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  • Writer's pictureWillow Raven


Updated: Apr 23, 2023

I've had some really interesting questions lately relating specifically to the sex work industry, and I'm excited to answer some of your questions!

Keep in mind that I'm solely an online content creator and part-time cam girl, so I can't speak to other aspects of the industry, but here's my take on a few common questions!

What are the biggest misconceptions about being a content creator?

The biggest misconception is that this is an easy gig - that you just need to put up some feet pics and the money will start rolling in. There's so much that goes into it - shooting, editing, branding, customer service, accounting, social media marketing, the list goes on.

I work more often than I did when I worked a 9-5, it's just a very different type of work. But overall, I'm using a lot of the skills I learned while working retail and non-profit jobs - transferrable skills, baby!

I also think there's a bit of a misconception regarding earning potential - it seems so many folks think the majority of content creators are making five or even six-figure months. There's definitely some great money to be made, but not without effort. A lot of new creators I see get dejected when they're not making $10k their first month. Most people who are successful right off the bat were popular online before ever getting a subscription page, so just know that while there's a lot of potential, it's a grind to get there!

How much time do you spend on average per shoot? Let's break it down!

I typically take about 30 minutes to do makeup and hair (I am...fairly fast at this bc I have my makeup routine down pat and I don't do anything too much with my hair.)

I write out a list of all of the day's content the night before, so I already have a sense of what outfits to wear, locations to use in my condo, etc. so it gives me some direction and less guess work, so I feel more prepared heading into a shoot day.

I typically spend one day doing photoshoots, a second doing videos, with a third content day for a mix of both (depending on how many customs I get that week). I usually carve about 3-5 hours in those days for shooting specifically.

Then I take an hour or two to go through what I've shot and decide what's going to make it onto the feeds and what I can/can't use for socials. I do very limited editing because honestly my editing skills are severely lacking, so I don't spend as much time on the post-shoot process as a lot of my peers. It's something I want to work on, since I know it could elevate the quality of my photos if I knew how to properly colour balance, etc, but really I just rely largely on natural lighting and take lots of photos and then pick out a few favourites. For a photoshoot, I probably take about 50 photos for each set of 6-10 that get used.

So overall in a week, I am probably doing 10-15 hours of actual shooting. The biggest part of my job, honestly, is talking with subscribers and online promotion.

How do you decide what kind of content to shoot?

One of the biggest worries I had before diving into this industry was not being creative enough to have new content regularly. It honestly prevented me from starting an OnlyFans for a long time (that, and my worry that no one would want to actually sign up.)

Something that I've found that's been incredibly helpful in terms of coming up with different shoot ideas is, strangely enough, giving myself restrictions.

My theme days are a fun way to give myself a bit of direction - I know that I need to shoot something wrestling related, and music related, or BDSM-esque, which makes it less stressful to fill in the blank spaces in my content calendar.

I've also honestly started looking at different annual holidays, like National Bubble Bath Day and National Sweatpants Day. It not only gives me an idea for outfits and backgrounds, but it also gives me something to talk about in my captions on each post! It also gives me some ideas for fun games, like National Trivia Day where I did a little Willow Raven trivia and for every question subscribers got correct, they got 5% off their monthly subscription.

I keep an annual spreadsheet, with two content idea columns for every single day of the year, so I can plan shoots and videos in advance. Planning makes such a big difference and removes a lot of the "oh my god, what should I shoot today?" anxiety!

Is it expected of you to have to do certain acts to be successful?

I've had a few people ask if there's expectations to provide certain type of content, whether it be full nude, B/G, anal play, etc. and my answer will be the same for all categories: there's nothing dictating that you have to provide anything specific. There are a number of creators I know who don't show their face, who rarely if ever get nude, who only do solo content, etc. There's a market for everything!

First decide what YOUR boundaries are; don't let subscribers or expectations of what porn should be dictate what you feel comfortable doing yourself. Assume that your content will be reposted, that it will be seen by people you know in real life - what do you absolutely not feel comfortable being out there on the internet forever? That line is different for everyone, but be sure that you have a clear boundary for yourself for what you will and will not provide and don't let money sway you into doing something you don't feel comfortable recording and putting out there. At the end of the day, you are the one in charge of your own business. You are the one who gets to set the boundaries and dictate your own comfort level. Don't forget that!

What's something you had to really work at in terms of content creation?

I mentioned a bit earlier that I use a lot of the skills I learned working in other industries, so I already felt fairly comfortable doing the behind the scenes business stuff - branding, marketing, social media, general organization, etc.

