I once tried earning money with online survey sites. You know, those microtask jobs that are supposed to really pad out your income and be sooo easy to do.
I actually LOVE writing blog posts and full length articles, but when I can't find work in those areas, I find that those itty-bitty micro jobs help fill in the gaps. Somewhat.
A friend suggested that I try Swagbucks and a couple of similar sites to earn a little extra cash. She said I could fill in surveys whenever I was having "downtime".
I'm one of those people who doesn't mind spending long, boring hours filling out surveys with the same info over and over as long as I get paid. So, I thought I would give it a try.
I researched about 50 different sites, and tried two. I can't even remember which ones, precisely, because I grew frustrated after multiple attempts to qualify for a lousy, low-paying survey.
I must belong to the least desirable demographic in the world. Apparently poor, 30-something work-at-home moms aren't entitled to surveys.
(ironic, since we are the people most practiced at doing mindless, menial tasks over and over and over, right?)
Finally, I snagged a survey that allowed me to advance past those usual demographic questions. That's when the questions got really hard and super-specific. If I remember right, it went something like this....
1. Do you still have an appendix?
2. Have you ever worked on a bachelor's degree while living in a yellow house?
3. Are you currently in a polygamous relationship where one or more of your partners is bovine?
4. Do you currently own a gerbil?
5. Which way do you lean politically?
6. Have you ever died from smoking cigars?
7 Have you ever committed suicide successfully?
8. Do you currently own at least one bath towel?
9. If yes, did you purchase your bathtowel online?
Sorry, you do not qualify for this survey.
They could have at least told me why I FAILED. Was it the gerbil? Should I have answered yes or no, instead of "not sure"?
Was it because my towel came from the wrong type of store? Because I am alive?
My suspicion is that they actually just harvested some much needed data and then opted not to pay. I suppose I can take comfort that my answer helped mankind in some way.
Like maybe it was an undercover study to determine whether or not there is a market for making gerbil-sized towels.
I learned something too. Life is too short for surveys that don't pay. Life is too short to waste trying to make money online from stuff that just fills your inbox with spam. Life is too short to waste all that time cleaning out your spam box. Life is too short to answer questions about your polygamous relationships with cows in exchange for the promise of a few pennies.
That stuff should be worth at least a dollar.
That said, I was unimpressed with those kind of survey sites. I still use MTurk occasionally because I like doing the research surveys from colleges. Funny...I'm never turned down to be part of science experiments...
I'm not sure if that's flattering or not.
What is your experience with online survey sites? Good, okay, or complete waste of effort?