How to Choose an Affiliate Program - What I Do

Last Update: March 21, 2019

If you have wondered how to choose an affiliate program, you are not alone. Many members immediately choose Amazon, and there is nothing wrong with that. But it also is a good idea to do a little research on Google, especially for companies that specialize in your niche.

WHAT I DO WHEN CHOOSING A NICHE

I use Google in two ways: 1 to find the companies with affiliate programs, and 2 to see how popular their brand is. Depending on the niche, sometimes hype about a company or product can be misleading. I will give you an example below on what I did.

My latest niche is on the many health benefits of CBD Hemp Oil. This industry is exploding but because there are hundreds of clinical studies showing the medicinal benefits from an all natural plant, dozens of CBD oil companies are coming to life.

The hype on CBD is justified but not all the CBD companies have quality products, with some containing very little of CBD. Too many people jumping on the bandwagon to get in on the money making aspect while ripping off their consumers. So research is needed.

I USE GOOGLE TRENDS TO HELP DECIDE

After doing a Google search for CBD Hemp Oil Affiliate Programs and choosing my two favorites, I put the company brand names into Google Trends to see how popular they are, see above image. NOTE: I included a third company, which I explain why below.

Both Elixinol and PureKana offer a higher quality product and more information about how they extract the CBD from the hemp and where their GMO-Free Organic Industrial Hemp is grown. Many of the other companies lack in this information in part or in whole.

WHY I INCLUDED A 3RD COMPANY

Though CBD has been around and used for decades, it really didn't burst onto the mainstream until a CNN Special called Weed hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired back in 2013. It featured a girl by the name of Charlotte and a group of 7 brothers growing medicinal marijuana.

Charlotte suffered from a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. She was having seizures every 15 to 30 minutes. Nothing the doctors gave her worked and some of the powerful pharmaceuticals nearly killed her twice putting her into a brief coma.

Long story short, the Stanley Brothers were growing a special breed of medicinal marijuana with higher levels of CBD and really low levels of THC. It was close to impossible to get high from smoking it. Then Charlotte's mom contacted them after researching CBD.

The brothers produced CBD oil from their specially grown plant and without her doctors knowing Charlotte's mom gave her a little of the oil and her seizures stopped. Charlotte went from daily seizures every 15-30 minutes down to one seizure every week.

When the Stanley Brothers heard what happened, they knew their original instincts to grow weed higher in CBD would be extremely medicinal. They just didn't realize how much. So they named their special breed Charlotte's Web and have gone on to help other kids with epilepsy.

At the time I did my research into CBD Hemp Oil Affiliate Programs, the Stanley Brothers did not have an affiliate program. And though they do now, both Elixinol (which I am an affiliate of) and PureKana are more popular and trending higher according to Google Trends.

GOOGLE TRENDS IS GOOD FOR AFFILIATE MARKETING


In the above Google Trends graph I did a comparison between three popular Affiliate Marketing Networks; Rakuten Marketing, Commission Junction, and Shareasale. As you can see, Shareasale has remained the most popular network worldwide.

I am not going to go into all the great aspects (brand popularity, trending related keywords, popular niches) Google Trends can help you with your Niche or Bootcamp websites. If you would like to learn more about how easy it is to use Google Trends, read my training below.

HOW TO USE GOOGLE TRENDS & ITS BENEFITS

You can take practically any niche, product, company brand, experience or personality and put it into Google Trends to see its popularity any place in the world. This can help you decide which way to go. So why did I choose Elixinol over PureKana?

I chose Elixinol because of its longevity. They have been in business for more than 15 years, whereas PureKana has only been in business a few years. Elixinol also shows pictures and gives the names of the owner and key executives, PureKana does not.

This is why research is important in knowing how to choose an affiliate program. Google Trends can help you to determine which program, network or company to join, or which niche and product is popular. Do you use Google Trends? If not, how do you choose and affiliate program?

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jennyjewel Premium
Thanks Rob, this info was very helpful. I haven't joined any affiliate programs as yet, I was waiting for my website traffic to increase first, but it is very slow. I might do a bit of research as you suggest and get it started. Do you have any thoughts as to how much traffic is required, to make it worth having affiliate links?
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Jenny. I agree about waiting to get more traffic to your website before joining an affiliate program. Are you using social media to help get your website more exposure?

