Internet Marketing with Jonathan Leger

The Hard Truth Internet Marketers Need to Know

I have a hard truth to tell you that most successful Internet Marketers who market to other Internet Marketers already know. But before I tell you this hard truth, let me tell you about a recent experience I had.

Several months ago I created someRoulette and piles of gambling chips on a green table in casino. Croupier collects chips using stickthing that I and several other veteran Internet Marketers believe is one of the most powerful tools I’ve ever created. I used it myself and had amazing results and it has seemingly endless possibilities to be used in ways I had not even used it yet.

After having GREAT success using it for myself, I decided to release it to my list of Internet Marketers. Guess what happened? It bombed and many of those who did buy it complained about a variety of things. To be honest with you, I thought it would bomb, but it was just TOO good not to find out for sure and I legitimately WANT to help my subscribers succeed.

So WHY did this amazing tool bomb and why did I know that it probably would before I even launched it? Before I tell you this, I want to make sure you understand this isn’t personal. I want you to also understand I’m saying this to HELP those who are guilty of it (and they are MANY).

The hard truth, and I’ll use softer words than many others might use … the reason why the product failed is that most people trying to make money online are not really trying to build a successful business, they’re trying to hit the lottery!

Well, there it is. I don’t know if you’re guilty of this or not, but that’s the sad truth for most in this industry. That’s why they spend thousands of dollars per year and never see a profit, or even a return, on most, if not all, of their investments. It’s because they aren’t investments at all. They are lottery tickets.

Shiny object #1 didn’t give them the top-secret push button formula that pumped cash into their bank account with little effort.

Shiny object #2 didn’t do it either. Keep going all the way up the last shiny object.

Until a person decides they are going to spend time learning and spend money strategically in areas that will help them accomplish their business plan (yes, a “business plan” not a golden lottery ticket, AKA shiny object), they are bound to end up like the 90%+ of Internet Marketers who are playing the lottery and blaming all of the product creators and “gurus” for their lack of success.

With that being said, there are legitimate “done for you” opportunities out there. But they aren’t cheap and they rarely provide instant riches. These opportunities are usually passed on by the IM “lottery players” and only taken up by the very few serious-minded individuals who understand they are involved in business, not a lottery.

It’s a sad fact, but the many Internet Marketing product creators who specialize in shiny objects, but not so much great results, continue to do it, lining their pockets, BECAUSE the IM “lottery players” WANT those products. The same people who complain about those product creators and “Gurus” are the ones who pass on legitimate, powerful products, while making payment after payment for shiny object after shiny object.

Well, are you guilty? I sure hope not. But this is a hard truth and a sad fact. If you are guilty, rather than making you bitter, it is my hope that it makes you better.

There is a great deal of opportunity in this growing digital age, but those who will succeed are those who realize it is a business and not a lottery.

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4 Marketing Lessons From My Underwear

What can you possibly learn about Internet Marketing from my underwear? A LOT. So stick with me until the end. I promise you’ll be enlightened.

Ok, now let me help you make sense of what may otherwise seem like an attention grabbing headline.

You see, I’m a runner. Not what you would call a professional runner, just an exercise buff. I run at least 4 days a week, at least 4 miles each day. Sometime sprints, sometimes a jog, sometimes something in between.

While running, I almost always listen to a great podcast that I love called Stuff You Should Know. It’s fantastic: educational, entertaining and covers a wide range of topics that helps expand my knowledge of the world we live in.

As you might expect, this podcast has sponsors — advertisers. One of those sponsors is Their claim to fame is that they sell ‘the most comfortable underwear in the world’.

Now, I had never given a second thought to my “common”, Target-brand underwear. I never thought it was uncomfortable or lacking in any way. I mean, it’s just underwear. Who cares, right?

But as I’m running and listening to this podcast, the guys who run the podcast (Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant) pause to talk about their underwear sponsor. One of the guys (Chuck) says that he wears MeUndies now and can attest to the fact that they’re the most comfortable he’s ever worn. That they ‘whisk away sweat’ and never chafe or sag, etc. The bottom line — he loves them.

