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Make Money by Taking Surveys Online

Updated on January 20, 2012

With the economy in the dumps, everyone is looking for alternative ways to earn a little extra cash. Since the internet is constantly growing, it's no wonder so many people are taking advantage of the abundance of financial opportunities it has to offer. From selling some old stuff on eBay, to writing articles for web sites like Hub Pages, people are getting creative in order to earn that extra buck. But did you know that you can get paid for simply sharing your opinion? You don't need language skills for writing, and you don't need to do any work. All you have to do is answer a few questions. Sound too good to be true? It's not. Online Survey sites are becoming more popular among people who have a little extra time, and need a little extra money. Here is a rundown of what they are, how to use them, and what to expect from them.

What Are They?

Online survey sites are set up by companies who want to do research on what consumers are thinking and feeling. Any successful company knows that their customers are the key to making sales, so they want to make sure they are catering to consumers in the best ways possible. How do they do that, exactly? They turn to survey sites, of course! A handful of questions are set up and sent out to a certain number of people who fit the target demographic. If you are a member of one of these sites, you could be one of those people! Those people answer the questions, send them in, and get paid for their time. The opinions they submit help companies understand what people want from them and the products they sell.

How Do They Work?

When you've found a survey site, and want to join, you will fill out an online registration form. This will be filled with simple questions, like your name, age, and address. Registration should be completely free (if it's not, and the site asks for payment, run! There are plenty of other sites out there for which you don't need to pay to register).

When your registration is finished, you will need to set up your profile. You should be asked a number of questions about your life and your preferences. This can include listing what you like to do in your free time, what products you use in your home, etc. This can be time consuming, but be patient. Asking you these questions help the site to set you up with the surveys that are most relevant to you.

When your profile is all set up, the next step is to start taking surveys. Some sites will give you a list of the surveys you qualify for on the site itself. Others will deliver your surveys right to your email inbox. It all depends on the site, and what you prefer. On most sites, you will be informed before the beginning of each survey what the topic is, how long it should take to complete, and how much you will be awarded. When you have completed the survey, submit it for payment!

How Much/Often Will They Pay?

Every site runs a little differently. Some choose to pay you in dollars, while others will award you points to be exchanged for prizes later on. Most survey sites don't pay very much per survey, I would estimate the average to be around $1.00-$3.00 per survey.

Each site offers different payout methods. Some offer only prizes, like having free products sent to you. Others will transfer your balance to a gift card (they will have a number of stores to choose from, you must pick from their choices). Instead of a gift card to one store, some sites offer the option of getting a Visa gift card, which can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted. Some offer the option to have your balance transferred to your PayPal account.

Many of these sites don't allow you to claim a payout until your balance reaches at least $20. How fast that $20 adds up depends entirely on the person, and how many surveys they qualify for.


  • Make sure you are well acquainted with the web site's methods and policies for payout before you join. Read all user agreements very carefully before agreeing to anything.
  • Don't count on a steady income from these sites. While they are definitely a helpful source for that extra bit of cash you needed, chances are slim that they'll pay your bills.
  • In order to increase your earnings from these sites, make sure your profile is accurate and complete. Missing information could cause the site to overlook you when choosing participants for a survey.
  • Many people participate in several survey sites at once. This can help you get more surveys and make more money. But you must be honest with each one about your involvement with the others. You could possibly be offered the same survey by two different sites. Participating twice could compromise the accuracy of their research. Plus, some sites ask for exclusivity in their user agreement. You don't want to break any contractual agreements with anyone.
  • If you're lucky, you may be offered the opportunity to test new products. Be aware that not only is this a fun opportunity, but it pays amazingly well if you're given the chance to participate.

Before You Join:

There are a large number of survey sites all over the internet. Before you join one, make sure you do your homework, and carefully research the site. It also helps to look at user reviews, to see if its members are satisfied with the site. If there are any complaints that people haven't been paid, or that the site is corrupt in any other way, take your business elsewhere. There are plenty of other sites who will appreciate your participation and treat you fairly.


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    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      7 years ago from Modesto, CA


      Opinion Outpost is one of my favorites! I like them because they'll send money directly to my paypal account, and I often get a few surveys from them each week.

      Thank you for commenting!

    • blessed365 profile image

      Vicky C. 

      7 years ago from New England

      I have been paid by Opinion Outpost and I get surveys from them every week, sometimes 3 or 4 times a week.

    • Kristen Haynie profile imageAUTHOR

      Kristen Haynie 

      7 years ago from Modesto, CA


      Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you've found a way to receive rewards for taking online surveys. And I agree with you, I think your experience will depend on which sites you choose to participate on.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I also take surveys. I have earned some extra money doing this as well as gift cards. I know surveys get a bad name but I really do believe it depends which survey company you use. Thanks for the info!


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