Amanda Page had serious student debt—$48,000, to be exact. She was working as an adjunct professor at a couple of different colleges, trying to piece together a full time teaching career, and she wasn’t making enough to tackle what she owed. So she started supplementing her income with side hustles like freelance writing, working as a temporary receptionist, and grading math exams online. As she dove into debt and frugality blogs, she came across a new gig: taking paid surveys online.
If you run the numbers, Page says, online surveys simply aren’t worth the time. “If you’re spending 20 minutes to make $3 on a survey, do the math. That’s $9 an hour—maybe—if you qualify for the $3 survey every time,” she says. According to Page, “the survey side gig is just not sustainable. There are wiser ways to spend your time that will earn you more money in the long run.”
Select a representative sample: Selecting a representative sample from your sampling frame is also important for collecting valid and reliable data about the population of interest. For example, if you are sampling from a large database of customer email addresses and only wanted one response per household, you might want to cross-check each email address against mailing addresses and remove duplicates to avoid some households having a greater probability of selection. Then you would likely draw a random sample from the remaining list of email addresses.
It requires patience, as it can take some time, but can often be a quick way of making some easy dollars whilst watching television or listening to music. Surveys are not a get rich scheme – hourly rates are never going to reach anything like a regular wage – but many people manage to turn idly filling in online forms into tidy sums to put towards holidays, home improvements or their new wardrobe!

Survey sites advertise that you can earn $5-$35 per survey (although a Student Loan Hero reporter found an average more in the range of $1-2 per hour). Paid online surveys are utterly ubiquitous—there are hundreds of sites that feature paid surveys. These surveys are typically run by marketing or research firms looking for consumer perspectives, and you could be asked questions covering just about everything under the sun.


MySurvey. This site offers an easy-to-use dashboard, a steady stream of surveys and a decent qualification rate — 28.89%. However, we encountered numerous issues with the site, which made the survey-taking experience generally poor. The disqualification policy was unclear and the 1,000-point minimum cash-out requirement was hard to hit. Check out our MySurvey review to learn more.
Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.
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A well known survey panel, Valued Opinions is owned by leading market research company ResearchNow and is open to people in more than 20 countries around the world, including the USA, UK and Australia. The site uses a range of different languages and has around three million members busily filling in surveys and questionnaires. Most surveys taken will reward you between $1 and $5 and take up to around 20 minutes to complete, asking you about marketing, brands and products and even news events. There is a steady rate of invites to surveys, but you won’t always be qualified for them, which can become tiresome.
There have been some reports of technical glitches on the site preventing users from receiving their earnings, but customers services are contactable and said to clear up most issues for workers. Valued Opinions has a unique “badge” program, allowing its most active members to work up five levels of achievement from bronze through silver, gold and platinum to the top tier of diamond, by carrying out extra mini tasks.
**NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) who are eligible to participate on a Survey Sampling International Panel and meet the minimum age requirement for the respective Panel. Quarterly drawings; enter by December 31, 2016 to be included in next drawing. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, mail-in method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit here. Void where prohibited.

Summary: A real favourite, MySurvey is a popular panel allowing members to participate in market research surveys for money, covering topics like the media, tourism and products like electronics. It’s easy to set up an account on the site and begin earning points, which vary between 10 and 500 per survey, but are typically around the 100 mark for an average survey which would take 15 minutes to fill out.
CashCrate is a great site pairing traditional surveys with a range of unique deals that can help you make money online. After signing up with a few details and filling in a brief survey for your profile, so CashCrate can identify some basic demographics, you’ll be awarded your first 25 cents and be on your way to greater riches! The best deals and offers are available for US users, and the minimum earnings to have a payout from CashCrate is $20 – which they pay you and their six million users as cash.
Convenience: 4.5/5.0 – While the sign up form is easy to fill out, you will have to enter more information about yourself up-front than other survey companies ask for. Typically, you just need to enter your email address and create a password to join, but Ipsos also requires your name and physical address. We only gave a slightly lower rating for this because the sign-up process is still very quick and painless.
Hi! I'm Jeff. A personal finance nerd and entrepreneur at heart, I'm here to bring you all the latest cool ways to make and save extra money. I've been quoted in several online publications, including Entrepreneur, NBC News, GoBankingRates, Student Loan Hero, Business.com, Credit Karma, The Simple Dollar, US News & World Report, Lifehacker, MSN Money, Moneyish, Zumper, IdeaMensch, Discover Bank, PrimeRates, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, Club Thrifty, Guru Focus, Rent Track, Fit Small Business, Coupon Chief, and more.
Toluna. Unlike many other sites, Toluna lets users pick the topics of their surveys, such as electronics or travel, which made the work more interesting. However, this perk didn’t make up for its low pay. Upon converting points to cash, we earned only 71 cents per hour — one of the lowest rates of all the sites we tested. Our five hours’ worth of points weren’t nearly enough to redeem the cheapest gift cards. Learn more in our Toluna review.

Survey Junkie. This site is a smaller survey aggregator, but it stands out. The site has a clean, easy-to-use dashboard and offers a high point value for each survey you complete. The point system is direct and shows you how much your points are worth in dollars right on the dashboard. But you have to get to 1,000 points, equal to $10, before you can cash out. Check out our Survey Junkie review for more information.
If you are interested in translating any of the surveys into another language, please see our translation guidelines. Although RAND cannot validate the translation, you may state that in producing the translation you “followed the specifications provided by RAND Health Care.” RAND does not offer validation information regarding surveys and tools found on other websites.
Most reviewed paid survey sites effectively promise not to share personally identifiable information or not to share it without your consent. It's an industry standard by which legitimate marketing research firms are bound. But many membership sites reviewed don't make either promise or do so only in a limited or wishy-washy way. Unauthorized go-betweens don't have to honor marketing research privacy standards.
Although it might seemed biased to put forth this assertion, the proof is truly in the pudding. Whereas virtually every other way you can earn money online will require some level of skill, more time or the like, paid online surveys consistently offer consumers an opportunity for completely autonomous and consistent participation. This means that there are no contracts, fillers or complexities to navigate, just simple, unadulterated activities that put extra cash in your pockets. 

Survey Junkie makes it quick and easy to jump into the survey game. According to their websites, they say they are the most popular spot online to earn cash and rewards for sharing your thoughts, while that might not be technically true, they are one of the largest survey sites out there. They were launched all the way back in 2005 (which is pretty old for a survey site) and they have over 4,000,000 members. 
No matter the site, the earnings from taking surveys can be meager compared with other work opportunities. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, for example, and our hourly earnings ranged from 41 cents to $2.03. Most survey sites also required a minimum amount of points before we could redeem them for rewards. On many of the sites, we didn’t reach that minimum amount after five hours of work.
Allan Liwanag is a personal finance blogger who paid off at least $40K debt in 3 years by adopting simple and extreme saving techniques while ensuring his family's needs were taken care of. An analyst by day and dedicated blogger by night, he loves to share his thoughts - based on his research, personal knowledge, and experience - on topics related to family, life, and money. Allan lives with his family in Maryland, USA.
It requires patience, as it can take some time, but can often be a quick way of making some easy dollars whilst watching television or listening to music. Surveys are not a get rich scheme – hourly rates are never going to reach anything like a regular wage – but many people manage to turn idly filling in online forms into tidy sums to put towards holidays, home improvements or their new wardrobe!
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