When we think of money to earn online, we always jump to thinking of a scam lying in wait. You should definitely be careful when online, read reviews and obtain information, but being distrustful is not always the way to be: The web also has a lot of professional sites that offer honest and reliable methods for online earning, for example through paid surveys. The reason is simple and we have repeated it many times:
Almost all companies (especially large ones) need to know the opinions of a large number of consumers and often having online surveys conducted is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way for them to do so.
That said, we cannot blame you if you are suspicious at first: in the chaos of the web, there are also very many unreliable and unprofessional sites; choosing the sites to use is not at all easy, especially if you’re a novice.
So we’re going to give you below some tips to learn your way around the world of paid survey sites, and to help you recognize a reputable and reliable site to earn money with.
PS: We have already addressed the topic in our blog, identifying a list of reliable and secure survey sites.
🔎 Online surveys: what a serious survey site looks like
Paid survey sites carry out what are known in the trade as “panels”. Here, “panels” are “groups” among other things. So it’s a group of users who are asked questions.
The first, fundamental rule you must always keep in mind is that the panel on which you want to earn money must be free and must offer payment.
Let’s start at the beginning: every reputable panel is 100% free. There are no sign-up fees, not even tiny, to access its surveys. All you need at most is an email address and some other registration information; that’s all.
It must also offer you payment, which can vary according to a number of factors, but which is never usually more than 5 euros per survey, with rare exceptions such as Crowdville where, to be honest, they ask for more than just surveys. You can see how Crowdville works in our review. The payments you receive can be made to you by the various survey sites by transferring money to your bank account, or PayPal (more frequently). Alternatively, your payment takes the form of vouchers, which you can spend on popular platforms such as Amazon, iTunes, to name a few well-known examples.
If you are only interested in survey sites that pay via PayPal, so in money and not vouchers, read this article
📝 Online reviews of the various survey sites and why they’re important
Another aspect to always keep in mind is the reputation that survey sites have online: the more reliable the site is, the more positive its reviews will be. Of course you can find some specially-created reviews or even catch some people who are disgruntled (perhaps becaue they’ve received few surveys) but by expanding your research a little, you’ll be able to form your own opinion, free from any bias.
Always carefully read the comments that previous users have left: compare the positive and negative sides, see how often both come back in survey-site reviews . A reliable paid-survey site always has several points in its favour, which you will find in the reviews left online.
Remember, however, that in the end, the experience of every site is subjective: what one user likes may not please another. It’s normal and is part of the game!
Security certificate: a reliable survey site is above all a safe one
✅ Have you ever heard of an SSL certificate? Maybe not, but you recognize it by looking at what appears before the “www” of a website. Do you see HTTPS or HTTP? Since 2017, Google has started to reward websites that have been awarded a security certificate, the initial HTTPS in front of the site address. The need exists to make the online world a safer place for all users, with the aim of protecting the personal data of users who surf the web or shop online.
A site without a security certificate it not only reported as unsafe by Google, but, compared of the competition, it also tends to be less reliable in protecting user data (e.g. those who sign up for online surveys), and because it denotes a kind of website neglect, we think.
So always check there is “HTTPS” in front of the address. It’s important and very quick to check when judging the various paid survey sites available online.
📤 Social Networks and Newsletters: when communication leaves the site
Another thing you can consider is the site’s status of updating and maintaining its social networks for surveys that interest you. Try answering these few questions:
- does the site you want to analyze have a social-media presence? If so, on how many (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, etc)?
- Does it have one or more constantly-updated profiles?
- Does it actively answer its users’ questions?
Well-maintained social-media profiles are certainly a good sign: it indicated that people are constantly working on it, making sure that the site is reliable, safe and has a well-structured internal organization behind it.
Lastly, Newsletters : As for social media, a professional paid-survey site often has also a marketing department that writes, packages and sends out newsletters to its users according to a precise calendar, with always new, relevant and current content about available surveys and market research. If the site you are evaluating has set up an email marketing initiative, this is another good clue to (positively) judge its reliability.