5. Take Advantage of Special Survey Opportunities

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There are several types of surveys that you should be aware of, as they are very different from normal surveys, and also offer extremely high payouts, often $25-$50 for an hour of your time, and sometimes much more. You may have questions about these offers when they come up during regular surveys, so here’s an overview for you.

Normally, you will find one of these special opportunities among your normal surveys. You’ll complete a normal survey, and when you get to the end, you’ll be asked if you are interested in doing something different. Here are some of the most common types.

Product Tests

In a product test, you will be sent a product to evaluate for a certain period of time. Sometimes this is a single product to try for a particular period of time, like using a new shampoo for two weeks. Sometimes you might be sent two possible formulas or types of a product to see which you like best. The product tests will always come with instructions on what you should do with this particular product.When you’re done with the test, you often take another paid survey to take to give your feedback for the product.Most of these tests tend to be things like household products and food, and by taking the tests you get to try interesting new products. In addition, you usually get to keep any remaining portion of the product you’ve been testing, which saves you the money you would have spent on purchasing the item.

Usage Diaries / Journals

These diaries are useful to researchers. They typically require only a few minutes of your day, but will be spread out over a period of weeks or even months, and you will receive your reward after completion. Usage diaries might be tied to a product test, where a manufacturer asks you to record every time you use an item. But more often, you might be asked to record every time you do a certain thing in your daily routine, or every time you purchase a particular item. Two examples of this:Example 1: For a week, after every time you change your child’s diaper, write down the number of wipes used in the diary. At the end of the week, mail the diary back, and you will be paid $10.

Example 2: Once a week, log in to a website and list every time you bought a greeting card that week. At the end of 2 months, you will be paid $25.

Obviously, only you can determine whether the payment is sufficient for the work, but usually these pay well and can be interesting.

Focus Groups: Interactive Online Surveys (“Invokes”)

One kind of focus group is an Interactive Online Survey, a special survey where several people will be invited to go online and answer questions about products during a live session. Multiple participants are online together at the same time, often in a chat room, and interact with each other as well as the moderator. This ends up being more of a brainstorming session than a traditional survey, and can be very enjoyable.Typically, these opportunities will take a set amount of time, from 1 to 2 hours, and be scheduled for a particular date and time in advance. Most of these interactive online surveys will come from one company, Invoke Interactive, which leads to them being known as “Invokes” by many survey takers.

Invokes are one of the most highly sought-after survey types because they usually offer $25 to $50 or more for an hour of your time. The only catch is that these surveys are invitation only, and usually you receive the invitation based on a previous survey you completed. For a complete description of Invoke surveys, along with more information about how a typical Invoke works, see our blog entry, Earn Higher Payouts with Invoke Interactive Surveys.

Tip: Sometimes short surveys that are worth little to nothing are really pre-screen surveys to determine if you are eligible for an Invoke or other similar survey. So, if you get a short survey that is worth little to no points but is on a topic that interest you, it may prove worthwhile to take the survey.

Focus Groups: Online Communities / Discussion Forums

Another way focus groups can be set up is through online communities. These are invitation-only private website forums with a limited number of members. You log in at your convenience during the week and offer your comments about product ideas, and can usually see and comment on other participants’ responses, leading to discussion on the product. Generally, these sites reward you after a certain amount of time, which will be explained when you sign up. For instance, you might be offered $10 to visit the site once a week for 4 weeks, with the payment at the end of the 4 weeks.All of these opportunities can be very enjoyable, as well as financially rewarding, and are worth trying if you get the chance.

Today’s Recommended Survey Panel: Toluna

Join TolunaToluna offers a different experience, with the ability to earn points not only for surveys, but also by participating in community activities.Toluna is open to residents aged 18 or older, accepts members from most nations and (like every other panel we recommend) is free to join, maintains high privacy standards, and will never spam your email address.

