Making Money with Paid Surveys: The Reality

by Darko Johnson

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It sounds like an easy task. Just click a few times, complete a survey, get paid. Guess what: that’s a very small part of the overall picture.

How making money with paid surveys really works

You’ve probably heard from someone that there are a lot of people who make money just by filling out surveys. It sounds too good to be true. Is it?

Here’s how it really works:

  1. You go to a survey site like Synovate (below you have a list of more sites). These sites have a list of advertisers who are offering incentives to people to fill out detailed surveys.

global opinion panels

  1. You first register using your name and email and after that you need to enter some very detailed information about yourself (income, details on family members, relationship status, address and so on.)

example of information you are required to provide on a survey site

Why is this required? This is at the core of every survey site. Companies are looking for qualified people (qualified = their targeted demographic, people with specific income and so on) to answer their surveys. Filling this information will tell them whether you might be one of their potential customers.

The more information you enter about yourself on those survey sites, the more likely you are to be invited to participate in the survey.

Yes, you either need to qualify for the survey (by completing a quick form before you start the survey) or be invited to take it. Then, after starting and completing the survey you usually get the money (anywhere from $1-7 or sometimes more.)

This is why many people give up in making money with paid surveys. Many of them find they are not simply qualified to take most of the surveys so going through 10 forms just to find you did not qualify for 9 is a waste of time.

Some sites solve this problem by requiring you to enter as much information as possible (so you don’t have to fill a form before each survey) and then sending you a few invitations every month to complete a survey. The problem is, you get very few invitations usually and the monthly pay is very low.

Pay attention that most of the survey sites and companies there accept mostly US citizens so if you’re from a country like India or the Philippines you’ll have a very hard time finding a survey sites that pays more than $2 per survey.

Scam sites promoting paid surveys as quick & easy way to make money

There are some sites requiring you to pay for a membership or buy a digital product where they tell you the ‘secret’ to making a lot of money via paid surveys. Some of these products are on Clickbank.

What they claim is far from the truth. What these sites provide is a list of ‘middle man’ sites (like Synovate which I mentioned above) and that’s pretty much all. You can find the same sites for free Survey Police and Katie Hugs instead of paying for these lists

Stay away from any site requiring you to pay them money in order to gain ‘exclusive access’ to the ‘secrets’ of making money with paid surveys. Fact: there are not secrets. Another fact: you can’t make a lot of money quickly and easily by completing surveys as we’ve seen above.

It’s basic economics: supply & demand. At the beginning, there was some potential but then a lot of people found about the opportunites and companies started to get very selective and it became harder and harder to make decent money.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s impossible to make money with survey sites. I actually encourage you to go to the above sites (Survey Police and Katie Hugs), take a look at some of the legitimate survey sites and sign up for them. See how they work and make your own conclusion based on what you’ve seen.

For a good method to make money online, I recommend you start with Thirty Day Challenge. It’s a very good (free) framework to get you started.

And remember: if something’s too good to be true, it probably is.

What other people say about survey sites

While researching for this article, I found some pretty good posts on various message boards from people who had positive or negative experience with survey sites. I took a screenshots of these posts and here they are:




This is from a conversation I had with one guy who seemed to have a lot of experience with survey sites:


Now you can make an informed decision.

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