According to PocketLint, in August 2020, OnlyFans was averaging around 30 million users and 450,000 creators. Founded in 2016, OnlyFans has come onto the scene in a big way, making headlines for being an innovative way for content creators of all kinds to connect with their fans.
More specifically, OnlyFans has been applauded for being one of the most NSFW-accepting social media platforms around, with many of their content creators promoting sexual content through their channels. (In case you were wondering, NSFW = not safe for work.)
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a content-sharing platform that works similarly to Netflix. Creators can monetize their content by selling directly to their fans for the cost of a monthly subscription.
What kind of content creators use OnlyFans?
From models to actors to fitness experts (and yes, sex workers/porn stars), influencers of all kinds use OnlyFans to connect with their fanbase and monetize their content to generate revenue.
What’s an influencer?
Well, if you’ve lived under a rock for the past decade (or just don’t really know what influencers actually DO), let me give a brief explanation: an influencer is someone who has the “power” (usually through their fanbase/numbers/net-worth to affect the purchasing decisions of other people.
Brands pay influencers to influence their fans into buying (or at least looking into) their products. Influencers aren’t just marketing tools for brands and companies, they are able to have collaborative, long-term relationships with brands and fans alike.
Is OnlyFans only for sex workers?
Absolutely not. While many of the people on OnlyFans are there to promote their sex work (and that is what this article will be mainly focused on since that’s what we talk about most here), there are all kinds of people who use OnlyFans.
Models, chefs, Youtubers, Instagram influencers, and even actors/celebrities use OnlyFans to offer premium content to those willing to subscribe/pay for it. While Bella Thorne has been in the news (and not necessarily in good ways) for creating an OnlyFans, she’s not the only high-level celebrity to do so.
American model Blac Chyna is active on her OnlyFans page, even indulging in some foot fetish porn for those who are into that kind of thing. Real Housewives of New York actress and radio host Dorinda Medley is on OnlyFans and influencer/Youtuber Tana Mongeau also made headlines for starting her OnlyFans page.
While OnlyFans is used by all kinds of content creators, it’s been particularly impactful in the porn and sex work industries, with the New York Times even suggesting it’s “changed sex work forever.”
When used as an adult and/or NSFW platform, content creators can post videos and photos to their accounts which are protected by a paywall. To access their content, fans can sign up to their page on a monthly-fee basis.
Joining OnlyFans as a creator is a process - but don’t worry, I’ve done quite a bit of research (and talked with some friends who already have accounts set up) to get the details.
Step One: Create An Account
Creating an account is free. There is no contract for you (or your subscribers), but I highly suggest you read the fine print while creating your account. Go over the terms and conditions carefully (no skipping - I know we all do it, but this is important).
You can either create an account using your email address or you can link your Twitter account to sign up. What’s the difference here? Well, signing up with only an email address allows you to link your Twitter at a later time (if you choose to do so), but signing up directly with your Twitter already links the two, meaning you will be able to effortlessly promote your OnlyFans page through Twitter once you’re ready.
If you choose to sign up by linking your Twitter account immediately, you will be brought to a page that asks if OnlyFans can have access to your Twitter information. This means things like tweets on your timeline, your profile settings, your email address, etc. OnlyFans also asks for permission to be able to do things like “post and delete tweets for you” or “follow and unfollow accounts for you” - this is because you can do those things within the OnlyFans platform.
You can simply sign up for OnlyFans with your email address, but if you plan to promote through Twitter (which I suggest you do, as Twitter is also very sex-work friendly), you will eventually have to allow OnlyFans access to your Twitter account anyways.
Just find the confirmation email from OnlyFans sent a few moments after creating your account, click the link inside and confirm your account set up.
You will need to verify your personal information and identity in order to earn revenue through OnlyFans. Through your profile, click “subscription price”, then you will be asked to add a bank account or payment information.
Select your country of residence from the pull-down and confirm you are over the age of 18 years old. Then, you will have to upload a valid form of identification to confirm these things. This document must be issued by your country authorities (a passport or ID card is most commonly used). You will then also be asked to upload a selfie with the ID (both your face and the ID have to be clearly visible) to verify you are who you say you are.
