5 Pros and Cons of Taking Online Surveys

Making extra money on the side sounds like a pretty sweet gig for most but knowing where to start can be daunting.

Taking online surveys is one of the easiest methods to get started. With online surveys, you can make a few bucks from home in your free time.

It may not sound like much, but it’s a convenient way to make some additional income without having to leave the house.

But before getting started with taking online surveys, there are a few things you should know about this type of work.

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of taking online surveys so that you can decide if it’s right for you.

We will also provide tips on how to find legitimate survey sites and maximize your earnings potential so that you can get the most out of taking these paid surveys.

Understanding Online Surveys

Online surveys are a type of market research in which companies ask individuals to provide feedback on products, services, or other topics.

Companies use the information gleaned from these surveys to better understand their customers and make decisions about how to improve their offerings.

Many companies offer compensation for people who take part in online surveys – either through cash or gift card rewards.

The amount varies depending on the length and complexity of the survey, but often ranges from $0.50 to $5 per survey.

Alternative Types of Online Surveys

Surveys come in a number of formats. There are the common ones that you might see on apps or websites where you can log in and take surveys, which is what most of us think when picturing online surveys.

There are also alternative formats a company might decide to use in order to collect information for market research. Here are a few to keep in mind!

  • Online Interviews: Companies may also conduct online interviews with participants. These are often more in-depth than standard surveys, as they require you to provide detailed answers and can be one-on-one or group-centered. The payout for these types of surveys is usually higher than the amount offered for standard survey completion, but the time commitment can be greater as well.
  • Focus Groups: Focus groups are groups of people who come together to discuss a certain topic in more detail. Companies will often pay participants to attend focus group sessions so that they can learn more about their target audience. The compensation for these types of surveys is usually higher than standard survey completion, but the time commitment is also greater.
phone screen with money flowing out of it (taking online surveys post)

The Pros of Taking Online Surveys

Online surveys are popular for a reason – they have plenty of benefits! Whether it’s the flexibility or the idea of being a part of something bigger, here are a few benefits of taking online surveys.

1. Flexibility

Perhaps the most appealing thing about taking online surveys is that you can do them whenever and wherever you want.

You don’t have to worry about commuting or having a set schedule, as most survey sites allow you to complete surveys at any time of day.

This makes it great for those with busy lives who still want to make a few extra bucks on the side.

2. Easy to Get Started

Another great thing about taking online surveys is that it’s incredibly easy to get started. All you need is an internet connection and device, which most people already have.

Signing up with survey sites is also usually free, so there are no costs associated with getting started.

3. Low Commitment

Taking online surveys does not require a long-term commitment, so you can start and stop whenever you want.

That means you don’t have to worry about making any commitments or being tied down to the job for an extended period of time.

This makes it great for those who only want to make some extra cash occasionally, as opposed to becoming a full-time survey taker.

4. Payment Options

In terms of payment, online surveys are usually fairly flexible. Most survey sites offer cash via PayPal, gift cards, or other rewards. This means you can get paid in whatever way is most convenient for you.

Just keep in mind that every surveying platform won’t have every payment option, but you can certainly research the one that works best for you!

5. Playing a Key Role in Market Research

Taking online surveys allows you to play a key role in market research, which can be self-satisfying as you’re part of something bigger.

Companies rely on customer feedback to help them improve their products and services, so by taking surveys you are helping them do just that.

This can be a very rewarding experience, as you know your opinions and input are making an impact on the business world.

The Cons

As with anything, especially online money-making options, there are going to be cons. We’re breaking down a few to keep in mind for when you’re ready to make money online.

1. Potential for Low Earnings

One of the biggest drawbacks to taking online surveys is that they don’t typically pay very well. Although it’s possible to make some extra money, you should not expect to get rich quick with this type of work.

Most surveys only pay a few dollars at most, which means you’ll need to take a lot to garner a bigger payout, and some may even offer gift cards or points as payment.

2. Time Consuming

Another downside to taking online surveys is that they can be quite time-consuming.

It’s not uncommon for surveys to take 20-30 minutes or more to complete, and you often won’t qualify for all of the surveys available. This means that it might take longer than expected to reach your earnings goal.

3. Potential for Scams

You’ll always want to be aware that there are potential scams associated with taking online surveys.

Some survey sites may require you to provide personal information or credit card details before paying out your earnings, so make sure you research any site before signing up.

It’s also important to read the terms and conditions of each survey site to ensure that you know exactly what you are getting into.

4. Best for Extra Cash, Not a Full-time Gig

Ultimately, taking online surveys is best suited for those who want to make some extra cash on the side. It’s not a full-time job, and the money you make often won’t be enough to cover your living expenses.

