Some of the “gotcha” job offers from the past include check-cashing schemes, mystery shopping, medical billing “jobs” that require you to purchase expensive computer software, and craft-making jobs that ask you to pony up the cash for materials before you get started. And let’s not forget about the famous envelope-stuffing scam that was nothing more than a pyramid scheme designed to siphon money from as many people as possible.
This is a job with much potential, in part because the title description covers many things. “You can fit your offerings to what you know how to do,” says Stephanie Foster, a former medical transcriptionist who runs the website HomeWithTheKids.com. One can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other employers or clients. HomeWithTheKids.com, for example, currently features several such companies.
Some products also include display logic, which is the ability to show or hide a question or section of a survey based on conditions that occurred before it. This can require far less upfront planning, although a few products in our review roundup implemented it very poorly, preventing question order from changing after setting it up. On the other hand, some packages that can accommodate particularly long and complex surveys can divide questions into sets or blocks; this can make it much easier to keep track of questions that pertain to a similar subtopic, for example.
As a TTEC@Home associate, you'll use our technology to support and assist customers with a variety of customer service and technical needs. This could include helping customers over the phone, via chat, or on social media. Best of all, you can do it all while wearing your slippers or flip flops! (To get started, you’ll need internet access and a home phone. Bunny slippers are optional.)
In most circumstances, the number of answer choices should be kept to a relatively small number – just four or perhaps five at most – especially in telephone surveys. Psychological research indicates that people have a hard time keeping more than this number of choices in mind at one time. When the question is asking about an objective fact, such as the religious affiliation of the respondent, more categories can be used. For example, Pew Research Center’s standard religion question includes 12 different categories, beginning with the most common affiliations (Protestant and Catholic). Most respondents have no trouble with this question because they can just wait until they hear their religious tradition read to respond.
How to Get It: Visit companies such as DarwinsData.com, PineconeResearch.com and PaidViewpoint.com. (Search "surveys" on RealWaystoEarnMoneyOnline.com for more options.) Then sign up with as many sites as you can. The sites will contact you when surveys that fit your demographic pop up, and you take them right away. A word to the wise: Do not register anywhere that has a membership fee, asks for your Social Security number or bank information, or is vague about payment.
How to Get It:If you shot the video with your phone, open the YouTube app and hit "send." If you're uploading from a computer, visit YouTube, and click the "upload" button in the upper right corner of the screen. You'll see a place to drag your video file. To enroll in the partner program, click on YouTube settings, check the circle next to "Allow Advertisements," then click on "View Additional Features." On the YouTube monetization page, opt in. Generally, you must earn a minimum before you get paid, and YouTube pays monthly—if you don't earn enough in one month, the balance rolls over.
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
With that said, bloggers can expect to make a few hundred dollars a month up to tens of thousands. A blogger’s salary completely depends on their niche, their audience, and how skilled they are at promoting either their own products or somebody else’s. For example, while she is certainly at the top of the heap, our good friend Michelle makes about $50,000 a month from blog revenue alone.
It requires patience, as it can take some time, but can often be a quick way of making some easy dollars whilst watching television or listening to music. Surveys are not a get rich scheme – hourly rates are never going to reach anything like a regular wage – but many people manage to turn idly filling in online forms into tidy sums to put towards holidays, home improvements or their new wardrobe!
Companies are certainly catching onto the trend, and most have the flexibility to work from home, if not at all the time, at least when needed. It’s changing the way we work, especially in the tech sphere. And while it may not be for everybody, employers may find they can save money and increase productivity for some workers. And for some employees, work-from-home benefits may be the difference between an enjoyable and stressful work life.
To a survey taker, a survey may seem like a simple progression of questions. However, while some surveys can be as short as a single question, others can be complex webs of blocks of questions and conditions that sometimes include actual scripting. And even if they don't go quite that far, many surveys call for navigation rules and other choices that can providenot only a better experience for respondents, but also for more precise data collection, which can be critical when that data later transitions to business analysis tools.
