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 more difficult now more than ever– specifically for content online marketers.

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

However that doesn’t suggest it’s the only practical career path for content online marketers.

In reality, the future looks intense for internal experts as more organizations are discovering methods to integrate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

Gain new insight from this Q&A-style interview with Aja Frost, who began her marketing career as a freelance writer making a month-to-month earnings of approximately $6,000.

Now, she’s the Director of English Growth at HubSpot, where she helped its Sales Blog site break an 18-month traffic plateau by using 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 satisfying SEO career.

Ending Up Being An In-House Material Strategist

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

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

I had to relearn a great deal of my impulses– for instance, your manager and teammates tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your customers, who normally only care about the high level. I was far less autonomous than I ‘d been as a freelancer.

In addition, I needed to find out the characteristics of working inside what, at the time, seemed like a huge organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds small, as HubSpot has 7,000+ staff members.”

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

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

I spend five to 6 hours daily in meetings, and having the ability to analyze how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not saying, if they’re persuaded or doubtful, etc, is extremely valuable.

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 alerts.

If I remain in a bigger group, I keep scanning deals with, so I’m determining everyone’s reactions. And I consistently duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my presumptions and make certain I’m interpreting clues correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so fired up about the totally free site builder HubSpot released a few months earlier.

It’s really a drag-and-drop website builder that’s super simple to utilize (I’ve constructed a few test websites for fun), and it provides free web hosting and no cost for connecting 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 useful as a structure.

It’s far much faster to utilize a tool to come up with pertinent longer-tail keywords than manually dig through the SERPs or perhaps Ahrefs outcomes.

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and competence for finding out which keywords belong together in an article and how those short articles ought to be organized into clusters.”

How does globalization impact your planning for content technique?

AF: “Content that has traffic and need capacity in several markets will be created in English first and then localized into Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, and/or Japanese for our local blog sites.

Our localization group is incredible; for every piece of content they localize, they’re equating not simply the words and significance but matching HubSpot’s design and voice to the target market.

For instance, when localizing an English post to German, the team will change “biggest,” “finest in class,” “incredible,” and so on with “it’s good, and it will help you.”

A great deal of content is produced in-language (indicating the keyword research study is performed in Spanish, and the material is created in Spanish). This guarantees we answer the concerns special to our target market.”

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

AF: “Concentrate on quality over quantity. It’s far more effective to publish one well-written, extensive piece of material with special insights and original research 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 (regular monthly search volume), decrease and invest (way more) time on each post.”

Assisting Females Run The SEO World

Any suggestions for SEO freelancers who have a bumpy ride offering themselves with no previous customers under their belts for reference?

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

What suggestions do you have for a female pursuing a profession in SEO? For a woman aspiring to a management role in the market?

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

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

I highly, highly suggest constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to call on.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

AF: “I’m empowered by the trust and regard I share with my terrific (or, for German readers, “excellent”) coworkers and supervisor. And, obviously, the live variation of Beyonce’s Development.”

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Featured Image: Thanks To Aja Frost