Side income is the most sought thing across the world. There are a ton of side hustles people can do to earn extra money, but most of them are either time consuming or pay less. So it has become crucial to find a side job that pays well while not consuming much time. One such way is to earn through online surveys.
Online surveys are easy, and fun to make side cash. However, you need to do a lot of tasks to make a decent amount or to reach the threshold limit so that you can cash out your earnings.
Most of the survey sites hardly pay $1-$7 per survey. So you can only suffice with this money when doing a lot of them. But at the same time, you can’t find surveys that suit you all the time.
So to keep a check on all these issues, I came up with a side hustle idea that is more similar to online surveys in terms of what you have to do and pays HIGHER. If you have an idea you must have understood until now that this is about Paid Online Focus Groups.
Need Easy & Extra $300/Mo For Free?
But What is A Focus Group?
Market Research companies conduct focus groups for the same reason as to why they conduct online surveys through survey sites.
For the different kinds of brand studies and research work that these market research companies do, they require data directly from the customers. So one such way of collecting the data is done through focus groups.
A Focus group is a kind of online research method that is mostly used for consumer, business-to-business, and political researches. These groups are a set of people who discuss and do an in-depth survey of a certain product or issue or brand.
When this job is similar to the online surveys on GPT sites, the specialty lies in the role that it plays in the marketing of a brand/product. The information you provide is valuable to them which is why the pay is also high.
I will discuss more on pay later. But for now, let me tell you more.
Focus groups are of two types/work in two ways. They are:
- In-Person Focus Groups
- Online Paid Focus Groups
In this post, I will be mainly discussing everything about online paid focus groups. So to know how an online focus group works read further.
How Does Focus Group Works?
What you need to do as a member of a focus group is more like that of an interview. But the difference is that you will be a group of people discussing it altogether. The group will be moderated by a person from the company management who is generally a researcher.
This is how both the In-person and online focus groups work and the only difference is as follows:
- In-person Focus Group: You need to attend the research/survey session personally at the prescribed place for every survey. And you will be paid for each survey you participate in.
- Online Focus Group: You need to join the survey via an online medium such as online chat/video conference through your phone or laptop or tablet. The company will send you a link which you need to follow to join the discussion. Some companies even have special software for this purpose and you will need to download them if you wish to participate.
It is up to you which kind of focus group you want to join. But if you want to join an online paid focus group make sure that you have the following essentials to have a smooth experience.
Essentials To Join An Online Paid Focus Group
- A good computer/tablet
- Reliable internet connectivity
- A microphone
- A web camera
So if you have these then you can now start looking for the right opportunity. But before knowing what all opportunities are in store for you, it is the right of a person to know the income potential while applying for any job. So now let us know how much one can make through focus groups.
Income Potential of Paid Focus Groups
I especially want to mention the income potential for this job because it is important to know how much you will be paid and how you will be paid before agreeing to participate in any focus group. Legitimacy is always a question and we cannot take a chance. Good research about the company before working for their focus groups is advisable to stay away from risks.
The income that you can earn through paid online focus groups varies depending on the topic or product or case you are studying. However, you can expect somewhere between $30 to $150 per survey.
The money you make through this also depends on some other factors like the time spent on it. This time is not more than 2 hours. Most surveys take half an hour to a maximum of 2 hours. So this is an easy grab if you give your best in the survey.
Participating in some special focus groups can pay you as much as $450 to a few thousand dollars. However, such specific groups are not available always. So keeping an eye on this domain would help you gain as many opportunities as you can.
Most of the high paying focus groups are usually the offline focus groups and you are required to go to the specific location to participate in the study/survey. So if you can invest time commuting apart from that for the survey then you can end up making a few hundred dollars for each survey.
All the money that you earn will be paid by the company either via Paypal or gift cards. Certain companies will award you points that you can reclaim for cash using a specific credit/debit card.
How To Find Legit Paid Focus Groups?
As I already said it is recommended to always do some quick research before joining any focus group. You can analyze a company by visiting their website, Facebook page, and other handles where you can read the reviews, take a look at the ratings, etc.
Sometimes even the best of the companies may have some critical reviews, at such times you can ignore the reviews and can go with the brand. Because what works for one may not work for others.
Once you do all this and feel like the company is legit then you can proceed with the idea of joining them.
Most of the customer/market research companies want people with particular profiles and interests. Hence it is clear that one may not be eligible for all kinds of focus groups. So try your hand at as many companies as possible before finding the right one for yourselves.
It might be a paid online focus group or in-person focus group, but the companies will thoroughly screen you before allowing you to join them. So you need to be patient too.
