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Cam sites: How do they work and how much can you earn?

Cam sites could be the answer to making more money and free promotion

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If you’re looking for more ways to build your content creation career, signing up to a cam site may be a great option. They complement fan pages well, since they are almost wholly dedicated to one style of content – live webcam shows.

While it’s possible to go live on OnlyFans and some other adult subscription platforms, cam sites can be a better option since they have a live audience waiting for exactly this kind of content. And you can easily promote your Cam site on your fan page, and vice versa, helping to build up two platforms to serve one paying audience.

Let’s explore campsites a little more and delve into how you can make a success of live webcam shows.

What is a Cam site?

A cam site is a website where people can live stream themselves. They’re popular in the adult entertainment world because it connects users with models of all shapes and sizes for live chat and video – and that live element just makes it all the more exciting.

Cam sites are generally public – when you go live, anyone can watch. However they have many ways that you can use them to make an income, which we’ll cover shortly.

Anyone can sign up for a cam site as a creator. Many users who visit these sites are looking for authentic amateur content over the more professional (and therefore fake) porn they can find on other websites.

The fact that these are real people, with realistic lighting and genuine bedrooms or living rooms, and that these are live videos happening right now, makes the model seem all the more accessible to the user.

However cam sites are really popular. Which means that when a user first gets to the site, they’re normally faced with a wall of videos to choose from. If you want to capture the browsing user, you’ll need to work hard to stand out without losing that authenticity. The best way to draw an audience is to promote your live work elsewhere first.

How much money do you make on a Cam site?

Cam sites generally work using tokens rather than straight cash. Users sign up and pay for tokens which they can then spend on a model, who gets the money in exchange for the tokens spent.

The cam site does keep a large percentage of the amount spent on tokens – on average around 40%. The reason it’s so high is because it costs a heck of a lot to run a webcam site – the bandwidth of having live video streamed by so many models at once is huge. These are no amateur websites, they cost a lot. Then there’s all the other admin costs and the costs of paying affiliates.

On the flip side, there are many different ways to earn tokens on a cam site. You can set up private chats for a high price, where a user might go into a private room for a one-on-one conversation in the chat, asking you to perform certain tasks.

Tips make up a huge part of your revenue. Many users tip just because they like what they see, but to make the most tip money you need to offer incentives. Most models don’t go nude on a free stream but they may flash in exchange for tips of a certain level. And when you do get into bigger rooms, you might offer more risqué rewards in exchange for higher values. There are ways you can be clever with this, which we’ll cover below in making a success of your account.

Finally, one of the more niche ways to make money on a cam site is to sell underwear or toys that you’ve used as part of the stream. It’s up to you if you’re comfortable with this, but you can negotiate with chat users directly on many sites and make good cash by selling used items.

It’s estimated that the average model can make between $20 and $60 an hour on Chaturbate, the largest cam site, with the best models earning between $2,000 and $20,000 a month. However, bear in mind that maintaining a live show for more than an hour or two is going to be tough, and you need to persevere on marketing yourself to build an audience – you won’t make $20 when you first log on.

Using a Cam site to promote your fan page

Cam sites are a great way to promote your subscription page, whether that’s OnlyFans, AVN Stars or any other platform. You get an audience interested in live adult content that is willing to spend money – you just need to convert them into subscribers.

The only issue is that you aren’t allowed to directly link to your fan pages from the chat room or live on video. Chats are heavily moderated and you’ll be caught quickly, and have your account shut down (and sometimes IP banned, so you can’t re-join without using a VPN).

There’s nothing stopping you from promoting your other social channels though. So, sign up to Ohh.me, a free social media linking tool and get your fan pages (and your cam site account) added.

Then, when you’re live streaming on a cam site, drop a link to your ohh.me page in the chat, and maybe hold up a sign (get creative – use it to cover up some of your ‘interesting’ features and occasionally let it slip a little).

You’ll drive traffic to your social channels which will include your fan platform, boosting your subscriber numbers.

It works in reverse too – earn more money on a cam site by promoting your go-live times on your subscription platform and other social channels. By letting your fans know when you’ll be live, they’ll be more likely to join you and spend some tokens.

At this stage, the best content creators will be mapping out their week – setting a schedule on when to post to their fan page, when to go live on their cam site, and also what kind of theming they want to use to keep everything fresh and to add a little intrigue. You can then schedule posts to cross-promote your platforms and get them queuing up to spend their cash on you.