Get Started with Toluna
  1. Join & Log InIf you are not already a member of Toluna, you can join by going to the Toluna Registration Page and filling out the registration form. Toluna’s registration process is very simple. Be sure to register with your dedicated survey email address, as mentioned in our bonus tip on Day 1. Also, Toluna allows you to connect with your Facebook account if you’d prefer to login with those credentials instead.Once you are a member, go to the Toluna Member Login page and log in. Be sure to bookmark the login page or add it to your favorites so you can easily access it in the future.We’ve found that Toluna tends to have many more available surveys on the website than the invitations they send, so this is a good site to check often!
  2. Add Toluna to Your whitelistToluna sends out many of the larger point-earning surveys directly via email, so make sure to add the email address “[email protected]” to your whitelist in your email.
  3. Fill Out Your Interest SurveysCurrently, Toluna has 12 Interest Surveys (their name for profiles) that members should fill out in order to be matched to upcoming survey opportunities. Most Interest Surveys only take a few minutes, and pay 100 points upon completion.Tip: Toluna occasionally adds or updates these Interest Surveys. Longtime members should watch for the opportunity to earn an additional 100 points by filling out a new or updated Interest Survey.Toluna Interest Surveys
  4. Understand Toluna Points SystemToluna uses a point system which allows you to cash out for $20 once you have reached 60,000 points. 3,000 points equal $1 on Toluna, which is good to know when choosing which surveys (or other point opportunities) to participate in.
  5. Take Surveys
    1. By Email:Toluna still sends out frequent email invitations to surveys. Be sure to take these surveys as soon as you can. We’ve found that these surveys often offer high points, so they tend to fill up fast.Toluna Survey Email InvitationAs you can see, the email invitations are fairly straight forward. The emails will generally list the topic, the survey ID number, the estimated length of the survey, and the points awarded on completion. Just hit the “Start Survey” button and you’re on your way!
    2. On the Website:After logging in, hover over the “You” category at the top of the website, and then select “Your Surveys”, as seen here:Toluna Your SurveysThis will take you to the survey start page. You’ll see a list of statements that may or may not apply to you; choose whichever do apply (some will fill in automatically based on your previous responses), then click on the “Update my profile & start a survey” button, as shown below:Toluna My SurveysThis will take you to your next survey. You’ll see the topic of the survey, the points awarded, the time it will take to complete the survey, and the survey ID number. Be sure to write this ID down in case you have any questions about it later!Toluna My SurveysIf you are satisfied with the reward and time and want to take the survey, click the “Update my profile & start a survey” button to begin.Tip: If you’re not interested in taking a specific survey, you can either hit the refresh button on your browser, or the “My Surveys” button highlighted on the left side of the screen. This will enable you to start over and try to join a different survey.
    3. Other Point-Earning OpportunitiesTaking surveys isn’t the only way to earn money at Toluna. There are some usual bonuses you can find on many survey sites, such as the 500 points you will earn for joining, plus 100 points for each Interest Survey you complete. You can also earn 500 points for each friend you refer who signs up with Toluna and completes his or her Interest Surveys.But Toluna also offers several other unique point earning opportunities that may be of interest to you:
      1. Sponsored Polls & SurveysToluna has two different sections on its website where users can take quick surveys or polls (usually under a minute) that pay anywhere from 15 to 250 points per survey. Now, keep in mind that 30 points equals 1 cent, so these should not be relied upon solely for income. However, these may be a good way to spend a few minutes of downtime at home or at work when you may not have enough time to complete a full survey.You can find the “Quick Surveys” section listed underneath the Explore navigation bar on the top of the home page. You’ll be taken to a section listing all of the available Quick Surveys. Click on any or all of the surveys that interest you!Toluna My SurveysTip: Many of these Quick Surveys are used as screening questions to invite you to full surveys. If you’re not interested in taking a full survey but wish to take more Quick Surveys, simply close the survey box before it redirects you to a full survey, and you’ll be returned to the Quick Surveys main page.
      2. Social PointsToluna also acts as a social network, allowing users to try to earn “social points” through the creation of opinion topics & polls, and advancing levels. Points earned are based on the popularity of your content, and as you earn more points you level advances. More details about this can be found by reviewing the tutorial in the members’ area.
      3. Product TestsToluna has recently opened up a product test section, where users can register to be randomly selected to test the products listed. You can find this section by clicking on “Test area” under the “Rewards” tab.
    4. Redeem RewardsYou can check your account balance at any time by selecting “Your points” from the drop-down menu under “You”. Here you will see a listing of all of your Quick Survey, Sponsored Polls, and Social Points, followed by your Survey History and points.
    5. Claim RewardsWhen you are ready to make a claim, select “Your rewards” from the drop-down menu under “You”. Then you can select from the available reward options, including Facebook credits, song downloads, and money in the form of a check.


    Now that you’ve learned more about Toluna, be sure to participate!Hopefully you enjoyed today’s lesson. Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next lesson on maximizing your earnings. If you’d rather read ahead, you can look at it now by clicking here.

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  • Yonnie May 17, 2016 Reply
    Anyone else use Ibotta for their electronics purchases? I used it for groceries and drug store purchases and am amazed by it so far....