Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to Earn Online: Surveys My Top 5 Tips

man with a clipboardToday, I thought we'd talk about surveys. I started taking surveys a couple of years ago. There are a few important things to remember before you start taking surveys.

Don't Pay to Participate

If you are asked to pay a fee to join a survey club, or in order to earn money, don't do it. Reputable companies pay you for taking the time to provide them with feedback. If they are asking for money, they are likely not legitimate.

Look for affiliations like Better Business Bureau or membership in an organization like MRA (Marketing Research Association).

Don't Expect to Get Rich From Surveys

Typically, surveys don't pay a lot. Read the terms and conditions before you join a site. While some sites will pay you a dollar amount for each survey completed, many accumulate points that you can cash in for a check, PayPal, charity donation, gift card or other form of reward. Some sites pay automatically and others need 4-6 weeks (sometimes more) to send your reward.

Keep an eye out for survey companies that "retire" your points or allow your points to expire after a certain amount of time. If it takes a long time to accumulate a balance, your points may expire before you can use them!

Decide how much time you are willing to spend answering questions. Most surveys will tell you in advance how long it will take and what the general topic may be and what you will earn. You can judge if it's a good value for you to spend that amount of time answering a survey. Keep in mind that most surveys have screener questions that you have to answer before you get to the survey. Some companies will give you a few points if you are disqualified, but some will not.

Set-Up an E-Mail Address Just for Survey Invites

Unless you enjoy getting lots of spam, it's a good idea to set-up an alternate e-mail address for survey invitation e-mails. I did this when I started and any time I sign up for a newsletter or coupon offer, I use the same e-mail address. I keep my personal e-mail separate from my survey e-mail this way.

Be sure to read the Privacy Policy for the company and check how they will use your information.  If you don't feel comfortable giving them your information, don't do it.

Get a Referral

If you know someone who participates regularly in surveys, ask them to send you a referral link to their favourite sites. Ask your friend for their honest opinion. If they are a real friend, they will only send you referral links for the sites that they like and they earn money from. It benefits you and your friend. You'll know it's a good site with fairly good earning potential and your friend will usually earn a benefit for referring a new member.

Have Fun!

For me, surveys are relaxing and fun. If they are boring, I won't do them. It's not a way to get rich quick, but it's certainly nice to have a little extra pocket money now and then. In a couple of years of doing surveys, I've earned some cash, Chapters Gift Card codes, Amazon Gift Card codes, a couple of PayPal deposits and sweepstakes draw entries. Occasionally, I'm asked to test out a product and provide feedback. I've tested a few different types of products for different survey companies. It's very hush-hush and you are not allowed to tell anyone about the products for various reasons. Later this week, I'll talk about which survey companies I've found to be good and those that I haven't liked as much. I'll give you my honest opinions on them.

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