This is an article about the Respondent website from my personal experience.
Respondent.io is an online recruitment platform for sourcing, scheduling, and paying research participants. According to insightplatforms.com using proprietary databases, partnerships with research panels, and social recruitment for niche target groups, respondent profiles can be enriched with data from over 200 online sources.
That still sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Let me explain in simple terms. It is a platform where you make money by doing interviews with different people from different companies. These companies want you to test their products and give them feedback. It comes in different forms. It can be feedback or ‘performing studies’ and interviews about music, toothpaste, a marketing company, or even studies about a bank; the list is endless.
How I found out about Respondent.io
I found out about Respondent when I was doing my regular research about ways to make money online. It’s a hobby at this point. I was still focusing on UserTesting when I learned about Respondent. I will go in-depth about UserTesting in upcoming posts. Obviously, I did extensive research and I watched a lot of YouTube videos to be informed. The information is plenty but it lacks a more personalized review, hence I am making this article for you my good reader.
How to get on board
You go on their website which is respondent.io. You first need to create an account. There is an option for a researcher or participant. You choose to be a participant. That is the one where you will earn money by participating in user research. It will lead you to creating an account. You will need to remember your login details.
Anybody can be a participant for Respondent. But to get access to more projects, you need to have a work email. A work email is an email that ends with a .com, .co.za, .uk, or .net, and the likes. It is not a G-mail or a Yahoo; those won’t work. If you are employed and your company keeps its information on a server, then it is simple for you to have a work email from your company. But if you are not working and you want to try Respondent as a way to make some extra income on the side, then you can use your student email.
For me, I got into Respondent while I was still employed so getting a work email was simple. But after a few months, a bunch of us got laid off from work so I couldn’t access my work email anymore. And you need to confirm your work email every three months on Respondent to prove that you are still working at the institution you provided. So I had to opt for student email.
It works, but you need to be patient with the student email because messages from Respondent go to the spam folder on your student email, which may take up to a day or more to appear. And with each link you send from Respondent, it cancels the previous link. So if you are not patient, you may end up being frustrated thinking that all the links are not working.
Why is a work email important?
Because Respondent favors people who are employed. If you state that you are unemployed, (which there is an option for in the application stage), you will not get access to all of the projects on their platform. My solution now for the work email issue is that I use my email from this blog. When you create a blog, you are required to make a work email, so I now use that for Respondent purposes and if you have a blog you can do that too. Side note: do not choose an option that says you are unemployed. I chose it and was not able to get access to projects.
How Respondent.io works.
After getting approved, you will have access to plenty of projects from the platform. You click on a project and answer a few questions. The questions are not that difficult; they are mainly about your location, your occupation, and general knowledge about that particular study. If you are taking a project about music, they will likely ask if you know or have used any of the listed musical instruments.
The questions are all different according to what the study is about. After that, they will send an email to your personal email that you have provided to confirm that you have applied. Some projects have a date of when they want you to participate, others don’t. If you are successful they will do an interview with you then you will get paid for it. If you are unsuccessful they will not even have the audacity to tell you that you didn’t make it. So take the silence as a No.
The app does have several improvements since I have known about it from 2021 until now. At that time you were only allowed to apply for three projects. Then you will have to wait for 24 hours before you can apply for new projects. Now you can apply for up to ten projects in a day. So, that is plus on their end.
Respondent has so many rules. And if you don’t follow the rules, it will cost you time. For instance, whatever information you provide them, they will lock it and you will not be able to edit it for 4 weeks. That is a whole month. So you need to be careful with the information you provide them or else, you won’t be able to do anything for so long. I had to learn this the hard way. I didn’t know Respondent favored the employed gang, so I said that I was not employed, and they locked my info.
When I realized that I was not able to see more projects I wanted to edit my profile, but surprise! Surprise! It was locked. The shock on my face when I read that I can only edit in four weeks! After the four weeks had passed, I was able to edit and say that I was employed and I provided them with my work email. Only then I was able to see more projects.
Tips and tricks
Pro-tip number one, do not lie. Even if you do, it has to be a convincing lie. Remember if you use a student email, it means you are replacing it as a work email for you. Therefore it means you are saying you are employed. So create an occupation that matches what you have to say about your student email. Let it be a good lie. And if you are working, be honest and say that you are working. And provide them with a work email from the get-go. Because it may delay you and your chances of getting paid.
2nd tip. Make an introduction video. Tell them about yourself, your occupation, your role in your workplace, and the things you find interesting. Make sure that video is less than a minute or a minute maximum. Practice what you want to say and make it perfect because one slip-up, they’ll lock it and you’ll only be allowed to edit it after 4 weeks. Ask me, I know. Also, put up a nice profile picture and make sure you have filled up every answer on your profile. Apparently having a good profile helps you stand out from the crowd and increases your chances of being picked for the interviews.
3rd tip. People say the projects on Respondent come on a first come first serve basis, so if you have a lot of free time, or if you can just be on the lookout for new projects, please, do that. So that you can be one of the first few to apply for the new projects. If you are first and your profile is 100% ready. Your chances are better than your competition. And best believe the competition is plenty. You will get paid via PayPal. They will take a certain percentage and the rest of the money is yours.
Last tip. Be patient. Especially with the student email. Also, be patient with the projects, you may feel like you are not getting lucky, but keep trying and one day you will ace it. And with that being said; Happy Side Hustling.