PTM 002: Making Money as a Focus Group Participant with

Part Time Money PodcastGet ready. This episode is packed with content and unveils the truth about a little known and misunderstood money making opportunity. In this episode of the Part-Time Money Podcast, I speak with two different people about interesting world of focus groups.

Interview with

First, I speak with Danny DiGiovanni, owner and creator of Danny’s site acts as a hub for legitimate focus group opportunities. Danny shares about the origins of the site, and how to use it effectively.

Interview with a Professional Focus Group Participant

In the second part of the podcast, I speak with a woman who is currently a full-time focus group participant. She drops some serious knowledge on us. She is making around $1,000 a week from her efforts. She reveals exactly how she’s doing it, and she gives some solid advice to others who might just want to do this on a more part-time basis to earn $100 extra a week for a few hours work.

Listen to the Podcast

Danny’s Story: Creating a Website for Focus Groups

It seems hard to believe, but you can actually make a legitimate income from participating in focus groups.

Corporations use focus groups to gauge consumer feedback about their products or services. They employ people by asking them to participate in quick studies or surveys about a particular item.

Sometimes they’ll ask participants to go to an office for a focus group study or they’ll conduct it via phone or email. There are various levels of participation.

After joining a few focus groups he found on locations like Craigslist, Danny DiGiovanni quickly found that there were a lot of focus group scammers out there. So, in 2005, he decided to create to give consumers a legitimate site to help locate opportunities.

Danny had a background in website building, and he used the skills he had to fill the need. Everything entered on the site is done manually through Danny and his team in an effort to keep scammers at bay.

“So, it was just kind of one of those things where there was a problem, and this could be a solution, so I created it.”

Danny also noted that since many users were participating for fun, registration requirements or a log in was a barrier to participation. This wasn’t good for the participant or the researcher so, in everyone’s interest he created a site that was free and easy to use. To learn more about building websites to make extra money read this article.

He also makes it clear that his site doesn’t cater to the focus group professionals—those who are trying to make a living from giving feedback to the companies. Most people who use his site are casual participants—those who opt in a few times a year or a few times a month.

Danny said that participating in a few focus groups a month could easily net a person around $250, with each focus group paying around $75-100 for an hour of the participant’s time.

“Legitimate focus groups never ask you to pay them to join their panels. Find Focus Groups offers a safe haven and a comprehensive list of companies that offer a wide variety of panels and never asks for a single dime in return.”

Angie’s Story: Focus Group Success

Angie, a woman who uses, has a daughter with medical issues and participates in focus groups to get extra income to help her family’s bottom line.

Due to her daughter’s health, Angie’s schedule can be unpredictable so she needed a way to make money that wasn’t a full-time job. Read this post to find other part-time jobs that pay well for your time. Through focus groups, Angie does a lot of mobile and online testing.

Due to confidentiality clauses, Angie can’t be specific about the number of focus groups she’s participated in, but she disclosed that between the ones she has done and the ones her husband has done, their family was able to save enough money to take their children to Disney World on Thanksgiving. For travel hacking ideas that can save you money on your next family vacation check out this post.

Filtering the scams from the legitimate companies can be difficult, but Angie does her research beforehand. She warns that the authentic companies will never ask you to pay money up front. She says it’s important to find out as much as possible about the company, even placing a phone call to learn more about them.

Interview with Angie, a Part-Time Focus Group Participant

FindFocusGroups.comFinally, I also conducted an email interview with another user of Her name is Angie. Here is the interview:

1. How and why did you get started participating in focus groups?

I’ve been an active participant in some couponing blogs in my area for the past few years. I have a daughter who has some medical issues, making it hard to be able to hold down a full-time job, and am always looking for ways to help my family’s bottom line.

One of the blogs mentioned focus groups and mystery shops as a legitimate way to earn extra income. The blog also gave guidelines to avoid scams.

I enjoy talking to people and giving my opinions on subjects, so why not? I signed up for a local company after researching their background, did my first group, and was hooked.

2. Why did you turn to Find Focus Groups to help you find groups to participate in?

I usually spend some time on a blog first to gage it’s purpose before I participate in any of its suggestions, especially ones that recommend sites for part-time income.

Find Focus Groups was listed, along with other sites for freelancers, and was noted for nationwide studies, which greatly expands my opportunities for qualifying for a particular study.

I’m pretty technologically savvy and wanted a chance to qualify for mobile applications and online testing. Find Focus Groups has allowed me to find those legitimate companies – all in one safe location. I do not worry about being scammed when I search their site.

3. How many focus groups do you do a month and how much are you making from this?

I would prefer not to discuss the number of focus groups that I have done, or talk about them because it would violate any confidentiality agreement that I have signed with those companies.

These companies depend on me to keep their secrets and to be honest.

I will tell you, though, that in the past two years my husband and I have been doing focus groups, we’ve been able to save enough to take our kids for their first trip to Disneyworld over Thanksgiving – something we never would have been able to do without them.

4. Have you ever run into any scams?

I have been very lucky; the blogs I’ve been involved with all say the same thing. Never, ever go with a company that asks for money up front. Anytime I see that I immediately flag it as a scam.

Legitimate focus groups never ask you to pay them to join their panels. Find Focus Groups offers a safe haven and a comprehensive list of companies that offer a wide variety of panels, and never asks for a single dime in return.

5. Do you have any insider tips for someone looking to get started with doing focus groups for extra cash?

Do your research and find the legitimate companies in your area first. If need be, call them personally to verify. Sign up with them, and give your cell phone number first. Companies who don’t get a hold of you immediately will go on to someone else, and you’ll have missed out on an opportunity to qualify for a study. And always go to to check out the nationwide studies. Don’t give up – it really works!

To read the transcript click show

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  1. Avatar crissyblank says:

    Hi my name is carissa blank & I’m curious about part time podcast, I’m posing as a guest.

  2. Avatar Briana Ford says:

    I’ve always wanted to be involved in a focus group, but could never find where they were. Thanks for the tip! Looking to get into some during my spare time, whatever THAT is haha

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