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Today’s technological world has made it easier than ever to earn extra income in the comfort of your home. There are plenty of legitimate ways to make money online, one being through paid online surveys.

Paid online surveys are excellent sources to pocket some cash. But how do they work? What rules and factors should you consider to increase your chances with paid surveys? This article introduces paid online surveys and highlights a few guidelines to keep in mind when using them to generate a side income.

How Do Paid Online Surveys Work?

Paid online surveys contain a series of questions accessible through the internet and focused on a specific topic. They collect data from many respondents or subjects, who then get paid for participating and responding.

As a respondent, you will first fill out or answer profiling questions to determine whether you qualify to participate in the survey. These are screening questions. If you meet the desired criteria, you can proceed to complete the survey. Once you finish it, you get paid in cash or reward points convertible to monetary value.

Paid online surveys are a reliable way for market research companies to gather accurate data from many respondents. This is why they pay people to participate in them.

Not all paid online survey sites are worth your time. They all operate differently and have different reward systems. Be cautious when selecting survey panel sites and using them to earn extra income.

Below are six guidelines to help you pick real online paid surveys and make the most out of your participation.

Do Your Research

Avoid signing up or giving confidential information without researching and reviewing the panel site. You want to ensure the site is legitimate. Be suspicious of sites that ask you for a lot of personal information. They may be scam survey sites that use your details for malicious purposes.

Most survey sites will ask you for basic personal information such as your name, age, and interests. They won’t ask for confidential information such as your bank account details, credit card information, and social security number. 

Never Pay

The survey provider is the one who should pay you, not the other way around. If a panel site asks you to pay to sign up or register for a membership, it is probably a scam. Never pay to earn money through online surveys.

Don’t Expect Quick Payments

Panel sites will not pay you immediately after you complete one survey. Some may require you to finish a few surveys or earn a specified threshold of money or points to cash out. Getting a payout may take days or weeks, depending on how often you perform the surveys.

However, the payout minimum should not be so high that it takes you a long time to earn income. As a rule, select a provider whose payout threshold is reachable after a few surveys.

Evaluate the Customer Support

Go for a survey provider who offers reliable and available customer support. This way, you can get quick answers if you experience any problem with your account, for example, when cashing out.

Check the Reward System

Most panel sites reward respondents with money or point convertible to cash. Be cautious of survey providers that promise rewards such as free products or services for completing a survey. Avoid such sites, especially if they promise rewards too good to be true, for example, a high-value product or paid vacation.

While at it, you also want to be wary of panel sites that promise very high payouts. They may be doing so to lure you to signup but then fail to hold their end of the bargain. The provider needs to provide a transparent payment structure.

Plan Your Time Investment

Some surveys may take you minutes to complete. Others can take close to half an hour. Just because a survey takes longer to fill out does not necessarily mean the payout will be higher. The site may offer more money to complete longer surveys, but you need to compare your time investment with the income you generate.

Closing Thoughts

You now know the essential rules to keep in mind when earning income through paid surveys. Remember that this hustle is only good as a side gig. It isn’t a good idea to make paid surveys your primary source of income.