Want to make money in the adult cam industry?
So, you’ve decided to start a career in camming. Congratulations, there is plenty of money to be made from this expanding market and with the right approach and partner site(s) it can be a very rewarding job. However, whilst almost anyone can register as a cam model, not everyone can make it a success. If you are serious about starting out in camming then you need to be prepared to put in the effort, work hard and be smart about your marketing. Becoming a top star doesn’t happen overnight but for those that follow some basic advice the rewards can be very lucrative indeed.
In this camming guide, we take a look at how to get started in the camming industry from the kit you need to tips and advice about how to make your shows earn you more money.
Camming in the Current Climate: The Sex Cam Market & Coronavirus
As we publish this piece, we find ourselves in the middle of the global coronavirus pandemic which has changed the face of the sex cam market, albeit (hopefully) temporarily.
What many people won’t have realized is the affects that social distancing has had on those who work in the adult entertainment business. Dubbed ‘sexual distancing’, there are plenty of men and women whose livelihoods have been put on hold due to the stay at home measures introduced around the world. After all, porn stars and escorts can’t work from home…or, can they?
As a result of the lockdowns many strippers, erotic dancers, prostitutes, adult movie stars and escorts are turning to the online sex industry as an alternative way to make money.
This is causing a flood of new sign ups to popular cam sites like Chaturbate, CamSoda, MyFreeCams and LiveJasmin. You can find a list of the top sites entertaining the lockdown population in our recent feature, ‘9 Cam Sites to Enjoy in Self-Isolation‘.
Yet, whilst this may be good news for the viewers who should be getting more choice, there is a downside to this turn in events.
Firstly, in a heavily saturated market, what money is being tipped is therefore being spread more thinly around.
Another big problem that many cam models are facing is the fact that people are worried about their finances during this crisis and, overall, are spending less on the content they are enjoying.
Secondly, many of the models who are new to the industry aren’t aware of just how much work is involved and this can affect the quality being offered with some newcomers’ broadcasts being plain awful.
Of course, there is some positive news about the current lockdown when it comes to the camming markets and that is there are more people watching adult content than ever before. It’s not just live cam sites but premium and free tube porn sites are all seeing traffic increase in those countries where lockdown measures have been introduced. Pornhub itself has reported a surge in traffic to their site by almost 25% at the peak of the outbreak in Europe towards the end of March 2020!
How To Get Started Camming
Before we kick off with the practical tips you want on how to make your camming career a success, we wanted to cover some important advice on who can make it as cam star.
It’s an important question to cover and addresses some of the basic qualities that you should possess in order to make the most money, get the best audiences and to enjoy what you are doing, so please don’t skip over this section.
Who Can Be a Cam Star?
Sure, anybody can set up an account with one of the popular camming platforms and whilst some models may naturally attract more of an audience due to their looks, not everyone can make camming a successful career.
Those that can, and do, all share the same qualities and they are not what you’d think either.
The top models across sites like Chaturbate, MyFreeCams and CamSoda as well as niche platforms such as KinkLive, FetishSexCams and LiveGoddess all:
- Have a strong work ethic.
- Approach their camming professionally.
- Are committed to broadcasting at regular times.
- Are consistent with their broadcast quality and content.
- Market themselves well using social media and other platforms.
- Make the most of monetizing all of their content.
- Engage with their audiences.
- Have been lucky.
Other than these key factors, cam models can come from any walk of life and background, they can come in different shapes, sizes, races and ages. In fact, camming is such a varied industry that there is an audience out there for every kind of performer, regardless of what you look or sound like and the kind of shows you are hosting.
Yes, there is a ‘cookie-cutter’ type when it comes to young, slim and stunningly good-looking models who may well achieve some success but without all of the above qualities they will not outperform those that do.
Choosing the Right Cam Site
One of the main keys to your success as a cam model is selecting the right site to broadcast from. Effectively, you are choosing a business partner and if you were going into business in any other walk of life, you’d want to know quite a bit about you are dealing with.
