Since the start of the pandemic, business has been booming for cammers and online content creators. Millions of people have been holed up, isolated - and horny. Strip bars struggled during the pandemic, dating became a game of health-risk roulette and many sex workers stopped taking in-person clients. Even people with live-in sexual partners were struggling; research about COVID-19's impact on sex lives found that the forced prolonged cohabitation during the lockdown led partners to turn to more porn use and masturbation and less to partner sex. Coupled or solo, everyone felt the pinch of the lockdown and social distancing. It makes sense that people sought community and connection anywhere they could find it, often with strangers behind a screen.
Cammers and Content Creators Share Top Tips for Success
In a year where many professions had to pivot, camming has become a popular way for people to make a living, while performing from anywhere in the world. All you need is a laptop, a safe private space, and a friendly personality. It's live, real and interactive. Think of it as an on-demand community of open-minded friends.
Like any form of self-employment, however, camming requires hard work. Branding, marketing and consistency are required for success. While demand for the service has increased, so has supply; there are literally thousands of models on any platform at any given moment. The key to succeeding is to stand out. And no, you do not need to look a certain way to attract clients. It's your body and your choice on how you want to present yourself, who you want to engage with and in what capacity.
It's also important to note that camming is not all about sex; performers can market everything from casual conversation to explicit sex acts. Many people are willing to pay for a little human connection and a glimpse into a cammer's daily life. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to what content or services a model can offer.
Financial independence aside, camming can be a confidence booster for performers. It also allows models to interact with people they would never cross paths with in real life. Sometimes, the community created online even grows into real-life friendships.
If you're curious about camming, just starting out, or simply curious about how it all works, you've come to the right place. We talked with several seasoned cam pros on what to do – and what not do – to kickstart this exciting career. Here's what they had to say.
Top Tips for Camming Success
Don't Worry About What Other People Think
Amber Addison has been in this industry for more than seven years. Her most important tip for newbies is to ignore other people's preconceptions. Judgment is inevitable. Remember, you are the one creating your own professional path. Don't let the opinions of others stand in your way.
"Be yourself, try to have fun and create a special connection with those you have chemistry with"
Do Be Ready for Anything
Sure, sex is a big part of camming, but it's not the whole picture. Molly Goodhead tells potential cam models that they need to be 100% ready for this job and feel comfortable in what they are doing to get started in this industry. Talking, flirting, and making people feel welcome are just as important as all the fun sexual stuff.
"If you want to earn big, you need to remember that you're not only a cam model, but you're also a psychologist, great listener, attentive person to every kind of member."
Do Think About Your Tech Setup
You most definitely need a good webcam, computer and high-speed internet connection. Beyond that, it depends upon how pro you want to go. An HD camera will make video quality look more polished. A well-lit camming area is also advised. People are, after all, paying to see you! The same goes for a quality microphone. There’s a time and place for muffled moans and groans - this isn’t it, especially if you’re selling audio content.
Do Invest in Props
Sex toys aren’t mandatory, but they can increase your entertainment value. Clients especially love being able to interact with performers through toys that can be controlled remotely. Take the new Lumen Pleasure Plug from OhMiBod for example. The silicone plug can be used in either an anus or vagina. It syncs with music, vibrational patterns, or your partner’s sexy voice, via the free OhMiBod Remote™ App. Hello, sexy strip teases!
Oh, and for those who like instant gratification, an LED light flashes and when it’s working its vibrational magic. Few things bridge the gap of long distance intimacy quite like being able to control someone else’s pleasure - even via an app. "We all like having our orgasms controlled," says SierraStar.
"We all like having our orgasms controlled,"
"Insertables such as OhMiBod Lumen or any other butt plugs or the Esca 2 vibrator are great because tehy stay in place and let you have the freedom to move around," Alec Hardy said.
Do Dream Big
Sweet Kiss Brazil believes camming is one of the most incredible jobs in the world. She encourages newbies to approach the industry with a positive attitude and to dream big. Big dreams can feel a little scary, but they also make so many great things possible.
"You can realize all your dreams, and having those dreams will help you accomplish your goals and stay strong when things get difficult," she says.
Do Keep a Steady Schedule
When you're starting out, it's super important to be online and visible. The more hours you are online and interacting with members, the more you can grow and retain your fan base, says Hottyteen69. Emma Kyle suggests keeping a steady online schedule of at least six to seven hours daily. "Get a good webcam, computer, internet connection and quality equipment," says Kyle. "Always be in a good mood and dressed up sexy. Find outfits that fit your personality, because you also must be yourself. That never goes wrong or out of style, and members will feel that."