These are used strictly for OnlyFans to verify who you are, that you are of legal age, and that you are going to be earning money legally through OnlyFans. Your fans, at no point, will see this information.
Once you’ve filled in the required information and uploaded your ID, you can send it in for approval. You will get an email with the subject line “Your account is pending approval” and within 72 hours, you will get a response.
If the information you’ve provided is up-to-date and correct, your account will be approved. If more information is required, you will get a follow-up email explaining this.
“I’ve been rejected for OnlyFans...what happened?”
If your account has been rejected, there are a few common reasons why this could have happened. There could be an issue with your ID (poor quality, expired, etc) or the platform may require additional information to verify who you are. This could include linking your social media platforms (Twitter or Facebook) to match your information.
Once your OnlyFans account has been verified and approved, you will have full access to the platform to set up your profile, subscription rates, and welcome message.
For more information on how to register your OnlyFans account, visit this page.
Step Two: Set Up a Subscription Rate
OnlyFans is lucrative because of how it works: you upload content that your fans (or subscribers) have to pay to access each month. In order to do this, you need to set your subscription rate. This is the monthly fee your subscribers will pay to gain access to your content.
A note: before setting your subscription amount, you will have to link your bank account in order to be paid.
You can decide what this rate is, and you can set it to anything you’d like, but the most common rates are between $4.99 and $15.99. According to the OnlyFans blog, a “reasonable price” is somewhere between $9.99 and $15.99, depending on your content and posting schedule. If you plan to post every day (multiple times a day), then you can consider upping the price because your fans will be getting more content.
Helpful note: To help you decide on a subscription price, you can visit this page and use the platform to determine how much money you will make (and what you should set your price to given the number of Twitter/Facebook/Instagram followers you have.
If you’ve heard of “free” OnlyFans, you’re likely wondering why someone would set their subscription price to “free” if they hope to make money by uploading premium content to OnlyFans.
Why would you set your OnlyFans to free? For one, you can gain followers much more quickly this way. Free accounts often have higher subscriber rates (because they don’t have to pay anything to sign up).
Secondly, there are still ways you are able to make money even with a free account. Any OnlyFans content creator can earn money through tipping, regardless of what their subscription rate is set to. Subscribers can tip you (and are much more willing to do so if they aren’t already paying to access the content).
And lastly, you can still “content block” certain posts. If you have a free OnlyFans, you can still monetize certain posts on your feed and still keep your subscription price as FREE. These posts will appear to subscribers as posts they have to pay to access/unlock. You can set a price per unlock post. This way, the majority of your content is free but if people would like to pay to unlock certain posts, they can.
Many sex workers use this tactic when they are just starting out on OnlyFans and the content that is behind a paywall is usually longer sex tapes, masturbation videos, etc.
Paid streaming is another way free accounts can earn. After you go live on your OnlyFans, you will be shown the option to add a price paywall. Consider this to be a “ticket price” for your show. The minimum amount here is $5, but you can choose any price above that. Subscribers who want to tune into your show will pay the set amount and gain access to your live feed.
For more information on how to make money and set subscriber rates on OnlyFans, click here.
Step Three: “Welcome to My OnlyFans”
Once your account is set up and your subscription rate set, you will want to do a few things before uploading and promoting your content. The first of those things will be to set up a “welcome message.” This is a message your fans will get upon subscribing to your profile.
To set your welcome message, go to your profile, then to settings, then to “chats” and you will see the field where you can input a welcome message.
A helpful tip: one of my favorite people to follow (on how they set up/promote their OnlyFans), Leo from The OnlyFans Bible, suggests you firstly thank your new subscriber for signing up. The second thing Leo does is to do a bit of a promotion through the welcome message. In his case, if the new subscriber “likes” his last 100 posts on OnlyFans, they will be given a free full-length video in exchange. This is a fantastic idea, because the more “likes” and attention your posts get, the more attention your profile will get.
Step Four: Upload Content
Before you start really promoting your account, you’re going to want at least a few posts to entice people to stay on your page when they do finally come to check it out. These posts should be enticing, teasing, visually-pleasing photos, and videos that hint at what’s to come on your OnlyFans page.
