Opinionated? You don’t have to limit yourself to arguing with strangers on social media. You can get paid to participate in side hustles for the opinionated.
They range from website testing to opining on court cases, books and other products. You don’t need a college education, nor to arm yourself with reference materials or statistics. You may, however, need a fast internet connection and a fairly up-to-date computer system to apply. Otherwise, all that’s needed is an opinion. And, since you’re still reading, you probably have one.
Here are six categories of side hustles for the opinionated to choose from. But there’s no reason to pick just one. The best way to make money with these side hustles is to sign up for them all — or at least all of them that appeal to you.
Ever been on a jury? If so, you probably spent a lot of time waiting around before being able to review the case. And then, you got paid almost nothing for your time. Being a mock juror is light-years better. First, you generally don’t have to go anywhere. Mock jurors generally receive case information via email. Cases are compressed into 30-minute to two-hour presentations that are either written or video. Jurors are then asked to weigh in on how well the case — or a piece of the case — was presented. Better yet, mock jurors earn considerably more than minimum wage.
For instance, Online Verdict pays $20 to $60 per case review. Cases generally take 20 minutes to one hour. Everything is done electronically, except the pay. You get a check within two weeks of completing your case review.
JuryTest pays $5 to $50 per case review, which are done via media player. Cases can take five minutes to 30 minutes to hear, after which you provide your comments.
Less-attractive mock juror sites include SignupDirect and eJury, which pay smaller stipends for each case.
Makers of everything from cars to electronics often enlist consumers to opine about their products. Whether it’s judging the convenience of automotive cupholders or whether a smartphone is too heavy for your pocket, focus groups help manufacturers improve the usability of their designs.
Focus groups are generally done in person, however the COVID era has caused some to be conducted via video conferencing. The idea is to get several unrelated people in a room to discuss what they like and don’t like about the product.
These gigs don’t come along every day. But when they do, they pay generously — upwards of $50 per hour. There are several good companies to sign up with to find focus groups — FindFocusGroups, Field Work, Shifrin-Hayworth and Consumer Opinion Services.
A handful of sites also pay consumers to evaluate products or commercial buildings. The two sites we recommend in this space both pay between $5 and $35 per gig. Since the gigs normally take from a few minutes to a half hour, this works out to decent hourly pay. Those sites:
Product Tube is a consumer research firm that wants your opinion about products ranging from laundry detergent to baby food. Product reviews are done via short, selfie-style videos on your smartphone. Each video should be two to four minutes long. Payment is made through Amazon gift card, usually within a few days of completing the assignment.
Ivueit matches freelancers with businesses that want photos and short evaluations of their commercial property to check on maintenance or the status of construction or repairs. Each assignment requires about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. You’ll take photos and answer a short survey about the condition of the property that was photographed. You’re usually paid for assignments within 24 hours.
Ever done a lengthy book review on Amazon? Then you may be qualified to get paid to review independently published books.
U.S. Review of Books is one of a handful of sites that will pay you to read and provide brief reviews of independently published books and authors. The site doesn’t pay much. But it also has reasonable rules about what ought to be in a review — half summary; half commentary — and length. Reviews generally run 250 to 300 words and pay $25. Longer reviews of 500-600 words pay more — up to $75.
OnlineBookClub will pay you to read books and review them for the site. However, the first review you do is free. After that, the pay depends on a variety of factors, but tops out at $60. But be aware that OnlineBookclub reviewers say they’re often denied pay for completed reviews. Of the two options, U.S. Review is the better choice.
If you spend a lot of time on the web and have definite views about what makes a website user-friendly, you may want to sign up with UserTesting. UserTesting enlists freelancers to review new websites and mobile apps in exchange for a $10 tester fee. Since tests take roughly 20 minutes, this equates to a nice hourly wage for a work-at-home job. But tests are not available every hour, or even every day.
The least lucrative, but often the easiest, of the side hustles for the opinionated are survey sites. These sites pay rewards — usually a few pennies to a dollar — for filling out surveys on everything from insurance to breakfast cereal.
You often must answer a number of screening questions to qualify for paid surveys. And the biggest complaint about these sites is that the screening surveys can feel like a survey itself, taking five to 10 minutes to complete. But you don’t get paid to be screened. And the screening will often eliminate you from taking the paid survey.
We’ve found just one site that does this prescreening in advance and only contacts you when you qualify for a paid survey. That site, Prolific, is our top pick in the category. However, if you’re stuck in an airport, or in a juror room waiting for your number to be called, or half-watching golf on TV, you can use survey sites to earn a few bucks while you multitask. Some other sites to consider: Swagbucks, Survey Junkie, and Qmee.
Kristof is the editor of SideHusl.com, an independent site that reviews hundreds of money-making opportunities in the gig economy.