Before you get started
Think about how doing online sex work will affect your life. Unfortunately, we live in a world where sex work is still heavily stigmatised, and becoming an adult entertainer is not a decision to be taken lightly. Even if you change up your appearance on camera and are very careful with your personal information, chances are you will be recognised by someone you know "IRL". Your family may find out what you do, and having a history in the adult industry may affect your ability to work in certain fields in the future (e.g. the medical field, education, government). If any of these things would be the end of the world for you or potentially even put you in danger, you may want to reconsider whether doing this job is really worth the risk.
Realise that it is not easy money. Popular culture has many people thinking that girls can make a fortune “selling nudes” or “pushing panties” without really doing any work. The reality is quite a bit different. People probably won’t be begging you to buy your nudes, and the market for used panties (though definitely existing!) is over saturated and not all that profitable. Creating video content and camming tend to have much better earning potential, but growing a loyal fan base, creating and retouching content, doing your administration, etc., all cost time and effort. You will not be swimming in money after a few days. In fact, you may not even have made your first sale yet. And that's okay. You are starting your own business and building your brand from the ground up. That takes dedication and patience, just like it would in any other industry. You must be willing to put in work to become successful. In other words: realise that sex work is, in fact, work. If you treat it as such, you will be much more successful.
Take care of your privacy. Read up on how to stay anonymous on the internet. Get a VPN (and use it!). Create a new email address that you will only use for work. Make sure none of your work usernames are linked to your personal ones in any way. If you can afford to, get a separate work phone that you will not use for any personal stuff, or set up a separate user profile for work if you have an Android phone. Switch off your location services, strip EXIF data from your photos before posting them (for example by using Imgur), and disable functions like "quick add" in any app you use for work. Set all your personal social media to private, or better yet, delete them altogether.
Realise that despite doing all of this, your friends and family might still find out about your job. This goes way beyond simply being recognised by a friend who stumbles upon your PornHub video. Social networks suggest people to follow based on a lot more things than just email addresses and usernames - things like being at the same location, logging in from the same device, using the same WiFi connection, etc., all contribute. You can minimise this risk by doing the things outlined above, but you can never completely eliminate it. Again, I cannot stress this enough: if you can live without your personal Facebook, Instagram, and so on - delete them. If you absolutely cannot miss those, set them to private and change your profile picture to something random that isn’t your face (your dog, favourite flower, pizza, whatever).
If you're not scared yet (or if you're lucky enough to have super open-minded friends and family who would be accepting of your job - yay), read on :)
Think about what kind of things you would like to do and where. Something probably attracted you to online sex work. Perhaps the idea of camming appealed to you, or maybe creating videos seemed to be a great outlet for your creativity. Part 2 of this blog series will discuss several platforms and the different types of services models can offer there. Take a moment to sit down and think about which things seem fun to you, and what you're comfortable doing (and what not). It is always a good day to diversify your income streams across both platforms and services, so pick a few different things to try. Keep in mind that you don't need to do everything all at once - you can start with one or two things and build from there, and it's okay to experiment. Different types of sex work suit different types of people.
Pick a stage name and register it on social media. Choose something that is completely different from your real name and any of your existing usernames, and make sure it is available on the platforms you're thinking of using. Snapchat, Twitter, Reddit, and Instagram are a few social media platforms you're probably going to want to use, but also check if your name is available on any clip sites and other platforms you may want to register on. Being consistent with your username across platforms will make it easier for your fans to find and follow you. Even if you’re not planning to start using a platform right away, get the the username anyway, so that others can’t take it. It’s also useful to create an email address with your stage name so that you can get all your notifications on that account (do NOT use your personal email address to register any work accounts!). Always use strong passwords (a different one for every site), and where possible, enable 2 factor authentication to protect your accounts.
Get verified on the platforms you wish to use. Now that you've picked a stage name and created an account everywhere you think you might want to use, get verified! All reputable adult sites will require that you verify with your ID. This is simply to confirm that you are at least 18 years old, and to comply with legal requirements. Your ID information will never be publicly visible - only the staff handling the verification will see it. Verification requirements vary per platform, but usually include submitting a photo of your ID and a selfie with your ID next to your face.