You Actually Can Earn Money by Taking Online Surveys

Earning money out of your home, online. Many people play with the idea, and some  even go after it. There are various ways to pursue it. One is to write, like I do, for websites or blogs. If you've got it in you, I recommend you to do it. We've written in the past about websites to earn money writing, check it out.

But not everyone's got the feel for it. There are of course other ways. You can, in fact, earn money taking online surveys or company offers. That's right, you can get paid for giving your opinion. Before I began to work at MakeUseOf, I worked this possibility for a time. A 16 year old boy, in Belgium, gathering some extra cash. This only begins to show how 'open' this all is. Your age and nationality matter little to none, the only thing you need is an internet connection and some time to spare.

Today I'd like to show you how to tackle this line of 'work'. The various tips and tricks involving successfully engaging it, and the trustworthy places to go for your survey fix.

Step One – Get Real

1142448_thinking_about_money_2Before you start trying to earn money taking online surveys, there are a few things you'll need to realize.

Do not expect to make money in truckloads. You (most probably) won't get hundreds of dollars a week, thousands a month, whatever the ads try to tell you. True, when you participate in a multitude of high-roll surveys daily you can make a fair amount, but things don't work out like that in real life.

Those high-roll surveys will be a sporadic surprise, rather than routine, and depending on how many company aims you hit or miss (do you handle the budget at home, or do you live off your parents? Are you a jock or a nerd?), the amount of surveys you receive can differ greatly. Also, when considering the hourly earnings – some surveys can take up a lot of time – you're not exactly well-paid.

However, if you enlist for a reasonable number of survey services, you can certainly score some extra bucks. Best of all, you don't need to be able to actually do things, just have an opinion – and everyone has one of those. Just keep in mind that this is a little extra money, instead of your new job.

Step Two – Get Ready

You want to be properly set up before you go. Besides cluttering your address with surveys, you'll encounter some false – spamming – services if you go venturing on your own.

I highly suggest registering a new email address for the job, to keep pleasure and business apart, so to speak. Go with Gmail (a lightweight and easy interface is advised in days to come, it'll also be needed to set up our filters) and pick an easy to remember name.


If you keep the different suppliers separated, it'll be easier to see where the occasional crap is coming from. Don't worry, you won't need to register twenty-odd different addresses, Gmail helps us with that.

  1. If is your email address, use for the different services. (e.g. if I were to enlist myselft on GTM, I'd use the mail address As Gmail completely ignores the addition mark and suffix, all emails will arrive in the same inbox, but we'll be able to separate them by using filters.
  2. Creating the actual filter is a lot easier than you'd think. However, you'll have to repeat the process below for every service. First, press the Create a Filter button at the top of the page.


    Next, enter the as the receiving address, and head to the next step.


    You can then choose how to manage this part of your mail. Choose for it to skip your inbox and be added to the service's label. You'll be able to access it in a separate folder at any given time, located on the left portion of your screen.


If you ever receive spam on one of your pseudo-addresses, you can easily put a halt to all incoming traffic. Just edit the right filter, and select Delete it.

Step Three – Get Paid

1164836_coins_5The final and most simple step. Register on a multitude of (trustworthy) survey suppliers, and wait for the 'work' to come. You'll quickly notice that different sites work different ways, with different systems and paygrades. Usually you'll need to wait until you've reached a certain amount (ten to twenty dollars) until you can cash out – sometimes a wiring to your bank account, most often Paypal.

Below you'll find three of the highest recommended sites, by us and other satisfied users over the internet. All are international.

1.  SurveySavvy

If you're going for the bucks, you definitely need to enlist for SurveySavvy. Each survey gets assigned a dollar value, between 2 and 20 dollars. Even when you don't fit any of that month's surveys, you get automatically entered in the monthly sweepstakes, where they give away fifty 10 dollar prizes.

2.  American Consumer Opinion

Don't be misguided by the name, they work worldwide. They pay between 4 and 25 dollars per survey, and also automatically enlist you for their monthly sweepstakes. Don't pass on any surveys you receive.

3.  Harris Polls

One of the most respected survey sites out there – both by users and professionally. They award you relatively generous with Hlpoints, which you can redeem for gift cards, prizes, and sweepstakes. They work internationally and "are continuously investigating international laws regarding sweepstakes rules and eligibility". More information on their questions page.

4+ Other Sites

You'll want to enlist for as many survey suppliers as possible. Check out Online Paid Surveys for other websites. You can filter them on geographic availability and get more information out of the reviews.

This is where we round up this article. I hope you've learned something and will be able to put it to use. If you've got any other questions or comments, head straight to the comments section below.

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