OnlyFans, the online sex work platform, is one of the most revolutionary products ever created.
It’s up there with some of the most iconic inventions of all time, including sliced bread, the automobile, and the internet.
You probably think I am out of my mind, and rightfully so because that seems like an absolutely ridiculous statement on the surface. But let me explain.
First, let’s dive into the different types of sex work that were available prior to OnlyFans being created. Then we will discuss what OnlyFans is, how it works, and why it is much better than other forms of sex work.
Prostitution, also known as “the world’s oldest profession” has been around forever. Our oldest records of prostitution date back to 2400 BCE in a region of the world known as the “Ancient Near East ” (modern Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Kuwait).
Over thousands of years and many attempts at regulation, not much has changed.
Thousands of men and women (mostly women) continue to be pulled into the global sex trade every single day.
In fact, the problem has only got worse. Currently, there are over 42 million prostitutes worldwide and an estimated 180 billion dollars is spent on prostitution annually.
Women living in poverty have no choice but to have sex with random strangers all day, every day, in order to make enough money to survive. Additionally, they are often run by pimps who take the majority of their money and control their lives.
Stripping or Exotic Dancing
Another form of sex work is stripping or exotic dancing. Although this is better than prostitution, it still has plenty of downsides.
Strippers have to perform, in person, in front of groups of people. Often they might be surrounded by aggressive & touchy men who might make them feel uncomfortable or take advantage of them.
Also strippers often have to perform in bad areas of town and work extremely late nights.
The last option for sex work is to become a pornographic actor.
Porn actors have sex with random individuals. Additionally, they have to listen to a director who might make them do things they don’t want to.
Lastly, the majority of the money goes to the production company, not the actor or actress.
What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans (for those who don’t already know) is an online platform that allows individuals to sell sexual content online.
Creators on the platform make profiles that are filled with nude photos and pornographic videos.
In order to view a creator’s content, you have to pay them. Creators can sell monthly subscriptions to view all of their content and can charge for individual photos or videos.
Creators can even charge to open photos that they receive from their fans.
OnlyFans has created the most safe, empowering, and profitable form of sex work that has ever existed.
First and foremost, OnlyFans creators are the ones in control. They run their own show and don’t report to anyone else. They don’t have pimps, club owners, directors, or anyone else telling them what to do.
OnlyFans creators are in control of their own bodies and only create content that they are comfortable with. Some creators only post slightly more scandalous photos than what you would see on their Instagram, while others post full-on pornographic videos. How far you want to go on the platform is completely up to you.
If you do in-fact want to post a full-on pornographic video, you can film it with your significant other or someone you’re comfortable with, as opposed to random actors that a production company picks for you. Also, you can work in the comfort of your own home on your own schedule. You don’t need to go to a strip club and perform all night, or film in front of random strangers on a set.
Also, the money is more consistent. Other forms of sex work are gig-based. The amount you get paid fluctuates based on your performance and what job you get on any given day.
OnlyFans however is much more consistent. Creators build a customer base of subscribers who pay them monthly.
OnlyFans creators build recurring revenue streams and real wealth. Also, since they don’t need to work all night or at random hours of the day, they can have a normal schedule and live a normal life.
How much money do OnlyFans Creators make?
Although some of the numbers are still unclear, as of December 2020, OnlyFans had amassed over 1 million creators on their platform and about 85 million fans.
According to Bloomberg in 2020, OnlyFans generated $2B in revenue. Since the platform takes 20%, that means that OnlyFans as a company took home 400 million and paid out 1.6 billion to creators.
That seems like a massive amount of money, but unfortunately spread out over 1 million creators that really isn’t that much. In-fact that would mean that the average creator makes $133 a month or $1,600 per year.
Now that’s just the average. Like any platform, you are going to have tons of high and lows. There are people on OnlyFans who work really hard at promoting their accounts and are able to build audiences faster than others. Also, certain creators who had large followings on social media before-hand can leverage that audience and will have larger customer bases from the start.
In fact, according to several sources online, the top 10% of OnlyFans creators take home about 73% of all the money on the platform. That means that 100,000 creators are making on average $11,700 a year using OnlyFans.
The same reporting claims that the top 1% of creators are taking home about 33% of all the money on the platform, which means 10,000 creators are taking home on average $52,800 a year. Now of course these are just estimations, so I wanted to confirm these numbers myself.
I reached out to Clarina Kravens who is an OnlyFans creator I had interviewed earlier this year to get the facts. Clarina is actually really new to OnlyFans but has done incredibly well since she started at the beginning of February.
In her first month using the platform, Clarina climbed to the top 2% of all creators on OnlyFans, grossing a total of $7316 and netting $5853 on the platform (OnlyFans takes 20%).
At that rate, Clarina is on track to make $70,236 in her first year and she’s in the top 2% — not the top 1% — of all creators.
That means that the top 2% makes about 70,000/year and anyone above 2% likely makes 100,000 +.
This is not chump change. OnlyFans is a real business.
3 Tips To Be Successful On OnlyFans
1.) Leverage your social media channels
OnlyFans is not like other social media platforms. They don’t have features like news feeds, stories, share buttons and discover pages that make it easy to find other accounts. Instead, they just host a bunch of independent profiles.
