OnlyFans launched in 2016 and is a subscription-based service that has a headquarters in the UK (London, England). Since then, the platform has made headlines for changing the sex work game, for being the next big platform, and for providing a place where everyday content creators can make their start and earn money from their work. How much money (and how you earn it through using the platform) is a complex (not complicated, but complex) question...so let’s break it down.
How can you earn money on OnlyFans?
There are several ways you can earn on OnlyFans: through subscriptions, through pay-walled posts, through tips from your fans, and through private messaging. For things like private messaging, paywall posts, and subscriptions - these are all rates you set yourself so really, you can aim to make what you think you deserve for the amount of work put into creating the content.
Keep in mind...OnlyFans takes 20% of whatever you make.
If you set your subscription price is set at $4.99, you take home $3.99. If someone tips you $10, you get $8.00.
Is it hard to make money on OnlyFans?
This is a tricky question. For some, it can be considered “easy money” if content creation is a passion and they already have a larger social media following who then gain interest in following them (and tipping them) on OnlyFans. However, if you’re a smaller creator just starting out (with little knowledge or experience in content creation), it can take a little longer to establish a good routine and system for yourself that you feel is worthwhile.
The whole point of OnlyFans, according to the platform’s creator, was to give people a space to charge and make money from their content. The system is in place - however long it takes to learn it and earn from it really depends on what type of content creator you are and how easy you find it to make good quality content on a consistent basis.
How popular is OnlyFans?
According to Influencer Hub, in 2019, OnlyFans had over 60,000 content creators and 7 million registered users. As of January 2020, OnlyFans claimed to have 12 million registered users. In March of that year, Mashable reported OnlyFans to have 26 million registered users and by August, 50 million users were registered on the platform.
How much does the average person make on OnlyFans?
According to a recent post on Xsrus, most accounts take home less than $145 per month after commission. The median take-home for someone on OnlyFans is about $136 per month. In order to make this “worthwhile”, Xsrus explains that “if you value a creator’s time at $15 (minimum wage in many places), the average creator needs to be spending no more than 20 minutes per day (9 hours per month) on the website to ‘break even’.”
Keep in mind...this is speculation and doesn’t give the whole picture.
I think it’s really important to note here that this is a very “technical” way of looking at OnlyFans. Additionally, it’s a lot of speculation considering not every creator allows outside people to see how many fans they have, meaning you can never really know how much someone is making.
The article mentioned above is also very much an “is OnlyFans worth the investment from a financial standpoint” kind of article. Like any business, if you decide to run your OnlyFans that way, you are going to have to invest time (and yes, money) into it in order to see it succeed.
It’s a launch point for a new adventure, a fun hobby, a business...really - whatever you want it to be.
So many creators decide to create an OnlyFans account because they genuinely enjoy creating content and want to get started in a particular line of business (for example, sex work or erotic audio/voice acting work, etc). There are a lot of people who simply create an OnlyFans account for fun.
What’s luck got to do with it?
As someone who knows a lot of OnlyFans creators, I have realized that so much of your ‘luck’ on OnlyFans comes down to your fans and how much they enjoy you and your content. You could be someone who has 100 fans and is making the base amount for each subscription - or you could be someone who has 20 fans but makes more than the average creator because a few of those fans like to tip generously. Additionally, there are lots of other ways for fans to show their appreciation to you, like gifting you something from an Amazon wishlist or referring your OnlyFans to others.
If you have a large following from somewhere (such as Instagram or Twitter), making an OnlyFans could be worthwhile because you’re reaching a broader audience and chances are, if they are a fan of you, they will be a fan of whatever you’re doing on OnlyFans.
This is likely one of the first questions you have as a creator: is this safe? Can I stay anonymous if I need to, will my subscribers somehow have access to my information, can I stay safe? These are very valid and important questions.
According to the OnlyFans Blog, OnlyFans has a variety of features and services that are put in place to help you feel safe and secure while creating and promoting the content you create on the platform. Below are some things you can do to ensure your privacy and safety on OnlyFans.
Enable two-step verification.
It’s a really good idea to enable the two-step verification on OnlyFans in order to make sure you aren’t hacked. Both Google Authenticator and Microsoft Authenticator can be used for this. In order to do this, go to Settings > Account > Two-Step Verification and follow the instructions. You can add a QR code (or the key provided) to your authenticator app.
This will then link your app with your OnlyFans account and you will have to enter a six-digit code from your app every time you log in. A pain? Yes. But a surefire way to keep yourself protected? Also yes.
Watermarking your content (above and beyond what OnlyFans does).
Watermarking your content with either your name, your alias or your OnlyFans URL can be a great way to ensure no one steals it. OnlyFans does provide watermarking but it’s simply your username watermarked at the bottom of the image in the corner. Anyone who knows anything about content creation or watermarking knows immediately that it would be super easy to crop out the bottom piece of a photo and voila - no watermark.
To ensure your content is safe, I suggest watermarking it yourself using a photo editing app (you can find a list of great editing apps for OnlyFans content here) and placing the watermark somewhere in the middle of the photo. You want to be conscious not to make the photo unappealing because of the watermark, but the watermark should be visible enough to immediately recognize whose content it is.