However, if you are looking for a way to pad your wallet or just need some extra funds for a special occasion, taking surveys can be a great way to do just that.

5. Payout Holding Periods

One other con to consider is the payout holding period. Some survey sites will put a hold on your earnings for up to a few weeks before you are able to access them.

This may be inconvenient if you were expecting the money in a shorter time frame, so make sure to read the terms and conditions of each survey site before signing up.

Tips for Finding Legitimate Surveying Platforms (& Success)

Online surveys are as popular as ever, which means there are plenty of options. From small-time survey companies to major legacy platforms, you’ll want to be sure you’re picking the right option for your needs.

To help get you started, we’re breaking down a few tips for finding the right survey platform and finding success with it.

1. Take Time to Research

Before signing up with any survey site, take the time to do some research on them. Look for reviews from past and current users, as well as information on how payments are handled. This will help you determine if the site is legitimate and whether or not it’s worth your while.

2. Focus on Quality

When searching for survey sites, focus on quality over quantity. Don’t be tempted by the promise of high payouts from less reputable sites, as they may not actually pay out what they promise.

It’s better to stick with established platforms that have a good reputation and a proven track record of paying out their users.

3. Time Your Surveys

Most survey sites have specific times of day when surveys are available, so try to time your surveys accordingly.

By taking advantage of these opportunities, you can maximize your earning potential and get the most out of the platform.

4. Don’t Lose Interest

It’s easy to get discouraged when taking online surveys, as the process can be repetitive and time-consuming.

To prevent yourself from getting bored, try to mix things up by taking different types of surveys or changing up your approach.

This will help keep you motivated and ensure that you are getting the most out of the experience.

5. Take Advantage of Bonus Offers

Many survey sites offer bonus opportunities to their users. This could include things like points for referring friends or extra rewards for completing surveys quickly.

Take advantage of these offers to maximize your earnings and get the most out of the platform.

6. Diversify

Try to diversify your income by signing up with multiple survey sites. This will ensure that you have access to a larger pool of surveys and increase your earning potential. Just make sure not to spread yourself too thin, as this could lead to burnout.

7. Cash Out Regularly

Another tip for ensuring you’re getting paid the money that you’re owed is to cash out your earnings on a regular basis.

Some survey sites might have payout thresholds that must be reached before you can withdraw your money, so it’s important to stay on top of this.

This will help ensure that you don’t miss out on any of your hard-earned cash, especially if they expire after a certain amount of time.

8. Leverage Your Expertise

Make sure to leverage your expertise when taking surveys. If you have knowledge in a certain area or skill, there may be surveys that are tailored to your particular field of expertise.

This could open up the door to more lucrative opportunities, so make sure to take advantage of them if they come around. Plus, specialized surveys often come with greater payouts!

9. Have Patience

When taking online surveys, it’s important to have patience. It takes time to build up a decent income from these surveys, so don’t expect instant results. Just keep at it and stay focused, and you will eventually start to see your earnings increase.

Final Thoughts

Taking online surveys can be a great way to make extra money, but it’s important to keep in mind that there are some drawbacks and potential scams associated with this type of work.

To ensure success when taking these types of surveys, follow the tips we provided above, including researching survey sites before signing up, focusing on quality rather than quantity, timing your surveys accordingly, and make sure to diversify your income sources.

With patience and dedication, you should be able to make decent earnings from taking online surveys. Need to run a survey? Try our free online survey builder and start collecting insights today!


Q: Are taking online surveys worth it?

A: Taking online surveys can be a great way to make some extra cash, but it won’t provide enough of an income to cover your living expenses. Therefore, this type of work is best suited for those who are looking for a bit of extra money on the side.

Q: What’s the best way to maximize earnings from online surveys?

A: To maximize your earnings from taking online surveys, it’s important to research survey sites before signing up, focus on quality rather than quantity, time your surveys accordingly, diversify your income sources and cash out regularly. Leveraging your expertise may provide more lucrative opportunities.

Q: What should I watch out for when taking online surveys?

A: When taking online surveys, you should be wary of sites that promise high payouts but have a poor reputation or track record. Make sure to read the terms and conditions of each survey site before signing up so you know exactly what you are getting into. Also, be aware of potential payout holding periods, which can delay when you are able to access your earnings.

Q: Can I make a full-time income from taking online surveys?

A: It’s unlikely that you will be able to make a full-time income from taking online surveys. However, they can be a great way to pad your income and make some extra money on the side. If you are willing to put in the effort, it is possible to make decent earnings from these surveys.