Step Five: Promote, Everywhere
Once you have a few good posts to reel in your subscribers, you can start promoting. Promoting strategies with OnlyFans can vary, but one of the places I suggest you start is Twitter.
Aside from OnlyFans, Twitter is the next-best social media platform when it comes to NSFW (not-safe-for-work) content. Twitter and OnlyFans in combination can help sex workers, erotic audio performers, and the like gain traction in a world where sex work isn’t as widely promoted on other social media platforms.
Places like Instagram and Facebook crack down harshly on sexual content, but Twitter and OnlyFans are here for it, which means you should go there for it! There are some other marketing concepts you can use to gain followers on OnlyFans, but we’ll get to those at the end of this article!
Step Six: Plan a Posting Schedule (And Stick to It)
Your subscribers want to know when they can expect content from you. This means how often, what kind of content and any time you will be going live or running promotions through your OnlyFans. From collaborations to promotions to everyday posting, it’s important to communicate your schedule with your fans. Not only that, but you should also consider highlighting what type of content is offered (within your bio), so people know exactly what they are signing up for.
Many creators choose to put this information in their welcome message or right on their profile. I like this (as a fan), because when I’m through people’s OnlyFans, it’s really easy to see what kind of content they post and when. This makes it easier for me to decide I want to subscribe to that person.
Deciding on your schedule can be a bit tricky. You don’t want to promise content that you can’t deliver. Creating high-quality content is time-consuming (from shooting and editing to actually posting and promoting), so don’t promise things you can’t deliver.
That being said, you want to post enough that you keep your audience engaged and interested. You want to go quality of quantity, meaning that your posts should be of great quality, which could mean posting less to ensure that stays the norm on your profile.
Ultimately, deciding on what posting schedule works for you will depend a lot on how much quality content you can confidently put out there each day. Along with posting on a somewhat consistent schedule, engaging with your audience is one of the best ways to keep them coming back for more. This means commenting and being open to special requests or chats (within your limits, of course).
For more tips on posting schedules and content promotion, visit this page.
The headlines for OnlyFans earnings have been outrageous...but they aren’t necessarily wrong. I mean, when you hear about making $100,000/year through OnlyFans alone, your mind starts to wander. How much money can I really make on Onlyfans?
OnlyFans gives you a wide range of posting options: uploading photos, videos, audio, scheduling content, etc.
You can upload “pay-to-unlock” content in addition to your profile paywall. Your monthly subscription fee isn’t the only way you can earn with OnlyFans. Your audience can additionally tip you if they feel so inclined and you can also upload pay-per-view content. This can be full-length, longer videos than the things you normally post on your public profile.
You can earn additional tips on OnlyFans. Your fans can send you additional tips (on top of their monthly fee) by clicking the dollar icon under your post or they can tip you through your direct messaging portal.
You can also sell custom content on OnlyFans. Maybe a follower has a specific request...OnlyFans accounts for this, too. Instead of posting everyone’s requests on your profile, you can arrange to sell certain content to certain followers all through the platform.
To do this in the best/easiest way possible, you can create a “menu” on your profile that lists what kind of customs you’re open to doing and the price for each. For example, a personalized strip-tease video (where you address the person paying for the content) may be set at $15. Your followers then have a choice to “order” that from you through the direct messaging system.
For more information on earning (and earning big) on OnlyFans, this article has some really great tips.
How much does OnlyFans take?
As with almost every platform of this nature (cam sites do this as well), OnlyFans will take a percentage of your earnings. OnlyFans takes a commission of 20% of the money you make, meaning you get 80%. For example, if you have your OnlyFans price at $5.99 - you will get $4.79 of that, while OnlyFans gets the other $1.19.
As I’ve mentioned, there are countless types of content creators that can use OnlyFans, but the platform has made big waves online for being one of the most sex-worker friendly social media platforms around. This doesn’t mean it’s without its drawbacks (but that’s another post for another time). There are many things OnlyFans has done to change the sex work game for the better...
Safety, Privacy, and Control Over Your Content
The best thing OnlyFans has done for NSFW content creators and sex workers is to provide them a safe, secure place to work. Instead of attempting to arrange sales and negotiate prices for services or content through DMs or private messages across multiple platforms, all of this can be done within one place - OnlyFans.
