How To Make Money With Online Surveys

How to make money with online surveys.
ID: 114702742 © georgejmclittle | Depositphotos

The Truth About How To Make Money With Online Surveys

First, a reality check. You will never get rich filling in online surveys. Neither will you ever earn enough to give up the day job, it would just take up too many hours. However, it is possible to make a few hundred, even a couple of thousand or more dollars, pounds or euros a year. How? To make money with online surveys you need to have a strategy and to use your head, otherwise you can end up wasting a lot of time for nothing.

If you want to make a little extra cash to pay for something like a new laptop or cell phone, go on a vacation of finally have those home improvements done and you can wait a month or two or more for the money, if you can spare an hour or two a day, then online paid surveys may well be your solution. 

There has never been a better time to become involved with online surveys, the industry is coming of age with an air of professionalism that wasn’t there a few years ago. 

When a big brand wants to bring out a new product or service, or improve on an old one, it needs to test the water first to find out if it is going to be popular, otherwise they could lose millions with a failed product launch or misplaced advertising campaign. 

So big brands, as a sort of insurance policy, are prepared to pay big money to market research companies to find out the opinions of you and me. They want to get inside our heads, they want to know what we are thinking. 

How Online Surveys Work

How do online surveys work?
ID: 63152371 © gustavofrazao | Depositphotos

When you are paid for your opinion, when you are paid for successfully filling out an online survey, the market research company is passing some of the money it has been paid by the big brands on to you as compensation for your time and trouble. 

Your answers help the big brands adjust and tweak their products in a way that will improve their sales by giving their customers what they want. The big brands win, the survey companies win and you win. 

Run by the market research companies, there are many online survey sites around the world that are always looking for new members. Some are very good, some are not so good and, of course, there is also out there the usual make money online scammers posing as online survey websites. The latter, rather than paying you, will take as much cash away from you as they can, so must be avoided at all costs.

How To Avoid The Online Survey Scams

So, before we move to the legitimate websites, let’s start with how to avoid the scams. The first sign that you have found a scam rather than a genuine site is if they ask you for a signing on fee and your credit card details. 

All genuine online survey sites are free to join and they will never ask you for your credit card details further than what brand you use for survey purposes. Neither will a genuine site ask you for your social security number, so make a swift exit from any site asking for this. 

Promises that you will earn thousands every month should also set off the alarm bells and send your mouse pointer scurrying for the “X” in the top corner of your browser. If filling in online surveys was that lucrative, everybody would be doing it.

Remember the golden rule of the make money online sector:

If it sounds too good to be true, it surely is!

If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is!
ID: 80666370 © solar22 | Depositphotos

Finding The Legitimate Websites Where You Can Earn Cash 

That’s the scams and pitfalls taken care of, now let’s find the good sites. I say sites because you are going to need to sign up for more than one. 

If you only join one survey site you could be waiting a long time for a survey to come up that fits your profile and that you qualify to complete. It would take a long time to see any cash building up. 

To ensure that you have a steady flow of survey offers it’s best to sign up for as many sites as you can cope with. You don’t have to fill in every survey offered to you, so it’s better to miss a few rather than not have any to fill in at all. 

Another reason that you need to join more than one survey site is that no one company works for all of the big brands. Join several sites to make sure you receive survey offers from a range of big paying big brands. 

To increase your earnings potential you need to be filling in the best paying surveys that you qualify for. The big brands are usually the providers of the better paying surveys.

To find the best sites observe how professional their website and setup looks. If it has an amateurish, spammy appearance it’s probably going to be best to avoid it. 

A professional-looking online survey website.
ID: 136281340 © garagestock | Depositphotos

Look for how well established the site is, how long it has been around and what they have achieved. The better ones will be boasting of how many tens or hundreds of millions they have paid out to so many million members. 

Read the reviews, and by that I mean the genuine reviews from actual users. There are one or two review websites where I’ve read what they have to say about certain survey sites and wonder if they have ever even actually visited them. Some of them carry reviews for survey sites that don’t even exist any more.

The Important Things To Consider

Look at how much the sites pay out on average per survey, how long the surveys take to fill in for that money and how much cash you have to accumulate before you can withdraw your earnings. 

If the maths work out to around $3 to $4 per hour, then the site is probably going to be worth signing for. You may even find ones that pay at a higher rate or will do when you have established yourself as a consistent filler-in of surveys and you are offered the better ones.

All of the survey sites have a minimum threshold at which you can withdraw your earnings. This can typically be anywhere between $10 and $50 that you have to earn before you get to see any cash. That doesn’t mean that the $50 site is any worse than the $10 site, in fact it may even have the better surveys, it just means you will have to wait a little longer for the satisfaction of having your hands on the cash. 

This will not matter much if you are saving for a $500 dollar laptop except for it can be a little disconcerting to reach $49 and that last survey you need isn’t forthcoming, as can happen. 

If you do find yourself in this position there is a trump card you can play to get you over the threshold. Nearly all of the survey sites have a “refer a friend” scheme where they supply you with a unique link that you can message to a friend who may be interested in online surveys. 

If your friend then proceeds to sign up with that particular site using your link, you will have a predetermined amount of cash credited to your account, thus sending your balance over the threshold limit and allowing you to withdraw your cash.

On a lot of survey websites you are initially rewarded in points which you can then convert to cash when you have accumulated a predetermined number of points and are eligible to make a withdrawal. This is just a small extra inconvenience but as long as you know exactly how many points are worth how much money, there is no real problem.

