Paid online surveys often get a bad rap. But the truth is, the best survey sites out there do pay, and you really can earn money just for sharing your thoughts. Do you have an opinion? (Let’s be honest—who doesn’t?) Put it to work for you and watch the dollars add up.

Taking surveys gives you a rare chance to influence how a company creates and markets new products. Best of all, you can complete them in your spare time, trading a few minutes of your day for gift cards, cash, and prizes.

How Quickly Can You Earn Money From Surveys?

If you are looking for a quick way to make some extra cash, legit survey jobs can provide that opportunity. How fast can you make survey money? You will likely start earning from day one. But how?

Market research firms use surveys to gauge customer reactions and make their advertising efforts more effective. They provide monetary incentives in the form of gift cards and cash. You can even earn money from surveys with Paypal.

The money is credited to your account shortly after completing each survey. Then you can cash out using the method of your choice. It’s easy!

Let’s Talk Money. How Much Money Can You Make From Surveys?

Will you get rich taking online surveys? Probably not. But if earning some extra money from home is the goal, sharing your opinion for money is the way to go. A few dollars here and there truly adds up. Many people find that completing online surveys for cash helps them afford extras like gifts, a night on the town, or some spare pocket money.

Other folks like to save up the money they earn from taking surveys for a rainy day. Here are some smart strategies to help you make the most of those survey opportunities:

Find a Legit Survey Site To Earn Extra Money

The most important thing you can do to ensure you make money with surveys is to sign up at the best survey sites. There are many survey sites online, but not all of them measure up. The highest paid survey sites offer fair compensation and an easy-to-use interface that makes sharing your opinion simple.

Real survey sites will almost always offer users multiple ways to cash out. This may include checks, cash, or gift cards. They will also provide a variety of survey opportunities to their loyal users. After all, if there are no surveys to complete, it will be hard to make any money.

Complete All Demographic Information

Market research firms look for survey takers who fit specific demographic profiles. The more information those market research firms have, the easier it will be to match you with the appropriate survey opportunities.

It may take a few extra minutes, but completing all demographic information could vastly increase the number of real surveys for money that land in your email inbox. Even if it is not required, it is a good idea to complete a detailed demographic profile for any survey site you sign up for.

Qualify for as Many Surveys as You Can

Once you’ve completed your demographics, you will want to qualify for as many free surveys to make money as possible. You will definitely get paid for completing surveys on legit sites, but you won’t make any money at all without putting in some effort.

While it can be discouraging to be turned down for a survey because you don’t meet the criteria, keep plugging away. It’s a bit like mining—once you find one precious stone, you’re bound to come across another soon.

Fill Out Low Paying Surveys

While you may dream of high-paying surveys, not every questionnaire pays out the big bucks. In fact, plenty of surveys pay very little, but that doesn’t mean you should skip them. Taking three short surveys and making five dollars is just as lucrative as taking one long survey that pays five dollars.

Even a low paying survey could be worth your time, especially if it leads to additional opportunities or a high-paying focus group. Every survey you complete provides the company with more information, and those expanded demographic profiles could make qualifying for other higher-paying opportunities easier.

Maximize Your Rewardsperson holding black Android smartphone close-up photography

The rewards offered by survey companies vary quite a bit, so learn the rules and look for ways to maximize the value of those rewards.

For example, the company may offer cash or points bonuses for referrals, so getting your friends on board with paid surveys might be worth it. Other times, you can earn bonuses based on your weekly or monthly volume of activity.

Many survey companies allow participants to exchange their points for gift cards, while others pay in cold hard cash. Top-rated sites like Branded Surveys give their users both options.

Before opting for cash, consider whether you already have a favorite store or website where you frequently shop. Combine your loyalty rewards with a new gift card from taking online surveys— and BAM! You’ve scored a sweet deal.

Be Honest When Completing Surveys

As with most good things, some users are always looking for ways to buck the system. While this may work out in the short term, their cheating ways catch up with them every time.

Survey sites have sophisticated software in place to detect fraudulent activity among users, so it’s best not to even attempt it. If you’re caught, you will likely lose all your earnings and be banned.

The best way to earn real money for completing online surveys is to take your time and answer each question as honestly and accurately as possible. This will also ensure you get future invites to more surveys.

Surveys are an excellent way to earn a legitimate side income, but fraudsters can ruin it for everyone. Following the rules preserves the system so that others can benefit from making money online as well.

Watch Out for Scams

There are plenty of legitimate survey sites out there, all providing opportunities to share your opinions and earn some extra cash. Unfortunately, there are also lots of scams designed to separate you from your money.

As you explore various survey companies, watch out for sites that promise high-dollar opportunities in exchange for an up-front fee. Legitimate market research firms do not charge the users who complete their surveys. Real firms make their money from the companies that hire them, not the other way around.

Do You Pay Taxes on the Money You Earn From Online Surveys?

Since survey sites do not withhold taxes, you will be required to claim your survey income on your yearly tax return. But only if you earn more than $600 on a site. Keep in mind that gift cards count as taxable income, too.

Are Surveys Worth Your Time?

Filling out paid surveys may not make you rich, but completing these market research questionnaires could bring in some extra cash and provide you with great rewards. From gift card rewards for online retailers and popular local restaurants to actual money, online surveys really do pay, and the tips listed above can help you get started.