How Students Can Make More Money with Paid Surveys

Posted November 04, 2014 by
Melissa Burns

Melissa Burns

The question that most students probably ask themselves most often is this: Where to get some extra cash if there is no opportunity for full-time employment? What free time they have is arranged irregularly, which makes getting even a part-time job problematic.

But there is a legitimate way of making decent money working odd hours without spending too much time on it – namely, paid surveys.

However, how much you make this way depends on your resourcefulness and knowledge of certain tricks – so read carefully.

1. Concentrate on Special Survey Opportunities

People doing regular surveys are never making much – they either lead hand-to-mouth existence for years or try it for a short time and leave this venture forever, firmly believing that there is no money in it. There are, however, special survey opportunities used by professionals of these fields who make thousands every month – and you don’t need superhuman abilities to join them. Simply find a decent guide to special survey opportunities and follow its advice – this way you will be able to forego all the low-paying surveys and get right to the top.

2. Learn to Avoid Scammers

Unfortunately, scams are a fact of life, and paid surveys, for the sheer reason they are so hard to regulate, are a real haven for them. That is why it is always a good idea to keep to well-known paid survey panels like and follow several rules when signing up to new sites:

  • Never sign up to sites that require entry fee – all real survey panels are free to join;
  • Use a separate e-mail address for registration in case your private information is sold to spammers after all;
  • For once, carefully read disclaimers and privacy policy;
  • And just use your common sense – if the offer is too lucrative to be true, it is most likely fishy.

3. Go After Sweepstakes

Surveys per se don’t pay very well – that is why some panels offer sweepstakes to provide this extra incentive to keep you around, so keep a weather eye open for them and do your best to become eligible for them as soon as possible. Ready entry conditions carefully and follow their requirements.

4. Be Clever about Screener Surveys

In most survey panels, before you can actually start earning money you have to fill in a so-called screener survey, which remains unpaid. This screener is aimed at sifting through the applicants and defining the demographics they belong to – after all, surveys don’t exist to provide you with a way of earning a quick buck, they are supposed to be an instrument of market research. Which means that you will only receive the surveys you are eligible for (if a company is interested in an opinion of a middle-aged private entrepreneur they won’t address their questions to a college undergraduate). Thus, the more fields you leave blank to complete the survey quicker, the less surveys you are going to get.

5. Sign up with Numerous Sites

Any particular company will only ask you to fill in a couple of surveys per month, which means that if you want to turn it into a meaningful source of income you have to sign up with as many survey panels as possible. Check your mail often so that you don’t lose better opportunities, and try to sift out the less desirable surveys, selecting the ones that yield most results.

As you may see, there is more to paid survey industry than meets the eye. But if you follow these tips you will be able to earn real money doing nothing but asking some questions from time to time – exactly what a student needs!

Melissa is a student of journalism. She is graduating this year and is working on her own project Studday dedicated to deliver information about educational trends and opportunities to students all over the world.

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