How to Make Real Money Playing Second Life
Second Life is a vast and engrossing virtual world and community. To put it simply, you can do in your second life whatever you’ve always wished or wanted to do in your real life. The possibilities are near endless.
If you can imagine it, then it can exist in Second Life.
Since it’s centered around user created content, they also have their own currency exchange called linden dollars or L$. You can sell your linden dollars for real currency on the linden exchange, and cash the money out to Paypal or other sources.
Making money on Second Life is not only allowed, but it’s also highly encouraged.
Here’s a few interesting statistics that Linden Lab released at the end of 2018:
- Second Life celebrated its 15th year of operation
- Users spent 336 million hours in world in 2018 alone
- There are over 50 million chat messages daily
- $65 million dollars was paid out to residents in 2018 for items and services
With such a thriving community and market, you too can make money playing Second Life and have fun doing it! We’ve put together a list of some of the many ways you can make money on Second Life, so let’s get started!
While being a premium member by itself doesn’t necessarily make you money, it does have benefits that will definitely help you.
One benefit is the ability to own a parcel of land on the mainland. Having your own land opens up options for making money (more on that later).
Another benefit is the weekly stipend that Linden Lab pays you for being a member. An annual premium membership costs $99 USD. As a new member, you will receive L$1,000 for signing up. Each Tuesday you will also receive L$300. That is L$15,600 a year in weekly stipends alone.
The exchange rate is about L$250 to $1 USD, so being a premium member nearly pays for itself. Having that extra L$ each week means you can invest it, flip goods, or purchase something on the marketplace without you having to front your own money first.
Mini-games within Second Life are perfect for exploring the lands, seeing places people have designed, and earning a little money while having fun when you’re not doing something else.
They are especially helpful for new players who are learning the game, but can be played and enjoyed by all. The earning potential is low, but it’s great and easy way to relax and still make some L$.
- Linden Realms is a treasure hunt offered by Linden Lab where you go around completing quests, and collecting crystals, which you then trade in for L$. You can read more info about it here.
- Meetro is like getting paid to take the subway to various destinations. The idea is you visit a Meetro station, stay a few minutes, chat with others there, then you receive points and visit the next Meetro station. You can trade in the points at the main Meetro terminal for L$ at any time with no minimum. Meetro is fantastic if you’re multi-tasking or surfing the web since you don’t have to anything except stand and wait once you’ve checked into the station.
- Lindo – The lindo flowers mini-game has you growing virtual flowers from seeds. It only takes a few minutes, and when your flower is grown, you are paid L$ and can start growing a new flower. The website provides a list of locations with the game and how much L$ is available, so you can maximize your earnings.
- GoldTokens.net has various games you can play around Second Life to earn linden dollars. The most popular are the Fish Hunt where you explore the lands and catch fish, competing with others. Gold Hunt has you collecting coins which adds linden to your GoldTokens account, and you can withdraw them from their in-world ATM.
- Freeplay – Skilled gaming regions have an area dedicated to free versions of their games. Learn how to play the games and make some L$ while doing it. They are fun and can be addictive, and there’s no risk with the freeplay machine.
A sploder is a ball that club or land owners pay money into which explodes after a set amount of time, paying out that money randomly to everyone who joined.
All you need to do is click on it to enter, then stay there until the countdown reaches zero, and you’ll receive your L$!
They are most commonly found in music clubs, so you can dance or enjoy the music while waiting.
You can also get a free hud, which will display on your screen, showing you the list of currently active sploders. You can get the free tracker hud from the marketplace here.
A tip for maximizing earnings is to find the one with the least time until it explodes, go there and enter, then go to the next.
There once was a time when you could gamble on Second Life. However, online gambling is illegal in some places, so Linden Lab had to change their Terms of Service to comply with state and federal regulations. This resulted in what is now called “Skilled Gaming.”
Skilled Gaming regions have simple games like Pico (where you match numbers, similar to Bingo). It requires user input and is not based entirely on luck, therefore, it is not gambling.
You do have to pay the game to play it, and can lose it all or win a lot more. They can cost as little as $L10, or as much as L$100,000 to play. It all depends on what you’re comfortable with. If you are the risk vs reward type of person, Skilled Gaming is right up your alley.
I personally have won L$75,000 in an hour playing Skilled Gaming, but of course, there have been times when I lost as well.
