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Making Money in Online Surveys and Market Research in the UK

Updated on February 12, 2014

Looking to make money online?

In this current climate, everyone is looking to make money online, earning a few extra quid in their spare time. But often its very difficult to know how, or even where to start. One of the most popular methods is by doing market research on the internet. Doing it is easy, there's no problem-solving or real work involved, and it won't take hours and hours out of your day to do it. The best part is, anyone can do it! As long as you're over 18 and have access to an email account and internet access, you too could be earning money and vouchers through taking surveys online! Read through my easy guide, aimed mainly at beginners to the field (or just someone more experienced, and looking to make more money than they already do), and get stuck in!

(Pictures source: PublicDomainPictures unless otherwise stated)

What is Online Market Research?

And why do I get paid for it?

That new advert you've seen on TV. The new and improved box of cereal at the supermarket. The quiz shows and news bulletins that announce "54% of people think..". All of these are born from market research. But how? Basically, companies NEED to know what the consumer thinks. They get this information by asking market research companies to find out what people really think of their product, or their views on current affairs. And of course, the market research companies are paid for this.

However, many market research companies pass some of this money onto the very people they are surveying, as an incentive for helping them out.

That's where you come in.

After completing each survey or questionnaire, you'll receive this incentive (be it cash, points, vouchers, or even free products) to thank you for their help. Not all of them, of course. Some of them don't, but we're not interested in them, as we're out to make money. After you reach a pretermined value, you can cash these credits out for money or vouchers.

How much will I be earning?

Well, the of course depends on a number of factors:

  • How hard you are willing to work.
  • How many survey panels you are registered to.
  • How often you check your emails (most survey invites are sent via email)
  • How much time you can spare every week, and of course...
  • What demographic you are a part of.


Of course!

Your 'demographic' is the group of people that you can be 'filed' in with. For example:

  • You could be a 42-year old mother of 2 teenage boys, who watches TV up to 5 hours a day
  • You could be a 19 year old student, who eats cereal 4 days a week
  • You could even be a 62 year old grandmother, who reads and surfs in her spare time
  • Or alternatively, you're a 28 year old house-husband, father of 3 kids, who drinks over 10 cups of coffee a day and is quite partial to a bit of cheesecake of an evening (like me)

Lesson One: Demographics Matter...

Because some groups of people will have different tendencies to another. For example, as I am a stay-at-home dad, I don't commute to work every day, so I am not exposed to a lot of street billboards and public transport advertising. The aforementioned surfing granny may watch a lot of TV when the waves are low, but might not watch Channel 5, or buy cheesecake from a supermarket once a week. Advertisers are often looking for a target market to sell their product to, so it would be a waste of time trying to sell their new iPod app to an Android phone user, or someone who doesn't even own a mobile phone. The market research companies are often only looking for their target market too, that is, the right people to ask the right questions to.

That's the first lesson in taking surveys online, don't expect to qualify for every survey you take. Because sometimes, you're just not the person they're looking for...

Lesson Two: Don't Expect To Get Rich

I'm sorry, but taking a few surveys a day will not eventually make you a millionaire, and any sites that state otherwise are a scam and should be avoided.

And don't ever sign up to a survey site that expect you to pay up first, because these too are scam. They may promise you up to $80 a survey, but after you've paid your $20 registration fee, who's to say that they'll ever send you a survey you qualify for?

I've been doing online market research for a few years now, and I've had great months where I've taken home a lot in cash and vouchers, and some months where I don't cash out anything at all. Think of the extra money you're earning as an extra treat to take your family out of an evening, or some money off an expensive purchase you might not normally have bought. Or save up all the vouchers and cash you've earned for a few months or so and go out on a massive spending spree (that's my favourite way of spending mine!)

Whatever you choose to do with the money you're earning, enjoy it! You've earned it, and helped shaped some of the countries new and exciting products, advertisements, and government initiatives!

More Useful Pointers

First of all, get yourself a new email address, purely for survey invitation emails. If you're registered to a lot of sites, you don't want all those invites clogging up your normal email account. Many people recommend Google Mail, as other email accounts often have spam filters set to them, meaning you're missing out on important survey invites!

Next, make time in your day, every day, where you can check your survey invites and complete surveys. This might be first thing in the morning, with your breakfast and morning coffee, or after dinner once the kids are in bed. Whatever is easiest for you. And make sure you stick to this time every day, as you'll find it easier to stick to the pattern of checking and completing the invites.

Every time you sign up to a new survey site, keep the registration email (normally titled something like 'Welcome to' or similar) and file it in a new folder in your email account. You never know when you might need that email again, should a site go down or you forget the password. Also, when you first sign up to a site, log in and bookmark the home page. Keep all the bookmarks together in a separate folder in your web browser, so you can check them for new surveys, just in case you missed the email. Some survey sites also don't email you invites, you have to check manually, but we'll get to them later.

And finally, BE HONEST! This is the most important thing I can stress. It might seem like a good idea to insert false details, or bend the truth a little, in the hope that you don't get 'screened out' to earn more money, but many survey sites ask for a few of your demographic details first, and often check these against the results in your profile or previously submitted surveys. If they see you've been telling porkies, they may refuse to credit you (and maybe even close your account, taking your hard earned money with it)

And of course have fun and enjoy it. If you start to get tired of the process of filling out surveys, you'll be less motivated to do it, and it will feel like a chore.

So there you have it...

There's my guide to earning money and cash through online market research. Of course these aren't the only sites you can sign up to, there are of course many many others. But all of these have given me a lot of success, and if you keep at it and stay focussed, they will for you too! Enjoy taking the time to express your opinion, and of course enjoy the rewards!

Guestbook Comments

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do these to. I also have a Lens but it need a lot of tweaking.

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      I gave up survey sites...they have their purpose, but I find them so repetitive and samey same...I enjoyed the lens though :)

    • stuhaynes lm profile image

      stuhaynes lm 5 years ago

      I think that this may well be of interest for someone looking to make a bit of extra cash.