Included: Picking a site, security, equipment, lighting/angles, business strategy, psychological tricks, types of camgirls and members, how to make sales, dealing with the emotional burden, taxes, networking, personal branding, marketing, and a few other things.
My credentials: I was a camgirl for five years. My highest earning month was $50,000, and my highest rank (on MFC) was #7, meaning I earned the 7th most money that month. I was, at one point, one of the most (if not the most) widely known working camgirls thanks to some viral content. My average income per hour was $200. Getting there was not easy and took a ton of mistakes and work, so I hope this helps you.
(update: like most of humanity, I’m now on Onlyfans)
Disclaimer: What I’m offering are guidelines for starting, which are useful to follow if you have no idea what’s going on. Nothing I say is a hard and fast rule, and you can probably find at least one successful performer out there who violates every single thing I recommend. If something works for you, do it.
Also, I quit camming in 2017, so some of my advice may be outdated. Be particularly wary when I’m talking about market rates and website policies.
If you’re uncertain if you want to cam, know that there’s a lot of flexibility in how you do it. You can set whatever limits you want – the highest earning camgirl on MFC at one point, earning over 1,000,000 in a year, was a non-nude model! The more attractive you are, the easier camming will be for you. If you look like a potato you can still make money, it’s just gonna take more work.
Camming ‘pros’ involve: an easier source of money that’s independent of scheduling, bosses, and rules. The ceiling on cam income is very high – top-range models make around $200/hr, and the super-high end ones can make $1000+/hr. The average income is roughly $40/hr, based on around 200 girls I surveyed a few years ago.
Camming cons involve: potentially higher stress, identity risks, burnout, and self-esteem hits.
You can cam part-time, but you’ll make less per hour. This guide is written primarily for people who want to do this full-time (defined as 20+ live cam hours a week), all-out, going for the max amount of money per hour you can possibly earn.
Estimate your Earning Potential
I made a rough calculation chart to see where your hourly earnings might be in about six months of consistent work. This is extremely general and no guarantee and sometimes random chance just makes everything go crazy, but if you’re trying to make a decision about whether this is worth it, then this might help.
Rate your business acumen potential (sales, reading people, general intelligence, marketing, emotional labor capacity) on a scale of 1-10. Multiply this number by two, and add to the number of hours you plan on camming per week. We’ll call this number X.
If, on the traditional 1-10 beauty scale, you’re:
1-2, multiply X by 0.3
3-4, multiply X by 0.8
5-6, multiply X by 2.5
7-8, multiply X by 4.5
9-10, multiply X by 8
So, for example – if you consider yourself about a 6/10 businessperson, and if you plan on camming 25 hours a week, then 6*2 + 25 = 37.
If you’re 6/10 attractive, multiply 37 by 2.5, and you get a $92.5/hr estimate within 6 months, on MFC. This is the take-home amount after the MFC 50% fee.
None of this applies if you appear male. If you appear male, god help you.
There are two primary forms of camsites – token sites, and private sites.
Token sites operate sort of like busking, where you stand there, do things, and a watching crowd throws money at you. These websites often have private options (where only one guy can see you, and he pays per minute), but those usually aren’t the primary form of income, especially for higher-earning girls, who typically earn more through live tips than they do through the website-provided private options. Token sites generally have much higher total earning potential, but often require more intensive work and are more stressful. Token-site workers are also often more personality-based, tend towards more girlfriend-experience and performance aspects.
Token sites: myfreecams, chaturbate
Private sites operate sort of like a brothel, where you present yourself, get chosen by somebody, and then they take you into a private room for a while at a fixed rate. These sites tend to be a bit lower-pressure than token sites, because the biggest sell you make is getting someone to take you private, after which your income is a little more guaranteed. Private sites are typically lower-earning, and tend to be more wham-blam-thank-you-ma’am, with lower emphasis placed on personality, which is great if you want to zone out. This can be less emotionally taxing, too.
Private sites: streammate, livejasmin
My experience has been entirely with token sites, and so the majority of my advice is targeted towards those, and will be less applicable if you’re using a private site.
If you want to cam with a boy, know that some sites completely ban all male presence, and other sites will put you into a separate couples category. Generally speaking, if you’re going for the high end of income, you are better doing it with no penis on screen. More on this later.
update: A more recent (august 2020) survey was released of earnings and satisfaction per camsite here
I only have experience with Myfreecams and Chaturbate. These are both token sites, remember – private sites have different comparisons, which I can’t help you with.
MFC is higher pressure, as your rank on the website is determined by income per hour averaged over the past 60 days. This means the more you earn hourly, the higher your rank climbs, and the easier it is to earn more hourly. The reverse is also true, which can make this an extremely pressured experience, and also is the reason why girls on MFC earn more than girls on any other website.
MFC has an outdated interface and very little model support.
Recently MFC traffic numbers have dropped. The rumor I heard is that their contract with an advertising agency wasn’t renewed. I don’t know if this is affecting income levels – the girls I talk to say it hasn’t – but this is something to keep in mind.