Take Surveys / Watch Videos
Entropia Partners is a website where you can earn lindens just by watching videos on their site, taking quick surveys, or completing other tasks. They also recently have a new offer where you get paid just for going to a club and dancing as part of the crowd.
Some surveys and tasks pay over L$1,000.
If you don’t want to take time doing those, why not have videos play in the background of your computer, earning L$ while you do something else?
You can get paid whenever you want just by clicking the Withdraw button on their website, and within seconds you’ll have your earned linden in your account.
Gachas are like a vending machine. They contain a list of prizes, which you win randomly.
The items you win are transferable, so you can then list them for sale on the marketplace or sell them at your store rental.
Many top creators have gacha machines, and if you win a rare prize, they can sell for hundreds or thousands of L$.
Some marketplace stores exclusively sell gachas. It’s not against the terms of service, so try your luck or sell any gachas you currently have to make some money.
Rent or Sell Land and Real Estate
Renting or selling land can be a profitable business in Second Life. It’s well known that the first millionaire in Second Life is Anshe Chung, who made her fortune primarily through real estate brokerage.
In order to own land, you must be a premium member. You are given a land allotment, and if you don’t want to use it for yourself, you can charge a weekly rent for someone else to live there instead. You can do this by adding a house, landscaping and decorations, and charge more given the pre-built luxury for your tenant, or you can rent the bare land by itself and allow them to decorate it.
Rather than renting it, you can set a sale price or list it for auction, and use the money earned to buy/sell additional properties.
Another option is to buy your own region from Linden Lab. This will be a private region, not on the mainland, so that’s an added benefit.
A full region can have up to 30,000 prims (essentially how many items are on the land), and renting on a private region generally goes for L$1 – 1.5 per prim. If you successfully rent the whole land of 30,000 prims, at a rate of L$1.5 per prim, you stand to make L$45,000 a week or L$194,850 per month. That comes out to about $780 USD a month.
The cost of maintaining a full region is a monthly rate of $220 USD, which would be a net gain of over $500 USD a month, so you can see there is quite a lot of money to be made, and that is just for a single region! You can own as many regions as you’d like.
Create / Design Content
Just as we need a place to live and clothes to wear in real life, we also need the same things in Second Life.
If you are proficient in graphical applications like Photoshop or Blender, you can create anything and list it for sale on the marketplace or in a store. If you are good at making textures, there are lots of full perm templates you can purchase for clothing or architecture. Then you just add your own textures to it and upload it for sale.
Buildings, furniture, decorations, landscaping, clothing, hair, make-up and tattoos for your avatar are all lucrative money-making opportunities.
If you are just getting started, there are plenty of tutorial videos on Youtube where you can learn how to create content.
For beginners, the easiest to create in my opinion are tattoos. All you need is Photoshop or a comparable program, the avatar UV templates from Robin Wood (so you can see where your tattoo will be placed), and the avatar body development kit, which are free at the respective body main stores.
Design your tattoo, place it where you want it to be worn on the avatar template in Photoshop, save it as a transparent .png file, upload it to Second Life, then apply it with the texture file from the development kit, and you are done. Once your tattoo is made, you can then sell it on the marketplace for all to buy.
Creating content is not only rewarding on a personal level, being proud of your creations, but also a great way to earn passive income from sales.
Get a Job
There is a real economy in Second Life, and many businesses. Just like a real business, in order for it to operate and stay open, workers are needed. There’s a wide variety of jobs you can get in Second Life, all of which you can make money from. Below are the most common who are always hiring:
- Host / Hostess – Music clubs are possibly the most popular type of business in Second Life. Many have music playing 24/7 and they need someone to host for the guests. As a host or hostess, you are given a shift to work, which is generally 1 – 2 hours long. You are responsible to send a notice to group members for the event or DJ playing, greet guests as they enter, keep local chat conversation lively, invite guests to join the club group, and promote any sponsors for the event you are hosting. You earn money through tips from guests. Clubs are always hiring for this position, and if you are hosting at a busy club, there’s potential to make thousands of L$ per shift.
- DJ – DJ’s are exactly what you think. You play music for a crowd either at a club or a private event, and take song requests from guests. You will need a music streaming program like SAM Broadcaster or Virtual DJ. Then your music is played to everyone via a music server. Most DJ’s just load up songs and hit the play button, but if you have a mix table or software and can live mix or do remixes, you can potentially make even more money with your skills.
