Money

5 Ways to Make Extra Money by Simply Giving Your Opinion

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These five women rake in cash by simply sharing their thoughts! Find out how, so you can start earning and make money online giving your opinion.

“I make $1,000 a month taking surveys.”

“When my kids were younger, I decided I needed to find a job that let me make my own schedule. So I looked online for ways to make money and I discovered that taking daily polls and surveys could really pay off.

“I signed up at a bunch of survey sites like PollBuzzer.com, where I earn points doing simple things like taking a survey, watching a mock-up ad or reading emails from the site’s advertisers and answering questions. Recently, I’ve done surveys on cars, cat food and online shopping. They ask demographic questions, then ones like, “How often do you buy groceries?” or “How many pets do you have?”

The time it takes to answer questions can range anywhere from 1 to 45 minutes, but they usually give you an approximate time up front so you know if you can finish in one sitting, because often you can’t come back once you’ve started.

“There’s no investment to do these programs and the sign-up process is typically simple, so it’s a great way to earn a decent supplemental income. I bring in anywhere from $225 a month to well over $1,000, and the money helps my family out in so many ways, from buying my son’s college textbooks to paying for summer camp for my daughter.

There’s a steady flow of cash as the checks trickle in, plus some programs allow you to earn points that can be used to snag gift cards to Starbucks and other stores and restaurants.

“Sometimes I work in the early morning and sometimes I work late into the night. But for me that’s a perk! I love being able to get up from my desk whenever I want. If I feel like it, I can even take a 30-minute walk.

“After doing this for a while, it occurred to me that these days, everyone is struggling to make ends meet, so I started my own website, MoneyMakingMommy.com, where I post my secrets and offer tips on how to earn money online. I’m always updating the site to try to help others add cash to their bottom line.” -Kelly Land, 47, Weaverville, NC

Kelly Land
Steven McBride Photography

“I make up to $670 a month giving my opinion!”

“Several years ago when my husband was deployed to Iraq, I wasn’t working but I wanted to find a way to talk with other people, pass the time, and make some money. When I found opportunities for focus groups on Craigslist, and realized I could make money sharing my opinion, I knew it would be the perfect gig. 

“I signed up with a lot of market research companies so I would be notified of new focus groups. I have also used a few apps like MyPoints and discount, and I search Facebook. Recently, I learned about FindFocusGroups.com, a site that has legitimate and verified paid opportunities. Larger cities have more focus groups and now that they’re all virtual, I can participate in more. 

“One of my favorite focus groups are mock juries, where I give my opinion about the case, including whether I think those on trial would be convicted or if they’re liable. I’ve also participated in focus groups about osteoporosis, hotels, football teams, the military, the environment, and politics. 

“I get paid by check, PayPal, an Amazon gift card, or an online debit card. I love giving my opinion and listening to others’ perspectives and it’s so much fun! I participate in about 4 to 5 focus groups a week, and I usually do them during my lunch hour so it doesn’t interfere with my work. I make up to $670 a month — money that allows me to try new restaurants, do online shopping, and save!” -Linda Barron, 56, Springlake, North Carolina

Linda Barron
Courtesy of Linda Barron

“I make $50 an hour in online focus groups.”

 “After I was laid off from my job 10 years ago, I was in search of ways to make money. I saw an ad on TV looking for people to participate in paid focus groups. Companies who are developing a new product often turn to market research firms to find people to test out the product and give their opinions.

I decided to give it a shot, so I signed up and started receiving invitations to participate. Now that I have a full-time job again, most of the groups I do are online. I like these because I can do them at home on my own schedule. Finding the groups is easy, either by searching online for local market research firms or by checking out websites like EngageInDepth.com. Recently I participated in an online focus group for an iced tea brand.

First, to see if I qualified for the group, I answered questions about things such as activities I like to do and my personality. For the actual study, I looked at three ads and told them how they made me feel and if I was persuaded to buy the product.

“The online focus groups last one to three days and they usually require answering a few questions in the morning and again at night, which takes about 10 minutes. The pay for each group varies, but on average, I earn $100 for two hours of work.

“I love doing focus groups because I like knowing I have an influence on new products. I also enjoy telling people what I think, which is why I started a blog (TheJennyPincher.com). And the extra money allows me to save up for things I wouldn’t normally do, like going on a yoga retreat to Jamaica!” -Jenny Kerr, 38, Nashville

Jenny Kerr
Steven McBride Photography

“I earn $75 an hour as a taste tester!”

“I like to try new foods and I spend a lot of time experimenting in my kitchen. Although I work full-time, a friend of mine who had done some focus groups with FocusGroupsOfCleveland.com suggested that I sign up too. When I found out they had a lot of interesting studies that they needed taste testers for, I knew it would be right up my alley.

“Completing the studies couldn’t be easier. Once I submit information about my age, my income, the stores I shop at and the types of foods I like to eat, a recruiter calls me and asks me a few questions like, ‘Do you eat pizza?’ and ‘Do you purchase frozen prepared pizza?’ to make sure I qualify. If I fit the profile for the type of consumer they’re looking for, I attend the focus group along with a group of other participants.

“I’ve taste-tested tons of different foods like snack bars, beverages and chocolate. One study was for a prepared microwavable single-serve pasta meal. I got to try the different varieties and offer feedback about things like the intensity of the flavor, the cooking time and the preparation.

“I do a study about every six months and I make between $50 and $150 for one to two hours of work. I love that I get to taste so many different foods and I get a sneak preview before they hit shelves. The money is great too — cash that I’ve put toward renovating my bathroom and taking yoga classes!” -Kari McHenry, 45, Rocky River, OH

Kari McHenry
Raymundo Garza

Note: To find focus groups in your area, Google “focus groups” or “market research” and your city and state.

“I bring in up to $300 an hour reviewing products.”

“I work full-time as a clinical educator at a hospital, but I was looking to make extra money. When friends told me about Maven.co, a company that pays you to answer questions for companies doing research and product development, I knew it would be the perfect gig.

“Signing up was simple. I filled out an application, which included my education, employment history and the industry I have knowledge about. The great thing about Maven is that you can consult for any of their industries, including health care, education and food, but you don’t have to have a certain level of education or experience to make money.

“Most of the companies that ask for my advice are medical and educational companies. They send me a questionnaire with information about a product, like a piece of equipment, and ask me if I think it’s necessary or if it should be improved. They might also ask me about a process and how it’s used where I work.

“Pay varies based on the company and the amount of time the survey takes, but I make anywhere between $90 and $300 for about 45 minutes of work. If I refer someone who has more expertise than me on a topic, I get a referral bonus. I do one or two questionnaires a week and make between $500 and $750 a month.

“I love working for Maven because I can do it from home on my own schedule and I also get to help shape new products or services. The money I make pays for new clothes, manicures or a day at the spa!” -Monique Steffani, 42, Whittier, CA

Monique Steffani
Steven McBride Photography

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Make Money From Home (Buy on Amazon, $12.99).  

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