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If you’ve decided that you would like to be a webcam model, the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure you have the right equipment for the job. There is nothing too crazy that you’ll need to buy, but if you buy the wrong equipment you could end up with a substandard broadcast that will affect your earnings.

First we’ll lay out the basics, and then we’ll go into the details to make sure you end up with the best show possible, and the best potential for higher earnings. To get started, you will need the following as a minimum:

The Computer

Most modern computers, laptop or desktop, should work fine. The decision as to whether the computer should be a desktop or laptop model will really depend on what is most convenient for you. A laptop might give you the ability to move around a bit more if you like, whereas a desktop might make it easier to keep your final setup stable and running smoothly.

As far as the actual computer hardware goes, any machine bought within the last 2 years should have a sufficient processor to do everything it will need to do. At least 4GB of RAM is the recommended minimum, but 8GB will deliver the best performance with most systems. You’ll also want to make sure you have at least 20 GB of free hard drive space, which shouldn’t be a problem for any recent computer.

A Webcam

The webcam is, obviously, going to be your most important piece of equipment. A higher quality video feed will produce higher customer satisfaction and help you to maximize your potential earnings.

If your computer has a built in webcam, they will usually work, but they generally don’t provide the best video quality. You will also have a lot more flexibility with where and how you can set up your camera view with an external webcam.

You don’t need to purchase top of the line video gear, but a camera capable of delivering HD quality video is highly recommended. We recommend the Logitech C920 which can typically be picked up for under $75.

High Speed Internet Connection

The term “high speed” can be a little bit confusing when talking about Internet connection rates. If you’re like most people, you’ve got a cable or DSL connection to the Internet that you were told gives you anywhere from a 10mbps (megabytes per second) to 100mbps. The problem with most Internet service providers is that the high speed connection is almost completely one way.

With most ISPs, you get very high speeds when downloading content from the Internet, which is what people do the most, but you get very slow speeds when uploading content to the Internet, which is what a webcam model needs to do. While you might get a 50mbps download speed, you may only be able to upload at 10% of that speed, possibly less. In most cases you’ll need an upload speed of 2 mbps (megabytes per second) or higher in order to transmit HD video without any skipping or lag.

You can get a general idea of what your current upload and download rates are by using online tools such as Speedtest.net.If your upload speed is low, you’ll need to speak with your provider to see if it is possible to upgrade.

Optional (But Helpful) Items

In addition to everything we’ve mentioned above, there are plenty of optional items that will enhance your performance and help you to boost your income even more.

Lights - Lighting can make a big difference in how you look on camera. In general it is recommended to have at least two lights on you — one to your front left, and one to your front right. This will help eliminate shadows and make sure you are clearly visible. Whether desk or floor lamp models are used, those with a swivel mechanism that allow a full range of motion work the best.

Wireless Keyboard/Mouse - Some webcam models find it easier to use a wireless keyboard and mouse so they have a bit more freedom to move around and don’t have to be reaching back towards the computer so often. This way you won’t need to stay in the same spot constantly in order to chat with viewers.

Lingerie/Costumes - Varied costumes and lingerie can help keep things fresh and bring back repeat members. The audience is there to fulfill fantasies. The more fantasies you can help them live out, the better for them, and for you.

Toys/Props - While it’s not for everybody, toys and various props can generate extra interest from the audience. If you plan on using either of them, make sure to have them on hand, and don’t be afraid to bring a variety to help tease and tempt potential customers.