Earn Extra Money By Joining Online Discussion Groups | Company

A few years ago, I was invited to participate in a focus group. I visited in person with about 15 other people. For two hours, we expressed all our feelings about how a particular health insurance company interacts with its customers.

In the end, we each walked out with $125. The health insurance company wanted consumer feedback on their products and customer service, and they paid us for providing our information.

Focus groups can be a lucrative side hustle when you’re breaking down hourly pay. You participate in a company’s market research efforts, magnifying your opinion above that of other potential consumers.

These days, you can participate in paid focus groups in person or online. Today we are going to focus on the online space. These newsgroup platforms can earn anywhere from $20 to $600 per hour.

Online discussion groups: a viable side business

Focus groups can very well pay for the time you actually “work”. They can provide income increases at the same time.

However, they are not likely to support you in lieu of traditional income. Earnings can be wildly inconsistent. First of all, you won’t be eligible for every survey because each focus group targets a specific demographic.

Often, but not always, the highest paying surveys also have the most exclusive demographic requirements. The company may seek to work with construction foremen who work with specific brands of equipment, for example, or with mobile app developers who use a specific type of programming.

Also, some consumer research companies will only allow you to participate in one focus group every six months.

Just because the work is sporadic doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. When the money comes in, you get paid so much on time that it’s worth booking 30-90 minutes of your time.

What you do in a paid discussion group

Most focus groups require between 30 minutes and 90 minutes of work. When you host a remote focus group, you may be asked to complete a multiple-choice questionnaire. Most of the time, however, you will conduct a phone or Zoom interview with a live person.

Topics for focus groups are limitless: you might find yourself answering questions about your favorite margarita recipe, how you’re coping with parenthood in the 2020s, or a survey related to your profession.

Some focus groups may require you to commit time outside of the interview itself. For example, you may need to test a specific product or keep a journal of your experiences. This extra time is often counted in the remuneration.

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5 Sites to Find Online Discussion Group Jobs

These market research companies pay well for your time and constantly update the listings for more opportunities. We queried current listings for hourly wage and estimated average hourly wage considering currently available jobs.

1. Respondent

An overwhelming percentage of focus group opportunities listed on the respondent are remote. The majority of ads are not city-specific, allowing you to qualify regardless of where you live.

Current job postings range from $20 to $250 per hour, with the average newsgroup paying around $120 per hour.


WatchLAB doesn’t have as many opportunities listed, but it updates its inventory regularly on its Facebook page.

Jobs are often city-specific, although there are a wide variety of cities offering opportunities.

Pay for WatchLAB focus groups ranges from $75 to $900 per hour, with the average focus group paying around $125 per hour.

3. Focusscope

Focusscope is another small consumer research company. It regularly informs its users of new opportunities on its Facebook page, and most studies are now carried out remotely. Focusscope pays $75 to $250 per focus group, with an average payout of $100.

4. FindFocusGroups.com

FindFocusGroups.com is not just a consumer research company. It is also a job posting board. It aggregates available opportunities across the country and allows consumer research companies to submit listings.

You can search these newsgroup listings by state. The average focus group pays around $125 per hour, although there are currently jobs listed for pay ranges from $75 to $595.

Pro tip

Participating in medical trials can be another lucrative way to raise extra money.

5. User interviews

If you are looking for discussion group opportunities online or over the phone, there are plenty of user interview listings. However, compared to the other companies on this list, more of these focus group opportunities are in person. Use filters during your search to ensure only remote opportunities are presented to you.

Part of the lists on user interviews are medical studies rather than focus groups.

Participating in medical trials can be another lucrative way to raise extra money.

User interview ads pay between $25 and $500 per hour, although few studies come close to the $500 mark. The average newsgroup pays $60 per hour.

Brynne Conroy, a Pittsburgh-based writer, is the founder of the blog Femme Frugality and the author of “The Feminist Financial Handbook.” She is a regular contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Information from Penny Hoarder writer and editor Tiffany Wendeln Connors is included in this report.

This was originally posted on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers across the country to make smart decisions with their money with practical, inspirational advice and resources on how to earn, save and manage money.

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