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 question is harder now more than ever– especially for content online marketers.

According to our State of SEO 2022, freelancing is a progressively attractive path, with nearly 45% of freelance and contract participants making incomes above $75,000 per year.

However that doesn’t imply it’s the only practical profession course for content marketers.

In reality, the future looks bright for in-house professionals as more organizations are finding ways to integrate SEO into more comprehensive marketing efforts.

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

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

Read on as Frost shares her experience of ending up being an internal material strategist, go-to SEO methods, and suggestions for developing a fulfilling SEO career.

Ending Up Being An In-House Content Strategist

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

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

I needed to relearn a lot of my impulses– for instance, your manager and colleagues tend to want more frequent/detailed updates than your clients, who typically only care about the high level. I was far less autonomous 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 big organization (~ 1,700 people). Now that sounds small, as HubSpot has 7,000+ workers.”

What unanticipated ability or experience has assisted 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 per day in conferences, and having the ability to analyze how someone is feeling, what they’re stating versus what they’re not stating, if they’re persuaded or doubtful, and so on, is extremely 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 notifications.

If I remain in a larger group, I keep scanning faces, so I’m evaluating everyone’s reactions. And I consistently duplicate back what I’m hearing so I can challenge my assumptions and ensure I’m interpreting clues correctly.”

Go-To Content Tools & Techniques

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

AF: “I’m so ecstatic about the complimentary site contractor HubSpot released a couple of months ago.

It’s really a drag-and-drop site contractor that’s extremely easy to use (I’ve constructed a couple of test sites for enjoyable), and it offers totally 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 trends into topic-cluster-driven search techniques?

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

It’s far faster to use a tool to come up with relevant longer-tail keywords than by hand dig through the SERPs or perhaps Ahrefs outcomes.

However, absolutely nothing beats an SEO’s instinct and knowledge for figuring out which keywords belong together in a post and how those short articles should be grouped into clusters.”

How does globalization affect your preparation for content strategy?

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

Our localization group is incredible; for every piece of content they localize, they’re translating not just 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 replace “greatest,” “best in class,” “incredible,” and so on with “it’s great, and it will help you.”

A lot of material is developed in-language (suggesting the keyword research is done in Spanish, and the material is developed in Spanish). This guarantees we address the questions unique to our target audience.”

What’s the most effective SEO strategy you ‘d advise to somebody wishing to improve the outcomes they are getting from natural search?

AF: “Concentrate on quality over amount. It’s much more effective to release one well-written, thorough piece of content with special insights and initial research study than 10 higher-level, derivative pieces.

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

Assisting Ladies Run The SEO World

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

AF: “Produce samples for theoretical clients, ask another freelancer if you can do some complimentary keyword research study or material production for them in exchange for training and your name on a project, and make sure your site looks expert and your own material strategy is flawless.”

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

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

My support group has actually been invaluable for assisting me vent when I experience sexism, pressing me to handle new challenges, and brainstorming methods to get more airtime in meetings, get individuals to take me seriously, and supporter for myself.

I extremely, highly advise constructing your network of peers (both inside and outside of your business) to contact.”

What empowers you as a strong female leader?

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

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Included Image: Courtesy of Aja Frost