What Is OnlyFans and How Does It Work?

How Does Onlyfans Work?

Social media has opened up avenues for regular people to work and make money online through social media. Since the dawn of its popularity, the world has seen a rise of influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms. People can make money from social media through sponsorships and advertising if they have a big enough following.

One of these monetization-based social media sites is OnlyFans. It’s a subscription-based platform and only allows people to view content they’ve paid for. Although it seems similar to other paid content-based platforms like Patreon, there’s a big difference in its use and market. So, what is OnlyFans? Here’s what you need to know about this increasingly popular platform.


What Is OnlyFans?

About Onlyfans
© Screenshot from OnlyFans

OnlyFans, like its name suggests, is a website (not an app, surprisingly) for fans only. That means influencers and creators only allow users to view their content if they pay for it. Fans pay to access content either via a pay-per-view or a subscription plan. This makes OnlyFans one of the ways for influencers and content creators to earn money directly from their fans without relying on advertisements. 

Timothy Stokely, the creator of OnlyFans, launched the platform back in 2016. Since then, the platform’s user base has grown tremendously to over 30 million users today. Many creators also jumped onto the platform with numbers reaching as high as 450,000. That’s not a surprising number because the payout for its creators is huge. Since 2016, the platform has paid out over $600 million to its registered creators. With so much success, it’s natural for people to become curious and try out the platform for themselves.

Apart from its paid-only and subscription-based structure, it is infamous for its sexual content. Unlike other social media sites and monetization platforms, it doesn’t filter out other forms of content.


Who Is OnlyFans For?

Cardi B Onlyfans Account
© Photo by Cardi B Onlyfans Account

OnlyFans is an open platform for all kinds of people and different types of content creators. It’s a place for creators to connect with their fans, distribute content and make money while doing it.

Creators can post subscription-only content or content that requires a one-off fee. You can even post both types of content to diversify your revenue streams and not limit your income opportunities to just one. Moreover, you can host live streams if fans want to interact with you directly as a creator. Creators can also use the platform to keep fans updated on their content through OnlyFans messaging. 

The OnlyFans platform doesn’t restrict the types of creators it allows on the website. You can post anything your fans will take joy in.

OnlyFans was started with the intent to help creators distribute and monetize their work. As a result, OnlyFans is also home to artists, chefs, fitness gurus, and more. It’s even open to influencers like Caroline Calloway, who cosplays as different fictional characters on her account.


How Much Can You Make on OnlyFans?

There’s a lot of money to be made as an OnlyFans creator because the nature of the platform allows for a lot of creative freedom. Some people have made millions within a couple of days after she joined OnlyFans. This shows just how powerful the platform’s structure is for money-making, so there’s no surprise how alluring it is for many creators.

However, following an incident, OnlyFans started to limit its pay-per-view, tip, and subscription pricing. Despite these limitations in place, OnlyFans remains a lucrative source of revenue for content creators. Of course, you will need to know what you’re doing on the platform and deliver consistent, quality content.

People make money in different ways with different pricing structures on the platform. 

You can go for a low pricing strategy or make it more expensive.


How to Earn Money on OnlyFans?

By just looking at the numbers, we’re sure many aspiring content creators have already set their eyes on OnlyFans. If you’re curious about how to get started and earn a profit on the platform, here’s what you need to know.


Do You Have What It Takes?

There are multiple ways to earn money on the OnlyFans platform. It ultimately hinges on the content you deliver to your fans and how well it can help you develop a following. Some creators have built audiences and followings on platforms like Instagram before creating an OnlyFans account. This has led to more guaranteed income when these creators transitioned to paid content on the platform. With that being said, it may be a little tougher for you to get started if you don’t already have an established following outside of OnlyFans. 

On the other hand, having a big following doesn’t necessarily mean you can sit back and relax. Building and maintaining a profitable OnlyFans platform requires work—and lots of it. Other OnlyFans creators agree on the same point: you have to post quality content consistently to earn and retain your following. You’ll also have to do this for quite a while before you can start earning money through OnlyFans. 


OnlyFans Pricing Schemes

Revenue Streams Minimum Maximum Payout
Tips and private messages $5/month $100 every 21 days
Pay-per-view content $50/post every 21 days
Subscriptions $4.99/month $49.99/month every 21 days

The OnlyFans platform sets certain limits on the minimum and maximum prices creators can charge. This applies to its many revenue streams like tips, pay-per-view content, and subscriptions. Tips cap at $100 for new fans and pay-per-view content is limited to $50 per post. OnlyFans doesn’t just implement maximum limits, but also minimum prices. Tips and private messages have to start at $5 for all OnlyFans creators.

Subscriptions are priced at a minimum of $4.99 monthly and can go as high as $49.99. While the payout frequency used to be lax, OnlyFans have recently made payouts less frequent in some countries, making it once every 21 days.

Of course, OnlyFans wouldn’t exist without taking a cut out of their creators’ earnings. That’s just the way these platforms work: they provide creators and subscribers a platform to showcase their content in exchange for a cut of the profits. With that said, OnlyFans takes 20% off all of the creator’s transactions. If you get a $100 tip, OnlyFans gets $20 from that transaction. 

OnlyFans takes 20% off all creator’s transactions
EXAMPLE: Tips and private messages $100 – 20% OnlyFans gets $20 from the transaction


OnlyFans Referrals

While content creation is the primary way creators can earn money on OnlyFans, it’s not the only way you can earn. The platform has a referral scheme that allows creators to earn 5% of their referral earnings. Of course, this is only good for the first 12 months or up to the first $1 million your referral earns. Nevertheless, it’s still a great way to earn passively through the platform if you can invite friends. Moreover, the potential to earn extra through this is almost limitless as OnlyFans doesn’t put a cap on how many referrals you can have.

OnlyFans offers 5% referral earnings
NOTE: Good for 12 months or up to the first $1 million your referral earns No Limit on how many referrals


How Does OnlyFans Work?

Now that you have a background on OnlyFans, perhaps you’re thinking about how it works. Maybe you want to make money on OnlyFans or find a few creators there. However, you have to understand how the platform works before you jump the gun. There are a lot of revenue streams you can utilize and many business models you can adopt. The platform also has certain quirks that set it apart from other paid-only content platforms like Patreon. So, let’s unravel how OnlyFans work and how you can use it to your advantage. 


Browser Only

Firstly, the OnlyFans platform does not have an app due to the platform’s nature of having more “adventurous” content. Apple doesn’t allow this kind of content and has restrictions before letting apps on their App Store. OnlyFans thus only provides a website for its users to access via their browsers. The website is simple and easy enough to use for creators and subscribers alike. 


Signing Up

Sign Up Now
© Screenshot from Onlyfans Official Website

The process of signing up as a creator is pretty simple. You start by verifying that you’re 18 and over, and then all that’s left to do is enter your email, username, and password as well as agree to the Terms of Service. Afterward, you can customize your profile to add a little personality to your page. You can make custom names, add your location or website, and more. You’re also required to add your About details, a header photo, and a profile picture. 

The next step is to set up your financial details. You can add your bank account or payment details and set your subscription fee. If you want pay-per-view posts, you can make a free OnlyFans page instead of (or alongside) your subscription service. You then need to add personal details like your legal name, birthday, address, and a government ID. You’ll also need to specify whether or not you’re going to post sexually explicit content. Once you’ve set up your account, it’ll go through an approval process before you can get started. 

Once approved, it’s smooth sailing from there because you can immediately start posting content. You’ll also have to set the price based on the limit before posting. Once you’ve started to earn money, you’ll get payouts every 21 days.




Onlyfans logo
© Photo by Onlyfans

Is OnlyFans safe? Privacy is a big concern for creators because of what is on the platform. There will be risks when you make an account, but the OnlyFans team is committed to securing your privacy. A team is specially assigned to monitor and take care of copyright infringement. Moreover, OnlyFans ensures that screenshots and content sharing aren’t allowed, with specific measures in place to protect privacy. When a user tries to screenshot content, for example, the screenshot will be blacked out. Users who violate privacy rules by taking screenshots and recordings may also be banned.

With all that said, there are still many ways subscribers can leak your content. Even though users create accounts with the interest of anonymity in the forefront, there’s still a risk. Some creators have allegedly had fans visit their homes without consent, although these reports haven’t been officially confirmed. This is why some users opt to wear masks and hide their faces when filming themselves in the interest of their privacy.

Apart from privacy breaches from fans, there’s also a matter of the platform itself. Of course, the company ensures its users that their address, name, and government IDs are private. However, they do specify that they share this personal information with third parties to verify creators’ identities. This tidbit may turn you off from posting content on the service if you’re uncomfortable with that knowledge.



OnlyFans is a testament to how big of a market there is in paid content creation. Platforms like Patreon and Kofi do something similar for artists, writers, musicians, and more. However, it is the biggest place for special content and has established itself as the go-to site for it. With that being said, you don’t have to sell sexually explicit content just to join the platform. You can join as an influencer, public figure, artist, or anything else and provide paid content to your fans.

What Is OnlyFans and How Does It Work?

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