Design and pre-test questionnaires: Designing the questionnaire carefully and then pre-testing it before fielding it to your entire sample is crucial to getting data that are valid and reliable. For example, careful questionnaire design and pre-testing can help reduce the chance that respondents may interpret the meaning of questions differently. Future posts in this series will tackle these important steps in much greater detail.
Renowned for its short and sweet surveys, OnePoll is a great site for dipping in and out of, without having to dedicate loads of time to. As one of the earliest survey sites to be set up, OnePoll certainly has longevity. Founded in the UK, it is open to US users and those further afield and runs polls for the press and leading brands. This means the content is more engaging than it can be elsewhere and you can find yourself answering questions about celebrities or gossip. Many users praise their surveys for being quick, and even better – fun! Topics are not as dry as they can be on other websites, and by keeping the surveys brief, OnePoll is less likely to leave you bored or frustrated.

One of the great things about Survey Savvy is that they really do offer a great variety of surveys to choose from, so you won’t simply be talking about the consumer goods that you buy on a day to day basis. They have surveys on topical issues and about politics in general, but don’t worry you don’t have to be a political animal to be able to complete the survey – you just need to have an opinion. Another thing I really appreciated about survey savvy is that their surveys are short and snappy, and you can complete them within ten minutes or even less. That means you can quickly earn the points that can then be exchanged into folding cash.


As well as filling in the familiar surveys, you can sign up to complete free and paid offers, which is how many users say they make the bulk of their CashCrate money. In these cases companies will pay you to sign up to their website, or to try out the service they offer, such as a financial credit check. These are often quick, straightforward ways to earn a few bucks. As the name suggests, paid offers require you to pay out to claim the offer or to sign up for the service, but what you get back will cover this and add a small profit on top. If you’re signing up for a monthly service though, make sure to note in your calendar when to cancel it or you might find yourself out of pocket as they auto-renew each month.
For example, while many packages provide the ability to preview what a survey looks like on a desktop or a mobile device, Qualtrics does simultaneous and synchronized previews of both, side by side. And there was simply nothing in any other package that could compare to the power of its "Survey Flow" capability for tracking what can be a twisted path through complex surveys. Qualtrics also has an excellent reporting feature, including a number of advanced statistical analysis and semantic analysis of textual responses as well as robust report formatting.

Focus groups are very different from pilot tests because people discuss the survey topic or respond to specific questions in a group setting, often face to face (though online focus groups are sometimes used). When conducting focus groups, the surveyor typically gathers a group of people and asks them questions, both as a group and individually. Focus group moderators may ask specific survey questions, but often focus group questions are less specific and allow participants to provide longer answers and discuss a topic with others. Focus groups can be particularly helpful in gathering information before developing a survey questionnaire to see what topics are salient to members of the population, how people understand a topic area and how people interpret questions (in particular, how framing a topic or question in different ways might affect responses). For these types of focus groups, the moderator typically asks broad questions to help elicit unedited reactions from the group members, and then may ask more specific follow-up questions.

Free to join, the site runs a range of special offers, including awarding prizes at random, giving you daily targets to hit for which you receive bonus points, and posting deals on their social media feeds. They have a great new app and a strong referral scheme. However, like everything, it’s not perfect – it can start to suck up a lot of your time. Swagbucks runs on the premise of incentivising day to day internet use to make both you and them money, so it is worth being aware of this so it doesn’t end up seeping into too much of your life!


There’s a decent rate of surveys pinged your way as you can expect two or three emails a day inviting you to fill in particular questionnaires. In addition to this, there are freely offered surveys on their cleanly designed website each day which you can look through and decide if they take your fancy. Surveys on CashCrate are often outsourced to third parties though, so you can make more money on the survey side from other websites. Similarly they are known for passing your information on to other people, so to avoid the irritations of endless spam, make sure you set up a dedicated email address for your CashCrate account.
Several of our non-profit clients recently decided to conduct surveys of their supporters, and we were asked to seek out a good solution for conducting these surveys. One of the biggest challenge was finding a free service that did not severely limit the number of questions we could ask nor the number of respondents we could allow. We determined that SurveyPlanet had the flexibility and services we required. Building questions was simple and effortless, and we are now analyzing the results with the excellent tools available. We highly encourage others seeking an easy way to conduct surveys to use this excellent service.

Many online job platforms such as Upwork.com also have their own system for recognizing and removing job scams. According to the site, many of them involve “employers” who try to pay workers outside the site’s payment system, and engage in some sort of check or money order fraud. For more tips on avoiding job scams on freelancing sites, read about it here.
Like American Consumer Opinion, Harris Poll Online offers cash incentives to people who are willing to log in regularly and complete online surveys and questionnaires. Once you join, you’ll begin earning rewards for each survey you take. Once you earn enough reward “points”, you can turn them in for purchases made on websites like Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot and Walmart. Conversely, you can also turn in your points for movies, books, and home goods ordered straight from the Harris Poll website. Plus, you’ll be entered into a $10,000 sweepstakes each time you complete a survey.

Many of my readers have started proofreading from their iPads, scanning legal documents for court reporters as a result of the Proofread Anywhere eCourse I recommend. You can read some of their testimonials in the comments on this post. They offer a 7-day intro course free so you can decide if that line of work is right for you before you pursue the training.
While surveys vary widely in how they are conducted and used, there are a number of components that are common across nearly all surveys. Many of these common features have been studied in extensive detail by survey methodologists, psychologists, statisticians, and many other fields of research. The general process of survey research is outlined in the figure below.
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