How to Start an Onlyfans: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners

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OnlyFans has quickly become a household name over the last few years. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the platform, much less someone who hasn’t considered joining it at least once. If you’re in the latter group, wondering how to start an OnlyFans but not sure what your first step even is, we’re here to help.

If you happen to live under a rock, OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform where creators monetize their content and offer it to their subscribers for a set fee each month. It doesn’t have to be adult-related, but the majority of it is.

Do you want to start an OnlyFans page but aren’t sure how to get started? Look no further, we’ve put in the work researching everything you need to know, step-by-step, to get started from scratch. And anyone can do it, regardless of sexuality, gender, or age (yes, men can make money on OnlyFans). You don’t need to have experience or followers to get started, although both help boost your profile.

OnlyFans sign-up requirements

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way first, shall we? It should be common sense, but you must be 18 years of age and be able to prove it before you can sign up for OnlyFans. You’ll need a valid, government-issued ID to prove your age.

Although you can use just about any name you’d like for your profile, on the back end, you must give Fenix International—the company that owns OnlyFans—your legal name, date of birth, address, and banking information so you can get paid. All this information remains confidential and is never disclosed to your fans.

When you set up your account in the United States, you’ll be asked for a routing and account number for your bank. It is then verified via initial deposits, but don’t worry—it never says “OnlyFans,” just Fenix International, so your bank won’t know where the money is coming from. You’ll also want to have some content ready to go for upload, so be sure to read their terms and conditions to ensure you have what follows their rules.

How to start an OnlyFans, step-by-step

Getting started isn’t too difficult. There are a few options; I chose to link to my X (formerly Twitter) account for log-in, you’ll just have to ensure you’re logged into X (formerly Twitter) on that browser window when you log in each time. 

1. When you arrive at the site, click “Sign Up.” Choose whether you use your email address and a password, X, Google account, or Windows Hello. 

How to start an OnlyFans: OnlyFans sign up page

2. You’ll need to be age-verified. This is where it seems to get tricky for a lot of creators, but it doesn’t have to be. You must enter your legal information with OnlyFans, not your online persona. I know, it’s scary, but none of this information is available to your fans.

First, verify your email to trigger the age verification process. Once you get that link, be sure you’re in a well-lit area. The biggest thing here is the verification service being able to see all of your ID and face. You’ll be instructed to take a non-blurry photo of the front and back of your ID where all corners can be seen clearly, and it cannot be a copy of the document. You can use a government-issued driver’s license, state ID, or valid passport. Whichever document is used must be valid, not expired, and it must include a photo.

Next, you’ll be instructed to take a selfie. Don’t worry, the software lets you know when your face is framed to their liking. This process is easy, just be sure you have ample lighting. It can take up to 72 hours to hear whether you’ve been approved, and there’s no waiting time if you’re rejected to resubmit.

They let you know which part they didn’t accept, so correct your error and try again immediately. You will not be able to submit your banking information for payment until your age verification is approved. However, you can begin to craft your profile right away.

3. Upload your profile and header photos. These need to be safe for work (SFW) photos. You don’t want to give away the milk for free, plus it’s against OnlyFans’ terms of service to post fully nude photos in these places. Teasing photos are great for profile pics and headers. Remember, header photos are in landscape mode, so keep that in mind when choosing which photo you’ll post there to ensure it looks fantastic. 

4. Craft your bio while you’re waiting. This is the short blurb that everyone can see before they subscribe and will help draw in folks and make them want to pay to see everything you’re going to share. Think of it as your elevator pitch. If someone lands on your profile by accident and you want to bring them into the fold, what would you say to them? Be clear, specific, and to the point while being engaging and fun. 

5. Now that you’ve been verified, add your banking information, fill out the W-9 or other appropriate tax forms to your area, and you’re ready to accept payments on your profile. Which means you can open for business!

6. It’s a personal choice whether you show or hide your follower count, but in the beginning, at least, I recommend hiding it since you’ll initially have none. Though it may seem silly, some fans may be turned off by the fact you have no followers, so to get around this social proof of your popularity, take it out of the equation. To make this change, simply go to the three dots on the left that say more and click, where you’ll get a menu on the left, settings, privacy, and safety, and disable the radio button for showing follower count on the right.

When it comes to picking a niche, choose content you genuinely enjoy creating

You probably already have an idea of what type of content you want to provide if you’re wondering how to start an OnlyFans, but let’s talk about niches anyway. There are so many to choose from, and just because it is popular doesn’t necessarily mean it will make the most money for you.

You may find your niche by whittling it down to something not many people are doing, but if it’s something you truly enjoy, you’ll find “your people” and do exceptionally well regardless. Don’t be afraid to try something different just because no one else is doing it. 

Popular niches on the platform include gamer girl, hotwife, amateur, and more, however, if those don’t appeal to you and you’re attempting to make content like that, it will show. If you have existing fans, they’ll expect to see whatever content you’ve previously been producing, unless you’ve explained you’re changing things up.

The point is that it’s important not only to do your research ahead of time but also to create content that you enjoy. It’ll always show through in whatever you’re creating. The more you enjoy what you’re creating, the better your content is.

Following other creators who do well on the platform and seeing what works can help you decide how to craft great content and possibly help you choose what niche would work best for you. It’s also important to read their terms and conditions and be sure the content you’re planning to create doesn’t go against those. There’s not much worse than spending a lot of time and effort creating something wonderful, only to find you can’t use it.

