Making Part-Time Income from Paid Surveys Online

By Ian | Paid Surveys

How to Actually Make Money from So-Called “Paid Survey” Webites

Taking surveys online is an awesome way to earn some extra income in your spare time, but make no mistake, it can be a HUGE time-suck with virtually zero payoff if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s what this brief guide is for – teaching you how to maximize your earnings with Swagbucks.


Before I get into the 5 steps to making part-time income from paid surveys online, make sure you’ve signed up for a Swagbucks account and verified your email address (make sure to check your junk folder if you’re not seeing the verification email in your inbox).

There are A LOT of paid survey websites out there, but Swagbucks has the best payouts by far. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do that here.

Just make sure you’ve knocked out those two simple things first (signing up and verifying email), and you’re ready to rock.

Step 1) Claim all net-positive and breakeven offers

If you pay close attention to the members’ area, there are offers on Swagbucks that you can complete that cost you money initially, but actually make you money in the long run. Most of these are seasonal, but there are a couple of permanent ones.

For example, if you’ve never been an Audible monthly member, creating a trial through Swagbucks is a no-brainer. You pay $1 for the first month, $1 for the second month, and $14.95 for the third month. On the surface, it only looks like you lose $16.95 in exchange for three audiobooks.

But you get paid 800 Swagbucks for signing up initially, then 1700 additional SB when you’re billed for the third month ($14.95). You’ve paid $16.95 total, but effectively received three free audiobooks and been paid $25 in SB. That’s just over $8 profit.

Hey, I know it’s not going to make you rich, but it’s a pretty neat offer.

There are similar offers that don’t make you a profit, but result in you breaking even overall and receiving something free in return. For example, as I write this, there’s an offer for Club W (an auto-ship wine club). You paid a small fee up-front, but you received the equivalent back in Swagbucks and got a few bottles of really good free wine as a result.

So sign up for the Audible offer if you’ve never been a monthly member (new customers only), and keep an eye out for other net-positive and breakeven offers. You’re not going to get rich off of them, but you’ll make a little money and get some awesome free stuff.

Just make sure that you mark your calendar to cancel on time so you don’t get any surprise deductions from your bank or credit card.

Step 2) Activate your “Daily Goal” for bonus points

This is a small one, but if you stay active on Swagbucks for a long time, it’ll really add up over weeks and months. At the top of the members’ area, after logging in, you should see a prompt to activate your “Daily Goal”.

These are usually fairly minimal, but reward you with ~10% points on top of what you’re already earning. So if you earn $100 from a big purchase through a Swagbucks partner one day, you’re leaving $10 on the table if you haven’t activated your daily goals.

It’s simple and straightforward, but you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t activate it.

Step 3) Give all free trial offers a close look

Almost every “free trial” offer I’ve seen listed on Swagbucks’ website has turned out to be a net-positive or breakeven offer. Any time you see “trial” or “free trial”, make sure to click on that offer’s details to see if there’s free stuff for you to claim, or the chance for you to turn a profit.

Step 4) Set your default search to Swagbucks

If you’re using Yahoo as your default search engine (or you’re okay with switching), use Swagbucks’ search feature to earn points as you conduct everyday online searches.

It doesn’t take more than a minute or two, and if you don’t have a 100% solid search preference, it’s a good way to make a few extra bucks per week.

Swagbucks has a detailed tutorial on how to default your search here:

Step 5) Unlock 2-3x more survey options

Under the “Surveys” section, you’ll see two surveys that are fairly quick to complete, which unlock a lot of other opportunities for you. If you don’t complete these, you can’t unlock the full earning potential of Swagbucks.

They’re pretty hard to miss, because they’re usually less than five minutes but pay an okay amount of points compared to other options. One is even labeled, “Unlock New Survey Opportunities!”

Both of these will ask about basic household demographics. How many kids do you have, age, race, industry you work in, etc. This is what gives Swagbucks the ability to present relevant surveys to you.

One of these surveys will unlock Swagbucks’ paid surveys section, and give you a lot more paid survey options (with better payouts) than what you see available upon signing up.

The other survey will open up all kinds of opportunities. Paid surveys, of course, but also a lot of other trials, retailers to earn points from when you shop, etc.

So make sure you take 10 minutes (five minutes each) to answer those two surveys. They unlock a lot of possibilities, including the ability to earn up to $35 from a single paid survey (this privilege is built up over time as you complete more surveys – they’re not available to non-established users).

Other Free Ways to Earn

As you settle in to Swagbucks, you’re going to find a bunch of other ways that you prefer to earn.

At the very least, make sure to check Swagbucks frequently for new offers (daily is recommended, but weekly at least), always check Swagbucks first before making sizeable purchases online, follow them on social media for free “Swag Codes” to redeem, talk to your friend about Swagbucks and invite them using your personalized link, and pay close attention to the offers they email you (particularly when you’re new and they’re trying to make a good impression!).

I hope you found this guide helpful, and I wish you the best of luck as you try to make a little extra income through Swagbucks. Please send me an email in a few weeks and let me know how you’re doing – I’d really enjoy hearing how much your life changes if you give Swagbucks some of your spare time and start making a side income in return.

Create a Free Swagbucks Account >> Start making a part-time income from online surveys today

About the Author

I've been in internet marketing for over 10 years, and I've purchased dozens of illegitimate products for the sole purpose of evaluating them and exposing the truth about these products to anyone who's thinking about purchasing it. I never let money influence my rating of a product and your success/safety is my absolute highest priority. Don't want to buy a product? Register for one of my 100% free internet marketing training courses>>