Alternative Payment Methods For Webcam Shows

camgirl in blue silking performing webcam shows

Before I begin, let me state that I think the processing rates for so called ‘high risk’ services such as adult-oriented webcam shows are ridiculously high. That said, many new independent camgirls don’t seem to understand the importance of having sustainable payment processing such as Zomabio, CCBill or Epoch, so I figured I write about the pros and cons of the ‘ad hoc’ alternative payment methods most commonly used by newer independent camgirls.

Gift Rocket

Gift Rocket is an American-based system through which camgirls with a Gift Rocket account can receive ‘gifts’ or payments from customers. The pros are that the cost of sending money to another party are borne by the person sending the money, not the recipient. This means that processing costs for the camgirl are zero, and the customer pays the fee of $2 plus 5% of the total gift amount in processing costs. The other main benefit of using Gift Rocket is that the customer does not need to have his own Gift Rocket account in order to send money, he simply uses his credit card to send the agreed upon amount to the camgirl’s email address that is registered with the site. The customer never sees the camgirl’s name, address or identifying info, making Gift Rocket safe and anonymous, which is important for our purposes.

The main downside of using Gift Rocket as payment for skype webcam shows is that only customers located in the US can use it, the service does not allow people from outside the US to send funds through their system. Independent camgirls outside of the US can create a Gift Rocket account, however non-Americans can only withdraw funds through paypal, which is NOT a safe or sustainable solution. If you use Paypal as an independent camgirl in any capacity related to your webcam sex work, it really is only a matter of time before your Paypal account gets frozen or suspended.

Another negative about Gift Rocket is that while the recipient of funds receives the ‘gift’ immediately, Gift Rocket only debits the customer’s credit card at a later date, meaning that there is no guarantee you will get paid for the webcam shows you perform. If the credit card is declined at that later date you are totally out of luck.

Amazon Gift Cards

Amazon gift cards are a popular payment option for independent camgirls providing skype webcam shows, as these cards are anonymous and safe, provided you always redeem the gift card prior to starting the cam show. The main drawback to these cards, and the reason I don’t accept them myself is because I can’t pay my bills with gift cards or deposit them into a savings account, I can only spend them on consumer goods. That’s great if you’re a fan of online shopping (I am not) but even for those of you who are Amazon gift cards will never be able to replace payment processing.

Payoneer

Payoneer private loads are an efficient and low cost payment option for camgirls offering yahoo and skype webcam shows, but there are significant drawbacks to the service as well. First off, the good: the fee for private loads is 3.75% and customers only need the email address attached to your payoneer account, they don’t need to create an account themselves. The downside is tha as of now only payoneer debit card holders can accept private loads, you cannot do so if you receive payoneer payments via direct deposit/global bank transfer. This means that while the fees for receiving payments are low, the expenses attached to card maintenance and withdrawal of funds from the card are expensive. Further, unless you regularly receive payoneer payments from a registered partner (such as a cam site) your card will be deactivated and your ability to accept private loads removed.

Payoneer is a great service but they aren’t a payment processor, and are quite vocal about it. As a camgirl you are not permitted to put a Payoneer payment link on your website, and your ability to accept private loads is at the sole discretion of the company. Expect that as your volume of payments rises your ability to receive private loads will be curtailed.  See this link for further information on the payoneer private load policy.

Another drawback to using Payoneer as a payment option for webcam shows is that customer payments are not transferred immediately, there is often a two day hold on the customer making a payment and the funds being removed from his credit card and appearing in your account. This means that if a payment is declined you only find out after the fact, unless you always require Payoneer payment two days in advance. Not a great solution for spur-of-the-moment webcam show requests.

Paxum

Paxum is a similar service to payoneer although unlike the former they encourage private use. Paxum is anonymous and the low costs of payment (which are paid by the customer) are 4.95% of the total amount + $0.50 + 25 cents. Still, fees to withdraw ones funds from a Paxum account are quite steep, at 5$ for check and $8.95 for ACH (EFT). There is also a $40 surcharge if a payment from a customer is charged back, which means that in the event of a chargeback you lose the cost of the webcam show plus an additional $40. Another drawback is that customers must create a Paxum account in order to send payments to your Paxum account, and creating your own verified Paxum account in order to withdraw funds can be quite a bureaucratic ordeal.

Money Pak/Blue Bird

Money Pak and Blue Bird are two great safe, secure and anonymous alternative payment options, but since they can only be used by Americans within America I don’t consider them to be a general viable option for webcam show payments. I’m not American, but even if I was easily half my customers are located in nations outside the US, simply put these services would be useless for a great percentage of my webcam show clients. Feel free to do your own research if you own circumstances are more US-centric, however.

 Why Alternative Payments Do Not Replace Adult Payment Processing for Webcam Shows

All of the options listed above have their uses and pros and cons, but they don’t replace adult payment processing for skype webcam shows because none offer the protection offered by processors such as CCBill, Zombaio and Epoch. Adult payment processors blacklist customers who have charged back, and cards that are declined for innocent bank errors appear immediately, before you have performed the agreed upon webcam show service. Anyone who uses adult payment processing knows how frequently innocent errors that cause credit card declines occur, and few of the services listed above offer any method to protect independent camgirls against that. Further, many of the options listed above offer low cost processing but carry high fees to withdraw funds, in effect raising the cost of accessing your money far above the initial processing fee.  I’m not saying don’t use these services, I’ve used many of them myself and been pleased, but I could never run a thriving business without adult payment processing that notifies me immediately of card declines. If you want to be a full time independent camgirl you need to either get your own merchant account or use a site for payment processing that offers a sub-account system of the same. That’s the only way to protect yourself as you grow your business.

 

Do You and Eff the Noise: A Camgirl Mantra

camgirl in blue tank top and jeans

While every skype camgirl needs to keep on top of events in her niche as they unfold, there’s such a thing as being too involved. 🙂 Here I’ll be discussing the policing of others through what I simply term ‘the noise’ and I’ll be adding my view on why this sort of micromanaging is a total waste of time.

What is the Noise: Camgirl Distractions

Simply put, I characterize ‘the noise’ as paying far too much attention to what other cam girls do, say and charge, and I really believe that in order to achieve your peak level of camgirl success you need to avoid that kind of distraction. This noise is a risk for all types of camgirls but I think independent camgirls can be much more negatively impacted by these distractions because we occupy a smaller niche than our peers who work the ‘big box’ cam sites, and we often share customers in common due to the smaller pool of playmates who choose skype cam sex shows (although happily this pool is growing rapidly, to all our benefit) 🙂 We know our peers in this niche, we visit each other’s sites and we stay on top of changes as they occur in our little niche of the cam sex world, and the reality is it’s impossible to be successful while not paying attention to changes as they unfold. That said, being over-involved in the choices of others is self-defeating and distracts from the goal of building strong and independent camgirl businesses.

Staying attuned to the industry is far different than obsessing over the actions of our peers. Every day I read and hear independent camgirls complain about the rates charged by others and the types of shows offered by others and I think this is type of mentality is a total waste of focus and energy. Yes, we’re all ultimately competitors in this niche, but the singular actions of another camgirl can never hurt your bottom line or your business. Below I’ll be outlining and rebutting some of the main ‘noise’ complaints I come across.

Camgirls Who Charge Less are Ruining My Business!

Deep breath sister, no they’re not. Here’s why: men who visit independent camgirls are seeking unique and personalized skype cam sex experiences, if all they wanted was a lowest cost option they’s be on a free tube site watching videos, not messaging you. Cam show cost is not the determining factor for most cam sex customers, they simply want to have a wicked time with a camgirl who shares their vibe and interests.

While as a group we do collectively set the tone for average rates in our niche, for most guys rates aren’t the primary concern: finding the perfects camgirl (or camgirls) for them is. Truth is, even the guys who are ‘bargain hunters’ quickly realize that girls who charge far below average tend to give their shows less than their all, but most guys they simply want a camgirl they click with, a camgirl they know will do their best to make a cam sex show extraordinary. Charge whatever you need to make doing skype cam shows worthwhile and the guys who want what you offer will come.

Cam Girls Who Do Extreme Acts are Taking My Customers: I Can’t Compete With That!

Speaking as an independent camgirl who isn’t comfortable with extreme acts, my reply would simply be this: don’t compete. The types of shows desired by our playmates are as varied and expansive as our customer base itself: not every guy is looking for double anal while squirting and spinning a top. 🙂 If you don’t want to perform extreme acts, carve out a unique niche for yourself and rock it.

I’m trying to be careful about how I word this section, because I don’t want to suggest that there’s anything wrong with camgirls who perform extreme acts or the customers who enjoy them. Truth is there isn’t anything wrong with extreme: it’s simply a matter of personal boundaries and personalized tastes. All I’m saying is that there’s no need to feel threatened by girls who do extreme cam shows, they’ve simply chosen a niche that works for them. There’s no real reason why any camgirl needs to follow ANY particular path in order to achieve success, so choose another niche and excel within it. Do your own thing amazing well and the guys will come. Even better, they’ll revisit you. 🙂

I’m a pretty staid camgirl when it comes to extreme shows…hell, I don’t even do anal, but I’ve never felt that my choices have hindered my earnings. This is because I’ve focused upon other aspects of cam sex that I do enjoy and I’ve tried hard to cultivate my skills in my chosen niches. For real, getting all upset over a camgirl who chooses to perform a different style of cam sex than oneself is about as logical as getting irked by camgirls who speak another language. Not every camgirl will appeal to every customer, so make sure you do your best to stand out in your niche by giving your shows 100% every time you turn on your cam.

That Camgirl Said Something Awful on Twitter

Ahhh, the twitter wars. As I’ve talked about before I’m doing my best to use twitter even though I hate it, and I’m constantly amazed by how many people seem to enjoy fighting with strangers online. This is the worst type of time wasting, AND advertising, as every camgirl who engages in social media fighting is essentially broadcasting to the world that she has way too much time on her hands. Camgirls who are successful and busy don’t have time for this sort of thing. Even worse, the only people who would be interested in this type of drama are those who are equally bored, and those people aren’t customers. In reality, our playmates visit us to get away from discord and drama; they seek escape, not the burden of immature scuffles. Fighting on the internet is not smart or hot; rather it alienates real customers and attracts bored cellar dwellers who will never book a show but hang around for the cat fight. Walk away and be the better person, it isn’t worth damaging your image or your peace of mind over nonsense.

Why Is ‘The Noise’ So Damaging?

I look at the matter this way: as an independent camgirl I’m responsible for every aspect of my business. If I succeed it’s due to me. If I fail I’m responsible. Taking responsibility for our businesses is a vital mentality for all entrepreneurs, in that the alternative of focusing on perceived external barriers to success prevents us from focusing on what WE can do to alter and adapt to enhance our bottom line. Focusing on the behaviors of others detracts from us focusing on ourselves, and it negates the power we have to forge our own unique enterprises through our own unique ideas. Blaming others is the opposite of taking responsibility, and I’ve found that cam girls who rail against and police the actions of their peers tend to forget that they have a tremendous amount of agency in determining the success or failure of their business.

In sum, ‘the noise’ is a toxic element involving the overpolicing of peers, and every camgirl focused upon building a successful business needs to avoid it. Do your own thing, do it exceedingly well and you’ll find that the actions/behaviours of your peers that you find objectionable aren’t at all relevant to your business. Trust your work ethic, trust your skills and give this job 100% and you’ll succeed no matter who else is doing what. Do you and fuck the noise.

Independent Webcam Girls Readiness Quiz

independent webcam girls smoking on skype topless

Are you Well-Equipped to Work in the Niche of Independent Webcam girls?

Inspired by a peer of mine who created a checklist for discovering one’s ideal cam site, I decided to create a little quiz to help camgirls discover if they suit independent webcam work. Obviously this isn’t a peer-reviewed scientific study or anything, but I do hope it helps new independent webcam girls discover whether they’re on the right track in regards to pursuing work in this niche.

Are you familiar with html and basic website design?

  • Yes (2 points)
  • No, but I’m prepared to give myself a crash course (1 point)
  • No (0 points)

Do you enjoy regular cam sex customers or do you prefer to always interact with new people?

  • Yes, I enjoy cultivating a real connection with my regular playmates (2 points)
  • I enjoy a mix of both regulars and new clients (1 point)
  • No, I don’t like repeat clients and I’m not interested in building an authentic connection with them (0 points)

How many hours per week are you prepared to spend on self-promotion, web design, advertising, etc?

