If the topic starts with ‘how to make money…’, be sure that I will read it. This one here is how to make money through online surveys. You may want to know first what an online survey is, how to go about it, and how much money it can fetch you.
First things first.
What are online surveys?
Online surveys are schemes for collecting people’s opinions and reviews on products and services for companies that offer those products and services. Usually, these companies are not able to get diversified feedback on their own so they employ Market Research companies who in turn source the job to online survey platform owners to gather the needed information for the company.
It is cheaper for the company. Imagine a company in the United States getting feedback on their products from all over the world without having to speak to these reviewers individually. It saves companies money, time, and energy.
When these Market Research Companies get contracts such as this, they source it out to as many survey companies as they can afford. An example of such a Market Research Company is Progede that owns Swagbucks, MyPoints, ShopAtHome, and InboxDollars online surveys.
Online surveys are online platforms that bring these offers such as questionnaires, free trials, videos, etc. to the people at the end of the chain. The chain goes from the product companies to the Market Research Companies to the Online Survey Company to the reviewers.
The Product Companies pay to Market Research Companies who in turn pay a fraction of the money to the Online Survey Companies. You do the survey and other tasks they offer and get your share of the pay.
It is a very simple and efficient process.
There are numerous online survey companies available but it is not all of them that is worth wasting your time on. Firstly, not all of them are legitimate. Some of them are run by fraudsters that are only there to steal your information.
You may be wondering what they would use your information for. Someone could steal your identity with the information gathered about you. Giving out your information is inevitable in online surveys because they would need it for matching you with suitable surveys but there should be a limit to the depth of information you give out. Information like your credit card number should not be given.
It is most likely that any survey site that asks for such information is not legit. Forgo that online survey site immediately. Payment is never done directly through the platform so don’t think asking for such detail is justifiable. Usually, cash payment is done through online payment systems like PayPal. Other methods include Gift cards, coupons, and using points to buy at a discounted rate on online shops. You could also get free products and services for free trials.
Now that you have understood what an online survey is and how it works, let’s dive into how exactly you can make money from it.
1. Finding the right survey site
We have already established that not survey sites are worth investing your time and energy in. The choice of survey site may depend on the rate of their pay, the payment method, reviews, and the availability of a variety of options.
- Rate of pay: online survey sites differ in how much they pay for different activities online. For instance, while InboxDollars give $5 as soon as you register, other online survey sites like Superpay.me, RewardingWays and Offernation give $0.20. PrizeRebel pays 15% of your referral’s earning for life on the platform, Swagbucks pays 10% and Superpay.me, RewardingWays and Offernation pay 25%. Wisdom would demand you check where your strengths are before choosing a platform. If you are good with marketing and you think you can get referrals then it may be wise to have the rate of referral bonus as one of the top factors you consider but if would rather focus on surveys and other activities, then it would be wiser to find survey sites that pay handsomely for surveys.
- The payment method: When choosing a survey site, you would want to consider the ones that offer a payment method that is convenient for you. For instance, it may be unwise to registers with a survey site that has Dwolla and Branded Pal as the only payment method if you are not in the United States because they are only open to United States Residents. For gift cards you may want to bear in mind which type of gift cards are available and if you can use it from your country of residence, considering shipping fees that will apply. While some offer only Amazon gift cards, others offer Cold Stone Creamery and Wal-Mart gift cards too.
- Availability of a variety of options: Some online survey sites offer majorly surveys. An example of such a survey site is the Branded Survey. If you are interested in answering only survey questions, then this website was built for you but if you are open to other activities such as games, contests, reading emails, then you may have to look for survey sites that offer these varieties. PrizeRebel offers varieties such as promo codes for playing games online, raffle draws, contests. Starbucks pays for using it as a search engine. InboxDollars pay you for reading emails. Ultimately, you should choose the survey site that best fits you.
- Reviews: You may want to check what people are saying about the survey sites. It is a simple and efficient way of finding out if the survey site does not pay on time, does not pay at all, responds fast enough to complain or disqualify people with no good reason. Angry people do not keep quiet about their dissatisfaction with the service provided. A little sniffing around will help you save yourself the trauma of repeating mistakes other people have made and you could have easily learnt from.
Before you can start the process of making money through online surveys, you have to register on the survey site. For some online surveys, the registration process is simple while others require a little bit more effort. As soon as you get on the first page of the Online Survey Site, the first thing you are likely to see is the signup button below information spaces. Some require just your name, email address, and password.
After filling in these details, they send an email to you asking you to confirm your email. Most people recommend using a different email address for survey sites to avoid mixing up your work emails with continuous mails from Online Survey Sites.
I don’t know how feasible that is, considering that for payment through PayPal, the same email address you use for the survey site should be the same you registered PayPal with.
You confirm your email address by clicking on the link that is sent to your email. On clicking, you are directed to a page where you answer questions that will help profile you and determine the sort of survey you qualify for.
