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Tips for completing surveys

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I am a HUGE fan of completing online surveys. They can be a great way to fill some time, when I’m waiting for the kettle to boil, or when I’m waiting to collect my daughter from school. I like to fill any dead time I have waiting around with ways to make money, and paid surveys are one of my favourite ways!

You’ll never get rich completing paid surveys, however, this can be a great way to save for Christmas, or just to make some extra money. Something that I know so many of us could do with at the moment!

I share lots of survey companies here (see near the end of this post for my list of favourite websites) and it is fair to say that I am a bit of a fan of completing surveys!

I’m a big fan of paid surveys as I can pick them up as I want. I don’t have to worry that if I miss surveys for a day or two that I will be penalised.

Also, if the phone rings, or my children suddenly wake up or need me, I can be available. I like to complete some surveys while I’m doing my chores, and sometimes I go a week or two without completing any.

Fill in your profile surveys

Profile surveys store information about you, and your household, to save you answering repeated questions. By keeping your profile surveys updated you will cut down the amount of survey disqualifications you receive.

You won’t need to fill these in often, as a lot of the information requested is not the type that changes frequently. I like to try to update mine twice a year, but at least once a year. January is a good time for this as most things in life seem a little quieter then!

If you have some big changes to your household, such as welcome a new child, changing jobs, or entering a new salary bracket, then you will want to pop in and update your information around this time.

Letting the survey companies know that you’ve had a big change in your life will prevent them, hopefully, from sending surveys and focus group invites that are not suitable for you.

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Only open one survey from each website at a time

I think this may be the most important survey tip that I can share with you today. I have noticed that opening multiple surveys with one company can sometimes leave me with an error message.

This seems to be because I’m accidentally opening surveys from the same company more than once.

I would recommend paying attention, and if you start to notice errors, then consider if it could be because you’ve opened surveys seemingly hosted by different companies but actually from the same panel. SSI is one example of this, but I’m sure that there are others too!

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Open more than one survey at a time (but only one per company)

Some studies can be a little bit slow to load. These, annoyingly, are some of the better paying ones. I am not sure why, but what I like to do is open a few surveys, from different companies though, so that I can tab through when I’m waiting for other studies to load. This works when on a computer or laptop of course, but might be a little bit slower on a phone, and thus not worth the time.

I use keyboard shortcuts to tab through each survey, which helps me to save time, and means that I can be fast answering the questions and not worry about being disqualified for being too fast.

If I have three surveys open it might take me 15 minutes to get through them, rather than completing each one in just 5 minutes and being flagged for speeding through or not paying attention.

Survey companies will sometimes disqualify your answers, and not pay you, if they think that you’re speeding through the questions or not paying close attention.

By having a few tabs open I can answer a few questions per survey and then tab to the next one and do the same. This slows down my overall submission time for studies and is also a great way to relieve some of the boredom from some of the less interesting studies I am asked to complete.

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Take time to select the highest paying email surveys first

On occasion I have noticed the same survey on offer from multiple companies. It can be a little disappointing to complete a study and then realise if I’d gone via another site that I could have earned more money.

What I like to do now is start with the highest paying survey companies, to reduce missing out on this extra income. I like to start with sites such as Prolific, Y Live and Pinecone Research.

Then I will move on to companies that pay a little less, such as Swaybacks, YSense and Branded Surveys. Finally, if I have free time left, I’ll move onto the lower paying companies and complete any leftover studies there.

This is the best way to maximise earnings, but also it means if I have to stop midway through the time I thought I had that I’m not missing out so much!

Some people have told me previously that clearing your browser cache and cookies in between survey sites can lead to more surveys, but I don’t want to be giving two or three answers to the same study and diluting their data, so I don’t do this.

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Delete the lowest paying surveys

If, like me, you go through periods of time where you just don’t complete many surveys, you may find that you’ve got 10s or even 100s of invites in your email inbox.

I would recommend, if you’re short on time, that you prioritise. Deleting the lower paying surveys, and the ones that are insultingly low, as they’re not worth your time.

For websites where they pay in points, or dollars, I like to have a little note I can refer back to so I can easily see the conversion in pounds and decide if something is for me.

Surveys ARE known for being low paid. It’s true. However, if you prioritise the highest paying ones, or even solely just do those, then you can make a nice amount of extra money over the month or year.