However, to keep all this waiting at bay I have researched and prepared a list of legitimate companies that offer paid online focus groups. Read further to know what all opportunities are there in store for you.
Best Paid Online Focus Groups
Selecting a market research company that is legit and pays well is the key to fulfill your need of a side hustle for some extra cash. But how? Don’t worry I have done it all for you. All you need to do is just go to their website and signup to apply.
Here goes the list of some legit and best paid online focus groups.
1. User Interviews
This is one of the best places to find paid focus group projects. But the only thing is that you can apply with them only if you are a resident of the US or Canada.
The User Interviews have a wide range of subjects starting from food, pets, clothes, sports, apps, to software, etc. for surveys. This is an easy way to earn for providing your reviews on different products.
You will also be a part of studying new products before they are launched. An average of 500 surveys launches every month here.
Some surveys pay $75 for 30 minutes to $450 for specific studies that take up to one hour of your time. You will be paid via different methods like Paypal, cash, check, or Amazon or Visa gift cards.
This is how it works:
- You can head over to the User Interviews website and create your profile.
- You need to fill in some personal information like your name, basic demography, etc while creating your account.
- Connect yourselves with them by linking your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to get a chance to participate in more surveys.
- Once you signup you will find options such as focus groups, 1-on-1 studies, multi-day studies, tasks to choose from.
- You can also select the mode of payment before applying.
- After all this, you can choose the sessions suitable for you and participate to get paid.
The best part about this company is you will get to share your reviews for world-class leaders like intuit, Spotify, Adobe, Pinterest, Vistaprint, etc. So if you are in the US or Canada and looking to join an online paid focus group then don’t miss this chance.
2. Survey Junkie
This is a legit survey website that everyone knows about. Apart from offering paid surveys that pay an average of $1 to $9 per survey, Survey Junkie has many other ways through which you can earn money. One of them is in-person paid focus groups.
Let us see what all offers this company has:
- You can earn up to $50 by participating in their Product Testing program. You need to test a product that they will send to your address and then fill an online survey about it. Apart from getting paid, you will also get to keep the product for free.
- It also offers In-Person focus groups. But if you want to participate in it you need to initially fill an online survey. If they find you eligible then you will be called for a study in a location nearby you. Each study that you do in these in-person focus groups will earn you up to $150 per study.
- The other one is the Phone survey, you will be surveying via a phone call. This can help you earn as much as $100 per survey. The phone survey is similar to an online paid focus group.
If you are already a member of Survey Junkie participating in their surveys you know how to join them. But for those who don’t, here how it is:
- Simply go to their website and sign up with your email id.
- Then fill in your profile.
- Once this is done the company will approach you via email when suitable surveys and focus groups are available.
It is that easy. This site awards points for the tasks you accomplished where 1000 points are equal to $10.
Respondent.io is a market research company that offers both in-person and online paid focus group studies for businesses. You can also join them and get paid for participating in research studies. Some projects offer as much as $250 here.
This company accepts respondents from all over the world and offers them a platform for finding opportunities. It has projects available for US residents as well as global residents. So you can join this platform for paid focus groups no matter which part of the world you are from.
You can earn $50 to $250 per research with the ones available here. All you need to do is join them and link your Paypal account. You can also link your profile via Facebook or LinkedIn.
Here is all that you need to do with them:
- First, after heading to their website Respondent.io, you need to create a participant account.
- Once you create your account you can browse through all the available studies.
- If you find a project that suits your interests, you can apply to take part in it.
- The sponsor of the survey will then approach you if they find you as the best fit for their survey.
- After then you will be asked about your availability to fix a time for the survey.
- Once everything happens and you complete the survey you will be paid via Paypal.
The payments will be made via Paypal and 5% less will be paid than the amount advertised by the sponsor of the survey.
4. American Consumer Opinion
This is one of the biggest survey sites with 7 million users engaging with them. It is a US-based company and is open for participation for US residents only.
American Consumer Opinion is dedicated only for surveys that pay $0.05 to $5.00 per survey. There are very fewer opportunities for earning high payments. But it is suggestible to register with your mail id and keep in touch with them to grab big projects like focus group opportunities that they offer rarely.
You will be expected to do certain things as a part of the study such as:
- Assess new products
- Take surveys
- Test new advertisements, etc.
By participating in such long market research studies you can earn up to $50 per study.
They often award points for the tasks you accomplish and each point is equal to one penny. You can redeem these points for cash when your account balance reaches $10 with your earnings. They usually have two payment methods, Paypal and check.
It is free to signup, so if you want to try a hand at a maximum number of companies then you can try this one too.
