Every so often, we provide for our readers a Greatest Hits report. We put together a best of the best from all of our previous articles and hours of research so that you may truly benefit from some of the side gigs and side hustles we have written about.
Online focus groups are great if you are looking for a way to earn some extra cash and make an impact on society at the same time. This article will reveal the 17 best paid online focus groups we have covered over the last several months.
What is an online focus group?
An online focus group is defined as a focus group conducted through an online session in the internet with the help of an online software. Online focus groups are one of the newer online research methods used primarily to conduct consumer research, business research, and other studies that needs online qualitative research.
Research studies can be a great way to make money, however, they can often be very time consuming. You have to be present at the study, and sometimes it is hard to find these studies in a small local town.
Online focus groups often work well for people due to the flexibility of being able to answer their questions and surveys from home. Plus the tend to pay fairly well.
If you are interested in partaking in an online focus group, but you are not sure how to get started, have no fear. We have put together the ultimate list of the top 17 places to get paid doing online focus groups.
The list of focus groups
Out of all the online focus groups we have researched, these 17 are at the top of our lists. We will break down some of our reasons why we felt these were some of the best paid focus groups and show you what to look for in a focus group.
1. Branded Surveys
Branded is one of the platforms where you can almost always find studies or surveys in a category that will work for you.
The more you participate in their surveys, the higher the rewards you get for each survey. You can even get up to a 19% bonus for every survey which means you will be well compensated for your time.
You can get your payouts in cash via PayPal or you can choose between many different gift cards.
YouGov is another platform that offers a broad array of online research studies. With YouGov you will find surveys you can participate in here regardless of your location or your background. These surveys tend to be short but pay decently for your time and are about current events and interesting topics.
You get paid out in cash or via gift cards depending on your preferences. There is also a YouGov app that allows you to take the surveys on your phone.
Respondent is one of the highest paying research study groups online. Depending on your background, you could be paid somewhere between $100-$700 per hour.
Respondent studies however, can require quite a bit of effort to complete. You will really need to be committed and you need to be willing to invest some time to qualify for their studies. But for the high incentives, it may be worth your time.
Just be ready for a fair amount of rejections. They often look for very specific people to participate, so it can take some patience to finally find a study you qualify for.
4. Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie offers a wide variety of studies you can participate in. You can find a decent amount of online surveys here. That is the fastest and easiest way to earn as you can almost always find good and relevant options.
Sometimes, you may even be invited for these online interviews or online focus groups. If you get invited for these, you should definitely consider participating as they usually pay very well.
You can get your payouts in cash via PayPal or choose between several different gift cards.
5. The Center for Behavioral and Decision Research (CBDR) at Carnegie Mellon University
I like the Universities online focus groups a lot. Carnegie Mellon is almost always looking for participants in their research studies.
Often the studies will take place at the campus but you can also find online studies you can do from the comfort of your own home.
You will generally get $8-$10 per hour and will get paid in cash or gift cards.
6. The Department of Psychology at Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
This University has several different online focus groups – many of them are of the online variety.
You can see a summary of the current studies on their website and read descriptions and requirements for each study there as well.
You will usually get paid in cash or gift cards but the amount of incentives you will get depends a lot on the specific study. Click here to Join The Department of Psychology at Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences
7. LifePoints Panel
One of the research companies, LifePoints is a user friendly, online focus group site that will give you access to quite a lot of online studies and surveys.
You sign up and then almost immediately, you will start receiving email invitations for available studies. You can even expect sometimes several invitations per week.
You can get paid in cash via PayPal or choose between their wide array of gift cards.
8. Toluna Influencers
Toluna is another easy-to-use survey site. Occasionally they offer substantially larger studies.
Toluna Influencers also has an app so you can easily participate on your phone which makes it very convenient. Usually, you can expect to be invited to short surveys several times per week.
