Russell Michelson

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Russell Michelson is an American entrepreneur. Russell started Paper Box SEO in 2016 and is based in Pittsburgh.[1]

Russell Michelson, founder of Paper Box SEORussell Michelson, founder of Paper Box SEO


Paper Box SEO


Early Career

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Paper Box SEO

Russell started Paper Box SEO in 2016. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Paper Box SEO?

Like many founders, I didn’t originally intend to be where I am today. It just happened over time. After graduating from college, I got a job in corporate communications at a large company. My year working there was one of the most formative experiences of my life. I hated it. I knew then that I would never be happy working for a company. I had to do my own thing. So I quit and did exactly that.

> When you make your living doing one time projects, like building websites or consulting on projects, you always have to be on the hunt for new clients. With SEO, revenue is long term and accumulates.

Where I come from, nobody starts businesses. I can’t think of a single person I grew up with that doesn’t work for a large company today. It was because of this societal pressure that I didn’t take the leap earlier. But once I did, I immediately felt fulfilled like I never had before.

The only practical skill I had to offer at the time was WordPress web design. I had picked up some basic WordPress knowledge in college and had already made a few small websites for various projects, so I felt like I could do it professionally.

I knew I wouldn’t be making much at the outset, so I, along with my girlfriend, moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to take advantage of the lower cost of living. While there, I scraped by making websites for small businesses and entrepreneurs, charging only around $1,000 per website.


After I finished a project, the client would always ask me how they can get people to the site. So naturally, I started teaching myself about digital marketing. I found that I liked it more and I was better at it than web design. So over the course of a year, I pivoted from web design to online marketing. I did everything: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, conversion rate optimization, landing pages, and of course, SEO.

Source [1]



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