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Feed Frenzy: A Look at the Booming World of Premium Social Media

Feed Frenzy: A Look at the Booming World of Premium Social Media

As the camming and clips markets have exponentially grown over the past few years into juggernauts of independent revenue streams for both studio-shot adult stars and amateur entrants into the adult industry, there has arisen a third market sector that contains elements of both, while offering its own distinct facets: feed-based content platforms, aka premium social media.

Typically accessible via a monthly subscription price, these platforms bear many of the hallmarks of traditional SFW social media sites. Because as users have grown increasingly hungry for an endless stream of scrollable photos, videos and text-based interactions, following dozens or even hundreds of friends and celebrities via Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch, so too have their habits for adult content changed with the times.

Amidst the feeding frenzy of the novelty-driven feed, a market for premium social media content has become the hottest trend in 2020, as evidenced not only by the household recognition status of the OnlyFans brand a mere four years after it debuted in 2016, but also by the launch of numerous products and offshoots in the industry that feature subscription-based feeds.

Sometimes referred to as “fan clubs” or “fan sites” by major brands, these can take the form of products like the Pornhub Fan Club (which complements the tube site’s suite of indie porn monetization platforms like Modelhub) or ManyVids’ MV Crush Club (itself a service that expands upon the primarily clips-based platform). Not to mention a bevy of premium social media brands coming out of the woodwork, like Loyalfans and Foxy. Even sites such as SextPanther, once primarily known for its text-a-porn-star service, these days sport a vibrant premium social media-like feed of content for creators. And of course, in the purest sense of the term, FanCentro has long offered the capacity to monetize a traditionally SFW social media platform, Snapchat, for premium adult consumption (while also having its own built-in FanCentro premium social media feed that viewers can subscribe to). Others, like IsMyGirl, have built a strong network of stars and subscribers.

To explore this burgeoning slice of the indie market, we sought out the talent that have increasingly begun to rely on subscription-based feeds for their income. Beyond monthly fees, video-on-demand sales can be made via direct message (DM) sales, as well as tipping and a diverse blend of free-to-view or pay-to-view photos, galleries, clips and text-based postings made on the feed. Some have even created entirely free-to-subscribe feeds to funnel traffic either to separate paid-subscription feeds or monetize directly with unlockable content in a sort of “freemium” approach to their adult social media.

As any observer of the industry has likely heard by now, there are tales of stars raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars, even millions a year, just from their premium social media, to say nothing of their total income if they also do camming, clips, studio shoots and/or feature dancing. During the COVID-19 lockdowns and social distancing orders, consumption of independent content has rapidly accelerated, with even mega studio brands getting into the game like Brazzers launching its Brazzers+ service, Adult Time unveiling its talent-produced Model Time content and Deeper.com releasing its “Intimates” series.

Suffice to say, as camming sites add clips features to their platforms and vice-versa, and many indie platforms pivot more and more to rebranding as one-stop shop destinations for the limitless potential of star-driven fandoms thirsty for the twin pillars of authenticity and intimacy, premium social media has emerged as a distinct force in the industry. Just as our XBIZ Cam Awards has grown from camming-only awards to include clips-based awards, this year we introduced premium social media awards, in recognition of the unique skills required to monetize such feed-based offerings.

Many hugely popular performers have quietly turned to management services who will answer fan DMs on their behalf and organize the release of their content, taking what might be unsustainable and unscalable as an individual and sharing the burden among a crack team of dozens behind the scenes who will fulfill orders — and even flirt with customers — on a star’s behalf.

Even as these in-the-shadows managers claim 30, 40 or even 50 percent of the earnings in return, the overall exponential growth they enable is often worth their take in spades. To preserve the privacy of stars who utilize such services, lest their fans feel cheated of authentic interactions, we are not going to be shining a light on the names of the individuals and companies who mastermind such behind-the-scenes management businesses in this cover story. It should also be noted that several performers we reached out to, in preparation for this report, declined to answer any and all questions, with a reluctance heretofore unseen in other deep-dives on indie platforms. This reflects the growing reliance on such networks and the wildly profitable potential of premium social media, making such big business a trade secret worth keeping for talent raking it in.

Fortunately, several of the best and brightest, who attend to their content entirely on their own, did choose to participate and share their hard-won wisdom with us. And they did so in a way that will shed light for both execs looking to cash in on the craze and indie content colleagues hoping to better understand the challenges and needs of the market. Come then, and explore the intricacies of feeding an insatiable demand for content variety, the dexterity involved in marketing and multitasking and the ideal pricing for maximum profit.

Dazzling Content Variety

Above all, the premium social media game is as much about quantity of content as it is about variety. For while the more day-to-day updates may center primarily on establishing intimacy with “good morning” posts or asking for tips to cover the cost of a coffee at Starbucks, amid flirty nudes and “quick bites,” viewers with increasing discernment have come to expect a veritable smorgasbord of genres, themes and acts on their feed and in their DMs.

We asked 10 creators several questions about the kind of content they offer on their favorite subscription-based feed platform; their backgrounds run the gamut from big names who grace the box covers of hundreds of studio-shot movies, to more indie-focused talent and camming-savvy models.

For instance, how do they balance a mix of free photos and videos for subscribers with paid on-demand content/interactions (via DMs, or click-to-buy on feed). After all, some of the most successful premium social media stars follow a more “freemium” type of business model, charging nothing to subscribe to their feed, yet teasing high-quality and more explicit fare via private mass DMs or unlock-to-view posts interspersed with the scantily-clad freebies.

Furthermore, we inquired about the type and frequency of behind-the-scenes raw glimpses of daily life they offer, versus nudes and sexual acts. And while many stars primarily focus on solo videos, others perform with one or more creators, which presents many challenges. How do they handle content collaborations with other talent, while keeping solo content fresh with unique scenarios?

With collaborations, what agreements do they settle up beforehand about who can legally distribute filmed content when/where, while also establishing consent before and during a scene? Do they collect legally required paperwork beforehand as well? And if they are doing solo content far more often, how do they juggle frequent intimacy-focused posts versus more elaborate scenes with cosplaying or high-end cinematic productions involved?

We first turned to Maitland Ward, whose mainstream ‘90s fame from roles in “Boy Meets World” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” helped propel her to success when she made a huge splash entering the adult industry full-time. Unlike many other fly-by-night crossover attempts by celebrities to cash in on the premium social media phenomenon, Ward is fully invested in the biz as the contract standard-bearing actress for the darkly seductive Deeper.com brand from Vixen Media Group, which landed her several XBIZ Awards for acting and Feature Movie sex, while she maintains an insanely popular indie presence on OnlyFans. In fact, she won the first-ever XBIZ Best Female Premium Social Media Star trophy at this year’s XBIZ Cam Awards.

“I try to keep the content fresh and exciting by not only spicing it up with my unique brand of sexual exploration and exhibitionism, but also by showing different aspects of my life and personality that you wouldn’t see so closely, or so vividly, elsewhere,” Ward said. “Anywhere from pool or shower time, to all-girl, B/G and plenty of solo content since COVID-19! My solo shows have been getting more and more creative in this time of lockdown and seclusion, as have my self-filming techniques. Let’s just say, I’m glad I have long and bendy arms and a sturdy waterproof tripod.”

She finds that the best content comes from not only being daring and explicit, but also being “completely real and authentically raw, and mostly born from me being horny and then just grabbing my phone.” Typically, she will release one to two unlockable videos a day, while also providing plenty of free pictures on her timeline for subscribers.

