Lots of people send nudes — some of us just get paid for it. And with the rise of OnlyFans after a year that saw Americans bored, lonely, and broke at home, everyone from your hairdresser to her grandmother is cashing in. So what does it take to get rich off selling pics of your feet anyway?
When it comes to dipping your feet into the world of selling nudes and lewds online, there are a lot of steps to setting yourself up for success. you’re doing it through OnlyFans, Kik, Reddit, Snapchat, or whatever other new app or site may spring up to take a cut of the profit after seeing OF’s success, there’s a lot to do before you even touch a camera. Here are five tips for getting started in online sex work:
Be realistic about your expectations.
Look: the Venn diagram of the people who are touting selling nudes or even foot pics as “easy money,” and people who have never sold erotic content is basically a circle. (I mean, seriously, tell me you aren’t a sex worker without TELLING me you aren’t a sex worker). Being a creator is running an entire business as one person, and the OnlyFans models you hear about making $10k or $20k a month are hustling more than full-time to get it, unless they were already a celeb (looking at you, Bella Thorne). You are the accountant, the marketer, the director, the product, the talent, the IT department, and everything else, all in one.
Not only is it difficult and time-consuming, the cost of being a content creator is high, both in terms of actual equipment investments (a reasonable recording device, good Wi-Fi, professional lighting, sex toys, costuming/lingerie, etc) as well as potential emotional costs (people can be truly awful sometimes) or social costs (losing friends or family, difficulty getting a traditional job, losing custody of children, etc). Plus, the market is oversaturated right now, so competition for buyers is fierce.
The bottom line: don’t expect to get rich quick, and definitely don’t quit your day job (or stop looking for one). Even long-time sex workers who transition online have a rough go of it.
Take safety/privacy/security precautions.
Outside of more common security precautions you should take anyway, such as using two-factor authentication whenever possible, selling content requires some extra steps to keep you safe, both from being outed and from potential stalkers:
- Never use your real name or location.
- Watermark your photos/videos — this will help you get them taken down in case they are stolen and posted places you don’t want them to be.
- Use separate accounts (email, social media, etc) for your work and personal lives. If you can afford it, use separate devices entirely.
- Don’t use the same photos for your content work as you use in your personal life — people can reverse image search and connect your identities.
- Use a Virtual Private Network or VPN to disguise your IP address.
- Turn off location services for any apps you use and location tags for photos/videos on your phone.
And remember that no matter how many precautions you take, one of the risks of the business is someone you know finding out what you do, whether it’s your parents, your kid, or your dayjob. This cannot be overstated: no matter what you do, it is always a risk to be outed, so only create content you feel comfortable doing. If the thought of your dad stumbling onto your lewds turns your stomach, or if your career aspirations would be shattered if someone in your field came across your OF, this is not the gig for you.
Google is your friend, as are online sex worker communities.
Knowledge is power, especially in sex work. With the growing acceptance of digital sex work, OnlyFans how-to articles and videos on YouTube are only a Google search away, and Reddit has always been a favored spot for sex workers to share info.
And don’t forget to include following and buying content from some successful creators if you can — it’ll help you understand what’s already out there and what customers expect. Look at:
- What kind of content do other creators produce?
- What do they charge?
- What do the most successful sellers on the platform seem to have in common?
Once you know what’s out there, decide what you’re willing to do before you start. It may change over time, but it’s good to get an initial evaluation down and set boundaries, because customers will inevitably ask for all sorts of things that are off-menu.
Leverage social media and interact with your followers.
While adult performers may already have fans that can be translated to subscribers or buyers, a lot of people don’t. Create accounts on social media sites like Twitter, Telegram, Reddit, Kik, etc using your sex work handle and use Linktree to connect them to each other and to your OF, cam site, etc. (sometimes this helps get you past the censors, but keep in mind that platforms like Instagram are especially ban-happy if they catch even the faintest whiff of sex work). Use these sites to gain a following, find your niche, and interact with your followers. Post tamer content (think cute selfies) to get people interested, and when they reach out asking for racier content, you can let them know how and where to purchase it.
Bonus tip: Treat them like people. Don’t spam them with constant posts asking them to buy. Have conversations: ask them what they’d like to see more of, what their favorite content is, etc. The reason they’re willing to pay to see your boobs instead of looking at free ones that are a Google search away is because they’re interested in a more interactive and personal experience.
Plus, social media is a great place to network and collaborate with other creators. Get to know and be part of your local or an online sex work community — we tend to be really supportive of one another. A great way to gain followers (and buyers) is to do an S4S (shoutout for shoutout) with other creators, which means they post about you to their followers and vice versa. Creators with larger followings may offer paid shoutouts, which can be a solid investment.
Produce high-quality, varied content…
…and charge accordingly. Don’t sell yourself short, and *never* give freebies, whether it’s pics or subs. A few other key things:
- Get the right tools for the job. Slow wifi and a cheap webcam means your fans are paying to see a pixelated nipple, which isn’t likely to have them coming back for more.
- Have a space where you can create your photos or videos that’s separate from your normal living space if possible (even a corner of a room is often enough for most solo stuff). The space should be clean, uncluttered, well-lit, and aesthetically pleasing and consistent with your persona.
- Set a consistent schedule for posting content (once a week, etc). Some platforms let you schedule things ahead of time.
- Mix up both your types of content and your pricing. Customers often like to start cheap and small to see if they like what you are offering, and are more likely to spend more if they come back again because they liked your product and had a pleasant interaction.
You should have some content already made before you even start your account on OnlyFans or elsewhere. The whole point is to sell a product, which means you should have one to sell when someone asks. Most people start out buying pre-made content before they ask for custom jobs, so make sure you have some options on hand to offer.
While selling erotic content online isn’t likely to get you rich quick, if you take the time to do it intentionally, thoughtfully, and consistently, you could definitely make it into a lucrative side hustle.