The likely questions you may answer includes your gender, occupation, income, employment status, age, how many children you have of a specific age, if you are pregnant, rental or ownership of home or apartment, the type of car you drive, if you smoke, the kind of drinks you take, the kind of games you play, the type of phone you use, the automobile decision maker in your household, the grocery decision maker in your family, etc.
After answering these questions most online survey sites set you up with a starting bonus. For Superpay.me, RewardingWays and Offernation, it’s $0.20 while for PrizeRebel it is $5. Starbucks gives 15SB which is equal to $1.50.
Aside from email address, another way to sign up is through Facebook. This would mean syncing your Facebook account with your survey account so they have access to all the information you provide on your Facebook account.
I recommend you register with more than one survey site if you are particular about really making money from Online surveys. That way, you can reap from the pros of different sites. It’s not a marital union so monopoly is not necessary. At the same time, you don’t want to register in too many that it becomes overwhelming. I would recommend a maximum of 3 online survey sites.
3. Engage in surveys
The first way to earn from Survey Sites is by answering survey questions. You qualify for surveys by your demographic information or other information they may require of you. In a survey site, different companies offer their surveys.
A survey site may have up to 30 companies offering different types of surveys. One way to find surveys is by clicking these survey offers one after the other and answering questions that will determine your qualification for that survey. Sometimes they send available surveys to your inbox. Some survey sites send them straight to your email. Some survey sites tell you how much they are offering before the start of a survey and how much time it would cost.
That way you’ll determine if you have the time and if it is worth doing. I have been in a situation where I started a survey during my break period at work but couldn’t finish the survey before the end of my break so I had to forfeit it. If I knew the amount of time it would take perhaps I wouldn’t have started it at all.
You can take as many surveys as possible if you have the time. There is no maximum amount of survey accessible to you but you can exhaust all the available surveys. New surveys are added hourly so after some time, you could come back and check to see if any new survey you qualify for has been added.
You are expected to answer honestly. That is the essence of the survey in the first place- to gather real data. If you answer dishonestly, your answers may not add up at the end of the survey and you will be disqualified. There are no right or wrong answers but If you speed through the survey, it may suggest disqualification because it can easily be assumed you are not reading the questions.
You must not qualify for all surveys. You may register on a site and never get a survey you qualify for. This may be due to geography. Generally, your qualification for different surveys would depend on demographic information such as age, gender, interests, etc. You never know what they are looking for so it’s useless to try to tweak your answers.
On some occasions, you may be taking surveys you qualify for and at the end of the survey, you will be disqualified. ‘YourSurvey’ explained that surveys are taken in real-time and you may be taking a survey alongside 100 other respondents. As soon as the site gets the maximum number of submissions, any other ongoing survey is disqualified.
You get sent more surveys you are qualified for when you answer more profile questions. That way, the system has a lot of information about you. The more information the system has about you, the better it can screen out surveys you don’t qualify for and send the ones you qualify for to you.
What different survey sites pay for surveys differ. On average, Swagbucks pay 30 to 150SB per survey (100SB is equal to $1) and give consolation points when you don’t qualify for a survey.
It takes an average of 10minutes to complete a survey so if you engage for one hour and get 100SB for each survey, you’ll be earning $6 for that hour. Toluna pays an average of $1 per survey so in an hour you’ll be earning approximately $4 if each survey takes 15 minutes to complete.
4. Playing online games
This is one of the several ways to make money on survey sites. You’ll only qualify for this option if your profile says you are a game enthusiast. Another determinant of the kind of game you are given may be the device you use.
During profiling, you will be asked the sort of mobile survey you use, if you play games with your mobile phone, with a laptop, or a gaming device. This will determine the kind of game they send your way. Half of the time, you’ll need to download the gaming app and install it.
Some companies pay for just this little effort while others require you to make the extra effort of playing the game up to a particular level. If you are great at playing games, then this is a fun way of making money.
What survey sites do is to connect you to Game Show Network through which you play games online and whatever you win gets credited in your survey account. Examples of survey sites that do this are InboxDollars and Swagbucks.
The games range from Arcade games to World Winner Games like Pac-Man, Sudoku, Space invaders, Solitaire, Asteroids, Pool, Frogger, Word Chess, Donkey Kong, Casino, Boogle, etc. You may need to pay for some cash tournament games but you get some cash back for games you buy.
Games in Swagbucks can be challenging and you will get disqualified when you lose but that’s not the end of the road. You can refer a friend to sign up and that qualifies you to get back into the game. You can play games at other sites through Starbucks. With BINGO you win points faster.
5. Reading emails
Ordinarily, when you sign up on websites, some of them start sending you unsolicited emails. Sometimes you read, other times you ignore. Of course, there is always an option of unsubscribing to the mails. In all of this, these websites do not pay you and more often than not, their content is useless to you. Survey websites know how to respect your space and time.