While she views Twitter and Instagram as great places to get to know her, it is her premium content where she bares herself most completely, in more ways than fans may expect. She mentioned that she does not run an unpaid OnlyFans account, considering it overly burdensome for her workload, but she does periodically run free subscription days. As far as keeping content fresh and exciting, Ward looks to her followers for guidance, inviting them to give suggestions as to what they’d like to see from her next. Fulfilling these fantasies is a source of fun for her.

“That’s especially true for custom videos/photo sets,” she elaborated. “They are my favorite, because I can really make fans’ specific fantasy requests a reality. Also, being so active in the industry with Deeper and Vixen has given my fans a lot to stay tuned for, which keeps them coming back, even if it’s just for a good experience that doesn’t involve buying content. I don’t charge to chat and I chat a lot. I love talking sexy. As far as blending some seemingly repetitive content with more elaborate stuff, I really just trust my intuition and try to create an experience that is real for me and for my fans.”

Her intention, at the end of the day, is to enjoy herself and do so in a sincere way, because “it comes down to the human experience and, especially in times like these, it’s so important.”

“This is what I spend most of my time doing now and I genuinely love it,” she concluded. “I couldn’t be happier and I feel so much love from everyone out there. I am such a lucky girl.”

And then there is Romi Rain, who has long straddled the many avenues of revenue generation in this industry as a top-tier feature dancer, 2018 XBIZ Female Performer of the Year (among dozens and dozens of awards that line her shelves), cam model (now for CAM4 as a brand ambassador) and stellar indie creator.

“I offer a super-diverse range of content on my platforms spanning photosets, solos, BTS clips, live shows, JOI, ASMR, teases, girlfriend experiences, eating shows, try-on hauls, girl-on-girl, B/G, three-ways and beyond!” she pointed out, underlying the cornucopia of content required to maintain the attention span of fans and encourage frequent spending. “There’s honestly so much you can do and it’s easy to make anything erotic if it’s not hardcore sex; most of your fans want to see you every which way — pun intended.”

Rain also loves collaborating with other performers, though due to the pandemic’s health restrictions, her primary effort in this regard has been on devising creative scenarios for future content. Every time she does shoot with another performer, she endeavors to always make sure to have paperwork, check tests and get photos of current IDs, even if shooting unpaid content trades.

“When I pay talent for scenes, they also have to sign a release acknowledging that, confirming their current STD tests and payment for their time,” she emphasized. “Thankfully, on most high-end clip sites, you need to have some verification of consent or at least age, so I always stress the importance of the legalities and proof of ownership to others, especially if you consider yourself a business, which we all are!”

With Charlotte Stokely, the most-decorated girl/girl performer in the industry, her premium social media is very focused on intimacy and interactivity.

“The content I prefer to offer is very girlfriend experience-based and mostly solo work, with a big emphasis on teasing and flirting,” she said. “I have found that most of my subscribers on my OnlyFans platform enjoy this the most! I don’t run a second free platform but I do encourage fans to subscribe because we can chat and sext in the DMs for free, rather than paying per text via SextPanther. This is one of my drivers to make the $10/month subscription worthwhile. I do try to show BTS from photo shoots also, because I think that’s very enjoyable for the fans.”

Stokely does not often shoot content trades with other models, since she has determined that most of her subscribers prefer solo content, which is a burgeoning trend that many performers have identified. She does, however, think the best way to go about shooting content trades with other models is to shoot two scenes in one day, with each star getting to use one rather than both. This keeps content exclusive, while also reducing chances for piracy and dilution of videos. She also advises that all collaborative content should be exchanged the same day, to avoid having to wait or ending up in the occasional situation of not receiving it at all. Stokely always brings an external hard drive to shoots to facilitate receiving it immediately.

And to keep the more solo-oriented daily fare fresh, Stokely said, “I love sending out ‘good morning’ posts and I will use varied coffee cups and sleep time lingerie so it doesn’t look like the same day or repetitive. Posting videos doing day-to-day activities is very important because it makes me more personable and human, such as yoga, playing with my pets or random silliness.”

From stars who have garnered fame over a decade in the studio biz, we turned to breakout premium social media star and content creator Savannah Solo. When submitting her answers, she lamented that they were tragically not in MLA format with a bibliography (in a true-to-form bit of witty banter very much in keeping with the nerdy mirth that has garnered her many fans). In just a year, Solo has exploded in popularity not only among fans, but also as a comedic and uplifting voice in the sex worker community.

Drilling down into her OnlyFans page, she balances it by posting “lots of fun nude content straight to the subscriber feed with a little bit of explicit content sprinkled in.”

Then, once a week, or less, she will send out a “low-priced pay-per-view message that contains some extra-spicy content for people who want something more porny!”

Solo explained, “I want people to feel encouraged to ethically source their porn, but it’s also a good way to prevent leaks. The explicit stuff I post to the feed always ends up on a tube site somewhere and it can be pretty darn annoying! I do solo-only content, so keeping it fresh is definitely a big deal for me. I like to make my everyday content really light-hearted, so even if I’m doing something repetitive, I can keep it playful and easily switch stuff up. I sprinkle in some roleplay, cosplay, very explicit, and heavily edited YouTube style videos, and it creates a really fun blend on the feed!”

And Mary Moody, the 2020 XBIZ Female Cam Model of the Year winner known for her girl/girl shoots for major studios, is a pro at selling indie content on both OnlyFans and Pornhub.

“When jumping into OnlyFans, it’s important to do the research!” she said. “Models should understand how free and paid subscriptions are different, know the importance of marketing (especially pricing) and learn to manage their time. I focus on knowing my goals before I post, staying consistent and continually reevaluating my approach.

“After trying free and paid subscription feeds, what worked best for me was a combination of the two,” she continued. “I treat my free feed a lot like my Twitter. While it includes content for sale that you might find on my paid feed, my goal is to get users to subscribe to my paid feed. Then, my paid feed includes content you can buy on the free feed and exclusive content that you cannot get there.”

Moody strives to make the cost of purchasing all the content provided monthly through the free feed higher than her subscription costs, so the subscription’s value becomes more apparent. She says her free feed is a lot like other social media platforms she uses for promotion, such as Twitter, Instagram or Reddit. One big difference is that she can send pay-to-open DMs, while other platforms like Instagram would typically ban someone for promoting paid content.

As for 2018 XBIZ Best Clip Artist winner Larkin Love, she revealed that her massive following across a variety of content platforms has made her a millionaire. Best of all, is that she does so fully on her own terms, because when asked about her preferred content she said, “The short answer to this question is: whatever content I want! One of the things I like most about premium social media platforms is producers aren’t forced to conform to any rigid posting guidelines. A post can be as simple as a line of text or as complex as a 60-minute, professionally produced HD feature-length video. You can post a single selfie with a cute filter or a complete, professional photo set. You can post personal sex tapes, pre-made clips and audio posts. You aren’t limited to erotic content, either! You can share writings, artwork, journaling and even run polls, so your followers can give feedback.”

As a producer, Larkin believes this gives her the most freedom and flexibility. She likes to post as many different types of content as possible to make the most of a platform, updating several times a day to keep her timeline fresh and her fans happy. Most of her content is solo or shot with her partner, so she is more focused on keeping it authentic versus more diverse.

“Going out of my way to make something ‘unusual’ feels really forced,” Love explained. “I just follow my natural creativity and shoot in the moment. Over time, I find my style becoming more and more self-shot, immersive and genuine. My fans love it!”

