From Freelance Writer To In-House Leader: Meet Aja Frost

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To work freelance or to go internal? That is the concern.

And the question is harder now more than ever– particularly for material online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a significantly appealing path, with almost 45% of freelance and contract participants earning salaries above $75,000 each year.

But that does not indicate it’s the only viable profession course for content marketers.

In fact, the future looks bright for in-house specialists as more organizations are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

So, which way do you address the fork in the road?

Gain brand-new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing profession as a freelance author making a month-to-month income of roughly $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Development at HubSpot, where she helped its Sales Blog break an 18-month traffic plateau by employing an “organic-first” technique.

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal content strategist, go-to SEO methods, and pointers for constructing a satisfying SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from an established freelance writer to an in-house content strategist?

Aja Frost: “My transition from freelancing to in-house was six years ago, however I remember it was challenging.

I needed to relearn a great deal of my instincts– for instance, your supervisor and colleagues tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who usually just care about the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to determine the dynamics of working inside what, at the time, seemed like a huge company (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff members.”

What unforeseen ability or experience has helped you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

AF: “Active listening and observing is probably my most-used ability.

I invest five to six hours daily in conferences, and being able to interpret how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or hesitant, etc, is extremely important.

To facilitate this, I make Zoom full-screen, hide my own box so I can’t get sidetracked by my face, and shut off all notices.

If I’m in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m gauging everybody’s responses. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m interpreting ideas properly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

What is your preferred function within the HubSpot platform, and why?

AF: “I’m so fired up about the complimentary website contractor HubSpot released a couple of months earlier.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop site contractor that’s incredibly simple to utilize (I’ve developed a couple of test websites for enjoyable), and it offers free webhosting and no cost for linking a custom-made domain.”

What patterns are you seeing in how AI impact keyword research study? How do you take and turn these patterns into topic-cluster-driven search techniques?

AF: “AI-driven keyword research study is handy as a foundation.

It’s far much faster to use a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs or even Ahrefs results.

Nevertheless, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and knowledge for determining which keywords belong together in a post and how those articles should be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your preparation for material method?

AF: “Content that has traffic and demand potential in multiple markets will be created in English initially and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our local blogs.

Our localization group is extraordinary; for every piece of content they localize, they’re translating not just the words and meaning but matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the group will replace “greatest,” “best in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s great, and it will assist you.”

A lot of content is produced in-language (implying the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the material is created in Spanish). This guarantees we address the questions unique to our target market.”

What’s the most reliable SEO strategy you ‘d advise to someone wanting to enhance the results they are obtaining from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s far more effective to release one well-written, in-depth piece of content with unique insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

If you’re not getting the outcomes you must be when you take a look at your keywords’ target MSV (monthly search volume), slow down and spend (method more) time on each post.”

Assisting Ladies Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a tough time selling themselves with no past customers under their belts for referral?

AF: “Produce samples for hypothetical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research or material production for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make certain your site looks professional and your own content technique is impressive.”

What advice do you have for a woman pursuing a career in SEO? For a female desiring a leadership function in the industry?

AF: “Being a lady in the SEO market and a female leader in tech is getting a lot simpler … however it’s still tough!

My support system has been important for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to handle brand-new obstacles, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in meetings, get people to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I highly, extremely suggest constructing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to call on.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and regard I show my wonderful (or, for German readers, “great”) coworkers and manager. And, obviously, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost