Cracking the Code on Paid Surveys – 11 Keys to Success

There are a lot of paid survey sites out there, and it can be a great and easy way to make some extra money. However, if you do not follow a few basic advice, you can end up wasting your time.

I have been a member of paid survey sites for a long time and have done A LOT of surveys. During this time, I have picked up some tips that can be very useful to know. I have therefore made this “Cracking the code on paid surveys guide” that gives you 11 easy steps to follow, so you will get the most out of paid survey sites.

Below the chart, you can see details about each tip + an extra bonus tip.

cracking the code on paid surveys


The 11 keys to success with paid surveys in details

Before I start my list, I want to mention that there are plenty of legit paying survey sites, but there are also some that are scams. By reading the 11 points below and other information on this website, I hope to make it easier for you to find the right sites and make the most out of the opportunity to make some extra money on surveys.

1. Never pay to join a survey site

dont pay for survey sites

Some survey sites wants you to pay a registration fee to get access to their surveys. This is the number one sign that it is a scam site.

Legit and honest survey sites are always free to join and use. If you join one of the sites where you have to pay, you will end up losing money instead of making money.

So if you find a site that wants you to pay to take surveys, close your browser and look for another site.

2. Never pay to get a list of surveys

do not pay for survey list

This is similar to the point above, but a different technique used. Some sites claim that you can become rich by getting their list of paying surveys or insider tips. All you have to do is to pay a fee, and you will get access to their secrets that will make you rich.

Do not believe them and save your money for something better. You will usually not get any advice that is worth any money at all, and you will just get a random list of some survey sites that you can easily find for free yourself. So you will just end up wasting time and money joining these sites. There are plenty of legit and free sites, so join one of them instead.

3. Manage your expectations

manage expectations

Surveys can make you some nice extra money, but it will not make you rich or a full-time income online. It is good to know this before starting, so you do not get disappointed and lose motivation. If you are looking for a full-time income online, you should be looking for something else than surveys.

Surveys are however one of the only ways you can make money online that takes no training and no investment at all, and where you will be 100% sure to get a profit from day 1 if you join the legit sites. At the same time, you can have your opinion heard on important topics.

It is very difficult to say exactly how much you can make, as it depends a lot on the opportunities where you live, and of course on how much time you put in. But it is not unrealistic to make $100-$1000 a month (if this is possible will depend a lot on the country you live in). If you just do a little every day, the rewards will quickly add up. So with the right expectations, paid surveys are a great way to make some extra cash.

Managing expectations also refer to being a bit patient. When people join survey sites for the first time, they sometimes expect to be able to qualify for all the surveys that are available – you will never qualify for all the surveys. So do not let that discourage you and do not take it personally.

On some sites, you have to click quite a few times to find a survey you qualify for, but luckily it does not take a lot of time to do. And after having done surveys for a while, you will figure out what kinds of surveys you mostly qualify for, and then just try those.

4. Open a PayPal account

join paypal

There are many survey sites that offer to pay out your reward through PayPal. For some survey sites, it is even necessary with a PayPal account to register.

There are many other payment methods offered by survey sites as well, but PayPal is one of the most common and most popular methods, as it is a very easy way to get your money as a participant.

So before you start, you might as well sign up for PayPal. PayPal is a trustworthy and worldwide company, and it is free and quick to sign up.

But if you do not want to open up a PayPal account, do not let that stop you. You just find the sites that offer other payment methods as well and join them – there are plenty of other ways to get paid as well, and you can always sign up for PayPal later if you change your mind.

5. Join several sites

join several survey sites

The amount and frequency of paid surveys vary from site to site. That is why it is great to join several sites. Then, if you one day cannot find any available surveys on one site, you just try on the other sites. And by combining offers on several sites, you will of course also have more opportunities to earn. So to get the best chances to make money, sign up for several sites.

If you have never done surveys before, you should however not exaggerate and just join all the sites you can find. That will be too overwhelming and you will probably not take the time to really get to know the options on each site, but be too busy jumping around between sites.

So for a start, I recommend joining between 5-7 sites. That will give you a good amount of opportunities, and at the same time, you will have time to get to know the sites. When you get more experience, you can then start joining more sites and skip sites that might not be as good as expected when you joined them.

6. Fill out your profile

fill out profile

Most survey sites have a section, where you can fill out some basic information about yourself (age, where you live, interests, etc.). They use this info to match you with available surveys. It will increase your chances of getting surveys offered if you have filled out this information, and some survey sites also pay you a bonus for filling it out.

On most sites, it only takes a few minutes to fill out this information. There are however a few, where it is ridiculously long – luckily not on many. But I must admit that on these sites, I tend to skip most of the profile, as for some reason the ones I have found with the longest profiles are also the ones that do not give you a reward for filling it out.