I would not say that you need a ton of traffic before you monetize your site. Perhaps 50 to 100 unique visits per month would be a good time to start monetizing.
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jennyjewel Premium
Hi Rob, thanks for your reply. Yes I am on Facebook and Pinterest, don't have a great deal of knowledge, but am having a go! Don't like Facebook much, feels like everyone is just there to flog their own business. I like Pinterest, I have found it much better to reach people, and I enjoy to create the pins.

As for unique visits, I get a reasonable amount on Pinterest, but on WA stats only a few, it's a little confusing.

Thanks for your help
all the best
Jenny
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boomergp08 Premium
Did you know that the WA stats are only for the tracking of your WA affiliate links? If you are not actively promoting WA then the WA affiliate stats do not apply to you.
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jghwebbrand Premium
Hi,

I agree with your post that you can find great niches using Google Trends. You also can find affiliate programs by doing the following in Google. Type your niche + affiliate programs. For example: eye care affiliate programs. Google will return a list of eye care affiliates.

Thanks for sharing your post with the WA members.

Best wishes,
George
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome George.

Yes. That is exactly what I do.

Like I said above I 1, search Google for affiliate programs in my niche and then 2, search their names in Google Trends to see which one is more popular.

This adds another layer to my research in finding a good trustworthy affiliate program. I also use the GT graphs in my website content to help educate my readers.
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Trodvies Premium
Because of the many things we have to achieve in our respective businesses, I don't always have the time to read posts. But there are a number of members here whose posts I just can't ignore. And Rob, you are one of them. I'm so amazed at how much one can learn from you through your posts and trainings. Thanks for taking out the time to educate the community on such treasures. I sincerely appreciate what you do. More power to your elbow!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Trodvies. I am always happy to share my knowledge with the members of this great community.
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bestleads Premium
Yep. Finding legitimate and honest affiliate programs in any niche is very tricky.

Finding very trustworthy companies is like finding a needle in a haystack.

I don't know if using Google trends will lead to honest and legitimate companies. A company can be very popular and next year you find it was a cover up, rip off, fraudulent.

And the problem is that even legitimate companies have had people reviews against them.

And even prestigious companies have had their take with legitimacy issues.

Like Wal-Mart and Walgreens were found to be selling health products that didn't contain the ingredients the label said it had.

And, for example, Omega 3 production is a very special elaboration process.

Done incorrectly, you won't have any omega 3 in your pills. And this is very common.

I went to an alternative medicine physician. Got his medical degree from a traditional accredited university.

He sold his natural products from a company that only sell to physicians. His patients can buy directly from the company only if he gives them a special password to access the checkout process.

He had a list of the very few "natural" companies that he found reliable in this niche.

Up to where I know even affiliate networks don't screen advertisers. I once asked one of them and they responded that if I had any complain about any advertiser I had to write to them with the full details.

Is popularity helpful on considering a company or affiliate program legitimate and/or honest?

Best wishes...

Luis Antonio
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NickL88 Premium
It can be really hard, almost paralyzing sometimes, because I think the quickest way to lose customers is to sell a shady product. I try to make sure that everything that I promote, I use or have used myself in the past, but even then, it can be hard to judge true accuracy of a product label.
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boomergp08 Premium
All of your claims are valid and that is why research is important. Google Trends is only one step in the process of doing research. It cannot predict which company is legitimate. Only you can through research and knowing what to look for.

Like I said above, I chose Elixinol because of their longevity in the hemp industry, they provide the names and pictures of the owner and top executives, and there is even videos of these people. I couldn't find this with any other CBD Hemp Oil company.

Even though I already knew of the legitimacy of CBD and felt comfortable that the company was legit too, I continued to do my research. In addition to Google Trends I tried the product myself and was blown away when I had no more back pain.

Research is important and if you know what to look for, beyond using tools like Google Trends, you should be able to determine a legitimate company. I think the problem is that people are too quick to make money and don't fully look into their niche.
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boomergp08 Premium
I do the same thing. I try to use everything I promote first. This greatly helps in the over all process.
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SondraM Premium
You clearly understand how to research and pick out good affiliate programs. I'm impressed. lol Living in Colorado Springs, I typically I cringe when I hear about people choosing to promote CBD oils and the programs that are choosing to promote. .

Yet, your research into affiliate programs has allowed you to find a company that is a true leader in the industry. They are thriving and expanding last I checked. Big Pharma Industry is their largest financial threat in my opinion. Yet that is a part of the legal environment of the industry.

I have watched too many people trying to sell CBD oil online and offline. It's like a gold rush....

I've also watched what has gone on with marijuana. Seeing all the hemp and marijuana "failures," I think promoting WA would be much, much easier. At least I don't look outside and have Wealthy Affiliate flags blowing along the street or my neighbor driving around with Wealthy Affiliate magnets on their cars.

As I told someone else last night, I'm about to expand my real estate niche into selling vacant homes with greenhouses that belong to people that thought they were going to get rich growing hemp and making CBD oil.

If I were to try to pick out an affiliate program that would allow me to sell CBD oil, I would look at how long they have been in business like you did. I would also look to see who is financing their growth and expansion efforts. The companies that are doing the best are extremely well funded.

I would also make sure that to stay diversified so that if Big Pharmacy wins, you will still have other sources of income coming in.

Best wishes.
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you Sondra. It is always important to do research into any niche you intend to promote, especially in the health and wellness space. Fortunately for those who promote CBD Hemp Oil things are getting easier.

On December 12, 2018 president Trump signed into law the Farm Bill which among many other things, gives protections to those who grow hemp and has removed it from the Controlled Substance Act.

Now CBD is even more legal here in the U.S. than it already was prior to 12/12/2018. But like all other natural supplements that have hundreds of documented benefits, health claims have to remain muted.

I agree that one must diversify their income. For me, if my income from CBD and WA were to dry up, I still have other affiliate programs plus freelancing in SEO content to keep me going.

Thankfully the CBD company I am affiliated with, which is headquartered in Colorado, has been in business for many years and produces one of the best CBD oils on the market. I personally use CBD and love how I no longer have back pain.

Even with all of the accolades and awards Elixinol has achieved over the years in the hemp industry, it was my personal experience with their products that sold me on promoting them. Research in all forms is important!
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SondraM Premium
Well said.

They are based in my area, or at least they were a couple months ago. So I am even more proud of what they have accomplished.

I am glad that you have had good experience with the products yourself. I've been blessed to be healthy enough that I have not needed to try it.

The farm bill makes it possible for more hemp products, well beyond cbd oil, to be utilized in the market. Every thing from fibers to building materials to animal feeds.

Hemp is expected to be a very, very large industry. Former tobacco farms are being converted to hemp. Big money from big corporations is being invested.

Best wishes!
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boomergp08 Premium
Yes, hemp is BIG which is why my soon to be hemp website "Hemp So Good" will offer not just CBD Hemp Oil but also Hemp Seed Hearts which I love and use on my salads, and hemp clothing/fabrics.

Hemp is extremely versatile. Not only is it a USDA Certified Organic superfood, it can be made into many different products. Paper, car parts, fuel, pet treats, natural medicine, and many others, which is why so many industries want it to remain illegal.

I have always been a huge proponent of natural medicine. It cured me of cancer in 2000/2001 using a natural product from Japan still being sold on Amazon even after the FDA tried to stop its sale.

CBD is just the next natural supplement that is proven to work for so many ailments, especially chronic pain. Best part...No one needs to get high in the use medical marijuana for pain when they can take CBD Hemp Oil which cannot get you high.

Personally for me and many others I know who have taken CBD, the pain in my lower back from a spinal chord injury I had 12 years ago is practically gone and I sleep much better now. With more and more people embracing natural medicine CBD will play a pivotal role.
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Brenda63 Premium
Good article post. I understand it's an individual choice how they want to do business in the CBD oil industry. Jay our trainer here on WA wrote an article about that and the problem is the industry is not regulated and not FDA approved but then again we have all tons of vitamins and herbal stuff that are also not regulated or FDA approved. Thanks for your research, it helps us and other consumers to know what to look for and how we can do our own research. Be the best-educated consumer. I appreciate you sharing this with us. Thumbs up!
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boomergp08 Premium
Though the claim and belief that something not endorsed by the FDA is unsafe or not effective is highly misleading. It is scientifically and clinically proven that Vitamin D3 can protect people from the flu and even treat several forms of cancer, but it is not regulated or endorsed by the FDA. Why?

