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How To Make Money in Second Life - Part 1

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I've been running a small rental business for several months now in Second Life. This month is the first where the inflow of money was greater than the outflow, so I thought it would be a good time to write this. Because if you hang around the newbie areas, you know you'll be asked how you can make money in Second Life. This week, I'll be covering how I started doing so.

A couple quick notes -

  • I don't make much money in SL; I mostly cover expenses. These steps still make sense if you want a larger profit margin.

  • I am typically not interested in partnering or doing deals with people. It better be exceptional.

  • From what I understand, these are generally good tips for starting ANY business. In SL, however, it's easy to quickly invest a lot of money in something... and then lose it all.

  • If your computer is underpowered, try this mix of the Rainbow Viewer. METAbolt is a good text-only way to interact with SL. I recommend the Emerald Viewer for your general SL experience, though.



Step One: Identify a market. I had lived in four different rentals in four months in SL - three skyboxes and a cabin. One of them was overpriced and underprimmed, the others all closed up shop under me. As I went apartment hunting, they were all overpriced, underprimmed, or laggy as anything. I didn't want to pay extra for a sex bed, TV, or radio that I didn't use. This was unacceptable. I wanted a place to put my stuff, after all. So I created a the product (or rental property in this case) that I wanted.

If you're a builder or designer, this step is doubly important for you. There's still some degree of scarcity when it comes to land - but not to items. What will make your designs or builds different? Steampunk, for example, is cool... but there are so many other steampunk builders out there that if you want to make a business at it, you had better be priced lower or have outstanding products.

If you're making and designing things ANYWAY for fun and just selling them after-the-fact, this whole guide does not apply to you. So if you just want to see that platypus-only re-enactment of "Two Girls, One Cup"... well, don't tell me about it. But if you're expecting to MAKE MONEY from it... that's different.

Mind you, the recent news about freebies and the coming rate changes for XStreetSL make hobbyist businesses even less possible. Raising the rates there is going to put a price floor under the whole marketplace and drive inflation... but there's hope. There are alternatives to XStreetSL where free and low-cost items will still be commercially viable (and not just inworld). I'm currently looking at both Meta-Life and slapt.me as alternatives.

That's it for today, tomorrow we'll look at the math.

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