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

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To work freelance or to go in-house? That is the question.

And the concern is more difficult now more than ever– specifically for content marketers.

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

However that does not imply it’s the only viable career course for material online marketers.

In fact, the future looks brilliant for internal experts as more companies are finding methods to incorporate SEO into wider marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-design interview with Aja Frost, who started her marketing profession as a freelance author making a regular monthly income of approximately $6,000.

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

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

Becoming An Internal Material Strategist

What has it been like transitioning from a recognized freelance writer to an in-house material strategist?

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

I needed to relearn a lot of my instincts– for instance, your supervisor and teammates tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who typically just appreciate the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to figure out the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a huge organization (~ 1,700 individuals). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ employees.”

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

AF: “Active listening and observing is most likely my most-used skill.

I invest 5 to six hours per day in meetings, and having the ability to analyze how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re convinced or hesitant, etc, is exceptionally valuable.

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

If I’m in a larger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m evaluating everybody’s reactions. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m analyzing ideas correctly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so ecstatic about the complimentary website home builder HubSpot released a few months earlier.

It’s actually a drag-and-drop website home builder that’s very simple to utilize (I have actually built a couple of test sites for fun), and it offers totally free webhosting and no cost for linking a custom-made domain.”

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

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

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

Nevertheless, nothing beats an SEO’s intuition and know-how for figuring out which keywords belong together in an article and how those articles should be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your planning for content method?

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

Our localization group is amazing; for each piece of material they localize, they’re equating not just the words and significance but matching HubSpot’s style and voice to the target audience.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the group will change “biggest,” “finest in class,” “amazing,” and so on with “it’s excellent, and it will assist you.”

A lot of content is developed in-language (implying the keyword research is carried out in Spanish, and the material is created in Spanish). This guarantees we respond to the concerns unique to our target market.”

What’s the most effective SEO method you ‘d suggest to somebody wishing to enhance the results they are receiving from natural search?

AF: “Focus on quality over quantity. It’s even more efficient to release one well-written, extensive piece of material with distinct insights and initial research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

If you’re not getting the results you should be when you take a look at your keywords’ target MSV (month-to-month search volume), decrease and spend (method more) time on each post.”

Helping Women Run The SEO World

Any ideas for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride offering themselves with no past clients under their belts for recommendation?

AF: “Develop samples for theoretical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research study or material development for them in exchange for training and your name on a job, and make sure your website looks professional and your own material strategy is impressive.”

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

AF: “Being a woman in the SEO market and a female leader in tech is getting a lot easier … however it’s still hard!

My support group has actually been vital for helping me vent when I experience sexism, pushing me to handle new challenges, and brainstorming methods to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I highly, extremely recommend developing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to get in touch with.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and respect I share with my fantastic (or, for German readers, “great”) associates and manager. And, obviously, the live version of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost