Making money

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Revision as of 14:29, 14 October 2008 by Torley Linden (Talk | contribs)

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This page is a helpful compilation of unofficial guides to making money in Second Life.

Usual disclaimers apply: like "real life", there are more opportunities than can possibly be summarized. There's no such thing as a single formula that works for everyone, but certainly actions worth doing and learning from. Also, unless otherwise stated, these resources are not approved by Linden Lab. We can't guarantee they'll work for your personal experiences — if you have success, great! Be sure to thank the guide author(s), and consider sharing your own tips.

Please improve this page with guides you enjoy, but don't add any spams/scams; they aren't welcome.

Ways to make Linden Dollars

The Linden Dollar (L$) is Second Life's currency. Real-life money can be exchanged for L$ (keep reading!).

Here's the main (not the only) ways to make L$ in Second Life:

  • Receive the weekly stipend that comes with your Premium Account (learn more)
  • Buy L$ on LindeX
  • Create and sell content (clothing, gadgets, etc.)
  • Buy and sell land (virtual real estate)
  • Market yourself and products/services (advertising, promotion, etc.)
  • Host and perform at events (gameshows, concerts, etc.)
  • Win prizes at events
  • Sell information (write/proofread manuals, provide consulting — Torley did this)
  • Sit on camping chairs (generally, a slow, ineffective, and likely net-loss process)

In short, the breadth and depth of options is comparable to your first life. Perhaps even greater, because many things, like the cost of construction materials, are cheaper (prims are free!) in Second Life. A wise general principle: look for unmet wants & needs and fulfill them! If you do or learn valuable skills in real life, you may be able to profit from them here, since your abilities are transferable, e.g., if you're an art student, start sketching clothes.

In addition, more well-established "real-world" companies like some of our Solution Providers are hiring for positions in Second Life. Roles like Community Manager, Virtual World Evangelist, and many others are becoming more popular. Keep your eyes out for jobs that leverage Second Life's unique opportunities, and be aware that the skills you learn inworld could be useful outside of SL, too.

And remember: Second Life, like soylent green, is made of people. REAL PEOPLE!!!!

LindeX

If you don't want to get a job but do want acquire L$, you can use the LindeX currency exchange to exchange real life currency for Linden dollars (L$). This can make it a lot quicker to get (land, goods) what you want.

I've (Torley) noticed this seems un-obvious to some newcomers, so I'm pointing it out for your benefit.

Q&A

Do you need a job?

Unless the human behind your avatar is seeking substantial work, you don't need one. Work in SL is a personal question of your professional aspirations.

Your Second Life should be enjoyable. Like first life, slaving away at a job is not fun.

Making money (earning L$ which can be exchanged for real cash) should never be the sole reason why you want a job. Do it for the experience! For example, if you're hosting events, you can make new friends and visit cool new builds.

Explore the world, go on adventures, and intuitively followup on what you especially delight in!

The money is nice, yes, but never the only thing that matters.

That's true of both serious full-time (i.e., corporate) jobs in SL and occupations that are taken up for fun.

What about games?

Second Life contains games. However, to call it a game on the whole is as inaccurate as saying "the rainbow is red".

Most of the skills you learn in Second Life are real. For example, to usually build a house, you don't just click a button and watch your avatar auto-construct a dwelling. Rather, you use prims to assemble it piece by piece. There are tools which make building easier, but the point is: you aren't artificially "leveling up".

Some Residents have created gaming experiences, such as RezTown, that are similar to other environments like The Sims and World of Warcraft. If you're familiar with those, then you may find comfort in those activities. And when you feel comfortable, you can explore far beyond that — it's a testament to the possibilities of your Second Life.

Myths

Stuff is so expensive!

Not necessarily. There are 1,000s of freebies, some of them extremely high-quality. Infact, "free" is one of the most popular search terms. So search around, and you know what? Compile a list and share it around, that'll win you good vibe points.

Pursue related opportunities. I <3 when Second Life blogs report on inworld deals, but haven't seen a dedicated "SL deals" site yet. Perhaps you should examine the success of real-world sites like Dealnews and DealsPlus. BTW, they're excellent ways to save money on computer parts, something to think about for a better Second Life experience.

Also: consider helping creators beta-test products. This can be a good way for you to get stuff for free, or even some L$ if they're offering a job you both agree to. Don't count on it tho, and don't be a moocher — lazy beggars suck in all lives.

It's too hard to do anything

Only if you don't trust yourself. Without hands-on experience, you'll never know. So dive in!

I doubted my building abilities early on when I shouldn't have. I kept saying "I can't build!" without doing so. By applying myself each day, I eventually was able to teach 1,000s of Residents how to build. Second Life opened me up to many creative possibilities that had been untapped before. But like I said, don't go for the L$ alone. "Wealth" in healthy lives goes far beyond money (and can indeed, help you make more money!).

Related reading

These books aren't about Second Life, but there are a lot of useful lessons about work and play within. Read and recommended by Torley: