Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Making Money In Second Life

From 2006 to 2010, it was very possible to make pretty good money in SL.  Many creators were making enough $L's to actually quit their real life jobs and create in SL full time.  Shopping Malls were crowded and in-world stores flourished.  Land fee's were less expensive and buying sims, then dividing them and renting parcels was a cash cow.  Buying a sim and creating an ocean view or mountain view community with rental houses and group activities and adding a nice shopping mall, was a great way to make money back then.  The beaches houses were always occupied and the stores at the malls were all rented.  Most would make not only their land fee's but a good chunk of pocket change.  We saw a decline in sales by 2011.  Land fee's went up, buying lindens went up as well as Marktplace commission fees.  Sims were abandoned by the dozens and shopping malls became ghost towns.
For those of you that are new to SL and heard story's of it's glory days for merchants and want to start making real money in SL.  It can still be done, but don't quit your day job just yet.

Making Money in SL

Property Owner
In my opinion, buying whole sims on the cheap and renting parcels is still the best way to make money, especially if you buy multiple sims.  You must have investment money and terraforming experience.  Landscaping is very important. Dividing the sim so that each rental property has access to the water and a beach is my most popular rentals.  I include a nice beach house with deck and a dock on the beach which is optional.  If they want to rez their own house they can simply return the beach house to me.  Or you can quarter or halve the sim and rent them as is.  They won't sell themselves.  You have to advertise in everything you can.  In search, classifieds, groups, etc.

Content Creator
Depending on what you plan to create, you can make some serious money or just some extra spending money.  The marketplace is saturated with content ranging from excellent to "hmmm".
Mesh body's are a top seller.  One creator admitted to making over $1000 USD a week. Best advice is to learn Blender and other 3D/Mesh modeling programs.  You can learn how to script or create animations with programs such as Poser.  If you have the time and patience to learn and a creative mind, any of the above are great money makers.  Mesh houses and buildings are another big sales item.  Low prim mesh houses furnished with working kitchen, bathrooms, fireplaces, etc. are top sellers.  Clothing always sell's if it is well made, mesh with all appliers, and priced fairly.
Other content ideas are furniture and décor, swimming pools and Jacuzzi's or outdoor furniture and décor.  Vehicle's,  Lawn and garden items, beach décor and furnishings, club buildings and supplies.
Keep in mind that it's competitive, so it's important you create a high quality item that is low prim.  Just remember the best looking product with the lowest prims will always sell first regardless of price.  Most are willing to pay for a higher quality product.

Selling your Content, Animations or Scripts
You have two options.  Selling at a store in-world and selling on Marketplace.  If you own land such as a free 512 parcel with your premium membership, setting up a store is helpful if you can bring in the traffic.  But renting a large parcel for your store may have it's disadvantages.  Unless you can bring in traffic using a Midnight Madness board or giveaway chairs, etc.  You may not even make the tier fee's.  It will take time to build a group following to be able to bring in traffic with group discounts and promo sales.  Your better likely to be seen in a heavy traffic mall.  Renting a store is less expensive.  Make sure that the mall has "true" traffic.  Some malls also have a club that brings in traffic while the stores stay empty.
The Marketplace is where you will see the most sells.  Make sure you list it in the correct category and use as many applicable keywords as possible.  Photo's and vending textures need to look professional.  First impressions can make or break a sell.
* You must have "payment info on file" to open a marketplace store.
* You must follow content creators TOS
* You must list the maturity level of your item correctly. (Nudity, sex items, drugs, alcohol, even  
    cigarettes must be listed Adult or it will get flagged and removed"
* Be prepared, Linden Lab takes a %5 commission from every sell.

DJing or Performing in SL
If you have a large collection of music downloaded and an enthusiastic personality you can make good $L's as a DJ.  Tricks to success include building a following through a group. This is very important.  Send out group notices announcing all your gigs with LM's.  Play the musical genre according to the club or event.  For instance, rock and roll in a rock club, or popular hip hop in a hip hop club.  Make your tip jar large and visible.  Many tips go unpaid because the resident can't find the tip jar. Always take and play requests.  Sell yourself.  Go to clubs and music venues with high traffic and offer your services.  This goes for any group or sim that has occasional events.  Have a notecard and mention your following/group that will add traffic to their event.  I have a DJ friend that is generally booked for 4 events per day, back to back.  He does around $L4000-6000 tips on the average per set.  He has a large group, always sending group invites during his sets and includes his followers by announcing their presence at each show. "I want to thank Kim, Selma, Cherry, and Belinda for always coming to the shows and giving me something good to look at". "And Kyle, Jake, Noonan thanks bro's for always supporting me."

Live Performers:
You don't have to be the best singer, just a good one.  You can sing to tracks you have downloaded or play an instrument.  Just like with DJing you need a big following.  Once you have built up a large group, you can offer your performances to clubs and live music venues.  The bigger you are, the more you can charge.  I have seen a mediocre singer who had at least 20 group followers at every show.  He got booked a lot because of his following and the traffic he brings with him.  Besides a set fee for your live performances, you can also accept tips.

Making Spending Money or Pocket Change in SL
These jobs won't likely make you rich but with hard work they can give you a nice amount of SL spending money or maybe a little extra pocket change in RL.
Club host/hostess
Club manager
Public relations
Sim manager/real-estate manager
Resale affiliate (Resell store or Marketplace)
Graphic designer
Performer agent/manager
Ad agent/Marketing

Getting Your Lindens Turned Into Real Dollars
You must have payment on file.  Go to your dashboard online.  Choose "Manage" from the menu on your homepage. Then choose "Sell".  You will see where to put the amount of $L's you are wanting to sell though LindenX and what your profit is.  Press the Sell button.  You will have to put in your account password again.  After you have done that you will be taken to a page explaining how to process your money.  Click on the small link "Process Credit" and it will take you to a page that will ask you where you want your money sent.  Your options are, in a check through the mail, though a Paypal account or Skrill.  Paypal is the fastest way.  Once you have set up your paypal account, you will need to put in your log in information again for security.  LL will then send your money to your Paypal account.  This takes time.  You can look on "Process History" from your home page and it will show either "Processing" or complete.  It has taken up to 10 days for me to get money in my Paypal account.  Paypal however takes from 2-3 days to reach my bank account once I have transferred it.
It has always cost a flat fee of $1.00 for processing since I started SL, but as of April 5th, 2016, LL has changed it to %1.5 of the transaction value. With a minimum of $3.00 USD and a maximum of $15.00 USD.
# Note: As of April 5th 2016,  purchasing $L's increased from $0.10 cents to $0.30 cents per transaction.