Perhaps you're a brand new player to the game of World of Warcraft, or maybe you're a more experienced player who's rolling a new character on a new realm. Either way you're going to need cash. There are some fairly easy ways for you to make gold without having to purchase gold illegally or having to strip on top of a mailbox in Stormwind. You may ask "How?" I shall certainly tell you.
1) Begging - This may work for some, but if you really plan on running around like a noob begging for gold in any of the major cities, be prepared to be shut down. A lot. This form of "earning" gold isn't appreciated by the majority of the WoW population by any means, and it's definitely something I highly discourage.
2) Questing - By far the easiest way to make gold. Not all quest givers will reward you with cash, but in the event that they instead give you gear, I want you to pay close attention. In the event that said quest giver doesn't have any upgrades for you, I want you to choose the item with the highest vendor payout. If you hover your mouse of the items, it should give you a cash value on the items. Once you choose and receive your item, vendor it!
3) Looting - Another incredibly easy way to make gold. Loot everything. Every mob you encounter should never be left laying there glittering. If your bags are full, go through and delete anything that is of lower value than the item(s) on the mob. Trash items, no matter how low in value, add up very quickly.
4) Running Randoms - Queuing up for randoms at lower levels will benefit you in several ways; it'll yield experience, a blue item from a bag on completion of the instance (whether or not this item is useful to your spec remains to be seen), and it'll give you some gold. The trash mobs in randoms almost always drop coin if they're humanoid, and the trash that the trash mobs drop usually can bring in a nice bit of silver or gold as well. Hitting up the queue while you do your quest grind can be incredibly productive, so I suggest that you do it!
5) Greens/Blues/Epics - Lately I've taken to hitting "greed" on any and all gear that drops in randoms. If the item is useless to me, I vendor it. Now, you can do a few things with the gear that you can come across: you can disenchant the items and use/auction off the materials gained, you can auction off the items themselves if they're BoE (Bind on Equip), or you can simply vendor the item. These days I find that the last option is by far the easiest even though the first two options may have a slightly higher return.
There are of course many other ways to help you make gold. Professions, using the auction house to sell your goods, and completing dailies are other ways to rake in rather large lumps of gold, but usually take up a little more time. For the beginner, I definitely recommend sticking with the five tips (well four, seeing as though #1 isn't really a legitimate tip, nor is it something I condone) I have listed above until you're a bit more game savvy. When you finally get to that point, start looking into these next three options.
1) Once you feel a bit more comfortable with how things work, begin investing in your professions. A way to make/save gold is to pair a crafting profession with a gathering profession. Skinning + Leather Working, Mining + Jewel Crafting/Engineering/Black Smithing, and Herbalism + Inscription/Alchemy are all great pairs. I'm also a huge fan of Enchanting + Tailoring, since you typically gain tailoring items off of mobs while you level, and then you can simply disenchant the gear you create to level your enchanting skill. In the end though, it is ultimately up to you which two primary professions you choose. Secondary professions (Cooking, Fishing, and First Aid) can also help you bring in some cash through the auction house, so putting in the time and gold to level these professions can also benefit you money-wise in the long run. For more on how to level up your chosen professions, check out this site.
2) Don't ever underestimate the daily quest. Yes, they become boring, but they're usually simple and rather quick. If you don't have gold because you're too lazy to do your dailies, please don't complain to your guildmates. It's not their job to earn your gold, it's yours.
3) Lastly, the almighty auction house! Known more famously as the AH. Now, I am by no means AH savvy, nor am I a huge numbers person or really any sort of expert in this department of WoW. What I can tell you is this: if you want to make quick money from the food you've gathered/cooked, from the materials you've gained, or from the items you've crafted, the AH is the way to go. Sure, you could spam Trade all day, but ultimately you'll probably just end up with more Chuck Norris jokes than you will sales. For those of you wishing to learn how to dominate the auction market, I definitely suggest following the Gold Capped articles over on WoW Insider.
With time, patience, and some good ol' hard work, you should be able to gather enough gold to ensure that your character(s) will remain in decent gear and always have a mount to prance about on. Just remember that most of the things we want are almost never free, but so long as we strive to work for something, we shall profit.
World of Saz 2011