FanCentro mega-influencer MelRose Michaels, who was profiled as Clip Star of the Month in the August 2020 issue of XBIZ World, is known for offering educational business lessons to the industry via articles and social media. Echoing other stars, she aims to offer an exciting content feast on her subscription platforms.

Michaels distinguishes between her Snapchat-oriented premium social media, which is the more classic incarnation of the market (i.e. monetizing NSFW content on a traditionally SFW platform) and what she refers to as her subscription “fan site” (a term, as previously mentioned, that brands often use in lieu of “premium social media” in their marketing material).

“For example, on my subscription fan site, you’ll get to see everything from lifestyle clips and YouTube type videos, to explicit full-length films and photo sets!” Michaels shared. “I even record and post the occasional erotic story for an intimate vocal experience for fans on my membership site. My fan site gets updated daily, but not all of that content is new; three out of the seven days I post recycled content there.

“However, my fan site offers a much more complete perspective on who I am as a person and allows more access into my life than my premium social media does,” she added. “My premium social media subscription features new explicit content every single night on Snapchat. It’s new content daily, which is why the higher subscription price point is justified, but it’s only the sexiest version of myself and my personality.”

The way she has learned to balance free and paid content has all been through trial and error, with Michaels noting the importance of knowing that to get value in return, value must first be given. That is why she provides free teasers and trailers for nearly everything she does, whether to advertise a new Snapchat show, push a new fan site video or entice fans in DMs on FanCentro. This pushes fans to unlock what she sends them next. “It’s a very well-choreographed dance of ‘give-and-take’ in that respect,” she pointed out.

And when she does collaborate with other creators, Michaels always makes sure to see proof of STD testing (and, currently, COVID testing), as well as a photography waiver and photo of them holding their ID.

“This covers all my bases logistically,” she illuminated. “Then the other performer and myself will discuss our ‘no’ list on what our boundaries are for the content we’re filming. I try to feature one performer collaboration a week on both my subscription fan site and premium social media. When working with other creators, typically the content we decide to film comes from a conversation about what type of content each of us are in need of, what unique features the location might have to offer us and what type of lingerie we both have with us.”

In terms of filming solo content, Michaels keeps a running list of show ideas in her iPhone notepad app that’s shared with a few other creators she really respects. “We all add to the list as we come up with new ideas and when we feel uninspired, we all have access to the list to take ideas from,” she said.

Additionally, she finds it “very natural to blend lifestyle content” into her more explicit work, where, for example, what might start as a “good morning” clip could easily evolve into a “morning blowjob” clip or something similar. “A lifestyle workout clip can easily evolve into a post-workout shower show,” she teased. “I find working this way comes most easily to me, as well as being most authentic.”

Tilly Toy, another FanCentro influencer with a growing OnlyFans following, has quickly learned the premium social media game. “I like to offer a wide range of content to my fans,” she shared. “For example, on my FanCentro feed there are a few SFW posts that anyone, even non-subscribers can view to get a small taste of the subscriber-only content.

“My subscriber-only feed content ranges from fully nude photo sets, to early morning selfies in bed, clips of me dancing, some public flashing, naughty adventures with my girlfriends, teasing and what I call my ‘Naughty Vlog’ clips,” she elaborated. “These are short clips where I describe my current sexual fantasies or activities, behind-the-scenes talks about my porn or just sharing about my day in some state of nudity or undress. My Naughty Vlog brings a sense of intimacy for many of my fans, letting them get a peek into my daily life and thoughts. All of this is accessible with my FanCentro feed subscription. Once subscribed, I send pay-to-unlock DMs to my fans with my full-length porn several times a week. These shows are all 15-20 minutes long, solo or girl-on-girl.”

And when collaborating with other models, Toy finds such endeavors to be “one of the most fun parts of this career!” She describes each collaboration as very different, with a conversation taking place beforehand on what kind of content they would like to co-create, where they would like to post it and what they’re using it for exactly.

They discuss boundaries, confirm STI tests and safe words, then sign the appropriate paperwork for what they’ve agreed upon. Her collaborations with other models range from just SFW photoshoots, to “wild girl-on-girl porn with toys and fun props” and it all depends on “how we think we will benefit each other most.”

Mainly, though, Toy is focused on shooting solo content, while laboring to keep shows fresh and interesting; this is something she considers essential to retaining subscribers, and thus she makes sure everything she posts is different, “especially from content that came right before it.”

“I do this by changing one or two of these five things each time: theme/type of show, outfit/hair/makeup, toy(s), angle of the camera and the show’s location/background,” she said. “Playing with these five factors, I can make several shows that all look and feel completely different without even having to leave my room. I like to keep most of my content feeling personal and genuine, like they’re spying on my real-life intimate activities. To do this, most of my shows are based around reality … masturbation in anticipation for a date, experimenting with vegetables and POV shows where my fans get to feel like they’re there with me. I also mix in a few role-play or themed shows, like for Christmas or Halloween, to keep things fun and interesting.”

Top-ranked AP Clips creator Ellie Idol, who also has a robust OnlyFans presence among other platforms, shared, “The pandemic has surely made things difficult, I’ll say that. I went into 2020 with big plans for these elaborate professional cosplay shoots, and as you can guess, none of it has happened. Most of my photos are selfies or screencaps from my videos. I do use a timer on my camera for photos, but it’s hit-or-miss with the autofocus. As much as I would love to film once more with other content creators, I just don’t feel comfortable taking the health risk. When things are normal though, I have a few friends I plan to film content with.

“Shooting with strangers can sometimes lead to awkward content so I stick with who I know,” she admitted. “Each friend, we have different rules. For example, with AstroDomina and London Lix, we’ll film three exclusive videos each for our clip stores, which adds up to six total for the day. Then, I’ll do a full 100% video share with my other friends Chastity Lynn and Mandy Flores.”

And while everyone has their way of doing collaborations, and she respects preferences, Idol is adamant about requiring IDs and 2257 forms. As for solo content, she explores such a wide variety of fetishes and kinks “that it’s hard for anything to ever feel stale.” Generally speaking, for her subscription-based content, she tries to post a mix of videos, photos and behind-the-scenes glimpses of all types, spanning foot fetish, cosplaying, strap-on, POV, roleplay and more. “I like to film it all!” she enthused.

And seasoned adult star Nikki Delano, who is a prolific premium social media creator to boot, revealed, “My major platforms that I currently run are my OnlyFans, premium Snapchat and, soon, Brazzers+ (aka ZZ+). With anything you do, it’s extremely important to be successful in a variety of virtual ventures. When I create content, I do so in several steps. First, I make SFW content that is appropriate for Facebook and Instagram, which is sexy without nudity.

“Content ranges from teases to seductive dancing, kissing, booty bouncing, clean subliminal naughty talk, et cetera,” she continued. “The SFW posts allow the consumer to be turned-on in a way that leaves much to the imagination, since no nudity is allowed. In these posts, I also put up the intro and scenario of a clip, giving the viewer a taste of what they are about to see without revealing the sexual act.”

Delano’s SFW content also includes behind-the-scenes fare that can be posted on all social media platforms, showing her everyday life and letting fans in “to know the real me, as well as the sexy porn star.” She does this to help viewers relate to her on an amateur level, so that they can fantasize about the ease with which they can flirt with her, believing they may even have a chance at sex or a relationship, in an intense kind of girlfriend experience.

