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If you were to believe all the hype, you might think that it is easy to make thousands of dollars in your spare time just by filling out online surveys. But, like so many other things in life, the reality is rarely that simple. Although it is possible to make money by completing surveys, the earnings are a bit more modest and the work can be a bit harder than you might expect.
Survey Earnings--Avoiding the Scams
Although there are legitimate survey sites on the Internet, there are also a fair number of scams, and avoiding them should be your No. 1 priority. If any site requires you to pay a fee to gain access to paid surveys, run the other way and don’t look back. Legitimate survey sites do not charge membership fees, so if you are asked for a payment you know you have found a scam. If you do suspect something is amiss just keep looking--there are plenty of legitimate survey sites out there.
Where Are the Opportunities?
There are a number of great survey sites on the Internet, and many more are cropping up every day. Some sites provide only surveys, while others can also offer focus groups and product testing. While earnings will vary, qualifying for a focus group could potentially net you $50, $75 or even $100 or more. Product testing can also yield solid earnings potential, along with the opportunity to test products before they are available to the general public. This allows you to share your opinions and watch those opinions have an impact on the real world.
Some Survey Sites to Consider
There are a number of survey sites for newcomers to consider. One of the best sites is Pineconeresearch.com. This company tests product concepts and often solicits consumer opinions about grocery items, household goods and other consumer products. Pinecone Research also offers many great opportunities for product testing, along with the chance to try--and keep--some excellent products.
Sites such as OpinionOutpost.com, SurveySpot.com and GreenfieldOnline.com also provide some excellent survey opportunities for both newcomers and experienced survey takers. The number of surveys you get--and how much they pay--will vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of demographic profile the companies are targeting and the length and complexity of the survey. Your best bet is to make your own profile as complete as possible, since that profile will help the survey companies match you with the right surveys.
The amount of money you can make with online surveys will vary wildly depending on a number of factors, including the number of companies you work for, the number of surveys you complete and the nature of your consumer profile. For the most part, surveys will pay between $1 and $20, although some very complex surveys and focus group studies will pay considerably more. The average for online surveys tends to be about $5 or so for a survey that takes 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
In addition to instant earnings, some surveys will also offer sweepstakes entries. These sweepstakes entries give survey takers the chance to win up to $25,000, certainly an enticing incentive for anyone. For instance, SuveySpot.com offers a sweepstakes of $25,000 to its participants, with the chance to earn entries with every completed survey. In addition to those earnings, you can also make your voice heard, test some great products and have lots of fun. You may not get rich, but chances are you will find survey taking a fun and fascinating hobby.
Based in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Conrad has been working as a professional freelance writer since 2003. Her work can be seen on Credit Factor, Constant Content and a number of other websites. Conrad also works full-time as a computer technician and loves to write about a number of technician topics. She studied computer technology and business administration at Harrisburg Area Community College.