Rookie Mistakes to Avoid on Onlyfans

So...you’re thinking about starting an OnlyFans. Clearly, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been covering all things sex work (including digital sex work) and OnlyFans has been on that list quite a lot. It’s not surprising considering the platform has really taken center stage since its launch in 2016.

OnlyFans is a subscription-based social media platform. They’ve taken the social media game and capitalized on it, making it possible for content creators all over the world to earn an income with their hard work online. Why are they so often associated with sex work and NSFW content? OnlyFans doesn’t have any clear-cut guidelines on nudity or sex, making it ideal for NSFW content creators of all kinds. 

Erotic audio artists, NSFW models, or people who are trying to make a name for themselves in the porn industry - OnlyFans is a place for all of the above. If you’re interested in starting an OnlyFans account but want to do it the ~right way~, I can help with that. 

Of course, the page should be a reflection of you and you should create content and run your page the way you want, but there are some simple mistakes to avoid when starting out...

Mistake #1: Setting The Wrong Subscription Price (Too High or Too Low)

One of the first things you have to decide when setting up an OnlyFans page is how much you will charge per subscription. 

This may seem relatively easy, but there’s a lot to consider here…

  • How often will you post?
  • What kind of content will you post? 
  • What quality of content will you post? 
  • Are you going to ask for tips a lot or mainly focus on subscription earnings?
  • What are others who create the same type of content charging per subscription? 
  • What do you want to earn with this? 
  • Is this a sexy side hustle or are you looking to make this an only-income kind of thing? 

All of these questions can really impact how much you charge for a subscription price. 

When setting a subscription price, remember: OnlyFans takes 20%. 
If you set your subscription price at $5.99, you will be getting 80% of that, with OnlyFans taking the rest. This is a pretty standard practice in the cam-model world (with most camming websites actually taking a larger cut of your earnings). 

Most subscriptions fall between $5.99 and $15.99. 
However, your subscription can be set as low as $4.99 and as high as $49.99 - and you can change this price whenever you want. Keep in mind, changing your subscription price a lot may annoy your fans especially if you keep asking for higher amounts but don’t improve the content or start offering more. 

Your subscription rate should reflect your content. 
How often you post, what type of content you post, and what the quality of that content is are the most important things that will impact how much you can sell access to it for. If you’re creating high-quality content (photos, videos) and uploading every day or multiple times a day, you can probably charge more than someone who only posts photos every other day. 

Mistake #2: Not Being Upfront About What Content You Provide

Speaking of content...you’re going to want to be relatively transparent about what you offer - but here’s something you maybe haven’t thought of: you’re also going to want to list some of the things you don’t offer. Why? Because people make assumptions and if they subscribe to your page expecting a certain thing and don’t get it, chances are they will leave immediately. 

I would suggest using something as simple as checkmarks and x-boxes for things you do and don’t offer and putting that in your biography. 

It could look something like this: 
✓ full nudes
× no sexting 

To be transparent in your bio message is important because you want the right kind of people subscribing to you so the people who do purchase a subscription stick around because they’ve found what they are looking for. It can be a bit intimidating to do this, knowing other creators likely offer things you don’t - but the most important thing is that you’re confident and comfortable with the content you create. 

Mistake #3: Over Promoting & Spammy Messages

Everyone respects the hustle, but don’t be *that* person, right? Don’t be the person who posts their link everywhere and anywhere, DMs randomly and a lot, etc. You want to promote yourself and what you offer, but you don’t want to come off as annoying and spammy for multiple reasons. 

  1. People will just get annoyed with it really easily and remember that you’re an account they don’t want to follow. 
  2. The other platforms you’re promoting on (Twitter, Instagram, etc) will think you’re a bot and make it even harder for you to promote 
  3. There are better, more effective ways to promote yourself (more on that later). 

Just don’t be that person, it’s not a good look. 

Mistake #4: Not Region-Blocking to Protect Yourself

OnlyFans (like cam model websites such as Chaturbate) has this awesome feature called “region blocking” and it’s where you can block entire regions (provinces, states, or even entire countries) from viewing your page. 

This can be exceptionally helpful for those who don’t want their OnlyFans to be something their immediate friends and family know about and it can help protect you. Most people region-block the country they are in so work colleagues, friends, and family can’t stumble upon your profile. When someone from a region-blocked country goes to your URL, they see nothing but a blank page. 