“Secondly, I offer NSFW content that includes nude titty bouncing, bare ass spanking, nasty dirty talk and nude or partially nude photos,” she explained. “The content is supposed to entice the consumer, getting them riled up, horny, hard and turned-on. Then, getting into the full-blown hardcore content I offer, I shoot solos — vadge and anal — B/G, all-girll, B/G anal, all-girl anal, threeways with two girls and a guy, blowjobs, double-jobs and my absolute favorite, outdoor public sex.”

When collaborating with other talent, Delano normally reaches out to the person she’d like to shoot with. Then they coordinate schedules and discuss what they’d like to film, as well as the location, wardrobe and how they will shoot (be it with their iPhones, filming with a stand or hiring a professional cameraperson). When she collaborates, she discusses the details for both parties, such as where they’re able to post, while making sure they don’t intend to sell DVDs with the content.

“Day-to-day, I do solos so my fans can get to know me, and they end up loving my personality and fall head-over-heels,” she said. “I try to do as much solo stuff as they request, or come up with scenarios that have never been done before. I also do the amateur Uber, movie theater, in-store, hiking and anywhere, anytime type of themed content.”

Marketing & Multitasking

As if meeting the content demands of a never-fully-sated consumer wasn’t enough of a high bar, premium social media stars have to contend with the mind-boggling multitasking required to handle content distribution on several platforms, marketing their content with short tease clips and regular social media posts, not to mention the tsunami-sized flood of DMs from fans (many of whom may not even contribute a single dime).

We endeavored to figure out how successful creators go about using SFW platforms like Twitter and Instagram to advertise their content while skirting the often brutally-applied terms of service (TOS). As well, we asked what kind of teaser clips they use, how frequently they ask fans directly to sub (via tweets or IG stories/posts) and how they keep their promos fresh and exciting, while letting auto-generated announcements about recently sold videos, for example, do some of the heavy lifting.

And most critically, we inquired about their time management methodology, considering the countless chat interactions and opportunities that span public replies to fan comments on posts, liking such comments, determining when and how to respond to DMs and what system they have in place to stay organized with custom video requests, all the while incorporating fan suggestions relating to their feed-based content, thanking tippers and upselling buyers.

Maitland Ward first expressed gratitude for her fans, before diving into the particulars of her stratagems. “I say this time and again, but it’s completely true: I have the most loyal and devoted fan base who always show up for me, and show up fiercely,” she beamed. “My aim is to always give back to them. They are the reason I am where I am and I never forget that. I really try to create a unique experience for them that goes beyond what is typically offered out there. Yes, I always put up the hottest content I can, but I also want my OnlyFans to be a place where I can really connect with my base. I love that human interaction, and I feed off of their excitement. This was especially true all through the pandemic. I got from them just as much as they got from me.”

Ward performs live shows on OnlyFans each week and derives tremendous satisfaction from the immediacy of that connection. She feels like she can really let loose and be herself during them. As well, she runs subscription promos on OnlyFans roughly once a month, sometimes twice, and she will post a swipe-up link on her Instagram or Twitter, which she finds very helpful in getting more involved with her fan community. She knows some fans may be skeptical of anything offered behind a paywall, so she strives with her promotional intros to offer them a chance to try things out and see what it’s all about.

“The main system I have in place for organizing and navigating through all the many DMs and personal requests I get is pretty simple,” she revealed. “I write everything down in my notes to keep track. That’s it. I’m pretty basic that way, but the system works. I use my phone a lot and have gotten quick and efficient at being able to multitask or schedule things if time isn’t currently available. My fans are so important to me, so I really make sure I devote the time and energy to them they deserve.”

Another dynamo of dynamic content creation and super-engaged fans, Romi Rain, explained, “On every non-paid platform I use for marketing my paid platforms, I post safe-for-work teaser trailers and implied photos. Twitter and Instagram are great for building your fan base all around and most followers know that you have an OnlyFans with just a wink and the right word; they will often start searching immediately for the good stuff.

“I always promote when I’m shooting or when I’m about to post new content,” she continued. “Sites like YouTube and Twitch are also super-valuable in terms of promotion. I’ll post travel vlogs and SFW ASMR videos on YouTube, and do several hours of video game Twitch streams; both of those sites definitely drive traffic to my other sites, because if the fans like watching me when I’m toned down, just chatting and having low-key fun, they’re likely going to be into me very enthusiastically when I’m doing erotic activities as well. Any livestream I do on any platform, be it camming, Twitch or a social media page, always gains me more followers on my premium sites.”

Rain, like many others, views time management as the most difficult part of being on several social media and clip sites. So while she does try to do, and answer, as much as she can on a daily basis, she often reminds herself of the importance of rest and relaxation. Some days, in the name of self-care, Rain doesn’t do anything at all, whereas other days are packed from morning to night with activities.

“I try to arrange my schedule with days fully devoted to just organization, while other days will be only spent on camera, making content, with yet another day just reserved for getting back to fans and press,” Rain said. “Sometimes, I’ll do full ‘stream days’ where I’m live on several sites like Instagram, OnlyFans, a cam site and Twitch! There’s such a broad spectrum of things I can do and enjoy doing, and fans across multiple platforms that I want to appreciate. Don’t underestimate the value of a 30-second ‘thank you’ video to your superfans as well!”

Charlotte Stokely, who shares Rain’s passion for gaming and Twitch streaming, is beloved for her bona fide geek creds and positively effervescent personality. For her, juggling tasks is an art form to be mastered.

“I believe Twitter is where I gain the most traffic simply because they haven’t banned OnlyFans links yet, although I have way more followers on my Instagram,” she began. “The Twitter links are forever, versus the 24-hour lifespan of an Instagram story, and Twitter allows clickable links versus the ‘see my link in bio’ tactic of Instagram. I try to post at least one Instagram story a day, including a swipe-up link to my OnlyFans. I never post nudity on my Twitter account, following the basis that ‘modest is hottest,’ enticing them to see more. Also, pay for your porn! And I like to post videos of me swirling my tongue on Instagram because it’s SFW, so I don’t have to be nervous it will get flagged.

“I downloaded an app to set up automated posts, but never ended up using it,” Stokely elucidated. “I do think I will revert back to this app soon to help free up more time for other day-to-day tasks. There are some great photo editing apps as well to help create my own promos and announcements, but I do prefer to pay someone to create a graphic for me to keep it looking professional. I release one PR statement a week advertising whatever new things I have to share with the fans and I find this worth the financial investment. All my PR releases include links to my platforms at the bottom no matter the topic of my PR.”

To Stokely, time management truly is everything. And while she doesn’t stick to a set schedule per se, as some weeks she will shoot nonstop then do nothing for a few days thereafter, she does believe finding balance is very important to avert burnout or feeling overworked. It also keeps her mind creative, she finds. Scheduling-wise, Stokely utilizes a calendar to encourage an even flow from work days to rest days. “I attempt to funnel all DM interactions to my OnlyFans; it encourages a monthly subscription and most fans have different usernames for different platforms, making conversations scattered and sometimes difficult to keep track of,” Stokely said.

And on the subject of handling customs, Stokely explained, “Any time someone orders a custom video, I write down all necessary details needed to ensure it’s taken care of properly: what name they want me to use, how to contact them, what certain wardrobe they want, what props are necessary to have, if they’ve already paid, et cetera. There’s nothing more ‘argh!’ than filming a custom and forgetting a specific detail, because then it will need to be refilmed.”

And like others have expressed, she strongly believes in the power of displaying gratitude to fans. “When fans tip me, I send them a quick five-second video blowing them a kiss saying ‘thank you for the tip’ and if they continue to spoil, a follow-up video saying OMG, you’re spoiling me!’” she said. “I never fail to acknowledge and thank a tipper. They tip with hard-earned money and I want them to feel appreciated.”