You can cash out your earnings in cash via PayPal, choose between many different gift cards, or sometimes also get products as a reward if you prefer, which is a neat perk.
This Company specializes in helping companies get consumer feedback about their apps and websites so that they can improve on them.
If you join, you will be able to participate in online interviews where you give feedback about different websites and apps for some very big companies.
You can usually earn $20-$100 per hour and you can get paid in cash within 7 days after an interview finishes via Transferwise (direct to your bank account) or via PayPal.
Userlytics is another great platform to join if you would like giving feedback about websites and apps.
They offer both short interviews (usually you can record it on a mobile device when it fits into your schedule) and longer tests.
You will usually get paid $5, $10, $15, or $20 per test, but some projects will also pay as high as $90. You will get paid via PayPal within about 2 weeks after the interview or test has been approved.
Midswarms allows you to participate in video interviews. If you are not comfortable with recording yourself on video, this may not be the right option for you.
If you think this sounds fun, you have the potential to earn $10-$50 per video you record and they usually do not take long and you can record on your own free time.
However, Mindswarms does often look for very specific people with specific backgrounds for their studies, so it could take some time and some patience to find one you that you qualify for.
12. Harvard University
Of course you know the department of psychology at Harvard University is regularly looking for volunteers to participate in their world renowned research studies.
By participating, you can do the humanistic endeavor and can help to advance the understanding of human thought and behavior. It can also be a great way to learn more about psychology yourself.
Often the studies require you to show up physically, but they also sometimes offer online research studies. You will get paid $10-$25 per hour in cash or gift cards.
13. American University
Another research university that is big on focus group research is The Behavioral Pharmacology and Health Promotion Laboratory (BPHP) at American University. They conduct research on cognitive and behavioral factors.
The exact topics are constantly changing from time to time, but you can see the currently available options through the university link. Many of them require you to show up in person, but you can also find regular online research studies you can get paid to participate in.
How much you will get depends on the particulars of each study but you will always be able to see these amounts clearly stated before applying.
14. Fieldwork Atlanta
Fieldwork has studies on various topics including video games, breakfast cereal, real estate. Oh, did I mention Video Games???!!
Fieldwork Atlanta also offers a wide range of studies including taste tests, product trials, in-home interviews, shop-along interviews, phone interviews, and online research.
15. Schlesinger Focus Group
FocusGroup.com is a star player in the market research game. With many locations in many countries, they have a reputation to uphold.
They are generally well-liked on Facebook, the only social presence they have fair reviews. They send surveys you pre-qualify for directly to your inbox. They lean a little health-centric in their offerings, but they do offer studies for general consumers as well.
16. V & L Research and Consulting, Inc.
This researcher is a smaller firm that focuses on ‘specialty markets,’ targeting certain demographics such as African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Seniors, Low Income, and Wealthy.
Chances are you have a higher chance of qualifying for studies since they are actively seeking certain ‘niche’ consumers.
Working with big box brands such as: Pepsico, Emory Healthcare, Georgia-Pacific, VH1, and Target they at least are reputable.
They do however request basic demographic information to sign up to be added to their database.
17. C&C Market Research
One but not least is C&C. It is a national firm. Because of that, it’s a relatively safe option to try.
They have active studies right now, but they may be fairly difficult to qualify for as they look for certain demographics.
Once you sign up they will send you emails with studies you may qualify for.
We have created an exhaustive list of online focus group opportunities for you to sign up for and make some money online.
If you have participated in any paid studies online from these or any other focus groups yourself, and would like to share your experiences, I would love to hear from you in a comment below.
I am a father to a beautiful baby girl, a husband and a serial gigster 🙂 I live in Toronto, Canada. My claim to fame: I made thousands of dollars from focus groups and surveys over the last 15 years. Studied Marketing in Ryerson Univerity and worked in Marketing and Marketing Research for the last 14 years+ My mission is to educate others how to be successful with side hustles. You can contact my be email or on Facebook.