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January 19, 2017

Geographic Notary Business Names

Filed under: Advertising — admin @ 7:23 am

The classiest business names I have seen Notaries do involve some referencing to geographic icons. Here are some ideas I had, or existing business names. I’ll mix them together. If you choose a business name, make sure to check with your county clerk to make sure the name is not already in use!

Golden Gate Mobile Notary
Bay Area Mobile Notary
Golden Coast Mobile Notary
Hollywood Sign Mobile Notary
Sunset Strip Mobile Notary
Gaslamp District Mobile Notary
Puget Sound Mobile Notary
Columbia River Mobile Notary
Rocky Mountain Notary
Yellowstone Mobile Notary
Grizzly Bear Mobile Notary
American Eagle Mobile Notary
Lakota Notary Services — you might get in trouble with the tribe for jacking their name!
Everglades Mobile Notary
The Alamo Mobile Notary
Saguaro Mobile Notary
Grand Canyon Mobile Notary
Hoover Dam Mobile Notary
Salt Lake Mobile Notary
Windy City Mobile Notary
Iroquois Mobile Notary
Vacation State Mobile Notary
White Mountains Mobile Notary
Blue Hills Mobile Notary
Smokey Mountains Mobile Notary
Beacon Hill Mobile Notary
Harvard Square Mobile Notary – Geographically limiting
Sequoia Mobile Notary
Minuteman Mobile Notary — Good in Massachusetts
Plymouth Rock Mobile Notary

I’m having a brain freeze, so I’ll end the list here. Not all of these would make good business names, but it gets you thinking at least.

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January 18, 2017

Snapdocs grew tremendously in 2016, but NotaryRotary shrank!

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 7:21 am

I took a look at the stats of Snapdocs, NotaryRotary, and 123notary over the last few months. Here is what I noticed.

1. Snapdocs got increasing amounts of traffic during 2016 while 123notary & NotaryRotary lost traffic. My stats indicate that this December I got about 17% less visits to 123notary than last December for example. Alexa.com showed a huge increase in site rank in Snapdocs while showing a small decline in 123notary’s and NotaryRotary’s site rank which is based on overall traffic.

2. In September 2016, based on similarweb.com 123notary experienced a huge surge in traffic while Snapdocs & NotaryRotary experienced a huge decline. My Google Analytics showed a surge in traffic on 123notary, but in August, not September. So, perhaps similarweb.com is a little bit off (or completely off) in its reporting.

My personal stats show that 123notary lost 8% of traffic in 2016 as a whole compared to 2015 as a whole. Part of that is due to Snapdocs. But, Snapdocs traffic grew a lot over 2016 which means that we lost more during the last few months of the year. According to one stats site, Snapdocs traffic was double what 123notary’s was. However, their traffic is low-ball where 123notary gets a lot more high quality traffic.

On the other hand, Alexa.com shows that 123notary’s rank is roughly equal to Snapdocs. So, which source of information is the most reliable? In my experience Google Analytics is the most reliable and detailed source of web stats information. Unfofortunately, I do not have Google analytics on my competitors’ stats.

New Profiles
I’m trying to make sense of what is happening, but it is so complicated. 123notary added several hundred new profiles in August which could have lead to a rise in stats for us in September. But, our stats show that our spike was in August, not September which leads me to feel that there is a lag in the reporting on the other stats site

Social Media
Our social media took a huge dive in clicks starting around August and our Facebook performance affects our general web traffic.

What to do?
I am looking at this information completely baffled. I work hard every day to ensure the best quality search experience on 123notary. We get traffic that pays notaries well on 123notary. But, the total clicks matter to me as well, and clicks are far down. Do I add more profiles? Do I do more on social media? Do I create a better mobile site experience? Should we try to get more reviews? Or should I emphasize different information than I do now? I think the answer is all of the above!

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December 17, 2016

Who is involved with 123notary behind the scenes?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: — admin @ 12:05 am

When most of us see a website, we see the front end and are absolutely oblivious to what goes on behind the scenes. The fact is that running 123notary involves all types of work that you might not be aware of. Here is a breakdown of what gets done and who does what.