Because the FDA has stated that they will never do research to approve the effectiveness of a natural substance for the treatment of illness or disease. Why? Because according to the law which they paid congress to enact, only pharmaceutical drugs can treat illness and disease.

This is why NO company selling natural products will make health claims on their product labels or on their websites. If they do the FDA will sue them for selling an illegal "drug" even though what they are selling is 100% Natural. Even if something natural works, that information must be kept from the public.

It is pretty sad that the FDA, which was originally created to protect consumers, for years have been protecting the big corporations and drug companies which totally fund and run it. More people die everyday from FDA approved drugs than natural products not regulated and approved.

But that being said it is the law and it is why companies that produce natural products will place a disclaimer on the labels and websites that promote said products. CBD and other naturals are a direct financial threat to drug companies and is one of the reasons why marijuana has been illegal for so many years.
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Brenda63 Premium
Good points. I live in the state where it's legal for recreation use of marijuana and medical use. We have many growers here so yes you do have valid points thanks for sharing and I appreciate you taking the time to explain. Thumbs up! I take vitamin D3 for my medical condition and true FDA supports drug companies. Also don't forget one drug company lied to the FDA, the family who owns the drug company is in serious trouble. Sad indeed.
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boomergp08 Premium
There was a company here in New Jersey called Lane Labs that made the mistake of publishing that the all-natural product from a Japanese pharmaceutical company they were importing and selling here in the U.S. cured cancer.

Though the product did directly lead to the cure of cancer to those who took it, the FDA and the FTC raided the company at gun point and confiscated all product and literature of clinical studies proving what they were claiming.

The only reason why this raid and following lawsuit took place was at the direction of powerful cancer drug companies that saw this as a viable threat to their profits. It is important to remember that the FDA is run by the pharmaceutical companies.

Fortunately for me I was one of the thousands who was cured of cancer after using this product.and making several lifestyle changes. This product MGN-3 in its original form is still being sold on Amazon, which means in itself is not a harmful supplement.

Lane Labs is now selling another product called Noxylane4 which is the exact same product but with a fourth added ingredient. They make absolutely no claims to its effectiveness against cancer. So far the FDA and FTC have done nothing to stop it.

This is yet further proof that all-natural products, no matter how effective, cannot make valid health claims. If they do so they run thee risk of being sued and attacked by the FDA and/or FTC. This is why I say that it is important to do research.
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Brenda63 Premium
I typed out my response but my new IPhone deleted it. Thanks for the information, glad the product helped you but would not have helped my late husband he died two years ago from Pancreatic Cancer. He used cannabis oil while in hospice care here in Oregon where cannabis use is legal for both medical and recreational use also the right to die laws. He never had to use it instead he opted hospice care until his death. Cannabis oil did help him with his pain. I’ve seen how it worked on him. Pancreatic cancer especially in late stages is a death sentence. Alex Trebek thinks he can beat it , my late husband thought he could beat it too yet he died. Hope the big C does not come back for your health’s sake.
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boomergp08 Premium
Sorry to hear about your husband. My sister died in 2017 and dad in 2002. Even though every kind of cancer is caused by the same thing, a failure of the body's immune system to function properly, there are about 4 types of cancer that need special attention. Pancreatic cancer is one of the four.

Neither Cannabis oil or CBD hemp oil by itself will help stop or heal cancer. Aggressive action to up regulate the immune system is imperative, because only an un-compromised immune system can prevent or kill cancer. Any product or action that strengthens the immune system is an effective anti-cancer protocol.

Stage 4 Pancreatic cancer can be cured but it requires an extreme lifestyle change, like avoiding all forms of refined sugar which unfortunately are in most packaged foods. The only sugars that are safe are those contained in fresh fruit and vegetables. Also nothing GMO can be consumed.