5. Plaza Research
This is a US-based market research company with its physical office in 14 locations/cities across the nation. Plaza Research mostly conducts in-person focus groups. Each focus group study is as long as 2 hours and since they are in-person types you will also be accommodated with food and refreshments.
The kind of surveys you need to do are mostly like:
- Product sampling
- Previewing a TV commercial
- Analyzing products to be launched
The research sessions happen both in the mornings and evenings. Each two-hour session can help you earn as much as $50 to $200. The best part about this company is that you get hassle-free payments that too in-person.
6. Recruit And Field
This is a US-based market research respondent recruitment service that caters to local and national businesses. Recruit And Field have an amazing rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars on Facebook. One can find opportunities in both in-person and online paid focus groups with this company.
They want people of all ages and gender for different surveys. You may be a common man or a business professional or a medical professional and find research study opportunities here.
All you need to do to join them is:
- Head on to their website and register yourselves as a participant.
- After that, you need to verify your email address with them so you can proceed further.
- Now you can sign in to your profile and fill in the rest of the personal information.
The information you provide will be used to present you with opportunities that suit you. This platform introduces you to surveys ranging from $100 to $275 per study. It is up to you to choose which one you want to choose depending on your abilities.
The payments for your job will be via Paypal. However, sometimes they also offer Amazon and other digital gift cards.
7. Survey Feeds
Survey Feeds is a market research company that offers paid research studies, surveys, focus groups, etc. This is a US-based company that frequently posts about the opportunities available on its Facebook page.
Survey Feeds offers both in-person and online paid focus groups. You will be required to participate in different ways under each of them. They are:
In-person Focus group:
- One-on-one interviews
- Focus groups
- Clinical research studies
Online Focus group:
- Online Video conferences
- Phone Interviews
- Online surveys
So these are some different kinds of opportunities available here. Each study can help you earn decent cash ranging from $50 to $475. The amount varies depending on different factors such as the length of the study, location, etc.
If you think you will be comfortable and confident on camera then you can choose to join Mindswarms for participating in focus groups. This company mostly requires you to participate through video conferences to complete their surveys.
There are two ways you can gain access to join their company:
- On your PC through the Mindswarms website
- On your smartphone or tablet through the Mindswarms app on ios or Android operating system.
To join them you need to do the following:
- Record a video or two and answer a few questions.
- Then you can start applying for surveys.
- You can apply by answering a few simple questions that take less than a minute.
- Once everything is done you will be able to find surveys that suit you based on your profile.
They want you to answer 7 questions per survey that will pay you $50 or you can earn $10 by using answering 1 question. You can answer these questions in just 10 minutes or less via video recording on your smartphone or tablet or PC.
The payment will be processed to your account within 24 hours of completing the study via Paypal. This company also offers only paid online focus groups so you can apply with them if you want to work from the comfort of your couch.
9. Ipsos i-Say
If you have ever looked for survey sites then you might be encountered with their website. Ipsos i-Say is a market research company that is the third-largest in their domain of the business. They also offer high-end opportunities to focus groups apart from the surveys and other tasks.
You can find different surveys that pay $1 per survey and focus groups that pay $50 to $100 that is usually for one hour long. They also have a mobile app through which you can do all this.
You will be paid points for your work that you can redeem for cash via Paypal or Prepaid Visa. You can also get paid via Amazon and iTunes gift cards. To redeem these points you must have at least 500 points in your account.
You can join Ipsos i-Say by simply going to their website and registering yourselves. If you are interested click here to register.
Fieldwork is a quality market research company that helps businesses with methodologies and supplies expert respondents for doing research. You can register on their website if you are looking to join and earn through a focus group.
It is only open for US residents and is available in all the major cities of the US. If you don’t live in these cities still you can join them by applying for their national database.
You have a diverse range of topics to be studied and each panel interview or study longs for a maximum of 1-2 hours. Are you from the US? Then grab this opportunity now.
The payment for each study is a minimum of $75 and may go up with the kind of topic being researched. You can receive your payments via Visa gift cards.
11. Life Points
This is a survey site that often offers group projects too. LifePoints have long studies that take a lot of time. However, the pay is comparable to the time it takes to complete.
They usually award some points namely life points for every task you accomplish. These points can be redeemed for gift cards. The surveys available on this site can help you earn $5 for each one. Earn some more side cash through these surveys until you find big group projects on the site.
So all in all this can be a good choice for joining a focus group as you have multiple means of making money.
12. Probe Market Research
This is a US-based market research company that is completely dedicated to providing its clients with feedback via focus groups. It mainly offers consumer, business to business, and healthcare segment research.
