If you’re one of the many people, like me, who have grown sick or frustrated by the traditional job market and the grind that comes with working a 9-to-5 job, there is an alternative. That alternative is creating a new career for yourself on the Internet by making money online. There’s no shortage of ways to to do just that; you just have to find one that fits your skills and interests. One method of making money online that’s growing in popularity is affiliate marketing, which can pay off big time in the form of residual income. However, finding the right company to partner with can be a tricky proposition. Here’s what you need to know about finding the affiliate marketing opportunity that’s right for you.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the product that you’ll be selling. Some companies have a wide range of products, but most affiliate marketers will only have a handful of products that all fit into the same market, such as health supplements or makeup. As a general rule, if it’s not a product you would buy, don’t get on board. How are you going to talk other people into buying something if you won’t use the product yourself?

In addition to actually liking the product, you have to be able to imagine yourself selling it. Is it something that you can speak enthusiastically about? Do you see people you know wanting to buy that product? Perhaps most important, you have to look at what the market is like for that product. If the product is something brand new, are people going to be receptive to it or will they be hesitant to give it a try? If it’s an established product, perhaps the market is already over-saturated, making it harder to sell.

Pricing is another issue to consider with the company’s product line. Products offered by affiliate marketing firms are rarely cheap. To be fair, there’s often something unique about them, but is that mark of distinction enough to justify a higher price than similar products. This is an issue to consider carefully before choosing an affiliate marketer.

Once you pick a product you like, look at the people behind the company. Does the owner of that company have a history with affiliate marketing? Is it a successful history? If the people running the company have had previous ventures in multi-level marketing that have failed, that’s usually not a good sign.

Along the same lines of the company’s leadership, you’ll want to take a long look at the compensation plan. With affiliate marketing, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Odds are, you’re not going to make it to the top of the company’s food chain, so look to see if there’s a happy middle ground where you can make a decent living. With affiliate marketing, some of the expectations are just not reasonable, making it almost impossible to get anywhere and make significant amounts of money.

If the company’s leadership and compensation plan look, the last thing you want to look at is the support the company gives you. Do they offer basic training? Do they give training on advanced sales techniques? Do they have good customer support that’s easy to reach? So many affiliate marketing firms are geared towards people who already have experience in the industry, making it nearly impossible for newbies to succeed. If you don’t have any previous experience in affiliate marketing, you’d be wise to do as much research as possible before signing up with any company.