Can You Make Real Money Researching Stuff Online?

Popular search engine Google processes over 63,000 search queries per second, meaning a lot of people are familiar with internet researching, even if it is just in the form of Googling an answer to a simple question.

And even if you’re like the average American, who spends about 24 hours online per week, you might not know that some people claim you can make extra cash by looking up stuff online.

But is that true? Actually, yes, you can earn real money researching stuff online. The pay averages anywhere from $10 to $35 an hour. There are various companies that you can sign up with, and you can get paid multiple times a month!

But before you jump straight in, let’s take a deeper look at the ins and outs of how to make money doing it, and if it’s really worth it.

What Are Some Legitimate Companies?

In order to start the (honestly) simple process of becoming an internet researcher, you’ll want to first choose a company to work with. Some reliable companies are:

  • RWS: Researchers compete to give the most valuable research on a given topic. Winners earn a large reward (typically more than $1000), with smaller rewards also being given to those who provide valuable content.
  • Experts123: Earn money by writing articles answering specific questions. Pay isn’t always guaranteed, but is dependent on how much traffic your article gets.
  • Wonder: Researchers accept assignment requests that offer guaranteed pay, find five credible sources, and give a reliable, valuable answer.

There are many more, and as you can see, the process for researching and getting paid can vary. But in this article, we’re going to go more in-depth on the most popular one: Wonder.

How To Earn Money As A Researcher

The process for getting started at Wonder is pretty easy. Most other companies have a similar application process.

To get started, follow these steps:

  1. Sign up.
  2. Complete Test Research
  3. Research.
  4. Get paid.

1. Sign Up

Signing up is very straightforward.  First, you go to Wonder’s website and click on the “Become a Researcher” button near the top. Which will take you to this page, where you can join:

Wonder website research join page

Then, you’ll have to fill out some basic information. They require things like: 

  • Your name
  • Email
  • Account password
  • City where you reside

As you continue, you’ll be prompted to fill out any other necessary information. Then, you’ll be taken to a page where you will need to prove your abilities.

2. Complete Test Research

Once you have signed up and finished the application, Wonder is going to ask you to complete some test research. This is so that they can see what quality of research you can provide, as well as test your ability to follow instructions properly. 

They will be using this to determine whether or not they want to move forward with you, so it’s imperative you do your best and spend some time on this.

The average research topic will take you around 1-2 hours, so it wouldn’t be unwise to allot yourself at least an hour of time to this test article.

The Director of Research, Rachael Granby, suggests that everyone who takes the time to complete a test article read the instructions carefully. The reason is because there are specific formatting instructions, and they won’t accept even strong candidates if the formatting is incorrect.

3. Research

If you completed the application and your test research goes well, then you’ll be approved to start researching for them.

The first thing you’ll want to do is visit the researcher dashboard and see what Wonder has assigned to you. 

Then, if you accept the task assigned, you simply research and find the answers they’ve asked you to find!

Some examples of things you may be asked to find are:

  • Statistics
  • Recommendations of a product or service
  • Information regarding business hours or locations

Once you’ve completed your research and are satisfied with the quality of it, all you have to do is submit it back to Wonder. Then, you’re done! 

Wonder may give you some feedback on your research to help you better improve your work in the future.

4. Get paid

Once you have submitted your research and it is approved, you’re just waiting to get paid.

There will usually be a set pay for the research task you’ve been assigned, so you’ll know how much you’ll get paid for the task when you accept it. 

Wonder pays researchers through PayPal every two weeks.

How Much Can You Make?

How much money you can earn as an online researcher varies. 

For example, at Wonder, they pay you anywhere from $8 for basic research all the way up to $35 for more complicated research topics.

How much this factors to per hour depends on how quickly you can accurately do the research. Some of the most experienced Wonder researchers are making up to $30 an hour. So, assuming there is enough work to go around, means you could be earning $600 per week if you worked it as a part-time job.

What are the startup costs?

This is a cool way to make money because there is no startup costs. 

If you have a computer or phone and you have time, then you are all set. There’s nothing that you have to purchase to begin researching online, which is a plus.

If you come across a company that does require you to pay for anything upfront, be wary, it might be a scam! Make sure you thoroughly research the company you’re going to work with before signing anything or doing any work for them. Make sure the company is legit!


  • You can make your own schedule
  • There are no startup costs
  • Get paid for something you already do in some way or another


  • Questions could take a lot of time to answer
  • Could be difficult to get hired
  • Certain companies might not guarantee pay, but rather only pay if it’s accepted


Altogether, you can make a decent amount of money researching stuff online. It’s easy to get started, you can do it from the comfort of your own home, and there’s realistically little risk involved.

However, some research questions could be very obscure and take a long time to find answers to, and this might end up making it not worth it to do in your spare time.

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