Don't Expect Easy Money
"This is hard work just like any other," says Alec Hardy. "The money is great, but you'll have to put in the work." Hardy says don't believe anyone who says they just opened an OnlyFans, uploaded one photo of their feet, and earned $2K in the first night. "Don't get discouraged if you don't become a millionaire overnight; it'll take a bit more time than that," he jokes.
"The money is great, but you'll have to put in the work."
Don't Lose Your Identity
Throughout her camming career, Corinas Secret has seen so many people try to copy others just because they were famous or because they thought guys would follow them if they did so. "BIG BIG MISTAKE," she says. The second you try to be a copy of someone else, you lose confidence in yourself. Her advice? "Be original, be unique, find your style, and always be yourself." People have such wildly different tastes – there will always be members who like the real you. In other words, don't ever stop being the beautiful amazing being that you are.
"Be original, be unique, find your style, and always be yourself."
Do Maintain Your Momentum
Like any new endeavor, there's a learning curve when it comes to camming. "No one said it will be easy, but you must NOT lose your patience or the enthusiasm," says Emma Kyle. Even if traffic, sales, and sign-ups are slow at first, Kyle assures newbies that it will become much better in time. "Take every day as it comes and never give up!" says Kyle. "Curate your host profile and always add the best pictures or videos – this is the content that members see first before they decide to 'click' on you." Enthusiasm not only builds self-confidence but it also gives you the energy to build your business.
"Curate your host profile and always add the best pictures or videos – this is the content that members see first before they decide to 'click' on you."
Do Engage Your Audience
"Camming involves ensuring the viewers are completely engaged and involved in your broadcast," says Eva Lerma, photographer, and co-founder of MyTravelTripod. Cammers should be very interactive in terms of being highly talkative with their viewers, creating friendly chat rooms, and so on, she notes. The idea is to make sure viewers feel like they can connect with you and know who you are. "Viewers should feel excited when watching you; otherwise, they will not tip, and the broadcast will be a waste of time and money."
Interactive products and toys can help, which is why they're so popular with cammers. "There are so many different options," says Sweet Kiss Brazil. "You don't have to use the same toy as everyone else, so when the customer sees that you offer something he hasn't seen before, it sparks his interest."
Do Watch Out for Freeloaders and Scammers
Alec Hardy warns of scammers who go into new models' rooms and try to send fake messages. "They try to make you believe you've received a tip, or they tell you they'll tip you x amount or take you private for 20 minutes AFTER you do something for them," says Hardy. "Those members will never spend anything on you." Instead, Hardy advises cammers to only do things AFTER they tip or take you private and only do things you're comfortable with. "Just because someone sent you a tip without asking you if you do a certain thing and then asks for it, you're not obliged to do it if you're not comfortable with it." Just like in real life, rules of consent apply.
"Just because someone sent you a tip without asking you if you do a certain thing and then asks for it, you're not obliged to do it if you're not comfortable with it."
Do Pay Attention to Your Clients
Sure, life happens. But a client can tell when a model is distracted. "It could be something on her mind, maybe a personal problem, or even something happening in the room," says Sweet Kiss Brazil. "If you don't focus on him, he might be gone forever." If you can't show up and be present, it's probably best to take a time-out until you can completely focus. "Your focus in understanding who the person on the other side of the webcam is is what will determine your success."
"Your focus in understanding who the person on the other side of the webcam is is what will determine your success."
Don't Underestimate a Simple Hello
Never underestimate anyone that said hello to you, even if it is just a free guest. "You never know what is behind the guest status," says Emma Kyle says. "Always respond to guests and members' questions. Be natural and yourself, just the way you are in your daily life. Members want to know the real you – the real girl – not the host online." Never underestimate the power of community - a simple hello can go a long way toward bringing someone into your online circle.
Do Be There for Your Members
Hottyteen69 says be there for your members. "Be yourself, enjoy yourself, and have fun with them," she says. "The more they can see you, the more opportunities you create for members to discover you, to create online relationships with them. The more they get to know you, the more they will like you, the more likely they are to stay with you a long time."
Don't Let Mistakes Hold You Back
In a perfect world, we should all learn from our mistakes. "Be open to learn new things, treat all your members equally, be nice and the success will follow," says hottyteen69. "They will come for your looks; they will stay for your personality and because you are fun to be with."
Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. Over the past two decades, her work has appeared in more than 100 media outlets including Marie Claire, Playboy, Refinery29, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, WIRED, and Thrillist.
She adopted a pseudonym and was AVN’s (Adult Video Network) first female porn reviewer – while penning children’s books at the same time. More recently, she is the author of 101 Ways to Rock Online Dating (2019). She lives in Seattle with her rescue dog, Mimi. You can find her on Twitter @rynpfeuffer or IG @ryn_says