Want to take online surveys?

Online surveys are a great way to voice your opinions and get paid for them. Market research companies are constantly looking for people to take studies that they have available on a variety of different topics. If you're one of the many people out there interested in participating in market research, read on.

How do online surveys work?

Before participating in survey taking, you should have a general idea as to how it works. Basically, companies and various organizations have some questions they want answered by consumers. These could be things like, "which of our products do our customers like best?", or, "why isn't anybody interested in our new service?" To answer these questions, these companies hire market research companies who perform a professional analysis in order come up with answers.

These market research companies need to poll a group of people in order to answer the questions companies have. To do this, they will ask people to join their survey panel (or database of survey takers) who will participate in answering these questions in exchange for some form of compensation. By joining one of these panels, you become part of this database of individuals who have agreed to be contacted for polling opportunities.

How do I participate?

The first step is to join legitimate survey websites (or survey panels, as they are called). To join, simply fill in your information on the registration form and wait to be e-mailed your first surveys. Each survey invitation you will be sent will state the topic of the survey, the reward offer for completing it, the approximate length of time it will take you to complete it, as well as a link to the survey itself. Simply click on the link to a survey, complete it, and your account will be credited in the amount offered in exchange for your participation.

How much money can I make?

This really depends. First off, you must join survey panels that will actually pay you cash when you take surveys. Some survey companies only offer things like gift cards, so if you're looking for cash, make sure you're joining the right survey websites. Second, it really depends on how much time you dedicate to online survey taking. If you are very methodical and make the effort to take every survey that is e-mailed to you, you will have much greater success than someone who is choosy about the surveys the take. Remember, the more survey panels you join and the more online surveys you attempt to finish, the more money you can potentially make.

Is this a scam?

Online survey taking itself is not a scam, but you do have to be careful. There are some basic rules to follow if you want to become a participant. The first is to never pay for a list of online survey companies. This information is available on the internet for free, so there's no need to pay for it. Second, only join legitimate survey panels. Legitimate panels will never ask for your credit card information, won't try to sell you anything, won't ask you to join other survey panels, and certainly won't sell your personal information. Seek these out online and do your due diligence before signing up with anything and parting with your personal information.

Any tips I should be aware of?

For sure. Seasoned survey takers do a number of things in order to maximize their earnings. First, sign up with at least half a dozen panels. If you don't, you won't get enough opportunities to make a noteworthy amount of income. Second, create a new e-mail address you will be using just for surveys - this makes it much easier and more efficient to stay organized. Third, when you receive a notification of a new survey - jump on it! If you wait too long, the study may close and you will not be able to take it. Fourth, even if a survey only offers an entry into a sweepstakes, you should consider taking it anyway. A lot of these can later lead to studies that are for cash rewards, so it's good to consider participating in everything you can. Fifth, stay honest! Being dishonest is not worth it...you'll eventually get caught, so be truthful and have fun!