So, our first tip is (unfortunately) a bit of a dull one but is very important not to skip over; research!
There is no substitute for doing your own research and though there are plenty of sites who have their own favorite cam platforms or advice on which services to use, the decision has to be yours and it has to be made based on several factors weighed up together; for example:
Which cam site offers the best commission rates and what is their traffic generation like?
Some platforms charge as little as 5% of what you generate so you get the lion’s share of the income but if they are only getting a few thousand hits per month then your chances of making big money are pretty limited. On the other end of the scale, there are cam sites who charge 50% commission yet these services are incredibly popular and you are more likely to be generating a bigger income….even if you have to share half of it with the cam company.
Check the commission structure of each cam site and then check their traffic using services like Alexa or SimilarWeb.
How often does the cam company pay commission and how do they do it?
Again, each site varies in terms of their payment frequency and some models want to be paid weekly whilst others are happy to have this monthly or even on request. It’s also worth checking what method of payment they employ to process commissions as some only use check which can be a pain if you are based outside of the U.S. Most offer payment via digital transfers or processing platforms like Payoneer.
Also check the currency of the payments being made to you.
Is there any special equipment that you need to broadcast on their site?
Some cam companies only offer HD broadcasting so their models will have to invest in this before they can sign up. Others insist that you have a minimum speed of internet connection so always check the requirements during the research stage to make sure you have what you need.
Are there any exclusivity clauses in their contract?
Some cam sites insist that their contracted models only work for them whilst others aren’t as fussy about whether you broadcast to multiple networks.
The next stage of choosing the right cam site is all about getting a good fit and is also an essential part of your research.
If you are intending to offer a fairly mainstream kind of show and you don’t have any niche skills, look or services to offer then this aspect might not be as important. However, if you want to offer some kind of kink broadcast or you want to reach a specific audience (BBW lovers, balloon fetishists etc.) then you might want to consider a cam site which reaches your target demographic.
Another aspect to consider about getting a good fit with your cam company is to check the countries where they are most popular. If you speak a foreign language then you may be able to maximize your appeal by partnering with a cam site that reaches those countries.
Lastly, always check the terms and conditions for all new model sign ups to make sure you are both eligible to join and that there are no quirks about what you can and can’t broadcast.
Check Out The Competition
As part of your research, we can’t impress more strongly how important it is to watch some live cam shows and even interact with some live cam models yourself. Without an understanding of how the job works you will not be able to compete. Period.
Check out as many shows as you can because even the bad broadcasts will teach you something about what you should and should not be doing.
Make notes about what works and what doesn’t and don’t be worried about ‘stealing’ ideas. There are few genuinely original ideas in this game, just recycled ones.
Setting Up Your Home Studio
Unless you have signed up to work with a camming company which provides studio space to operate from then you will need to prepare a room of your own from which to broadcast.
Most models work from home (certainly in the current lockdown crisis) and getting your own ‘studio’ space ready is the first step on the road to success.
First up, check what the cam company you are signing up with requires of you in your model agreement and make a note of this. It could be the resolution of camera, the speed of internet connection or even details about what you can and can’t have on display in camera shot. Most are quite hot on not allowing their models to advertise on set so clothing, pictures or props which have brand names and logos on are usually a no-no.
Once you’ve checked what is essential as part of your contract, you can make sure you have the following:
- PC or laptop with internet access that is fast and secure.
- A high-resolution camera (HD if you are planning to maximize your chances of success). Most standard spec webcams that come with a laptop aren’t man enough for the job so purchasing a separate USB webcam is recommended. This also gives you a bit more flexibility about where to place your cam.
- A wireless keyboard (and mouse). Though not essential, a wireless keyboard lets you chat more easily and doesn’t require you to keep returning to your laptop to respond to visitors.
- Microphone. Again, most laptops come with their own mics but when in private chats with a customer, they will want to be able to hear you. Remember that in certain positions, you might be quite far away from your laptop! A good external mic can be run closer to where you are performing.
- External speakers. In the same way that a separate mic is useful, external speakers will also allow you to better hear your visitors when you are in performance mode.
- Cam splitter. A piece of kit which allows you to simultaneously stream to multiple sites, a cam splitter is not essential and can, in fact, slow down your internet connection. However, if you want to broadcast to several sites at once to boost your earnings and have a superfast internet connection then you should consider using one.
Lastly, you need to consider your lighting. This is a really important technical aspect that many amateurs don’t take note of. A single light source (like an overhead bulb) can make you look washed out and create unappealing shadows plus, with HD cams, can really look quite stark and unprofessional.
You don’t need to shell out a fortune to get better results but you do need to follow the guidance of having a three-point lighting system.
- A main (and brightest source of) light should be directed on you and your performance space. It should be placed at a 45-degree angle to the camera.
- A fill light should be placed at the opposite side of the camera and also focused on you but should be around 50-70% less bright than your main source. This helps to combat shadows.
- A back light placed behind you should be giving off a subtle and low intensity light to give a professional boost to your studio.
These light sources can simply be lamps you already own but the positioning and brightness is the key. Don’t believe us? Do a before and after clip and you’ll see what we mean.
Staging the Space
Once you have all of the technical equipment, you’ll need to set it up in the space you are going to broadcast from.
For most models, this is a bedroom and if you have a spare one then great. Whichever room you choose, it would be nice to have a permanent ‘studio’ area as this saves you the time in setting up for each session but also guarantees consistency for your visitors.
There are some key things to consider when choosing your space.
Firstly, it should be somewhere private and where you are not going to be disturbed. This also means privacy in terms of acoustics so make sure your visitors aren’t getting treated to the tumble dryer going off in the background etc.
Secondly, your studio needs to be comfortable as you are going to be spending a lot of time here. Consider what kind of performance you will be offering and ensure you can accommodate those requests in the space.
Part of being comfortable is also being warm and, bearing in mind that you may well not be wearing much, you might want to ensure you have a heat source in the room.
Next, you are going to want to make sure that you enough props and accessories on hand to give the best performance you can. Think about the kind of performance you want to give and the ‘character’ you are playing. If you are going to perform as a femdom then whips, chains and handcuffs might be useful to have prepared.
For a lot of cam models this includes a basic selection of sex toys such as vibrators, wands, dildos and butt plus. Strap ons and squirting dildos are also quite popular choices at the moment.
However, the top performers on any cam site are those that also offer the use of interactive sex toys.
These high-tech devices typically work using a Bluetooth connection and are operated/controlled by your audience. When people tip, they can make your vibrator sing! This level of interactivity is really popular and though these toys aren’t cheap, they are worth investing in.
Lastly, nobody expects you to have an actual studio but you should make an effort to ensure that the environment is as professional as possible. Clear up the clutter and stage the space with a sexy ambiance. Take the time to look at the space through the camera and be critical about what you see. Anything and everything should have its place and if it doesn’t belong to your on-screen persona then move it out of shot. This includes photos of you and your family on the wall, piles of books on your bedside table or the vacuum cleaner stored in the corner. Be very selective about what is included in the frame to be sure it all supports the tone of your performances.
Getting Ready to Broadcast
Okay, you’re all set up and ready to broadcast but, before you go live, there’s just one last thing which needs some attention…you!
It goes without saying that you should dress sexy and make an effort with any clothes that you decide to wear. Most cam models wear skimpy lingerie, go topless or even appear naked on their broadcasts. The choice is entirely up to you and will be determined by any special character or service you are offering. For instance, if you are selling a fantasy of a sexy secretary then you might decide to wear a low-cut blouse and pencil skirt; at least to begin with. Whether you are channeling a strict dominatrix or naughty schoolgirl, think how your costume choices could enhance the effect.
