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I’ve had a lot of emails lately asking for advice on online surveys and if they really work. So I thought we would turn to an expert. The following is a guest post from Karen from KouponKaren. This is the first of a series of posts as she fills us in on what works and what doesn’t!
I know everyone could use some extra cash. You’ve probably heard about how you can make money online taking surveys. And you wonder is this really possible, right? Well I’m going to explain to you how you can earn money taking surveys online but you need to be careful too. The last thing you want is to fill up your inbox with SPAM.
I’ve done the research, I’ve joined the companies and I’ve earned some money. Now I’m going to tell you about them, but first I want to give you a few pointers before you start signing up with Survey companies.
- Never pay to join a survey company or to get a list of survey companies. All this information is free online.
- Open a separate email account just for surveys. Not because you’ll get SPAM, but this way all the survey invites are in one place and when you have time to take some surveys you’ll be able to sort through them more easily. You can get free email address’s from yahoo, gmail, hotmail and aol.
- Please do not expect to get rich by taking surveys. This is simply a way to earn some extra cash. The more time you have the more potential you’ll have to earn.
When you first sign up you’ll need to fill out a profile. This is very important because they will use this information to help match you with surveys. Some companies will ask about other members in your household as well. Again, this will help taylor those surveys to you. If you have babies, they’ll send you surveys about babies/baby products and the such. If you have pets, they’ll send you surveys about pets. You get the idea. Of course you can choose to leave your family information out. You also want to update your profile from time to time as things change in your life.
In the profile, you’ll need to give them information about you like where you live, your birthday, place of business and things like that. Also if you happen to earn a lot with any one company they will require you to give them your social security number for tax purposes. At that point there’s no way around it, but until then they don’t need it. But be prepared to give them a lot of information about you, the more information you give the better the programs can work. Some of it will be required and some will be optional.
Once you join and set up your profile you’ll begin to receive emails when they have a survey that possibly matches with you. Now I say possibly because what you’ll receive is what I like to call a ‘screener’ email. The screener will ask you more detailed questions to see if you match that particular survey. Now don’t get discouraged if you don’t qualify for them. Most of the time it just may be they’ve already filled their quota with survey takers that are your age, or female or that live in your state. It’s hard to know. Sometimes these screener’s will be quick and sometimes they’ll take a little longer. Some companies will give you credit just for taking the screener survey either with points or an entry into a sweepstakes. I’ll explain what companies do what as I talk about them.
What can you earn with survey companies? You can earn cash, gift cards, prizes or entries into big drawings. Each company does their own thing. I personally like to get the cash or gift cards!
Personally I’ve earned a nice amount of cash taking surveys. It does vary per month because I don’t always have time to take the surveys that are sent to me. As I’ve become busier with my blog I’ve had to put them aside. Most surveys average out to about 20 minutes and pay on average $2.00 a survey. I’ve had months where I’ve made about $100 or more. That’s taking about 3-5 surveys a day, of course I don’t qualify for all of them. While your sitting watching TV you can breeze through a few.
Those are the basics you need to know to get started but I’d be more than happy to answer any specific questions. You can leave a comment here, email Jenny or go to my site and contact me through there. I will read the comments on this post for those of you that have questions.
To get you started, here are 2 of my favorite survey companies and what I think about them.
- My Survey – I love My Survey. They are well organized, the screener surveys are usually quick and I feel they reward you appropriately. You earn points when taking surveys and the points can then be cashed in for cash (in the form of a check) or prizes. I’ve always requested a check and usually get it within a few weeks. 100 points equals $1.00 and you can cash in when you have 1000 points or $10.00. When you don’t qualify for a survey you’ll get 5 points. It’s not much but it can add up quick. I like their website, it’s very easy to navigate which is always a plus. I’ve never had any problems so I haven’t contacted customer service so I don’t know how good that is. I’ve been a member with My Survey for about 4 years now and love it. Once you join you can also refer your friends and earn 150 points when they join. They will send you an email when there is a survey available or you can check your account.
- Survey Spot – This was the first survey company I joined way back when. Survey Spot will send you a lot of emails for surveys, which is nice. But they don’t pay cash for all surveys. A lot of them will be for entries into drawings. But I did find that once I started taking a lot of them, then I received more surveys that were for cash. They probably want to see who is going to actually take them before they send the cash ones. I have read on message boards about people that do win the sweepstakes so they really do pick winners. The thing with Survey Spot is, if you stop taking the screener surveys, they will stop sending them to you. That happens to me every now and then when I just get to busy to take surveys but once you log into your account, they start to come again. If not you can contact customer service and they will help you out.
I’ve probably overwhelmed you with all this information and I’m sorry if I did. I’ll be back to tell you more about my favorite companies but for now check out these two. If you are really ambitious you can read my Paid Survey Sites section on my blog.
Disclosure: This is my honest opinion of these companies. My words are my own and I have not been compensated by these companies to say anything about them. However when you join some of them, it does helps support my blog.
About KouponKaren: Karen is a stay at home mom of 2 girls and a wife to a wonderful Engineer that totally supports her blogging habit. She blogs at KouponKaren.com about saving money on everyday products and shares her coupon & freebie finds everyday.