Hosting
123notary is hosted by Connectria and has been for eight years. They keep the site online and help solve technical issues with the servers. You might be surprised to know how much it actually costs to host 123notary. The cost is about $1500 per month and that is before a single hour of programming is billed.

Programming 1999-2010
123notary has had many programmers over the years.

Mark — was our main programmer and he built most of the functions on 123notary.

SzeWan — worked with Mark and did a lot of the phone lists and other functions of 123notary.

Peter — The original programmer for 123notary was actually Jeremy’s dad Peter who is a retired Ada Compiler programmer. Peter worked on much more sophisticated projects during his day and figured out web programming from the ground up. All of Peter’s work had to be rebuilt in newer languages such as ASP, and once again ten years later needs to be rebuilt in a newer version of ASP. When does it end?

Programming 2010-2016

InvitraTech — after Mark quit, which was a huge tragedy for 123notary, we used some programmers in India who we had used on another project. Due to some technical reasons logging into the server, we had to transfer programming to someone in Phoenix.

Phoenix Programmers –Unfortunately the guy in Phoenix had such a temper problem we had to cancel a very critical migration the day it was scheduled. We tried many programmers after that, but found them to be either incompetent, or to be unwilling to work. After that, it many months of trial and error to find another programmer who I liked and who would be loyal to us, and about two years of paying for two servers to finally get the migration to go through since I was so busy (and frustrated.)

Fred — Now, we are laying low on programming and Fred does small fixes for us. Fred was responsible for finally completing the migration and got it done very smoothly I might add.

Brent — In addition to Fred, Brent and his team help us out with fixes from time to time. This is a very long list of programmers. I think my life would have been easier if I could have found one who would stick to the job. Maybe I should have learned programming.

Sales

Carmen — has been with 123notary since 2003 which was the year our business started to really pick up. I remember sitting in the car in March 2003 answering a sales call and my friend (ex-friend) tried to get me to shut the phone off. I explained to him that my business is finally taking off, and why stifle myself? After a few months of the phone ringing off the hook which was a welcomed form of over-work after years of poverty — I came to my senses and realized I needed help. So, in 2003, I pleaded with Carmen to get her on board. She was very resistant at first believe it or not, and then developed a love and loyalty for the job which has lasted until today and hopefully for many years to come. Carmen became full-time with 123notary in 2005.

Jeremy also does outbound sales from time to time.

Adine, Wendy, Sally, and Leah have also done sales, although they all got busy with other things and decided not to work for 123notary anymore.

Writers

123notary’s blog became very popular around 2012. Instead of the world ending like the Mayans claimed, 123notay’s world got filled with interesting articles. 123notary was able to find a few amazing writers to help out. Ken does writing mostly about technical and business advice issues. Since he is an accomplished Notary, it is easy for him to write about the finer points of Notary marketing, pricing, and documents. Jeremy does a little of everything at 123notary and writes the majority of the articles. Andy is a professional TV and screen writer who wrote for Cheers, Seinfeld and more. Andy helps write comedy articles for 123notary and also helps with idea generation. Andy’s blog articles became hits and we have a folder for him in our Guest Bloggers category on our blog.

So, who else?
Mrs. Meao helped 123notary guard its working quarters from unwelcomed intruders (mice.) But, there were no mice, so Mrs. Meao took naps most of the time. In the future, I’d like to see more variety of blog writers. The problem is that the blog writing applicants come up with such lame topics that I never hire them. They are simply not in tune with what people want to read. We tried to create a teaching program, but none of the Notaries who had teaching backgrounds wanted to cooperate. So, we’ll see how 123notary develops. Wish us luck!

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December 14, 2016

Do you compare yourself to others on the 123notary search results?

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , — admin @ 12:00 am

We want to remind all Notaries that you are in a constant state of competition. It behooves you to look regularly at what the others are doing in your area wherever you do notary advertising. If you in Timbuktu, IL, see how the others are doing. Otherwise, the phone will stop ringing and you won’t know why. Perhaps Tom in your area will have twenty new reviews while your last review is collecting cyber dust. Or perhaps Mary will have passed our Elite test while you failed our regular certification test two years ago and never tried again.

