OnlyFans creators pay themselves millions of dollars to gain subscribers

  • Many OnlyFans creators spend money on “shouting”, a marketing practice used to gain subscribers.
  • These creators told Insider that shoutouts are crucial to growing their audience.
  • Insider spoke to 9 creators, some of whom spend thousands a month on shoutouts, about the practice.

Riley Reid has never needed help promoting her OnlyFans page.

Prior to joining the platform in 2020, the 30-year-old actress was recognized in the adult film industry, where she won dozens of awards and amassed a huge fan base.

But many adult content creators on OnlyFans are not so lucky and rely on various forms of marketing to grow their audience.

Reid realized this shortly after joining OnlyFans, when she started getting messages from content creators asking her to promote them on her page.

“I realized there was a lack of opportunities for smaller girls or boys to grow their brand,” Reid told Insider. “A lot of girls kept asking me to pay for signings.”

Reid has joined a network of thousands of adult content creators who buy and sell “screams” to advertise on OnlyFans and other social media platforms, like Twitter and Instagram. Creators collectively spend millions of dollars each month on this marketing practice to gain subscribers and increase revenue.

Insider spoke with nine of them about how it works and why it’s so crucial to their careers.

Isabella James, creator of OnlyFans

Isabella James is an adult content creator with 133,000 subscribers on OnlyFans. She said she invests up to $40,000 a month in “signings.”

Isabelle James.


Dedications play an important role in the success of many OnlyFans pages

The practice of shoutouts grew in response to the lack of a discovery algorithm on OnlyFans.

“OnlyFans doesn’t really have any suggested users,” Reid said. “Instagram can show suggested people…but OnlyFans doesn’t have the same tools or operations.”

The company, for its part, told Insider in an email that the decision not to offer a traditional discovery feature is “a strategic design choice intended to prioritize user control and safety. “.

For this reason, cross-promotion has become an essential marketing tool for adult content creators who rely on shoutouts to increase subscribers and revenue. Some creators have reported investing up to 50% of their monthly earnings in shoutouts.

Brie Nightwood, an OnlyFans model with nearly 81,800 fans, began buying and selling “screams” several months after joining OnlyFans in 2020. Although she cut her spending from $20,000 a month to between 5 $000 and $10,000, the creator said buying screams was helpful for his business.

“It was totally worth it,” Nightwood said. “I got a lot more than that in return.”

Isabella James, a creator of OnlyFans with nearly 133,000 subscribers, currently invests $40,000 a month in promotions, which she says is a big but worthwhile investment.

“Because at the end of the day, the reason Bhad Bhabie, Bella Thorne or Belle Delphine can make millions in one is because they’re famous,” James said. “You can literally have…potatoes as content. You know what it’s about? It’s about your exposure.”

The demand that Reid, one of these famous creators, received was so high that she put cries up for sale on her online store and her assistants helped her fill out and schedule the posts.

An OnlyFans shoutout that stays on Reid’s page for seven days costs $2,200, and a Twitter shoutout that lasts three days and then gets deleted costs $2,000. By early May, Reid’s shoutout schedule was full for the next two months, she said, adding that she normally posts one shoutout per week on each platform.

While posting a photo of a fellow creator to various social media feeds over a period of time is one of the ways this form of marketing works, there are also other options, like mass DMs to fans.

Another practice called “guaranteed earnings” is for creators to pay other creators to promote a free trial link until the paying creator accumulates a certain number of new subscribers. The creators told Insider that “guaranteed earnings” prices range between $0.50 and $1 per fan.

With this system, it’s up to the creator to keep new fans on their page after the free subscription ends and charge them for additional services, like personalized content and messages.

“I almost always feel like I got my money back,” said Brooke, a creator who goes through BrookeShowsXX and spends between $10,000 and $20,000 a month cross-promoting. “Even if I bought 1,000 ventilators and 800 of them didn’t spend any money, those 200 who did will return that money to me in time.”

“There is enough money for everyone”

While some may assume that creators compete with each other, the OnlyFans creator community is quite strong.

“Networking is super important, and we all really stick together,” Brooke said. “It’s really good that we have this community, and we all really lean on each other.”

There are countless networked group chats on Telegram, which one creator described as “the hub of sex work”. In these chats, creators can review their experience with shoutouts.

Justine Jakobs, who has 36,000 fans on the platform, said it adds a sense of trust because creators are more motivated to only cross-promote with vetted people and avoid scams.

Audrey Aura, an Australian model with around 3,000 followers, said mutual support reassures creators that different types of content will appeal to different people.

“A lot of us understand that fans will have a variety of interests,” she said. “We know there are enough fans for everyone, there are enough role models for everyone, there is enough money for everyone.”