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Paid Online Focus Groups: How to Make $50-$325

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In the past, I have talked about focus groups many times, such as in my creative ways to pay off your student loans and taste testing job opportunities posts.  If you’re unfamiliar with them, it’s usually when you have to show up in person and speak with a moderator, usually about a product or service.  Much like surveys, you will share your thoughts and get rewarded for your time.  It’s not that hard as long as you can follow simple directions.

While paid focus groups can pay quite handsomely, sometimes as much as $350+ for 60 to 90 minutes of your time, a lot of people don’t like the idea of traveling to make the cash.   I get that.  Whether the focus group location is too far away or you don’t have time in your schedule, it can be hard.

So, in today’s post, I wanted to talk about the many companies that offer paid online focus groups.  It will work no differently than if you were in person, only that you can do it from the comforts of your own home.  Yes, no travel is required, and, yes, they still pay quite well, too.  I’m talking $50+ for 30 minutes of your time.

As long as you don’t mind speaking your thoughts and putting your face out there on a webcam, then many of the companies/websites I’m about to list may work out for you.

Listed below, I talk about the many companies I have researched as well as how they work.

Most of it’s simple.  Just create an account, apply to the studies of interest and wait for instructions if they pick you as a candidate.  Honestly, it’s some of the easiest money you will make.

Best Paid Online Focus Groups

TIP:  If you do want to take advantage of online focus groups, you will need a webcam and microphone.  If you don’t have one, highly consider investing in one to be considered for these jobs.

Respondent

Respondent is probably one of my favorites on the list.  It’s one I have reviewed in depth and highly recommend if you’re looking for high-paying surveys/focus groups.

To get started, you will first be asked to create an account, no different than other research companies.  You will answer demographic questions, etc, and it will take you a few minutes to complete.

Then, once you’re active in the system, you can immediately start browsing active studies, many of which pay anywhere from $10 to $250+, and start applying.

Start skimming the “requests” and if you feel you fit what they are looking for, you can take the screener to see if the respondent wants to talk with you.  The company offers a variety of research options, so some are not face-to-face.

It’s free to join, and you get paid via PayPal about seven to 10 days after your research completes.



20/20 Research

20/20 Research has been in business for more than 30 years now.

Almost all of their studies take place inside your home, making for a great choice if you’re looking for an online focus group option.

To start, it’s easy.  Just register, take a short survey screener for any study you’re interested in, and if you qualify, they will contact you with more instructions in how to proceed.

Engage

Engage is always looking for respondents who are interested in taking part in paid market research studies.

As per the official website, they offer online discussions, website usability studies as well as many other online options.

They offer a panel for both consumers as well as healthcare works, with studies paying up to $250 for your time.

Experience Dynamics

Experience Dynamics uses real-world experience, helping Fortune 500 clients improve their user interface designs.

Operating since 2001, they are always on the lookout for someone like you who’s willing to partake in a variety of focus group studies, from diary studies to usability testing and online focus groups.  There’s quite the selection.

Incentives tend to be in the $50 to $150 range and will depend on the scope of the study.  Follow the link below to join the company’s list.

Field Work

Field Work works in certain cities, such as Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Denver and Phoenix, to name a few.  You can find a full list of actual physical locations on their website.

While the company primarily focuses on in-person focus groups, they do have online studies from time to time.  For instance, in the past, I took part in a $150 study where I had to watch a series of videos for 90 minutes to provide my feedback.  This was all done online.

As one of the larger focus group panels, I would at least add your name to the database to at least be alerted of any opportunities, both online and off.  It’s definitely one of my favorites, offering tons of options every week.

Find Focus Groups

FindFocusGroups.com isn’t a company per se; rather, it’s a database filled with a ton of paid focus group options.  Picture it as the Google for finding paid focus studies, both online and in person.