I hear these ads again and again, as I run multiple times a week and listen to the podcast every time. The first time I hear the ad, I ignore it (as most people would). The second time I ignore it. The third, the fourth, etc. Over and over I keep hearing how great these undewear are, but I don’t need underwear so I ignore it — or so I think.

Of course, being a marketer I am well aware of the fact that either 1) MeUndies sent Chuck some free samples that he can try for himself or 2) he’s just lying to support the sponsor. I don’t believe he’s just lying because I’ve listened to Chuck for years and he really comes across as a stand-up guy. He speaks what he thinks, and that always comes through. Although I don’t know him personally, he certainly doesn’t seem like the kind of guy that would lie for a sponsor.

Finally, after hearing the ads again and again and again, I decide to give MeUndies a try. Lo and behold, they are indeed the most comfortable undewear I’ve ever worn. Now I won’t buy anything else.

So what does my underwear choice have  to do with your online business? Everything!

Take a look at the four lessons my underwear-changing experience teaches you:

#1 – Create A Need And Fill It

Did I need to change my underwear? Has it really made a huge difference in my life? Was it something that I really had a problem with that I was desperate to solve?

No, of course not. It’s underwear.

But MeUndies has a very compelling message — especially for me as an exercise buff (I won’t go into detail of why undewear matters when you excercise a lot — gross!) Because their message is compelling, it created a need in my brain that hadn’t previously existed.

Being a marketer, I’m usually pretty immune to this because I know the tricks. But I’m also a human being, so it still works sometimes.

So make sure that the message you’re crafting to sell your products and services is compelling — so compelling that it can create a need in people’s minds where one didn’t exist before.

#2 – Repeat Your Message Again And Again

I ignored the podcast ad at least the first five or six times I heard it. But the more I heard it, the more it sank into my brain, and the more compelling it became.

In time, when I finally did need new undies, what did my mind naturally think of? The product with the compelling message.

The lesson here is to repeat your message again and again to your target market. Probably the best way to do that is to get them on your email list and repeat your message to them over and over. It takes time for people to come around and decide to buy. Don’t expect them to pull out their wallets the first time.

#3 – Have Trustworthy Individuals Provide Testimonials

I’ve been marketing online long enough to know that a lot of marketers (unfortunately) either bend the truth or completely mangle it in order to make a sale. I’m also not so naive to think that people aren’t willing to lie in a “testimonial” to help a sponsor that’s putting cash in their pocket.

Because I trusted Chuck as an individual, having listened to his podcast for years and come to “know” his personality enough to feel pretty positive that he wouldn’t lie to sell a product for a sponsor, I believed him when he spoke well about the product. I was more inclined to give it a shot because he said it was great.

So whenever possible, get trustworthy people to give you testimonials about your products and services. Customers and clients are great for this, because they’re real people you’ve actually done business with in the past. Use their words and show their faces if possible. Make them real to your audience. It builds trust and helps sell your product.

#4 – Above All, Have A Great Product

This last lesson should go without saying, but it’s important. Let’s say I’d given MeUndies a try and it was not a great product — wasn’t even a good product. Would all of the other things the sponsor did right result in long-term success? No.

In fact, it would have hurt the reputation of every sponsor for the podcast. I’d be far less likely to believe Chuck the next time he talked about how great some sponsored product was. And I wouldn’t be the only one.

So no matter how good your marketing skills are, you need to apply them to a great product if you want to succeed long-term. That’s probably the most important lesson here.


Are you amazed at how much you can learn from my choice in underwear? Are you appalled that I would use it as a marketing lesson? Do you have any personal experiences you’d like to share?

I’d love to hear all about it in a comment. Please post it below!

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You’re ranking in Google, so what?

Millions of aspiring internet marketers have a particular problem.

forestfortreesIt’s called “not seeing the forest for the trees”.

What do I mean?

It’s very simple really. You got your sites to rank in Google, but you’re not making money, or getting subscribers. You’re not sure why.

I’ve talked a lot in the past about link building, quality content, legitimate site structure and so on.

Actually, I’ve been teaching about all those important topics on my regular webinars for many months now.

But there’s much more to online success than just ranking.

Yes, ranking is very important. But what does ranking achieve for you? Its purpose is to drive visitors to your site. When they get there you have to engage them, if you want to make any money.

