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.

The point of each survey is to present you with a topic you're interested in and qualified to discuss for the benefit of the researcher. Surveys range in time required, from very short to quite long. Because researchers are looking for opinions only from certain segments of people, you may find you have to try a few surveys before you're qualified to give your opinion on one. Keep at it, and you'll eventually find one that's right up your alley.


Hop onto the iPoll survey site, and you’ll see a cheerful cartoon of a man walking his dog while thinking about products. Their boast is that thanks to its web, iPhone and Android platforms, you can complete surveys at home, in the office, at the beach, or on a walk. I put that to the test. This is one of the easiest to use survey sites on a mobile phone, and that’s because the surveys offered are sharp and quick, and the site itself is easy to navigate and use, whatever platform you’re using it on. This is a good choice for people whose online time is mainly spent on their cell phone.
One of the most popular sites, and rightfully so, Swagbucks offers traditional surveys as well as a range of additional ways to make cash. Filling out surveys for money will reward you with points called Swagbucks which can be cashed out through PayPal, or redeemed as gift cards for shops including Amazon.com. As a sweetener, they’ll even give you $5 just for signing up.
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.
Some pay with points that are redeemable for cash or goods and typically you must rack up a bunch to redeem them for anything of significance. Others may give you a gift card, discount, or another token of appreciation for participating. Many others pay nothing or only offer sweepstakes entries for completing screening surveys to determine your eligibility for other, paid surveys. A few don't pay much of anything, unless you recruit others, as in a pyramid scheme.

*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 June 30, 2017 to be included in next drawing. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, mail-in method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.opinionoutpost.com/en/policies/terms/prize-draw. Void where prohibited.
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Sometimes survey invitation links direct you to other survey companies, rather than keeping things in-house, which can feel a bit like spam. As is common in the industry, you can sometimes get stuck filling out lengthy qualifying questions which take up to 30 minutes just to see if you’re eligible for a survey. Needless to say if you find out you are not then this is extremely frustrating.


After joining a survey site, you provide some personal and demographic information, which legitimate survey sites will keep private. That information will be used in choosing participants to take surveys on certain goods and services. If you get selected to take part in a survey, you will be notified through mail to take a short survey to see if your profile suits that survey. When you are deemed qualified, you will be requested to take a longer survey.


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.

Velasquez says our information could be used for questionable studies or sold to health insurers, for example. Or it could be stolen, which is a risk with any website that stores personal data. Most of the information we gave away seemed harmless — our shopping habits and travel plans, for example. But information like your birthdate could be used with other stolen data to take your identity. So keep that in mind as you’re answering questions.
With over 20 million active members, Swagbucks is the premier destination for paid survey takers looking to earn money for giving their opinion online. Swagbucks provides access to tens of thousands of paid survey-taking opportunities every day. With every online survey, you are affecting key decisions from major companies and organizations. More survey opportunities means more chances to make your opinion count - and more earning potential for you! Unlike most other online survey sites, Swagbucks will even give you a bonus when you don’t qualify for a survey, meaning you never miss out on getting paid.
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