Saturday, June 5, 2010

Narcissism Pays! (But Not Much)

Can't work. But I still like to eat. So, I do what I can to make money. In the past, when I've been without the income of a full time job, my filler work has included tutoring, editing, data entry, teaching assistance and research assistance. Currently, my head isn't allowing consistent mental acuity or physical ability. Some days are okay, but I can't predict them and I certainly can't control them, so being a reliable employee isn't really in my skill set right now. My solution to this problem is surveys. I don't make much, but it keeps me occupied and feeling productive, even when I can't think. Which is often.

I belong to several legitimate survey sites. Opinion Outpost, Survey Spot, and Lightspeed are the ones that have open registration and have consistently paid out. Myview is another good one, payout-wise, but they are by referral only, so if you want in, send me an email and I'll put in a good word!

There are a few tricks to filling out surveys for profit and not losing your mind:

1. Fill out everything. All the profiles and every survey, even unpaid ones. Why? Well, sometimes those unpaid surveys are screeners for other, more profitable and interesting surveys. From "unpaid" surveys, I've received free, full size samples of produce (a huge bag!), massage oil (ahem), granola bars (yum!) and cereal (bulk size!) to try, give my opinion on, and then get paid for it. Non-paying screeners have also led me to be invited to a few a long term projects, one of which paid a few hundred dollars at the end of a three month "discussion".

2. Pace yourself. If you don't feel like sitting in front of the computer and repeatedly filling out your age, gender, number of members of household, marital status, sexual preference, parental status, income level, type of residence, estimation of assets, type of vehicle, political leanings, fabric softener preferences... Did I drift off for a second there? Sorry. It can be tedious and carpal tunnel inducing. I sometimes ignore the surveys altogether for a few days, then spend hours filling out EVERY SURVEY EVER. Or I'll do them as they open, interrupting blog writing and forum lurking whenever a new email invite comes in. It's best to work when you can and forget about it if you can't. I've learned the hard way that pushing through the blurry vision and squinty eyes of an early migraine attack to finish just one... more... survey... is NOT a good plan.

3. Keep at it! It took a few months of diligence for my efforts to start paying off. But, once they did, I was thrilled. It's really a nice boost to have an extra twenty in my Paypal or an Amazon giftcard just waiting to be spent on everything practical I can find with free super saver shipping.

PS: None of these companies paid me to mention them here. Your mileage may vary.

PPS: I'm revisiting this post a few months later to add that Survey Spot suddenly closed my account with no explanation. I had some money in it, which I lost, and they have not answered my queries with anything but an auto-response. Their policies state they can do this, which I agreed to when I signed up, but I was pretty disappointed with the way it went down. I made a good amount of money off of them, though, so it's still worth the risk, in my opinion. Just, buyer beware and all.

PPPS: Opinion Outpost also randomly shut down my account and refused to explain why. I now empty my accounts when they hit $20.


WinnyNinny PooPoo said...

Wow, an sorta underground survey economy!!! Verrrrry Interesting!

Migrainista said...

I'm impressed. Maybe something I should try...