Time and again I get some very basic questions from many, many people about how to do that. And it’s understandable that there would be confusion.

There’s a lot to learn and it’s easy to overlook something important.

Just like everyone else, when I build a site I’m sometimes too close to it to know whether I’ve overlooked something. Sometimes I need another pair of eyes to spot things I’ve missed.

Amin’s actually forced me to confess to some of my own site building mistakes live on webinars!  But of course I have several advantages, including these top three reasons.

  1. I have a huge amount of experience based on years of testing, testing, testing.
  2. I have trusted colleagues who are willing (very happy even!) to tell me when I’ve missed something.
  3. I can correct any mistakes pretty quickly.
So where does this fit in with your own sites?
If you’re getting visitors to your site and not making much (or any) money, most likely, you are too close to your own work to be able to observe it the way a stranger would.
What seems like a masterpiece to you might actually seem so-so to a stranger. It can even work the other way around – you might not like your site, yet other people do.

So who decides whether your site will make money? I’m going to let you into a huge secret – other people decide that, not you!

You can influence where you rank, as I’ve proved many times in the past. You can drive visitors to your site.

But ultimately beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right?

If your site isn’t right, you’ve thrown away all your hard work.

So how can you know whether your site actually fulfills the purpose that keeps Google happy? How can you know whether your site is truly interesting and effective for site visitors?

One of the best ways to do that in my experience is to ask other people who are not afraid to hurt your feelings.

This is not a popularity contest. It’s not about whether you’re a good person, or a hard worker.

It’s about whether your site  is effective.

familyprotectsPeople not to ask (generally) are your mom/dad/husband/wife/brother/sister etc. In most cases they’ll want to be kind to you and not hurt your feelings.

The people to ask are the people who will tell you the cold, bitter truth about your site. Even if it upsets you, it’s better to find out what doesn’t work, so you can correct it.

You need specifics, not generalizations.

I’ve had the “pleasure” of making all the mistakes it’s possible to make. I’ve learned to correct them, through trial and error and long experience. But I’ve also had the privilege of raw feedback.

Sometimes feedback is hard to hear. Sometimes it makes immediate sense. But it’s always invaluable!

So my recommendation to you is to ask other people what’s good and what’s bad about your site. Ask them what they like and what they don’t like.

Just be sure that they’re not so kind that they want to spare your feelings! Honesty really is the best policy, particularly for this!

In some cases you might only need to make a simple change to more than triple your opt-ins.

You might need to make only a small amount of effort to double your sales. And let’s be honest, the chances of any site already being perfect are pretty low! That means no matter how good your site is, an objective, independent view will give you lots of ideas for improvements.

Criticism can sting. Feedback can be hard to take.

But I promise you, earning nothing from your sites after all your hard work is even harder to take!


Nobody to ask?

Well, you could always put up a survey on your site asking your site visitors. Only a small percentage will ever reply, but you’d get some feedback.
You just might be surprised at how others view your site!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to put it in a comment below and I’ll do my best to respond!
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Why Keyword Competition Tools Are (Almost) Always Wrong

As the creator and designer of a number of popular Search Engine Optimization tools, I have used (and regularly test) a variety of SEO tools and services in order to compare them to my own and see where I can improve (and, to be honest, where I’m beating the pants off the competition). This includes not only direct competitors to my own products, but also the “Big Data” providers in the SEO industry.

Great data is only great if you understand what to do with it. If you’re a beginner to ranking your site in Google then you need guidance more than a bunch of stats and numbers. This is where most of the SEO tools fail miserably. While the individual data points provided by these tools are often pretty good, when it comes to using this data to give you practical advice they almost always fall flat.

Take estimating keyword competition for example. How difficult will it be to rank in Google for a specific set of keywords? With all of that data at these tools disposal, you would think they would be pretty good at estimating that difficulty.

They’re not. In fact, they’re usually pretty bad at it.

Let me back this up by giving you an example of some keywords where these tools get it wrong. This example is a “long tail” (that is, a set of keywords that don’t get searched very often and contain 4 or more words).

