Wednesday, August 12

5 Things I Learned about Taking Surveys and Working Online

well i have been earning my income online for over 2 yrs now and so much of my approach has changed since i started. currently i am consistently earning $1200 a month and i really feel i am working smarter than ever. today i will share some of what i have learned along the way. pardon the lower cases---it has always been my habit since i became an e.e. cummings fan over 30 yrs ago!

1. survey companies are getting cheaper and cheaper.
in the beginning i signed up for every survey site i saw and i didn't hesitate to take a 20 min. survey paying 50 cents. those days are long over!
now i am super picky. now i back out of 75% of the surveys i start when i see they are sponsored by toluna, samplicious, jd powerline, or many of the other very low paying companies.
i have probably quit over 50 survey sites altogether and haven't looked back. if they don't occasionally offer me product tests, focus groups or high paying surveys then i don't have time for them. right now my top 6 earners for survey sites are:


you will eventually 'get a feel' for a survey and its potential for something bigger--product test, online bulletin board, follow up survey etc... 

2. up the passive earners.
this is where i really stepped up my game. for $100 i was able to purchase my own 'phone farm' and have these phones work for me 24/7 with just a little babysitting. i run swagbucks and perk during the day, perk pop quiz overnight. i am earning $125 each month from perk (walmart gcs) and $50 a month from swagbucks (paypal).

i also installed google screenwise trends on my computer, iPhone and son's tablet. this is an easy $3 a week for doing nothing. that's over $150 a year!
i have surveyconnect installed on my laptop and phone. this one is a big earner i have made hundreds of dollars from surveysavvy over the past 2 years.

3. maximize your smartphone's earning potential.
i have a ton of money making apps on my phone. some are completely passive earners like appoptix, verto smartpanel and points panel. others require more interaction like panel app, surveymini and ipoll. yes, my battery drains fast but i am earning money all day long!
also, if you are the primary shopper in your house---take advantage of all the shopping apps out there. i just did a post on the top ones that work for me here: 9 shopping apps you need to be using.

4. apply for lots, and i mean LOTS of focus groups each week.
this is where the most money is at. i try to get in at least one high paying project each month but most months i am doing 2-3. yes, taking all the screeners gets aggravating but i still feel it is time well spent compared to all the crappy surveys out there that would probably disqualify me anyway 10 min. into it. i will be honest, i ALWAYS answer it's been longer than 6 months since my last study unless i have had a study with that particular company within that time. you would be surprised though at how many don't even ask. focus forward20/20panel, and inspired opinions are 3 good ones to start with although i probably belong to over a 100 panels.

5. online communities.
there has been an explosion of online groups and communities lately. some are definitely worth your time. currently i am in a year-long community that pays $40 every month! communispace communities are usually steady payers each month as well. however, many, many of these communities only offer a chance at their sweeps and i finally decided i didn't have any time for those anymore. i also have really cut back on the product testing/social media sites like smiley360 and bzzagent. i rather spend my time earning gift cards and cash than products i may or may not use that require a whole lot of social media interaction.

6. an outline of my day.
this is what my day looks like.
- wake up at 7am.
-immediately go to phone farm and ensure all are going strong--switch over to perktv or swag and monitor every couple hours.
-bing rewards
-swagbucks--do daily tasks and look for gold surveys (will visit page every couple hrs looking for gold surveys or decent paying peanut lab ones). ensure i meet first daily goal.
-go through email inbox. honestly i get about 300 emails daily. i go through and delete the invites i don't even want to attempt.
-check slickdeals, coolworkideas and your daily freebie for focus group opportunities
-check fb for focus group opportunities (follow and set to receive notifications for as many focus groups as possible!)
-check reddit beermoney for passive opportunities.
-check out phone for any surveys/notifications.

i can knock all of this out in a few hours. the rest of my day is staying on top of email invites. by now i know which emails i need to jump on before they fill up, which i can save for later when the kids are in bed and which i can just immediately delete. if it is slow i will hit amazon turk or microworkers.

i will keep at it until 11pm. now of course i am not working this whole time but i probably spend at least 7-8 hrs a day actively on my laptop. thankfully weekends are much slower! today is just the 9th of the month and i have already netted $925! ($756.48 cash/$169 gc) here is a pic of my monthly log so far. i record when i am paid, not when it is earned.

 and there it is. please comment if you have any questions or need additional direction!

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