If you compare yourself to others on the list you will quickly notice certain things.
1. Some Notaries offer late night service. Our icons for Owl hours and 24 hours attract a lot of callers.
2. Some Notaries have many reviews and recent reviews. Others have three reviews the same day back in 2009 which looks fake by the way.
3. Some Notaries have a very evolved looking notes section while others have a one liner or leave their notes blank.
4. Some Notaries have a company name that sounds good while others just use their personal name.
5. Those using our site regularly are painfully aware of how much less knowledgeable signers are who are not 123notary.com certified. Those uncertified folks tend not to get picked much despite their claims that — “But, I’m NNA certified, so why should I have to pass another test? I already know it all.” Those who use our site think that you do not know it all if you can’t pass our test which is timed!

It boils down to — do you want jobs or not? Are you willing to do several quick things to make sure you get jobs or do you want to do the minimum and hope to get by? This is not Junior High folks, this is real life, and the minimum doesn’t cut it. You have to make sure you have all of your bells and whistles. You need notes, certifications, reviews, company names, good skills, you need to answer your phone regularly, and do good work. If you goof in any one area, your business will suffer. So, why not do everything right, and prosper?

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October 24, 2016

3 reasons you need a Notary website

As Notaries, people are always looking for ways to get more work. Unfortunately, some of those ways are time consuming, expensive or demeaning. As a Notary, you don’t actually need a website. However, a well designed and informative web site will make you look good, and will get you more work. There are several ways how it will get you more work.

1. If you link your website to directory listings on 123notary, NotaryRotary, Snapdocs, etc., people browsing for Notaries will compare you to the other Notaries and will fancy you if you have a nice looking site. That makes you look more serious than the competition — unless you have a horrible looking webpage (not web site) that hasn’t been updated in nine years in which case it might make you look worse.

2. If your website is optimized for local keywords such as Pasadena Notary, Notary Pasadena, Notary in Pasadena, etc., you might attract a lot of traffic from the web.

3. You can put your website link on your business card and get some traffic. That way people will be able to get an impression about you and your service before calling you.

However, websites are very expensive to create, host and maintain. So, unless you are married to the Notary profession, I recommend against a website.

You might also like:

Do you appear more professional if you have a website?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16710

Websites from some of our best Notaries!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14677

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October 17, 2016

123notary has more high spots available

Filed under: Advertising,Popular on Facebook (some) — Tags: , — admin @ 11:34 pm

123notary used to be booked solid in most of the big metros. But, because we refuse to lower prices, we have availability. 123notary likes higher prices because we weed out most of the mediocre notaries with high prices. We like to maintain the highest quality search results that we can. But, this results in empty spots. Not all metros have empty spots, but many do.

You can contact us to see if we have any high spots in your area. Purchasing a high spot on 123notary means that the Title companies will see you immediately upon browsing a particular city’s search results or zip code’s search results. Top spots get called first, have more choices for who they work for and normally get paid more. Notaries at the bottom of the list get the leftovers that nobody else wants if they get anything at all. So, do you want feasts or crumbs? You decide! If you are serious about this business, spending a few hundred extra per year won’t break you, but it could help make you.

You might also like:

How much should you spend on advertising?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16679

Upgrading on 123notary w/o the bells & whistles
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=15006

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October 6, 2016

The History of 123notary.com

Filed under: Advertising — Tags: , , — admin @ 10:22 pm

Many people know that 123notary is the one venue to advertise your Mobile Notary service that systematically gets results. We are the go-to site for notary advertising. Some people rave about the results we get. Others complain about how they don’t like our sometimes strict policies. But, almost all love the zany stories and helpful tips in our blog. So, let’s break it down how 123notary got started, and what we do.