What came a little less easily for me, was being in front of the camera, especially with video. Anything that involved roleplay or putting on a persona (like femdomme scenarios) were more difficult for me. Now, keep in mind that I've spent years performing in bands and solo, so I'm not totally shy, but I had never really had to act, so having a conversation in front of a camera to, well, no one, didn't always come that easily for me.

I absolutely love roleplay scenarios now, but it took me a bit of time to feel confident that I didn't seem silly or uncomfortable in front of the camera.

Another aspect I found a little difficult, was having a healthy work/life balance. Having never worked for myself before, I went a little too into overdrive - for the first couple months that I was working, I'd be doing customs minutes after they were requested, no matter what - I'd put on makeup for a 45 second dick rate video, I'd go home early from a friend's house to record a custom, etc. I hadn't learned to put boundaries in place and realize that I was in charge of my own schedule, which meant I had to be the one to establish working hours and make rules for myself to take time away from work.

I still struggle with this last one a bit - I check my pages and social media obsessively and don't take as many full days off as I should, but I'm working on it!

Is the market too flooded for new creators to be seen?

Absolutely not! That's like saying "there's already lots of great bands out there, we don't need more bands!"

I'm still relatively new to the industry, having only been in it for a little under 2 years so far. I think there's always room for new creators, but that doesn't negate the fact that there are quite a few creators out there already that are established and can make it intimidating to start as a new worker.

The biggest thing I always tell new creators starting out, and that I truly believe is the most important part of this industry, is to make your personality do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Make sure you have a niche that makes it easier to target your marketing and social media presence and that you can chat with subscribers about.

There are thousands of hot creators out there, and people can see nudity practically anywhere on the internet - what about you makes them want to spend money supporting you? Some good T&A will bring 'em in, but personality will keep 'em supporting you and becoming loyal subscribers!

You obviously want to have consistent quality content, but your people skills and personality will help you stand out from the crowd!

Do you think social media rules have had an impact on your business plans moving forward?

Absolutely. The restrictions placed on many social media sites regarding even mentioning the words OnlyFans or insinuating anything related to sex work will get you quickly shadowbanned or banned outright.

It's made it difficult to properly maintain a successful social media presence (ex: I've had both my Instagram and TikTok accounts banned, which means I've had to create new ones from scratch, as well as no longer having consistent social media handles & branding which makes it more difficult to find me on other platforms.)

I've written a blog with more thoughts about social media and sex work that you can read here!

Do you get nervous about having your content online?

When I first started my journey as a content creator, I was working full-time for an educational institution. It made things a bit more precarious - I had a job on the line. I was worried about promoting myself too much, or who might find out about my side gig, etc.

Once I finally quit that job and decided to work for myself full-time, that worry lessened a lot more. I don't have the same type of fear that I used to have about "being found out" from people I knew in real life, because the people I care about know, and the ones who don't are strangers, so why would I care what they think? I'm proud of what I do - what's the worst that happens if someone I know finds out about what I do? I can't get into politics? lmao oh no.

That said, having my content on the internet makes it easier to get stolen, shared and posted illegally on message boards and gross leak sites. Unfortunately, content leaks are a very real aspect of the industry; you have to just accept that it'll likely happen, so I'm always proactive about it. I don't sell content through social media, I pay a scanning service to dig through the web to find my leaks and send out DMCA notices on my behalf, etc. I also don't do anything that I would be upset getting out into the world, no matter the amount offered. This is, again, a reason to know your own boundaries on what content you feel comfortable filming and providing!

What do you see as the future of online SW? Honestly, I think social media, subscription sites, etc. are too unpredictable at the moment to properly be able to guess.

We have things like Twitter still feeling precarious after Elon's takeover, potential bans of TikTok in the USA, sex work sites like SextPanther's SMS partners dropping them and PornHub having issues due to Mastercard restrictions, not to mention OnlyFans' (temporary but also disastrous) adult content almost-ban.

In an ideal world, the proliferation of online content creators will mean that the stigma associated begins to diminish, social media guidelines become more relaxed in allowing adult content to at least be mentioned, and larger OnlyFans competitors begin to emerge to reduce the near-monopoly so that the sites are required to up their game in terms of tech support, customer service, etc. Do I think this will happen? Idk, probably not, but it's nice to think about.

Regardless, I am incredibly passionate about this industry, and hope that wherever the online sex work world goes, I'll be along for the ride.

I hope you've gained a bit of insight into the industry after reading this blog! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on social media or via email!

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