Selling Scraped Content to Make Money Online

Posted by Methylated on August 21, 2012

One (of many) popular technique for developers to make money online is to scrape archived content, slap a decent layout on it or make it a WordPress plugin (do both,) then sell it. There are more buyers than developers who do this, and one can get almost all the work outsourced. Most people will not hit it big and will earn (in my experience) anywhere from $20-$50k/year. What’s sweet with this is each site is cut and paste. The developer isn’t so much programming in the sense that they are an engineer, but piecing together cookie cut copies of a specific plugin or template that they believe will be either the Next Big Thing or can be done in enough time to ride this wave of trends out.

Sales happen on Envanto’s marketplace, social networks, on “making money online” forums like SitePoint and WickedFire, and on a dedicated website promoting and selling the software by affiliates and the developer. The higher tiered technique is to build a marketplace for this cookie cutter content. While the sources I mentioned sometimes offer quality products and at very cheap prices, the trends are late in the game if you expect to earn a living doing this. The key to starting and maintaining this business is to create and release superb products. Developers must realize that design matters and that they can’t lay their eggs into one basket like plugins and themes for only one or two CMS markets. The wordpress, joomla, drupal, magento, and zencart markets are saturated. Can you make good money? Sure, especially Drupal and Magento right now.

This business model improves your focus on upcoming trends in software. You begin to see everything as being able to make money if you “just” turn it into a plugin for WordPress or design a new template. You begin to see trends in the area between people who sell other people’s software for a living, and people who’s business is primarily to host a gathering of buyers and sellers, digitally or otherwise.


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