Blocking and restricting entire countries.
OnlyFans took a page from the “cam model website” book here and decided to implement a system where you can essentially geography block entire regions or countries. For example, if you’re based in America, you can geo-block America or you can geo-block certain States in America to ensure people from those places don’t accidentally stumble upon you on OnlyFans. This is great if you’re someone who really needs to keep your OnlyFans private and separate from “real-life.”
An important note: if someone has a VPN, they can trick the servers into thinking they are in a different country to access your content anyways, even if they are in a place that you have geo-blocked. This is good to know for your own sake, but keep in mind: this person would have to know that you have an OnlyFans and know what name you’re using on OnlyFans in order to do this.
Choosing what you let people see.
When someone clicks the link to your OnlyFans, they can always see your profile name, your username, your avatar, and your cover photo. However, things like status updates, fan count, activity status, media count, friends list, the sum of your tips, and your biography are all things you can set to “private.” This means that only people subscribed to you can view them.
If you’ve decided creating an OnlyFans account is something you’d like to do, you probably have a lot of questions. While almost every question you could have is answered in this post, one of the most important beginner questions is...how do I sign up for OnlyFans?
How do I sign up for OnlyFans (as a creator)?
Creating an OnlyFans account is a relatively simple process, but there is a little bit of a trick to it. For starters, you’ll want to actually enlist yourself as a creator on the platform using the steps below.
An important note:
Sometimes you will be denied on the basis of a photo that is not high enough quality or is blurry in some way. To avoid this, when you take your “selfie with your ID”, make sure you’re using the normal camera (not the front-facing camera) on your smartphone. The front-facing camera, while optimal for selfie-taking because you can see if you’re in the frame, is a lower quality lens and you may have a higher risk of being turned down. If you have been turned down due to low image quality or an inability to verify yourself, this may be the problem.
How do I sign up for OnlyFans (as a fan)?
Signing up for OnlyFans as a fan (to subscribe to someone’s profile) is simple: just enter your email or link your Twitter account, input your credit card information (yes, you need a credit card - and yes, it will show up as “OnlyFans” or some variation of that on your statements) and get to subscribing!
Can you have two OnlyFans accounts?
You can have two OnlyFans accounts, yes. You can have a “free” page and then a separate “subscription” page to maximize your presence on the platform. You can also connect these two accounts in the “Settings” on your profile. You cannot have more than two accounts on OnlyFans.
How long does it take to be approved for OnlyFans?
The approval process can take up to 72 hours, but most of the time it happens within 24-48 hours. You will hear back if you’ve been approved and also if there is a problem with your application that you need to address.
I was denied by OnlyFans...what do I do now?
Being denied upon your first application to OnlyFans can be a bit disheartening - but don’t worry, there are lots of easy fixes that you can do to ensure you’re approved the second-time-around.
Can I make an OnlyFans account with a fake name? Is OnlyFans anonymous?
Yes, OnlyFans can be anonymous. You can operate under an alias as your username and not show your face in your profile or cover photos...in fact, you could even get away with not showing your face at all, although you may not get a whole lot of subscribers this way as most people, once they subscribe, want to see who you are.
In order to sign up for OnlyFans, you will have to give the platform your full legal name, address, banking information, and a photo of your passport or ID. This can seem quite scary to people who need to stay anonymous - but this information is never shared with your fans and is only ever used for the purpose of verifying your identity and paying you.
How do I delete my OnlyFans account?
Deleting your OnlyFans account is simple: visit the OnlyFans website and sign in, click on the profile icon on the top right corner, select “Settings” from the menu, then click on “Account.” Scroll down to the bottom and select “Delete Account” - you will be asked to type in the code given in the picture and you can then click “Delete.” You will be asked to confirm this, and you can click “Yes, Delete” again to wipe your account.
When you delete your account, all of your data will be erased from OnlyFans. You will lose any active subscriptions you have and it won’t automatically renew you any further. If you’re a creator and you chose to delete your account, the account will close after the last of your current subscriptions has expired.
If you simply want to “unsubscribe” from someone, you can sign in to your account, navigate to that user's profile and switch off your “auto-renew” option.
What are “chargebacks” on OnlyFans?
A “chargeback” is a demand by a credit-card provider for the company that owns OnlyFans (FIL) to make good on the loss the credit card provider has incurred because the User has (without justification) disputed a purchase from OnlyFans.
You can read more about the various terminologies used on OnlyFans in their Terms of Service. If a user seeks a chargeback, their access to OnlyFans may be discontinued or limited (this is mainly to avoid people asking for chargebacks without merit). You can learn more about chargebacks here.
You’ve seen it everywhere: “OnlyFans has revolutionized sex work.”
Honestly, there is quite a lot of truth to that. While OnlyFans can be used for any kind of content creation, most associate it with sex work and/or adult content creation because of the number of adult content creators that flocked to the site.
How has OnlyFans changed the sex work industry?