  • 14 hours or more (2 points)
  • 7 hours (1 point)
  • I rarely self-promote (0 points)

Assess your creativity…

  • I love being creative, thinking up new ideas and strategies and following through on implementing them (2 points)
  • I’m not very comfortable with the unknown, I prefer to do what I already know how to do but I’m willing to push myself into trying new things (1 points)
  • Camming is about tits and ass, what does creativity have to do with it? (0 points)

What sort of cam shows do you enjoy most?

  • Individualized and unique cam shows (2 points)
  • I have a pretty set routine but I don’t mind specific requests (1 point)
  • I do my thing, they watch, they cum. Rinse and repeat (0 points)

Assess your skills at maintaining boundaries:

  • I’m comfortable establishing what is ok with me and what isn’t. I respect my own time and demand that my cam sex playmates do the same. I’m not afraid to say ‘no’. (2 points)
  • I’m uncomfortable with vocalizing my boundaries and I never know what to say when a customer is requesting something (free chit chat, a particular sex act, etc) that doesn’t work for me. I always manage to get through it but establishing and maintaining boundaries is uncomfortable. (1 point)
  • I get angry when customers disrespect my time and never know how to handle it smoothly. I have a difficult time vocalizing my needs so customers tend to take advantage of me (0 points)

My approach to camming is:

  • A marathon, not a race. I understand that when just starting out building an independent webcam model business takes time, and a tremendous amount of work. I’m willing to invest whatever is required to reap rewards down the road. (2 points)
  • I want/need immediate results but I’m willing to invest time and effort for rewards at a later date. (1 point)
  • I need money now. Camming is not my future (0 points)

When I am off-cam I spend time strategizing…

  • Frequently. I often think about what I want to do next, what I want to try next, how I can improve on things I’m currently doing. I follow through on those ideas. (2 points)
  • Every couple of days a thought pops into my head but I don’t often follow through on those ideas. (1 point)
  • Rarely if ever. (0 points)

When it comes to responsibility level in providing cam sex shows:

  • I want to handle everything. Website design and maintenance, payment processing, promotion and advertising; I want to do it all and I trust my own skill and work ethic (2 points)
  • I want to branch out into providing things for myself, but I’m still learning. I’m implementing new skills quickly though, and I’m not afraid of handling new responsibilities all on my own. (1 point)
  • I prefer to just do cam sex shows. I don’t want to pursue real payment processing and I’m not all that invested in self-promotion (0 points)

 

Assess Your Independent Webcam Girl Readiness Score:

0-8 points: The good news is you can still be an amazing and successful camgirl, but the niche of independent webcam girls is probably not for you. If you don’t enjoy the specialized work that comes with running your own independent business chances are you won’t excel at maintaining the required level of that work long-term.

9-13 points: You’re still learning the skills required to be successful in this niche, but you’re on the right track. Try building your independent webcam girl business while still working the network cam sites so that you still have a regular income coming in while you’re learning the ropes. You’re on the right track but you still have a lot to learn and new skills and strategies to implement.

14-18 points: You are perfect for the niche of independent camgirls, and you’re well positioned to achieve amazing success running your own independent business. Trust your skill, your creativity and your work ethic and go for it. (and contact me for a link exchange once you build your website!) 🙂

 

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Independent Camgirl Websites and Copyright

black and white webcam pic of camgirl in jeans and t shirt

How to Protect Our Independent Camgirl Websites From Copyright Infringers

While all camgirls should be concerned about copyright infringers who use our copyrighted pictures and webcam videos for their own purposes, as independent camgirls we have an additional concern: protecting our personal independent camgirl websites. Recently I had an experience with a couple of copyright-infringing domains that were hosting copies of my entire websites (including this one) on their own domains, so I figured I’d write about some of the strategies I’ve been employing successfully to solve the problem.

How Do Unethical Webmasters Infringe Upon Our Copyright?

In trying to figure out exactly what was happening in my situation, I learned that there are three main methods that are employed to copy a website to another domain. The first, scrapers, are scripts employed by unethical webmasters to ‘scrape’ (or basically copy) the text and images that appear on our websites and place that content on another domain. Scraping can be as basic as a simple cut/paste job or it can be done using software that performs that copy/paste work automatically. With scraping, only the content of pages and posts tends to be copied, not the entirety of a website (design, header, background, etc).

Website Mirrors

Website mirrors is a form of scraping on a site-wide level. With a website mirror, you are essentially looking at your own website replicated on another domain. Many webmasters mirror their own websites for legitimate purposes (countering censorship, easing traffic to a specific domain, etc) but website mirrors can also be used by unethical site owners to steal your website in the hopes that they will gain search engine traffic from your hard work. Of unethical site mirroring, site owners who perform what are called ‘302 redirects’ are the most damaging. With a 302 redirect site mirror (also known as a 302 highjack), a webmaster will mirror a website and then attempt to trick search engines into treating the mirror website as the original version by using 302 redirects, which tell search engines that the mirror domain has temporarily moved to the original domain. As such, the original domain is perceived by search engines to be the copy and can be penalized accordingly. Webmasters that employ 302 redirects are trying to steal search engine rankings that the real site owners have built, it’s a form of theft that not only steals content, but steals visitors as well, in that the copy of the website can often rank higher in search engines than the original website.

How to Find Infringing Domains

The easiest way to find scraped copies of our independent camgirl websites is using a service such as copyscape. Unfortunately, finding mirror domains is often not quite so easy, as I’ve found from experience that mirror copies do not show up in copyscape. To check for a mirror copy of a website, search for the site name without the tdl (as in, search for ‘sitename’ instead of ‘sitename.com’) and scroll through the pages of results. If a website is performing a 302 highjack of your independent camgirl website, chances are it will show up in the search results.

How We Can Protect our Independent Camgirl Websites

In dealing with copyright infringers and protecting our independent camgirl websites, our best recourse is first to block offending websites from accessing our own. Following that, we need to send DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) takedown notices to webmasters who copy our content, hosts that allow infringers to use their services and search engines that index infringing domains.

There are several standard DMCA templates floating around on the net, but the gist of each is that you must identify yourself as the legal owner of the copyright, state where your original material can be found on the web, and list the URL of every piece of offending content found on the infringing domain. In the case of domains that have created website mirrors of your own website, you’ll have a pretty long list of offending URLs. It’s not sufficient to state that your domain ‘mysite.com’ has been copied without your permission on mysite.piratesite.com, you must list the individual URL of each blog post, page and picture attachment. Like I said, expect to be compiling a long list. Then you must request removal of the offending material and sign it with your name, address, telephone number and email address and send it via email or regular mail to the appropriate contact person.

How to Find the IP, Host and Contact Info for Offending Domains and their Website Hosting Companies

To block an offending IP, first you must find out what IP the website uses. That’s pretty easy to find by searching for the domain using any of the free IP checkers available on the internet. Once you’ve identified the IP/IP range you can simply block the IP(s) using .htaccess.

To find the website owner and host, search for the WHOIS information for the domain. There you will find the owner of the domain and the name of the website host. Send a DMCA takedown notice to the domain owner ‘abuse’ contact listed in the WHOIS. If that doesn’t work and the offending material is not removed, send a DMCA notice to the ‘abuse’ contact email address listed under the hosting portion of the WHOIS. Some hosts will demand a DMCA in hard copy, and in that case print out your DMCA notice, sign it and send it to the physical address provided by the host.

If the infringing mirror of your website is appearing in search results, you can send DMCAs to the major search engines as well. Search engines have no control over material located on the internet, but you can send a DMCA notice requesting removal of infringing content from search results. A great resource for sending DMCA takedown notices to search engines can be found here. Each template DMCA has the recipient address already filled in so you don’t need to search for this information separately.

When I found my beloved websites mirrored on other domains I was initially quite shocked, but with a bit of research I discovered that this is actually a pretty common phenomenon. Further, the more popular and prominent your website is, the more likely it is that an unethical webmaster will try to steal your own work for his or her own benefit. In that sense, having someone else steal your work is actually a sign you’re great at what you do. Try to find a little consolation in that 🙂

If you find a scrape or mirror of your own independent camgirl website take a deep breath and start searching for contact information and the website IP. Block the IP/IP range of the infringing domain and then start compiling the URLs required for an effective DMCA takedown notice. Send the DMCA takedown notice first to the website owner, and if he/she doesn’t respond, DMCA the host and the search engines (if the infringing content is appearing in search results).

