised predominately of surveys and polls of varying lengths; the subject material is widely varied. Typically, it shouldn’t take you any longer than half an hour to complete even the longest survey on the site. This is a huge benefit as some paid survey sites have you answering questions endlessly for a pittance.
With YouGov, you get points as a reward for participating in various surveys and polls. These points will accumulate over time and can be redeemed for a range of different products like tote bags and t-shirts. You can also exchange your points for pre-paid gift cards that can be used at a variety of retailers like Amazon, iTunes, Walmart, and more. You also have the option of exchanging the points for a pre-paid Visa gift card, which can be used anywhere that Visa is accepted as a form of payment.
Data is an incredibly vital asset for today’s business and marketing firms. It has always been important to know who buys your products, why, how they come to hear of your brand, and so on, as this information can be used to help you tailor your product and service line, online user interface, marketing endeavors, and more. Due to the value of this data, businesses and marketing firms are more than happy to pay people for their opinions and some basic demographic data, giving you the opportunity to leverage your opinion to earn a little extra money on the side.
With the internet, you can easily sign up for and take part in a variety of different surveys, demographic studies, and focus groups, while getting rewards by way of cash or gift cards for your efforts. While there are a ton of truly legitimate sites that will reward you in a fair way for your time, there are also a lot of scams and people who are looking to get your data without providing any compensation for it. This is why it pays, literally, to be skeptical. Do research and trust your gut on anything that seems too good to be true.
With a bit of critical thinking and research, you will have your pick of a range of different, quality paid survey sites, like YouGov. These sites aren’t going to make you rich or replace your day job, but they will give you a bit of extra money on the side that can really be a lifesaver in today’s uncertain economy. And it just makes sense to leverage some benefit from the constant barrage of advertisements and other efforts to sell us various products, services, and ideas.