Chemotherapy should be avoided because it causes secondary cancers by making cancer stem cells, which it cannot kill, to metastasize. If chemo is a must, research has shown that using IPTLD Chemotherapy is far more effective than regular chemo, but should only be used at the very beginning of treatment.

My sister lived with stage 4 cancer for 22 years mainly because she took Noxylane4 and changed her diet. The reason she died was because every time the oncologist wanted to try a new approach using chemo she did it. This was like an ongoing 2 steps forward 2.1 steps back. Eventually it caught up to her.

It is really sad that people are dying from cancer treatments when they do not have to. But the cause always comes down to censoring the truth for the sake of making money. Cannabis was made illegal in the early 1900s because it threatened the paper and pharmaceutical industries.

The same is true for cancer. There are many natural cures but most doctors will not tell you about them because they are not trained in nutrition. Those in power that know the truth don't want it known because caner has become a multi-billion dollar per year industry and any natural treatment is a threat.

I have done a TON of research on this subject and have shared it, along with video interviews from cancer doctors and researchers who are curing people, on my website The Free Cancer Cure. My oldest sister did exactly what I did and she was cured. The one that died only did about 70% of what we did.
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Brenda63 Premium
Very informative indeed. I read about that product last night thanks.
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Marley2016 Premium
Boomer,
Again you gave me even more ways to research for the best
affiliates that I can find! I am not using Amazon finding that
other affiliates not only pay better but have quality above
what they offer in some of the niche products I have been
promoting.

Thank you so much for sharing this valuable information,
Susie
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Susie. I have found that a lot of specific niches will be better represented by companies specialized in that particular product and that have affiliate programs.

Using Google Trends helps in the research process of those companies and affiliate programs. And seeing how GT also provides trending related keywords, it can help in content creation too.
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RobFore Premium
Good post. Google trends can definitely expose some wonderful pockets of opportunity. I also like to go look at offers on commissionjunction.com where the stores actually publish the earnings per click, conversion numbers, etc., based on their various offers. So they make it pretty easy to compare different products or offers and find the historically BEST ones.
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boomergp08 Premium
Research is important and Google Trends can help to shine a light on that research. You should take those store names, put them into Google Trends, switch the scope of the search to Worldwide, and see if the results match up or come close to what is reported on CJ.
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CowboyJames Premium
Thanks for this. I did not know about the "start" of the craze.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. I am willing to bet that most people promoting CBD do not know much about how the whole thing got started or even many of the new clinical findings about it. - Research is important!
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Ropesa Premium
Thank you so much, very helpful post.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Rose.
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Nkaujzeb Premium
Thanks for the post, Robert. I need to do more research into this. I've been bombarded with request to promote this and that and I find their system is too pushy. Have a great day.

Kelyee
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Kelyee. When it comes to promoting anything, make sure you know the names of the company or product owners. If they are pushy it could be a waste of time and money.
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Nkaujzeb Premium
That's true thank you.
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure.
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vmccarthy Premium
Thank you for sharing! This is so helpful!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. Happy to have helped.
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Hmp1 Premium
Fantastic info!
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you.
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julesnp Premium
Thanks for sharing this great post Robert.
I do use Google Trends but could make more use of it.

Thanks again and have a great day.

Jules
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Jules. GT is great for finding what products/ niches are trending and seeing comparisons.
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Lazuruz Premium
That's a great article! This is my niche to start with....thank you so much for the timely and informative blog brother!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome and happy to have been able to help with your niche.
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AffMktgRt Premium
A recurring great performance Robert.

Thanks for sharing.

Are the Port Auth tolls at the area tunnels now costing $25.00?

I recall they were pricey back in the days already.

Blessings!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.

I do not know what the new prices are because I haven’t gone into NYC since late last year. I will know soon seeing how baseball season is starting and I will be driving to Yankee Stadium for games.
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seesy62 Premium
Excellent post as always...
Sam
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you Sam.
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Motly20 Premium
Excellent post as always. I am new to using it but I also use google trends with help on my research. You information has enlightened me on where I am going wrong. Thank you for that.
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boomergp08 Premium
My pleasure. I am always happy to help the WA community with information that they can use to help with their website development.
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