Keywords: online acoustic guitar lessons

Difficulty rating from popular tools (scale is 0 to 100):

Moz – 50

SEMRush – 69

SpyFu – 56

KWFinder – 49

Difficulty rating from my soon-to-be-released SEO system:

Keyword Titan – 28

Notice the difference? The four popular tools shown estimate it to be about twice as difficult to rank for “online acoustic guitar lessons” as Keyword Titan does.

The reason why their estimates are so (incorrectly) high is because those tools appear to be averaging the authority of Google’s top 10 ranking domains / pages for the keywords. That’s a mistake, a serious mistake, and it’s where pretty much every keyword tool goes wrong.

You see, the true estimation of how difficult it will be to rank for a set of keywords in Google isn’t found in the strength of the top 10 sites ranking for the keywords — it’s found in the weakness of the weakest ranking site in those top 10 results.

That is, if there are 9 very strong sites ranking for a set of keywords and one weak site mixed in among them, that weak site is the true indicator that ranking in the top 10 for those keywords is not so difficult. After all, if it was difficult to rank for then that weak result wouldn’t be there, right?

Almost no other keyword tool gets this right. They always average the strength of the top 10 Google results together to come up with their difficulty estimations.

I designed Keyword Titan to be different. When you analyze a single set of keywords in KT you get what I call a “Snap Analysis”. Here’s the snap analysis for online acoustic guitar lessons:


Notice the site ranked #9, The site was clearly created for the simple purpose of ranking for a number of keywords related to online acoustic guitar lessons. It has a keyword rich domain name (I’ll go into detail in a future blog post about why that’s helping this site rank).

The TrustFlow of the domain and of the page is somewhat low (in case you’re not aware, TrustFlow is a respected measure of how much “trust” the links coming into a domain or page give it — the higher the TrustFlow, the more likely the domain or page is to rank in Google).

But where that domain really shows its weakness in comparison to the rest of the ranking sites is in the number of other sites linking in to it (the refdomains (site) metric). While all of the other sites have hundreds or thousands or more external domains linking into them, only has 86. Getting 86 quality links takes a little bit of time, but hardly qualifies for the “hard” ratings being given to these keywords by the other tools.

The relatively low external linking domains combined with its marginal TrustFlow causes Keyword Titan to give it a difficulty rating of only 28 (which is on the low side of “moderate” in Keyword Titan).

This same scenario plays out again and again any time I run keywords through the popular keyword tools. Because those tools use the strength of the ranking sites to estimate difficulty rather than looking at the weakest site in the results, they are wrong much of the time. That means that SEO professionals and beginners alike are making poor decisions about which keywords to target.

It’s not that these tools don’t have access to the same data that Keyword Titan does — they do — they just interpret it incorrectly. So the next time you’re trying to figure out what keywords you should be trying to rank for in Google, keep that in mind.

I welcome your thoughts and responses in a comment below.

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248 Fall/Winter Seasonal Keywords to Target

Seasonal keywords can be extremely profitable. Many people ignore them because they attract so little traffic outside of the season, but for those marketers who take them seriously, there is a lot of money to be made!

seasonal nichesIf you want to profit sooner rather than later on seasonal niches you need to start at least one season before the busy season. So if you want to target a summer niche in the U.S., you’re probably not going to gain notable results this summer (summer is currently in full swing). But if you want to go after a fall or winter niche, now is the time to ramp things up!

Today I’d like to help you do just that! I’ve been in the lab for the past several months working day and night on a brand new SEO tool-set (I’ll be revealing this tool very soon). Using one of the powerful tools I quickly and easily generated 248 fall/winter keywords worth an estimated total of $478,000.00 to those ranking for them! These keywords have a combined 459,000 monthly searches!

Take a look for yourself:


Click to enlarge

Click here to download the keywords

A smart marketer could grab one of these keywords, run with it, and be raking in good profits this fall! There are plenty to choose from and they’ve all been filtered. All of these keywords have at least 200 monthly searches and at least $0.10 cost per click (CPC). They also have a difficulty rating (based on my own in-house algorithm) of less than 40/100, so none of them should be very difficult to rank for!


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How do you Know a Site is Authoritative?

