2 Ways To Turn Your Opinions Into Cash


Online Surveys

Nearly half of Americans are struggling to stay current on bills, which means there isn’t much wiggle room to put money aside for unexpected expenses like car repairs or medical emergencies. One way to start contributing to an emergency savings fund is to think outside (or rather, in addition to) the traditional 9-5 job. Over the past several weeks we’ve covered a variety of “e-conomy” based earning opportunities: odd jobs that utilize online platforms to bring in cash without a full-time commitment.

Online survey completion is a common yet often overestimated option for making a bit of money on the side. To see what the experience is actually like, we talked with several people who turned to market research studies to earn money when budgets grew tight.

Conor Keenan looked into online surveys to make a bit of extra cash in college. “More often than not,” Conor reported, “I would start a survey, get 10 minutes into it and then be ‘not qualified for the survey.’”

We also talked to Leslie Welch, who has been participating in online surveys for about four years. While she continues to participate for pocket money, Leslie noted that the payout is small and “sometimes it takes months to get completed surveys approved for pay.”

The truth is, you’re not going to make a living from any of these roles. But if you’re simultaneously interested in sharing your opinions and preferences with companies whose products you interact with on a daily basis, there are several services out there that might be worth investigating. Here are a few notable services that we discovered. As always, remember that you should do your own due diligence before participating in any online study.


What is it?

iPinion is a market research and consumer insights company that connects brands and users through market research surveys. This company’s surveys are actually built for mobile devices, so you can use your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or tablet to complete the study from anywhere.

How can I get started?
To get started, you’ll need to fill out some demographic information. Remember to use caution when providing personal information on any site, and be sure to read the site’s terms and conditions carefully before proceeding with the registration process. Once you’re confirmed, you’ll run through a quick tutorial and initial demographic survey in order to be matched with relevant surveys.

How much money can I make?
Users earn “rewards points” in exchange for survey completion. Rewards points have a conversion rate of one dollar for every 100 points, and you’ll need to reach 500 points before making your first cash redemption through PayPal. However, there are no guarantees as to how many surveys you’ll be invited to participate in.


What is it?

YouEye calls itself an “online user experience lab” and uses web cams for eye tracking and emotion recognition to gauge participants’ responses to featured websites. To participate you’ll need to be 18 years of age and have access to an Apple computer with DSL or faster Internet connection as well as a webcam.

How can I get started?
First YouEye will invite you to fill out an application. Again, operate with caution when providing personal information online. From there you’ll be invited to sign up for a webinar training session to demonstrate the ins and outs of the process. After completion, you’ll be notified via email as studies become available.

How much money can I make?
Each study pays $12 unless otherwise specified, and payments are processed through PayPal. There are no guarantees on study frequency, and slots are filled on a first come, first serve basis.


Looking to expand your earning efforts beyond the virtual world? Check out our ideas on earning extra cash through tasks more commonly known as household chores.



Briana Fabbri is a personal lending expert and knows the benefits of great budgeting. She currently works as Head of UK Business for Enova International.