How to Make Money from Web Scraping
Data has become the most valuable currency of all. It seems like our lives have been centered around either protecting our own private data, collecting it or seeking some specific data we need.
What about making data work for you so you could make money from it? With most of us stuck at home nowadays, a side hustle does sound nice. All you need to get your new web scraping career going is a web scraper, some proxies, and you’re all set!
Most Common Ways to Make Money from Web Scraping
A great thing about web scraping is that it’s quite a versatile niche, and can do many different things. It all depends on how you want to use this virtual power (for good, of course).
Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can make money from web scraping:
Offer web scraping services: if you already have a scraper and you’re ready to scrape site, then offer this service to make money! Data is valuable, so people will do a lot to get their hands on what they need. For example, a gourmet service might need scraping services to find the best chefs in town, and they might need you to scrape LinkedIn or Yelp ratings for that. If you have a target site you can scrape, offer your data to someone who might find it valuable.
Sell data: if you’ve already scraped it, why not sell it? Try to sell the information you already have, and you’ll most likely find companies and providers looking for similar information. For example, if it’s an advertising agency, you might need to gather everything there is to know online about a specific product or collect as many email addresses as possible in a specific area for advertising purposes. If you have proof of success in an area, it will create a lot more client trust.
Sell research: selling data is one thing, but you might want to look into selling research instead. Academic institutions, libraries and academic journals are always after all sorts of data for research purposes, and this is where you could be of great use. If you have analytical skills, you can draw original insights from your data. This is even more valuable than the data you scrape!
Create bots: nowadays, people are willing to pay for anything that makes their lives easier, and bots are meant to do exactly that. These automation tools can do a boring manual job in a matter of seconds. Let’s say you’re targeting frequent travelers. Then you might want to create a bot that scrapes websites such as Booking.com or Airbnb, allowing people to get their ticket listings and price comparisons all in one go.
Create price comparison websites: as much as people love spending money on things that make their lives easier, they also love saving money. That’s why you should look into making a price comparison website, showing various pricing options for the same product all over the web. How are you going to make money from this? The answer is ads and affiliate links. Let other websites advertise their products and services on your site, and make money without having to do much!
Create an online directory: it’s always a hassle to look for specific contact information all over the internet, so why not put it all in one place? If you scraped a lot of information about doctors in your area, put it on a single website. People will thank you for making their lives easier, and you could tip your hat to them for clicking on hospital ads that you display on your site or get donations from happy customers, doctors or clinics. It’s a win-win all around.
Create an app: what if you combined a bot, a scraper and an app? I think I can already hear people clapping in the distance. Of course, this one takes a lot of skill and time, but, luckily, we have plenty of time during quarantine. One of a number of ideas for an app could be dedicated for those who love to save money. For example, you might want to look into making an app that alerts people about price drops on certain websites and products.
Resell items: discounts, last minute deals, last pair – there are so many different ways that even the most expensive items get price drops. If you have been constantly scraping prices, you might have caught a drop like that, and, with the help of a bot (or not), bought the item. All you need to do now is sell it at full price. Easy! Another approach to reselling could be copping limited edition items (i.e. sneakers, clothing), and then reselling them. This could potentially make you a lot of money as the items are hard to get.
There are so many ways that you could put web scraping to use. So why not use your free time to learn a new skill that could bring you some extra cash? I see no downsides to grabbing the nearest web scraper and getting to it!