I’ve reviewed a LOT of survey sites. They vary enormously, and while some offer a legitimate way to make some cash, others are a huge waste of time. As you’ll see in this PopulusLive review, this particular survey site in one of the good ones.
I should also point out that Populus Live has no affiliate scheme, so there’s no hidden agenda in my recommendation!
What is Populus Live?
PopulusLive is a UK-based survey site where you are paid for sharing your opinion. PopulusLive works with companies and brands to gather feedback. They also undertake political research, and there are often surveys canvassing opinion on government policies and current affairs.
Unlike many survey sites that operate using a convoluted system of points, bonuses and gift cards, the Populus Live proposition is simple: Your income is counted in “points,” but you’re paid cash for taking surveys, and there’s a standard rate of payment that works out to (more or less) £1 for every five minutes.
That averages out to a rate of £12/hour – although it’s important to note that you can’t just sit and take endless surveys. This is a side gig – not a job.
You’ll see how much you can realistically expect to earn later in the review.
How does PopulusLive Work?
PopulusLive works like most other survey sites, but if you’re used to others, you may well notice a lack of superfluous “bells and whistles” on the site itself. It’s all rather “bare bones,” but this is no bad thing.
After completing a very straightforward sign-up process, you fill out a simple personal demographic profile, so the company knows what kind of surveys you’re appropriate for. You can also fill out a business profile if that is relevant to you, which could qualify you for some extra surveys.
Once all that is done you basically sit back and wait until emails appear asking you to complete surveys. A survey invitation email tells you how long a survey will take, and what you’ll be paid for it.
As with most survey sites, it’s best to jump on to surveys as soon as they become available. Generally there’s a quota of responses to fill, so if you wait too long you can find the survey has closed. You’ve then missed your chance to take part and earn the money.
In my own experience, if you leave a survey email in your inbox over the weekend and then click through on a Monday, that’s generally too late. Grab them as quickly as you can!
What are PopulusLive Surveys Like?
The surveys on PopulusLive are carried out within a simple web-based interface, and it’s usually possible to complete them on tablets and smartphones as well as on a computer, if those options appeal to you.
To ensure you complete surveys properly, PopulusLive throws in verification questions to check you’re paying attention and not just blindly clicking through the survey.
These do work, just as they should! Sometimes, for example, are asked a question early in a survey and then asked something related to it later on to check you’re giving proper answers and paying attention.
It’s perfectly right and reasonable that survey companies take these precautions. The only thing that bugs me slightly about PopulusLive specifically is that there’s sometimes a short wait before the arrow appears that allows you to click onto the next part of a survey.
If you’re quick on the computer, you may sometimes feel like you could proceed a little more swiftly without giving the survey any less than your full attention. But it’s a minor thing.
Getting Screened Out
Like all survey sites, Populus Live operates a screening process to make sure that surveys are filled in by the correct demographic of people. This means that sometimes you can start a survey, get to a certain point in it, and then get booted out because you don’t fit the correct profile.
As a consolation for this (and the fact you don’t then earn your money), PopulusLive enters you into a monthly draw to win a £250 prize. It’s a legit draw, as I’ve found forum posts from people who have won it.
“Screen outs” are a little demotivating, and something people who take surveys complain about a lot. On PopulusLive the screen outs are handled well, and you never waste very much time before one happens. If you don’t qualify for a survey, you get to know in a minute or two.
One factor I’ve noticed in being screened out is that you’re often asked at the start of a survey if you or any of your family work in certain industries, including Market Research and PR. As my wife works in PR, I have to tick that box, and it seems to preclude me from quite a lot of surveys – on PopulusLive and other survey platforms. Still, them’s the breaks.
Populus Live: Earnings and Payments
As I mentioned at the start, PopulusLive has a simple and transparent payment model, typically working out to £1 for each five minutes spent filling out surveys. In our tests, we’ve found that these amounts are very accurate for the work involved.
Like many survey companies, Populus Live records your earnings in points. In this case it’s a very simple £1 equals one point scenario.
However, the company doesn’t pay out until you get to £50 (50 points). Once you do, it triggers an automated payment.
Until recently, all payments were made by UK cheque, sent to your home address.
Thankfully this rather quaint and old-fashioned system has now been complemented with the option of being paid by UK BACS transfer instead.
This feature seems to have been added due to people not being able to pay in cheques so easily due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Either way, it’s a much better option for most. I switched my own payment option to BACS and received my latest payment quickly and with no hassle.
How Much Can you Make on PopulusLive?
If you use PopulusLive regularly, you can expect to make around £100-200 per year – and for very little effort.
I first published a review of PopulusLive in 2017, and have been using the site ever since. I’ve received five £50 payouts in that time and am about half way to another one.
My own results are from doing about 70% of the surveys that I receive. I don’t tend to bother at the weekends, and if I’m too busy with “real” work, I ignore them.
I’ve also spoken to Hannah, who’s reviewed lots of survey sites for HomeWorkingClub. She fits into a different demographic to me and tends to qualify for more surveys. She says she hits the £50 payout about three times per year.
The estimate about is based on these experience. Your mileage may vary.
It’s an earner, but not a huge one. However, it is still very much worthwhile as one of those “saving for xmas or a special occasion” gigs.
PopulusLive Review: Conclusion
The way I tend to judge survey sites is based on whether I continue to use them after I’ve finished reviewing them. Ever since I first wrote this PopulusLive review, I’ve carried on using the site.
In fact, it’s the ONE site I continue to make time for, even when I’m busy with other things.
Nobody gets rich or even makes a living doing online surveys, however here at HomeWorkingClub we do think it’s worthwhile getting involved with a few select companies and doing some surveys during idle moments. I actually quite enjoy some of these ones too, because it’s quite fun to give your opinion on political events.
£100-200 per year isn’t megabucks, but if you get the same from three or four companies, it adds up to a not-too-shabby amount to pay towards a holiday or a special occasion. If you’re looking to add to your portfolio of side-gigs (and you’re in the UK), PopulusLive is a must. You can sign up here.
PopulusLive: The Good Bits
- Genuine opportunity.
- Simple, no fuss interface.
- No expertise or fancy hardware required.
- A solid way to make a little extra cash.
- Payment straight to your bank.
PopulusLive: The Bad Bits
- Strictly UK only.
- The speed of the interface sometimes makes the surveys feel like more of a grind than they need to.
- No cashout until £50 reached – so if you give up before then you lose out.
Founder of HomeWorkingClub.com – Ben has worked freelance for nearly 20 years. As well as being a freelance writer and blogger, he is also a technical consultant with Microsoft and Apple certifications. He loves supporting new home workers but is prone to outbursts of bluntness and realism.