But in general, it is a very good idea to fill out your profile and keep it updated. And on most sites, it will take you a maximum of 5 minutes to fill out.

7. Check emails and survey sites frequently

check sites often

Some surveys that are offered, are only offered for a certain amount of time, or until a certain number of answers are reached. On many survey sites, the opportunities are also updated throughout the day.

So if you want to increase your chances, check your emails regularly as some sites send you an email when there is an available survey.

Some survey sites do not necessarily send an email when there are new surveys, as they continuously have many available surveys on their site and are updated very often. So here it can be a good idea to check the sites themselves fairly often (1-2 times a day).

8. Be organized

be organized

Being organized can help you in several ways when taking surveys.

You can for example once a month write down your monthly earnings on each site in an excel sheet or similar. It can be a great way to keep an overview, and also a great way to keep motivated as you can then easily see what you have earned in total on all the sites. Having a list of all the sites you are a member of will also help you to remember to visit them all often to check for new opportunities.

Another great tip is to write down the username and password for each site (somewhere safe). Most browsers will, of course, be able to remember this for you, so you will automatically login when you get to the sites. But it can still be good to have a record of it somewhere. I for example recently got a new computer – I was very happy that I had my info written down as it would have taken me a lot of time to recover passwords etc. for each site.

This should however not turn into a time-consuming thing. But the two tips above can be done very quickly and has helped me a lot.

9. Be careful entering a survey site from abroad

do not use abroad

Some survey sites do not allow you to take surveys or enter their site if you are not in the country where you signed up. This is a part of their quality control. So if you want to take surveys while traveling, you have to be careful about which sites you use.

Some sites will just not allow you to take the survey or enter their site, so if you try, you will just be told that you are not allowed. Others will ban you right away if you try to enter from abroad.

If you get banned because you tried to enter a site from abroad by accident, you can in most cases just reach out to the support of that site and explain the situation. On some sites, it is not a problem at all to log in or to take surveys while you are in other countries.

It all depends on the specific site. So to be sure, it is a good idea to check the terms and conditions on each site to find out which sites allow it and which ones do not.

10. Do not overthink when answering surveys

do not overthink

When answering surveys, you might feel like you really want to think about each answer and take your time to give the best answer possible.

That can be very nice, and I also did this in the beginning. But if you think too much about every answer, it can eventually be too boring for yourself, and each survey will take a long time.

So my advice is to be honest and do not rush it, but also there is no need to consider every answer too much (read more about how to do surveys faster but honestly). The survey companies prefer your first impressions and thoughts anyway.

11. Use your phone for taking surveys on the go

use phone for surveys

I like taking surveys on my computer, but I have also found out that it can be very effective to use my phone for it. Especially because I always have my phone with me.

Then, if I have a few minutes to spare during the day, I can answer surveys. It can, for example, be while I am waiting in line, waiting at the train station, waiting for a friend, or when I just need a little break during the day.

This can be a great way to make sure to spend a little time taking surveys every day, and the earnings will then quickly add up.

For that reason, I prefer using surveys sites that have an app or sites that have a mobile-friendly site. The best sites in most cases have one of these two options.

Bonus tip

bonus tip

I just wanted to give you a little bonus tip here at the end – be aware that many survey sites have other ways to earn as well.

These sites are often referred to as GPT (Get-Paid-To) sites. Give some of these other earning methods like, for example, paid offers, micro tasks, watching videos, etc. a chance. It can be a great way to boost your earnings, as it will give you many more earning opportunities.

There you have it – 11 easy steps to follow (and a bonus) that will make it a lot easier to get the most out of paid surveys. I know they have for me, and I hope they will for you as well.

If you have any questions, comments or think there is any advice missing on the list, feel free to drop a line below. I would love to hear from you.

84 thoughts on “Cracking the Code on Paid Surveys – 11 Keys to Success”

  1. Thank you so much for this opportunity! It is now my first day and 1 site does not work in our country I hope your tips and sites will help me to earn some extra money:) I am from Russia 🙂

    • There is plenty more info in the course that will help you to earn as you go through the rest of the days. And on day 2 of the course, you will also get a list of the best sites specifically for Russia. So keep an eye out for that.

  2. I already use prize rebel and swagbucks but I started using them in Canada, but last year I moved to Saudi Arabia so these two sites don’t have a lot of surveys here and VPN obviously doesn’t help. One site I found that works in Saudi is TGM Panel. If there are any other sites you can suggest that work here would be helpful. I have a lot of free time on my hand right now. Also most sites using the Saudi IP address have surveys in Arabic but I only speak English so its hard to do surveys.

  3. Thank you for the information and guidence its pretty much informative,i live in Namibia ,please send me best surveys site for this rigion/ country
    Have a great day!!