Chaturbate ranking, last time I heard (it may have changed), is determined by a combination of number of people in your room and the time you’ve spent logged in. There’s no long-term effects on your rank if you have a low-earning day, which makes this mentally easier to handle.
CB has a more updated interface and has the ability to integrate custom bots, which can automate more detailed token games for you.
As of a year ago, girls on CB earned…. I’d estimate maybe 20% less than girls on MFC, on average.
The websites that give out the best rates typically take 50% of what is given to you, as is the case with MFC and CB (though I’ve seen them advertise 40% after token discounts and chargeback protection). It’s pretty common to find sites that take 70% or more.
One really promising, upcoming competitor is Spankchain, which is currently in beta and is taking an insanely low 5% only. They started up after I quit, but I absolutely recommend checking it out. They’re cryptocurrency based and I’ve met and trust the team behind it.
Why not ask for other payment methods, to avoid the hefty fees?
You can, but external-site pay makes up a small percentage of most camgirls’ earnings. Sites will often ban mentions of external payment. It’s also very common to have your payment channels shut down once they figure out you’re a dirty hoe. PayPal is a notorious example, having eaten the funds of many camgirls I know. Coinbase held some of my bitcoin hostage for six months!
Some of the less freeze-happy channels (Giftrocket) tend to also have higher fees, or have difficulty maintaining anonymity.
Camsites also incentivize tipping through the site, mostly through immediate feedback abilities, but also with things like the infamous MFC ‘camscore,’ which I will talk about later on – but basically, having money transfer overflow to offsite can end up hurting your rankings on-site.
The easiest way to get external payment is by gift cards, purchases off gift wishlists, or cryptocurrency.
I know it sucks to invest in equipment if you’re not totally sure this thing is gonna work out, but lighting, background and quality is super important and will absolutely impact your income.
Camera: Nearly every camgirl I’ve seen has used logitech webcams.
I’ve also seen some camgirls do elaborate setups with DLSRs, which is great if you can do it.
Microphone: I rarely used an external microphone, though I should have. Keep in mind where you will physically be in the room – will you cam standing or sitting? I’ll talk more about that later, but this should enter into your decision. Here’s some my friends have used:
Blue Yeti USB
Webcam software: These are ones I saw commonly used among camgirls. You can use some parts free, but have to pay to do things like ‘get rid of watermark,’ at least for Manycam. I personally only used XSplit a few times.
Lighting: This is super important. You can’t have too much light. Make sure you get neutral or as pure white as you can – don’t go for warm glow (unless you’re using it as background accent lights). You can make warm glow happen and look better with in-camera settings.
LED Ropes (I bought a few and twisted them into a huge circle, which I nailed to the wall behind the camera to function as a cheap, gigantic circle light)
Vagina Things (optional!)
Hitachis are the most common, but I’d recommend something more delicate.
Lovesense is pretty popular. I’ve never used one and they were getting popular nearer the end of my cam career, so I can’t say much. They are more interactive, but have a sort of ‘meme’ quality around them now.
Same with OhMyBod.
Fingers also work just fine, and most people already have them lying around.
You want your backdrop to be comfortable, inviting, clean, and expansive. Basically, you want to make sure it’s clear that you’re not in a studio.
Studios are locations that provide a cam room, computer, and all the above listed equipment for girls too poor to afford their own. The girls go in, work for a few hours, and the studio takes either a flat fee or a percentage fee. Studios are much more common in poorer countries, particularly eastern europe, and it’s pretty easy to tell when a girl is camming out of a studio.
Studios usually have the girl sitting down on a couch or shallow bed, with a bold-patterned wallpaper directly behind that, sort of like this:
You don’t want this look.
Ideally you want a good deal of space between you and the wall behind you.
If you’re camming during the daytime, doing it with a window behind the webcam is usually fucking incredible. You can see a gif (nsfw) of me camming with this setup here, although ideally there would be another window or more decor on the wall behind me (I was in an airBnB, so I didn’t have time to set it up).
The space behind you should also be well-lit. I usually cammed with two sets of lights – one set for illuminating me, placed behind the camera, and another set placed behind me, to give depth and light to the setting behind.
A common option for that space is a giant bed, which you can climb on and roll around (if you prefer angles where you’re lying down, or if you play up the seductress feel more), or empty floor space (if you tend towards walking/dancing more, like me). Or you can do both – bed in the corner, and then rotate your webcam a bit when you want to transition.
Basically the important thing is depth and the ability to move within the space.
You also want your background to not look poor, trashy, or cluttered. You want to give off the impression that you’re at least a suburban girl-next-door, and you can go all the way up to a spoiled princess in a penthouse. Looking super-wealthy might seem counterintuitive, but it’s not. More on this later.
The most flattering lighting is wide/diffuse, in front of you. This is why large windows work perfectly. For a few months I used rope lights arranged in a huge circle.
The ideal angle for the light should be directly ahead and above you, diagonally up away from your face.
The camera angle should be just slightly above eye level when you’re sitting ‘at the camera,’ as that emphasizes your femininity and makes the viewer feel more masculine. It’s also more flattering, which is why selfies are always taken from above. This is less important when you’re standing/dancing/moving away from the screen.
You want your camera as close as possible to your screen, however, because you want to create the illusion that you are looking at the camera, which is very important. This typically means elevating your laptop on a precarious stand of books or empty amazon boxes.
You’re going to have to provide your real name, social security number, and a photo of an ID, at the very least. It depends on the site, but you’re probably going to function as an independent contractor and get a 1099 every year, so they have to register you in the system like a real human. If you’re not in the US then I don’t know what your deal is, good luck.
I’ve never heard of any security issues resulting from this, so I wouldn’t be too worried about it.
Some signup forms operate like a sort of test – they ask you to describe yourself, submit sexy photos or something. Don’t worry about this either, I’ve never heard of anybody getting rejected.
You want an accessible, feminine, non-sexualized name. My name was my name (and how I got my name, accidentally) – Aella. This is a fine name. Names like “Rachel Singer”, “Aspen Rae,” or “Veronica Chaos” are all fine names. You want to seem obviously female, obviously young (no outdated names), and obviously human (no porn names like SexyAngel).
Make sure that you check for availability in namespace – I have to pick “AellaGirl” in most platforms, because Aella is taken. Something like “Jessica Jones” is going to be already taken everywhere you look. Also keep in mind the availability of domain names – having an actual website isn’t necessary, but it can help.
My favorite name choosing page is NameBerry, where you can generate and whittle them down into your preferred style.
Experiment with the way you present yourself! In general, though, I’ve found that no matter how much high-end super-lace lingerie and red lipsticks I’ve put on, the thing that gets the best reaction is a good ol’ thin, tight t-shirt with no bra. Anything that emphasizes your sexy curves to the max is ideal – and typically, anything that looks effortless. The ‘girl next door’ look is probably the most popular, where you just ‘rolled out of bed’ looking like this, with some soft, super-short shorts and bared midriff or something. Definitely no lipstick. Don’t wear lipstick unless it’s super neutral. Keep your makeup subtle, although remember you’re performing through a camera which might allow you to pack on a bit more.
Not to say other looks can’t work, but if you’re just starting out and don’t really know what to do, start out with the tried and true accidental-tittied classic.
If you’re going to be a top girl, you aren’t going to get by selling yourself on being porny and hot. Emotional connection is a huuuge part of high pay, and by dressing in traditional slut clothes you’re signaling that you’re only here to make them feel less lonely in the penis, not in the heart.
Nobody knows you and nobody cares about you. It’s going to be horrible and you’re going to be discouraged. Be prepared for this. Know that your first few weeks will probably be a slog. (Some girls have an immediately easy time, but don’t expect this will happen to you)
You’ll log on, turn on the camera, and find that nobody is in your room. Maybe you get a few anonymous eyes or some rogue guy saying open bobs bb, but there will be nothing to interact with. You sit there, staring, and suddenly wonder, what the hell do I do now?
You’ll dance around a little bit, put the camera at various flattering angles, play nice music, light candles, and there will be nobody there watching. It’s super anxiety inducing.
But there’s a few things you can do to make it easier.
1. BEFORE logging on, watch other camgirls on the site you’re going to use, and follow them on social media. Pay close attention to mid-range girls who seem similar to you. Tweet at them personalized and flattering things about their show, and be clear, in your username and photo, that you are another camgirl, not one of the men.
You can also sometimes enter their cam room (if they don’t ban model accounts) and chat with them, but keep in mind this is a very delicate process and it causes bad blood to take up too much attention or sound like you’re trying to steal their members. When in another girl’s room, you should encourage her, cheer her on, and direct the attention of the men to her, always.
But basically, you want to make friends with girls who are willing to promote you – a retweet here, a link to your room there. This will help you, especially early on.
Also consider physical meetings – I talk more about camgirl networking later.
2. Camsites often will give new models a temporary boost in visibility. Research the boosts specific to the site you choose, and make sure you take advantage of it. For example, MFC gives you a special tag for 7 days, so start camming during a week where you can spend a lot of time doing it. Don’t start on Monday and then come back on Friday.
3. Sit down and write out a list of things you can do that are visually appealing. Brainstorm, get crazy and creative. Don’t worry about “what people will pay for” when writing this list. This can include things like: Dancing, changing costumes, spinning poi, doing hula hoop, anything with fire, singing opera, crazy masks, fucking yourself with something weird, covering yourself with baby oil with glitter mixed in, clipping things to your nipples, taking a cold shower, taking a hot shower, spinning around until you’re dizzy, building a pillow fort, taking your clothes off, drawing on yourself, drawing on other things, etc.
Once you have this list, do them. Be prepared to do them for yourself, with nobody watching, and the camera on. You need to be constantly interesting. Set a goal for yourself – e.g., I will log on for 2 hours minimum today and run through things on my list.
When I started, my go-to timefiller was putting on absurdly epic music and dancing hyper-dramatically, or getting very drunk and naked and trying to make mac-and-cheese. People would stop in my room to watch because it was so different from what everyone else was doing. I was a little extreme and it was all fueled out of nervous energy, but it still worked.
Things get a lot easier once there are people in your room, even if they aren’t tipping. Just having any interaction means you can start carrying on conversations, and that in itself is an interesting thing to do. You can help encourage people’s presence in your room with…
When I asked how many hours a week you were going to cam, there’s a reason I said ‘cam.’ Your work in general extends beyond this to the off-scene world. This area is extremely flexible, and it’s easy to find the habits most convenient for you. This can also have huge impacts on your overall income.
To Girlfriend, or Not To Girlfriend?
Girlfriending is the act of providing emotional support to members off-cam.
I was not a girlfriend. I ignored my members off-cam. My work day ended when I turned off the camera. This was great for my mental health, but I had difficulty catching any hyper-loyal whales.
Some of my camgirl friends Girlfriended hard. They’d text their high tippers throughout the day, send them photos or occasionally free porny videos of themselves, and sometimes even have phone calls. They knew about their high-tippers lives, and the high tippers would send them gifts. All of these things were done for free, to create an ongoing relationship very slightly divorced from the direct tip-n-flash model of actual camming.
If you have the mental bandwidth to do this, I recommend it. This is what can boost you from an average earner to a top earner with less total stress (I had to compensate for my lack of Girlfriending by spending more hours on cam).
Keep a list of the people who’ve tipped you the most in the last month (some sites automate this for you), and send them thank-you messages, cute exclusive photos you haven’t posted anywhere else, whatever. It keeps them remembering you and makes them feel special.
If you are brand new and don’t have any tippers, do this with the people who chat in your room.
Sign up for everything – twitter, instagram, snapchat, tumblr, reddit, etc. – all under your brand name. You probably won’t use all these platforms, but claim the name just in case you want to come back to it later on.
Post nudes or something to twitter. Hunt down some twitter accounts that share nudes (google ‘nudes twitter hot sexy girls’) and tweet your nudes (or lingerie or whatever) at them. You’ll be amazed at how many followers you’ll get with just a few well placed titty shots.
Buy twitter followers, probably around 300-500. This is mostly worth it at the very beginning, when you’re sub 1k followers. Make sure you do this after you post nudes. You can keep buying followers afterwards if you want, but it’s less important and it’s hard/expensive to get the likes and retweets that indicate that they’re real. Google will tell you follower-buying is dangerous and will get your account banned, but I’ve never heard of this happening to anybody I know.
Consider buying followers for other social media accounts, but this is less important. Twitter is the biggest social pornhub.
Post a link to your camroom on your social media when you’re logging on, and include an eye-catching photo of yourself. If this gets you even one new person willing to talk in your room in the first few weeks, this is what you want.
Keep in mind most platforms ban direct links to cam sites. You can get around this by linking a redirected URL through a service like TinyURL.
Also consider making password-protected secondary accounts to your social media of choice. This allows you to do things like post a censored photo to your public media, while promising the uncensored photo if they buy your password. You can post early-access content, diary-like tell-all emotional dumps, or unusually raunchy photos in your private accounts. Or you can post regular shit – people just like having access to private things.
It’s common for girls to film amateur porn of themselves and sell these – either directly through the camsite (Chaturbate has this automated, last I heard you had to send a link for tokens on MFC), or upload them to clipsites such as Clips4Sale or ManyVids, which take less of a cut out of your sales.
Link to your social media and your camsite wherever you sell videos, and you’ve already begun building a network of people who might get funneled into your cam room when you’re streaming (or vice versa).
Selling b/g (boy/girl) porn has some pros and cons. They tend to be more popular videos, and you can sell them for a lot more. I sold my b/g vids for $100+ each (though I really played up the rarity and importance of them, mostly because I was too lazy to make a lot of them)
Unfortunately, they also seem to make you less likely to catch a Whale. This ties deeply into Whale psychology, which I will talk about more later.
In general, I’d make a low-confidence recommendation to avoid selling b/g vids if your estimated income from the equation earlier was above $200.
This is something I did a lot, but is very rare for girls to do. This involves spreading awareness of you outside of the camsite – this can be on other porn sites, on social media, on reddit, twitter, tumblr, etc. This is easier to do because there’s less total saturation of camgirls outside the cam market, and so it generally takes a bit less work to get noticed (tag a popular nudes account in one of your nude posts on Tumblr and watch what happens), but it also has less direct translation into the cam world.
It can help raise your status in general, however – you don’t need people to come straight from seeing you on another site to tip you, all you need is for your tippers to know that you are popular in general, and this will make them perceive greater competition for you, and thus a sense of greater victory when they do tip you.
Your first weeks are probably gonna be the fetus-stage, where different rules apply because your primary goal is building up viewers, not building up money. Asking for tip amounts should be more performative or novel rather than income-driven – e.g., ask for tips of 69, 42, or 1. Orient your offers to things that are particularly visually interesting – ask for very low amounts of tokens to do a sexy dance or wear a silly hat or put on crotchless panties. Promise that you’ll ask anybody who tips 3 tokens a deep question about themselves.
But once you have viewers and you’re exiting the fetus stage into “okay now I want to pay my rent,” there’s a common system a lot of tip-based camgirls take.
This revolves around countdowns, your bread and fucking butter. Countdowns are when you set an amount of tokens as a goal, and then do something you’ve promised to do once everybody has collectively tipped that amount. This is incredible for momentum – everyone sits and watches the goal slowly inch closer. You can talk about the thing you’re going to do, or tease at it, or insult them because you don’t want it to happen. Anticipation builds. Typically room count (the amount of people in your room) will climb as a countdown gets closer, and drop off after you’ve done the thing. You can countdown to anything you want. You can do anything. You are great.
Most tip-based camsites have their countdowns automated. You should be able to input a number and a description of the goal, which will update for you as people tip.
There’s different types, obviously, but the most common tipper is single/divorced/unhappily married man in his 40s-50s, who is too depressed/anxious/unattractive to be able to get any affection from women in real life.
I have a lot of empathy for these people, and in a lot of ways I felt like I was genuinely doing good, especially when I got to talk to them one-on-one. Remember, in this job, underneath all the sex and money, you’re still dealing with real people with real needs, and remember to treat them with kindness. Some of them are actually really wonderful and I’m thankful to have me them.
That being said, there are some aspects of psychology that increase their spending. Men want a few things, and probably one of the biggest is winning a competition.
You see, you’re not just trying to get a guy to pay you – you’re trying to get a guy to pay you in front of a bunch of other guys. This is a super key. A man wants to feel attention from an attractive women on him, and this is made even more satisfying when it’s to the exclusion of those around him. He is showing off his power by buying your happiness.
So, when tipped, make sure you say his name (or username). A lot of girls use subtly masculine-competition language when referring to high tippers, such as “hero,” “champion,” or “winner”. I often would ask questions like “who is going to save my night?” or “who is going to be the one to make me feel x”?
The ‘control show’ I mentioned above plays into this. Give men a way to fight against each other, with tokens. A common tactic is to have guys buy into “teams”, and whichever team tips the most, wins (with the prize being a video or literally anything – you’d be surprised at how many competition prizes are just the guy’s name being listed on the girl’s profile). Have guys fight to put on or off your clothes, or force you/rescue you from doing something gross.
The most profitable thing I ever did was have a ‘war’ with another camgirl, and it became my tipping members vs. hers. Competition is bread and butter. Competition is love. Competition is life. Competition is your key to a life full of luxury handbags and butlers.
Just don’t be too obvious about it. All of this stuff I’m saying can be done with too heavy a hand, and then guys feel gross and leave.
I recommend, if you have the money to spare, go find a low-earning camgirl and tip her an amount you think will make her happy. Pay attention to how that feels.
A huge draw towards this is the power – to make someone happy, or sad, to make them do whatever you want. You want to let men feel this power as viscerally and directly as they can – and one of the easiest ways to do this is antagonism towards you.
I don’t mean this necessarily in a negative way – I mean to imply the narrative that you don’t want to do a thing for whatever reason. “That dildo is too big,” “Oh my god I can’t have another orgasm,” “I don’t want to spank myself,” etc. This can be done in an obvious tone of fun, I don’t mean to say that these guys are abusing you or want to abuse you – they almost always do not want to abuse you – just that some playful tension between you and them makes them feel with extreme clarity their connection with you.
You can pay attention to what people say. If someone stupid comes into your room and says ‘baby wud u suck on that dildo’, you can say, ‘I’ve never done that before, I don’t know about that, but I guess I would if…. nah, I don’t think anybody would want to tip that much,’ and then bam, guys have a hill to climb, a mind to change, something to accomplish.
I don’t think women easily empathize with the life of unattractive men. Women get constant messages that you are beautiful and you are desirable – they get social support and easily accessible casual sex, if they ever wanted it.
Men do not live in a world where people are supporting them even when nobody seems to want them. Men are lonelier and have fewer options of healing that loneliness. They also have a greater (initiatory!) sex drive, and are stuck with the social burden of being the one who has to act and pursue, because if they don’t, they will be alone forever.
And so for you to smile at them, laugh at their jokes, be warmly interested in what they have to say, to be willing to bare your body for them and feel pleasure with them – this is something that they crave.
Obviously money is involved. Obviously you wouldn’t do this without money and you shouldn’t feel obligated to do anything. It isn’t your responsibility to heal other people’s loneliness. But keep in mind that this is a fundamental yearning of the people you’re dealing with – they want you to approve of them, to deem them worthy of affection. To maximize money, you should give out approval proportionally to the amount they tip you. You don’t have to maximize money in this regard, though, if you don’t want to. I paid more attention to higher tippers in general, but I also paid more attention to people I genuinely liked. Camming would have been unbearable for me otherwise.
Some guys like easy approval, but there’s a whole class of guys who like hard approval. They don’t feel like your approval is real unless they’ve worked for it. And thus we enter the pretty substantial world of fin doms, princess bitches, and dominatrices. Some extremely high-earning girls are demanding, barely give any attention to those who tip, and are constantly displeased. These pull in the demographic of men who want a huge mountain to climb – this girl is angry at everybody, how incredible could it be for him to be the one to get a slight smile on her face! And so he pulls out his wallet.
Feel this one out. It will probably take a while, though one might immediately suit your personality. Keep in mind that being overly grateful for every tip might not be the best idea, and might alienate the demographic of men who want to work for it. I’d recommend looking at girls who are slightly above you in rank and watch the level of excitement they display in response to tips, and roughly try to match that – don’t go over.
So you’re now consistently earning $30/hr. That’s great – but how do you rise up? How do you actually get tips?
You probably know about whales. Whales are the rare, wonderful person who comes along and gives you a significant chunk of your income. Most girls I’ve talked to have about 50-70% of their income coming from 1-3 people. Pleasing a whale is really important once you have them, whether that involves being nice or mean to them I don’t know, but usually it involves giving them a lot of free stuff and offline attention.
I went over this a bit earlier, but I’ll reiterate: Keep a list of little things that you might charge for ‘for show,’ but you’re prepared to give away for free to anybody who tips you past a certain amount. Blurring the boundaries of “you give me $ now I do x” is especially important for retaining higher tippers.
How do you get whales? A lot of it is high variance – a tiny fraction of the camwatching population is made out of very rich men, and so you might get one passing through your cam room once a week without you ever knowing, and you have no idea when or if you’ll be doing something interesting at that point.
But one technique to help is to give them something to do. If you have listed tip options as “40 tokens spank! 20 tokens kiss the mirror!” and your whale has 40,000 tokens he wants to drop today, then the best he’s going to get from you is some crying and screaming.
Thus, always have the absurd “nobody would ever buy that that would be insane” option. This doesn’t have to be listed live in your room – you can have it written on a chalkboard behind you, or listed on your profile, or something – but the point is to have an option present that is absurdly expensive, because the whale will look for that if he wants to tip you.
This can be something like, “take an ice shower for 20,000 tokens ($1000) or “actually show my vagina (I used this one; I typically kept my spread vagina just out of sight of the camera)”. Pick the price by imagining the total amount of money earned in one day that would feel like a realistic but really encouraging day’s work, and then multiply that amount by 5 or so.
Also, develop a habit of implicitly/casually referring to your higher list items as unachievable. Be careful not to hold a tone of pity, here, don’t be all poor me, nobody will help me – address it with more sass, like “Yeah I just threw it up there to dominate you guys” or “I put it that high cause if I had to do it it would be so embarrassing”.
Always have listed options for things that are slightly higher than you think people would tip. If people almost always tip in the range of 20-300 tokens, then have something regular or everyday that you list for 400 tokens. If you want to climb the ranks, you need to push your expectations a little higher, because you will attract tippers according to what they can afford, and you want to start moving in the direction of wealthier tippers.
Games are also super, super important. Games are a great way to kill time, have fun, interact, and earn delicious greens, and by greens I do not mean salad. Just glance around at any top girl’s feed and you’ll see a game soon, I promise. It can be stuff like “tip the right random number between 1 and 50 and win a prize!” or “tip and I’ll spin this wheel and give you the prize”. At one point I even designed and printed an entire ‘camgirl game’, which failed because it was too complicated, but still I mean that’s how important games are.
Sophia Locke, an ol’ camgirl legend, designed a popular game where she would write prizes on Jenga blocks, build the tower, and for tips she would pull out blocks, perform the action written on the block, until the whole thing fell, at which point something would happen. This is a brilliant game for tension, because when will the thing fall? The moral of the story is, you can be innovative and find good cam games in unexpected places.
It might sometimes be tempting to go the route of pity – guys want to save girls, right? Begging or crying girls who desperately need to be saved – wouldn’t that work?
This is a pretty common tactic, but in general one I would avoid or use sparingly. It probably is useful when used on people who are already very familiar with you and want to help you as a person by this point, but then you’d be manipulating people who support you long-term and that’s kind of a dick thing to do. I mean, I know this whole thing is a giant manipulation game, but this is a bit too far.
Also, though, think of the kind of people you really viscerally enjoy being around. Are they sad? Probably not (sorry if you are sad). People like being around optimistic, playful, vivid personalities, so, generally speaking, the more upbeat you can be, the better. Think manic pixie dream girl direction – your role is the stock female character who is sparkly and takes the man out of his dreary, lonely life.
Also, look wealthy. This again might seem counter-intuitive to some – is it weird if you’re asking for a thousand dollars if you are surrounded by absurd wealth? Yes it’s weird, but only if you’re poor. If you’re rich, this makes total sense. And you want to attract the richest men.
I don’t mean you have to go all out and only cam from penthouses, but just, don’t look poor.
Think of it this way: Joe wants to date, and anybody would make him happy. Seriously, just a little bit of affection would be amazing. You are attractive. You’re incredibly attractive and you would make Joe shit his pants if you glanced at him. You glance at him, he shits his pants.
Bob wants to date, but few people would make him happy. Attractive girls try and fail. He has standards, or something. You might be able to make him happy, but you’re not sure. You glance at him, he doesn’t notice.
Both of them ask you out – which one are you more likely to accept?
In this way, a rich guy does not want to tip a girl for whom any tip would make her shit her pants. A rich guy wants to tip the girl he’s uncertain about.
And this is why looking expensive is usually good for business.
Divorce what you’re doing from money as much as you can. Never refer to tokens as money!! Refer to tokens as little as you can while still being clear. One of my camgirl friends would use the technique where she’d say, “This is like – I’m sitting at a bar, all alone over here. Is someone gonna be a gentleman and get me a drink?” And then someone would tip and she’d drink.
I would often ‘ask for tips’ by telling people I did not want to do a certain thing. My style was much more ‘antagonistic’ than others so take it with a grain of salt, but it is one possible avenue. I’d say “Okay fine I’ll tell a joke but whatever you do don’t make me spank myself” and then they’d tip and I’d spank myself. Telling people NOT to tip is a great strategy for making it feel like it’s not about money.
In general, focus on the ‘result of the tip’ and not the tip. If you are frustrated nobody is giving you money, talk about how much you want to do the thing everyone is working towards, or ask about what you think might happen, or say you’re thirsty (if you wanna get tipped to drink a beer), or talk about how you feel comfy and safe tonight, you have a good feeling, you don’t think anybody’s actually gonna tip for [insert intense masturbatory experience here].
You have no other men in your life. You forgot about your boyfriend as soon as you became a camgirl. Boyfriend? What boyfriend? You just like playing, you’re not serious, everybody on cam fulfills you sexually anyway, why would you go out and look for more? Nope, you say, closing the door so they can’t hear your boyfriend playing video games in the next room.
Men in sex videos you might make is a little trickier. B/g vids sell for more, but also can turn off certain whales. Whales often attach to you because they’re looking for something like a relationship – they expect that, with the amounts of money they can pour – and seeing other dicks in you can turn them off.
I personally did sell b/g vids. I earned good money from them, though who knows if I’d have caught more whales without them. I was never a big ‘communicate with any members off cam’ girl, so I was worse at keeping whales anyway. If you make them or not is up to you, and you can always take them down later (though the internet will make sure everything lives on).
Hooray marketing! Keep the name you use the same across all platforms. Don’t change your name unless you absolutely must. Change your avatars rarely. Think about catchphrases and signatures. Get a theme.
Lots of girls pick a theme – “space,” “anime,” “horror,” etc. You can theme your prizes along these lines, design your profile like this, and use associated terms for games you play.
Find a character groove and sink into it. Most girls pick their real life personality and emphasize it a little bit.
This job can be incredibly stressful. On MFC, your rank on the page heavily influences how many people see you, and thus how much money you earn. How much money you earn per hour also influences your rank on the page. This means that a low-earning session threatens to reduce your earnings per hour even more in the future.
This is stressful. Sometimes I would cheerfully announce I was going to take a quick break – I’d turn off my cam, bawl into my hands for two minutes, wipe my makeup, and then turn the camera back on, smiling warmly.
Other websites are less stressful, but the extreme fluctuations in earnings can drive you insane. It was common for me to earn $50 one day and $1000 the next. Sometimes I would go on high-income streaks, and sometimes it would be months of nothing. This can be really difficult to handle, and a common bitching topic when camgirls would hang out.
Going in, be prepared for this. Decide ahead of time how you’ll let these things affect you. Keep your expectations low and work hard. Know now that there will be days where you earn nothing and you feel like your career is over, that today is the day where my average hourly dropped a hundred dollars and never climbed. Be prepared to drop your earnings at any point. Enter ready to lose.
Men can suck.
They’re actually pretty fine. They were pretty great in my experience – I had almost no trouble with shitty people, though some of my friends had less luck. Still, though, most girls steel themselves to deal with insults about their body – this is less common than you might think. Most comments are overwhelmingly flattering. Remember – guys want your approval.
More common, I think, is subtle emotional manipulation or control that can come from higher tippers. If a guy is 80% of your income and he sends an angry text over nothing, it can be really terrifying, and easy to feel like you need to fix this right now. And sometimes you do – you just are going to be this person’s bitch as long as he’s paying your rent. Be prepared for this. It can be really hard. Also be prepared to cut off a whale as soon as it’s not worth it anymore. Be wary of relying too much on too few people; there’s pretty high rates of emotional abuse once people feel as though they have power over you.
Be prepared for the inevitable comparison of yourself to other girls. There’s a literal ranking here, where you will find where you fall in regards to attractiveness. You will see what feels like objectively hotter women who are earning more than you for less money. It’s easy to forget the women who are earning less – don’t forget them.
This can eat away at you slowly. Keep an eye on it. Keep your emotional distance from the money you earn and what this means about your sexual desirability. Remember that no matter how bad it is, you still are earning more money in this job than any man could – at least you’re a woman, and at least this is an option.
If you have a partner who is uncomfortable with you camming, this sucks. I’ve seen this a lot, and it has never once ended well. Not saying it can’t, but that you should expect it to suck and not stop sucking. Me from my lofty position of non-attachment-to-your-boyfriend can easily say you should break up with him. This is going to wear on you and make your stressful relationship to your work even more stressful. Make sure that the money is worth what you’re going through, and keep checking in regularly with that question. The minute it stops being worth it, then quit camming or quit your boyfriend. Don’t let something not worth it become normal.
Stalkers are rarer than you think – it’s a minority of people who care enough to stalk you, and a minority of those who aren’t too lazy to actually go through all the work of stalking. Camming is pretty safe, physically.
But still, privacy is good – getting blackmailed or having your identity discovered and spread everywhere is still something to be worried about.
Don’t go into this business if you absolutely cannot survive the exposure of who you are. It’s a low risk, but facial recognition is on the rise. Don’t give in to extortion – if someone threatens to send videos of you to your family, be prepared to go to your family first. It will be okay, this stuff blows over. Own it, if you’re in a position where that’s possible.
Be careful about where you take photos or the backgrounds in your cam. I have a camgirl friend who bought a new house and uploaded a selfie of her inside it, no view out the windows. Someone figured out the general city she was in and went through every “recently sold” house listing until they found one with internal pictures that matched the layout in her selfie. I had another friend, for fun, see if he could find exactly on google maps a girl was camming from based on the view outside her window – and he did it.
I don’t mean you have to be paranoid, but always be thinking of the kinds of information you’re giving away by what you share. I would often give away little ‘false’ information, like casually mention “oh yeah this thing is 15 minutes away” when really it was five, or I’d take a selfie outside somewhere and imply that it was just outside my house when really it was a long daytrip.
Use VPNs if you do skype calls – or at least this is what you should do back when I was camming, I’m unsure if they’ve changed the settings. You don’t have to use VPNs for camsites, at least not the mainstream ones.
Most main social media sites erase metadata (information about when and where your photo was taken hidden inside the photo file) from your photo when you upload, but some don’t, so make sure you check to see if your uploader deletes it or not.
It seems usually safe to be public about your city, as long as you’re in a big one. It’s common for girls to be open about that and can make some things easier, like if a guy wants to send you a gift on your amazon wishlist.
Amazon wishlists, by the way, are good but if you allow shipping through third parties, they might be able to see your address. Some girls use P.O. boxes. I never used one because I moved too much; I figured if someone figured out my address it wouldn’t be a problem for very long.
Check out http://www.ambercutieforums.com, which is an amazing forum with a ton of resources. You have to get verified as an active camgirl in order to get access to the camgirl section.
Attending networking events is great! Camgirling has exploded over the last few years and now you can typically find big camgirl booths at porn conventions. The AVNs and Exxxotica are two of the biggest, camgirl-heaviest conventions, complete with camgirl afterparties and camgirls getting hotels together. Don’t be worried about this being too advanced – all types of girls from all different earning levels attend, and it can be a serious boost to your career. Lots of girls will cam live from these events, which draws a lot of attention.
You can work with other girls, too. The best way to do this I’ve found is to put your laptops together, with both streams running simultaneously. You can also both cam from one account and split the money, though this is generally more useful if you’re trying to primarily help the ranking or publicity of the girl whose account you’re using.
You can do stuff like tip wars (e.g., whichever girl earns the most in 1 hour gets to spank the other) and smoosh your faces together. Camgirls very often have sex with each other on cam. It might seem weird to do this ‘for work.’ It’s a little weird but not too bad. Get a lil drunk.
Camgirls tend to drink a lot. Drinking is another common thing to tip for, and it makes camming easier. My friend once told me that she used to get on cam, black out, and wake up every morning with a thousand dollars.
Generally camsites do not withhold taxes, so you will have to withhold them yourself and pay quarterly. Save between 15-35% of your income, and record everything you spend that is for camming. Yes, that dildo is a tax writeoff.
Do research on this yourself, I hate taxes.
Be hot, don’t expect to be too hot, chill out, don’t look like you’re trying too hard (but really try as hard as you can), look rich, be accessible, don’t beg or be sad, create tension and competition, be kind and address emotional needs, also use emotional needs for financial gain (but also be kind), work your stuff like a business, prepare for stress so much that you aren’t stressed, maybe be a bitch but probably only a little bit.
And like, have fun and stuff. This can be a super fun and rewarding job if you approach it with a spirit of playfulness.
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