The Secret to Finding Paid Focus Groups Online

Online focus groups are one of the highest-paying ways to make money for sharing your opinion — just one focus group can earn you as much as 20-30 great surveys. Follow the tips below to learn how to find these high-paying online focus groups so you can earn by working smarter instead of harder.

What are paid online focus groups?

Rather than just crunching numbers from a standard survey, an online focus group is a panel discussion between consumers and a professional interviewer that typically takes place over Zoom or a similar service.

With a smaller number of participants and an interactive format, online focus groups allow brands to ask more detailed questions and get more in-depth answers as part of their market research. Plus, the interviewer can adjust questions on-the-fly to get even more valuable intel.

How do paid focus groups work?

When you participate in an paid focus group online, 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.

A typical session is an hour long, but you can expect to answer some questions beforehand and may also be asked to provide follow-up answers after the session.

After the session, you’ll get paid!

How much do paid focus groups pay?

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.

Though 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 faster way to earn.

What’s the difference between paid focus groups and paid surveys?

Take a look at the comparison below and you’ll see there are some major differences between paid surveys and 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.

Now that you know the what makes online focus groups difference, let’s learn how to find the good ones.

How do I find high-paying online focus groups?

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

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.

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. Providing truthful answers also helps you avoid getting disqualified from surveys which is sure to prevent you from earning.

Don’t Skip Lower-Paying Options: 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.

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.

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.

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What are the best sites to find paid focus groups?

If you’re looking for high-paying focus groups, you can’t go wrong with any of the legit sites.

Focus Group

Paid studies up to $200

Focus Group by Schlesinger provides an excellent opportunity for participants to influence product development through focus groups. Their prompt payment policy, coupled with rewarding compensation rates, allows participants to quickly benefit from their contributions.

Our Rating [4.71/5]
28 User Ratings [5/5]


Receive Early Access and Get Paid to Test Big Brands

MySoapBox offers a platform where users can share their opinions in focus groups and receive earnings promptly after participation. With low payout thresholds and high earning potential, it’s an efficient way for users to monetize their opinions.

Our Rating [4.72/5]
53 User Ratings [4/5]

Survey Junkie

Over $10 million in survey payouts to date

Survey Junkie is a reliable online survey site which also includes focus groups as a part of their research methodology. Notable for its quick payment processing and reasonable payout minimums, participants can rapidly see the fruits of their contributions.

Our Rating [4.7/5]
24 User Ratings [3.5/5]


A staple in consumer market research for five decades

Ipsos is a globally recognized market research firm offering users opportunities to participate in focus groups through their online platform. With its user-friendly interface and prompt payment process, users can quickly earn rewards for their invaluable insights.

Our Rating [4.68/5]
18 User Ratings [4.5/5]

These sites, and especially Focus Group, should keep you busy with potential high-paying focus groups.

Closing Thoughts: Are paid focus groups right for me?

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.

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 Gunnar.