So they thought it would be a good idea to pay you for reading their emails. What they aim to achieve is creating a new product that they will introduce into the market or telling you about a discount or promo that they are running.
Any way you choose to look at it, you win. You are getting enlightened on the products in the market, they are helping you save money by alerting you of a discount, and above all, you are getting paid for being informed. I don’t know what else is better than this.
After registration, you will get a series of questions to answer. This will be used to profile you. Some questions I think will determine the extent of emails available to you are questions of who the decision-maker in your household is and who makes grocery purchases. The emails usually come with questions that will show if you read the mail so it’s not just about receiving the mails, you also have to read which shouldn’t be a big deal if you can read.
6. Cashback on shopping
You already shop online and on the same stores’ survey sites are partnered with. The only thing you have to do is do the shopping through any of the survey sites you choose. So instead of paying fully for whatever you buy, you get some cashback which is as good as getting discounts. Swagbucks have over 1500 retail stores from which you can make your online purchases.
Each store has its peculiar percentage cashback. For instance, Amazon may be offering a cashback of 4% of whatever you buy while eBay offers a 10% discount. Examples of retailers InboxDollars partner with are Macy’s, Lowe’s, JCPenney, Cabela’s, Sephora, Groupon, eBay, and Walmart. They have had over $1.8 million cash rewards paid for shopping online since their inception.
One way to know which survey sites to register for if your major plan is to get cashback from shopping is through reviews. People have a lot to say about these survey sites and their personal experiences with them but if I were to recommend I would pick Swagbucks and InboxDollars. The money may not be much but with accumulation, it can pay a bill or two.
7. Searching the web
Everybody that has a phone with internet service should be able to do online searches. The millennials are always searching for one thing or the other on the internet. Judging from how much I use search engines there is an averagely of up to 100 random searches daily.
If you then happen to be a researcher, you could have over 1000 searches in a day. If your chosen survey site pays in points, you could earn as much as 1000 points per day which is equal to $100. It doesn’t take any extra effort. It just requires you to use them as your search engine. You may want to withhold yourself from being mischievous because some survey sites warn against manipulative searches done just for the pay.
What they gain from your search is the knowledge of people’s search interest. That can be a powerful marketing tool. So for them, they get their analytics from your searches while you get paid for every click you make while searching.
8. Watching videos online
Survey sites pay you to watch videos on their website offered by advertisers. These videos are usually ads and viral videos. Half of the time their purpose is to alert you on new products they are introducing into the market.
The other time, they are trying to educate you on how to use their products. All you have to do is click the video and watch. Some survey sites ask you during registration if you can take surveys that require the activation of your webcam. This may be a way to ensure that you watch the video. For every video you watch, you get paid.
9. Free trials
This option pays handsomely if you can follow through with the trial period. Some trials take up to two weeks to complete while some take as much as one month. An example of free trials is weight loss or fitness programs. Sometimes it involves sending you free products to use and report feedback based on your observations about the product.
Payment can only be made at the end of the trial period. This may require webcam activation to ascertain your participation. Mostly the amount of pay is stated for each trial before engagement. Certain offers require a subscription.
]For instance, Swagbucks does a free trial for Netflix where a customer watches an unlimited amount of TV series and videos for one month for 1000SB (Swagbucks points) but it is only for Netflix subscribers of course.
This is a sure way of earning money from online surveys. All you have to do is invite your friends with your referral link. Survey sites usually have customized videos you can use to explain what the site is about on different social platforms.
You can go the extra mile by making your video although you are warned to not manipulate people into joining with false information. Different survey sites give their different amount of money and a different percentage amount of your referral life earnings.
For example, RewardingWays, Superpay.me, and Offernation gives $0.20 when you refer something but not just that, you also earn 25% of the person’s earnings on the survey site for life. Swagbucks gives 300SB when your referral registers and 10% of your referral’s life earnings.
11. Entering competitions
Survey sites usually have competitions as a way to earn extra points. The most popular competitions require you to be one of the top 20 earners on the survey sites for a specified period to win $1000. In this case, you have nothing to lose.
You just have to put in more time to earn more points. In another case, some competitions require you to enter with your points. Those can be a bit tricky because at the end of the day if you don’t win, you don’t get a refund of the points spent. You could win anything from high tech products like laptops to a higher amount of points or cash.
12. Entering codes
In the case of Swagbucks, you can win SB for entering certain codes they make available to you. You can be alerted of this code when you download Google Chrome Extension on your laptop or when you opt for push notifications on Android phones. The codes are case sensitive and always without gaps. The location of the code can be in open places such as Facebook or not so open places such as retail shops.
The Google Chrome Extension or push notification will lead you to the location. When you discover the codes, you return to the Swagbucks site where you input it exactly the way it is in a swag code safe icon which is always at the topmost part of any page on the site. You get your SB after inputting the code.