This page includes a helpful compilation of unofficial guides about HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN SECOND LIFE.
Got your attention? Great...
THE USUAL DISCLAIMER: 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 and aren't responsible for any risks — 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've actually found useful, but don't add any spams/scams/splogs or vague lists without applicable advice; 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 are some of the more popular (not the only) ways to make L$ in Second Life:
- Receive your weekly Premium Account stipend - Learn more
- Buy L$ on LindeX
- Get a job - A diverse variety is available, and includes:
- Buy and sell land - Virtual real estate
- Create and sell content - Clothing, gadgets, etc.
- Participate in referrer/affiliate programs - Verify they're legit
- Host and perform at events - Gameshows, rock concerts, etc.
- Sell information - Write/proofread manuals, provide consulting, teach classes — Torley did this
- Play earning games - Land owners allow players to earn linden by hunting for coins and gems, fishing and other games
- Win prizes at events - By playing a game, luck, etc.
- Fill out surveys - Verify they're legit
- 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 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!!!!
If you don't want to get a job but do want acquire L$, you can use the LindeX currency exchange to exchange real (like US$) currency for Linden dollars (L$). This can make it a lot quicker to get (land, goods) what you want. Please notice that there are certain billing and trading limits.
I've (Torley) noticed this seems un-obvious to some newcomers, so I'm pointing it out for your benefit.
Start with our Knowledge Base's "Guide to Jobs in Second Life" and move on to these Resident-created guides:
- 2008-06-27 - "How To Make Money In Second Life Without Being An IP Maximalist" - By Rob Myers. Explores intriguing, lesser-discussed notions and talks about the flipside of control-freak product distribution.
- 2007-11-27 - "How to make money in the virtual world of second life" - By DoughRoller. Well-illustrated and neatly laid-out.
If the name John Chow excites you and you're interested in affiliate/referral programs, see:
- Goldtokens.net Gaming Network - Earn Linden Playing Fun Games - By SecondAds.
- Second Life Earn Linden Dollars - Affiliate Program - By TrajicK Chaplin.
- Kabalyero's Earn Linden Dollars - By Kabalyero Kidd.
- Chino Yray - By Chino Yalin.
There are also books about SL moneymaking on Amazon.com — read the reviews & previews and make an informed decision.
How do I get a job and earn money in Second Life?
Unless the human behind your avatar is seeking substantial work, you don't need a job in Second Life. Work in SL is a personal question of your professional aspirations.
Your Second Life should be enjoyable. Like first life, slaving away at a job is not fun.
Making money (earning L$ 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're ready to expand, you can explore far beyond that — it's a testament to the possibilities of your Second Life.
Are there scams?
Yes, people's first-life greed bleeds into SL too.
DON'T grant permissions to suspicious objects (a yellow dialog box comes up warning you beforehand).
DON'T get swindled by get-rich-quick schemes. Like the old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
DON'T give out your password if someone promises they'll login and fill your account with L$. That's just dumb!
For more tips, see "Safeguarding your account and protecting your password".
Stuff is so expensive
Be specific. There are 1,000s of freebies, some of them extremely high-quality. Infact, "free" is one of the most popular search terms. So search around, and you know what? Compile a list and share it around, that'll win you good vibe points. Even better, learn to create stuff to fulfill your needs. Need help? Feel the warmth of a Volunteer helper!
Pursue related opportunities. I <3 when Second Life blogs report on inworld deals, but haven't seen a dedicated "SL deals" site yet. Perhaps you should examine the success of real-world sites like Dealnews and DealsPlus. (BTW, they're excellent ways to save money on computer parts, something to think about for a better Second Life experience.)
Also: consider helping creators beta-test products. This can be a good way for you to get stuff for free, or even some L$ 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.
Generally, many products are at a fair price, and paying for them is a righteous way to compensate the creator for their time & energy. Even better, if you buy something you enjoy, send them a personal "Thank-you!" and let them know specifically what delighted you.
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!).
What you're willing to do says a lot about you.