Amid a surge in inflation and rising costs of living in UAE, people are now interested more than ever in doing a side hustle for some extra cash. The old school wage earning process came to a halt with the newer generation shifting their focus from monthly income to newer and more dynamic methods of wealth accumulation.
The present era is all about innovative revenue generation and the UAE public is keeping up with the latest trends of making money both actively and passively. With that being said, one of the best way of making money in modern times is through digital channels. You must have encountered the term “affiliate marketing” whenever there is a discussion of generating money from the internet.
More and more individuals are jumping on the bandwagon and trying their luck in one of the most lucrative methods of earning cash these days.
Affiliate Marketing in the UAE
If you have ever tried doing business in Dubai you must know the underlying process of selling services and goods to consumers. Rigorous advertisement tools are leveraged to influence and motivate the masses to indulge in buying behavior. This traditional way helps merchandisers generate profit themselves.
But have you ever pondered over the fact that what if other people advertise your products and help you create more revenues in a lesser amount of time? Sounds interesting, isn’t it? This is the science behind Affiliate Marketing.
In layman’s terms, affiliate marketing is all about making friends who will help you advertise and sell your goods in an attempt to foster your business.
Businesses typically do better when they have more affiliates actively publicizing and selling their products. It is in human nature to go by the trend. We tend to follow what the majority endorses. So if you employ a large number of affiliates to market your business, your sales will likely be fueled up
Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing
But how can we begin our journey of affiliate marketing in Dubai? How to make money using affiliate links? What are the types? How to do it? What are the risks involved? How much do we need to invest? These are some of the most common questions encountered when a discussion about the topic is on the table.
Let’s uncover facts and details and learn more about affiliate marketing in Dubai
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing involves a person as a subordinate of a merchandiser/retailer/manufacturer who earns a commission by marketing a service or product produced by the company. The commission may be linked to the sale of the said product or related products on the brand’s website.
The concept has been around for decades but has gotten more popular among today’s younger generation in recent years. It is not as simple as it may sound to generate income with affiliate marketing but it surely does provide people with a tool to make extra money passively.
Affiliate marketing is interesting as you do not have to produce services or goods of your own and still can earn money by marketing them to other people.
A marketer or affiliate is linked to a brand and encourages the targeted population to visit the merchandiser’s website and make a purchase. Every time a purchase is made on the affiliate’s referral, he or she receives a commission. The commissions or profits are usually a percentage of the sale cost but sometimes it can be a mutually agreed upon fixed amount. In present times, influencers, bloggers, and content creators on social media are the significant marketers who help businesses generate a higher rate of revenues
How does it work?
The brand or manufacturer assigns each affiliate a distinct link so they can track who generates a particular sale.
When a person clicks on the link, a file typically called a cookie is saved on their phone, tablet, or laptop.
The affiliate file serves two functions.
- It aids the brand in attributing the sale back to the right affiliate
- It extends the date of expiry and an affiliate can earn a commission even if the potential buyer postpones their decision to make a purchase.
Consider a reader who comes across your post concerning the best shoes for winter. They log on to your affiliate link which leads them to a product on a website.
But they realized they have a doctor’s appointment and need to go. They leave for the hospital, visit the doctor, came home, finished their household chores, and at night when they finally checked their phone, they found the website linked opened in the browser.
Now since they are browsing through the website, they decided to buy some winter wear too.
Now the interesting fact is that when they opened the affiliate link in the first instance and a file (cookie) was saved on their mobile phone, the affiliate was paid for the winter wear and shoes.
The affiliate did not market the winter clothes but they still got paid for them as the website had a cookie duration of almost a day.
9 Steps to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business
- Make a social media account or blog
- Identify and define your niche
- Start making content
- Build an audience by producing relevant content regularly
- Engage with the audience and keep them entertained with interesting and appealing content.
- Earn a media license or freelance permit before indulging in profitable activities.
- Look out for suitable affiliate programs and commercial partners and sign up for their services
- Create engaging content and market the products of the affiliate companies in a legally defined way
- Earn commission and profits by attempting to convert the clicks into sales
- Set up an account
First things first. You need a platform, to begin with. Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook are the most powerful mediums to reach millions of people across the globe that too for free.