With a bit of work, time and tenacity we can protect our independent camgirl websites, and all the hard work we put into them. I know first-hand that dealing with copyright infringers can be a frustrating situation, but we can prevail if we follow the procedures legally afforded to us by the DMCA.

If you’re experiencing the same problem and are running into any difficulties, feel free to email me at jesse@quinn69.com and I’ll be happy to provide any information or advice I can on how to deal with the situation successfully.

A Follow-Up on Cam Girl Blog Services

cam girl blog picture

 

Tumblr and Camgirls, A Cam Girl Blog Service Update

In my last post on no-cost blogging services for cam girls I outlined the ‘big three’ (wordpress, blogger and tumblr) and explained how the acquisition of tumblr by Yahoo was causing concern amongst camgirls who were worried that their cam girl blogs would be shut down, or flagged as ‘adult’ by the service. At the time it appeared that tumblr, like blogger, was simply targeting affiliates who use these services to spam their advertisements for major porn companies (not cam girls), but over the past few days it appears that a small content site used heavily by camgirls has been affected by tumblr’s new stance on adult material, as have a few camgirls who posted material on tumblr that heavily linked to the content site.

The site in question, a small content site used by cam girls to sell videos and skype cam shows, featured a tumblr ‘auto-post’ function wherein advertisements for new video uploads were automatically published to tumblr when they were published on the content site. Now, posts containing the name of the site are blocked from tumblr, the ‘publish’ button grayed out for any post in which the name of the site appears. Not good 🙁

For what it’s worth I suspect that this particular content site was targeted by tumblr because of the volume of automatic posts containing affiliate links generated from the site. While I don’t agree with tumblr’s policy, these automatic posts containing affiliate links do fit the category of ‘affiliate spam’ in that the content is not unique and the entire purpose of these posts is to drive viewer traffic to a commercial adult site. From my perspective, the only change between then and now in terms of tumblr’s stance on adult is that it’s evident that cam girls can’t assume that we’ll fly ‘under the radar’ when it comes to policies intended to target spam affiliates. We cam girls and the sites we work are becoming big business, and it’s increasingly important that free blogging services are not used for automatically-generated, affiliate link-laden posts if we want to use them for our cam girl work.

For those who are interested in a new no-cost blogging service similar to tumblr that doesn’t have any restrictions on adult, soup.io seems to be becoming a viable alternative. While this service still doesn’t have nearly the amount of traffic one can find on tumblr, it’s growing and I do believe the customer traffic will eventually follow the adult content producers who use it. It’s a new service, but it’s an adult-friendly service that does not feature any of the restrictions of the ‘big three’ no-cost cam girl blog options.

In sum, while the censoring of adult content on tumblr is disappointing, it still doesn’t appear that cam girls are at any significant risk of having our blogs shut down if we’re smart about how we use them, and strive to create unique, meaningful content that is more than just a bunch of affiliate links. While it appears that camgirls and webcamming are becoming increasingly high-profile, and as such subject to the same scrutiny as other forms of adult content, we ARE unique in that our businesses are ourselves. We’re unique individuals, not static pay sites. If we put ourselves, our unique personalities into our work we’ll attract great customers AND stay within the guidelines of no-cost blogging services such as tumblr. Auto-generated posting may be efficient but it’s not creative, and it doesn’t differentiate us from spam affiliates. Take the time to write your own content, use affiliate links sparingly and these services still do have some value.

An Update on an Update

So appears that tumblr has reversed it’s stance regarding the content site I’ve referred to above. Yay 🙂 Still, a lot of independent camgirls are pretty upset with the censoring of adult content on tumblr, and understandably so. While a few camgirls are leaving tumblr in protest, I guess I look at it like free blogs aren’t going to be around forever anyways. They aren’t something we pass down to our grandkids 🙂 We don’t own them, and thus, our control over the content we post there is somewhat limited. That’s the trade-off I guess. I still think tumblr is a great way to meet new customers and it’s ideal for skype camgirls who aren’t able or willing to put the immense effort that goes into running and promoting a full website (I love it but fuck it’s a lot of work).  I’ll take the good with the bad, I guess.

Happy camming 🙂