Making Money In Second Life
I've heard reports about people making pretty good money inside Second Life. How can I get started in the business of making money for (virtually) nothing?
Can I Make Money In Second Life?
Second Life is a virtual world that was introduced to web surfers in 2003, by Linden Labs. After you've spent some time exploring this amazing 3-D metaverse (see What is Second Life?) you can begin to get involved in the Second Life economy, which involves the creation and sale of virtual products.
The Second Life Economy
Second Life has its own economy, and you need to understand this economy before you start buying and selling virtual items or services. The official currency of Second Life is called Linden Dollars and it is denoted as L$. You can use Lindens to buy virtual items from other Second Life residents or you can even exchange it for hard currency in real US dollars. While the exchange rate is going to vary, it currently hovers around L$270 for each US dollar. Currently it is estimated that US$5 million are exchanged within the confines of the Second Life environment each month. LindeX is the official SL currency exchange, but there are other third-party (external) exchanges as well.
Many people are making excellent incomes using Second Life. Some people, like Janice Marlowe, are now making four times what they made from their real world careers. Today Janice makes a great living designing and selling virtual skins and accessories for Second Life avatars. Currently the virtual item market is worth about $1.5 billion a year worldwide. These items are used not just in Second Life but it other situations such as Facebook, emails and other virtual situations. Some of the most popular virtual items include: avatars, bling, pets, clothing and coins.
While virtual items are in high demand on the Second Life market, virtual real estate is another way that people can make real money in this virtual economy. For example, many virtual real estate investors bought virtual islands at a price of US$1,250 plus a monthly fee of $195. They then divided the island and leased lots to other residents for between $15 and $75 a month.
Designing special avatars is another way to make money in Second Life. Stock avatars typically sell for about US$8 a piece, however, superior designs can sell for considerably more. The better your designs, the more you will be able to make.
Finally, virtual services are also in high demand. Real life companies like UC Davis Medical Center, are investing thousands of dollars for virtual objects that help them to set up their presence in this virtual realm. By creating storefronts, business objects and trademarked icons and signs for real life companies, a few people are starting to emerge as the next generation of online entrepreneurs.
How Virtual Items Are Made
Virtual items are created just as any other image or animation is created. Ideas are conceptualized by the designer and then produced using graphic design software such as Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop. This software then encodes the item and it is uploaded to a website.
Check out the Second Life Marketplace to find current vendors and learn more about the process of creating and selling virtual goods and services. You can also visit SL Exchange, a third-party site that acts as a marketplace for SL goods, and also offers a currency exchange.
Becoming a Second Life Entrepreneur
Becoming a Second Life Entrepreneur is simple, however, it is not something that you will want to do without planning. First you need to understand the rules for selling items in Second Life and the rules for currency exchange. Next you will need to figure out what items are selling and how you can make your virtual items or services stand out from your competition. Finally, you will need to have money to back up your venture to pay for virtual real estate for your shop, design software, copyrighting fees and other business expenses that you may incur. With a little research and planning you will be able to improve your chances of making a great living with a Second Life career.
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 27 Nov 2007
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Making Money In Second Life (Posted: 27 Nov 2007)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved