As if the past year or two weren’t hard enough, the last few months have found content creators like yourself navigating through numerous changes. From platforms losing monetization features and new legal requirements that only a lawyer could navigate with ease, to clip sites deciding that the main content you shoot is no longer allowed, content creators have been thrown curveball after curveball.
You have enough on your plate, so I’m going to make this really simple for you and break down the three most important things you’ll hear me talk about, ad nauseum, to protect yourself: content storage, regular payouts and revenue diversification.
If you’re uploading content directly to a platform and never to a cloud or hard drive that is your own, I want you to stop reading right now and start backing up your content immediately.
STORING YOUR CONTENT
The most important thing I want you to understand is this: a platform is not a safe space to store your content. Platform vaults and drives are not meant to be used as a long-term content storage solution. If you’re uploading content directly to a platform and never to a cloud or hard drive that is your own, I want you to stop reading right now and start backing up your content immediately.
If the platform goes down, all of your work is gone. If your account gets locked or hacked, your work is gone. If you need to download your content off the platform, it’s likely been down-converted and watermarked by the platform. Don’t put yourself in this position!
You want to be able to access your content at any time. What if you wanted to hire someone to help you and they needed to access your old content? You should be able to simply hand them a copy of your drive or send them a link to your cloud storage.
YOUR PLATFORM IS NOT A BANK
Most platforms have a minimum payout you have to hit. If you have your payouts set to anything other than the minimum, you could have money just sitting in there and waiting for you to cash it out. I’m not a financial planner, but I do know that if you put $100 in a savings account that pays interest, your money makes money for you.
Leaving money in your platform accounts to accumulate is doing nothing for you. There is no interest being earned and what if the worst happens: a platform shuts down overnight and that $500 you earned this week is gone forever. Are you really going to fight to track down that platform’s responsible party to get that money back?
Have a plan to regularly cash out your platform balances. Whether you do it every other week, every $250 or every Tuesday, make it a habit. Know what days of the month your platforms automatically pay out and if they have a schedule. Do not trust your money to anyone but your bank and yourself. Remember that you are a business, and you need to get paid.
SAY IT WITH ME: REVENUE DIVERSIFICATION
You’re going to hear me talk about this a lot. It’s what I do! Revenue diversification is a fancy way of saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” All platforms are not created equal; some have a more well-known name outside the industry and some are only known to those “in the know.” You don’t only eat at one restaurant, so why would you only post your content to one platform?
These days, having an online presence means you need to be on Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and your VIP sites. Fan-focused platforms are the same concept; you want your content to be available in more than one place. If one site goes down, and it’s the only site you’re on, your business will be crushed. You’ll have lost fans, data and revenue — but not content, because you went and backed that up before you read this far, right?
In this scenario, a content creator is going to be hurt financially until they come up with a new plan. But when that one site goes down, five others are still up. Traffic will flow to some of those other sites now, because a fan is still going to want to see you. And if you have profiles available on multiple platforms, they’ll find one that they like best and stick with you. They’ll be slightly inconvenienced, but you'll be there waiting for them with the content they feared lost forever.
One of the good things about being on multiple platforms, other than additional revenue, is the difference in fan interactions. Maybe the content that didn’t really hit on your main platform turns out to be your best seller on another site where the fans are older or more traditional in their tastes, while that solo you did dressed as a robot really finds the audience it needed on yet another platform where fans are more open to experimental content.
“But Megan, do I have to put specific content on each site?” you may ask. No! You’re going to put all of your content on all of the sites. Let the fans pick and choose what they want. Designate one day where you upload your content onto all of the platforms. Pick one to be your primary and put the newest content there, then spread it to the others a month later — or put it up everywhere at once. Whatever works for you is fine, but get your content up anywhere it can go. And if you don’t have the time or energy to do this, I might know someone who can help you.
Megan Stokes is co-founder of NMG Management, a content distribution and brand management firm. A veteran of the adult industry, she strives to share knowledge and the data she collects with the community. For more information, visit nmgmanagement.com.