As a regular user of many different survey sites, I’m always on the lookout for new opportunities to earn a little extra money. I had heard of YouGov many times before I joined, as I regularly saw results of YouGov polls mentioned on TV programs and online. I didn’t realise it was a paid survey site until someone recommended it to me. This YouGov review tells you exactly how I got on.
When I looked for other YouGov reviews, I noticed rather poor feedback on Trustpilot. The score at the time of writing is 4.6 out of 10 – a rating of “Poor.”
Like most survey sites, opinion is divided between those who quickly earn enough points to cash out and those who don’t and give up. The main thing that came up in most reviews is the sheer time it takes you to earn the points you need to cash out your money.
I decided to sign up anyway. I tend to believe that with survey sites it is always worth a try. You don’t earn anything unless you at least try to see what’s on offer.
BEFORE WE START!
What is YouGov?
YouGov is an international Internet-based market research and data analytics firm. Its headquarters are in the UK, and the company conducts online survey research in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
In a nutshell, YouGov sends you surveys. Using the data they collect, they “shape the news and improve decisions made by organisations.” In return, you earn points which you can then cash in for money.
YouGov Review: Getting Started
You can sign up for YouGov online or using its mobile app. You can use the flag button on the screen to choose from different YouGov regional sites. It is nice, for once, to see a survey site that accepts members from a wide range of countries.
Once you have selected your relevant country you click the “Join” button to take you through to the sign-up process. As with several survey sites nowadays, you can sign in linking your Facebook account or by using your email address and a password.
Before you can earn any points, you must verify your email, which takes a matter of seconds.
This email gives you a link straight to your first survey. This is a typical demographic survey. It only takes about five minutes of your time, for which you receive 100 points.
Once you finish this, you are taken straight to the YouGov homepage. That’s it – a simple sign up process and a short demographic survey and you’re ready to go.
Navigating the YouGov Website
The main homepage of YouGov is fairly easy to navigate, with the most important information visible or just one click away.
You can find your points balance in the top right-hand corner, and any available surveys on the right-hand sidebar under “Available Surveys.”
As you can see from the homepage, YouGov isn’t just a survey site. You can give opinions on many things, and, in turn, other people can comment. You can rate writers, films, directors, celebrities and many other things just for fun, and also view results of previous polls. It is quite an interesting website with lots of information. While I only use YouGov for the surveys, others may find browsing the pages quite insightful.
The main point of the website (and this YouGov review!) is to earn some money with surveys. You can see available YouGov surveys when you log into the website or app, but they also come through to your email account.
In general, the surveys on YouGov take between five and 20 minutes, and the usual reward is 50 points.
The surveys themselves are not the most appealing I have worked on; They tend to ask your opinions on things like brands, TV watching habits or politics. YouGov surveys often require a lot of clicking, dragging and categorising. If you use the smartphone app (as I tend to) they can prove rather time-consuming, sometimes to the point that they take longer than the average time YouGov predicts. I would, therefore, strongly advise using a tablet or a computer rather than a smartphone to complete them.
One definite positive to highlight in this YouGov review is that you don’t get “screened out” when completing a survey. You know you won’t waste your time completing a survey only to be screened out after completing lots of it. This has happened to me on plenty of occasions with other survey sites.
The frequency with which you receive surveys really seems to depend on your answers to the demographic survey questions. It is certainly a case of “fits and starts,” as I’ve personally received more survey requests in the past couple of weeks than I had done in the previous three month period! It really is just a case of “sit and wait.”
YouGov Earnings and Payments
To get a cash reward from YouGov, you have to reach the 5000 point threshold which equates to £50 (US$65 at the time of writing).
As such, the 50 points you receive for each survey are – in reality – worth 50 pence. There are times when you receive bonus questions after a survey that are worth a few more points, but I have only had this happen twice.
You have the option of using your points to enter into a monthly prize draw to earn cash, or larger numbers of points. Each point you enter equates to one entry into the prize draw. So, 100 points will give you 100 entries – and so on.
I am inclined to think this is a waste of time if you’re keen to ensure you reach the cashout stage – especially as the 5000 point target is something that’s quite hard to achieve. I have never personally entered my points into the draw, but perhaps it will appeal to those with more of a taste for gambling?
I’ve been using YouGov for over a year, and have not yet reached half of the required points to cash out.
A big factor in this is that I became frustrated that the 5000 point target seemed so far away. I stopped completing surveys for a long time. It was only when I checked my account again for this YouGov review and found that I had over 1000 points sitting there that I decided to continue. I figured it wasn’t worth wasting the points I’d already built up.
In the last few months, my survey invitations have increased. In the first week of September, I earned 150 points, and there’s currently another survey there awaiting completion.
One real downside of YouGov is the amount you actually get rewarded for a survey. In terms of time spent, a 50 point reward for a survey of up to 20 minutes is really quite poor. This is especially relevant compared to Populus Live (reviewed here). PopulusLive pays £1 for every five minutes of your time. As such, a 20-minute survey earns you £4, compared to just 50 pence for a YouGov survey – eight times as much.
The YouGov Referral Scheme
Another positive of the YouGov survey site is its referral scheme. For every person that signs up using your unique referral code, you get 200 points once they have completed six surveys.
Of course, you are relying on those who take up your referral to complete some surveys. However, if – for example – you have three friends that do this, then you will have gained an extra 600 points – just by giving out a code.
YouGov Review: The Pros and Cons
The Good Bits
- Can be used in many different countries around the world – including the UK, USA, and China.
- No long-winded demographic surveys to fill out.
- Good referral scheme.
- “Screening out” is rare.
The Bad Bits
- Large points threshold for cash out – and if you give up you don’t get anything.
- Surveys can be clunky on certain devices.
- Reward per survey is not always fair compared to other survey sites.
I am a firm believer in perseverance, so I do think YouGov is worth a try. However, I will say that is it really does require strict willpower to keep completing the surveys to get near to the £50 payout!
When you read other YouGov reviews, you find plenty of people who have cashed out their money in just a few months, so it really does depend on your demographics. If you fit the bill for lots of surveys, you will earn the money far quicker than someone who doesn’t.
With YouGov it may take you a while to earn just £50, but it is a decent enough website to add onto a list of other worthwhile side gigs. It is not going to pay the bills or make you rich, but along with other sites, you can always use your YouGov income to help you pay for odd treats and extras here and there. As this article discusses, these things all add up.
For some useful tips on making the most of survey sites, check out this article.