To find the online focus group options only, simply highlight the “search by city” option and then click on “view all online focus groups.”  It will look something like this…

In clicking on this option, you will find a ton of online focus groups, many ranging from as little as $5 to more than $300.  I make it a habit to check this daily and apply to the ones I feel would work for me.  In doing this, I have made hundreds in a month for very little work.

For now, I would skim the titles and pick out one that is of interest.  Once you click on that “more info” link, it will direct you to the exact study.

FocusGroup.com

FocusGroup.com is another option I have mentioned a few times before, such as an in my how to make money without a job post.  It’s an awesome way to easily make $50+ per study, all while not leaving your home.

Kind of like Field Work, a lot of the focus groups you will find here will require that you show up in person, however, you can find online opportunities on occasions.

The cool thing about FocusGroup.com is that you browse the job listings without the need to sign up.  Just head to “available studies,” located near the top and then browse what’s available.  In browsing, just make sure you look for the word “online” or the “online surveys” portion to find online studies only.  For instance, when I was writing this, I easily found at least 30+ studies.

If any of these studies sound of interest, then you can click on it to receive more information.  In order to so, however, you will need to create an account, but this only takes a few minutes to do.



Inspired Opinions

Inspired Opinions, operated by the very popular Schlesinger Group, offers a variety of online focus group opportunities, including telephone interviews.

While the company does focus more on in-person groups, you can find online options from time to time.

Unlike a lot of these options, at least in my experience, you won’t find as many studies.  When I signed up, for instance, I saw no available studies, but I did see some online options come in sparingly.

As with all of my guides, I love to include all options, so for now, I would at least create an account so that you can receive a notification when an opportunity does arise.

L&E Research

L&E Research lets you check out available studies before you even sign up, giving you an idea as to what’s available out there right now.  While they do tend to focus on a lot of in-person studies, they do have a section dedicated to nationwide studies as well.  I receive a lot of invites, many of which just require a webcam and microphone.

From what I have found, they tend to always have new studies being posted, so I would at least recommend creating an account to stay in the loop.  If any of these studies do sound of interest, then, like the many I have listed, you can sign up and then be contacted if the recruiter feels you’re a fit.

The company has been around since 1984 with more than 900,000 members, making it one of the oldest companies on this list.

Mindswarms

Mindswarms is another company I have mentioned a few times, most notably in my very popular $100 per survey post.

This company is a pinch different in comparison to the others as it’s more of a video research panel, where you will be asked a series of questions, usually no more than seven, in which you need to answer while on camera.  It won’t be in real-time; rather, you will submit your answers after you’re done, so to some, this can be a perk as you don’t need to commit to an appointment time.

The great thing is that these studies usually take about 10 minutes of your time, but it can pay anywhere from $25 to more than $125+ per study.

If you do sign up, be sure to turn your notifications on as seats are often limited and go very fast.

Plaza Research

Founded in 1982, Plaza Research prides itself on being regarded as the nation’s premier network of focus group facilities.

They currently operate in 14 cities, but they do have in-home interviews, telephone interviews as well as online survey options.  Yes, it’s another one to consider.

In signing up, you will receive weekly email invites for current studies that you can apply to.

Probe Market

Probe Market normally pays anywhere from $50 to more than $400, with some groups working strictly from home.

Like the many I list here, they offer both in-person groups, phone interviews as well as online surveys.  And, how much you get paid will greatly depend on the time assigned to that study.

It only takes a few minutes to sign up, and in doing so, they can contact you whenever a study matches your interests.

Recruit + Field

Since 1977, Recruit + Field has been working with both national and international companies, helping them find qualified participants such as yourself for research studies.

The company offers a ton of in-person focus group studies, but they have a variety of online options as well.

You can check out the most recent study options on Facebook if you wish and/or you can sign up as a participant to receive notifications.  With a solid 4.9/5 Facebook review, you know you will be in good hands if you work with them.

Reddit

If you’re familiar with Reddit, then you’re probably well aware of the subreddits.  Consider them like forums on just about any topic you can think of.

