– One of the questions I get most frequently is how does He Spoke Style make money? Some people are just curious about how one makes money doing something like this, and some of you are interested in maybe getting into this kind of work and want to know the possibilities of where money could potentially come from. So I’m gonna cover all of that in this video, but before I get into any specifics, I do want to put one thing out there. And that is that if you are thinking about getting into this kind of work solely to make money, I think that is the completely wrong reason to be doing something like this.
So just about two years ago, I put out a video titled, “How to be a style blogger.” Definitely recommend checking it out if you’re interested in getting into this kind of thing. So I rewatched it before doing this video, and think that the advice two years later still holds up really well. Now in that video, I talk about the need for defining a reason for wanting to do what you do. And one of the many reasons that I list is to make money, so I don’t take any kind of stance on whether that’s good or bad.
In fact, I think I say that no reason is more or less noble than the other. So two years later though, I’m gonna take a little bit different look at it, come at it from a little bit different perspective. To me, the opportunity to make money doing something like this is a benefit. It’s a benefit of all the work we put in. It’s a benefit of all of the thought that we put into it. It’s a benefit that speaks to the fact that over the last seven years, we’ve created something that people have found lasting value in that has a purpose and something that has had a measurable impact on peoples’ lives.
The coin of the realm in this space is authenticity. And you cannot create a community around something, and I’m talking about a dedicated lasting, and genuinely engaged community, if you’re only doing something to make money. People will see right through that, they’ll see you for who you are. And it’s a charade that’s honestly impossible to keep up for any length of time. So that’s my take on it as someone who’s being doing this for quite a while, and who’s seen a lot of things change over time.
And the people who have quote, unquote “survived” and are thriving are the ones who really do have something to say, have something to offer and have something of value to contribute to the conversation. So little bit of a tangent, little bit of a rant. And for me, a necessary prelude to the topic of this video, which is how He Spoke Style makes money. So He Spoke Style has four different revenue streams, brand partnerships, advertising, affiliate and the HSS Shop. And what I’m gonna do next is walk you through each one and how it works. Brand partnerships. So brand partnerships are where a specific brand, or a brand through their agency reaches out to collaborate to produce content. It could be for a specific campaign they have going on. It could be for general awareness. In every case though, it is a way for a brand to get in front of an audience that you have built and that is specific to you. Different brands look for different things, and have different KPIs or key performance indicators based on whatever their goal is.
So some are looking for reach, some are looking for impressions, some want engagement, some want conversion. Or it could be a combination of all of those things. So the amount you can make on a brand partnership depends on a few things. It depends on the budget the brand has to work with for marketing. It depends largely on the size of your audience, and to some extent, a demonstrated history of producing impact and results for brands in the past. So if a brand paid you X amount of dollars to do a project that was focused on conversion, and you didn’t sell a single unit for them, chances are that they’re not going to work with you in the future. The most important part about partnering with a brand is to make sure that the partnership makes sense for you, and that it makes sense for your brand.
So it’s important that you have a specific point of view, and a sense of what it is that you stand for. We are very selective at He Spoke Style about the kinds of brands that we work with. For example, over the last few years, we’ve had long-term partnerships with some fantastic watch brands including A. Lange & Söhne, Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre. Some watch brands though, let’s call them fashion watch brands, have reached out to partner with us, and we have always politely passed on those opportunities because they don’t make sense for us.
It’s not something that I would personally use. It’s not the level of product I’m comfortable promoting. And there’s been a lot of money we said no to in that space. But it’s more important to only work with brands that we truly believe in because once again, authenticity is the coin of the realm. How on earth could you take someone seriously that in one sponsored post or video says IWC is the best watch brand ever and then in the very next sponsored post or video says MVMT or Daniel Wellington, or NOVE is the best watch brand ever? That’s a rhetorical question. My point is that saying no to things may in the short term keep you from making a few dollars, but to me, you will have much more success if you build something around a set of values, and play a longer game in that sense. Brand partnerships are currently the largest single source of income for He Spoke Style, which is why I spent so much time talking about it. And also, they are the most creatively satisfying way that we make money.
Next, advertising. So He Spoke Style makes money through ads that you see on the website as well as ads that you see here on the YouTube channel. We don’t sell the space on the website directly to advertisers ourselves. We work with an ad management company that fills that inventory for us. And then with YouTube, we just enable the videos for monetization, and Google takes care of the rest. I am not an expert in how revenue is calculated. Though there is something called CPM or cost per mille that is a metric that advertisers use. And then with YouTube, I believe it’s a combination of number of views, as well as total watch time. So we make a decent amount on ads, not as much as we do with brand partnerships, but it’s a really nice source of passive income that we have.
And this is one of the reasons that when I talk about building a business in this space that I say it’s important to have a variety of options in your portfolio out there. If you’re putting all of your eggs in one basket, you’re potentially missing out on a revenue stream that you wouldn’t otherwise have. That’s why although a website isn’t super sexy to a brand partner at this point, most brands are interested mostly in YouTube or Instagram. The fact that we built and still maintain a website that a lot of people read opens up this opportunity that we would completely miss out on if we didn’t do that. Third way He Spoke Style makes money is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you promote a product, or give a link to a product and when someone buys that product or clicks on the link and buys a product, you get a small commission on that sale.
This can be done directly with a brand. For example, we work with Dapper Woodworks this way, we work with Stubbs and Wootton this way. Or there are several services that sort of centralize everything like rewardStyle, ShopStyle, so you’re not having to deal with each individual advertiser yourself. This is a smaller revenue stream for He Spoke Style, but again like ads, it does create this sort of passive income that continues to build on itself over time. It is more time consuming to do to put the links together and search for everything, but I view it as a small way that I’m able to get a little something back for the effort that I put into it.
Finally we have the He Spoke Style Shop. So we launched this just over two years ago. And it was something that we wanted to do to create a world around what we were doing and to be able to offer our readers, fans, followers and viewers direct access to some of the things that we really loved and that we really believed in. E-commerce is a really tough business with the small staff that we have here. It’s been basically impossible to scale up beyond where we have it now but again, it is a nice source of income that we have coming in. Now there are some really exciting things that are going to be happening in the shop very soon. We are going to be partnering with Michael Andrews to offer an exclusive made to measure service, and other things as well. It’s pretty awesome.