This is the fourth article in a series about finding methods of earning incremental income. Some people have a desire to earn more money without the available time to learn a new skill or start a new business. I’ve written about becoming a mystery shopper, selling items on eBay, and teaching and tutoring.
The key to these techniques for earning more money is understanding that trading in small amounts of time for small amounts of cash is not a path to wealth. Nevertheless, when you have ten minutes here and ten minutes there, and would otherwise would be spending the time watching television, why not optimize that time a little better?
My experience with online surveys
A few years ago, I gave online surveys a try. During an open enrollment period, I signed up for PineCone Research, one of the more popular online survey operators. Every few days between October 2006 and November 2007, PineCone sent me an email with a link to a new survey. Completing the surveys took only a few minutes each, and when completed, the company sent five dollars per surveys to my PayPal account relatively quickly. I received new survey opportunities every few days, but I rarely completed the surveys.
If I had signed up for more companies, I would have had enough opportunities to earn more money. I decided that answering surveys was not an ideal way for me to spend my time. Completing surveys can be somewhat tedious; I compare it to data entry, an annoying task that I’ve tried to avoid as much as possible throughout my adult life. As a result of my lack of motivation, I didn’t earn very much from online surveys.
Income potential for online surveys
Anyone interested in spending a significant amount of time completing surveys can earn much more than I did. With enough time, there are enough opportunities to earn a good part-time salary. PineCone research may be one of the most popular survey companies, but they don’t always accept new participants. Be on the look-out for ads that announce the next enrollment period. In her article, Donna cites the MSN Smart Spending community with recommendations for other survey providers, including Toluna, Synovate, Lightspeed Online Research, i-Say, SurveySpot, Valued Opinions and Surveyhead.
Although I earned five dollars for each survey at the time I participated, compensation can range as low as 50 cents. You may occasionally be able to find a survey that pays twenty dollars, depending on how your profile matches a survey’s requirements. Sometimes, the unique profile aspect is as simple as being a man; most survey respondents are women, and if a company is looking for opinions from men, they may be willing to pay more or offer more opportunities.
Do you earn extra money taking online survey? What do you enjoy about these opportunities?
Photo: Senior Peter
Published or updated September 23, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.