Survey Club has been offering online paid surveys since 2005, and in the fast paced every changing world of the web that’s a reassuringly long amount of time. They are a bit of an acquired taste, in that they specialise in long, detailed surveys for high end clients rather than the quick and cheerful consumer surveys that you may be more familiar with. Whilst this does mean that you may have to commit a bit more time, it does mean that if you have the patience to persevere with them they pay more money than most survey and reward sites. They also offer local taste tests (see what I said about ‘an acquired taste’?), and secret shopper opportunities.
Actually after spending these few months meeting people in meetups, there is this one survey software API that I think we all need. A social profile matching software (like a dating software showing % of personality matching). But it is every individual had its own personal database of questions instead (for every category of questions we also get answering same type of questions meeting new people eg profession,position, work experience, interest/hobby, etc) What if we can each build a database of thousands of different questions answer on a scale of 1-5 and the application will just auto compare all those questions and show up with 2 circles which are the interception of our common interest or personality etc. Eg What is your view on gay marriage? If you put 1 on strong agree and me 5 strongly disagree, then it can also tell us its a topic we should not touch on for a first meeting.
Tirena is a Managing Senior Analyst for Gartner Digital Markets. She graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Writing Intensive BS in Biology with a focus in genetics, obtained a Masters in Public Health from George Mason University, a Writing Certificate from the University of Cambridge and a Marketing Certificate from Georgetown University. Follow her on @TJDingeldein for insights on marketing, data science, and startups.
Simon Slade, CEO and co-founder of Affilorama has experienced first hand the benefits of having remote workers at his company, “By allowing employees to work remotely," he says, "you can hire the best of the best while not limiting yourself by geographical restrictions. At Doubledot Media, 19 of our 28 employees work remotely, and I have seen no difference in job satisfaction or work performance. If anything, my remote employees' production rate is higher because they are better equipped to avoid distractions.” The benefits also extend to his bottom line, “telecommuting saves me money because they pay for their own computer, electricity and other utilities.”
Something unique that MyPoints offers that most other similar companies don't offer is the ability to earn cash back on some in-store purchases at select stores, along with their online paid surveys. Also, although their online store cashback rates aren't the highest in the industry (ironically, Swagbucks beats them on several offers), they do have special offers that other companies don't have, such as a bonus to sign up for Amazon Prime.
In most ways, iSay is identical to the other sites on the list. One thing which sets them apart is the “Poll Predictor.” If you’ve been on a survey site before, you know one of the most frustrating things is to enter a survey, answer a few questions, and then get kicked out for not qualifying. If this happens with iSay, you get asked a Poll Predictor question. These are questions like “Have you ever been overseas?” and you have to guess what percentage of people said yes. The closer you are to the right answer; the more chances you get for winning the prize drawing.
What It Is: Think Mary Kay (cosmetics), Pampered Chef (kitchenware), or Rodan + Fields (skincare)—over time, you build a base of clients to whom you sell a company's wares. "There are several reasons why I decided to become a consultant," says Rodan + Fields independent consultant Debbie Royer. "I had seen how much of a blessing the business had been to a friend of mine and my sister-in-law. Plus, everything can be done from my phone, and being a mom to a preschooler and an infant I don't have a lot of extra time to be sitting at a computer."
For employees who can’t afford to be distracted a number of times a day, having a controlled environment can be key to their productivity. Working from home can allow workers to minimize distractions and increase the time they spend focused on a project. It stands to reason that, in the end, companies benefit from these remote employees by getting projects completed faster with fewer mistakes.
How to Get It: You can apply directly through the companies, such as Stella & Dot, a jewelry company that had over $100 million in sales in 2010. A few other good ones include Avon (household and personal care), The Cocoa Exchange (chocolates and more), and Alice's Table (flowers). You can also visit the Direct Selling Association website—all the companies listed there agree to abide by a code of ethics, so they only offer legitimate opportunities. Typically reps make a small investment to get started (this is a legitimate and standard practice), and sometimes pay a fee for the merchandise being sold. After that you can work as much or as little as you want, and see profit based on how much you sell.
