13 Simple Tips To Make The Most Out Of Paid Surveys

Surveys are fun, and that's the level that many people are happy to keep them at. A little bit of pocket money for sharing your views and opinions. Nothing wrong with being paid for your rants and opinions. But what if you want to take it to the next level? Can you make a decent side income with online surveys? Well you'll never know until you try, so here are 13 simple tips to maximise your efforts and get the most fun and money out of paid surveys.

I have an idea @ home

1. Don't be a Mug

It's a jungle out there on the Internet. Although there are plenty of legitimate online survey sites, you do need to be wary. Fortunately, the scam sites are pretty easy to spot. Avoid any site that:

  • requires you to pay a fee;
  • guarantees you a set income; or
  • asks for information like a bank account, credit card number or IRD number

2. Sign up for Paypal

If you are going to be paid most overseas sites will pay you in US$ via Paypal. Paypal is free to sign up for and is reliable way to get paid. You will need to get your new account verified which requires scanning documentation such as a driver's licence to prove your identity.
Once the money hits Paypal you can withdraw it to your New Zealand Bank Account - it usually takes 3-5 days to clear.

3. Put the Hours In

The more effort you put in, the more money you will make. No one can guarantee how much you're make, but the more time you spend and the more panels you join the better your earnings will be. Set yourself some realistic goals of how much time you will spend chasing surveys. Sit down and make time to do something every day.

4. Don't Quit Too Soon

Don't give up if you aren't making hundreds in your first week! You will need to work at online surveys, and don't become one of the many who get discouraged after a day or too and quit. Slow and steady usually wins here, there is no point in spending 12 hours one day, and then quitting because it "doesn't work for me". Instead, set aside an hour or so a day and gradually build up you income.

5. Manage Your Surveys

If there is a site that consistently gives you more surveys that you qualify for, then focus on them, chase the winners as they say. Bookmark you preferred sites and check back frequently for updates. Check out Facebook groups and forums where other survey takers share tips.

6. Manage Your Email

Survey sites can end up sending you a lot of email. You may want to use a new email address - Gmail is a good free option. You do need to check your email regularly though, surveys can fill up quickly, so you must respond quickly. For American sites check last thing at night and first thing in the morning New Zealand time.

Also check your spam folder regularly to rescue relevant emails, survey emails can end up in the spam by mistake.

7. Keep On Top Of Your Earnings

Most survey sites will require you to get to a certain level of earnings before you can cash out. As soon as you get to that level request payment. There is no point risking non-payment either because you forget to request, or because the terms of the site change.

Until you are confident that a particular site will pay you, keep screen shots to prove that you completed the survey correctly. Keep a spread sheet of when you have completed a survey, and check surveys off as they pay you.

8. Fill In Your Profiles Completely

Fill in as many details as you can for your profile - this will help companies identify you as appropriate for new surveys. You won't get paid for filling in your profile as such, think of it as a billboard to advertise your availability and suitability. The more detail you provide, the more likely a company will find you a good match for their requirements.

9. Make Filling Forms In Easier

For the standard contact information, there are some ways to automate these legitimately (obviously, you can't automate the actual survey). Many people use Roboform - which is paid software which will not only manage and remember you passwords securely but also allows you to save copies of frequently used information (name, addresses, emails etc.). Alternatively consider swapping to a browser like Chrome which will also automate some of this form filling, by attempting to auto fill forms such as addresses and phone numbers.

10. Be Honest

Don't get so fixated on the money that you are tempted to lie and cheat. Fill in surveys with genuine information. Don't rush, many surveys have timers which look for people trying to save time by skipping forward too quickly to have actually thought about their responses.
Although it may be tempting to take short cuts - you will get found out, and then lose the chance to take surveys for cash in the future.

11. Take It Up A Level

Look for upgrades to online survey work. Some firms offer opportunities to participate in online or in-person focus groups. You can also undertake product review tests or participate in other on-going studies and surveys. All of these options take more time and may be out of your comfort zone. But the rewards can be higher, and nothing ventured, nothing won as they say!

12. Refer A Friend

Many survey firms also have a referral program. If you refer a friend and they sign up and participate you get paid! This can be very worthwhile financially, and if you enjoy working with the firm anyway, you are doing your friend a favour. Who doesn't want to earn extra cash? You could even take this one step further and start a blog or website, which talks about earning money from home, or even is just a personal diary. Promote a survey website with a link that has your referral link and you will make money when friends or strangers sign up!

13. Don't Forget About Tax!

If your online survey work is a hobby then you don't need to declare the income or pay tax. However, if it's a side-income you do. What's the difference – well that's tricky, talk to an accountant if you are unsure. In addition, remember if you do need to pay tax on your earnings you will also be able to make a deduction for any expenses incurred including use of your computer and a percentage of your Telecom bill!

I hope that these tips will help you get and stay on track to make a useful side-income from paid surveys. A systematic and consistent approach will see your income build over time.