- Live Performer – Much like music clubs have DJ’s come play for them, they also have live singers and performers. If you play an instrument or like to sing, all you need is a music server to stream it to listeners in the club. Live performers can set their own price to perform at a club or event as well as receive additional tips from the guests. The more you perform, the more fans you can gain, coming to your shows, increasing your money making.
- Manager – Someone has to make sure DJ’s and hosts show up for their scheduled shift, or make sure there’s sales representatives available at stores, or handle questions or complaints from guests or other staff. That is the job of a manager. If you like setting schedules, hiring people, getting sponsors, or just general organization, then look into getting a manager position. Managers can be paid a weekly salary, or also receive tips during their manager shift. It’s often easier to already have a job and get promoted to the manager position, but if you have the background or experience, ask the owner or other managers of a business if they’re hiring, or fill out an application.
- Event Manager – Event Managers are responsible for the organization, design, set up, and scheduling for specific events. This may be the grand opening of a business, an all day affair promoting a specific sponsor, a fundraiser, etc. As the event manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure all goes as planned and runs smoothly.
- Model – Clothing and other designers have fashion shows. If you have an attractive avatar, you have the opportunity to be a professional model and walk the runway or do other tasks during the show. There are also magazine publications in Second Life which you can paid to model for photo shoots.
- Dancer – Just as clubs provide entertainment with DJ’s or music, they also have club dancers, and you can make tips from guests and patrons. This can be as simple as having your avatar dance and talk with guests, or provide more of the adult entertainment side. Yes, if you are an exhibitionist, there are strip clubs in Second Life where you can get paid to strip and perform other adult services. Each club generally has their own rates that you must adhere to, but if you are popular enough, you can charge your own rates.
If you prefer to work for yourself, or your schedule isn’t consistent enough to hold a job with time requirements, you can also use your skills or hobbies to make money in Second Life. Some ideas are:
- Photography – Offer to take photogrtaphs for people’s profiles, or couples photos as memories. People love having photos to display at their home, or give to friends, or celebrating a significant event like a wedding. It helps if you have a Flickr or similar account where you can show your portfolio to potential clients. I’ve seen some Second Life photographers charge from L$500 to L$5,000 per photo.
- Counseling – If you’re good at giving advice, or have a license for therapy or as a social worker, you can have a business helping people through their issues and problems in Second Life. We are all humans behind the computer screen, after all.
- Scripting – Second Life uses a scripting language called LSL. If you enjoy programming and coding, you can write scripts for animations, sounds, colors, data, or a myriad of things and sell your scripts on the marketplace. You can offer your services to people who create items but don’t know how to script, and set your own pricing.
- Teach Classes – Do you know more than one language? Do you want to teach the ins and outs of Second Life to newcomers? Put your knowledge to use and teach a class on any subject that interests you, and charge a participant fee to join the class.
- Wedding Planner / Minister – People get partnered and married in Second Life, just like in real life. Everything is included from the date and time, guest list, the venue, music, reception. It’s a lot to plan, but if that’s something you enjoy, there can be good money in it. If planning is not your thing, you can still be an on-call minister to do the processions during the ceremony.
Blogging can be one of the best ways for businesses and creators to advertise their products.
Pick something you’re passionate about, whether it’s fashion, interior design, travel, cars or motorcycles, music, etc. Advertise your own blog in your Second Life profile for people to see. Ask business owners or creators if they’d like to be featured in your blog.
As your blog grows, you can request gifts or a fee to be featured in your blog.
Let’s use fashion as an example. If you are blogging about a clothing store, they may give you their newest releases instead of you paying for them. If you do this for a few stores, you’ll never have to buy clothes again!
Of course, if you have enough followers or traffic, you can set a price to advertise the store’s products. You can also monetize your blog site through other ad networks, further increasing your money making from Second Life.
There are almost as many ways to make money in Second Life as there are in real life. It can be as casual as playing a game, or as ambitious as starting your own company. As in real life, the more effort you put into it, the more you can gain.
The more you enjoy it, the better your chance of success.
We hope you learned some ideas, and join the thousands of others who are part of the $65 million dollars paid out last year.
For more tips and ideas on how you can make money each day, see our article Make Money on the Side – Fast and Easy.
Have a Happy Second Life!