With many of us bored, broke and horny, the prospect of earning up to £2,000 a month on OnlyFans is becoming more and more appealing.
OnlyFans is a subscription-only social media platform where creators post content and receive payment from their fans via subscriptions or tips.
The site was launched in 2016 by CEO Timothy Stokely after other social media platforms, such as Instagram and Tumblr began to shut out sex workers.
Content creators post racy images and videos behind paywalls and engage with subscribers through custom videos and direct messages. The site has an estimated 30 million users and 450,000 content creators.
Due to OnlyFans only taking a 20% cut, compared to cam sites that take 40% or higher, and their rather lax content policy, the site’s popularity has skyrocketed.
It’s safe to say that OnlyFans has gone mainstream, with celebrities such as Megan Barton-Hanson, Blac Chyna and Danielle Lloyd all posting on the site. Most recently Beyonce name-checked the site in the “Savage Remix” rapping, “Hips TikTok when I dance/On that demon time, she might start an OnlyFans.”
In the 24 hours after the single was released OnlyFans saw a 15% spike in traffic.
After multiple countries entered lockdown and millions around the world became unemployed, OnlyFans reported a 75% increase in signups in April, with 150,000 new users daily, a combination of strippers and adult industry workers that are now working from home and casual “tourists” that want to make a bit of extra money.
I spoke to an OnlyFans content creator who made the leap to the site after COVID-19 threatened her job as a stripper.
She said: “I’ve been thinking about making an account for years, it has very similar traits to my full-time job as a stripper. I’ve heard great things about it and wanted to give it a go seeing as my club had been shut due to COVID-19.
“At the moment it’s my side hustle, but hopefully the more I grow I can eventually make it my full income.”
OnlyFans blow-up during lockdown was inevitable, with some people looking for new ways to earn money and those with jobs that have money to burn, but nowhere is open to spend it.
Dan, 21 from Leeds, who uses his OnlyFans account as an extra source of income, alongside his retail job, when asked if he has seen an increase in traffic due to lockdown said: “I personally have, but I have also been promoting a lot more due to me having more time to focus on it due to not being at work and uni.
“I have recently also seen a lot of people calling out your usual porn sites, such as PornHub, as being unethical.”
OnlyFans is now seen as the wave of the future because the creator is selling directly to their customers making it much harder to steal content, unlike other sites.
Bethany Morgan, 24, a glamour model and owner of a modelling and photography agency has seen a huge rise in traffic to her account since lockdown was imposed.
She said: “I have seen a massive increase in Onlyfans since the lockdown, I’ve gained over 150 new fans! With not that much promotion, which is pretty impressive. I was expecting it to drop due to people being out of work but I was far from right.”
Just like every other content site, creators are monetizing their work. YouTube gamers, switched to Twitch, Viners moved to TikTok and TikTokers moved to YouTube.
For some though, it is more about feeling good about themselves.
“I have always been fairly into making myself feel good about my body through explicit images. I also like sharing these images, so the idea of OnlyFans seemed right to me straight away, I get to share images that make me feel good to people who want to see them,” said Dan.
Lockdown life seems to be putting an end to the “influencer era”. Travel influencers are stuck at home due to the travel bans, fashion influencers aren’t being sent clothes to promote and lifestyle influencers can’t live a “picture-perfect” life, so it’s no wonder people are exploring other avenues of making money.
Bethany told me how much work actually goes into an OnlyFans account: “So much work goes into OnlyFans people think it’s just an easy job making easy money, don’t get me wrong making the amount of money each month is easy but it’s not something you can just run when you feel like it.
“I’m working every single day, 7 days a week shooting new content scheduling them for uploads. Not to forget replying to over 100 messages per day. It’s very time consuming but of course, the amount of money that comes from OnlyFans makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“Every day has to be a new idea so it’s nice to think and create of new content to shoot. I also do a lot of content with my other friends who are on OnlyFans which is good. Each photo/video set has to look good otherwise fans will get bored and just leave, I always need to make sure the content is shot with good lighting and nice clean backgrounds, it’s not all just camera and go. Outfits, hair, makeup, music, theme all goes into each and every single image and video.”
What many people who make the leap to OnlyFans fail to realise is that a lot of hard work goes into the content creators post, it’s not just quick easy money. From prep for taking pictures and videos, to making sure your content is what your subscribers want.
I asked Dan how much work goes into his content. He said: “A LOT. More than most people assume I think. You need to obviously take high-quality pics, but that’s the easy part. Research into what people are looking for is required, you need to figure out the audience for the type of images you’ll be posting. Once you figure that out, you’ve got to promote like fuck.
“I promote mainly through Twitter, there’s a whole NSFW Twitter community. On there you need to post daily, not just once. You need to find similar OnlyFans models to you and interact with them and promote each other to share each other’s subscribers.”
And it seems the bigger your account becomes, the more your fans begin to expect from you.
“Fans start to expect better quality photos, sort of like a photo shoot, then classic porn style videos,” he added.
“For consistent money you’ve got to really work for it through promotion and new content.”
So if lockdown life has left you contemplating making an OnlyFans account, go for it, but be prepared to put in some serious labour, this isn’t just a bandwagon to hop on.