The History of 123notary

123notary started back in 1999 and was originally designed to be an advertising site just for Jeremy. The other sites weren’t getting him enough business, so it was time to take control of advertising so there would be enough work. As time went on, the site graduated from being a purely Southern California directory covering only five counties to covering all of California. By 2001, we covered the entire United States.

Building up 123notary from scratch

We started this directory knowing almost nothing about the directory business. We just put a bunch of names and numbers on a list. Little did we realize that there is a lot more to running a directory than that. We realized we needed critical mass, so we added more than a thousand names to the list. Along with a bunch of other technical realizations about placement levels for additional counties, zip search results, etc., we realized that people drop out. As people drop out of the Notary business, we need new Notaries dropping in. My huge project adding 1000 Notaries to the list was something that would have to be repeated. So, a few years later, I added more people. Our numbers went up, and then month by month the numbers went down. This arduous process of adding names to the list would have to be repeated once again as our stats kept going down. After a while, it became a realization that we needed an organized way to keep our numbers up. So, I decided to create a monthly plan to add new Notaries to our list every month, and remove defunct listings every month as well. That system worked miracles and from that day forward, 123notary maintained a steady quantity of Notaries around 6200-7400.

Amazing breakthroughs in 2008 & 2009

Additionally, in 2008, the online advertising with Google Adwords started to get a lot more expensive. It was necessary to find a more cost-effective way to get clicks. Learning SEO was something that took a few years, but with a fantastic programmer named Mark, Jeremy was able to learn the art of SEO and get 123notary double the clicks it was getting before. The following year (2009) Mitch got Jeremy started on blogging and social media which again worked wonders for 123notary’s SEO, although that miracle took years to unfold.

What is 123notary now?
123notary is a the premiere Notary directory in the industry. No other directory has as high a quality of Notaries or gets as much traffic. We keep more information on our Notaries than any other directory. We have the general contact info, hours of operation, but also get into Notary specialties such as Reverse Mortgages, Hospital Signings, Immigration Documents, E&O insurance, Foreign Languages, and more. Additionally, 123notary goes through and helps Notaries edit their notes sections to make them easier to read and more informative. 123notary gets about 170,000 visitors per month and has about 6900 Notaries on board as of June, 2016.

Advertising

You can advertise with 123notary as a Mobile Notary for as little as $59 per year. Although we offer FREE listings which appear at the bottom of the search results, you can also elect to get a preferential listing for $99 or be #1 on the search results for a quoted price which might range from $200 on up depending on the area.

eCourses

123notary also sells loan signing certification courses and combos. Our most popular is the LS#3 combo which gives a thorough guide to loan signing, keeping records, marketing your services, examples of loan documents, and more. You can get a physical book or an ecourse. Read the course description!

How do I do well on 123notary?

To do well on 123notary requires more than just paying us an annual fee. You need to maintain your listing a little bit too, but it isn’t rocket science, and you have experienced professionals who are here to help at no extra cost. You need to write an amazing notes section about your experience, what’s unique about you, equipment, memberships, coverage areas, etc. We will help you edit your notes section at no cost to make it better organized and attractive. You also need reviews from your satisfied clients on your listing. All you have to do is ask, and email them a link, and some (but, unfortunately not all) of them will write you a review. A few reviews are like gold and will magically transform your listing as that is what the users want to see.

Help is always there when you advertise with 123notary

Other directories just take your money and leave you on your own. At 123notary, you can email us or call our 888 number for help. We give help with passwords for your listing, or ecourse. We also give free marketing and technical tips if you have a question. We’ll help brush up your listing at no cost as well as help you choose a business name — at at no cost if you have a paid listing with us!

Our Notary Newsletter

In addition to providing advertising and courses, 123notary also has a free newsletter which has more than 5000 followers. Our newsletter is a free source of great industry information and laughs as well. We have articles about new signing companies, signing company gossip, technical signing agent tips, mobile notary marketing tips, and also comedy articles especially written for the Notary industry. No other newsletter provides the same diversity or quality of articles as we do. So, email us at info@123notary.com to sign up today!

