Make Real Money Taking Surveys: Best Tips to Get Started

  • Time to read: 10 min.

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A lot people are looking for a way earn an income online. Maybe that includes you since you’re here. Surveys are one of the most popular ways to make money online. They’re also one of the easiest ways to make money from home. With so many survey sites out there, it’s hard to know which ones will be worth your time – especially since not all of them pay well or have high-paying rewards.

In this blog post, I’ll give you some tips and tricks on how to make real money taking surveys, as well as how to find good paying surveys that won’t take up too much of your time.

Let’s get started!

Can You Make Real Money Taking Surveys?

The first question most people have when learning that they can make real money taking surveys is this:

Can you actually earn real money?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Surveys can be one of the best ways to make money from home (and they’re also one of the easiest).

I first realized that surveys were a legit way to make money when I stumbled across the BeerMoney subreddit.

make real money taking surveys
Beer Money Subreddit

People on there were posting that they had earned money every month through different online platforms and one of the most common ways that people said that they earned money was through online surveys.

I was shocked.

I had always thought that surveys were scams that never worked. But that wasn’t what these people on Reddit were saying.

So, I decided to check it out.

And I found out that you can make real money taking surveys.

How Much Money Can You Make With Surveys

OK, so if you can make money, how much are we talking?

Well, realistically, you can expect to make anywhere from $40 to $150 a month per survey platform. Let’s say that you sign up for 3 survey platforms, that’s $120 to $450 a month that you can earn.

The payouts vary depending on what each specific study requires but they are usually rewarded by either cash (which can sometimes take weeks) or by giving points which could then turn into coupon codes that can be redeemable for things like gift cards.

On one of the survey platforms that I use (Prolific, which I’ll talk a out below), I consistently make ~$30 a week.

What’s more important than just the amount of money you make, though, is how much time it takes you to earn that money. You want to find surveys where you can work and get paid for five minutes or less (or at least as little as possible). That way, your earnings will add up faster!

If you want to make more money by completing surveys, the more personal information you’re willing to provide could also help determine how much cash you make. For example, if a survey requires your health history and home ownership status because it’s looking for people who fit its target demographic, that can be an advantage!

Some online surveys ask for significant amounts of personal information from their participants such as address or age before they invite them into the study.

However, you need to be careful about the surveys you take. If a survey asks for too much personal information, it could put your safety at risk.

You should always make sure that when taking any kind of survey they don’t ask for more than what is necessary – some companies may want to know whether or not you fit their target demographic before inviting you in but if they are asking for things like address and birth date, then there’s no way that can stay private!

5 Best Survey Sites for Making Money

There are dozens of survey apps and websites out there that all claim to help you make real money taking surveys. However, as I mentioned, a lot of these aren’t very good. Some are even downright scams. So, to help you actually start making money from surveys, I’ve put together this list of 5 of the best survey sites/apps out there that will help you make real money taking surveys.


Prolific is probably the best survey site around and the one that makes me the most money month after money. Prolific is one of the oldest survey sites still around, so they know what they’re doing and have a good reputation. They offer a wide range of surveys (surveying everything from health to finance) with low minimum cash out thresholds (£5, which is just under $7). Surveys are usually pretty short (< 15 minutes) and pay really well.

The signup process is simple and straightforward and I always get my payouts within a few days cashing out. Their customer service team is also very responsive when contacted through email; I once emailed them a question about my registration and they answered and got the problems resolved within 24 hours.

The demographic information that Prolific requests you fill out can be pretty extensive because they want to make sure that the survey requestors are getting quality surveys. However, the surveys are usually run by leading academic institutions throughout the world so they are designed fairly well.

If you’re going to only choose one survey site to start with, it should be Prolific.


The next survey site you should register for is Swagbucks, which is super popular among the BeerMoney subreddit members. Swagbucks is a survey site that rewards you with points, which can then be redeemed for Amazon gift cards (among other things). You have to answer surveys and offers from time to time in order to get the most points possible.

The Swagbucks browser extension lets you earn rewards just for surfing the internet. It’s super easy to install, and it’ll take less than five minutes! This is a great way to get things like coffee and gift cards on your favorite websites without even having to buy anything!


Another survey app that I’ve earned money with is AttaPoll. This is a survey app that I’ve found to be less intrusive with ads and pop-ups than Swagbucks. In order to earn the most points, you’ll have to complete polls that are more lengthy.

You can also get rewarded for downloading some of their partner apps like Amazon or Hulu Plus. You won’t make as many points doing this, but it’s still a good way to start earning cash right away!

Since AttaPoll is restricted to being used on a mobile device, you can take the surveys anywhere without being tied up at home in front of your computer screen all day long! If you’re constantly waiting in line or at appointments, AttaPoll is a decent survey option you should try out.


CashCamel is a decent survey app that I used to earn about $10 the first week I had it. CashCamel surveys tend to be much more lengthy than what you might find with AttaPoll or Prolific, which means that you’ll have to spend more time completing them.

