Hosting an HGTV show is a dream for many designers and building contractors, but it’s not always as lucrative as viewers might expect. Though the network never comments on how much it pays its personalities, most hosts — even those who have become network regulars — look to create additional revenue sources to help their bottom line, from licensing deals to public appearance fees to offering their design services.
Now one of the most common tactics is growing and engaging with their social media followers in order to be considered for lucrative brand partnerships. One HGTV personality, Heather El Moussa, recently got very candid about her social media efforts and profits, revealing that just one of her brand partners generates around $500,000 a year for her. And she is not alone.
Multiple HGTV Hosts Make Money With Brand Partnerships on Social Media
Many HGTV hosts have massive social media followings, and digital marketing expert Keith Peterson says those who consistently share compelling content and interact with their fans in their comment sections often receive offers from companies who will pay them to promote their products. Sometimes, payments come in lump sums or as free product for endorsing their products, while other companies invite the hosts to become “affiliates,” meaning that the stars will make a commission on any purchase made using the links they’ve provided.
Real estate broker Heather El Moussa, who already appears on Netflix’s “Selling Sunset” and will soon co-star with her husband Tarek El Moussa in HGTV’s “The Flipping El Moussas,” has mastered both forms of revenue generation. She has amassed three million followers on Instagram alone, posting multiple photos and videos daily with family stories, behind-the-scenes of her shows, and product endorsements.
In October 2022, she and Tarek appeared at the Zeta Live marketing conference in New York to give advice on social media strategies for building businesses and boosting revenues. Heather was candid about just how much she makes endorsing products on social media for brand partners.
“I now do a lot of brand deals with different companies,” she told the audience. “I make six figures from one brand deal I do. And it’s because I’m very relatable with my content. And I’m very open.”
Heather, who’s expecting her first child this month with Tarek, said she refuses to read from a brand’s script, preferring to share her own experiences with and thoughts about a product instead. An example of one of her brand partnerships is seen in the social media videos she created in early January to reveal her baby’s nursery, outfitted by furniture brand Babyletto. As part of her deal, Heather mentioned the company multiple times and provided links to specific items. She also gave a “first look” to “Entertainment Tonight” to reach an even larger audience.
In March 2022, Procter & Gamble announced that it had established a similar brand partnership with Erin and Ben Napier of “Home Town.” Ben, who is a woodworker and has over 650,000 Instagram followers, shared a video of himself using the brand’s wood-mopping system. The couple also gave media interviews in which they talked about the best techniques for taking care of wood floors, incorporating the Swiffer brand name into their conversations.
Over the last several years, the Napiers have also participated in brand partnerships with Chevrolet, occasionally posting about driving their Chevy Suburban, as well as Home Depot, Cracker Barrel, T-Mobile, Valspar paint, and others, according to their website. The companies have not revealed what the Napiers were paid for their participation, but the couple has been smart about diversifying their revenue streams, generating an estimated net worth of at least $5 million.
Heather El Moussa Makes At Least $30K Per Month on Amazon Products
Another income stream for Heather, Tarek, and many other HGTV hosts is affiliate marketing. For Heather, that means providing links on social media to her favorite Amazon products and also hosting Amazon Live sessions during which she talks about her favorite items live for fans who log in at the right time. At Zeta Live, she revealed how profitable that strategy is, too.
“Every month, I post products that I love that I buy from Amazon myself,” she said. “And most months I make between $30,000 to $50,000 a month just from products that I post on my social media.”
Wanting to grow the nearly half-million dollars she’s already making from monthly commissions, Heather said she “hustled” by attending an event where she could talk one-on-one with marketers at Amazon. The company later asked her to host an hour-long Amazon Live session as part of their influencer program.
“I talked about products that I actually really use, and it was really fun for me because I was teaching people out there what works for me,” she said. “I was able to make a lot of sales and push them.”
Tarek’s ex-wife, Christina Hall, also participates in the Amazon affiliate program and hosts her own Amazon Live sessions. Her next session, called New Year New You, is scheduled for January 23. And “Good Bones” host Mina Starsiak Hawk hosted one for Amazon’s “Make It Yourself” series in August 2022.
Tarek, meanwhile, shares similar brand partnerships and affiliate marketing campaigns with his 1.3 million Instagram followers and on other social media accounts. In October, he became one of six “brand ambassadors” for Overstock.com. The site features a page full of his favorite home products, which he periodically promotes to his social media followers. HGTV personalities Taniya Nayak and Luke Caldwell are also brand ambassadors with their own pages of products.
Some HGTV hosts also make good money on the Cameo app, which allows consumers to order personalized videos or virtual chats with them. Alison Victoria of “Windy City Rehab,” for example, charges $130 for a brief, recorded shout-out and $390 for a 10-minute live chat. Meanwhile, Brian and Mike Kleinschmidt from “100 Day Dream Home” charge $199 for one recorded Cameo message to a fan.