The premise of Prolific is simple: Sign up for a free account, help researchers with their questions and earn at least $6.50 an hour. That doesn't sound bad, but does it work? How much money do you actually make and how much time do you need to invest?
I tested Prolific for two weeks and the results were surprising.
How to get started?
Getting started only takes a few moments. To create an account and get paid you need the following:
1) A working email address
2) A mobile phone
3) A Paypal account
In theory that's all you need to get started. Thing is, you won't get many surveys if you leave your account like that. Researches target specific people for their studies and you need to fill in personal information so that you qualify for those. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are a ton of questions you can answer about yourself.
All questions are multiple choice where you select the most fitting options. This means, that with average reading speed, it'll take you between 2-3 hours to answer all questions. Prolific will also add additional questions every so often, so make sure to check the "About you" section when they updated their questions.
This sounds tedious and you are not getting paid for it, but I strongly suggest to answer all questions you are comfortable with right away. As soon as I answered some of the questions, I was immediately eligible for studies that didn't show up before. In fact, I had to stop filling out questions twice to complete a study that was sent my way.
How do the questions look like?
Before you can answer questions you need to enroll in the studies itself. You'll be shown an overview of the study contents, the estimated completion time and your compensation.
Important: Studies are first come first serve. Some of them are looking for as little as 10 people and these fill up super quick. I had two studies fail on my while enrolling because they were full already.
Questions come in all shapes and forms. You'll get a small description before you accept them as well as the estimated completion time and your compensation.
Most studies were simple questionnaires. Other studies asked me to solve small puzzles, listen to audio files, watch a video and on one occasion, interact with other users. So there is some variety. Every study comes with a specific set of instructions and I strongly suggest to read them before getting started. The reason is that some studies liked to refer back to the example texts with very specific questions and you'd fail the study if not answered correctly.
Quick Tip: Email notifications for studies are slow. Just leave the Prolific tab open while you are on your PC and you'll immediately notice new studies.
That's a week of groceries or a restaurant visit including appetizers. Not too shabby. Especially if you keep in mind that I did not accept every project that was offered and only checked my inbox every so often. (And some days not at all.)
I believe you can make an extra $100 off Prolific every month if you check it more often and accept everything that comes your way. Keep in mind that this is something everyone can do as long as you are honest with your replies and that you can read.
I really like Prolific. The studies are often very interesting and the questions are straight forward. The platform is easy to use and the compensation is not bad at all considering that you only spend a few minutes a day with it. I only checked my inbox in the morning and during breaks, but even so I made a considerable amount of money from the comfort of my chair.
If you want to give it a shot as well just click on the picture below and you'll get directly to the website. By the way, I'm not in any way affiliated with the website. It's just something I tested and found useful to share.
Do you have the same experience with Prolific? Or do you know similar websites that worked for you?
Let me know in the comments!