Paid Surveys: Can You Make Money?


There are a lot of companies promising cash and prizes for participating in online surveys. It is a form of home working that is popular with people wanting to earn extra money from home — but is it worth the effort?

A common complaint is that once you join up to one of these survey companies, they get their claws into you and you are bombarded with an endless stream of e-mails begging you to fill out surveys for them and other companies they pass your details to. It is an area of home working on the Internet that is beset by a lot of scams and has developed a bad reputation in recent years — one way to detect a scam is if they require a fee upfront for the privilege of filling in a survey. However, there are some legitimate sites, so we can’t tar all of them with being scams.

Many survey sites are simply gathering information for their own market research but be warned that plenty of others are collecting information to sell to telemarketers and other businesses, such as insurance companies, who aim to sell you something.

The moral is to be careful who you choose to work with and be wary of any site that promises riches overnight — this is not possible — it could be a way to get a small additional income but that is about all you can expect from paid surveys since there is not enough time in the day to fill out enough surveys to make a decent amount of money.

Your own survey site

The only real way to make a profit from paid surveys is to create your own survey portal site — in other words you become an agent matching companies needing surveys to be done with people wanting to earn money from taking surveys. You take a referral fee from the company requiring the information and that is how you make your money. You can also sell other things on the site such as advertising space.

Setting up your survey portal site

If you think you could make a business from running a survey portal site, you first need to do some market research to see if there are enough companies that will offer you a referral fee for promoting their company. It is preferable to only deal with companies that offer a cash fee, rather than points or prizes — its hard cash you’re after if you want to develop a profitable business.

You will find that some survey companies offer affiliate programs which you can incorporate into your site — when someone clicks onto the link and signs up to complete a survey, you will get paid your commission. This is a good way to earn money for very little effort, albeit in modest amounts.

You may also be able to attract other advertisers as your company grows and pay per click advertising is an easy way to generate extra income from your site.

If your market research looks promising, you need to set up your site, choosing a catchy domain name. Research some good keywords and use them in your content.

Next you need to appeal to people wanting to earn money from surveys and you should strive to be honest about the sort of earnings that can be expected. Add some testimonials and offer some guidance for people wanting to earn money from taking surveys. You have a certain moral duty to look after these people, so think carefully about how you represent your business and the industry as a whole.

Finally, you need to consider how you will market your portal site, and this can be done through the usual method of SEO and developing links with other sites in order to increase your search engine ranking. You should also market your site through the social media, blogging sites, online forums and so on.

If you are planning to run your own survey portal website, be aware of the disrepute that many of your competitors have gained through being less than honest — your business can rise like cream to the top if you run a reputable company, so it is worth making your business respectable and trustworthy.