How to Make Money Filling Out Online Surveys

You've seen the emails flooding your inbox--make reliable money online filling out surveys for just a few minutes a day. But does filling out internet surveys really live up to the promises of these recruiting notes?

As with many online money-making ventures, the answer is yes and no. You can make money by joining survey companies and filling out the surveys they send you. It's not a get-rich-quick plan, though, and in most cases you'll only make pocket money. However, there are ways to maximize the efficiency and earning power of a survey venture if you choose to try it out.

Difficulty: Easy

Things You'll Need:
A computer
Time and patience
Join survey sites. The Internet offers a large number of survey sites. They're not terribly difficult to find. Some sites aggregate a number of sites, making it easy to sign up for several through one main portal page. Overall, the secret to making money with survey sites is to join a large number of reliable sites and take advantage of as many of their money- or point-earning opportunities as possible every day. Some portal-type sites will also evaluate various survey sites so that you have a better idea of whether or not individual sites are reliable.
Start taking surveys. For a few days, take advantage of as many survey opportunities as you can. Some survey sites will pay more than others. Some will pay in cash, some in points. As you take more surveys, you'll get a good idea of how much money you can actually make. Not all surveys will earn you money, as you won't qualify for the surveys, or it will turn out to be a survey you've already taken. As you take surveys, make note of how much money you're making per survey, and weed out those sites that pay only in sweepstakes entries, for example. You'll want to focus on sites that pay in actual cash, or in points that can be turned in for cash or gift cards.
Pay close attention to what you're being asked to do. In other words, read the fine print. Many survey sites will pay just for surveys, but others require you to complete product offers in order to claim larger amounts of cash. For example, a survey site might offer $10 to do a "Membership Evaluation." This involves actually acquiring a membership to the site in question. While many of these sites offer free introductory memberships, if you forget to cancel your trial membership in time, you will be charged a monthly fee, and it's likely to be more than the $10 you were paid by the survey site. This isn't to say that you shouldn't complete this kind of offer--just be sure you know exactly what you're getting into and how much the offer is likely to cost you.
Evaluate your time versus the money you're making. After you've been taking surveys for a week or so, you'll start to see which ones take more time than they're worth. If you have to take a ten-minute survey to be credited a penny or so on the survey site, this isn't a good exchange for your time. On the other hand, if you can make a penny by just clicking on a link or two, that's an acceptable trade of time for money. A survey site might offer $1.00 or more to take a survey, but if it takes you a half hour to find a survey you qualify for, this isn't a good return on your investment of time. After a while, you'll get a feel for what surveys are going to work for you within a couple of pages, and will be able to bail on the survey quickly if you're certain you won't qualify. In the long run, though, keeping track of your time versus your earnings will help you optimize your survey-taking time.
Weed out survey sites that aren't earning enough or fast enough. If a site offers 90% sweepstakes entries and only one or two money-earning opportunities each week, evaluate whether you want to continue using this site. Also be sure to look at the payout thresholds. If the site has a very high payout threshold, you won't see your money in a timely manner. Many sites pay out at $30, $25, or even $10. This is a much more reasonable threshold than $50 or $100.

Tips & Warnings

Success taking surveys is truly a matter of volume. The more surveys you get each day, the more money you can make. Sign up for as many sites as you can reasonably manage and evaluate them until you get an optimal collection of sites working for you.
Answer all surveys truthfully and completely. Don't falsify information just to qualify for a survey. Sooner or later, the discrepancies will be noticed, and you'll likely lose your account on that survey site.
If a survey site promises large amounts of money in a short period of time, avoid it. Survey-taking is never a high-ticket occupation, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If you participate in a lot of surveys, you'll probably see an increased amount of spam in your mailbox. If this bothers you, you might want to set up a separate email account just for your survey activities.
Taking surveys can turn into a huge time-suck if you aren't careful. Allot a certain amount of time each day to do surveys as you do your culling process, and when you finish assembling your go-to list of survey sites, be sure the list is a size you can handle. Learning when to bail out of surveys you won't qualify for can save you a lot of time, as well.