This option is available on OnlyFans through the “Settings” button. 

Mistake #5: Not Watermarking Your Own Content

Watermark your content! Why? Because some people on the internet are awesome, and some people are really...not awesome. Stolen content, saved images that are redistributed without your permission...these things happen. Watermarking your content with your OnlyFans URL or screen name can often deter people from claiming it as their own or redistributing it without your consent. 

There are tons of photo editing apps that help with watermarking. OnlyFans themselves put watermarks on content but most of the time it’s in a place (like the bottom left corner of a photo) that can be cropped out easily. 

Mistake #6: Not Having a Consistent Posting Schedule 

Posting consistently will not only get you more likes and tips (which ultimately helps you rise up in that % algorithm on OnlyFans), but it will also help you and your fans get to know each other. Your fans will come to expect your content at certain times and the closer a relationship you have with your fans, the happier they will be, especially on a subscription-based platform like OnlyFans. 

Not having a consistent schedule, on the other hand, will mean fewer likes (because people sometimes forget to check your page if they don’t know when you’re posting) and fewer tips (because they aren’t coming to your page expecting something with their tips at-the-ready). 

Mistake #7: Not Setting Tip Suggestions on Posts (Or Setting Them Too High)

Tip suggestions are awesome. When you post something on OnlyFans, you have the option (before you post or when you go back to edit) to set a “tip suggestion” - this is essentially saying “I would love $$ for this content.” You can set this amount to anything (with a minimum of $5 and no maximum limit set) and it’s like a status bar - it’s grey when there is no money donated and when someone tips you, that amount of the bar turns blue. 

Setting tip suggestions may feel really weird at first because they are already paying to subscribe to your content. However, if you worked really hard on a photoshoot or created some content that’s pretty exclusive, you can set a tip suggestion for it and people can donate letting you know how much they enjoyed it. 

Not setting tip suggestions on posts you feel you’ve worked hard to create or are somewhat exclusive is a total lost opportunity - but setting that tip suggestion too high can lead to disappointment when people don’t meet your tip goal and also make your fans feel as though they aren’t giving you enough. 

Normally, tip prices range from $10-30, but since there is no limit, people can be earning hundreds on tips for their photos and videos. The more fans you have who are “good tippers”, the higher you can set this number. 

Mistake #8: Not Having a “Tip Menu” Pinned to Your Profile

While we’re on the topic of tips, having a “tip menu” pinned to your profile is a great idea. Tip menus are basically things that your fans get in return for tipping you. This can be a custom thank you message (with video or voice message), a sexy exclusive photo, or something a bit more intimate. Having this tip menu displayed as one of your pinned tweets can help encourage tips to flow in because your fans know they are getting something in exchange for supporting you. 

Mistake #9: Not Having Top Posts Pinned to Your Profile 

Pinning things to the top of your profile is something many platforms have in common, but on OnlyFans, you can do multiple pinned posts which is a great way to show off your best content, display tip menus (like mentioned above), and other important notices or messages to your fans. These pinned posts should be things you’re proud of and things that show off the best your profile has to offer as well as some explanatory things (like tip menus or disclaimers) that explain to your audience what they can expect from their subscription. 

Mistake #10: Not Having Clear and Enticing Profile & Cover Images 

Your profile and cover photos are the first things potential fans see - you want to make these things enticing and seductive and fun. If you’re a cosplay artist, show off some of your best work in a collage on your cover photo area. If you’re a model who takes stunning still images, show off one of the best images in your profile shot. These are instant marketing opportunities you don’t want to miss! 

Mistake #11: Not Taking Advantage of Amazon Wishlists 

Amazon wishlists on OnlyFans are great because it’s another way (aside from a subscription and tips) that your fans can support you while also getting something out of it themselves. Perhaps you are being followed by a wet-look fetishist who would love to see you in a certain outfit. Or maybe you’re a cosplayer who would look great in a certain outfit...your fans can then buy those things for you from your wishlist on Amazon. 

While this seems scary (as Amazon wishlist items obviously need to be sent somewhere for you to get them), you don’t have to send these items to your address. They can easily be sent to a P.O box if you have one set up. While your address won’t be shown to people who order you things from your list, your country and the general area may be listed. For some people, this scares them off of using the wishlists entirely. 

