Proxy selling is a booming business, even if the industry is still in its early stages. Some of the largest providers boast hundreds of millions of IP addresses, scattered across residential and datacenter proxies. These providers are earning millions of dollars a year, all by selling proxy-based traffic.
These quickly scaling businesses are no surprise. Datacenter and residential proxies are used by numerous other companies to support data collection processes. Some smaller businesses use them to cop sneakers and buy other limited-release items.
Since there are so many ways to make money with proxy selling, we decided to narrow down the opportunities to 5 methods that work best for people of different skill levels.
1. (Re)sell proxies
The best way to earn money is to sell proxies themselves. Unfortunately, getting IP addresses in large enough numbers for business purposes can have huge startup costs and can be difficult to accomplish.
A common way to bypass these issues is to find large proxy providers that sell huge packages of IP addresses or traffic. Almost all of them will reduce the per IP/GB cost if you buy a larger plan upfront.
Most entrepreneurs then resell proxies at a higher margin per IP/GB than they originally intended. Since the largest proxy providers will often have the best prices, it won’t be an issue to slightly increase costs when reselling.
Additionally, smaller businesses and lone entrepreneurs might not need the huge amount of traffic provided by reputable providers, but still want to access the best proxy server pools. As such, you can split the plan you bought into hundreds of smaller ones without fear.
There are still some setup costs, however. You’ll need a website and some marketing to attract attention to your proxy server pool. Some resellers of proxy servers opt to use social media and messaging platforms like Discord as well.
Do note, however, that some providers forbid reselling their proxy server pools. Always ensure that whichever company you choose allows the resale of proxy servers. Otherwise, you could get your account suspended or, worse, run into legal issues.
2. Create a data collection tool
Both residential and datacenter proxies are primarily used for data collection practices. These need thousands, if not millions, of IP addresses as websites are keen to ban most scraping bots.
Writing and maintaining data collection software is already a difficult task. Combine that with the requirement of getting datacenter or residential proxies and these issues can seem insurmountable. These challenges are the reason why many turn to buying third-party data collection tools.
SEO monitoring is a great example. Scraping search engines is one of the most complicated processes as they have developed some of the best anti-bot measures. In fact, CAPTCHAs, the most popular form of preventing bots, is owned by Google, putting them at the forefront of such anti-automation measures.
Creating a data collection tool is a surefire way to make money from your proxy server pool. If you can create one that can scrape search engines or ecommerce websites, you’re sure to find buyers who will be willing to pay quite a bit of money for access to your software.
3. Perform social media marketing
If you don’t want to sell proxies or create data collection tools, managing multiple accounts is another option. Residential proxies allow you to create social media accounts, only limited by the number of IP addresses available to you.
By creating multiple accounts through residential proxies, you can create a social media growth service. These services send likes, shares, follows, and other forms of interaction through their pool of accounts. In simple terms, a user may buy a package of a hundred likes and you use your accounts to provide them with the requested amount.
It should be noted that most growth services use bots to make managing thousands of accounts easier. Getting social media bots isn’t that hard, however, you’ll have to use them carefully so as to not ban or flag the accounts.
Additionally, rotating proxies won’t be that great when creating multiple accounts. Social media websites carefully track the IP addresses of their users and switching them with each request will definitely raise red flags.
In these cases, it’s best to go with Internet Service Provider proxies (or ISP proxies). These are usually static IP addresses, meaning you can build up a profile with the same one, which will lend to the legitimacy of your accounts.
4. Generate leads for businesses
Lead generation is another form of data collection that usually involves some sort of automation. Datacenter proxies are usually involved as some leads can be scraped without the need of millions of locations or specific targeting.
You’ll still need a scraping solution, however, you don’t necessarily need to develop one when doing lead generation. There are plenty of third party providers that allow you to integrate your own private proxies, reducing the overall costs of data acquisition.
If you can optimize the use of your private proxies, you can use the third party data collection tool to collect data for businesses that will allow them to pursue potential business opportunities. There is one caveat, though, which is legality.
When scraping lead data, you have to be careful not to capture personal or copyrighted data. Both of these have a whole host of laws and regulations surrounding the storage and usage of them. In most cases, you’ll need a team of legal professionals before you can even think of scraping such data.
If, however, you can find suitable lead generation data, companies and even large corporations will always be willing to pay a huge amount of money for it. In fact, there are entire business models based on lead generation, most of which revolve simply selling large datasets.
5. Perform data analysis
The end goal of all the data collection, IP addresses, and everything else is for businesses to create valuable insights. Data by itself isn’t all that valuable just like private proxies - you have to find a use for both.
If you manage to buy or create a data collection solution, get a sizable number of IP addresses, and scrape various sources, selling the results might not be the end. Most businesses, after all, are looking for the insights they can act upon.
As such, if you have any knowledge of data analysis, you can put all the resources (i.e., IP addresses, data collection tools, etc.) to even greater use. Insights will always be more valuable, so if you can fill the entire value chain, there’s a lot of money to be earned from proxies and IP addresses.
Do note that it may be slightly harder to find buyers due to the nature of the value chain. The further down you go, the less buyers you’ll find. So, it may be easiest to find clients for proxies and IP addresses, then for data collection tools, and then for insights.
Buying and selling a proxy server pool is the easiest way to make money. IP addresses are valuable to nearly any digital business, making them an attractive way to generate some extra revenue. Even smaller businesses and solo entrepreneurs use IP addresses for activities such as sneaker copping.
Get residential or mobile proxies for just $2.
IP addresses, however, are involved in a long value chain. You can take part in any of it to generate revenue. You’ll need to make use of the IP addresses yourself, but there’s a lot more revenue to be made from data collection or analysis.
In the end, there’s tons of ways to generate profits from IP addresses. We’ve only outlined five, but there’s new ones constantly popping up. One thing is for sure - IP addresses have become a valuable resource.