Savannah Solo keeps it simple with a laser focus on two platforms. “I really only use Twitter to market my OnlyFans,” she said. “I keep my link in my bio and OnlyFans in my account name, but I try to never directly include a link in my posts. Tweeting links puts you at high risk for search bans and can totally squash your organic traffic. I have also found that directly asking people to subscribe lowers the amount of shares and exposure a post can get, so I try to do that as little as possible, as well! I like to keep things fresh with cosplay content and funny captions or videos.

“I ultimately had to stop providing custom content altogether, because I was extremely overwhelmed and it began to negatively impact my excitement for making content for the feed,” she confessed. “My social media DMs are a hellscape that I very rarely venture into, and I only go in in search of business inquiries. My OnlyFans DMs I sort by tips and oldest unread, and I try to go through them at least once a day, or they get out of hand.”

As for Mary Moody, she has an analytical plan of attack she applies to stay abreast of the mayhem, gauging platform performance using tools like Twitter Analytics and user polls to find her ideal promotional mix. For her type of content, she found Twitter is the best way to advertise, so she devotes most of her time to that. Next in value is Instagram, where she shares SFW photos and links to her Twitter, to funnel users toward paid platforms.

“Many find Reddit works well for them, but for me, it’s too time-consuming. Twitter has content management tools that let me post from a queue,” Moody said. “My goal on these platforms is to get fans to where they can purchase my content quickly. On Twitter, I use individual posts for marketing specific content and platforms, and unless I have a specific push for a platform or contest, my pinned tweet always has all my paid platform links. The overarching goal is to get fans to my paid content as quickly and easily as possible. For a single post, my goal may be to get people to subscribe to my OnlyFans, so I might post a paid content teaser with a link to my OnlyFans and explain that you can’t get it anywhere else.

“Depending on what I’m trying to grow, my marketing strategy will change, but the main goal is to make it super-simple for fans to find and sign up for paid content,” she continued. “To balance these ads, I post photos with a catchy caption and no links. If everything I post is an advertisement, my feed may be less attractive to potential fans, but my links are always in my pinned post for those who are interested. On Instagram, I might hint about checking out my OnlyFans, but my goal is usually to funnel fans to my Twitter or website, where they can immediately see my links and content. I do this because it’s dangerous to post direct links to porn sites on Insta, but I can put an OnlyFans link in my story or bio.”

For Reddit, since each user has a “sub” specific to their username, if they make a post there, it will show up on top when a user visits a profile. Moody takes advantage of this by making a post with all of her social media and content links, to increase visibility. And since SFW social media platforms are so notoriously prejudicial against sex workers with enforcing TOS, Moody advised, “One thing to remember is to always have a backup! I lost count of how many Instagram accounts I’ve lost, so get users to safer platforms like Twitter and collect emails, if you can, so you have a gameplan should the worst happen.”

For Larkin Love, she believes the best way to keep social media fresh is to be natural. “If you don’t want your feed to sound like a canned advertisement, then don’t advertise!” she counseled. “Make your relevant links available on your bio, and then post quality content to your social timeline. Share your day-to-day experiences, thoughts and images in a genuine way, and people will want to support your work without shoving the link down their throat. Your fans can sense when you’re being real with them and when you’re just trying to get them to buy something. The latter is a huge turn-off for them. Don’t just tell people to join your OnlyFans. Show them why they should join by posting some teaser shots from that day’s shoot to get them interested, and then casually drop the link.”

She also recommends going live with the fanbase as often as possible, while also making time to respond to comments and making a palpably human connection with followers by being responsive to them in digital spaces. This, she signals, is the difference between creating one-time fans who buy something on impulse and lifetime supporters who stick with a star through their whole career.

On the topic of staying organized, Love has a system that centers on writing everything down and sticking to a plan. “I check the same websites every day in the same order,” she said, underscoring the value of routine. “I have a minimum number of posts per platform per day that I make sure to meet. I even set a daily quota for myself when it comes to responding to comments from fans. Responding to fans is so important! It’s the first thing I do on a given day, so I never forget.

“My customer base is vast, so I make sure to take notes on individual customers,” she added. “Relying on my notes is much better than just my memory. Any relevant details I learn about clients while I’m chatting with them, like their first name, favorite fetishes, where they’re from, et cetera, I put in their client notes. It helps me build a relationship with them.”

And for any talent wanting to know more about her approach to managing a daily workflow, Love invited them to check out her in-depth explanations and downloadable charts at NudeMillionaire.com, where she offers all her indie adult production eBooks.

MelRose Michaels discussed her focus on driving traffic from every available social media platform to FanCentro. “On Twitter, I post ‘teaser clips’ or ‘trailers’ of my Snapchat shows, new fan site videos and new clips for sale,” she explained. “On Instagram, I keep things safe-for-work but use swipe-up links from my IG stories to drive traffic to my content. On platforms like TikTok, you can link to your public Snapchat from their bio. Keeping your marketing interesting is super-important, so I try to alternate between content types, like photos, video clips and gifs.

“I openly tweet and post to my IG stories that I do not, under any circumstance, reply to DMs from my social media accounts,” she emphasized. “It puts my social accounts at risk if people write me about nudes or other explicit things. It’s [also] a unique opportunity to drive people to my DMs on FanCentro, which will allow me to send them locked ‘pay to open’ content or upsell them on a custom video later down the line.”

Michaels explained that by making sure all DMs are directed to one place, it offers a great way to weed out all the background noise, elevating people who are serious and more likely to respect a star’s time. If they follow instructions and DM a performer at their destination of choice, Michaels can better prioritize replying to fans in a manner which saves valuable energy. She lauded the FanCentro platform for allowing influencers to “favorite” and “pin” messages of members that are a priority, which helps keep things organized.

“If a member has purchased a custom video for example, I can ‘pin’ their chat to the top of my inbox, which reminds me I have content to create for that user that’s still pending,” she said. “In terms of engaging with my fans, I create some content on my filming days that I can predict needing in the week that follows, such as ‘thanks for tipping’ videos.”

Meanwhile, Tilly Toy shared that she primarily uses Instagram and Twitter for her marketing, with a heavy focus on Instagram at the moment. Most of her social media posting is not a direct ad for premium content, but rather a means of familiarizing her fans with her personality, sharing bits of daily life, while keeping most posts “upbeat and cute.”

“I want my fans to feel like they know me; I’ve found that the more of my personality I share, the more subscribers I gain and keep,” she said. “I post about my content usually once or twice per day on my Instagram story, and I aim for about once per week on Twitter where I’m less active. I try to keep my promotion relevant to the content I’m creating, by using current photos and videos, and I minimize the amount of writing I add to Instagram story promo. Keeping things clear and easy to understand is important to me.

“I’ll admit, I have a lot on my plate with this as my full-time job,” Toy said. “Without some healthy self-discipline, it’d be hard to maintain. I keep a weekly schedule that helps me budget my time between filming, editing, posting content, chatting with fans, coordinating with other models and maintaining my social media. I use Excel sheets to track my custom video and panty orders, and a paper calendar by my desk where I write the type of content I post each day, to make sure my premium content remains interesting and different from day-to-day.”

Toy does devote two days a week to what she considers to be “time off,” though in actuality, she does not remain idle during those rest days. Instead, while she does avoid actively filming or editing content, she spends the free time on optimizing her income and marketing by posting content updates to her mainstream social media and her premium social media. While such a nonstop schedule may seem grueling, Toy said, “Luckily for me, I absolutely love what I do, and I truly enjoy interacting with my fans.”

