Although the boys are more than welcome to read this too, and may indeed find it interesting (if not, then there’s also a pretty picture ^), I also know that I have some camgirls who read my blog too. Some of them are quite new to camming, or at least to independent camming. So I thought I would write a blog for them today, with some (hopefully) useful information in regards to becoming an independent webcammer.
I’ll be the first to say, I haven’t been doing it as long as some amazing ladies that I know. I’ve been doing sex work (starting with phones) since April 2011, then I started camming on Adultwork a few months after that. In the second half of 2012 I joined independent listing sites, and my own website was live in November 2012. However, I’ll tell you something of what I know. At the same time, I’m not a fan of spoon feeding newbies, and anyone who wants to venture down this route has got to know that you are going to have to put in a lot of time, work, effort and research. It’s not just like logging onto a big camsite and waiting for people to pay you. But if you do have the work ethic, it is very rewarding; if you don’t have the work ethic, you will flounder.
- Do I need a website?
I wouldn’t say you need a website, at least not to begin with. There are multiple independent camgirl listing websites. Some of these list you for free, some of them list you for a small fee per month, others have their own payment processor that you must use (but they take a lot less of your earnings than regular camsites). There are many such sites, you just need to search for them online – “independent camgirls”, “skype camshows” etc and you will find them.
If you want a website but feel overwhelmed by the idea or don’t want to pay for hosting, many girls like to use free sites such as Blogger or Tumblr. They are quite simple to use but are customisable, and you can list your services, photos, write blogs and more. Your main limitation with free websites like that is payment integration. Saying that, I know a girl who successfully uses OKPay but I cannot vouch for that payment method, as I know nothing of it.
- How can I take payment for my webcam shows?
There are many options, some better than others. I see many girls being oh so silly and accepting Pay Pal. Bad idea! Anything adult related is against their Terms and Conditions and you will eventually pay for your mistake. There are better options out there. Many girls use Payoneer cards (you need to get it through a participating camsite, and you need to receive payments from a camsite also, but if you’re doing that you are also able to take private payments) however it takes two days for the payment to be officially in the clear. Many risk it before the two days, others ask guys to pay two days in advance – which isn’t a whole lot of good for anyone!
A good option, but it’s not actual money, is Amazon giftcards. All your customer needs is an email address for you and how much. You receive a code which you can apply to your Amazon account. Do make sure if you are in eg the UK that you get co.uk giftcards, as you won’t be able to use .com ones. Also make sure you redeem it before the show! If you use Amazon a lot anyway, this an be a good option for you. The emails normally arrive quite soon after purchased, but there’s been times that it hasn’t arrived for a few hours, which is not so good as everyone is getting frustrated. There may also be other giftcards that you can accept, I haven’t looked into anything else.
Plenty girls use Giftrocket and Moneypak, but I think they are American based, and I know at least with Giftrocket that only US customers can use them, but if you are in another country you can receive it. But that kind of limits your clientele! Other options are using tribute features on sites like Clipvia.com and Clips4Sale.com, or selling camshows on Extralunchmoney.com however (obviously) you’re going to lose a higher cut.
The best option really, is to get your own payment processor on your site, like CCBill or Zombaio. For this you will need your own non free website. I have limited experience with Zombaio, but I’ve had CCBill since November and it’s fantastic. Have a click around my site and see what it looks like when someone is buying a show! As soon as a customer puts a payment through, I receive an email of confirmation or decline. CCBill support is 24/7/365 either online or by free phone. They did all the coding for my site, and I just needed to copy and paste it in! They pay weekly, over a minimum threshold of $100.
I do of course lose 20% (well, only really 15% as they hold back 5% in case of chargebacks but I get that 5% back months later, so technically it’s only 15%) but look: if you are running a legitimate business you will lose a % to someone. You need a trusted payment processor that is easy to use and guys will be happy to put their details into. It costs money to make money. Yes, there are some options where you could not lose a cut (eg Pay Pal) – however, you will eventually lose a whole lot of money in fines (up to and over $500 I believe, which they can take right out of your associated bank account). I would rather use CCBill over anything else and have my mind at ease that I am doing everything by the books, and I will get paid in a timely manner.
I am aware that in the US, girls are charged an extortionate additional fee in order to be able to accept Visa, but that’s not the case in the UK. Here there are no upfront fees for CCBill, only a percentage of your profits.
- How do I go about getting a real website?
First of all, you need a domain name. If you are trying to brand yourself and get your name out there, then your name should be the same everywhere. I am Scotty Hottie everywhere. This means people can easily find me. It’s easy to spell, simply and memorable.
Buying a domain name and hosting are different things. You can buy them both from the same company or not. Your domain name is transferrable. So who should you use? Personally I use Certified Hosting. I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s my preference, as I don’t have experience of others. I know many girls like GoDaddy. The most important thing is that they allow adult material. This needn’t just mean dirty pictures, but also mention of camshows and such, or links to adult websites. Many hosting companies do not allow it and will shut your site down – wouldn’t that be a shame when you’ve put in so much work? If you go with Certified Hosting, I have the “Geek package” which isn’t the cheapest but the next one up, and it’s been more than sufficient so far. I think I pay about $9/month for my hosting, and my domain name was about $15 for a year (I really can’t remember).
For my website I use WordPress. There are similar scripts that you can use after you’ve got your domain and hosting, but I haven’t tried them so I won’t talk about them. WordPress does make things relatively easy for you. You don’t need to know much coding (of course there will be little things you need to change, in which case you will need to learn a little bit of coding, but this is easily found online). There are lots of plugins that you can use, lots of different themes to try out. When I first got my domain and hosting, I played around with it for weeks before I made the site publicly available. I spent hours and hours on it, and I’ve since changed most of what I initially did! It was fun though, as I was learning things that I didn’t previous know, and I was creating something of my own. That’s as much as I can advise you – your website is your hobby now, enjoy it, and play around with it – what pages you want to have, colour schemes, pictures, plugins. Have fun!
- How will people find me?
This is really up to you letting them know about you! Many camsites won’t allow you to have external links, but I know that some do. Beyond that, Twitter is a great tool for getting yourself out there. Befriend other camgirls and people in the industry, post teaser pics, let people know about your website! Tumblr is good too, and great for photos. With Tumblr you can even queue up posts and have them auto-release so you don’t need to even think about it! Independent listing sites are great even if you have your own site too. Banner swaps with other camgirls are great. Use your website URL on all forums you use. Basically, I’ll sign up to pretty much anything that will let me have my website link up.
Beyond spreading your link around, you also want people to find you who are looking for a camshow on google, and not looking for you in particular. This is where SEO (search engine optimisation) comes in. Make sure that there is lots of fresh text content on your site. This is why it’s a great idea to have a blog incorporated, as this means your website is always active and frequently has new updates. Who are you? What are you selling? What are you key points? Big tits perhaps, most tattooed camgirl? Use it, mention it. Use words a lot that people will be searching for and what you are selling! Don’t get spammy though or sound like a computer, as that will put readers off! Beyond the content, having backlinks to your site is important (ie having your website URL on other peoples’ sites) as I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Google likes that you are “popular” and mentioned by other websites and will rate you higher.
- What else?
Research! By no means in this a definitive guide. I could go on and on for ever, and I’m also not an expert. There is much work to be done! And I think after reading that you’ll have a lot of searching to do in terms of social media, payment options and hosting. There are a number a great forums for webcam girls, with endless resources. Any question you’ve had – someone (or 20 people!) will have asked it before. There’s WeCamgirls which is new but with some great (and bad) tips for newbies. There’s the Amber Cutie forums (which is mainly MFC orientated but not only). If you are on Adultwork then the AdultworkForum is a good one. If “SW” means nothing to you then email me and ask, rather not post it publicly. It has amazing resources for indy and non indy alike! Oh, and check out Unique’s website howtocamgirl.com and also her YouTube channel. There’s lots of help out there!
If you have further questions… well, I can’t promise I’ll reply if you email me. I’m a busy girl and can’t be doing that. However, I may do another post in the near future if there’s a few questions as a result of this post. Thank you for taking the time to read all of this, and I hope you found some of it useful/interesting/or both.
PS: apologies for any lapses in logic or structure. I will proof read when I come home later, but just want to publish this now! 😀