Determining the level of authority, or “power”, a site has in regards to SEO is very important. You need to know how strong your competition is in order to determine what it’s going to take to outrank them. In the past you could look at the Google Toolbar PageRank that Google publicly disclosed. It provided a rough indicator of authority, but even that was often times determine site authorityway off. You would see sites with a PageRank of 0 outranking sites with a PageRank of 5 or more on a regular basis (for example). Google no longer updates their PageRank though.

The total number of backlinks to the ranking page was something that used to be focused on in a big way as well. The only problem with that was, and is, that quality was far more important than quantity. However, up until a few years ago the quantity of backlinks was much more important to Google in determining authority than it is today. So the overall backlink quantity to the ranking page has also been “thrown out the window” as an authority indicator.

That leads us to the present state of SEO. What is the most effective way to determine the authority of a website?

Since the beginning of search engines, the best way to determine the authority of a website is to analyze the sites that rank for any given keyword and determine what they have in common! When this is done you have a lot of BIG data to analyze. So the goal is to figure out the most simple metrics you can that are consistent with the top Search Engine results.

As you may know, I love SEO! I love data analysis too. So I’m always testing and comparing data to figure out what works and what doesn’t. What I have found to be the most effective way to determine the authority of a website for the average Internet Marketer, without getting too complicated and technical, is to look at the MOZ Domain Authority (DA) of the domain, and the total number of unique domains linking to the site (not just to the ranking page).

The DA of a domain is determined by multiple factors that MOZ looks at in order to determine how likely the site is to rank in Google’s search results. If I want to get a general idea of a site’s authority, this is what I look at.

The total number of unique domains linking to a site, in itself, is too raw to give any more than a rough idea of a sites authority. But when analyzing keyword competition, it is very powerful! Simply plug a keyword into Google and then find the total number of domains linking to each of the top 10 results. If you find a site that has 100 or less, great! If you find one with 50 or less, even better. If you find one with 15 or less, you’ve found GOLD (if the keyword has much search volume).

Keep in mind, the quality over quantity factor remains. The quality of the referring domains is a big factor to both the DA and the ability to rank with fewer referring domains. So if you find a keyword that has a top 10 competitor with 25 unique domains linking to it, 26 isn’t necessarily going to beat it. But if you get 26 solid links, you have a very good chance at it! (Reaching out to site owners in my niche and offering a unique article in exchange for a link at the end of the article to my site often results in mid to high-level links for me.)

This is how I do my own simple, quick and accurate keyword research and it works! I eventually achieve top-10 rankings for most of the keywords I choose to target as a result of using this method.

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Build a Brand Rather than an Income and You’ll End up with Both!

Imagine having a dream that one day you would be famous. Your goal is to be famous, so that is what you focus on. You brainstorm ideas on how to be famous. You buy books that provide ideas on how to become famous. You try everything you can think of that might make you famous, hoping that you’ll eventually come across the golden idea that will launch you into stardom! Then one day, after so many years and so much time and money spent trying to be famous, something happens that puts you in the headlines! You are seen by millions. People are talking about you. You are famous! You’d done it!!

success onlineThat is, until the next day when the next big headline has come and you are forgotten about.

Now, let’s consider some of the most famous people of all time. How did they get their fame? Was their goal to be famous? Is that how they became famous? No, of course not (at least not in most cases). Thomas Edison was a passionate inventor. Though he was also a businessman, his focus was not on making money, it was on invention! in the process, he became very rich (and famous). Michael Jordan’s primary passion was for the game of basketball. In the process he became a Billionaire. Michael Jackson’s passion was for music. The list goes on and on.

My passion lies in software development and helping others succeed. I love coding and I love helping others succeed. Both of those things truly satisfy me. As a result, I’ve made millions of dollars. Though it is true there are some exceptions, most people who are successful, get there with one or two specific passions that they focus their time and money on.

Today I want to ask you a question. What is your focus? Is it just on making money? If so, you may be building a house of cards as they say. You may be just like the proverbial fame seeker I mentioned above who finally got what he wanted, only to see it vanish the next day.

If you do not feel like you’re going in the right direction with your online business, do this: Forget about making money and resolve today that you will focus on building a brand!

What are you passionate about? What really motivates you? What can you really provide value in? Go with that and work to build yourself up in that niche, whether you make money or not. Do this and you’ll be building your business on solid ground. That money may not come quickly, but it will come!

