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

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To work freelance or to go internal? 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 progressively attractive course, with nearly 45% of freelance and contract participants earning incomes above $75,000 per year.

But that doesn’t suggest it’s the only viable profession path for material online marketers.

In reality, the future looks brilliant for internal experts as more companies are discovering ways to integrate SEO into broader marketing efforts.

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

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

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

Keep reading as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an in-house content strategist, go-to SEO techniques, and tips for constructing a rewarding SEO profession.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from an established freelance author to an in-house content strategist?

Aja Frost: “My shift from freelancing to in-house was 6 years back, but I remember it was challenging.

I needed to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for example, your supervisor and colleagues tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who typically only care about the high level. I was far less self-governing than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I had to find out the characteristics 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 unanticipated skill or experience has assisted you as a marketing leader and SEO strategist?

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

I invest 5 to 6 hours daily in meetings, and being able to analyze how somebody is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re convinced or skeptical, and so on, is incredibly valuable.

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

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m evaluating everybody’s reactions. And I regularly repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make sure I’m translating clues correctly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so thrilled about the free site builder HubSpot released a couple of months back.

It’s in fact a drag-and-drop site home builder that’s incredibly easy to utilize (I’ve constructed a couple of test sites for enjoyable), and it uses free webhosting and no cost for linking a custom-made domain.”

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

AF: “AI-driven keyword research study is valuable as a structure.

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

However, nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and competence for determining which keywords belong together in a short article and how those short articles must be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your planning for content method?

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

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

For example, when localizing an English post to German, the group will replace “biggest,” “best in class,” “amazing,” etc with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A great deal of material is developed in-language (suggesting the keyword research study is carried out in Spanish, and the content is produced in Spanish). This ensures we respond to the concerns unique to our target market.”

What’s the most efficient SEO technique you ‘d suggest to someone wishing to improve the results they are getting from natural search?

AF: “Focus on quality over quantity. It’s even more efficient to publish one well-written, extensive piece of content with special insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, acquired pieces.

If you’re not getting the results you ought to be when you look at your keywords’ target MSV (regular monthly search volume), decrease and invest (way more) time on each post.”

Helping Females Run The SEO World

Any tips for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride offering themselves without any previous clients under their belts for reference?

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

What suggestions do you have for a female pursuing a profession in SEO? For a lady aspiring to a management function in the industry?

AF: “Being a woman in the SEO industry and a female leader in tech is getting a lot much easier … but it’s still difficult!

My support system has actually been vital for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to take on new obstacles, and conceptualizing methods to get more airtime in meetings, get people to take me seriously, and advocate for myself.

I extremely, extremely recommend developing your network of peers (both inside and beyond your company) to contact.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost