Quality, Not Quantity – The Key to Making Money with Paid Surveys

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The More Survey Panels I Join the Better Right? Wrong!

I see so many paid survey sites that boast large numbers of paid surveys in their directories, and recommend that you join as many paid survey panels as possible. While that might initially make sense, the more panels I join, the more I make, right? WRONG! The truth is that many of these paid survey sites that list hundreds of so called survey panels do not have your best interest in mind. In fact, many of the panels they list are not legitimate survey panels, but rather sites that offer you a "reward" for signing up for an offer that just results in a lot of spam in your email box. Of course the survey sites want you to join as many sites as possible, because that’s more referral income for them, but the reality is that you stand to earn more money by focusing on a handful of quality paid market research panels. That is why GetPaidSurveys.com keeps our list of panels low, and only post survey panels that offer cash rewards and respect your privacy.

Okay So How Many Panels Should I join?

My recommendation is to start out by joining five to ten survey panels as a starting base. A good place to start is by choosing some panels from the current top ten survey panels featured on the GetPaidSurveys.com home page. This list represents the top panels as rated by other survey panel members, and is a good representation of some of the better survey panels available online. The key thing to remember is to take your time and not only join the survey panels, but also take the time to completely fill out the member profiles. This is key to getting future invitations from the survey panels. So depending on the time you have, that may mean only joining a few panels per day. Once you have joined five to ten panels, then I would recommend that you pause the joining process, and focus on actually taking surveys.

How much time should I spend every day taking paid surveys online and which panels should I join?

Once you have joined several panels, you will begin to receive survey invitations via email and via the member's area in the panels that you join. One thing that you will notice is that some panels like GlobalTestMarket and Surveyhead will have many surveys for you to take, while others like HCD Research, Epoll, and American Consumer Opinion will have fewer survey invitations. My suggestion to at first try to take most of the survey invitations that you receive that offer a monetary value, and maybe participate in a few that just offer sweepstakes entries, especially if the survey topic interest you. Once you get a feel for which survey panels work best for you, you may want to change the amount of time you focus on each panel, and maybe dedicate a little time to exploring more of the panels on our site. Most surveys take anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes to complete, so if you have an hour a day to take surveys, maybe focus on taking your top three or four invitations per day.

Also, just because a panel does not send many invitations does not mean its a bad panel. For instance, HCD Surveys does not send many survey invitations, however the ones that they do send are very interesting and often offer a good reward for the time spent on the panel. So when I get an invite from HCD Research, I will often do that first, then go on to some of the other panels. With a little experimentation you will find which survey panels interest you most, and which ones are the best use of your time.

In conclusion

There is no magic number of survey panels you should join, or a set amount of time that you should spend on taking surveys. The bottom line is that you should participate in the panels that you enjoy and dedicate the time and effort you can spare to participating in these panels. If you follow these basic steps, taking survey online can be both rewarding and a fun activity. You will find that you qualifying for more surveys, and get invited to more follow up surveys that yield higher rewards and bigger prizes.

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Comments (2)

  • Jim the Admin March 19, 2010 Reply
    I agree with your comments Lee. Even the best survey panels have their good and bad periods, and like you say the key is not to give up and cancel a survey panel after just one bad experience. Look at your track record with the survey site, see what are others saying about it, and then make an informed decision. I agree there are probably about 30 to 40 survey panels that are worth joining, and of those their are probably 10 to 20 that any given person can put in their priority list.

    Our goal at GetPaidSurveys is to work towards listing about 30 or so panels that we believe our worth the time for individuals to join. Then we encourage you to start with the top 10 user rated panels, and then add more as you have time to do. Basically experiment with the different panels until you get your "priority list" of panels that work for you.
  • LapisLee March 19, 2010 Reply
    Great article! Out of the thousands of so-called legitimate survey sites out there, I would guess that less than 50 are really worthwhile. Personally, I started out with about 10-20 core sites that are highly recommended by trusted online blogs such as getpaidsurveys.com and surveypolice.com. Eventually, I found about 30-35 that were fairly well compensated and that have relatively few problems; although, even the best survey sites, such as SurveySpot and GTM, have had their good and bad periods.

    You have follow your instincts and be very patient before cancelling and unsubscribing to a survey site. If I can't make at least $50 a year from a survey site, then I deprioritize it, but I don't unsubscribe from it unless the emails become bothersome, like InboxDollars/SendEarnings and Tik Tik Cash. Sites like MyView, Mindfield Online, LightSpeed, Epoll, ClearVoice, Viewpoint and Brand Institute don't earn me as much money, but they are well-behaved and unobtrusive.

    Sites like SurveySpot, Global Test Market, Opinion Outpost, Valued Opinions, Surveyhead, MySurvey.com, Toluna, HCD and Pinecone Research are my bread and butter, earning me significant amounts of money and gift certificates every year and I am more than willing to show them patience and to give them the benefit of the doubt when things become difficult concerning pending credits or incentive redemption. These sites are all generally recognized as the cream-of-the-crop and these are the ones everyone should be a member of.

    Although I am aware of some who spend eight hours a day, or longer, taking paid online surveys, I rarely spend more than three or four hours per day with plenty of breaks, because in the beginning I spent much longer and it drove me bonkers! On the other hand, if you are unwilling or unable to spend at least one hour per day, most days of the week, then paid online surveys are probably not for you. If you have some free time every day and are willing to work somewhat diligently and answer questions honestly, then you should easily be able to earn an extra $100-$200 per month within the first six months of taking paid online surveys.

    Have fun with it and don't get discouraged if you don't get those $200 Invoke Interactives right away. Also, it only takes one contest win to change your luck. I won both an Apple Macbook and an Apple iPod Touch in February 2009 and that gave me all of the incentive I needed to continue!