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.
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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.

They used to be cash-only, but in 2013 they switched over to a points system. Panelists can share their opinions in surveys and complete other various offers in exchange for points. 100 points is equal to $1, and most of their surveys pay up to $3. Survey topics are diverse and cover a variety of different topics. Pinecone Research is unique in that they emphasize consumption related surveys more than other panels.
CashCrate gives you the opportunity to make extra money by watching advertising videos and you can win prizes by playing games and contest on the site. A particularly good feature is its generous referral program, which is head and shoulders above much of the industry. If you refer your friend, you’ll get 20 percent of their earnings! If that referred friend refers someone else, you will also earn another 10 percent of what that person earns. It’s in your interest then to sign up, sign your friends up and get them to work to make you some extra money from surveys.
A popular and free survey site, Toluna boats more than nine million users across the globe and is well known in the industry, having been running for 17 years. Offering questionnaires for you to fill in to provide leading companies with your opinions, Toluna also runs a range of internal games and schemes, as well as offering product testing to some lucky users who can bag free products.

Pros: CashKarma operates within an app, which makes for a simple, self-contained user experience. You can also watch videos, complete sign-up offers and earn bonus achievement badges. Plus, you’ll still earn points even if you don’t qualify for a survey — based on the amount of time you spend in a survey you’re screened out of — and you’ll earn an easy five points a day when you check in.


This site offers surveys for money, paying out cash rather than points and allowing immediate rewards. Crowdology is a pretty popular website with a decent reputation which works with big brands and television shows, so can have some interesting content to keep you interested while you’re filling in forms. You could be answering questions about everyday topics or issues, such as saving money or online shopping, as well as your opinions about various products.

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.

A survey is not just an online tool that helps you jot down a list of questions. It’s a great way to gain insights into what your audience thinks, feels, and most importantly—what it wants. Below we’ll go through some tips for creating a free survey and using our software. Suffering from writer’s block? Take a look at our survey questions examples and tips, or if you want to get stuck in with our survey maker straight away, get started. Not sure whether you should be making a survey or a questionnaire? Check out our guide on survey vs questionnaire.
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