If you are looking to grow your OnlyFans, you need to leverage other social media platforms as your method of distribution. Build your following on regular social media platforms and then mention your OnlyFans account in your posts/stories, then link it in your bio.
Tik Tok and Instagram are the most effective platforms for developing a customer base on OnlyFans.
2.) Create An Open & Free Account
Most OnlyFans creators charge a monthly subscription. When you’re starting out, I would advise against this. Since people can’t see your content, they have to take a risk on you, and many people will not subscribe.
However, if you create a free account that is open you can drive tons of traffic to your profile since anyone can enter. Once people have joined, you can then upsell them on individual content/posts.
Also if you want to switch over to a paid subscription model later, you will have already built a big audience.
3.) Get Your Numbers Up
The 4 main metrics displayed on OnlyFans profiles are the number of pictures, videos, likes, and subscribers that each account has.
When someone is signing up, they want to make sure that it is worth it. People want to see that you post a lot and that they will have access to a large catalog of content.
Also, when people see that you have a lot of likes and subscribers, it acts as a form of social proof. If someone sees that your profile has thousands of likes and subscribers, they will assume it is worth paying for.
By keeping your account open and free, you can increase these numbers much quicker than you would if you were charging.
Different Ways to Make Money on OnlyFans
Creators can set up subscriptions so that people have to pay to access all of their content. This is the most common way that creators make money on OnlyFans. Generally, subscriptions range from $5-20 a month.
Creators on OnlyFans also can receive tips from fans. Fans can tip creators for no reason at all, just by going to their profile and adding a tip.
Also, tips can be sent through messages. A lot of tips are sent this way since the creator is interacting one-on-one with a fan. Additionally, creators have the option of receiving tips in order to open photos of fans.
3.) PPVS (Pay Per View Messages)
Using PPVS, creators are able to send messages to individual fans or their entire fanbase all at once. All the creator has to do is select who they want to send the message to, attach their media file, set a price tag, and send it out.
This is a great way for creators to make money. By sending out individual messages, fans will feel special and will pay a premium to open up a personalized message that was meant for just them or at least looks like it was meant for them.
There are two types of ways to make money streaming on OnlyFans.
The first way is to do a free live stream and then request tips throughout the session.
The second way is to create what’s called a gated payment stream. Using gated payment streams, creators charge fans a minimum of $5 to join their live stream. Then they can also ask and receive tips when the live stream is on. This feature however is only available for creators who have free subscription plans.
5.) OnlyFans Referral Program
Another way that you can make money on OnlyFans is through their referral program.
The way that it works is simple. Each creator has a unique referral code that is associated with their account. If a new creator signs up and uses your referral code, then you will get 5% of their gross earnings the first year they are on the platform.
Don’t worry though, that 5% comes out of OnlyFans’ cut. It does not get taken from the creator you referred to the platform.
Whoever you referred will still make 80% of the gross revenue. The only difference is OnlyFans will make 15% and you will make 5%.
If you have a friend or colleague who is planning on setting up an OnlyFans make sure you give them your referral code before they sign up.
How much time does it take to run an OnlyFans?
This question is super important for anyone deciding whether or not to start an OnlyFans.
Of course like anything else, the more time you put in, the more success you will have. But overall, compared to other things, such as having a full-time job, being an OnlyFans creator doesn’t require that much time.
I spoke with Emily Pinto aka Vanilla Mace, an OnlyFans creator who started on the platform, back in June of 2020. She explained to me that she spends around 1-2 hours a day, working on the platform.
This mostly consists of taking different photos to post and messaging/engaging with different fans on the platform.
OnlyFans is Only Getting More Popular
OnlyFans was already a popular website prior to the pandemic.
However, when Covid-19 forced everyone to lock up in their homes, the platform exploded.
Below is the number of times “OnlyFans” was searched on google from January 2020 to February 2021.
According to Ahrefs Keyword Search Volume Tool
Clearly, the pandemic exploded growth on OnlyFans, but the main question is will this growth continue?
Should creators on the platform expect things to slow down once things open up?
These are really important questions to ask because people’s livelihoods depend on OnlyFans and platforms alike.
I think the answer is mixed. Once things open up people and people are out and about, growth on OnlyFans will slow and revenue might go down a bit.
However, in the long term, OnlyFans will only continue to grow. We just won’t see that same crazy growth that came from the pandemic.
Let’s look at how much OnlyFans was being searched before the pandemic.
According to Ahrefs Keyword Search Volume Tool
As you can see, prior to the pandemic hitting, OnlyFans was still growing rapidly.
Overall it will continue to grow when things open back up.
The Future of Sex Work Online
The internet and platforms such as OnlyFans have created tremendous amounts of opportunity for sex workers.
OnlyFans is giving the most manipulated, exploited, and abused group of workers in the world an alternative way to make a living and survive.
As more regions of the world gain access to the internet and technology improves, this trend will only continue.
Virtual Reality and other future technologies that simulate reality will create so many opportunities for sex workers online.