I just blogged about focus groups not long ago, but after revisiting it I realized I left it hanging a bit. So this is my attempt to explain the concept in a bit more detail.
Before I do that, let me say that I don’t participate in focus groups anymore. Most of my spare time today is spent learning the ropes of blogging and establishing this blog.
I don’t do paid surveys or product trials anymore either. Rather, I spend my time building my portfolio of niche content websites instead.
I still generate a solid income from referring others to “get paid to” type companies however. That is because one of the niche websites I had developed specifically discusses get paid to programs and recruits affiliates who are interested in making money from it.
That said, some of my ROI (return on time investment) has been the highest with paid surveys. For example, there are not many who travel more than they stay put, therefore the profile of a frequent flier is highly valued by some companies such as airline carriers.
I have attended close to 8 focus groups in the last 3 years sponsored by airline companies. If I remember correctly, the least I have been paid is $200 for an hour, not including the time I so late that I missed the focus group.
I had this funny experience once. I was invited to participate in a frequent fliers focus group conducted by the airline companies. They offered to pay me $150 for an hour plus mileage reimbursement for my commute. I somehow entered the wrong time in my “crack-berry” (no wonder I sold it on Ebay for $20) but when I showed up the review was over.
They finished in 45 minutes! So the people that made it essentially make $150 for 45 minutes, which is really an hourly rate of $200 per hour if you think about it. Now who will pay you $200 an hour? Maybe for smuggling drugs but that’s about it. Oh, and they paid me $150 cash in a nicely sealed envelope just because I made the effort to show up. Nifty!
Focus groups will not come to you right away. You have to prove to survey companies that you are worth their time and money. Once I started doing paid surveys for a few months, I started getting offers to participate in phone surveys and focus groups. That is when I first realized what they were.
These are a lot of fun. You get paid to socialize, make friends and have fun while making money. You sit in groups and discuss topics provided by companies and then provide your opinion.
I thought these were the coolest things. How many times do you get a chance to be part of the team that creates a product for the mass market? Ok you are not exactly part of the development team, but your opinions to shape up products introduced by various companies.
Let me ask you this. How many times have you used something (a kitchen utensil or a vacuum cleaner, etc.) and wished that you had some input in how the product was created? Don’t know about you, but happens to me all the time.
Some focus groups will feed you as well. You get to do a taste test where you get to eat and drink all kinds of new foods and beverages. And check this, in some focus groups, you will also get a preview of TV shows before they release so you can opine on which ones should be aired on TV and at what times. And you get paid for all that. How cool is that?
So hopefully focus groups make a bit more sense now and how they work. Have you been to one or know someone who has?
One of the most fun experiences I initially had making extra money online is by getting paid to try products.
In fact more than me, it is my wife who had a blast with these. Not so much because of the chore involved, or the few dollars she made from it, but rather because she was being offered products of all kinds she didn’t even know existed.
Similar to paid surveys and focus groups where you are paid for your opinions, there are market research companies you can sign up with to get paid to try products and services and provide your feedback.
There is also no cost to joining these companies. In fact, you are paid well for your feedback because your opinion shapes up the next product innovation out of a fortune 500 company.
Because you are the end consumer, your feedback is important for companies to incorporate in their next product idea. Therefore they are willing to pay for this feedback.
The best part is that you get to keep the product for free. Below is a list of just a handful of products I have been paid to try in the past. Not only was I paid good money to try these and provide my feedback, but I also got to keep these products.
Of all the companies that pay to test products, Vindale Research sticks out as the pioneer. They have the best paying offers and they also pay the most ($5) to refer someone else to the program. You can read my detailed review on Vindale here.
Another good one is CashCrate, a company that provides the best variety of surveys, offers and such. I have written exclusively about CashCrate in the past and how to get ahead quick with this program. You can read my detailed CashCrate review here, including a video that walks you through the program.
Let me reemphasize that although fun, joining these companies and completing various offers can be time consuming. Therefore it is important to understand what your spare time is worth to you, and what other alternatives you have for your time.
If these “get paid to” type programs are your cup of tea, Vindale and CashCrate are ones you definitely want to try out. Both these offer a lucrative way to earn extra cash on the side and are a perfect compliment to paid survey programs.
Have you gotten paid to try products? Any interesting freebies you ended up with? Or do you know anyone doing well with these get paid to programs?
Get paid to try products here.
My CashCrate review, which is one of the greatest “get paid to” programs I have tested…
Throughout the time I’ve made money from paid surveys and trial offers, CashCrate has been going and growing along the way for me, mostly because of their excellent referral commission program.
Because this company is one of the best at what it does, I have never seen as many blogs, forums, discussion boards and dedicated websites discussing another “get paid to” company as much as CashCrate. Unfortunately there are not as many good, detailed CashCrate review sites out there.
And as if the company is not solid enough, this past holiday season, the CEO of CashCrate Joe Coleman sends me an unexpected letter and holiday greeting card thanking me for my efforts. Enclosed in the letter was a nifty gift card to Amazon.com. Thank You Joe.
Because I started getting a flood of emails about the company, couple years back I decided to compile a dedicated CashCrate review. Few months after writing the review, I wrote another section on additional tips and strategies specifically for CashCrate that one can use to expedite their earnings on the program.
How? By cutting down the time it takes to complete offers and thereby effectively earning more on a per hour basis. There are some cool short cuts that I learned when I was completing paid offers, and I have summarized those in my tips and strategies section.
These strategies essentially cut your offer completion time. How? There are FREE tools you can download online that will automatically fill in the blank fields and clear your cookies each time you complete a paid offer.
The best thing is that the strategies and shortcuts that I discuss are not just specific to CashCrate, and can be applied to pretty much any other survey site. So while it is a lengthy read, it is definitely worth the time to go over.
CashCrate is one of my most profitable “get paid to” programs. The biggest reason for this is that they reward 20% in commissions from all first level earnings and 10% from second level. Earnings are also residual in nature, in the sense that you keep getting paid as long as your referrals keep completing offers.
This is quite remarkable and more than any other company will pay you. In addition, they also pay $3 whenever your referral earns $10 from the program. There are some screenshots of some of my old checks from CashCrate in the Proof section above if you’d like to see an example.
If you are interested in this avenue of generating income online, you might want to check out my detailed CashCrate review here. I have also included a video that will show you how to implement some other strategies so you can quickly get started. Make sure you visit the CashCrate review link above as it is a more comprehensive and detailed review than this post.