Probe Market Research has been rated 4.7 out of 5 on Facebook for its focus group services. It is fun to work with this company because you get to deal mainly with television commercial producers, beauty product companies, and soda companies.
They offer only paid online focus groups, so it is a great opportunity to join them if you are looking to work from home. In some cases you need to work over the phone, however, you are not required to move from your house.
You can earn as much as $50 to $400 per study here. Joining them is pretty simple. Just go to their website and sign up further you will be guided by the company themselves.
This is a US-based company that offers both in-person and online paid focus groups. FocusGroup.com deals with some interesting consumer topics and you will have a fun time participating in its focus groups.
Some of the consumer topics available for research in general on this website are as follows:
- Cell Phones
- Electronic gadgets
- Dining out
- Child-related products, etc.
They also have topics to study in fields like business and medicine. You can earn an average of $70 to $250 per study here. The pay, however, varies with the topic chosen.
Their payment methods are Pre-paid visa cards, check gift cards, or cash. They change the payment methods for each study/topic. So make sure that you are flexible with the payment method before you apply.
You can head over to the FoucsGroup.com website and click the “available studies” option to know what all topics are available, how much they pay, and the place of study in case of in-person focus groups.
If you want to make some more dollars you can also participate in their other money-making programs such as testing new products, snacks, beverages, watch new TV shows, take online surveys, and more.
14. Brand Institute
Brand Institute is a market research company that mainly offers its services in the field of medical and health care. So it is obvious that it looks for participants to research things related to medicine, health and, pharmaceuticals, etc.
If you are familiar with this field then you can try applying with this company as it might seem easy for you to deal with.
I am not listing this company here just for the purpose of listing but this company has proven itself credible with 4.6 out of 5 and 4.5 out of 5 on Glassdoor and Facebook respectively.
All you need to do to join them is:
- Register yourself on their website with your mail address.
- Create your profile by answering a few simple questions
- Keep your account updated regularly
That is what you need to do initially. Once there are surveys that suit your profile they will contact you via email. So keep checking your inbox regularly. Most of their focus group researches are related to the following things:
- Brand names
- Tag lines
- Linguistic analysis
- Trademark screening
- Concept testing, etc.
Once you complete a study you will be paid via Paypal or through check. Note one thing that you need to claim your payments within 30 days of completing a study.
15. Inspired Opinions
This is another company that conducts market research studies. But the thing is you must be 18 or + to join and participate in the Inspired Opinions’ focus groups. It seems to be a good company to work with if you look at the ratings on Facebook(4.4 out of 5).
This company is open for individuals around the world to come, join, provide feedback, and earn money.
The process to work with them is pretty simple and is as follows:
- Create your account on their website by providing some of your basic information.
- Once you create your profile name and password, complete your profile.
- Whenever there are studies available they will match you the ones that suit your profile
- You will be contacted via email or phone to check if you fit the study.
That is it. You also have the choice to select which kind of focus group you want to join. They usually conduct focus groups in three ways:
- On Phone
- Online through a PC
- Or in-person focus groups at one of their 16 offices in the US.
Each research study can help you earn around $50 to $250. They use the opinion reward program i.e. they give you points for the work accomplished by you. You can redeem these points for gift cards when you reach a minimum limit of 1000 points which is equal to $10.
16. Google’s User Experience Research
Join Google’s consumer research panel and learn what all Google has in store for a new launch. You can voice out your opinion on the new products that google is yet to launch and earn a few dollars by participating in their user research studies.
Though this doesn’t pay as much as the other sites listed above, you can have a new experience altogether and learn many new things. You are likely to earn gift cards mostly. If you are just here for some knowledge then you can transfer those earnings to charity donations.
Become a Toluna member and get paid for answering questions and participating in paid online focus groups. If you know about this site before you came here you might have heard about their surveys that offer $10 to $30 each for completing them.
Once you complete some surveys, they can call you for joining their focus groups. This can happen if your profile matches their subject requirements.
Toluna rewards you with points for your work. 3000 points make $1 here on their site. You can redeem these points for cash via Paypal once you reach 60K points which are approximately $20. You can also redeem them for gift cards or make monthly drawings.
There are focus groups that pay as much as 50,000 per study on their website. You can also use their mobile app to participate.
18. Focus Forward
This is another firm that offers market research to its clients. There are a ton of subjects like different hobbies and brands to be studied on their website.
Focus Forward has all sorts of small and big paid online focus groups under a special name/section Survey Squad. All of them pay well and one example of their great payments is the recent focus group that they hosted which paid $575. So if you are looking for a high-paying company then this is it.
