Can You Really Make Money Taking Surveys Online?

An easy way to make money online is to simply take surveys. However, there’s little more to it than just signing up, filling out a profile, and giving your opinion on ads, products, services and more. The main question is just how much money can you make, and how much work is involved. Truth is, you probably can’t make a full-time living taking online surveys, they can be a great pass-time thing while earning a bit of cash, or you might use surveys to get perks, like free products.

Why Companies Pay for Surveys

Why would anyone pay you for your opinion? Every company relies on consumer feedback. Companies that don’t have a department to run consumer surveys and panels use survey companies to do it for them. Feedback helps companies to improve and perfect their products and advertisements before they release them publicly. That’s why companies are willing to pay you for your time when you take a survey. The information you provide is crucial to their success.

How It Works

Taking online surveys is pretty simple, though getting started may take a bit of time. Here are the steps:

  • Find a survey company to sign up with. There are hundreds of legitimate companies out there. Create and fill out a profile. For every company you do surveys for you’ll need a separate profile, and fill out each profile as completely as possible, for the reason the each survey is targeted to a specific demographic, so the company won’t send you a survey unless they can tell from your profile that you fit the demographic they need.
  • Get surveys. Survey companies notify you of available surveys by email. Some are immediately available for you to take. Others, want you to answer pre survey questions to ensure that you fit the demographic. If you do, you can go on to take the survey. Other times, you may get products in the mail that you’ll need to review.
  • Take surveys. Answer questions. Some as simple as answering a few multiple-choice questions. Others, you may need to type out long-form answers to more specific questions.
  • Earn rewards. The rewards process varies from one company to the next. Some will give you points, which you can redeem for cash, or other rewards. Others might transfer money immediately to your PayPal account, and others enter your name into a sweepstakes drawing.
  • These steps vary, so be sure you understand how the process works when you sign up.

How Much You Can Make

You’re not going to make a fortune taking surveys online, yet you can make some extra money for fun, paying off debt, or for investing. Surveys rewards vary from less than $1 to more than $20, though they’re usually on the lower end of that range, $1 to $5. If you can take a few a day, you’ll earn quite a bit of money in a month.

Some companies don’t pay you cash, but offer you free products, full-size products, that you need to test for the survey. This can be a great way to get free household products, personal care products, and other things you use regularly.

Other companies will enter you into a sweepstakes drawing once you finished a survey. The more surveys you take, the more chances you have to win. These can be a little frustrating, as you don’t get a reward right away. However, they can pay off with some great prizes, including gift cards, products and cash.

How much you can make eventually depends on which companies you sign up with, number of surveys you take, and which demographic you fit best. If your demographic is often-surveyed, you may get more opportunities to make money.

The thing is that you can use surveys to make money when you would otherwise not be doing anything. You’re not required to take any surveys that land in your inbox, but you can do so if you find 10 or 15 minutes where you are doing nothing, but browsing the web.

Be aware of scammers

There are lots of legitimate survey companies, but this is also a good market for a scam. Some companies will trade for profit your profile information, which at times can be quite personal. So, find the company’s privacy policy in their contract. If you can’t find the privacy policy, or if it says that the company is free to share your information, do not proceed, or you’ll just end up with an inbox full of spam.

Also, never pay a survey company. Companies need the information they get from surveys, and they’re willing to pay for it, not by asking to be paid.

Top Companies to Check Out

There are hundreds of survey companies that you should check out. However, different companies survey different demographics, you may get different results out of different companies, so it’s worth it for you to look around.

In fact, it’s best to sign up for at least five companies, if you want to take surveys on a daily basis. Here are some of the top companies:

  • SwagBucks: A company where you can earn cash back rewards, or gift cards for your online activity; watching videos, completing surveys, voting in polls, online shopping, and even for playing online games. Free to sign up, and if you spend hours on the web anyway, you might as well get paid for it.
  • MyPoints: Established in 1996, this company offers many ways to earn money; filling out surveys, online video games, reading emails, watching movies, and more. The money can be replaced to gift cards at Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks or drawn to PayPal.
  • LightSpeed Research: This company offers great amounts of points for surveys; you can cash in your point, or replace it for gift certificates, music downloads, and lots of other stuff.
  • 20/20 Research: Is about more specific surveys, so you may not pass many prescreens with them. However, if you do land a survey, you could get great compensation, such as $100+ of gift cards, and other rewards.
  • PineCone Research: This company pays $3 per survey, so this is a good use of your time. They aren’t always accepting new members, but check back frequently to see when they are accepting new sign-ups.
  • Valued Opinions: Here, they pay $1-$5 per completed survey, so these can quickly add up. You can also use surveys to earn gifts from various retailers.