Like others, Ellie Idol takes care not to advertise too often, posting only when necessary, lest fans tune out. “Anything that’s too frequent, in my opinion, can do the opposite of what you want and cause fans to unfollow or mute you,” she cautioned. “No one likes spam! Even worse, you can find yourself in a shadowban, which is why I no longer do any auto-tweets. Since I stopped, my follower count is rising for the first time again in years. Though I don’t really find any correlation between social media and sales, at least from my experience. Most people found me through browsing clip stores, my verified Pornhub account or pirated content. When posting on social media, I find for me, personally, that photos get more attention than video trailers, so I tend to stick with that. Trying to get your fans to engage by asking them questions about what you post has worked well for me. There’s a reason it’s the trend.

“Most of what I do involves custom video production,” she continued. “To make sure I keep paid custom requests organized, I create a text file for each idea which is then placed into a folder. In that document, I’ll state their email and username, when they paid and how much, the video length, if I need to use their name, any specific outfit or props, and of course, a brief description which I’ll sometimes re-write.”

Once a video is filmed, Idol will then move the text file into a finished folder so she knows what needs to be edited and what still needs to be filmed. Additionally, she has a suggestions folder, even if she confesses to rarely pulling ideas from it. And to manage answering DMs, she tries her best to attend to the growing mountain of messages on a daily basis, though she does regularly take a day or two off for herself. “This work can be very demanding, so self-care days are a must!” she maintained.

As for Nikki Delano, she markets herself via Instagram stories and posts, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and her free public Snapchat. Delano also hosts a live Vivid Radio show every Wednesday on SiriusXM channel 415.

“The way I promote content on Snapchat is by dancing, not showing any nudity, yet showing my curves,” she said. “I’m also really good at sexy and dirty talk in my promo vids, telling viewers, ‘Let’s play, Papi. You’re going to have so much fun as we make each other squirt.’ They know exactly what that means. I also do posts where I shake my goodies in tight clothes completely covered, yet they can see outlines and imagine what’s underneath, and that’s a huge turn-on for them. But still, it leaves it up to their imagination.

“I also like chatting via DM on my Snapchat and engage as much as I possibly can, while I post sexual teases on Twitter,” Delano continued. “Instagram is more about spicy photos of me looking my best, and TikTok is for fans getting to know the real me. And the way I promote my OnlyFans is by posting the link, along with a sexual phrase telling the viewers to sign up so that we can cum together. When I post on Twitter, I include sexual vids where I talk in Spanish with an accent; this usually does wonders for my Papis.”

Remarking on her daily posting frequency, Delano updates Snapchat every two to three hours and advertises her OnlyFans three to four times on her Twitter timeline, then one to two times on her main feed for Instagram and Facebook. She also spends about two to three hours every night, plus two hours in the morning and one or two hours in the afternoon to answer social media DMs and messages from OnlyFans subscribers. When she does send a message, it’s free, but when she opens their message, that costs a price.

“I receive many customs requests of all sorts,” she said, while celebrating the fact she has “amazing diehard fans that love me and I love them.” Delano normally waits until the weekend to shoot customs or during any free time she ekes out daily, and handles a few at a time.

“Lastly, I take notes on my iPhone messaging for fans’ suggested content,” she concluded. “I post everything that’s requested and try to deliver as best and as much as I can for them.”

Pricing for Profit

All the ingenious content and expertly juggled marketing in the world is for naught without an effective pricing strategy in place. And since there are so many opportunities to price content, whether it’s baseline access to a feed or pay-per-minute custom videos that can take hours to produce and edit, not to mention tipping options for those loyal fans who will happily chip in a few dollars of appreciation for fully free content (as many freemium-based premium social media stars can attest), creators can end up with a dozen different price points.

What do they charge for basic subscriptions, for video-on-demand purchases in DMs or click-to-view photos and clips on their feed? How often do they experiment with different prices or offer limited time deals, without running the risk of cheapening their brand or setting lower expectations.

We also asked if they were willing to share what their average earnings are on a given day, week, month or year, how much they’ve increased revenues percentage-wise (especially during this past year’s lockdowns) and what their all-time best month netted.

Were they open to revealing just how many subscribers they have overall if the numbers aren’t currently publicly visible? What percentage of those basic subscribers actually purchase videos, order customs or tip freely, and how much do their biggest spenders comprise their earnings vs. the rest? What slice of the premium social media pie makes them the most money, exactly?

Understandably, this is some very private information, about some extraordinarily profitable revenue streams. Nonetheless, many shared their general pricing strategies, while a few have graced this cover story with their very impressive numbers. Because whether someone has attained the coveted 1% of OnlyFans or found success in just a year or two of being in adult, the profit potential for indie content is very impressive. The willpower and work ethic exhibited by stars of every stripe, of every caliber and echelon, is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of today’s talent.

It’s no secret that Maitland Ward has cultivated a mainstream crossover-to-adult degree of fame with charismatic fervor and a nonstop drive to thrive that is rarefied in the industry. And her numbers, as well as her business acumen, attest to that stature.

Getting into the brass tacks, she shared, “As far as pricing, it’s half supply-and-demand, and the other half is really just about how much of my energy it will take. For unlockable content, I will charge anywhere from $5 to $10 for a video, depending on how long or how hot I think it is. My customs are priced depending how much of my time and energy a certain type of request takes. If there are elaborate costumes or setups involved, it’s going to be more, of course. But every custom is done with a personal touch and with the individual fan requesting them intimately involved in the process.

“I have roughly 20K regular subscribers, but it does vary depending if I am running a subscription promotion,” she continued. “The number definitely goes exponentially up then. One of the things I’m most proud of is that I achieved 500K likes on my posts in my first 14 months on the OnlyFans platform. That’s rarely ever been done, and never in such a short timeframe. And it’s because of my fervent fan base that any of those achievements are possible. It makes me happy to know that they enjoy what I’m doing and are supporting it.”

Ward estimates about half her subscribers purchase her locked videos, depending on whether it’s a new video or photo set or if it’s something she has released before and is making available again to newer fans. As far as customs, she said that about a quarter of her subscribers have either purchased a custom already or are interested in one.

“The net income varies, but I would say creating customs makes up a good portion of the content fans want,” Ward said. “Fulfilling someone’s fantasy on video like that, in such an intimate and personally creative way, is the biggest turn-on for me. I’m not just saying that. It’s my absolute favorite part of online content, along with my live interactive shows, because that’s where I can really give the fans all of myself.”

With Romi Rain, she prices her content according to the genre she is selling. “For instance, the average solo scene will be cheaper than the average scene with another performer, and then higher depending on the sex acts involved,” she explained. “I pay attention to what sells more than others and may raise prices as quality improves. I almost never offered custom videos or private chats with fans before starting my OnlyFans, and so that has been a great money-maker as well because of the rarity of it.”

Rain also finds live streams and pay-per-messages to be very profitable on OnlyFans, because members there “are already proven fans that definitely want to keep you happy for more of a naughty show and personal interaction.”

“I consider myself very lucky that my fans and profits have grown in 2020, though I partly credit that to a lot more people being home, bored, lonely, stressed and horny, just wanting to take their minds off the state of the world and live in a beautiful fantasy with nothing but good vibes if they’re able,” she expressed. “Every so often, I’ll run specials for new or existing members as well.”

