NEVER turn down the small jobs Or turn away small budget clients! If you do at least guide them in the right direction it may pay off in the long run...... Here is my story on how my advice led me down a road I didn't expect and took a small e commerce site from less than $500 a month in sales to over $8k Some background Feb of 2012 a local customer called me about seo. He had a small website that sold some stuff I don't want to say because I know that there is a direct competitor here on BHW. Now this is a part time gig for him he has a full time job too. On the phone he told me his website which was a crappy little site made on yola making about $200 a month. I told him what I thought (which was not good ) LOL and made some suggestions but that was about it cause yola you are pretty limited on what you can and can not do especially with a 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] party piece of shit shopping cart. A week later he called and said he thought about the things I told him and what I said made sense. He now wanted me to build a site for him that was good for seo but very limited on budget. At the time I was busy and he pretty much laid out his budget was capped at 400 bucks. So since he was very appreciative of the advice I gave him and we connected on a personal level, I laid it out for him I will set you up with hosting, set up WordPress with a shopping cart, gave a list of plugins to use and a guideline but you need to do all the work. So he paid me and he was off to the races. Months went by he called with a question once in awhile and paid me for the odd job he needed done on the site. Fall of 2012 he called super pumped that his sales were double and want to do more sales how do we do it. He wanted to put more into seo, I told him we could probably do better working with what traffic he has than trying to rank for keywords that are pretty competitive. I really didn't want to take on the job of high competitive keywords on small budget. This is where my long a$$ story gets good....Pay attention! HA HA it might be useful or maybe some re hashed shit again.... I looked at his analytics, his on page seo was ok as one of our earlier phone calls I sent him to seomoz to read up on the basics and such (they have a good beginners guide which is easy to read) He was also hitting on some highly competitive keywords & crazy long tail keywords which was over 80% of his total search traffic. Keywords like longtaillongtail + city or geographic area not the highly competitive ones he wanted to target and go after. This really caught my attention how the F^%$^% hell is he hitting on these with very basic on page seo and 1 linking root domain??? If you have a small eCommerce site serving your local area this may help! After looking deeper into it there were 3 things that stood out Good On Page Seo- Not perfect but has the basics TAGS! He was tagging every freaking city,province and postal codes along with other tags related to the products. Not the same ole sidebar tag cloud but in body tags!! In the past i would not recommend this strategy but now with personalized search these local on page signals work. Related Products (related keywords) If your ecommerce site has this feature USE IT or re create it manually. Its easy and simple....build a linkwheel or interlink within the group of products. I work with some clients where we use different analytics like hubspot, kissmetrics. They provide some really good insight onto what is going on with visitors. 10X better than GA IMHO, when working with eCommerce for memberships,travel bookings or even product sales Page Views and Visits don't mean $hit! Its all about the conversions, micro conversions and the bottom line ..... REVENUE!!! I set him up in my kiss account, after a week of collecting data we learned that pre sale visitors left and came back 3-5 times before they purchased. They would fill the cart , change the cart, leave, come back and come back again from search using a different search term then some would come back and would buy. Here is a snap shot of what I track So one of the best online marketing tools is email marketing right "the $$ is in the list" so they say. Looking at conversions like his newsletter sign up: Average time to sign up 3 days with daily conversion rate of 1% Well that F@#KIN sucks balls! How the heck are we supposed send emails?? Durring this time he noticed that a "competitor" with a new site had his shit copy and pasted on his website with the exact same pricing down to the penny exact product descriptions that he wrote himself one by one. He was PISSED OFF so he asked me to Lock down the site and stop right clicks, so we did that but also found a plugin that won't show pricing unless you sign in he wanted that bad so we got it. MMMM this is cool....I thought to myself. Well people are curious as all you Content Locking Guys out there know right! So with a little modification to the terms and conditions we hid the pricing until they signed up and grabbed their emails. This just changed the conversion rate for the newsletter from 1% to 12 % with a average time to sign up 5 mins instead of 7 days. Kiss gives every visitor a "alias" once that visitor subs for you email list or signs up for account the system attaches that alias to user name or email. Isn't that Sweet eh? Now we can get to work. You can search and filter soooo much data in kiss its soo cool. Probably one of the best Saas memberships I spend my money on every month. So now when someone signs up BAM they get a auto responder thanks for signing up email with a COUPON! Yes everyone loves deals even if its only $1. And yes from analytics people do search for KEYWORD + COUPON. Hint HInt Ok so now we know who these people are and what they are looking at on the site.....so we sort the data by person and products added to cart and who completed the purchase or didn't complete purchase. Now we take all the emails of the people that added product a, product b and product c to carts but didn't purchase. Do up a newsletter offering a time sensitive deal on these products only! And send them to the page. We do this every 3 days to only new visitors that didn't buy. Email marketing + Scarecity works if you run WordPress use this plugin here and buy it you will make your $$ back in a couple days We been running this email thing consistently and it works well! This is more turning into a how to or tutorial, maybe I will come back and get deeper into this later but back on track...... So in Dec 2012 we were talking and he had a customer that wanted to be a affiliate because they were re selling lots to friends. I told him I would be into that too he responded with why don't we partner up I would rather have you as a partner than a affiliate semi competing with me. So now I am a partner and we formed a company. Now I bill the company for time and have a stake in profits Now what has happened since then we have found a couple micro niches inside the niche which is performing well! We have built another website to cover this other niche and we are in the process of getting into the manufacturing side which we have some Brick and Morter stores that want to carry the brand and supply some of our competitors We have also hired a partime employee to take over some of the tasks required for shipping and day to day tasks. So now its like what is said here often "rinse, repeat and scale" which has taken place naturally on its own and all the pieces just fell into place. Sorry for my long rambling story that turned into a "how to" in the middle. My main thing was just don't blow off the people with small budgets and should you not want to take on the small job for peanuts then help them out! I am sure glad I gave the free no BS advice in the beginning.