Setting up a P.O box can allow your fans to shower you with gifts at no extra risk towards yourself - so it’s something to consider! A P.O box can also mean you can send things to fans for additional services (such as used panties, physical photos, etc). 

Mistake #12: Not Promoting On NSFW Social Media Pages (Or Promoting in The Wrong Places)

Promoting your OnlyFans can be a tricky business (considering places like Instagram and Facebook have pretty intense NSFW content policies) - but there are so many other places you can promote your stuff. 

Promoting in the wrong places (or promoting the wrong kind of content in these places) can lead to being shadowbanned or suspended entirely, which can be really frustrating. 

The most common places to promote OnlyFans accounts are...
Instagram: being careful about what you post here (using only censored images and not using risky hashtags) is a good move. Instagram, whether I personally want to admit it or not, is a great place for models to flourish. 

Twitter: this is one of the best NSFW platforms to promote your OnlyFans because they are relatively relaxed with their NSFW policies and there is quite an underground NSFW culture on the platform. 

Reddit: this is a place where there are whole subreddits designated to growing your OnlyFans and promoting your NSFW services - the key is finding the right ones to participate in. 

If you want to know more about some places to promote your NSFW OnlyFans, check out this post. 

Mistake #13: Offering Too Many Free Trials

Free trials seem like a good idea, but it’s a tool that you need to know how to use (and most importantly, how not to use). Offering a free trial in the hopes of getting someone to subscribe with a paid subscription is (most of the time) not going to work out. Why? Because a lot of people who take advantage of free trials (especially in the NSFW circles) are never going to pay for their porn. Without jumping to too many conclusions about people, let’s just say there are people who believe they should pay content creators for their hard work and then others who think “well, I can find it somewhere else for free.” 

My advice? Offer free trials to people who genuinely are curious about what content you create and also offer them as rewards for people who have already supported you (financially or otherwise) in the past. 

Mistake #14: Not Knowing (And Adapting to) Your Audience

“Know your customers” is a rule that works in pretty much any business model I can think of. Even if you’re not totally into OnlyFans for the money, you are offering services or goods in exchange for money and there is a certain level of business to it. Knowing (and adapting) to what your audience wants and needs (within your own limits, of course) is going to be a key to success. 

Maybe you offer foot pictures and videos and have an upswing in fans who have subscribed just for that - this doesn’t mean all content you make should be foot-related, but maybe it means you have higher tip suggestions for that content or even send out paywall private messages with foot-related content for those who want to buy it. 

Adapting to what your fans want (within reason) is going to keep them (and you) happy. 

Mistake #15: Expecting Overnight Success

You want your OnlyFans to be successful - even if you’re just in it for fun, having new fans subscribe and earning money off the content you create is a natural high. However, there are a lot of people doing the exact same things as you and you can’t expect it to be successful overnight. Of course, some people get lucky and that’s their story - an overnight success. But most people work at it for a while before seeing any actual progress and profit. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t take off right away. 

Mistake #16: Using Your Real Name & Info

One thing you want to avoid is using your full name and information. While your comfort level with exposing your true identity will vary (with some being totally fine with it and others being super cautious), playing things closer to the vest when you have such a public and intimate platform is never a bad idea. Starting with an alias and eventually revealing your true self is a lot easier than starting with everything laid out there and having to try to keep those things under wraps if you change your mind. 

Conclusion…

OnlyFans should be a fun and liberating experience. It can be a way to earn some extra cash, show of your body, and empower yourself as well as create content that you’re passionate about and be recognized for the hard work you put in. How you run your OnlyFans account (or any social media account for that matter) is entirely up to you based on your comfort levels and your goals. The tips above are simply things I’ve learned along the way through researching and creating an account myself. I hope it’s been helpful! 

If you’re interested in reading more about OnlyFans and online sex work, check out some of our latest Sofia Gray posts: 
How to Gain More Fans on OnlyFans
Most Commonly Asked Questions About Sex Work
Lazy Girl’s Guide to Creating An OnlyFans
Sex Worker Stigmas, Misconceptions & The Truth
OnlyFans Creators Share Tips & Tricks
You can also follow Sofia Gray on Instagram and Twitter for more tips & tricks on selling used panties, online sex work, and sexual wellness.