The majority of sites will now allow you to withdraw your cash directly to your PayPal account, which means you will usually see it within 24 hours of requesting it. 

Some will offer a check as an alternative if you don’t have or don’t want to use a PayPal account. However, a check could take days or weeks to reach you and then you have to wait for it to clear in your account.

A few sites are exclusively cash but most will offer you the choice of cash or one of a range of gift cards for big brands such as Amazon, Walmart and iTunes, to name just three. There may be the option to take your gift cards as electronic vouchers but if you are being sent physical, plastic gift cards bear in mind that these can also take weeks to arrive. 

A large stack of colored gift cards.
ID: 16961505 © | Depositphotos

A few sites do not pay any cash at all and only allow you to redeem gift cards for your efforts. Even fewer pay neither cash nor gift cards but instead allow you to use your accrued points to enter sweepstakes and auctions. I am not a big fan of the latter. Yes, you could get lucky and win thousands of dollars or a high end product but you could also end up with nothing to show for hours of effort and that can be very disheartening.

For Variety, Consider Sites That Offer Alternative Ways To Earn Cash

One further aspect to consider when choosing which sites to sign up for is do they offer any other ways of earning money or points other than then online surveys? Sometimes it’s good to have some variety. Many sites now allow you to earn money by watching video adverts or for playing games. Be careful with the latter as in some cases you have to pay to play the game and you may not earn as much as you would have paid. 

Some sites will pay you to search the web, they want to know what you search for, or they may enter you into free sweepstakes. The best alternative to have, though, is product testing. Random members are sent a particular product for free to test, review and then keep. Admittedly, you have to be lucky to get sent one.

There is also another product test scheme where you ave to buy the product first and then test and review it. You are then reimbursed for the product plus a little extra for your trouble.

You could never earn enough just by product testing, you wouldn’t receive nearly enough products to test but it is an interesting addition to break up the monotony of filling in survey after survey.

Set Up A New, Dedicated Email Account

As I said before, you will need to join several survey sites to make this form of home income worthwhile. All of these companies are going to be sending you perhaps two or three emails a day, meaning your inbox will soon have a cluttered and confused look as this mail mixes with your usual mail. 

For this reason I recommend that you open a separate email account with a different provider solely for receiving and sending your survey related emails. That way all of your survey emails are easy to spot and do not interfere with your regular mail.

A man checking his inbox for messages.
ID: 126973780 © Rawpixel | Depositphotos

You will need to check your inbox several times a day as some surveys only remain open for a few hours or until the required number of people have filled them in. As you can probably appreciate, the best paying surveys tend to go very quickly.

There are plenty of free providers out there to choose from. I like to keep the main players like Gmail and Yahoo for my general correspondence and to use one of the better minor players such as Zoho, or Yandex for my survey mail. All of these will give you one free email address plus more than adequate cloud storage. 

Using a separate provider for survey emails also has the advantage that if you do give surveys a try and find aren’t what you want to do you can just close the email account and you won’t receive any more messages from the survey sites.

What Happens After You Sign Up

So that is what you need to be on the lookout for when signing up but what happens after you join? 

All of the good sites will ask you to fill out your profile details immediately you become a member. It is important that you complete your profile on each and every site in as much detail as you possibly can so that you can be sent surveys that are relevant to you. Be as honest as you can as you will get found out and not sent any more surveys if you, let us say, exaggerate the truth a little. 

You need to be filling in only surveys that are relevant to you otherwise you will get blanked out before you reach the end of the survey. This can be very frustrating if you have spent the best part of an hour filling out a long survey only to be told that your are “not eligible for this survey” just before you reach the end.

Some people think that they are being scammed in some way if they are blanked out before completing their surveys. This is not so, it just means that they did not fit the exact demographic required by the brand.

Sometimes you may need to answer some more questions to discover if you qualify for a particular survey and that you fit the target demographic. 

For example, a cosmetics company isn’t interested in your opinion if you don’t wear makeup, or a movie streamer doesn’t care what you think if you don’t watch movies, that sort of thing.

Your answers are then added to your profile for future reference. Over time as your profile becomes more developed the surveys you receive will be much more laser targeted to you and there will be less chance of you being blanked out towards the end. 

This is good because earning money from this business depends upon filling in the highest earning surveys as regularly as possible and consistently having your answers accepted.  

Don’t Let Surveys Take Over Your Life

A woman using her laptop during her tea break.
ID: 1593326 © sundikova | Depositphotos

As I said before, if you spend too much time on surveys, say more than three or four hours a day, you would be much better off finding yourself a part time job, assuming there are any around, that is.

Just stick with filling surveys in at times you would normally be idling around, for example, during you lunch break, commuting on the bus or train or while you’re watching TV. You will soon see your funds start to accumulate.

I am not going to review any sites here but I will be posting some reviews in the near future. In the meantime here are some names, in no particular order, that you might like to try in your search engine:

  • Swagbucks
  • InboxDollars or InboxPounds
  • LifePoints
  • MyPoints
  • Toluna
  • Vindale Research
  • iPoll
  • New Vista Live
  • Pinecone Research
  • Prize Rebel

These are just a few of the top sites, there are many more that you can discover by entering “online surveys” into your search engine.

You will find many more sites accepting your application to join if you are a resident of either USA, Canada, UK or Australia, though there are some international online survey sites out there if you search for them.

I hope that you have found this post useful and I wish you luck and success with your online surveys should you decide to go ahead. If you have any thoughts or comments relevant to this post or website please use the comment box below or contact HWA.

Bye for now,

Stephen Annett

Home Wealth Adviser.

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