How to get started on OnlyFans without followers, according to creators
- OnlyFans has boomed in recent years and some creators are making real money from the platform.
- But it's not easy to secure five- or six-figure paydays when starting from scratch.
OnlyFans has boomed in recent years — and some influencers, particularly those who create adult content, are making real money on the subscription-based social platform.
Several creators Insider spoke with have earned from five to six figures per month on the platform. One OnlyFans star, Amouranth, has earned as much as $1.5 million a month. (Insider verified the creators' earnings with documentation they provided.)
Some beginners have quickly built followings and started to get paid.
Creator Chloe Sasha began posting actively on OnlyFans in June 2022. By April 2023, she had earned around $196,000 in net income on the platform. She created a cooking series and a format where she teaches a "spicy" Spanish language word of the day to help distinguish herself on the platform. She also used her followings on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter to promote her OnlyFans pages, where she directs people for more explicit content.
But it's not always easy to secure such paydays on OnlyFans when starting from scratch.
When stay-at-home mom Anne joined OnlyFans in 2021, she made just $82 in her first month on the platform, and her earnings deteriorated from there, she said. She soon stopped posting altogether.
It wasn't until she returned to OnlyFans in 2022 and used Reddit to promote her new accounts that she was able to generate significant revenue.
How to start an OnlyFans with no followers
Several OnlyFans creators told Insider they got started on the platform by simply experimenting with posting a few adult photos, and committed to the platform once they saw the money roll in.
In January 2021, Bryce Adams — who uses an alias for safety reasons — spontaneously decided to sell some adult pictures of herself on OnlyFans. She made $62 within an hour. Together with her partner, Jay, she now runs three accounts, which brought in a combined $5.4 million in revenue in a year period.
The wife and husband duo behind the @haute_for_teacher account, which has about 1,600 subscribers, also started their OnlyFans journey by anonymously posting a few photos of "Mrs. Robinson," a pseudonym inspired by the film "The Graduate" — with her back to the camera to see if they could make any money.
They made around $150 after a few weeks, and continued to post and evolve the page — uploading videos, occasionally as a couple, and later collaborating with other creators on the platform.
Robinson still doesn't show her face in most of her content, relying on the "hot teacher" persona they've cultivated to build a fanbase and charging extra to reveal her face to subscribers in pay-per-view messages.
How to promote your OnlyFans account and get discovered
For creators new to OnlyFans and trying to build a following, it can help to promote your content on other social platforms. But doing so can be tricky because each platform has its own rules around adult content.
Creators Insider spoke with said they'd found success cross-promoting their OnlyFans content on Twitter, Reddit, and TikTok, among other platforms.
Three of them said Reddit was their largest source of OnlyFans subscribers. They recommended posting early and identifying sex-worker-friendly subreddits.
"I always heard that Reddit was very sex-worker friendly, and that you could post whatever you wanted on there without getting banned," said Anne, the stay-at-home mom who asked to be identified by her middle name for privacy reasons. "That's where 100% of my followers came from."
Farrah, who has 3,500 subscribers and made over $1 million in revenue since joining OnlyFans two years ago, said she posts on eight to 10 subreddits most mornings.
"I find unless you're at the top of a subreddit in the morning, you don't really get a ton of traffic," Farrah said.
How to start making money on OnlyFans
There are several ways beginners can start making money from OnlyFans, including through subscriptions, pay-per-view messaging, and tips.
Creators take home 80% of the revenue they generate through the platform, while the company gets the other 20%.
Subscriptions are the most basic option for creators looking to monetize their OnlyFans content. While some offer free pages, creators can also charge users a monthly or annual fee to access their accounts.
How much to charge for subscriptions is up to the creator and can be a challenging number to determine.
Morgan Edwards, an OnlyFans star known as "Kitty K," said she was "in the dark" when deciding how to price subscriptions to her content. Devising a strategy takes some knowledge of the industry.
Once she gained some experience, Edwards built a successful OnlyFans career, charging nearly $70 for three months of access.
Another way to make money on the platform — for many the most profitable way — is direct messaging with fans who pay a per-message fee or flat fee, and creating custom content.
The @haute_for_teacher OnlyFans account charges $15 to $25 per month for pay-per-view messages in which Mrs. Robinson the creator, will show her face. This drives 60% of their OnlyFans income, the couple behind the account said. That's on top of a standard subscription to their account, which costs $6 per month and makes up about 30% of their income.
The remaining 10% of the accounts earnings comes from tips, which are another revenue stream for OnlyFans creators.
Some create "tip menus" to advertise what fans can tip them for — from custom content or private messages to paying for a creator's bills or student loans.
Alanah Cole, an OnlyFans creator who posts advice on YouTube for how to navigate OnlyFans, said adult-content creators can use also tipping menus to get the most out of the content they film — whether that's by cutting shorter videos from longer ones or repurposing custom content to sell at another time.
She said many creators who are starting out don't think they have large enough followings to charge what they should be.
"They're making these long 10-minute videos and they're charging like 10 bucks," Cole said. "Cut that video into a million pieces and each one is 50 bucks."
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