You can use any medium of your choice but blog and YouTube generally work best. It is easier to increase the number of followers on a blog and YouTube channel and is also cheaper and simpler to get started.
There are ample video tutorials and how-to blogs that teach people to begin working on affiliate marketing. Sign up for a short course or lesson and pay only a few bucks to learn the science behind the most popular money-making strategy in present times.
- Define your niche
The power of affiliate marketing lies in the fact that a person has an influence on the population and can affect their buying decisions.
But it’s easier said than done of course. It takes a lot of effort, research, and time to gain a huge following and influence their behavior. However, if you excel in a particular niche that you think might be of interest to other people, you can start off by making a social media account like Instagram and begin creating content. After picking out a niche, start making content and try to build an audience on your page.
- Publish Content
Once your channel or blog is up and running, make it optimize for google and search engines to get a good ranking. One organic way to get a good ranking and keep the readers engaged is to create engaging and compelling content and keep the audience hooked.
- Build your audience
Audiences are people who respect your opinion and get inspired. They may engage in a particular behavior upon your reference and buy a product or service eventually.
After this, you can start promoting products using affiliate links in your videos and blog posts.
However, it is necessary to mention to your audience that you are promoting affiliate links in your content. The idea is to be as transparent as possible.
Once you are successful in gaining the trust of a significant portion of the population, you can start making money with suitable affiliate programs in your region.
A big audience will continue to provide you with means to earn money and benefits in the longer run
Reasons for Popularity in UAE
Two major reasons why the UAE population is inclined toward affiliate marketing are:
- Lesser risks and lower costs
Setting up a business typically involves heavy investments to pay for production, employees, and rent. This involves higher risks and increased costs. On the other hand, to indulge in affiliate marketing, you just need a platform to be it a blog, website, or social media channel. In the end, if it still does not turns out to be successful, there are no significant costs involved and no potential risks.
- Multiple sources of income
When a person works as a typical marketer or salesperson, he or she sells goods and services from one brand. But an affiliate marketer can publicize products from multiple manufacturers and earn profits from all of them.
- E-media and Business License is a Must
Unfortunately, you need an e-media License from the national media council to work as an influencer in UAE otherwise you might not be able to get hired as an affiliate. As the activity is designed to earn financial benefits, it comes under the jurisdiction of business and advertising law and thus requires a license.
- NOC Required for Full-Time Employees
Also, people who work as full-time employees in UAE need to have a NOC (No Objection Certificate) from their sponsor company to secure a Business License.
Some free zones in the country do not require a person to earn a NOC but a freelance permit. It’s better to seek legal advice to be on the safer side and avoid fines and disputes in the future.
- Trading License required for Sponsored residents
Housewives and children on sponsored visas also need to obtain a trade license or freelance permit to make money using affiliate marketing.
If the sponsored family members wish to work for a registered company that works as a marketer, they need to write to MoHRE (Ministry of Human Resource and Emiratization) to earn a work permit
- The cost of the License
If you intend to use social media channels to advertise the services and products, you may also need to earn a social media influence License which can be as low as around AED 1,000 per year. Read more on the DED website.
Is affiliate marketing legal in UAE?
Of course, it is. It’s a legal way to make money if the marketer has a valid business license and complies with the rules, regulations, and laws of the country.
Influencers, bloggers, and social media personalities who want to indulge in affiliate marketing must secure a permit from the national media council.
Social media influencers who fail to comply with the law and receive financial gains and promote affiliate links to earn commission are punishable by UAE law with accounts banned or suspended.
An influencer promoting affiliated services and goods may acknowledge the brand to own the business rights associated with the ideas and material advertised through their media accounts.
In such instances, the laws of the country will apply to the brand or merchandiser and in case of defects and problems with the products or services, the legal liabilities will be made not against the influencer but the sponsoring brand.
How much money can we earn through affiliate marketing?
There is no limit to the amount of money you can make where affiliate marketing is concerned. The revenues generated depend greatly on the amount of effort you put into a campaign and your area of specialization.
Expert affiliate marketers usually make around 6 to 7-digit income per month. You won’t be able to bag this much money at the beginning of your career but don’t let this hinder your way to success.
Keep creating engaging content, put in the effort to build an audience, and keep influencing them with your unique and attractive stuff.