Right now, Rain shared she has more than 4,000 members on her OnlyFans page; though it’s been higher and lower depending on the week or month. She is grateful for how consistently those members have showed up, many having followed her for years even before she got into hardcore porn.

“I think because I’ve been on so many websites and social media platforms for so long now, that I’ve developed really cool online relationships with many of them; I try to chat with my fans like I would with anyone else, unless they’d like me to play a character or I’m filming a fantasy for a clip,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the overall loyalty and excitement my fans have for my content that it just makes me want to continue creating more!”

Her biggest moneymaking platform for the past two years has been OnlyFans, hands down, though she does profit from a handful of other clip sites as well. She finds the trend towards a very star-driven industry incredible to witness, as power players have been “semi-forced into rethinking strategies and incentives to keep not just fans, but performers happy!”

“We matter as individuals much more now and just that acknowledgment from major companies and brands is amazing to see,” she enthused. “In my over a decade of adult work, I’ve really seen this amazing evolution — and in some ways, revolution — of content creation and performers seeing themselves as legitimate business people with their own ideas and literally more valuable than ever. There’s less of a hierarchy in this business and it’s definitely for the better; we’re all entertainers just trying to be true to ourselves and live our best lives and I couldn’t be happier that we have more opportunities for growth and monetary gain than ever. Despite this crazy year, there has never been a better time in my career to be an independent adult creator!”

Rain’s good friend and equally beloved star, Charlotte Stokely, is also very focused on OnlyFans, where she charges $10 per month to gain access to her feed. “Anything on the timeline is free, usually [one] post a day,” she said. “All content, whether photos or video, is sold via mass messaging in the DMs with a price tag to view. Custom videos are usually $75 per minute and there is no minimum or maximum amount of minutes. If they want three minutes only, no problem. To help encourage the sale of a custom video, I remind the fan how ‘hot and sexy’ it will be for them to hear their name moaned from my lips.”

Although Stokely has seen other talent having great success gaining subscribers after offering discount subscriptions for a limited time, she hasn’t ventured yet into making those kinds of offers, given that she feels confident $10 is fair for the amount of time and effort she gives each individual fan. And during this pandemic, like others, she has seen a major increase in her OnlyFans revenue.

“This gain likely happened because I started putting more time into the platform and releasing lots more content, including promoting my availability on OnlyFans,” she surmised. “Every day, the fan has the option to buy something new. I shoot as much as possible on ‘shoot days’ to ensure I never run out of my daily offers. So far, I have seen a 300% increase in my revenue over the summer.”

The biggest chunk of OnlyFans revenue she makes is through tips and content sold in messaging, with subscriptions following closely behind.

“I have some amazing fans that will tip $600 because they like a photo I posted in my timeline and others who will tip $2 on every post no matter what it is,” she said. “Some fans don’t buy anything at all, but remain subscribed for many months because they can’t afford more than that, which I’m okay with, because their support on Twitter and IG with comments, likes and retweets, and suggesting that companies book me, holds its own value.

“The fans, no matter how small, are very important,” she graciously observed. “I wouldn’t have a career without my fans and every one of them is appreciated and valuable. The questions asked of me in this article are very motivating and inspiring. These questions point out some areas I feel I can do better with and I look forward to striving for more. A wise woman knows she can always learn more. I hope I’ve added value to this conversation!”

For Savannah Solo, she has had a truly remarkable run in a very short amount of time, having just begun her OnlyFans journey in January of this year. In that time, she has found that charging $6 for the first month and then $7.50 recurring is her best formula.

“If someone is paying $10 or more, they typically are expecting absolutely no paywalls or they’re expecting lots of professional or partner content,” she shared. “I’m just a dumbass with a good iPhone camera doing solo content, so $6 to $7.50 feels right! The reason for the first month discount, is that any time you have a sale running on OnlyFans, you can write a little description, which is a great place to display your bio or offerings, since bios are automatically collapsed on OnlyFans and most people never click to read them. I also always keep my weekly PPV content $10 and under, and I try to make sure the videos are lengthy and very well-edited.

“My first month was January 2020, and I only made about $80, which I am darn proud of! Now, I am in the top 0.1% of earners on the platform, and it’s about exactly as absurd as it sounds. As of right now, I have 4,700 subscribers to my page. My highest was 6,500, which was boosted by a viral video about OnlyFans, but I typically carry between 4,000 and 5,000 on my page month to month. About 10% of those subscribers regularly purchase the PPV content. About 7% of my income is from tips, 75% is from subscriptions and the other 18% is from PPV content.”

For Mary Moody, once her fans arrive on one of the paid platforms she utilizes, there are pricing options that appeal to many market segments in her estimation. She thinks about what fans are willing to pay and how many of them are available.

“One hundred fans might be willing to pay $50 for a video, for a total revenue of $5,000, but if 1,000 fans are willing to pay $10, I’ll get $10,000 instead,” she wagered. “This doesn’t mean you should sell all your videos for $1. The goal is to balance pricing between the two so that I am making the most possible.”

To figure out her pricing, she looks at models that have a similar aesthetic to her and who sell similar content, then makes an estimate based on their follower count and how much they’re charging. This has helped her make an educated guess for optimal video and subscription pricing. Then she tests it out, changing pricing when needed. Often, she adjusts prices depending on the type of video or photos, while tapping into OnlyFans reports to figure out whether she is pricing correctly. If she prices one video at $15 and 100 people buy it, but prices a similar video at $20 and only five people buy it, then she knows that price is too high. By playing around with the pricing, she can divine an optimal price for different video types.

“My pricing goal is to appeal to the largest market segments on OnlyFans, while keeping my pricing high enough so it’s worth my time and effort,” Moody said. “I do my best to research where my monthly subscription should be, but models must do their own research. Pricing that works for me might not [work] for others. Depending on a model’s appeal to a certain market segment, their pricing should change. I’m lucky that my body and content appeal to a large market. Niche domination videos may only have an available market of a dozen OnlyFans users, so pricing should reflect that.

“Today, I have 2,000 paid subscribers on my OnlyFans,” she revealed. “My subscription count fluctuates and recently peaked over 2,200. Instead of getting worried about that, I ignore day-to-day fluctuations and focus on growing monthly averages. It takes consistent work and dedication to maintain a high subscriber count. When selling videos in pay-to-open messages, I sell at most 95 videos each time I post. I price all my solo PPV videos at $9.”

Her free OnlyFans has 28,000 unpaid subscribers, and with that account, she sees how lower pricing can be beneficial. Her PPV history has $3 solo videos that sold 450 copies for $1,350 in revenue, while her most recent solo video priced at $15 only sold 13 times for $195 in revenue. Nonetheless, she believes these numbers work just fine, because her main goal is to get fans to subscribe to her paid OnlyFans feed. Pricing at $15 or up, even if resulting in smaller revenue totals overall, helps convince them of her VIP OnlyFans’ value, because they get a lot more than one video for the same monthly price.

“I’m always researching and trying out new pricing or promotional strategies while keeping my product consistent and paying attention to long-term data instead of day-to-day fluctuations,” Moody said, with the shrewd approach common to many stock market investors. “Getting used to this helped my accounts grow, and my mental health, and now I feel much more confident trying new things. I hope you will, too.”

With Larkin Love, her philosophy on pricing centers on offering options for every size of budget, including fully free content. She believes that by creating quality content and not overcharging, fans who support a star will naturally be happy to do so. “I always find flash sales to be popular,” she explained. “I often reduce the price of my OnlyFans membership to $3 per month and watch my subscriber numbers climb quickly. I recently introduced free trials of my FanCentro feed and my premium Snapchat, and have seen a lot of growth from those. Most people who try my feeds at a lower price stick around, so I must be doing something right!”

