The most intense variety of online surveys is the focus group. Since focus group participants are almost always compensated, this is a great method of making money online. However, with any new hobby or money-making venture, there are a number of questions that should be answered before investing your valuable time.
What Is an Online Focus Group?
Online focus groups are simply a virtual version of traditional focus groups. Participants are invited to log on to a specific type of chat or conferencing software on a specified date and time. Similar to in-person focus groups, there are usually between five and ten participants, as well as a moderator.
What Are the Benefits of an Online Focus Group?
Since participants in focus groups have been selected specifically for a particular study, their time is significantly more valuable to companies. Thus, they are paid more for their time spent in the study. Another benefit from online focus groups is a resulting feeling of contribution to whatever topic is of interest, as sessions are more in-depth with generally more information on what the project is specifically about.
What Can Be Expected in a Session?
Upon logging on to a session, there will be a moderator present that will introduce the participants to the study, offering pre-scripted information about what to expect and what the study is about. Depending on the specific goal of the study, there may then be a moderator-led group chat, with both pre-scripted and clarifying questions. In addition, an individual or group activity may be required, such as determining the best answer to an open-ended question or financial problem.
In any focus group session, applicants have been pre-screened for their qualification, so it would be foolish to quit a session simply because of lack of experience or knowledge of a topic. It is important to treat a focus group session seriously, as it is being conducted to obtain important information for academic research studies, political research, or consumer research.
What Are the Requirements?
Specific study requirements will be divulged before the focus group occurs. If you qualify, you will be notified via e-mail and invited to attend. In regards to software and hardware requirements, most computers already have the capabilities necessary for the focus group program to run sufficiently. Also, some studies may require downloading some relatively simple software to allow for effective interaction.
Participants will be instructed to set aside a certain period of time to dedicate to the study, usually between 60 and 90 minutes. During this time, distractions should be at a minimum, with the study treated with the same respect as a traditional work project. Some studies will require the use of a webcam, microphone, and/ or computer speakers. These requirements will be disclosed before the study.
Online survey focus groups are an excellent method of making some extra cash without a significant amount of effort. Offering your time for this type of project not only offers a bit of additional income, but also provides you with the satisfaction of making an impact on important research.