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Earn Extra Money By Participating In Focus Group Studies

Updated on November 25, 2014

A focus group study is different from doing a general online market research survey. Most market research surveys only pay a minimal amount of money for your time. However, focus groups will you pay you a larger amount of money for a small amount of your time. You must either participate in person by going to a group discussion or online in a chat room or forum.

I have participated in an in person focus group study on a health issue that I suffer from called interstitial cystitis. The group discussion was well worth participating in. I was given a check for $125 for only an hour of my time. I sat in a room with a few other participants who also suffered from the same condition and we were asked several questions about interstitial cystitis about how it affects our lives.

When you sign up for a focus group website, they will send you focus group invitations. You will be sent an email invitation to participate in an online survey which will determine whether or not you qualify for that particular focus group study. For example, if the survey topic is on coffee products, the focus group company will most likely ask you about your coffee consumption. If you do not drink coffee, you will most likely be disqualified from that particular study. If you are a coffee drinker and you fit the criteria that they are looking for, then you may qualify and join the focus group discussion.

Another reason why someone may be not be able to participate is if the focus group company has met their quota of people to participate in the discussion and they no longer need participants. Sometimes focus groups fill up quickly so while you may qualify for the initial screening survey, you may not be able to participate if they have enough people participating. Usually you will receive a phone call or email if they want to pick you to participate and then they will give you the date and the time of the study. Focus groups may take place at a location near your home, most likely if you live in a major city, or in an online group discussion forum.

I usually get focus group survey invites a few times a week. While I usually do not qualify for most of the studies that I try, there are few that i do qualify for. I have participated in online discussions on certain products and I have received a nice reward for participating. For a half hour or hour of my time, I have received an incentive of $30 or more, sometimes up to $100 for discussing products in an online chat session.

Focus groups most likely will not make you rich, but it can help you pay a couple bills or go on a small trip, depending on how much you are paid. I have seen focus groups that have paid $500 for a 2 hour discussion. Some focus group studies will not allow you to participate if you have already participated in a focus group discussion on that particular topic or if you have recently participated in a focus group study. Always be honest when answering questions both in the survey and focus group discussions. They may catch you lying and if that is the case, you could be disqualified from the group and you will not receive an incentive for your time.

If you are interested in joining these groups, you will have to go to the focus group company website and register. They will ask your for your name, date of birth, phone number, email and home address. When I have participated in a focus group discussion, whether it be in person or online, I have always been paid on time and have never experienced any problems or issues. Here is a list of 4 companies that will pay you for your time if you qualify for their research studies. These sites are all free to join.

1. Focus Forward

Focus Forward has a website at Once you are on the website, you can click on the link at the top of the page that says join our team. This is a nationwide focus group company that offers online bulletin board studies that can be done from your computer.

2. Schlesinger Associates

The website for Schlesinger Associates is They offer a range of online focus group opportunities, such as bulletin boards, online focus groups and video surveys. I have also received invitations for focus groups that are held at a location near my home. If you are interested in joining, you can click on the link that says join our panel, which is located in the middle of the homepage.

3. Focus Pointe Global

The website for this focus group company is There are a lot of opportunities to participate online or in person. Whether it be at a location near your home or a nationwide online discussion, there are focus group studies posted to this website often. I receive emails about particular studies from them usually a few times a week.

4. 20/20 Research

The website for this company is You can register to sign up for focus group opportunities by clicking on the top right link that says join a panel. This company usually sends focus group studies that pay in the form of a Visa gift card.


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