The site will even allow you to monetise your internet searches, if you swap from Google or Safari to their own search engine. The Swagbucks search engine, which is actually running Yahoo, will pay you Swagbucks every time you search. For games, there are options like Scrabble and Wheel of Fortune, which won’t pay you much, but could be worth a go if you fancied playing a game anyway! Swagbucks TV allows you to watch advertising videos on a range of topics, including news, fitness and entertainment. There’s a snag – your earnings are capped at 150 Swagbucks, but it is worth a look if you’re prone to wasting time watching viral clips.
There’s lots of additional ways to boost your income on Vindale, including rewards for opening adverts sent to your email account, or small payments for watching advertising videos online. The site pays out in plain and simple cash, and doesn’t mess around with rewards or gift cards, which many people familiar with the survey landscape find a welcome relief. However, as with OnePoll, you’ll have to earn $50 before you can remove you money from the site, which may not be as tempting as some companies where the threshold is much lower.
By only sending you questionnaires you are already qualified for, Pinecone wastes far less of your time than many sites which require you to fill our qualifying questions before starting each survey. However some users have said they don’t receive very many surveys, which could be a consequence of their careful filtering. Equally the site retains the right to remove you from their panel if you no longer fit their desired demographic, so make the most of your membership while you have it!
Product testing can be a fun way to make some extra money and also get a chance to try something new before the general public. This should be treated as a bonus though, as you have no control over whether you’ll be chosen, as it is down to whether the company thinks you are the correct audience. The firm also runs lucky draws throughout the year, where you can win between $500 and $5,000, and you are entered into them as a reward each time you fill out a survey.
“As a programmer, I need large chunks of time to really make progress on a project,” states Ann Gaffigan, CTO of Land Pros Systems, Inc., “In an office, there are so many potential distractions, with people knocking on the door or customers stopping in. This way I can control when I answer calls and emails and when I 'go silent' to get some work done.”
Second, there is nobody that’s making $3500 a month filling out online surveys. Sure, there are people who may earn $1000 or even $2000 a month, but they are in the minority. For most of us, it would be impossible unless you join every survey site that there is and spend every single waking hours filling out surveys. And that’s assuming if you are lucky enough to have that many surveys available, to begin with.
Pew Research Center pretests all of its questionnaires, typically on the evening before a survey is scheduled to begin. The staff then meet the following day to discuss the pretest and make any changes to the questionnaire before the survey goes into the field. Information from pretesting is invaluable when making final decisions about the survey questionnaire.
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.
One of the oldest and longest running survey sites, Vindale Research is a legitimate option for making some money from filling out surveys. Based in New York, the company offers both traditional surveys and evaluations, by testing products or online services. It’s free to sign up, and surveys pay between $1 and $5 each and product testing starts at $5 and moves up from there. The site claims significantly higher rates of pay, but as this involves slightly inflated pricing, for example discounting fees you may have to pay out to join subscription sites before receiving your end payout, they won’t be included here.
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.
Many of these offerings provide rich toolsets for survey design and a number of amenities to create better-designed surveys, starting with a range of questions. However, designing, executing, and analyzing the results of high-quality surveys can still require a level of expertise that can be gotten through extensive training. Indeed, while my reviews didn't discuss acquiring and evaluating survey samples in-depth, as they are only incidental to the tools, this is a discipline in and of itself.
The tech industry is well known for its flexible schedules and telecommuting opportunities, which makes sense, considering most tech companies are web-based and technology is the greatest resource when working from home. With video chats, conference calls, VPN networks, and wireless Internet, we can constantly stay connected as though we were sitting in our office, rather than at home.
It is also important to ask only one question at a time. Questions that ask respondents to evaluate more than one concept (known as double-barreled questions) – such as “How much confidence do you have in President Obama to handle domestic and foreign policy?” – are difficult for respondents to answer and often lead to responses that are difficult to interpret. In this example, it would be more effective to ask two separate questions, one about domestic policy and another about foreign policy.