Social media as a sex worker can be rough. Platforms such as Instagram have bans on things as simple as female breasts or certain hashtags that elude to the concept of being paid for sex work. I may be a bit biased here (as in I think the Instagram terms around this are bogus) - but it seems Instagram really doesn’t believe that whole “sex work is work” thing. Any promotion you do for your OnlyFans on social media (which we’ll get more into in another post) needs to be done quite covertly or you could risk being banned from the platform.
OnlyFans is one of the first (and only) platforms that has created a safe place for adult content creators to create, share, and earn an income from their content. This is why “OnlyFans” and “sex work” have been quite synonymous and likely always will be.
Can NSFW OnlyFans ruin my career?
If you’re an NSFW content creator with a 9-5 job, you may be wary of any potential blowback in your “real life” from having a kinkier online persona. This is a very valid fear that many people have and you may be asking yourself: how anonymous can you really be on OnlyFans? Could this ruin my career? The short answer is yes. The longer, more accurate answer is yes, but there are so many different things you can do to protect yourself.
For starters - this “ruining my career” thing only really applies if your job really clashes with adult content creation. For example, a teacher may be fired for having an OnlyFans account. It’s not exactly ethical or right (and in some places, not really legal) for your company to fire you on this basis - but they could find ways to do it if they have a problem with adult content creation. On the other hand, OnlyFans has created so many opportunities for people to gain a second income and even start new careers.
Deciding on a price for your OnlyFans subscription can be a tricky thing that has the potential to make or break you in terms of subscriptions and how worthwhile it is to keep your OnlyFans up and running.
Determining your subscription price for OnlyFans is entirely personal.
As a creator, you can charge anywhere from $4.99 to $49.99 per month per subscription to your OnlyFans. You can also have completely free OnlyFans pages where certain posts are locked behind a paywall and those who wish to view them can pay one-time fees to view that content. Recently, OnlyFans implemented transaction limits to $50 per post (for pay-per-view) and $100 per tip. You can also earn money through paid private messaging that can start at $5 per message.
So much of how much you decide to charge for access to whatever you’re doing on OnlyFans is about what you do, how much effort you put into it, and what you want to get out of your OnlyFans adventure. If you’re simply looking for a sexy side hustle and aren’t overly concerned about “making it big” on the platform, signing up and setting a simple fee is a good idea. If you’re someone looking to grow in the industry you’re in and want to make a good income from OnlyFans, a bit more thought should be put into how much you think you need to charge in order to make your work on OnlyFans a worthwhile investment.
Why would I make my OnlyFans free?
Many OnlyFans creators decide to make their OnlyFans free to access with optional pay-per-view photos and videos. Typically this pay-per-view content is a bit more explicit or exciting than what you post for free. This is a technique used by many creators to gain followers quickly. If they don’t have to pay to sign up to your OnlyFans, they are far more likely to. If they don’t have to pay to renew their subscription to you, they are far more likely to stay subscribed. Then, you can make your money off pay-per-view posts and tips.
If you have a smaller following and are concerned about not getting many OnlyFans subscribers, this is a good tactic. However, if you are a bit more concerned about your privacy on OnlyFans and hope to keep a smaller following, setting your page to private at a bit of a higher subscription rate is a good way to go.
Yikes. This is a tricky section...but finances always is. Everyone’s financial situation is different and then on top of that, every country has its own legal system around how to file taxes, claim your income, etc. The below information is not to be taken as financial advice - simply some basic answers to many questions people have about OnlyFans and finances.
How does OnlyFans look on my bank statement when I subscribe to someone?
If you’re purchasing a subscription to someone’s OnlyFans, all credit card descriptors will say “OnlyFans” or some variation (OnlyFans.com, OnlyFans London, OF, etc) - and every transaction that you do on OnlyFans will appear on your statement separately.
How long does OnlyFans take to pay creators?
The short answer is that OnlyFans takes about 7-10 days to pay you. How it really works: OnlyFans payouts are processed daily, so if you’re earning daily, you can get paid daily. However, this really depends on how much you’re earning and how often you want to take payouts from OnlyFans. Payouts work on a seven-day rolling basis - for example, the money you earn on March 1st can become available for you to cash out on March 7th, the money you make on March 2nd will be available for you to withdraw on March 8th, etc.
According to their website, if you haven’t received your first payout within 15 days of your first earnings, you should contact the OnlyFans support email at [email protected].
Does OnlyFans send you a W2 (or other tax forms)?
OnlyFans will not send you any tax forms. Instead, that responsibility falls on you. If you’re earning enough to need to claim it on your taxes, you should be claiming it there. For more assistance on this, I recommend speaking to your accountant (or bank) about policies in your area regarding this.
This article is really helpful for OnlyFans creators living in the United States who wish to know more about filing their OnlyFans money on their taxes. Tax laws are quite complex and I highly recommend speaking to an accountant in your area on what the rules are around this.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our other OnlyFans-related articles:
How to Promote Your NSFW OnlyFans
An Introduction to NSFW Social Media
OnlyFans Creators Share Tips and Tricks
The Best Photo Editing Apps for OnlyFans