I am Zach Russell and this is my personal website. I’m a 23-year-old entrepreneur, currently running a web development and online marketing firm, ProTech Internet Group. I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with my girlfriend, Moriah and have recently adopted 2 cats, Greedo & Sterling.
I started building websites when I was around 10 years old. It started off with general curiosity of the web and how the internet worked. Through trial-and-error I taught myself HTML and basic CSS building websites through now antique website builders like Angelfire and FreeWebs.
Learning Online Marketing
I fell into online marketing by accident. I was 17, and had a family friend that ran a local roofing company. He was paying what seemed to be an outrageous amount of money at the time to a local search marketing firm and wasn’t getting the results he desired. I thought I may be able to do it better.
During the course of a summer, I built him a website and started learning the basics of Local SEO – Google Places, citations, directories, all of the goodies. By the end of that summer I had the site I built ranking higher than the site the marketing firm built was. I now knew I had something here, business wise.
Running ProTech Internet Group
The summer after I graduated high school, I started my first company – ProTech Internet Group. I didn’t really make any money the first couple of months, but then I discovered eLance. I never really made that much money from eLance, but I made enough to live on and was able to get my first apartment.
From there, I started attending some local networking events and started to meet some amazing people. I was able to get work where I could both learn more about the industry and make some money at the same time. Now i’m fortunate enough to have an office in Center City along with more than enough work to keep me and my small, yet talented team busy.
While I love building websites and helping businesses get more customers, I have the entrepreneurial itch to get into some new ventures. While i’m working on quite a few things, my biggest current side-project is WP Temple. Right now its just a small, simple site I hope to grow it into a thriving WordPress community offering free and premium WordPress educational content as well as high quality themes.