How to profit from the virtual world of Second Life as a passive income source

Allow me to be the first to welcome you to middle age if the title of this piece confounds you. This middle-aged man had never heard of Second Life, or SL, until two months ago. Even if you are familiar with the virtual world of Second Life, you should continue reading. SL has the ability (and I emphasize potential) to make a lot of money in the real world. The big cash will go to a chosen few, similar to blogging, but many more can still make a decent living in Second Life. I’ll give a quick overview of Second Life and then discuss how some people make big money in this virtual environment.

What is Second Life?

Second Life is an online virtual environment that combines a game, a sophisticated chat room, and business. Second Life offers a free initial account. You are given an avatar (a 3-D graphical figure that is a visual representation of you within SL) once you download some software, which you use to explore the SL environment and interact and talk with other SL members.

Linden dollars are a type of virtual currency.

Residents who subscribe to the Premium Membership Plan ($9.95/month) receive a weekly stipend of L$300.

Residents of Second Life use Linden Dollars (L$) to buy and trade goods and services. Linden Labs created L$, the creators of Second Life, to help with the trade of products and services in the virtual world and how to make money on second life. L$ can be obtained in a variety of ways by residents:

  • Residents can purchase L$ at the LindenX, Second Life’s currency exchange, using real-world money. At the moment, $1 buys roughly L$250.
  • Residents can work for money for other residents in Second Life (more about this below)
  • Residents can open their storefront and sell goods or services (more about this below, too)

How can residents of Second Life make real money?

In theory, making actual money in Second Life is straightforward. Provide goods or services that residents are interested in purchasing. Gather L$ and then trade them for real cash. Before I go into detail about how Residents have gone about achieving this, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, there is a significant price difference between buying and selling L$. Purchasing L$1000 costs around $4.05. as of the date of this post. Selling L$1000, on the other hand, yields only $3.51. L$ buy/sell prices are subject to supply and demand fluctuations. Like a central bank, Linden Labs has several procedures in place to keep the cost of the L$ under control.

Second, earning money in Second Life is similar to earning money through blogging. While a few people will make a lot of money, the majority will not. Linden Labs keeps track of how much money residents make, and in October 2007, 157 residents earned more than $5,000. A little more than 2,000 people earned between $200 and $500.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking into ways Second Life residents generate money, and here’s a list of money-making ideas that some residents are pursuing:

Working for others: You (or your avatar) can work in-world for other residents. Some businesses, for example, will pay you to hang out at their place of business merely. What is the reason for this? They want to exhibit a lot of activity surrounding their business to pique people’s curiosity and create a sense of community. Camping pays a pittance, with only a few L$ every 20 minutes.

Become a real estate agent: The world of Second Life can be intimidating at first. You don’t know the up-and-coming neighborhoods from the rest, just as you don’t know the up-and-coming areas from the rest when you move to a new town. Some people hire in-World realtors to determine where the best properties are and whether the asking price is appropriate.

Publish a newsletter: There are now a few newsletters in print, but there will undoubtedly be more in the future. Some demand a fee for the newsletter, while others make money via advertisements.

Create a credit card business: The Meta card, believe it or not, is Second Life’s first virtual credit card. It is a service provided by FirstMeta that allows cardholders to charge in-world purchases. The Meta card comes in three flavors: primary, gold, and corporate, and it functions similarly to a traditional credit card. There is a credit limit, minimum payment restrictions, over-limit fees, and interest imposed at 0.13 percent each day (for the gold card). This is how to make money on second life.

Open a boutique: SL has a plethora of stores catering to every conceivable taste. Many of these stores have a presence on both Second Life and the internet, which is crucial for marketing to understand.

Run a stock exchange: The World Stock Exchange is now available in Second Life. The WSE contains listing guidelines, initial public offerings (IPOs), analysts, and a trading room. The amount of money traded daily is minimal, but the potential for expansion is enormous. Even though it appears to be a game, real money is at stake, eventually attracting authorities. However, which regulator is a fascinating question. Second Life’s virtual universe encompasses the entire globe.

Wedding planner: Avatars can marry in Second Life. It makes no difference if the persons behind the avatars are married to real-life spouses who have real-life troubles with this. There’s a wedding planner where there’s a wedding.

Tattoo artist: A lot of people desire tattoos on their avatars. While you can get a tattoo on your own, you might want to consider hiring a professional. Gina F Designs is one such business, and it can be found in the world at Jernberg (238,90) (main store) and Paradise (155,57), which are SL coordinates for getting to specific places.

The list of money-making ideas might go on indefinitely, but the examples above give you a decent indication of the possibilities. As I mentioned at the outset, producing considerable sums of money in Second Life is unlikely, just as it is in the real world. It is, nevertheless, doable, as is earning enough money each month to make it worthwhile.

Let us know if you know how to make money on second life, and whether you were successful or not.

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