And coming to small surveys, you can find them paying $1 to $50 per study. The research is done mostly on the phone, so check with it before joining.
With 4.4 out of 5 ratings on Facebook, WatchLab is a US-based market research company where you can find in-person and online focus groups to participate in.
Though they have both types of groups I can suggest you prefer the in-person groups because you will receive the payment as soon as you complete the study. Whereas participation in the paid online focus group with their company will lead you to wait for a month to receive the payment.
So if you are looking to make money quickly prefer in-person focus groups while you join them. There are studies that offer $50 to $200 per study. Take it for granted that you are going to earn $100 if you work for 2 hours in their focus groups.
If you are a resident of the US then this a great chance for you to earn.
20. Indy Focus
This one is simple to sign up and start with. If you are familiar with the health and medical field then Indy Focus would be the best fit for you.
21. Tell Us Your Opinion
This is one more easy website to find focus groups. It is a great market research company that deals with fortune 100 companies.
You just need to register and fill your profile. Tell Us Your Opinion will approach via mail or phone whenever a new opportunity is available that fits you.
22. VIP Voice
VIP Voice deals with fortune 500 companies helping them with marketing strategies. This is a great spot to find online paid focus groups where you can learn new things too.
They have all kinds of surveys or studies like short ones that help you earn a little pocket money to long studies that pay around $100.
Engage is a market research company that deals with consumer and health care research for its clients. This one is open for people across the world. For those who feel that there are no focus group opportunities in their place jump on to subscribe to this one.
Just you need to select your country while creating your profile and you will be contacted via email whenever you qualify for a study.
This company has surveys that pay as much as $50 to $250 per study.
24. Harris Poll Online
This is specially focused on online paid focus groups. You need to participate in the group study via chatrooms. Sometimes you also need to do the same via phone or email.
Harris Poll Online pays around $50 per study.
25. 20|20 Panel
So this is a company that mostly posts about the available focus groups on their Facebook page or sends them via email. So make sure you have a Facebook account and subscribe to their mailing list.
Once you sign up you can find a number of groups that pay $50,$100, or even $300 on 20|20 Panel. Whenever they find you eligible for a study they will contact you soon and help you get started.
Some More Places To Find Paid Online Focus Groups:
The above-listed companies are all trusted and pay high for participating in their focus groups. Still, if you want to know more places where you can find these opportunities you can make a quick check on google or Facebook, and other social media platforms.
To make it easy for you I am giving this bonus list of some more companies for focus groups. However, these may not be as good as the ones mentioned above in terms of pay other factors.
Here is a set of few small focus groups that you can join:
- FindFocusGroups.com – If you are a US resident then this is for you. Find focus groups in over 60,000 locations across the United States. It has many listings that pay around $100 per study.
- TakePartInResearch.co.uk – If you are from the UK then this is the best focus group finder for you where you can find groups paying up to $150 per study. You will get to deal with a variety of topics including shopping, parenting, student life, etc.
- Advance Focus – New York City and Manhattan residents can find great focus groups here no matter if you live in midtown.
- SIS International Research – Here you can find offers that pay up to $200 per study. It mainly bridges you with focus groups, one on one interviews, clinical studies, etc that are available across the world.
- FGFinder – This is a market research website where paid online focus groups are divided regionally for Americans, Canadians, Britishers, and Australians separately. You can find groups that pay around $100 here.
- FocusGroups.org – This is another US-based market research company that can help you find focus groups across 47 cities nationwide. Opportunities that pay from $100 to $250 are available here.
So this is a big list of all the places where you can find online paid focus groups. But as I already said, in the beginning, to find yourself fit for more focus groups you must have a profile that can help you qualify for more groups.
Hence it is clear that without fair eligibility you may not make a benefit no matter how many companies you register with. So work on it before applying.
Before winding up I would once again like to remind you that paid focus groups are only a side hustle and cannot make you rich overnight. Though you can earn at least $100 for each study this won’t help you in making rich because the opportunities are not consistent.
So just keep looking for them and grab them as soon as you find one and supplement your simple daily needs. If your work impresses the company you may be called for more participation and vice versa.
If you have any experience of indulging in the focus groups please do share with us. You can also suggest more companies that offer these jobs if we missed any.
Siva Mahesh is a full-time blogger and personal finance expert featured on US News, Yahoo Finance, Legal Zoom, The Simple Dollar, Databox, Business.com, Business News Daily, and more. He is the owner/founder of Dreamshala, a go-to place for 100,000+ monthly readers to find legit work from home jobs and make money online ideas.