Check out: Finding Success On TikTok and OnlyFans in Your 50s: A Conversation with Elaina St. James

Free vs. paid OnlyFans

Most of us creating content online enjoy getting paid for the work we’re putting in, so why would someone want to make a free OnlyFans? Why not both? It’s up to you, but running two pages can become daunting, so let’s discuss the pros and cons of how to start an OnlyFans free and paid page.

A free OnlyFans page can still earn money, it’s just a bit different than how a paid page works. With a free page, your content on the timeline is visible to anyone with an OnlyFans account (fans) without them having to pay to subscribe, so you’ll want to keep that in mind.

I started with both types of pages, due to taking the advice of a seasoned user, and thought I would convert free subscribers over to my paid page. I was able to do this in some instances, but I’ll be honest, it doesn’t always work.

Most people who come to a free page expect things to remain just that, free. They aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, or if they are, it’s on their terms, which doesn’t typically translate to a monthly fee.

The upside to a free OnlyFans page can be pay-per-view content (PPV). Since they draw in a lot of subscribers at times, you’ll have a wealth of people to send direct messages (DMs) to. If this appeals to you, then a free page might be something to consider.

You can create content, whether it’s video or photos, and send a mass DM to all your subscribers to unlock for a price you set. Of course, not everyone will pay to unlock the message, but you might be surprised at the number of fans who will. Creators who interact with their fans on their page, post regularly, and provide teasing content on the timeline, have a great chance of getting their fans to unlock PPV messages—as those same fans want to see what’s hidden behind the lock.

Also check out: OnlyFans Content Protection: Tips for Sex Workers to Prevent Photo Theft

Determining a price for your OnlyFans depends on demand within your niche and your time investment

It’s often difficult to put a price on our work, but we must. OnlyFans allows us to charge as little as nothing (free) or $4.99 and up to whatever you’d like.

Keep in mind that OnlyFans takes 20 percent of your earnings. You can offer bundles for three and six-month subscriptions if your fans pay up front, and discounts to them if they share your content and bring in other subscribers, such as a free month. This is a great incentive for your fans, especially when you’re just starting.

OnlyFans subscription page outlining price for subscribers

Even if you’re a beginner, know your worth! You’re going to be spending a lot of time creating content, posting, and interacting with your fans. Don’t undersell yourself just because you’re getting started. You can always change your pricing later if you want, but remember to keep in mind how much time you’re putting in and price your content accordingly.

You can customize your welcome message as well, to make it feel more personal. Extra income can be earned here too, as OnlyFans allows you to attach a PPV message here if you’d like. Your fans don’t have to open this if they don’t want to, but some may choose to, so you could add a special naughty welcome video to let them know just how much you appreciate their subscription.

Also check out: Chargeback Prevention Strategies for Sex Workers: Minimizing Risk and Protecting Income

Beginners make money on OnlyFans through solid marketing and promotion

Making money on OnlyFans is all about how much time, effort, and energy you’re willing to put into your content and promotion. There is no internal promotional engine built into this platform, meaning you can’t post your content and expect OnlyFans to do the work for you.

Sadly, I think a lot of creators do a lot of work in the beginning by adding high-quality photos and videos to their profiles, then just sitting back and waiting for the money to start rolling in. Such creators find themselves highly disappointed after the first month comes and goes without their gaining a single subscriber.

Creating amazing content is only one part of the equation. Promotion and marketing are the largest parts of your business, and you’re responsible for every part of that. You’ll need to bring in your subscribers through other sources—posting about your page on various social media sites is the best way to accomplish this. Ensure that you know the rules concerning nudity on each platform where you’re posting so your profile doesn’t get banned. 

It’s a good plan to use teasing types of images and text when creating your marketing strategy for places such as Reddit, X, and Instagram. Not only will you keep yourself out of trouble this way, but you’ll also entice them to OnlyFans where they’ll find better, more naughty images and videos they’ll want to pay for.

But don’t stop there with your marketing and promotion! You’ll need to keep them wanting more of you to earn that monthly subscription fee. Consider how you’ll keep them interested in remaining faithful subscribers. Coming up with a regular posting schedule on your social media channels as well as your OnlyFans page is vital to retaining your monthly subscribers.

Post every day, or even three times every day 

A good rule of thumb, in the beginning, is a daily posting habit—though some say providing content three times per day, morning, noon, and night works best. You don’t necessarily have to post new photos/videos this many times per day—even teasing text works well.

In the morning, you could post a teaser photo with text telling them good morning and asking them what their plans are for the day. Follow up with a lunchtime text mentioning how your day is going so far, saying you miss your followers and wish you could hang out with them all day and hope they miss you, too. Then in the early evening, post another photo saying something like you’re home, trying to relax and thinking naughty thoughts and wish they were there with you, how about they tell you what they’d like to do this evening…

In this way you can provoke a conversation with your fans, possibly drawing them into your DMs where you could send them locked PPV content and boost sales further.

Starting an OnlyFans is worth it for those committed to regular posting and self-promotion

While it’s technically free to start an OnlyFans—as in it doesn’t cost any money to do so—it does cost a lot of time, and you may need to invest in some equipment, such as good lighting sources and appealing studio decor. If you put in the work and go into it with the understanding that you’re not going to be a viral sensation overnight, it can be a worthwhile endeavor.

Ultimately, it boils down to your commitment to promotion, consistency in posting, and engagement with your fans. There is a lot of competition, but if your niche is small, this won’t be as much of an issue. My best advice is to be realistic about your goals and your time commitment—and do your research.

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