Her income has increased a lot as her following has grown over the last few years, she notes, especially since starting her OnlyFans in January of 2018. That year, she earned an average of $500 a month given her relative inexperience and the site’s simplicity. While it took her over a year to learn how to interact with her fans and cater to their desires, the effort paid off; her OnlyFans has enjoyed a 15,900% increase in profits. Her FanCentro page has also had a good run, up from about $1,000 per month in 2018 to a 4,400% increase this year.

“I have two OnlyFans accounts,” she said. “The paid membership one has 6,700 followers at the time of this writing, and my free one has 19,000 followers and growing. I also have a FanCentro feed account, which has 10,000 followers on it currently. FanCentro used to be just for selling Snapchat subscriptions, but recently they’ve branched out into premium social with FanCentro Feed. Mine keeps growing as more fans discover it.

“It’s hard to say what percentage of my subscribers tip on top of their monthly fee,” Love admitted. “I’m a believer in the Pareto Principle, sometimes also referred to as the 80/20 rule. This predicts that 80% of my additional profits come from 20% of my subscriber base. And I’m grateful for all of my fans that show financial support for my work. No matter the size, every subscription or tip is a deep compliment, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. I’m literally a millionaire now from my nudes!”

For MelRose Michaels, she bases her pricing on how she values the content available in each place she offers it. For example, her fan site has four new pieces of content a week and three recycled pieces of content. By recycled, she means she’ll post a full-length explicit Snapchat show video that was created for her premium Snapchat subscribers, but may be completely new to her fan site subscribers.

“Because of that ratio of new to recycled content, and the market value of what successful fan sites are often priced around, my subscription rate there is about $10 a month,” she shared. “Alternatively, my premium social media subscription to my explicit Snapchat is about $30 a month. That’s because it’s 30 new shows a month. More content needing to be created justifies the higher price point. For video-on-demand, like my FanCentro clip store, I price solo videos about $1 a minute and collaborations with other performers around $2 a minute, unless we’ve agreed on something different.”

As for custom videos, she has adjusted her rates many times over the years. Originally, when she first began in the industry, a 10-minute custom video from her would cost fans about $300. Now that she has grown a larger brand and fan base, her time has become more valuable, which means she now charges about $500-$700 for a 10-minute custom video, depending on what specific requests fans have for it.

“It’s all a matter of testing the price points until you find a sustainable supply-and-demand ratio,” she summed. “If you’re not selling enough customs, lower the price, and if you’re selling too many to keep up with filming, raise the price! I have a marketing background, so I really enjoy the testing and experimenting side of things in my business. I’m always playing with new ideas on what sales will benefit me the most or what I can do to further retain my users.”

She underscored the value of testing out a platform’s suite of features, praising FanCentro for their “retention offers” functionality, which is a box creators can check on the backend when building out their subscription prices. By opting into a retention offer, users will be prompted with a lesser subscription price if they should try to cancel their subscription. She points out this is a great way to keep people active, while understanding potential hardships in the economy during the pandemic.

“By using all the strategies I listed above, it’s kept my new joins growing, active users retained and refunds almost nonexistent,” Michaels beamed. “Currently, every passing month has become my new ‘best month’ on FanCentro, and I’m hoping I can sustain that upward trend as long as possible! As my business model stands currently, the majority of my income is from my premium social media subscription, and my fan site subscription. Second to that is the money I earn in DMs and tips on FanCentro, and then the smallest piece of my pie is the clips I sell.”

When it comes to pricing ready-made content, Ellie Idol charges what she considers “the pretty standard rate of $1.99 per minute” for a majority of it. That increases if the content took more work to produce; for example, for mesmerizing special effects videos, she charges an extra $5 or so on top of the base price.

“For B/G or taboo content, I’ll charge an extra $2-$3,” she said. “As for custom requests, my standard is $150 for 10 minutes with $10 per extra additional minute. This can go up if someone wants their name said throughout, if it’s a more complex idea or if I need someone else in the video or to help with camerawork.”

As for Tilly Toy, she pointed out, “Pricing is so challenging when you’re starting out in our industry. So many models charge completely different prices and it makes it nearly impossible to decide what price point truly suits you.”

After a bit of trial and error, her FanCentro feed now sits at $15 a month most of the year, which her subscribers don’t seem to mind at all. Her DMs range from $5 to $30 depending on the content, and she loves to send the occasional freebie selfie or clip to her favorite fans. She doesn’t do sales too often, though, reserving such specials usually only for holidays and her birthday.

“As I gain popularity and my marketing reaches more new people, I’m seeing a steady growth in my new subscribers, fluctuating with seasonal trends,” she explained, in particular finding success during summer and Black Friday, which seem to bring her the largest influx of new subscribers. Her best months are usually August and November.

“My member retention, however, isn’t as affected by the seasons, and keeps a steady upwards growth,” she concluded. “My income from recurring subscriptions alone has increased 335% in the last five months.”

And for Nikki Delano, she approaches her pricing based on the type of content being offered, noting, “I wouldn’t charge the same for a solo that I would for a B/G anal. With pricing, I use the same structure on all platforms to keep everything fair. OnlyFans is based on customs, live streams and DMs, as the main form of platform engagement.”

On her private Snapchat, she offers a monthly fee or a yearly fee, while giving fans the opportunity to book one-on-one shows at an additional price for live streamed interactivity via FaceTime, Skype or Zoom. She also launches promo sales randomly, particularly during holidays or when she sees a slightly lower deviation in sales. Contests are another activity she engages in with her private Snapchat.

“With my earnings, I bring in over six figures monthly, including the sales with my brand-new Fleshlight contract deal,” Delano revealed. “Especially with this pandemic happening, porn consumption has risen by staggering numbers because many people are staying at home. All in all, I truly love interacting with my fans on all different levels.”

As evidenced by the enormous increases in revenues over time, today’s top premium social media stars are not only benefiting from traffic spikes for such indie content, but also from mastering the various arts required to truly dominate the subscription-based feed game. From providing a consistent stream of content that includes photos, short and long-form videos, live shows, DM-based PPV sales and regular social media marketing, they keep fans hooked on their cults of personality.

The more options made available to stars with regards to pricing, potential freemium-enabling features like optional tips and purchases from publicly visible feed content, plus ease-of-use DMs management services (like favoriting convos, sorting customs and beyond), the better they and the platforms that distribute their crystallized stardom can maximize earnings.

And with mainstream celebrities dipping their toes in the premium social media waters, while brands like OnlyFans enter the lexicon of pop culture and frequently cameo in music videos or song lyrics, a growing acceptance of adult work may one day lead to less stigma on even the most mainstream of social media sites.

After all, traditional legacy media institutions spanning Big Hollywood to Big Tech are more beholden than ever to the opinions and brand loyalty of the average consumer and a millions-strong universe of smaller tastemakers, rather than the elite and academic intelligentsia of old. The days of a small circle of powerbrokers determining who and what the public should deem critically acclaimed and worthwhile are dwindling, as YouTubers outclass once-monolithic cable TV networks and Twitch streamers get more views than major league sporting events. And when review score aggregator sites like Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes display average ratings from everyday users vs. "professional" critics of entertainment, there is frequently a sharp divide. The authenticity and intimacy of real people, of down-to-earth folks, are the ultimate premium in the digital content space, reigning supreme. That they’re often naked and gorgeous is the icing on the cake!

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