Additionally, OnlyFans allows you to catalog your content all in one convenient location to show to prospective brands who want to collaborate or followers who are thinking of subscribing to show them what you offer.
The other great thing about OnlyFans is that you have total control over your content. You control when you post, what you post, what you delete, how you interact with your subscribers, etc. OnlyFans also has a system in place that protects you from your images being stolen - one of which is allowing you to watermark your images.
As model Fit Sid described in her OnlyFans tutorial, watermarking your content is important to help prevent it from being recorded and re-uploaded somewhere else without your permission or passed off as another person’s content.
While many influencers and creators watermark their content through editing apps before posting to sites like Twitter or Instagram, OnlyFans gives you the option to watermark your content through their platform, making things super simple and easy.
Sex Work Becoming More Mainstream
It’s no surprise hearing that online sex work has become a bit more mainstream since the rise in popularity of OnlyFans. OnlyFans itself is rather synonymous with NSFW content, even though that’s not the only kind of content that is posted on the site.
While adult content creators have had some negative experiences with OnlyFans, there has been a lot of positive headway made in the acceptance of the adult industry because of OnlyFans.
Reaching Broader Audiences
No longer are adult content creators sectioned off to promote themselves on adult content sites. Your OnlyFans can have whatever kind of content you’d like it to have - you can post meal-prep instructions one day and nude selfies the next, it’s totally up to you.
Having this kind of freedom allows you to reach broader audiences who really want to connect with you and whatever content you’re offering.
How do you stand out on OnlyFans? How do you go from starting an account to being an account with hundreds of subscribers? It’s not easy, and it will take some time, but there are certain tips and tricks that will certainly help you along the way...
Stick to a regular posting schedule.
People want to know when you’re going to be posting. If they know, they are on the lookout for it. If they are on the lookout for your posts, they are far more likely to engage with them (“like”, comment, pay-to-unlock, etc). Creating a regular posting schedule and highlighting that (and what kind of content people can expect from you) in your welcome message or biography can help users find you faster and easier.
While we’re talking posts...make them engaging and authentic.
A “good morning, cuties” caption alongside a sexy and sultry photo of you laying in bed is sure to get the likes rolling in as well as allow your audience to feel like they are seeing authentic, real, intimate moments from your life (staged or not) - and this is really the reason people join OnlyFans. People want to see things that others haven’t seen, they want to connect, they want to become intimate with you. Cater to that with your messages and you will create a loyal and engaging audience.
Invest in good camera equipment, lingerie, backdrops, lighting, etc.
Essentially, the idea here is to be nice to look at. If people are paying for your content, they don’t want to pay to see grainy photos of you posing in front of your toilet. For one, toilet photos are a bit no-no when it comes to taking sexy nudes. Secondly, if you’re charging people to see your content, it should be good quality content, right?
Promote across multiple platforms.
Once you’ve posted on OnlyFans, you’re going to need to cross-promote your page. This means promoting/teasing your OnlyFans on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. While platforms like these generally have guidelines of what’s allowed to be posted and what’s not (nudity on Facebook is a no-no), artistically censored photos with a link to your OnlyFans page (where they can see “the whole thing”) is a great way to draw in new subscribers.
Consider setting your subscription price to “free” to start.
We’ve talked about this before - setting your subscription price to “free” and then having a few select pay-to-unlock posts is a great way to get your new account up and running. Engaging with your followers during this time, promoting, and really putting the effort into those paid posts (as well as the free ones everyone can see) is a great way to get more interest in your profile.
Consider paid promotions to boost your following.
If you have the money to invest in this, doing so could really pay off. According to Leo (over at The OnlyFans Bible, yes, I love using him as a resource, he’s fantastic), investing money in the right places can not only allow you to gain it back quickly but it can boost your following really well. He paid $1000 to one of the most popular OnlyFans accounts around (The Naked Philanthropist, who is also really great) and within 12 hours he made his money back (through new subscribers) and gained a lot of traction for his account.
While you may not have $1000 to sink into this, the concept is there: consider paid promotions or collaborations with other OnlyFans creators to boost each other's followings.
Resources I’ve found really helpful for setting up OnlyFans as a creator...