  4. I have many site of survey many of them are waste of time after you answer the few questions it says thank you,You cannot proceed next survey!!!!it so annoying
    I hope you can send me a legit paid survey site TIA….thanks a lot about the course i learn something new.

  5. Estou começando agora a fazer pesquisas,estou gostando,porém é preciso ter persistência pra ganhar,talvez por falta de experiência.Muito obrigada pelas dicas,todas são bem valiosas.

    • glad you like the info – but sorry I do not understand Portuguese. But if you have any questions feel free to ask but best if you can do it in English so I am sure I understand. Thanks.

  6. I just signed up for your course sir and started, thanks for the help. i hope you will continue guiding me to this course along the way… Godbless.

      • I just joined your site and the 11 tips are very useful information I really need as at now.

        Be waiting on the rest course as said.

        Wouldn’t mind if you can recommend site I can perticipate from Nigeria. Am already involve freegram,timebucks,swagsbu ks.(there earning is too poor)

        And please can recommend cheap VPN I can purchase because I will really love to partake in most survey especially high paying ones in the United State.

        • Glad to hear you like the course so far. You will get a list of the best sites in NG on day 2 of the course.

          About VPN – using VPN on survey and Get-Paid-To sites is fraud and you hurt a lot of people and businesses by doing this. Also, most sites have strict security so they will find out when you use VPN and they will block you and you will lose your earnings. So if you want to use these sites, you have to do it honestly and stick to sites that are available in your country.

  7. hello mike,i am christopher from uganda but currently working in united arab emirates,dubai.i have been searching for the right website if know of some in dubai please recommend me,thank ypu

  8. Hello Mikel!
    Im now beginner in Vietnam. How do I joins sites as you advised in tip 5. Im willing to hear from you. Thanks.

  9. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for sharing this information. It’s very helpful. I have a concern about privacy. Should I create new email and use my real name when I register to these sites? Thanks in advance.

    • Glad you found the information helpful.

      In my experience, you do not have to be concerned about privacy if you join the legit sites. But there definitely are scams to stay away from.

      You can create a new email just for signing up for surveys but you just have to be aware that some sites will automatically payout to the email you register with. So if that email is not connected to your PayPal, you cannot get your earnings out in cash if that is the reward you prefer. So you would need to make sure the email you use is also connected to your PayPal if you want to get paid in cash.

      Hope this helps.

      • Hi Mike, Sure this is the explanations I wanted to know about surveys, thks a lot. I am in Mozambique I would like to know the surveys can be available here plz.

      • Hi mike
        Just signed up too

        I noticed after you take a survey or 2, you get the response ‘there is no survey left for you to take’
        Could it be because I’m from Nigeria or my response to the previous survey

        • It is very normal that there are no surveys available. That depends on the site, your profile, and your country. And you are very right that a part of the reason is probably that you live in Nigeria where there are not that many surveys available. That is why it is a good idea to make sure to also use some of the other earning methods many of the sites offer.

          • Hi Mr Michael!
            I would like to know from some legit websites that are allowed all over the world and especially Arabic countries and African too.

  10. Thanks Michael for your Info about paid surveys. Really helped me a lot and for sure a lot of people too. God bless you.

  11. Thanks for the good and interesting information that you share. This is my 1st day joining your course.. hopefully you will teach me on how to work with surveys.

    • Glad to hear you like the info Puteri. I will do my best to try to help you.

      If you ever have any questions, just leave it here in a comment on my website and I will get back to you asap.


    • I have been looking for opportunities like this! I happened to read your review on bUnited, inasmuch that upon studying their underlying philosophy, I believe that this company will make waves, given time. I already joined, but still in doubt if this is really a legit company; hence I searched for review, and lucky enough to come across your review. I wish to join in your link for this survey venture. Thanks much!… An Early-Retired Supervising Airways Communicator/Air Traffic Controller and Free-lance Leisure Writer from the Philippines.

    • Great to hear you signed up for the course. It will include tips to many international paying survey sites as well.

      But if you tell me which country you live in, I will be happy to give you some specific suggestions for your country.


          • Hiving is a scam I think because no one reply our answers. And I reached the level of payment but they don’t send me. I tried PrizeRebel nice website. And now I will look at Cointply.

          • Hiving is legit, in my experience. Some sites do just not have very responsive support. If they have not replied to you after a few days, I would just write them again.

            Glad you like PrizeRebel – it is also one of my favorite sites. Hope you will also enjoy Cointiply.


          • İf you interested with hiving for me I will be happy. Because ı have there 15713 points. And I can not get an answer. Can we change payment station? And my nickname is the same which I send it to you.

