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 question is trickier now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively attractive path, with practically 45% of freelance and agreement respondents making salaries above $75,000 annually.

But that does not suggest it’s the only practical career course for content marketers.

In fact, the future looks brilliant for internal specialists as more services are discovering methods to incorporate SEO into broader marketing efforts.

So, which way do you go at the fork in the road?

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

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

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

Becoming An In-House Content Strategist

What has it resembled transitioning from an established freelance writer to an in-house material strategist?

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

I had to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for instance, your supervisor and colleagues tend to desire more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who usually just appreciate the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I had to determine the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, felt like a big company (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds little, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

What unexpected 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 spend 5 to six hours each day in conferences, and having the ability to analyze how somebody is feeling, what they’re saying versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or skeptical, etc, is incredibly important.

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 bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m determining everyone’s reactions. And I consistently repeat back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and make sure I’m analyzing ideas correctly.”

Go-To Material Tools & Techniques

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

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

It’s really a drag-and-drop website home builder that’s very easy to use (I have actually built a couple of test websites for fun), and it offers free web hosting and no charge for connecting a custom domain.”

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

AF: “AI-driven keyword research study is valuable 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 perhaps Ahrefs outcomes.

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

How does globalization affect your preparation for material method?

AF: “Material that has traffic and demand potential in multiple markets will be produced in English first and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our regional blog sites.

Our localization group is extraordinary; for every single piece of material they localize, they’re translating not simply 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,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” etc with “it’s excellent, and it will assist you.”

A lot of material is created in-language (meaning the keyword research study is carried out in Spanish, and the material is produced in Spanish). This guarantees we answer the concerns distinct to our target market.”

What’s the most efficient SEO technique you ‘d suggest to somebody wishing to improve the outcomes they are receiving from natural search?

AF: “Focus on quality over quantity. It’s far more efficient to release one well-written, thorough piece of content with unique insights and original research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Women Run The SEO World

Any ideas for SEO freelancers who have a tough time offering themselves without any previous customers under their belts for reference?

AF: “Produce samples for theoretical customers, ask another freelancer if you can do some free keyword research study or material production for them in exchange for training and your name on a task, and make certain your website looks professional and your own material strategy is flawless.”

What recommendations do you have for a woman pursuing a profession in SEO? For a lady desiring a management function in the market?

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

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

I extremely, highly advise building 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 show my terrific (or, for German readers, “excellent”) associates and supervisor. And, obviously, the live variation of Beyonce’s Formation.”

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost