The big news recently in internet tech is that OnlyFans, a platform that likes to think of itself as a ‘creator’ platform but is actually an adult content platform allowing tens of thousands of adult content creators to make money off their personal brands, decided to ban that very content from October, conceivably ending the livelihoods of thousands of online creators.
The anger at OnlyFans amongst its creators and users was swift and fierce.
So much that as of this writing, they’ve reversed course and decided to not implement the ban. For now.
Where does someone like Blacknight come in? Well, this fits into something I’ve written about quite a bit – most recently about how journalists shouldn’t be so quick to join SubStack but instead should build their own printing press (their own websites) and profit from it instead.
The golden rule of internet commerce applies here. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
No matter what you’re doing online, whether it’s writing, selling physical products, music, or selling adult content to internet visitors, you should not rely on one platform for your livelihood.
Many OnlyFans creators are suddenly finding themselves having to quickly learn the basics of internet marketing to survive. And anyone who has spent more than five minutes on OnlyFans will know that these creators have innate skills at marketing.
To be honest, what OnlyFans did was not unique or hard to replicate. There are already many other adult content sharing platforms (and non-adult creator platforms like Patreon or Substack). Adult creators, when faced with the prospect of moving to a new platform, and quickly, were terrified they would lose business and their incomes during the transition. While there’s no way to completely prevent this, you can mitigate it by spreading out your online activities.
So, here are a few basic internet marketing tips to help you get started with protecting your brand online so you can move between platforms, whatever kind of content you create. These principles apply to any kind of online content, not just adult content.
Disclaimer: As always, be sure to read the terms and conditions and acceptable use policies for any of the services mentioned below to make sure your kind of business will not run into issues. If in doubt, consult a lawyer/solicitor.
Secure your domain
Anyone who works online, whether it’s for the personal adult brand, their ‘regular’ career or a side hustle, should secure the domain name for their online identity. If you don’t, someone else will. Having your own domain name gives you legitimacy and gives you a default home online. If your chosen platform closes or changes its policies, you can tell people to go to your website instead.
There are several domains that are useful for this type of online work. Besides the regular .COM domains you can also consider:
- .LIVE – Click here to register
- .FANS – Click here to register
- .CLUB – Click here to register
- .ME – Click here to register
- .TV – Click here to register
- .WEBCAM – Click here to register
- .SITE – Click here to register
- .VIP – Click here to register
- .GAY – Click here to register
Have your OWN website
Whatever platforms you’re on, you should have your own website as well. But it shouldn’t just be a ‘this is my website’ type place. It should be a place you can connect with your fans, feature your content, maybe even have your own paywall instead of relying on a third party (though you may run into the same issues at OnlyFans with credit card processors).
Start an email marketing list
Email is by far the most important marketing medium for any small business, and online adult businesses are no different. If you have a list of your dedicated fans, you can communicate directly with them. So, if a platform goes dark, all you have to do is email them to let them know where else to find you. Services like Mailchimp and ConstantContact make it super easy to manage a mailing list. Free plugins for WordPress like Mailpoet let you do it for free until you reach a certain threshold and you control all the data (which will be important to privacy-conscious customers).
Market across all platforms
Your content should be portable, and your marketing efforts should be duplicated across all the platforms you have access to. Share your images across all the social networks, tell your fans to subscribe to your newsletter, get the message everywhere your fans are following you. Maintain open lines of communication to keep your business chugging along.
Selling adult content yourself should probably be avoided
The perk of a site like OnlyFans is that they took care of the selling of adult content for you – and crucially took on the liability. It’s probably possible to do it yourself. There are plenty of off-the-shelf paywalls for websites you can buy and use. You could also use open source software like WordPress or Ghost (which has memberships built-in). But you will need to find a payment processor that has no problem with what you’re selling.
The fundamental problem that OnlyFans had was that their banks and credit card processors didn’t like that it was selling adult content. These American banks are in the throes of puritanical American attitudes towards sex. You would have the same problem if you tried to sell your own adult content.
Many payment processors explicitly prohibit this and would not allow you to do it for long. So, the solution here isn’t to sell your own adult content but to control your audience so you can move it from adult platform to adult platform where you can continue to sell your quality content.
If you’re ready to register a domain for your online adult business, Blacknight can help you with that! Begin your domain search below. We can also provide EU-based hosting to meet your requirements.