Although there are thousands of legitimate work-at-home jobs available, it’s always a good idea to proceed with caution. There are plenty of less than stellar opportunities out there, promising big results with little or no return. While some of these are just bad gigs, others are straight up scams, looking to prey on dreams of those looking for a real work-at-home jobs.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There are people who do make a few thousand dollars or more a year with paid surveys. But that’s not the norm. If you do want to increase your earnings substantially, your best bet is to also join focus groups (we have a big list of ’em. Just do a quick search on Google for “moneypantry.com focus groups”). They pay much more between $50 to $400 or more per focus group secession.
Companies might also retain more employees if they enact a work from home benefit. Stanford professor, Nick Bloom, conducted a study to evaluate the benefits of working from home. He found workers were more productive, got more done, worked longer hours, took less breaks, and used less sick time than their in-office counterparts. These employees were also happier and quit less than those who went into the office on a regular basis. He estimated that, on average, the company saved about $2,000 per every employee who worked from home.
Illegitimate companies and scammers have a simple objective. They're after your information in order to get your money. It's much more common for internet scammers to target hundreds of people for small sums rather than a single person for thousands. This is because demanding large sums for a product that is somewhat unclear is an obvious red flag to most.
Maybe you have a commute that makes you frustrated before you even hit your desk, and all you can do while you drink your morning coffee is fantasize about what you could buy with all that gas money. For employees who work far from the office, cutting out the commute can make a world of difference for their stress and overall health. For Charlie Harary, CEO of H3 & Company and professor at the Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University, cutting down on how many days a week one of his employees needed to commute allowed one employee to get more done in her working hours. “I have an employee that has a two-hour commute to the office each way. Once day, she mentioned to me that she had to leave early to get home in time to make a family obligation. I asked her why and she detailed out her daily commute. I was shocked by the sheer difficulty it was for her to get to the office each day.”
Many companies are looking for input from people that have knowledge or experience with the subject of the survey they are offering. For example, if you are a major toy company looking to perfect a new toy meant for infants, it’s very likely they will ask a few preliminary questions (a qualifier) to make sure the people that take the survey have experience with children and toys (e.g. parents). Survey eligibility can greatly vary, from being as specific as “someone who has experience with a particular pharmaceutical medication” to “males between 25-45 years of age.”
You'll add your survey questions, typing multiple choice answers in a list instead of having to type each entry separately. There's even answer options that are designed specifically for mobile devices—you can grab locations, scan QR codes, capture images and more right from a survey. Then, you'll deploy your survey to iOS and Android devices, where they can be filled out offline and sync their data back when you're online again. And you can use the same tool to build online surveys for your website, too.
What It Is: Do people ask you your secret to perfect pie crust or how you made that wreath? "Everyone knows how to do something, or has a hobby they enjoy," says Kimberly Lawson, owner of OohLaLuxe.net, who has created fashion and beauty tutorial videos. "These can easily be turned into profits." Simply sign up for a free YouTube account. Then use a smartphone or digital camera to record yourself explaining and demonstrating how you work your magic. (If you're more tech-savvy or have a burgeoning teenage filmmaker in your house, you can use desktop software, such as Windows Movie Maker, to create a slicker video.) "Once you upload the video to YouTube, enroll in its partner program," Lawson says. YouTube will then place ads inside or near your video, and you will earn money from the ads themselves, video views and click-throughs. "The key is to put a unique spin on your video," says Lawson, especially if there are lots of others on the same subject.
The point of each survey is to present you with a topic you're interested in and qualified to discuss for the benefit of the researcher. Surveys range in time required, from very short to quite long. Because researchers are looking for opinions only from certain segments of people, you may find you have to try a few surveys before you're qualified to give your opinion on one. Keep at it, and you'll eventually find one that's right up your alley.
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I created my first survey in your app in just 15 minutes. I’m a musician and was polling my fans on a selection of songs for my next album. I shared the survey via Facebook and also printed it out to hand out. The Results Section made it simple to summarize all the votes and gave me the demographic info I was looking for as well. I shared the results with my fans and am now busy recording the twelve songs for my next album. Thanks, SurveyPlanet!
For companies, one of the major dangers of paid online surveys is that you are giving participants an incentive to lie and cheat in order to take more surveys [source: Selling to Kids]. People might lie on their demographic profile to qualify for more surveys. They might sign up with the same company under multiple e-mail addresses to maintain several different profiles. They might rush through multiple-choice surveys randomly checking answers in order to complete the survey in the least amount of time possible.
When explicitly offered the economy as a response, more than half of respondents (58%) chose this answer; only 35% of those who responded to the open-ended version volunteered the economy. Moreover, among those asked the closed-ended version, fewer than one-in-ten (8%) provided a response other than the five they were read; by contrast fully 43% of those asked the open-ended version provided a response not listed in the closed-ended version of the question. All of the other issues were chosen at least slightly more often when explicitly offered in the closed-ended version than in the open-ended version. (Also see “High Marks for the Campaign, a High Bar for Obama” for more information.)