Robert Fleming
Written By
Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming is a 20-year veteran of the market research industry and now serves as co-CEO of Paid Survey Update which he co-founded in 2015. He resides in Myrtle Beach with his dog Scraps.

The Secret to Finding $100 Online Focus Groups

Paid surveys are great way to earn a bit of extra money. But there’s another type of online market research that can help you earn much more: online focus groups.

Online focus groups let you maximize your online earning potential by working smarter instead of harder. If you can find just one online focus group that pays $100, you’ll be making more than you’d make in 20 or 30 great paid surveys.

The only hard part is finding a high-paying online focus group that’s right for you.

What’s an online focus group?

When you participate in an online focus group, you’ll join a video-conference with an interviewer and about 6-10 other people like you. It usually starts with some casual conversation, then the interviewer starts asking everyone questions.

Rather than just crunching numbers from a standard survey, this interactive group format allows for more detailed questions and more in-depth answers. Plus, the interviewer can adjust questions on-the-fly to get even more valuable intel.

Because the company funding the focus group can learn so much, and because it usually lasts at least an hour, online focus groups generally pay much more than surveys. Things start at about $20-$60 an hour, and can go up to $100 and beyond.

Here’s what you really need to know: an online focus group won’t take you ten times longer than a traditional survey, but you can easily earn ten times as much money. It’s a much smarter way to earn.

So your first question is probably, how can I find these $100 online focus groups that can help me a earn top-dollar in the world of online market research? The answer is below, but first, you might want to better understand the difference between paid surveys and focus groups.

Paid Surveys vs Focus Groups

Paid Surveys

When a company does a paid survey, they get a ton of people to answer simple questions by checking boxes and filling in the blank. Then, they crunch this data to see what more more people think or do.

Do more people chew sugarless or sugar gum? Do people prefer rock or country music?

Surveys are great way to get a lot of data to analyze. In fact, research dorks even call it “quantitative research,” since they need a ton of answers to get reliable results.

Focus Groups

With a focus group, a professional interviewer (called a moderator) is hired to do an in-depth interview with a small group of people in hopes of learning why they behave how they do.

Why do you chew Watermelon Extra? Tell me about your first Metallica concert?

Focus groups help companies learn what motivates you. And again, there’s a name for it — “qualitative research” — since a few quality answers is all it takes.

How to Find High-Paying Focus Groups

Okay, enough stalling. Here are our top tips for finding high-paying focus groups and multiplying your earnings.

1. Choose the Right Sites

This is so obvious, but the first thing you need to do is make sure you’re signing up for sites that offer focus groups. And don’t be too selective. Take a multi-program approach and sign up for a handful of paid survey sites. The more sites you join, the better your chances of being invited to participate in focus groups.

2. Remember George Washington

George Washington never told a lie, or so he said. Market research companies are great at spotting people who don’t answer honestly. Be like George and always give honest feedback when you’re taking traditional paid surveys. Once you’ve proven you provide honest opinions, companies will be more likely to recruit you for focus groups.

And here’s a little bonus. Providing truthful answers also helps you avoid getting disqualified from surveys, so make sure you always keep it on the level.

3. Don’t Skip Low-Paying Surveys

Not all surveys are created equal. Lower-paying opportunities are often overlooked, but they usually take less time to complete so they’re a quick way to build credibility. By taking advantage of easier opportunities now, you can build your credibility in areas like shopping or entertainment, and you’ll be in a better position to get selected for a focus group down the road.

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4. Stay for the Long Haul

They say patience is a virtue, and that’s certainly the case when it comes to building your credibility with market research companies. The longer you stick around, the more credibility you build. As with our previous tip, gaining credibility is one of the most important things you can do if you want to get selected for a $100 focus group.

5. Stand Out from the Crowd

There’s more than one way to get attention than simply taking surveys. Many survey sites, like Tellwut, have active discussion forums and communities. Don’t be a stranger. Comment on the surveys you take and join the conversation. If you make sure they know you have an opinion, it will give you an advantage when the market research team is recruiting their next focus group.

So Which Survey Sites Should I Join?

Even if you didn’t read anything above, you can still earn $100 just for sharing your opinion. All you have to do is focus on these reputable paid survey sites that also offer online focus groups:

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Closing Thoughts

As with all market research, don’t think of focus groups as a way to get rich. Especially since there’s no guarantee that you’ll even be picked. Instead, use these tips to increase your chances of finding high-paying focus groups, and while you’re at it you can enjoy the extra income that comes from participating in traditional paid surveys.

If you can manage your expectations, when you do get picked for a $100 focus group, the extra money will be that much sweeter.