Post-recession, a lot of workers started looking for ways to earn extra cash. While most side gigs won’t supplant the steady cashflow of a regular job, they can pad a paycheck that hasn’t seen a significant boost in a few years. Paid surveys are often mentioned as one way to earn a few extra dollars fast. But are paid surveys a legitimate way to make money – or are they scams? The answer is that it depends on the survey and the company you are taking them for.
MySurvey is actually an adaptation of a program that was started back in 1946. It began as the National Family Opinion organization that used to send out surveys through the mail. In 2001, they joined the digital age, and now they are one of the best survey sites around. According to the website, they have issued out more than $15,000,000 rewards to members.
About that money: Survey companies typically don’t pay you for each and every survey—you have to meet a payout amount to earn your reward. Page says it took her months to reach the $30 payout on one survey site—time she could have easily spent on more lucrative side hustles. This presents a problem if you need money fast or if you decide to change course and try something else—you might end up answering tons of questions and never actually see that money.
Wow, This is the first article I’ve ever read that 1. didn’t offer up filling out surveys as a serious way to earn extra cash, and 2. said everything I’ve ever thought about surveys as a side hustle. I don’t know why people keep suggesting this, when as you point out, there are much better side hustles to score serious cash more efficiently. WELL DONE! ;)
Watching video ads: Video ads certainly aren't uncommon in the online world. While generally they're a hassle getting in the way of the content you want to watch, many paid survey sites have turned them into a way for members to make money. It's pretty easy to make a tab, set a playlist of paid ads going, mute it, and carry on with browsing the internet or taking surveys.
To take surveys, you need to qualify. This means answering a battery of questions up front—before the paid portion of the survey. Page attempted a variety of side hustles to pay off her debt, and says that taking online surveys was the “least helpful” side hustle she tried, mostly because she simply couldn’t even get to the surveys themselves. “You can spend almost 10 minutes just trying to qualify for a survey, and then [get] declined,” she says. “It takes way too long to determine if you’re eligible to take the survey, just to make $5,” she says. Short of magically being the right demographic for every survey, you’re looking at getting turned away more often than not, and wasting time answering questions that don’t come with a pay off.
Ultimately, it is very unlikely that participating in online surveys will provide you with a steady, livable wage. However, if you enjoy participating in online surveys (especially if you like the prizes, coupons, and other more typical non-monetary earnings), be sure to avoid questionable third-party sites. Look for real paid surveys online that don’t require you to invest money.
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Define the research question: This is critically important to the success of a survey research project. Without a clearly defined question, it is difficult to determine the best approach for conducting the survey. For example, based on the research question, are the needed data exploratory, descriptive, or causal? The answer to this basic question has huge implications for the entire research process, yet it is often not directly addressed.