          • Usually, survey sites do not allow members to transfer money to each other. Also, I am actually not using Hiving myself actively anymore as I have prioritized other sites that are better where I live.

            I would keep writing their support. If they do not answer, I would write Hiving in one of the other countries. Sorry I cannot help more but this is my best suggestion.

        • I just signed up for your course . Good a good info as Iam just a newbie. Would love to know if there are any trusted survey websites in UAE .

  12. Some great tips here thanks, makes a lot of sense to have an email just for these survey sites. When first starting out how many would you suggest signing up for? Thanks

    • Glad to hear you find the tips useful Tina. Just be aware that if you create an email address just for surveys, you should know that some survey sites automatically asume that the email you register with is also the email you use for PayPal if they offer that payment option. So just make sure to check this, so you will get your rewards paid out to the right PayPal. I actually myself do not use a different email for surveys. I did not think about it when I first started, and I do not mind having the surveys sent to my normal email address. But I know some people prefer keeping them separate to get a better overview, and that is why I have sugegsted it as an option here.

      When first starting, I would suggest to sign up for 5 or so. Then you get a sense of what the different sites has to offer, and how many opportunities each site has also depend where in the world you live. So test some out and see what is best for you, and then you can continue with the ones you have success with and just leave the others, and maybe try a few other platform instead then.

      All the best

  13. Mikael,
    Looks like you have some nice pointers for doing paid surveys online. I have tried them once, did not make any money as they keep giving me surveys that only paid pennies, no return for the amount of time taken. About how much per hour of time do you think you make on doing these surveys, this is more important than how much per month.

    • Thanks for your comment John. I agree that some survey sites will not give you any surveys worth taking. It very much depends which survey sites you sign up for and where you are from etc. That is also why I have tested so many and like you, I got tired of some of them, as it was very low reward for a long survey. So now I only do surveys on the ones that I find worth it. I have made a Top 10 of the best survey sites where you can get an overview of some of the sites that are worth it in my opinion.

      About the money per hour, I really do not know, as it depends very much on the individual surveys. Some give $1-4 for 5-10 minutes and others a lot less. So sometimes, I can be a bit picky with the surveys I chose to participate in:-) But if you are looking for something where you can make a good hourly pay you can live from, this is not the way. But I am doing it different times throughout the day, instead of for example surfing facebook or wathcing TV. For me that is a great way to get a bit extra to pay for some expenses and get some nice gifts or vouchers once in a while.

  14. Thanks for this list about surveys! I was always a bit skeptical about those sites but I like how you have been doing them for a while. Great tip on reading the terms and conditions to avoid getting banned for not being in the right country.

  15. This is a very thorough and informative post. Just want to add on that one of the disadvantages of earning through surveys is that you may start to receive a lot of junk mails and promotional emails. And your suggestion creating a new email address is a good way to solve this issue.

    I know that doing surveys will not make you rich. But do you have any rough idea how much can a person make per month?

    Anyway, thanks for this awesome post!

    • Glad you liked the info Jerry.

      And yes I agree that the purpose of keeping junk mails out of your inbox, is another reason why it can be good to create a new email just for surveys. Good point – thanks. I must however say that I have not started receiving much more junk mail than before I did surveys. But it probably very much depends on the survey sites you join. But to be sure, I definitely also think it is a good reason for creating a new email.

      How much a person can make per month is really difficult to answer. It depends on so many things like which sites you sign up for, your demographic and thereby how many surveys you qualify for, and how much time you spend. But I would say that if you sign up for the right survey sites, most people without spending too much time, will easily be able to make $100-$200 a month. But it is definitely also possible to make more, if you spend more time. It may not sound like a lot, but this is also without spending too much time, and everybody can do it without having any special training or without any investment. So as I see it, it is still worth it for me and during a year it is enough for for example an extra holiday or for paying some expenses:-)

  16. Hi Mikael,

    Finally some good advice for doing paid surveys!
    I have been trying to use a couple of paid survey sites with very limited success. Survey Savvy and Opinion Outpost are two that I had that limited success with.

    It sounds like I should have signed up with more instead of waiting too long to get surveys. Nice tip about making a new email address. That way it won’t get missed.

    Do you think we could get around #10 with a good VPN?

    • Thanks for your comment Craig. Glad you liked it.

      I have also tried the two sites you mention. However, I cannot test opinion outpost, as you can only sign up if you live in the UK. Survey Savvy, I have had very limited success with as well, but will keep testing it a bit longer and see.

      Thanks for the tip about the VPN. I do not know too much about VPN and have only tried a free one I found a few times, and it does not always work. But I am sure that if you have a good VPN, you will be able to do surveys from anywhere in the world without having to worry about getting banned. Maybe I will test it more in the future, so if you have any advice for a good one let me know.


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