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2 Things All Internet Marketers Need to Know (But Sadly Most Don’t)

how to succeed with internet marketingAfter more than a decade of running internet businesses, I’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work. I’ve also learned a thing or two about the average person who gets into Internet Marketing.

While I certainly respect the aspiration of all online marketers, the saddest thing that I’ve learned over the years is that a large number of those who set off to make money online, end up spending more money than they make. So ultimately they do the opposite of what they set out to do.

As a vendor in the Internet Marketing space itself, I have a unique opportunity to deal with other Internet Marketers on a daily basis. Some very successful, some moderately successful and some not successful at all. In my popular coaching program, Learn from Jon, I hear from people who fall into all three of these groups as well. Fortunately I am able to give them specific advice and help guide them in the right direction. However, for most others in that third, unsuccessful group, they will continue on spending more than they make until they finally quit and brand their entire experience a bust and a waste of money.

So why do these people fail? I believe they fail primarily as a result of three things:

1. Failure to have a plan: Look, you don’t need to build a business plan that a business professor would approve, but have a plan! Rather than seeing paid tools and services as pieces of the overall puzzle, many who fail see them as businesses in a box. They buy them, use them (often times not as intended), their bank account is not flooded with cash, so they move onto to another. It’s like buying lottery tickets. Hopefully some day you’ll get a winner. That’s not how it works though. It’s not the lottery, it’s a business.

Although it’s true, some products out there are simply a rip-off, most are not (whether or not the price matches the value is a different story). Most products out there offer some value, but they need to be used as intended! For example, Keyword Canine is an AWESOME tool (yes, I’m just a little biased, but it honestly is a powerful suite of tools). It finds killer keywords. It tracks search engine rankings. It monitors your site health, and much more. We have some high-end clients who see the incredible value in it because they don’t see it as a business in a box. They see it as a key piece of their overall business. But we have customers on a regular basis (as do all other keyword tool vendors) who buy it, use it without any creativity, expertise or plan, fail to get the pie in the sky results they hoped for (remember the lottery ticket metaphor?), so they refund and move on to the next shiny object.

Have you heard the saying, “Fail to plan – Plan to fail?” What is your first monetary goal per month? Maybe you start at an extra $500/m. OK, how are you going to achieve that? Maybe it’s getting five recurring customers to a $99/m. subscription. OK, what do you need to do in order to make that happen? Maybe your conversion rate is 1%. So out of every 100 people you get to the offer, one buys. That means you need to generate 500 site visitors. OK, how can you get 500 site visitors? Maybe you do that through a paid option like one of the Pintastic campaigns that I offer. Or maybe you do that through Facebook ads. Or maybe you work to get links to your site and get your site ranked, so you can not only drive 500 visitors, but you can do it every month!

See where I’m going with this? Have a plan!

2. Wasting time on little things: I could probably pull up hundreds, maybe thousands, of email threads with people who went on and on about minor, unprofitable things that ate up the time of the individual I was talking to. For instance, tinkering all day with a WordPress theme on a site that is designed to promote a product that you don’t even know is going to convert. That you don’t have a plan in place to market etc. I would tell that person, just throw up a basic landing page (there are loads of good options out there, many for free or very cheap) come up with a cheap marketing plan to test the offer, if it converts then move forward with it. If not, drop it and move on to something else.

Not only is it a waste of time to spend a great deal of time on things that can be found already done for you or which can be outsourced very cheaply (find yourself a low-wage hourly worker at who you can trust for on-going tasks like this, you’ll be glad you did), it’s also advisable to focus on getting more money from fewer sales than a little money from many sales. The obvious benefit to this is that it takes less traffic to hit your monetary goal, but high-end customers also tend to be easier to deal with. Fewer customers also require less customer support.

Are you one of the many Internet Marketers who spend more money than you make? If so, come up with a plan (if you need help coming up with one, or you already have but it has failed, consider my coaching program at and I’ll help you with it), stick to it, only buy products that are a necessary part of your plan and focus on what’s important!

Do that and you’ll rise above a large percentage of the Internet Marketing crowd and you’ll find success!

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