You’ve heard of taking surveys for pay before and probably wondered if it’s actually true that companies will pay for your opinion.
There are indeed such companies and they are called market research firms. Market research is nothing new and neither is paying people to take surveys. The Internet has simply made it much easier for these companies to reach more people than they’ve been able to in the past.
The surveys put together today’s by market research firms are generally centered on products and services, but there are also surveys on politics and other areas. Surveys are assigned based on the demographic data found on your profile page, such as where you live, your age, gender, ethnicity, and income level.
The pay for taking surveys ranges from company to company and can pay up to $50 per survey. This is rare and the companies that pay this rate don’t send out very many surveys in a year. It is much more common to find companies paying in the range of $1 to $10 per survey. While not a lot of money, if you fill out enough surveys you can earn some decent, if not spectacular money. The following tips will help you to get started in the world of paid surveys:
Research the market research companies
The first step to making money with paid surveys is to find market research companies. There are lists of market research companies available online that will help you find. At first, it’s generally advisable to stick with companies that have been around for at least two years. Established companies are less likely to be scammers.
Join an aggregator site
One easy way to find a number of paid survey companies is to join a survey aggregator site. Survey aggregator sites like Bigspot.com don’t conduct paid surveys themselves. Instead, they provide lists of market research companies that conduct surveys meeting your demographic as determined by your profile information.
Don’t just join one or two survey companies, join many
Market research is based on demographics and one person can’t fit all demographic categories at once. Consequently, it is impossible to get the amount of surveys you need to earn enough money from only one or two survey companies. You should join a number of survey companies – as many as you can in order to maximize your chances for receiving surveys every week.
Set up a separate email account
Another important thing to do is to create a separate email account just for your survey business. You’ll be getting a lot of emails from the survey company and you’ll definitely be getting some spam. In both cases, you’ll want to keep those emails separate from your main email account.
Fill out your profile
Since you’ll receive surveys based on the data in your profile, filling it out completely is very important in making sure that you receive a lot of surveys.
Set up your payment accounts
Some survey companies pay by check while others pay via PayPal in gift cards. The easiest and quickest way to accept payment is via PayPal, if the choice is offered and getting a PayPal account is very simple. If you’re going to be running a survey business, getting a PayPal account if you don’t have one is a must. If a survey company pays by check or gift cards, then you have no choice but to wait for the mail. Some gift cards may simply be codes that you can redeem online, so it’s worth inquiring if this is possible if payment in gift cards is an option.
Consider doing surveys by proxy
Another possibility to help you get more surveys is to answer the questions for a friend or family member who fits into another demographic category than you do. Of course you need to make sure that the survey companies allow this (some do, some don’t.)
Get form-filling software
When you’re filling in paid surveys a lot of the information you’ll be inputting in each survey form will be the same over and over again, particularly your personal information. Form filling software can save you time and save your fingers and wrists as well. There are many free as well as paid programs of this type available on the Internet.
Skip the hyped income claims
As tempting as it is to believe the false claims about how much money you can make with paid surveys, they are just that: false claims. Additionally, any company that lies to you to entice you to sign up is not a company you with which you want to involve yourself. At best, it’s a company with poor management and at worse it’s a scam company.
Never pay to join a survey company
As reported by Spencer Mitchell, market research companies will never charge you for signing up to take surveys. Any company that does this is an outright scam. If you join one of these scammer company not only are you in danger of losing your money, you’re also in danger of having your identity stolen as well as having your computer infected with viruses.
Read the terms and conditions
Always know the rules for every survey site you join. While the rules don’t vary a whole lot from site to site, there are some important differences and you’ll need to be aware of them so that you don’t put your account, and your livelihood at risk.
Complete and turn in your surveys promptly
Most surveys you receive will have a deadline by which they must be completed. While you should never rush through them, you do need to be aware of this and complete your survey and send it back on time. Doing so will help you get more surveys and keep the money flowing in.
Paid surveys are an important tool in market research. Companies prize the information they can gleam from them and will pay people to participate. While paid surveys won’t ever make anyone rich, they can generate a nice income to those who stay on track and treat it like a business.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by survey panelist veteran Spencer K Mitchell.