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You might also like:

123notary behind the scenes
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=2499

The story of 123notary.com
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=710

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September 26, 2016

What is a high placed listing on 123notary worth?

Many people want a high placed listing for Notary advertising on 123notary.com, but complain about the prices. We keep our prices intentionally high to weed out Notaries who are not serious. But, should you pay big bucks to get a high placed listing?

A Good Foundation
First of all, you will not get your money’s worth if you did not pass our (signing agent) Notary certification test. People who visit our site want to see our signing agent certification, not some other agency’s like NNA or Notary2Pro, etc. Additionally, without a few fresh reviews from satisfied clients on your listing, you will lose a lot of the potential of a high placed listing. Finally, your notes section needs to be perfected, so ask us for help — it’s free. So, get your foundation in order before you invest above $100 in a listing.

Building Your Presence
123notary allows people to buy a high placed listing half a year at a time. So, you can try it out. Sometimes we might even let you try three months. We want you to be happy with what you purchased. So, if you try it out, you didn’t lose much if it didn’t work out. Some people have amazing stories of getting several jobs within hours of signing up while others wait weeks. A lot has to do with your luck, your presentation and timing.

Trying Multiple Areas
123notary also allows you to try multiple areas. Our most serious Notaries advertise in several counties with high placements. But, some of them want to put their toe in the water before making a long term commitment. They might get an additional county with high placement in Montgomery County to see how that goes. If it doesn’t work well, they ask if they can move it to Orange County. We understand that you might want to experiment, and that’s okay.

What do people who have been advertising on 123notary say?

I get 90% of my work from 123notary!
We get this a lot, but not from all of our Notaries. 123notary is feast or famine. The Notaries on the top of the list get most of the jobs while the Notaries lower on the list get the leftovers if there are any. Once in a while, a well prepared Notary lower on the list will get a fair amount of business too because they presented themselves well and have deep experience.

I got my first job within hours of signing up!
Some people get lucky and get a job right away. This is partly due to yogic thought. When you are thinking about expanding your presence, you attract new clients. Putting your money where your mouth is also increases the power of your thought. Some people have to wait a while before getting work. We recommend working on your FOUNDATION as we mentioned above as that can dictate how well you do against our very seasoned competition who lists on our site in your county (or perhaps they do)

I got five jobs my first two weeks on 123notary
Some people get a slew of jobs after getting a high placed listing on 123notary. There is no accounting for luck. Others start racking in the jobs after they pass the 123notary certification test.

You might also like:

Which Notaries are getting more business?
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4117

5 or 6 reviews doubles your business!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=8484

From 3 jobs per week to 3 jobs per day!
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3940

He made $35,000 per month his first year in business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=3894

The top 1% and the bottom 99% in Notary business
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=4168

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August 22, 2016

The state of Notary advertising in 2016

I write an article like this every year or two, just to keep people informed about changes in the market.

Physical and Online Yellow Pages
Few Notaries do well with these, but you are welcome to experiment. Just don’t invest too much. See how well you can do with a limited budget.

Snapdocs
Snapdocs might not be too popular with the Notaries, but many Notaries get work from them and many other Notaries lose work from competition from this outfit. Snapdocs offers cattle calls to Notaries via text. Notaries polled on Linked In ALL claimed that they preferred a phone call, primarily because they could negotiate more easily. However, you can negotiate prices by text or email as well — and experienced Notaries are using snapdocs and doing exactly this. Keep in mind that it is not easy to find an available Notary with experience at the last minute, so you can command a decent price much of the time. So fear not!

Online Directories
In addition to contacting signing companies and Title companies by phone one by one, we also recomment “inbound” advertising where customers come to you when they need you vs. vice versa. Advertising on prominent mediums is powerful. But, it won’t do you any good unless you have a well filled out profile. Most Notaries do a horrible job writing their notes section. They put a bunch of unrelated information all jumbled up into one long paragraph. That is hard and unpleasant to read. Keep your notes informative, factual and organized into multiple paragraphs.

123notary
123notary is the most effective way to advertise your Notary services online. Notaries that get ahead on our site have high placed listings (ask for a quote) and multiple current reviews, a well written notes section, and 123notary certification which is not hard to earn if you are willing to study a little and take an online test. Despite tough competition from Snapdocs and Notary Rotary, 123notary’s traffic continues to grow little by little every year partially due to the superior maintenance of information by Jeremy, great customer service and mentoring from Carmen, and the strong effort in blogging and Facebook from the 123notary team.

Notary Rotary
Notary Rotary continues to be #2 in the Notary advertising world. I noticed that they lost a lot of steam in the fourth quarter of 2015. They seem to have slowed down a bit, but are still a serious contender. Notary Rotary is popular due to the quantity of Notaries on board and also to the search by proximity which 123notary doesn’t currently have although we have a search by zip radius of fixed mile radiuses which is the next best thing.

Notary Cafe
Notary Cafe continues to be popular with Notaries although I’m hearing less about it these days with SnapDocs picking up the slack in the market. Notary Cafe has few paying Notaries, but makes up for quantity with serious Notaries!

SigningAgent.com
NNA’s Signing Agent.com used to be much stronger. They have fewer new members and fewer good ones as well. They dropped their password protected search and are now open to the public. I previously thought that being open to the public would ruin 123notary’s stats, but we have not had any change in search volume since they opened their doors. Signingagent.com has gone down hill, but are still a contender in the #4 spot of Notary directories. At this point, SnapDocs seems to be more popular than Signingagent.com, however, SnapDocs is not purely a directory as they are an app and a complicated technological resource with many functions.

Other Advertising Methods
There are other ways to advertise besides contacting signing companies and directories. Many pass our cards, network, have websites, and more. The people who get ahead, typically use solid techniques for promotion and have been in business for years. So, pay your dues, get experience and advertise with the big guys. But, most of all, follow our advice on how to advertise. When in doubt, email us and ask!

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You might also like:

How much should you spend on advertising
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16679

Snapdocs, the Uber of the Notary industry
http://blog.123notary.com/?tag=snapdocs

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June 27, 2016

How much should you spend on advertising?

Filed under: Advertising,Ninja Theme Articles — Tags: , — admin @ 5:42 am

Many Notaries don’t want to spend much on Notary advertising because they don’t make much money or are just getting started. You cannot make money without spending money. Other Notaries have a presence on our site, but left their notes section blank, have no reviews, are not 123notary certified, and then blame us if they didn’t get any business. That is your fault for not dressing your listing up! If you pay $100 to go to a formal dance and show up in ripped clothing with your hair messed up and nobody dances with you — is that the fault of the people you paid $100 or your own fault?

1. Get a foundation before you pay big bucks
You need to get Notary certifications, reviews, and a good notes section before you pay big bucks for advertising

2. Assess the value of your advertising
All serious Notaries track their new sales. They keep track of where the sale or lead originated from. If you get 27% of your new sales from 123notary, then that is a factor in how much you spend on advertising the following year.

3. Base spending on income
If you have a listing with a good foundation as we described above, see how much new business you got from us. If you got a lot, then you should reinvest about 10% of the income you made in new business from our site. Or, you could figure out how much residual business you got from leads from our site as many will use you again and again for years to come. You might want to pay us 2% of the total long-term value of the business you got including residuals. The math is a bit complicated and involves some guess work as well. But, you have to do it otherwise you will be a poor investor.

4. Additional Areas
If you want to advertise in several counties on 123notary.com, see how well you do in those counties. If you spend money on one county and nothing comes back — try another county. Find the counties that work for you and stick with them as long as they continue working. Your success in a particular area might depend on proximity, the current competition (which could change overnight), population, and other factors.

5. How should you start?
Start by investing $100 in a listing with us, get our Notary certification and pass it. Get some reviews, and polish your listing. If things go well, then get a prorated upgrade with Carmen and move up the list and get other areas. If things don’t do that well, then keep what you have.

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You might also like:

A comprehensive guide to Notary pricing
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=16504

Get certified with whomever you advertise with in the long run
http://blog.123notary.com/?p=14205

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