As for make-up, there are many cam models who appear ‘au natural’ but we would at least recommend a basic shine control powder to counteract the glare of any lights you are using.
Research has also shown that men are drawn to the mouths of cam models and red lipstick enhances this part of your face, believe it or not, to remind them of genitalia. So, whatever you can do to accentuate your lips the better!
Lastly, you may not always be eager to perform on camera but attitude is everything when it comes to success and those who can ‘switch off’ from all distractions and give their all to their audience stand a better chance of pulling in those tips.
Get in the zone, get flirty and make an effort to smile (and smile often). Oh, and please put your phone away…..it’s a big turn off to drop in to a room to see someone paying their mobile more attention than the audience. Yes, a 2-hour stint on cam may well be dull whilst you wait for visitors. Just remember that a lot of men browse cam shows quite quickly before they find one to stick around for. You could only have a very brief 10-30 second window to impress so be prepared to grab their attention.
Build An Audience
Your first show may well be a complete flop and you don’t earn a penny or you might hit paydirt and discover a superfan on day one who tips handsomely.
Whichever it is, the key to achieving success is by being consistent and putting in the time and effort.
Establish a regular broadcast schedule so that you can build a fan base; if people don’t know when you are going to be live then they can’t watch you.
When performing, respond to your audience and don’t forget to thank them for tips and to engage with their requests. Most cam sites offer free shows so plenty of viewers will stay to watch without tipping so it’s up to you to work them and encourage them to be generous with their donations.
Everyone has their own technique to do this but being friendly, being suggestive, being open and playful are all key to connecting with visitors. Those cam models who sit and play with their phones, don’t smile and ignore the SMS feeds tend not to last very long.
As you start to build up a fan base, it is worth making a mental note (and jotting this down later) of those users who keep returning or who tip well. Speak to them directly and make them feel welcome and wanted. Greeting them personally when they pop up in your SMS feed can make the difference between no tip and a big tip.
Building a fan base can take a long time so you need to be patient and try not to get disheartened if you have a slow start. Persistence and consistency will pay off in the long run.
Marketing and Maximizing Your Earnings
Lastly, if you really want to make your camming career a success then you will have to spend time off camera on building your brand as well as doing the business on screen.
The best performing cam stars also make the most of social media accounts to allow fans another way to connect with them. By promoting yourself on channels like Snapchat, Twitter and Kik etc you can effectively funnel new and existing business all to the same (revenue generating) source!
Other ways to increase your income via camming is to sell access to exclusive content. There are plenty of ways to do this through sites like OnlyFans, JustForFans, IsMyGirl and FanCentro. Each basically offers you a platform to sell things like pics, clips and even physical objects like lingerie or other personal items to your fans. A lot of cam sites also have storefront opportunities to increase your revenue through your cam channel in the same way.
Keeping Up With The Admin
Another dull aspect of the job but an essential one, it’s important to stay on top of the paperwork.
If you are earning money from your camming then you will need to consider the way in which you pay taxes. This will depend on the country you are operating in but most governments will consider your income as a taxable one so do check the prevailing laws and make sure you declare your earnings appropriately.
In terms of the legal side, you will most likely be required to provide your cam company with a model release form and some form of personal ID. Do keep copies of your contracts and agreements with your chosen camming site and keep diary notes of when commission payments fall due so you can track these. Most payments are automatic but some may require you to trigger them.
Enjoy Your Success
On a final note, you should make sure that however you broadcast and with whatever site, you should be having fun doing what you do. If you don’t then the audience will be the first to spot it. The most successful cam models are those that make performing look natural and enjoyable.
And remember, the more you put into your efforts, the greater the rewards. Whilst there are a handful of models each month who make seriously mega bucks for a few shows, the vast majority of the big earners are putting in the hours.
Good luck, we hope to see on the other side soon.
Featured image via Pixabay.