The best Cam sites

Chaturbate is by far the biggest of the cam sites. It took the previous model made popular by MyFreeCams, which was the most popular at the start of the 2010s but opened it beyond just women to be more inclusive – which saw traffic skyrocket.

However, it isn’t your only option. Here are some of the best cam sites and the reasons to use them:

  • Chaturbate – the biggest, with 60% earnings retained by the model and a huge audience
  • Stripchat – high average earnings for models, with an initial 2-week boost to amplify your reach
  • Xmodels – a pay-per-minute model rather than based around tokens, you’re tied into lower rates for the initial 100 hours but can then set your own
  • BongaCams – models retain as much as 90% of fees, so great if you want to keep the most money that you earn
  • CamSoda – good if you need to make money quickly, with payouts every week

How to make a success of your cam account

With so much competition across each cam site platform, here are the top 5 tips for making the most out of your cam account.

Promote it everywhere

You won’t make money if you head to a cam site and start streaming without trying to build a fan base. There’s a casual audience there already but the competition on the sites is huge – you might get lucky and get a few tippers but you need to build an audience.

So get those social accounts in order and promote as best as you can. Some sites won’t let you direct link to a cam site but you can use Ohh.me to collate all your profiles. Post teasing content that’s within the rules, and use networks with fewer restrictions like Twitter to announce your next stream.

And then, when you do get a tipper, pay them attention and direct them to your social accounts. They’ll then know when you’re going to stream again and can come back to enjoy your show again.

Choose your time wisely

It’s important that you plan when to stream to coincide with your audience. For North America the most users are active on weekday evenings.

Don’t be fooled if you log on at different times and see high user stats – you won’t get the same revenue stream from global users as you will from domestic, because people pay for models who are authentic, accessible and ‘achievable’.

So plan your streaming times for evenings, and stay up a little later if you can – as nights get longer, people tend to get a little lonelier, and wallets tend to open a little more.

Get the right kit

While the beauty of webcamming is the natural, amateur look, that doesn’t mean you can neglect your setup. You still want a good quality webcam in order to make sure you’re shown off at your best – it’s no good relying on a cheap grainy model that can’t keep up.

Lighting matters too. Again, you don’t want a professional set but you also don’t want to rely on a dingy lightbulb – it won’t flatter you, and a brighter room with an extra light out of shot will just help showcase your body more, and it’ll help your webcam to focus too.

It’s also worth investing in a bit of tech for your PC if you want to make a real go of webcamming – namely a large second monitor and a good wireless keyboard. That’s because a lot of the work involved in interacting with users is going to be in the chat. It’s no good doing a show from your bed if you need to get up every 5 seconds to reply to a comment.

Get a good monitor, ideally one you can rotate to vertical to allow for full-height chat, and a Bluetooth keyboard so you can perform and then chat from the comfort of your performing zone.

And finally when it comes to kit, a few sex toys will always help with the tips.

Learn how to get tips

Log on, strip off, earn money – right? Not quite.

People won’t tip you if you give everything away for free. There’s a skill to getting most tips from users, which comes in the tease and the game.

You need to be comfortable performing if you want to make the most of a camsite. This means wearing the right outfit that shows enough to tantalize without ‘giving away the goods’. This means a little bit of sultry dancing, or flirting with the camera. And this means a bit of dirty talk in the chat to encourage people.

And then you make sure you’ve got a clear token structure. You can set it up so that you only remove clothing or perform acts when you reach a certain combined threshold – which encourages all chat members to chip in, and earns you a decent amount. Or you might have smaller, bitesize goals that people can pay for individually.

A great way to gauge setting a token structure is to watch other streamers and see what they’re offering, and then price yourself competitively against them. It’ll vary by platform so do your research if you want to succeed.

Apps and bots

Anyone looking to make serious money on cam sites needs to make the best use of apps and bots.

These are plugins you can customize your channel with that serve a range of purposes, including multi-reward tipping and various games. These are fun little tools that help to encourage tippers – they might gamble tokens to roll a die, with different numbers meaning different sex acts to perform.

There are loads of apps and bots out there, and they take a bit of work to set up. If you’re just starting out, focus first on learning the basics, but then make sure you do some reading as they can be a great help for building up a solid audience of tippers.