But the most important factor that makes these better options is the fact that these gigs can bring in thousands. Web developers charge an average rate of $75/hour, copywriters make $60/hour, and QA testers make $47/hour. The reality is that if you want to bring in serious money, you might need to consider upskilling a bit—a worthy investment that will pay off massively. While mindless side hustles sound appealing, they often times simply don’t pan out and end up being a mega time waster. Don’t fall for it. Your time is too valuable, and you deserve to be paid well for it.

The free site screens you when you sign up, asking a range of questions so you can be sent the surveys which will be suitable for you. You can also join up with a social media account like Facebook or LinkedIn instead of using your email address. Filling out surveys for money with Opinion Outpost will first give you Opinion Points – with 10 points worth $1. Most surveys will take between 10 and 30 minutes and are worth anything from $1 to $5. Typical survey time is around 15 minutes, and participants are also entered into quarterly prize draws, touted to be for $10,000! However some people think their surveys don’t come around often enough, and completing some surveys will enter you into prize draws rather than paying out cash.
Survey Club has been offering online paid surveys since 2005, and in the fast paced every changing world of the web that’s a reassuringly long amount of time. They are a bit of an acquired taste, in that they specialise in long, detailed surveys for high end clients rather than the quick and cheerful consumer surveys that you may be more familiar with. Whilst this does mean that you may have to commit a bit more time, it does mean that if you have the patience to persevere with them they pay more money than most survey and reward sites. They also offer local taste tests (see what I said about ‘an acquired taste’?), and secret shopper opportunities.
But the most important factor that makes these better options is the fact that these gigs can bring in thousands. Web developers charge an average rate of $75/hour, copywriters make $60/hour, and QA testers make $47/hour. The reality is that if you want to bring in serious money, you might need to consider upskilling a bit—a worthy investment that will pay off massively. While mindless side hustles sound appealing, they often times simply don’t pan out and end up being a mega time waster. Don’t fall for it. Your time is too valuable, and you deserve to be paid well for it.
The only way to make this work would to be a serious survey junkie who can dedicate hours to the work, which defeats the purpose of a side hustle entirely. What’s worse is the idea that you can’t adequately plan your time—a survey might take twice as long as it says or five times as long. That kind of unpredictability means this isn’t a side hustle you can rely on.
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.
With one of the lowest cash limits in the industry, you can get $10 out when you have accrued just 100 points. If you want to take your earnings in the form of a giftcard, the threshold is even lower, as you just need 50 points, equivalent to $5. Many other survey sites will only pay out after you earn much more, like $50. As with all good survey sites, Opinion Outpost allows you to take your earnings away in vouchers for big firms like Amazon or iTunes, or if you prefer money, to do so through Paypal. As well as paying out early Opinion Outpost also pays extremely quickly, often the same day or in some cases, immediately.
Pinecone Research works a lot like other paid survey sites. Once you sign up, you’ll earn points for each survey you complete. As an added bonus, the responses you give during surveys will help you learn about new products before they hit the market and influence their respective marketing campaigns. And once you start racking up the points, you can redeem them for cash or prizes.
Swagbucks remains popular as they are a reliable site, offering novel ways to earn rewards, including playing games and watching videos. Completing polls and surveys for money takes around 10 minutes each and can make up the bulk of your time on the site. You won’t always qualify, and getting to a late stage in a survey application process and then finding out you’re not qualified can be pretty galling. The slickly designed website is straightforward and pleasing to use and also allows you to make money on your shopping by offering a range of affiliate links. By simply clicking on the Swagbucks link and shopping at sites including Amazon, Walmart and Nike, you will earn points, as those companies are paying Swagbucks to link to them, and you get a share of their fee.
Like many survey sites, Toluna rewards you with points, which you can then cash out for vouchers for the usual suspects like Amazon and iTunes, or money through PayPal. A slightly novel element of the site’s payment plan is to offer the chance to take your points out early if you gamble them for prizes. While you have to store up a grand total of 60,000 points before you can claim vouchers for around $12 – something some people find to be a downside of the site – if you are willing to settle for a prize, you can play with just 500 points. You can decide to try your luck with a “giftie”, a kind of scratch card game. By gambling some points, you can see if you have won the gift or lost your points – so it is not one for the faint hearted!
Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – As a sister company to Swagbucks, MyPoints is governed by the same privacy policy, which is detailed and very reasonable. In our experience, MyPoints has never sent us spam. As is typical, MyPoints does link to other sites that have different privacy policies, but to be fair, our 5 star rating is based on the MyPoints privacy policy.  You can view the MyPoints privacy policy for yourself here.
Taking online surveys is a compelling offer. You can earn money—either in cash or frequently gift cards or rewards points—and all you have to do is have an opinion. You can earn that money from the comfort of your own home in sweatpants with a glass of wine, or knock out a few surveys during slow moments at the office, racking up money when you’d usually just be trolling Facebook. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity?
Privacy: 5.0/5.0 – Swagbucks' privacy policy for its own site is excellent; they always tell you exactly how your info will be used. We have not personally received any spam through Swagbucks. As with most other survey sites, Swagbucks does contain links to other sites which may have different privacy policies, so you should be careful when visiting other sites.  You can read Swagbucks' privacy policy yourself here.
Playing games online: if you like playing games, why not turn the hobby into a moneymaking activity? There are tons of websites out there that reward their loyal fan base with points when the complete a game or play for a certain amount of time. These points can then be exchanged for real money. Sites are able to do this by sharing the profit they make from ads as an incentive for users to visit the site.
While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.
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