Like FindFocusGroups.com, the r/paidstudy subreddit works in a similar way, where Redditors post paid studies throughout the day.  Usually, you can find about 10-20+ studies in a day.

Simply skim the listings, and if any are of interest, you can click on it for more information.  No account is required to browse.

Survey Feeds

I wanted to mention Survey Feeds here as it’s a great focus group aggregator-like website.  It’s just like FindFocusGroups.com mentioned prior.

What they do is comb many of the sites I already mentioned, including others, and list all of the focus group opportunities in one place.

If it’s just online options you want, you can search for it.  Then, you can click on the listing for more information as to where you can apply as well as which company is offering it.

While I was writing this, the company had more than 115 pages of surveys, so you may be browsing for a while.

Survey Squad

Survey Squad is another company that offers a variety of online focus group options, from telephone interviews to mobile surveys.

Even if you don’t want to sign up just yet, you can view the most current projects via the link in the menu.  If you see anything of interest, then you can sign up to receive more information.

What I found is that a lot of opportunities are geographically specific, but some were national as well.

As a good option, throw your name in the database to receive updates on any upcoming field studies.  Just remember that the good ones do go fast, so it doesn’t hurt to keep your alerts on.

User Interviews

I have mentioned User Interviews a few times before, particularly in my get paid to be a test subject and how to make $1000 fast posts.

The pay rates do vary, but I have them range anywhere from as little as $20 to more than $200+ for an hour of your time.  However, prepared to make, on average, about $25 to $50~ per hour.  Still, not bad for your time, right?

To get started, you can create a profile and then find projects interest to you.  If you feel you’re qualified, then you can take a screener survey to see if the researcher wants to talk to you.  If so, they will set up a meeting time if it’s a face-to-face meeting or you may be sent a survey in case it’s a survey-only option.  There are a variety of studies, so you won’t just find face-to-face options.

Every month, the company offers more than 500+ projects, with the average participant finding a job within the day of signing up!



watchLAB

watchLAB offers a select number of physical locations, but they have online options as well.

According to the website, you can participate in online focus groups or even in-home studies if you’re near a physical location.

If interested in adding your name to the list, you can do so via the official website, following the “join our panel” link.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make $50 to $350+ sharing your thoughts online, then as you can see, it can be done.  Online focus groups are possible, you just need to know where to look.

For now, I would start adding your name to these databases as well as keeping your eyes peeled on those wonderful aggregator sites like Survey Feeds and FindFocusGroups.com.  Almost every day, hundreds of focus groups are being added, but the good ones do go fast.  That is why it’s so important to keep notifications on as well as make it a habit to check on these listings daily.

Once you get good at finding the right opportunities, I don’t see why you can’t make at least $250 to $500 a month.  It’s some of the easiest money you will ever make.

Now, I leave it up to you.

Have you ever been apart of an online focus group?

Who is your favorite company?

Have any questions on how to get started?

As always, you’re more than welcome to sound off in the comments below, and I will try my best to answer if need be.

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

5 comments

  • Hello, just wanna ask, where can I find a legit homebased market paid research that also caters around Philippines? I’m from the Philippines by the way and I’m looking for a home paid surveys that are really legit until up to now. Is this homebased all paid focus research you mentioned ideal or applicable also in my country too?

    • There are some paid focus research/survey companies you may want to check out. Some off the top of my head include PrizeRebel, GrabPoints, Superpay.me and SurveyTime.io. There are a lot of them out there, so I would check with those popular options first. I may do a post about this in the future 🙂

  • Hi, I was wondering if you need to claim this money on your taxes, and if so, how do they keep track of that info?

    • Hi Angie!

      I’m not a tax professional by any means, but by law, an American company will send out a 1099 if you make more than $600 for the year. So, as long as you don’t make more than $600, the government technically will not know. However, it is still best practices to pay taxes on any income earned 🙂