Guide to Earn a Little Extra With Online Surveys

You can earn extra money by taking online surveys. There are many legitimate survey sites available (check out the list at, but beware of those who ask for too much information.

Photo by Matt Cornock.

Photo by Matt Cornock.

The internet has opened up a whole new set of career and money-making opportunities. These jobs include freelance writing, website design, video and audio recording, and many more. Most of these jobs are legitimate ways to earn a living but, like anything else, you need to be careful. One money making concept that has received a lot of attention over the past few years is survey taking. Giving your opinion online helps in earning extra money for home makers and students. There are several excellent survey sites that can provide you with some extra income, but there are others that are interested in more than just your opinion.

The Development of Online Surveys

Online surveys are generally designed to evaluate the opinions of consumers. This type of market research has been around for decades. With the advent of the internet, market research took on a totally new appearance. Marketers are able to reach a wider range of consumers and to reach them in larger numbers.

Before the internet was available, companies that conducted surveys had to either mail surveys to thousands of addresses or pay someone to conduct the surveys face-to-face with consumers. Both of these methods were expensive. The mailed surveys were often discarded and never answered, and face-to-face surveys usually didn’t have a diverse enough population. Many internet survey companies have found that paying for participants can be an effective way of reaching consumers. Although it is still expensive, it is less expensive and more reliable than the methods used before the internet.

Getting Paid to Answer Surveys

There are numerous survey companies who offer online consumers with small payments for answering surveys. In order to get paid for online surveys, you simply fill out the company’s application and wait for the first survey to arrive in your email. During the application process, the survey company will ask you several opinion questions to develop a user profile. The survey company matches up your profile with appropriate surveys.

Things to Watch Out for

One of the unfortunate things about making money online is that there are just as many bogus companies as there are legitimate ones. Here are a few things to watch out for when applying for work with an online survey company:

  • Don’t pay a fee. Some survey companies will ask you to pay a fee upfront before taking a survey. Legitimate companies will never ask you to pay anything. If you are asked to pay any fees, you can be certain you’ve encountered a bogus survey site.
  • Don’t give out financial information. If you are working within the United States, you will at some point have to give your tax-payer identification number–but only if you’re going to be making more than $600. Bogus companies often ask for your bank account number or other financial information before you even get started. Don’t give it to them.
  • Protect personal information. In addition to your financial information, watch out for sites that ask too much personal information. The goal of the profile is to match your demographics with a survey–not to find out who you are, what your address is, and what your home phone number is.
  • High salaries. Completing surveys online is a good way to earn a little extra money, but you will never make a living at it. Companies who offer salaries that seem too good to be true probably are.

Some of these bogus survey sites will inundate you with offers of goods and services. To navigate through their sites, you need to click on a variety of advertisements or other links. These sites are rarely interested in getting your opinion. They get paid for the number of people who click on those advertisements and links and not for having consumers fill out surveys. These sites will usually do nothing but waste your time and cause aggravation.

Filing out online surveys can be an excellent way of bringing in a little extra cash. The legitimate companies will never sell your email address or personal information to other sites.

The best advice is to just take your time and do some research before signing up for any online survey offers.