Also, sometimes the surveys take you to third-party survey sites so you have to input your demographic information all over again which can sometimes be annoying.

Surveys On The Go

This is another survey app that works well because you can use it while you’re out and about. The surveys from Surveys on the Go are usually short, but sometimes they’ll ask for your demographic information which can be a little aggravating when you have to input the same information multiple times.

Tips to Maximize Earnings

Time is money, so when trying to make real money taking surveys, it’s best to avoid wasting time so that you can maximize your profits. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Don’t Share Too Much Info

Some surveys try to get you to share every last piece of information about yourself. It might be tempting to share your info but you don’t want to share too much. If you do, your privacy might be violated in the future. Things to avoid sharing include your social security number, phone number, address, or any real names of you or your family members.

Create a Separate Email Address

Another way to make the most of your surveys is to create a separate email address. This is helpful because it will keep your personal email account from being spammed with survey offers. If you do sign up for a separate email address, make sure that you remember the password so that no one else can access it.

Maintain Relevance

Take surveys that are most relevant to you and best match your skillset or knowledge base (i.e., if you’re in marketing, take surveys on marketing)

Manage Your Time

Don’t forget about short-time tasks! These often pay better than taking long-term ones but they only last five minutes at most so be careful not to get distracted by other things while doing them.

Don’t Download Anything

Whatever you do, don’t download anything to your phone or computer. Downloading stuff could lead to getting scammed and losing all of your information. It happens every day so just stay safe online! That includes downloading anything like images, music, videos, etc (you might actually know someone who got caught up doing things like that).

Stay Vigilant

Be careful about what you click on in a survey. Sometimes, if you click on something that you’re not paying attention to, you could be automatically entering into a paid membership with recurring monthly fees. You don’t want to be spending your money on something that could potentially not even work!

Don’t Get Disqualified

Most surveys include questions to make sure that you’re reading the instructions. You want to make sure you pay attention to those because if you answer them wrong, you could get disqualified from the survey and then you wouldn’t get paid for any of the time you spent doing the survey in the first place.

Set Time Aside for Surveys

Probably the biggest tip for making real money from surveys is to actually set aside time specifically for them. When you set aside time, you’re more likely to actually do the surveys and get them done.

Of course, it’s also important that you set aside time for your day job- it can’t be neglected entirely!

The best way to balance both is by setting up a system where the hours in which you’ll work on your side hustle (taking surveys) are pre-planned out in advance, so that when it comes down to making decisions about how you spend your limited free time, you already know what you’re going to do.

Depending on what kind of schedule works out best with this method, some people will only take paid surveys at night before they go to bed or during their lunch break from work. Other options include taking one every weekday morning before breakfast or after dinner instead of watching TV.

Wrap Up

Taking surveys won’t make you a millionaire but it can provide you with a little extra spending money on an irregular basis. It also provides the opportunity to make some side-hustle income while working your day job or doing other things like playing with your children, cooking dinner, etc.

While paid surveys are not ideal as a sole source of income, they can work well when used alongside other side hustles like flipping products, selling advertisements on your car, or becoming a transcriber.

FAQ – Make Real Money Taking Surveys

Do online surveys really pay you?

Yes, but only the ones that are legitimate and aren’t trying to scam you.

Do you actually know anyone that has made $100 from surveys?

Yes, I have! In fact, in just over three weeks of doing surveys, I’ve made $141.61.

How much can I make from taking surveys?

You could theoretically earn up to $1,000 a month by spending about three hours a day on paid surveys.

How does it work with the online survey companies? Do they just send you emails all day long and then want your credit card number or something?

No! The survey company will ask for some demographic information before sending email invitations to take their surveys. This means that not every potential customer is targeted for each survey request. It also helps ensure that only qualified people complete the surveys – so everyone benefits in terms of accurate results!

What if I’ve never done an online survey before but am interested now after reading this blog post?

That’s great! The first step is to sign up at each of the survey sites/apps that I’ve outlined above. And by the way, I am not an affiliate for any of them so I don’t get anything if you sign up. These are just the ones that I’ve used personally so I know that they work.

Do you get paid instantly after taking a survey?

No, you won’t get paid instantly after your survey. Most companies say that you have to reach a certain threshold before you can “cash out” and received the money. The good thing, though, is that the cash out amount is not usually super high. And most of the sites/apps pay through PayPal which is really convenient.

What can I do with my earnings after I’ve accumulated some?

You could use them as spending money! Or save up all of that extra change so when an emergency comes up (think car/house repairs) you’ll be able to cover it quickly without having to take on debt from credit cards again. If you already have a savings built up, you can do what I do and roll that extra money into investing in bitcoin.

Can you make real money taking surveys from outside the U.S.?

Yes! There are international survey sites that will take your opinion and compensate you for it. However, most of the ones that I outlined in the post above require you to be a U.S. citizen living here.