The web is pretty neato when you think of it as a platform for earning coin. Not just in the general business sense, where you set up a store or try to sell some hype product, but more in the way that regular people are able to find something they love and a community surrounding it.
There have been some really geeky ways people have turned little ideas into cool business franchises. Let’s take a look at some prime examples of how people use innovative, tech-based, strange strategies to earn money online:
1. Professional Leveling Guides for Games
I remember finding out about this market right around the time that World of Warcraft was launching. Before then, I was a frequent visitor over at GameFAQs so I always had this idea that you generally write guides for the community because that’s how you give back (and you gain a little reputation along the way). But things changed once gold farming became a thing.
If you do a search for ‘professional leveling guides’ or ‘gold guides’ for popular games like Diablo 3, WoW, or Final Fantasy XIV, you’re bound to find sites that offer in-depth guides at a price.
I took a look at some of these back in the day and they’re about as extensive as the official guides you can find at the store. They become wildly popular and pull in big money for the creators, especially if they got ahold of a beta account so they could get a head start on the next guides for the expansions.
2. Doing the Online Winning Thing
You know those people that sit at home all day cutting coupons so they can cash in big by playing the system? That’s a lot like the type of people who go hardcore into online sweepstakes, giveaways, free trials, and online games that offer rewards.
For a while I did this and it was going pretty well until it started taking up too much time. For example, there are those sites and apps like CashCrate or Swagbucks that reward you with points the more you interact (and refer people) to the site. You can trade in those points for gift cards, which was great when buying stuff on Amazon or sending it to your Paypal.
People go crazy for this type of stuff. To get an idea you can check out sub-section Freebies on Reddit, which lists all the little freebies from companies. If you go deeper you can also find directories of giveaways and contests (along with the requirements). Dedicate yourself enough and you can start earning a decent amount when you win and resell stuff.
Other ways that have sprung up in recent years have been games that reward with points and kickbacks. For example, you can play bingo online for money and compete with others (or you could win one of the weekly giveaways).
These take some major commitment, but once you get a system going you can knock down entries in rapid succession, which lets you get on with other things on your to-do list.
3. Selling Shiny and/or Leveled Pokemon? Yup.
Money from Video Games
If you love Pokemon then you probably know about shiny Pokemon, EVs, and IVs. If you’re out of the loop, it’s basically this:
- Shiny Pokemon are extremely rare to encounter, making them quite valuable for trade
- EVs and IVs are stats that can be manipulated to create stronger versions of a Pokemon
The amount of time that goes into trying to capture shineys and raise perfect Pokemon can take as much effort as a full time job, which is why you can find them being sold on the marketplace (such as eBay). People willing to pay $15 – $30 for a shiney? You betchya.
Selling Pokemon online is about as geeky as it gets, which reminds me … where is my DS?
The Viable Geek Culture
It’s funny how things have changed within the last decade. We’re older, which means we have jobs to finally buy all those things we wanted as kids. We also don’t really have the time to play with these games and gadgets, oddly enough. What it means is that there’s a big market for business that wants to cater to the geek culture.
Any idea is viable if you do your homework – you can see this even in these three examples. Which makes me ask: if you wanted to earn some coin, what would you do?