How to Make Money Web Scraping (8 Ways)

How to Make Money Web Scraping
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Data is often called the new gold, and companies pay loads of money for it. Businesses use data to find new clients, conduct business analyses, or predict future trends. However, web scraping requires considerable knowledge, and not all companies have the tools or resources to gather the needed data.

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If you can learn to scrape data from the web or build web scrapers, you’re in for a profitable business. We listed eight ways to give you ideas for making money with web scraping. You can even start your own web scraping business based on our ideas. So if you’re looking for a profitable activity, read on and find out what skills you need to develop a web scraper and start making money.

8 Ways to Make Money with Web Scraping

Generate Leads for Businesses

Lead generation is a real jackpot since companies spend loads of money to get potential client leads. If you can scrape information for lead generation on specific customer profiles, you can profit by selling data to various businesses. You can also monetize the leads yourself by targeting individuals or enterprises with relevant advertisements.

Create Purchase Bots

Automated purchase bots can buy rare or limited edition goods in milliseconds. For example, many people use purchase bots for sneaker copping – buying limited release sneakers from online retailers. You can generate some serious profit if you can code bots that don’t break during a sneaker drop.

Develop Custom Web Scrapers

Web scrapers are in high demand, especially if they can gather data from websites that are hard to scrape. Businesses with specific scraping needs may not have the tools to build and maintain their scraper. You can use this opportunity by developing a custom scraper to meet their unique needs.

Create Web APIs

You can make your scraped data available via paid web APIs (application programming interfaces). To do that, you would need a large database to store all the extracted data. However, there’s a way around it – let the scraper run in the background and return the requested data as a response. This way, you won’t need to pay for a large data storage space and selling data will be easy.

Create Applications with Scraped Data

If you’ve got a bit of creativity, you’ll quickly find ways to create apps with scraped data. Insurance comparison sites and flight fare finders are popular and widely used. These sites are based on data scraped from the web. If you can think of an app that utilizes scraped data, you can easily monetize it.

Resell Items

We’ve already covered building purchase bots. If you can develop them, you can also use them to buy various items and resell them. If sneaker copping is not your thing, you can build a scraper that extracts data from e-commerce sites. It’ll allow you to get high-demand on-sale items first and then resell them.

Offer Web Scraping Services

We’ve already covered building purchase bots. If you can develop them, you can also use them to buy various items and resell them. If sneaker copping is not your thing, you can build a scraper that extracts data from e-commerce sites. It’ll allow you to get high-demand on-sale items first and then resell them.

Teach Web Scraping

We’ve already covered building purchase bots. If you can develop them, you can also use them to buy various items and resell them. If sneaker copping is not your thing, you can build a scraper that extracts data from e-commerce sites. It’ll allow you to get high-demand on-sale items first and then resell them.

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What are Required Skills for Developing a Web Scraper?

Developing a web scraper requires skills and knowledge. You can find a lot of information and tutorials online that will help you develop them. Here are the main skills you should work on:

Programming skills

Web scrapers are computer programs. They can be written in different computer programming languages. The most popular languages for building web scrapers are Python, Node.js, PHP, Ruby, and C or C++. 

 

Each language has a number of libraries and frameworks that can help you build a scraper quicker. For example, if you’re building a scraper in Python, you can use Beautifulsoup for data parsing.

 

Building a working scraper entails multiple steps: it has to retrieve web pages, parse the content, extract data, and either return it or store it. Each step has to be programmed separately, or you can use a web scraping framework, such as Scrapy, to build a complete framework.

Bypassing anti-scraping systems

Most websites worth scraping have robust anti-scraping systems in place. This may have a number of reasons. For example, web page owners don’t want many bots sending requests to their page, slowing it down for genuine users.

 

To bypass anti-scraping systems, first, you need to know what triggers them. Maybe you’re sending too many requests or using the wrong agents? Maybe you’re using the wrong type of proxies? To avoid CAPTCHAs and not end up getting blocked, you need to use reliable proxies and rotate them. You should also know what proxy type to use when scraping different targets. We’ll cover web scraping and proxies in more depth in the following section.

Engineering skills

Depending on the scale of web scraping, you may need engineering skills. However, if you only plan on running a small data-gathering project, you may get away without these skills. 

 

Scraping thousands of web pages will require you to plan ahead and solve various issues. For example, you may need to distribute architecture to have scrapers run on a few computers or servers at the same time. The same applies to managing the database system. 

 

You’ll also likely run into various issues, such as honeypot traps, inaccurate data, and others. Dealing with these often requires a team of experts, but if you’re willing to run web scraping projects on your own, you’ll also need engineering skills.

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Web Scraping and Proxies

Proxies are at the core of web scraping. You can’t build a properly working scraper without them. Proxies shield your computer’s IP address and allow sending requests from different locations. First of all, this helps access data that may be unavailable from your original location. Secondly, it may save you from getting blocked because there’s nothing more suspicious to websites than hundreds of requests a second coming from the same IP address.

 

Web scrapers can use different kinds of proxies depending on their targets. Two main types of IPs are residential and datacenter proxies

 

Residential IPs come from ISPs (internet service providers) and are harder to be identified as proxies. However, they’re also slower and more expensive than other types of IPs. 

 

Datacenter proxies are faster and cheaper than residential IPs because they come from datacenters. These proxies are perfect for large-scale web scraping operations.

Conclusion

Web data is in high demand by various companies. The ability to build web scrapers can become a profitable activity since there are many ways to monetize web scraping services. You can generate and sell business leads, create bots that automatically purchase limited-edition items, develop apps with scraped data, or even teach scraping skills. 

 

However, collecting data at scale isn’t easy and requires specific programming knowledge and skills. You can find online tutorials and browse various sites to gather the information you need but developing the skills will certainly take time. 

 

Once you know how to build a web scraper, you can make money web scraping. Just remember that web scraping will never work without reliable proxies.

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