How to Make Extra Money With Online and Offline Focus Groups
You may have heard that you can make money by giving your opinion. While you won’t make as much as you will as a popular blogger or affiliate marketer, focus groups can be a great way to earn a bit of extra cash on the side.
Joining focus group panels
The first step is to find a number of market research companies in your area that conduct focus groups and apply to all of them. Each company will have a website and instructions for applying. It is crucial that you fill your application out as completely as possible as the application process is used as part of a screening tool to determine if you fit the market research company’s current needs.
If your application passes the first screening, you’ll likely be asked to submit to a telephone interview. During the interview, a market research employee will ask you questions about your habits, your hobbies, where you like to eat, what brands you use, among other things. This interview is part of the second screening and will determine whether you can join the pool of focus group participants and which groups in which you’re best qualified to participate.
Making money with focus groups
Just like with online surveys for money, it’s important to join more than one market research company. Focus group participation is determined by demographics and by interest levels. Joining a number of companies gives you more opportunities to match each company’s criteria for participants.
Unlike online surveys, focus groups are mostly conducted offline at a particular place and at a particular time. Because of this, you’ll need to arrange to get to the focus group location on time. If you need to make arrangements for a babysitter, you should do that well beforehand. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the location, allowing time for parking and finding the place. If you miss too many meetings or are continually late, you risk being dropped from the panel, or at least not being chosen as often as other members.
Paid focus group scams are even more prevalent than paid survey scams. It’s important to realize that since most legitimate focus groups won’t be advertised online, any advertising that you do see on the Internet is highly suspect. Approach these opportunities with a high level of caution. If any website advertising such an opportunity asks for payment of any kind in exchange for joining or participating in focus groups, it’s most definitely a scam site since legitimate market research firms will never demand payment for focus group participation.
Finding legitimate paid focus group opportunities is not easy and requires more offline footwork. However, once you find a set of companies with offices located in your area that host focus groups, you’ve found a great source of extra income that can be much better than online surveys. Here is a list of focus group panels to give you a head start in your search:
- Delve: Conducts focus groups in St. Louis, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and other U.S. cities.
- FieldWork: Conducts focus groups in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Seattle, Dallas, and other U.S. cities.
- Cocscv: Conducts focus groups in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Spokane, Boise, Chicago and Portland.
- 2020 Research: Conducts in person focus groups in Nashville and Charlotte and also conducts online focus groups via bulletin board and chat.
- Shifrin-Hayworth: Conducts focus groups over the phone and in person.
- FocusPointeOnline: Conducts focus groups in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta and other major cities around the United States and the world.
- Awres: Conducts focus groups in Los Angeles and Chicago.
- Pragmatic-Research: Conducts in person focus groups in St. Louis and also offers online surveys.