I like to delete the surveys where the pay is low. I don’t feel bad about doing so, as I’m just not going to complete a 15 minute survey for 32p!

Personally I find that surveys take around half of the quoted time, as I read and type fast, but even on that basis there are quite a few surveys sent to be every day that just aren’t worth my time.

I will aim to spend 15 – 30 minutes a day, where I can, to complete the best paid surveys and just freely delete all of the rest. This works out at a pretty good hourly rate this way, and I’m grateful I have other ways to make money online too!

Be truthful when answering questions

This is the other most important tip I can give you, and that is to be honest when you’re answering your surveys.

On the surface I know it can seem easy to just lie, and maximise the surveys that you’re invited for, but the companies often already hold a lot of data on you from the profile surveys, or even from past surveys that you’ve completed.

Some companies will actively remove you from panels as soon as they find out that you’re lied. This can be right before you’re due to receive your cash out, and it really is not worth the stress.

Surveys often contain test questions, which are designed to catch you out if you lie, and so you’ll find it is probably more trouble than it is worth trying to remember this fake persona that you’ve created just to complete a £1.50 survey.

As well as being immoral it is a bad idea to lie in surveys because some of them can have a real impact on society. I regularly see politic surveys on YouGov, for example, and I’ve also had surveys from water companies, energy companies and much more.

If you’re just ticking boxes, and not being truthful with your answers, you could be impacting policy change or the way that brands work going forward.

Honesty is the best policy and at least you’ll know the right answers to all the questions!

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Do completing surveys actually work?

They do!

Now don’t get me wrong, you’re not going to become wealthy or anything, but you can make some welcome extra cash or gift vouchers.

For me I’ve used the money for a variety of things in the past. I’ve had years where I’ve made £1,000s of extra money just from surveys, and I’ve had years where it has been less.

Paid surveys are always waiting in the background if I have a quiet day during my work hours and have some free time. If I’m travelling for work then I can fill some of the time with a little bit of money making.

Nobody is going to make a fortune from surveys these days, but this can be a welcome income stream alongside lots of others, to help you enjoy some treats in your day to day life.

I’ve saved for a couple of years for a nearly new car, I’ve also filled up sinking funds, and put up saving money for holidays and Christmas time too. I love to save the Amazon vouchers up for presents for people, donations to the food bank or for random acts of kindness.

Are completing surveys safe?

In my experience yes. I mostly use survey companies where I can request an Amazon voucher, to Paypal payment, to stay safe.

I have shared my Bacs details with YouGov, Y Live and a few others, but these are all websites I’ve been using for years and they’re registered with the relevant market research body in the UK.

Looking for the highest paid surveys?

My absolute favourite survey site, and the highest paying one, is Prolific.

This is a free website to join, although sometimes they do have a waiting list.

The surveys pay a minimum of £6 per hour, but often this is more. I’ve had some fantastic bonuses from the researchers too, such as a £20 one, just to say thank you for paying attention during the studies, or even winning little games or tasks that they set along the way.

I find the studies on Prolific to be very interesting, informative and often for people studying in university to help them make a real difference in society. This is a lovely feeling, and it is great to know that my answers may help someone with their studies, even if it is just a little tiny bit!

What is the Clixsense/Ysense best survey profile?

Honestly, the best survey profile you can set up is your own. You don’t want to have to remember to lie all of the time.

From speaking to other survey takers, and my own knowledge, I believe that some of the best survey demographics are to be 25-34 years olds, in a professional setting for work, own a car, have children and be a higher rate tax payer.

Survey companies often want to speak to a wide variety of demographics, so it is best to be honest and wait for the surveys to come along that are the right fit for you.

It all depends on what a specific survey company are looking for. Personally I feel it works best to be honest on your profiles, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally filling in the wrong information and losing money, or worse, getting banned from being a member of a panel.

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Looking to complete some online surveys for money? Be sure to check out these posts – I’ve bolded my favourites!

If you enjoyed this post I’d love it if you could pin it on Pinterest!

My top tips for completing surveys. Earn money for giving your opinion with paid surveys and market research

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Tuesday 14th of March 2017

Need to sort mine out!!!! Thanks for the info


Wednesday 15th of March 2017

You're welcome - hope you can make lots of monies!

Angela Webster

Sunday 28th of June 2015

Brilliant tips katy, I've just started weeding out the lower paid ones and you've mentioned a few I'm not signed up with yet so thanks x

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